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

  • Google acquires social media firm Angstro

NEW YORK- Google Inc.’s (Nasdaq: GOOG) acquisition of startup shows the online search leader is working to boost its social network offerings as it tries to compete with Facebook Inc. in that market.

Google confirmed the acquisition late Sunday night but declined to give any more details, including how much it paid for the company. Angstro’s co-founder, Rohit Khare, had announced on his blog last week that he’d be joining Google.

Angstro, named after the measuring unit angstrom, seeks to hone in on "highly focused, relevant news" across users online networks – rather than give users an immense array of random search results, according to its website.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Google is competing with Facebook for eyeballs and ad dollars as its Palo Alto, Calif., neighbor continues to grow its user base and expand its reach around the Web. Facebook recently added its 500 millionth user.

Social networks make up a small percentage of overall online advertising spending, but the number is growing. Research firm eMarketer estimates that social network ad spending will hit $3.3 billion in 2010 and $4.26 billion in 2011. Overall ad spending, meanwhile, is expected to reach $61.8 billion this year and $68.7 billion in 2011.

• 3M to buy security tech firm Cogent

NEW YORK — 3M Co., the conglomerate whose products range from Post-Its to respirators, computer arms and films for LCD TV screens, is trying to expand into the security market by buying Cogent Inc. for about $943 million.

Cogent develops automated systems that read finger and palm prints, and it makes iris and face recognition systems used by government, law enforcement and border patrol agencies.

Cogent’s board of directors already has agreed to the deal and is recommending that shareholders accept it. 3M said Monday it will pay $10.50 per share for Cogent, or nearly 18 percent above Cogent’s closing price on Friday.

3M already operates a division for identification and authentication systems. Ming Hsieh, Cogent’s founder and CEO, said the acquisition would help 3M compete in border control and law enforcement markets.

• HP to buy back $10B in stock

PALO ALTO, Calif. – Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) said Monday its board has authorized the repurchase of $10 billion in shares.

The announcement comes as the personal computer maker is involved in a bidding contest with rival Dell Inc. for the data storage company 3Par Inc.

Shares of HP, which is based in Palo Alto, Calif., rose $1.28, or 3.4 percent, to $39.28 in early trading.

HP said it plans to use the share buyback authorization to manage share dilution from employee stock plans and to buy back shares opportunistically.

Hewlett-Packard had $4.9 billion left under its current $8 billion repurchase plan at the end of July.

On Friday, HP raised its offer for 3Par to $30 a share, or $1.88 billion, and 3Par later threw its support for that offer. Dell is considering raising its offer of $27 a share.

At the end of last quarter, HP had $14.7 billion in cash and short-term investments. It has 2.3 billion in outstanding shares

• India BlackBerry ban averted for 60 more days

MUMBAI, India – India says it won’t ban BlackBerry services for at least 60 days, easing up on the threat leveled over access to encrypted data.

The Ministry of Home Affairs says it will "review the situation in 60 days," after telecom authorities examine Research In Motion’s proposals to give security agencies greater access to corporate e-mail and instant messaging.

RIM is facing widespread concern over its strong data encryption, which is beloved by corporate customers eager to guard secrets but troublesome for some governments in the Middle East and Asia, which worry it could be used by militants to avoid detection.