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Facebook has search tool

FACEBOOK has introduced a tool for searching information posted to its social network of more than one billion users, seeking to improve features to attract more users and advertisers.

The Graph Search, which lets users seek people, photos and places, doesn't look for web-based content, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at the company's Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters. He showed how the service can also be used by recruiters to find potential hires, as well as by members for discovering people to date.

Zuckerberg is adding services to step up revenue growth and shake off the concerns the company doesn't know how to make money from its user base. While Facebook has rebounded from a record intraday low of $17.55 on Sept. 4, the company is still in the early stages of generating revenue from ads placed on mobile devices.

Costs rise on the farm

FARM input costs in Manitoba rose at the fastest pace in Western Canada in the third quarter of 2012, new Statistics Canada figures show.

The agency said Manitoba farmers saw a one per cent increase in costs from the second to third quarters of the year due to higher prices for things such as farm buildings, machinery and motor vehicles, machinery fuel and commercial animal feed.

Saskatchewan farmers, by comparison, saw their input costs drop by a similar amount -- 1.1 per cent. British Columbia farmers saw an increase similar to their Manitoba counterparts, at 0.9 per cent, while Alberta farmers saw their costs climb by a mere 0.2 per cent.

But while Manitoba saw the biggest increase in Western Canada, some Eastern Canada farmers fared even worse, the Statistics Canada numbers show. Farmers in Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador and Ontario saw quarter-to-quarter increases of 2.5, 2.5, and 1.9 per cent respectively.

Nationally, the agency said farm input costs rose by 0.8 per cent due to higher prices for things like farm buildings, machinery and motor vehicles, and commercial feed.

On a year-over-year basis, Manitoba's farm input price index was up 5.7 per cent from the third quarter of 2011. The national year-over-year gain was 5.8 per cent.

HMV expires in Britain

LONDON -- British music and entertainment retailer HMV admitted defeat on Tuesday after more than 90 years in business, suspending trading in its shares and calling in administrators to try to salvage any viable parts of the business.

HMV is the last big retail chain selling recorded music in Britain and employs more than 4,000 people working in 238 stores, which will remain open for the time being.

The announcement follows a strong Christmas-New Year sales season for HMV-branded stores in Canada, which are under separate ownership.

The Canadian stores reported last week that their $65.4 million of sales over the holiday period brought the 12-month total to more than $270 million.

-- from staff, news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 16, 2013 B6

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