Flickr Hits 6 Billion Photos, Mobile Ad Firms Grow, Time Warner Profits, iTunes' Streaming Powers, Microsoft's Arduino Rival

This and more news from your Fast Company editors, with updates all day.

Flickr Hits 6 Billion Photos. On the heels of Instagram announcing a whopping 150 million photos uploaded, Flickr has announced that with this photo, the Yahoo-owned photo-sharing service has hit 6 billion images. Flickr is now seeing 2,500 new images per minute, and uploads increasing by 20% yearly. Still, while such a large figure is certainly nothing to scoff at, Facebook is estimated to be receiving more than 6 billion photos--every month. --AC

--Updated 4:20 p.m. EST 

Augme Tech Buys Hipcricket, Bumps Up Mobile Ads. Augme Technologies is an up-and coming ad company in the mobile ad space, and demonstrating exactly how "up" it is, it's just forked over some $44.5 million for Hipcricket--another mobile ad and marketing agency. With efforts in SMS and QR code marketing too, Augme is now supremely well positioned to make the most of the explosion in mobile Net advertising. Expect to see more of its name. --KE

--Updated 8:50 a.m. EST 

Time Warner Profits Up. Time Warner's just revealed its finances, and revenues are up 10% year on year--causing the firm to up its predictions for the rest of the year. It's actually the company's highest growth since 2007, and The Hangover Part 2, True Blood and Mortal Kombat 9 are behind much of the success. Another big hit is its streaming HBO Go service, with 85% of Go users watching more HBO than they did before...but investment in the future of Go, aiming for new content, slightly dinted this quarter's margins in the expectation it'll lead to more income later in the year. --KE

iTunes Getting Real Streaming Powers. When we heard about iCloud, one of its tricks seemed sensible in an era of disappearing unlimited broadband--the ability to re-download music but not to stream it--but it looked like Apple was missing out on a fast-developing music market, championed by the likes of Spotify. Now data's emerged that Apple's actually re-jigging its servers to allow music streaming (and also TV and movies too) via "iTunes Replay." The system is under test inside Apple, and may well keep its name to distinguish it from iCloud's more file and messaging-orientated offers. --KE

lego

Lego's greatest adventure: Part of NASA's plan to inspire the next generation of space scientists, three replica Lego minifigs representing Galileo Galilei, the Roman god Jupiter and his wife Juno are going to be rocketed into space this Friday, and will actually make it to Jupiter. 

Microsoft's Arduino Rival. Home-brewed electronics is a fast-booming hobby, and it's been dominated by now by the various flavors of Arduino chip--but now Microsoft has extended one of its sticky tentacles into yet another new business, and has released the .NET Gadgeteer. The hackable mini computing platform is actually born of MS's own research efforts, from engineers who quickly wanted to make test hardware, and it may be easier to use for novice programmers than Arduinos are. Will MS trigger a new renaissance in home-designed electronics, and a wave of innovations? --KE

Sony's PlayStation Vita Will Miss Christmas. Despite earlier suggestions of an October arrival, Sony's PlayStation Vita--its next generation handheld super-gaming console--is now set to arrive only in Japan before the vital holiday season. While this won't necessarily dent the Vita's long term success, it'll disappoint many fans and lose Sony millions of dollars in potential sales. On the other hand, it looks like the Vita may have more powers than previously thought--including a PS3 controller mode that basically out-classes Nintendo's next-gen Wii U console. --KE

--Updated 06:15 a.m. EST

Yesterday's Fast Feed: Randi Zuckerberg Leaves Facebook, China's Self-Driving Car, Ripping DVDs Now Legal In UK...and more...

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