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Another technology conference! But with an interesting twist: OpenAir 2015 in San Francisco has the usual panels of Valley business types representing AirBnB, Instagram, Facebook, Etsy, Google, Quora, Netflix and Y Combinator.

However, the registration fee for the day's event is $50 and all proceeds go to CODE2040, a non-profit dedicated to help black and latino youth get hired into the software/innovation economy. In case you didn't know, people of colour and women are really underrepresented in Silicon Valley businesses, as Google's recent transparency report shows. Changing that ratio is a message we can get behind.

In other tech news, Dish Network Corp is in talks to merge with T-Mobile US Inc, in a deal that would combine the second-largest satellite TV operator in the United States with the fourth-largest wireless carrier, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Also, looking for a new app for making "to-do" lists? Microsoft is hoping you'll try Wunderlist, created by a German tech startup that Microsoft bought this week.

Microsoft's acquisition of German firm 6Wunderkinder this week for an undisclosed sum is part of its broader effort to win friends in the mobile world. It is still promoting its Windows operating software for smartphones, but relatively few consumers are buying Windows phones. So the company is also building a stable of apps for devices that run on Apple's iOS and Google's Android platforms.

- With reports from wire services

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Every day a million pieces of news fly at you. This daily Signal Boost is our attempt to give readers a morning head's up on the news that will matter to Canadians interested in media, technology and telecom.

Tips or suggestions for our calendar? Message sdingman [at]