TMCnet News

AP Technology NewsBrief at 12:16 a.m. EDT
[August 10, 2009]

AP Technology NewsBrief at 12:16 a.m. EDT

(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) EBay, GM set to start car-selling trial TuesdaySAN FRANCISCO _ General Motors and eBay Inc. are expected to announce Monday that hundreds of the auto maker's California dealers will let consumers haggle over the prices of new cars and trucks through the online marketplace, as part of a previously disclosed trial. About 225 of California's 250 GM dealers are set to take part in the program, which will begin on Tuesday. They will be selling Buick, Chevrolet, GMC and Pontiac vehicles on cobranded Web sites through eBay's online auto marketplace, eBay Motors, until Sept. 8. The cars will also be searchable through eBay Motors and eBay's main site.

Small is beautiful (and successful) for newspapersNewspapers are hurting all over the United States, but the pain is less severe at small publications like The Blackshear Times in Georgia. The weekly newspaper fills an information vacuum in a county of 17,000 people who live about 75 miles from the closest metropolitan market, in Jacksonville, Fla. That has made it easier for The Times to hold on to its 3,500 subscribers and keep its revenue stable in a recession that's ravaging much of the newspaper industry.

Attacks on lone blogger reverberate across WebNEW YORK (AP) _ The outage that knocked Twitter offline for hours was traced to an attack on a lone blogger in the former Soviet republic of Georgia _ but the collateral damage that left millions around the world tweetless showed just how much havoc an isolated cyberdispute can cause. "It told us how quickly many people really took Twitter into their hearts," Robert Thompson, director of the Center for the Study of Popular Television at Syracuse University, said Friday.

Whither Redbox? Hollywood studios are conflictedLOS ANGELES (AP) _ Hollywood studios are split over Redbox, the $1-per-night DVD rental kiosk company: They could supply it with cheap wholesale discs and ride its massive growth, or starve it in the hopes of preserving higher-priced purchases. News Corp.'s 20th Century Fox fell on the side of starvation this week, joining General Electric Co.'s Universal Pictures, whose withholding of discs prompted a lawsuit.

The latest craze: Free e-books offeringsNEW YORK (AP) _ James Patterson's latest best seller, "The Angel Experiment," is a little different from his usual hits. The novel isn't new; it came out four years ago. Readers aren't picking it up at bookstores, but mostly on the Kindle site at And the price is low even for an old release: $0.00.

`Champions' to unleash virtual heroes and foesSTRY:type:underline;e0049; PHOTO:; AUDIO: LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Think you can do better than Stan Lee? Review: New Sony Walkman misses multimedia markSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Thirty years after revolutionizing portable music with the Walkman for playing cassette tapes, Sony is trying to master the digital media player with the X Series Walkman. Tunes sound great and videos look crisp on the device, but Sony still has a lot of work to do to catch up with Apple's market-ruling iPod. While the X Series brims with features like Wi-Fi and noise cancellation, the limitations and execution problems make it somewhat disappointing overall.

Telco companies to provide data for broadband mapWASHINGTON (AP) _ The country's biggest phone and cable companies have agreed to hand over information about their broadband networks to help the federal government produce a national map showing where high-speed Internet connections are available across the U.S. AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and Comcast Corp. have told the Commerce Department that they are committed to helping the government "complete the important and difficult task of mapping broadband availability." Publicis to buy Microsoft's Razorfish for $530MNEW YORK (AP) _ French advertising company Publicis Groupe SA has agreed to buy Microsoft Corp.'s digital advertising firm Razorfish in a move to boost its share of advertising on the Web, according to a joint statement released Sunday. The deal is valued at $530 million, comprised of cash and 6.5 million Publicis Groupe treasury shares. The two companies also signed a five-year strategic alliance agreement that will allow Publicis to purchase display and search advertising from Seattle-based Microsoft on favorable terms across Microsoft's digital properties in exchange for certain minimum guaranteed purchases.

Shooter's online rants were like trees in forestNEW YORK (AP) _ In hindsight, it seems so obvious. We look back at the creepy online ramblings of a tortured soul like George Sodini and realize we should have known all along of the horrors to come. That is, if anyone actually read Sodini's Web page before he sprayed bullets into a suburban Pittsburgh fitness class, killing three women and then himself.

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