Inside The Papal iPad, Reid Hoffman Expects Facebook IPO In Early 2012, iPad Magazine Readers Want More

Breaking news from your editors at Fast Company, with updates all day.

Ebay Buys Hunch. For a figure rumored to reach $80 million, eBay has just announced it’s acquiring Hunch. Hunch’s “technology talent” and its “deep expertise in areas like machine learning, data mining and predictive modeling” will be used to boost eBay’s shopping experience, the press release reveals. –KE


–Updated 11:45 a.m. EST

Pope To Light World’s Largest Christmas Tree Via iPad. The world’s largest electronic Christmas tree will be lit by Pope Benedict XVI on December 7 via a special iPad app. Pope Benedict will light the electronic tree, located in the Italian town of Gubbio, remotely from the Vatican. Also on the agenda? A video greeting for the townspeople of Gubbio… delivered via iPad. —NU

–Updated 10:15 a.m. EST

France To Tax Internet Use And Give To Art. A new tax is France will charge Internet service providers a fee to access the Internet. The powers that be will channel those funds toward the Centre National de la Musique, to help pay for music and cultural events. —NS

–Updated 7:40 a.m. EST


Grand Central Apple Store To Open Soon? Apple may take the black drapes off and announce the opening of its store in Grand Central station tomorrow, 9to5Mac reports. The opening could be as soon as Black Friday, the biggest shopping day for the U.S., or soon after. The store, Apple’s largest by square footage, will occupy a prime spot, with 750,000 people passing through Grand Central daily. —NS

Reid Hoffman Expects Facebook IPO In Early 2012. LinkedIn cofounder and investor Reid Hoffman believes that Facebook will open up its public offering in the first half of next year. In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, he explained that Facebook is already putting in some of the financial legwork necessary for an IPO toward a financial filing for the Securities and Exchange Commission. Going public would comply with the SEC request and reward the employees and the company at the same time, is Hoffman’s theory. —NS

iPad Magazine Readers Want More Digital Content. A study sponsored by the Association of Magazine Media has sunny news for magazine publishers. 46% of the 1,009 people polled said they’re reading more magazines since they got their iPads. Sixy-three percent also said they’d wanted more digital content, AllThingsD reports. —NS

–Updated 6:00 a.m. EST

[Image: Flickr user]

Friday’s Fast Feed: Citigroup: Expect Amazon Smartphone By End Of 2012, Call Facebook Friends With Skype, PayPal Launches Facebook App, and more.