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AP Technology NewsBrief at 7:33 p.m. EST
[February 04, 2009]

AP Technology NewsBrief at 7:33 p.m. EST

(AP Online Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Congress postpones digital TV transition to JuneWASHINGTON (AP) _ After weeks of debate, Congress is giving consumers four more months to prepare for the upcoming transition from analog to digital television broadcasting. The House voted 264-158 on Wednesday to postpone the shutdown of analog TV signals to June 12, to address growing concerns that too many Americans won't be ready by the Feb. 17 deadline that Congress set three years ago. The Senate passed the measure unanimously last week and the bill now heads to President Barack Obama for his signature.

Teens who `sext' racy photos charged with pornCHICAGO (AP) _ Though youth is fleeting, images sent on a cell phone or posted online may not be, especially if they're naughty. Teenagers' habit of distributing nude self-portraits electronically _ often called "sexting" if it's done by cell phone _ has parents and school administrators worried. Some prosecutors have begun charging teens who send and receive such images with child pornography and other serious felonies. But is that the best way to handle it?

Cisco earnings down; January notably weakNEW YORK (AP) _ Technology bellwether Cisco Systems Inc. said Wednesday that incoming orders declined dramatically in January, indicating that the shrinking economy has more pain in store for the industry. Chief executive John Chambers said the company, the world's largest maker of computer networking gear, saw fewer and fewer orders as its latest quarter progressed. In November, orders were down 9 percent from the year before. In January, the drop was 20 percent.

Review: Smart phones a bit smarter with RedflyNEW YORK (AP) _ You might think your smart phone is pretty brainy, but is it clever enough to essentially replace your laptop while on the go? Salt Lake City-based Celio Corp. is betting you want a bit of both devices at the same time. It has come up with Redfly, which looks like a tiny laptop, but is actually a keyboard and screen that harnesses the processing power and storage space of smart phones that use Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Mobile operating system.

AOL investment loses its luster with GoogleSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Google Inc.'s decision to sell its crumbling investment in longtime advertising partner AOL is the latest example of how the recession has forced the Internet search leader to sober up and reassess its priorities. Google's move, disclosed Wednesday by AOL parent Time Warner Inc., could be the first step toward ending a seven-year alliance between two of the Web's best-known sites, although both sides said Google will still deliver search results and advertising to AOL. That arrangement isn't supposed to end until 2011.

Time Warner swings to 4Q loss on hefty writedownLOS ANGELES (AP) _ Media and entertainment giant Time Warner Inc. reported a fourth-quarter loss, hurt by a previously expected $24.2 billion writedown for its cable, publishing and AOL assets. The company predicted flat earnings in the year ahead as it takes on major restructuring charges amid a declining advertising market.

Do you know where your kid is? Check Google's mapsSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ With an upgrade to its mobile maps, Google Inc. hopes to prove it can track people on the go as effectively as it searches for information on the Internet. The new software released Wednesday will enable people with mobile phones and other wireless devices to automatically share their whereabouts with family and friends.

Experts question fallout from new Monster hackSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ For the second time in less than 18 months, the job-search Web site was breached, along with, which Monster's parent company runs for the federal government. And yet Monster might suffer little fallout _ because the overall state of computer security is so bad anyway. Attacks against Web sites have become so common, security experts say, that Monster Worldwide Inc. won't necessarily scare customers away with its January disclosure that its database was plundered of user IDs, passwords, e-mail addresses, names and phone numbers. Monster makes money by charging employers that post jobs and scan the resumes of applicants, who use the service for free.

Time Warner Cable to expand trial of Internet capsNEW YORK (AP) _ Time Warner Cable Inc. last year became the first major U.S. Internet service provider to charge customers extra if they exceeded a certain amount of data traffic every month. That trial run apparently went well, because the company said Wednesday that it will expand the test to other cities. Many ISPs have imposed caps on how much their subscribers can download each month. Time Warner Cable broke from the pack by setting relatively low limits _ for instance, 5 gigabytes for subscribers paying $30 a month _ and then charging $1 for each gigabyte over that limit.

Microsoft streamlines Windows 7 optionsSEATTLE (AP) _ Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday said it will heavily promote two main versions of the next Windows operating system in an attempt to avoid the problems it faced by marketing four tiers of the Windows Vista system. But while the Redmond-based company said it will simplify its message, it did not give up the multitiered approach with Windows 7, which is officially expected at the end of January 2010. All told, there will be at least six different versions.

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