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A roundup of the latest high-tech news “Hot Off the Wire” from The Associated Press and Local Tech Wire:

• Apple strikes again: Lines form for the new iPad

LONDON — Shoppers are mobbing Apple’s (Nasdaq: AAPL) flagship store in London in hopes of getting the gadget of the moment — the iPad.

In Paris, at the Apple Store in the commercial gallery underneath the Louvre, Cara Garisch, 26, a software developer from South Africa, said she planned to use it to read newspapers and surf the Web.

"It’s magic," she said. "Even my mom can use it."

Long lines snaked down streets in London, Paris, Frankfurt and Tokyo as eager buyers vied to wield their credit cards. Screams and cheers rose from the crowd in central London as students, professionals and self-proclaimed computer geeks clutched boxes containing the slim black device.

"If I was a music fan, it would be like the launch of a Lady GaGa album in the U.S.," said comedian Stephen Fry, known in Britain as a champion Tweeter.

Apple Inc., based in Cupertino, California, said earlier this month that it had sold 1 million of the devices in the United States in 28 days. The company started taking orders for the iPad abroad on May 10 after pushing back its international delivery target amid extreme demand at home.

Apple Inc. says it is launching the iPad in nine countries on Friday — Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and Britain.

• Google closes AdMob deal, will buy $750M in own stock

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has completed its $750 million acquisition of mobile advertising network AdMob and will start buying some of its stock as a result.

The company officially took control of AdMob on Thursday. The purchase closed less than a week after the Federal Trade Commission approved the deal following a six-month investigation into whether Google would gain too much control over mobile ads. The agency concluded that Apple’s recent expansion into mobile ads will ensure ample competition.

AdMob, founded four years ago, has about 160 employees.

The takeover is being paid in Google stock. Google intends to replenish the shares in its corporate treasury by buying $750 million of its stock on the open market.

• Microsoft tweets: CEO won’t be at Apple event

SEATTLE — You won’t be seeing Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer jumping around, sweating and hollering, on Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs’ stage.

"Steve Ballmer not speaking at Apple Dev. Conf. Nor appearing on Dancing with the Stars. Nor riding in the Belmont. Just FYI," tweeted Microsoft’s official Twitterers, causing much tittering and retweeting online Thursday.

Earlier a financial analyst had sent a note to investors saying Ballmer would appear at an upcoming Apple conference for software developers, promoting Microsoft programs that can be used to create iPhone apps.

It wasn’t totally implausible. Jobs has appeared with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in the past.

• Novell profit improves thanks to lower operating costs

WALTHAM, Mass. — Networking software maker Novell Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL) said Thursday its fiscal second-quarter profit climbed, helped by lower operating costs even as revenue declined.

For the three months ended April 30, the company earned $19.9 million, or 6 cents per share, up 28 percent from $15.6 million, or 5 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

The company had more outstanding shares in the latest quarter, which lowers per-share results. Excluding items, Novell earned 7 cents per share. Revenue fell 5 percent to $204 million from $215.6 million.

Analysts, on average, were expecting a profit of 7 cents per share, excluding items, on revenue of $204.9 million, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters. Operating costs fell 7 percent to $142.8 million.

The company forecast revenue of $205 million and $210 million for the current quarter. Analysts are predicting $210.1 million.