Google applies for wireless spectrum: Google has filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission for wireless spectrum in a band that Clearwire uses for mobile broadband.

That’s set off speculation that Google — which has deployed a fiber network in Kansas City and a WiFi network in New York — is making its own wireless network. CNET’s Don Reisinger, however, has reported that an unnamed source “with knowledge of Google’s plans” believes the project Google’s planning will not be meant for the consumer market.

Facebook’s Zuckerberg to hold Christie fundraiser: Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg will hold a fundraiser for Republican and New Jersey governor Chris Christie, The Washington Post reported.

Zuckerberg previously donated $100 million to the Newark school system in 2010 after developing a friendship with the city’s Democratic mayor, Cory Booker.

In a statement, Facebook spokeswoman Sarah Feinberg said that Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla admire Christie’s “leadership on education reform and other issues and look forward to continuing their important work together on behalf of Newark’s school children.”

Microsoft earnings: Microsoft is set to report earnings for its all-important holiday quarter Thursday, with investors eager to see how the company’s Surface tablet and new Windows operating system fared with holiday shoppers.

Microsoft is fighting against a shrinking PC market, and this quarter’s earnings will be the first indication of whether its new focus on hardware is paying off for the company.

Apple earnings: Apple’s stock has continued a slide Thursday, following a mixed earnings report that fell short of high analyst expectations.

Shares were down over 11 percent in mid-afternoon trading to a price around $454. That’s a dramatic drop from the company’s trading high of $705 in September.

Analysts question whether Apple can continue its pace of innovation and continue to compete in increasingly vital overseas markets. But Apple chief executive Tim Cook signaled he was unwilling to lower the quality of Apple products to appeal to a more price-sensitive audience.

“We aren’t interested in revenue for revenue’s sake,” Cook said. “We could put the Apple brand on a lot of things and sell a lot more stuff.”

Pope says digital networks worth watching:  Pope Benedict XVI told church leaders Thursday that they must pay attention to social networks or risk losing the chance to speak to the next generation, the Associated Press reported.

In an annual message, the pope said social networks may only exist in digital space but they “reshape the dynamics of communication.” Pope Benedict XVI is a popular figure on Twitter; he sends messages in nine languages.