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LOS ANGELES — Tech headlines this week were dominated with Internet bullying, diversity and a novel new celebrity app from actor Tom Hanks.

RESPONSE TO BULLYING

The wildly popular and controversial website and app, Ask.FM was acquired by Ask.com, the company that's been around since the dawn of the Internet age, originally as Ask Jeeves. The Oakland, Calif.-based company said it would immediately clean up Ask.FM's act. The Latvia based Ask.FM, features questions answered anonymously and has been accused of being a breeding ground for bullying, a forum where teens can say really mean things to others.

In purchasing the company, for an undisclosed fee, Ask.com said it made agreements with attorney generals in New York and Maryland who had both come after Ask.FM, to put a set of best practices together, and has hired a "Chief Safety Officer."

CONTROLLING TROLLS

This week the death of beloved actor Robin Williams brought the subject of Internet trolls to the forefront.

Robin Williams' daughter Zelda announced she was quitting Twitter and Instagram in response to unwelcome online bullying.

Twitter responded that it would "improve its policies" and had suspended several members since Zelda Williams came forward.

Williams, who was honored by the world this week for his comedic genius and roles in such films as Good Will Hunting and Aladdin, was a major tech fan who often attended Apple developer conferences, and met his third wife at an Apple Store in the San Francisco area.

APPLE DIVERSITY

Speaking of Apple, the company was the latest Silicon Valley giant to reveal that its workforce is dominated by white men. Unlike Google, Yahoo, eBay and others, Apple's workforce isn't primarily engineers — who tend to graduate from elite colleges — it also has a huge retail presence with over 670 Apple stores around the world. Apple CEO Tim Cook said he wasn't satisfied with the figures and vowed to have a more diverse workforce.

AN ICY DUNK FOR GOOD

Like many in America, tech CEOs this week happily threw ice cold water on their heads to bring awareness to ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease. CEOs of Twitter, Microsoft, Facebook and Google all took the challenge.

MOBILE PAYMENTS, SHOPPING

Amazon wants to take on Square, PayPal, Intuit and others with a vehicle for small businesses to accept credit cards from a mobile device. It introduced its new Local Register service, which has lower fees than the competition. Businesses buy a $10 fob to swipe credit cards, get a $10 credit, and pay a 1.75% fee on each purchase, if they sign up by October. Square charges 2.75%. And Wal-Mart introduced the new Savings Catcher app to comparison shop from the store. After your purchase, scan the receipt for purchases, and the app will check who has the lowest prices around. Consumers are promised refunds if the products are discovered cheaper locally in ads.

HANX WRITER FOR OLD SCHOOL TYPING SOUNDS

In other app news, actor Tom Hanks is the latest to jump on the app bandwagon. The star of such films as Forrest Gump and Big released Hanx Writer, an app to bring back the sounds of the typewriter to the composition process. The app is free in the Apple app store and additional keyboard sounds are $2.99.

The app was just released, so it hasn't made the download charts yet. But speaking of Hanks, the top new iPhone app download of the week is based on, of all things, Forrest Gump, his film from 20 years ago.

Run, Forrest Run, the top new app on the iTunes download chart, is a racing game, while tops for Android is Rock Hero, a game that quizzes your knowledge of guitar playing.

Follow @JeffersonGraham on Twitter.

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