AP Technology NewsBrief at 12:24 a.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Review: Microsoft Office pricey, but good valueNEW YORK (AP) _ As much as I like Google Docs for word processing and spreadsheets, I find the online software clunky at times. So I was skeptical when I heard Microsoft is trying to sell its new version of Office as an online subscription. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the subscription gets you the same software you'd get buying it at a retail store. In fact, I'm using the new Office 2013 to write this review, and it feels as smooth as the customized version of Office 2010 I regularly use.
Critical, long-overdue BlackBerry makeover arrivesTORONTO (AP) _ BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. will kick off a critical, long-overdue makeover when chief executive Thorsten Heins shows off the first phone with the new BlackBerry 10 system in New York on Wednesday. Repeated delays have left the once-pioneering BlackBerry an afterthought in the shadow of Apple's trend-setting iPhone and Google's Android-driven devices. There has even been talk that the fate of the company that created the BlackBerry in 1999 is no longer certain.
Ticketmaster makes online 'CAPTCHA' puzzles easierLOS ANGELES (AP) _ Ticketmaster, often the target of fan anger when tickets to popular concerts get sold out in seconds, is removing an annoyance that can slow down the buying process: the jumble of letters that people need to decipher known as "CAPTCHA." The puzzles provided by Google Inc. are meant to deter automated systems known as "bots" from purchasing large numbers of tickets the instant they go on sale. Scalpers have been known to employ bots to acquire tickets, which they resell for a profit.
Amazon posts lower 4Q net income but stock jumpsNEW YORK (AP) _ Amazon's fourth-quarter net income fell 45 percent, as sharply higher revenue failed to keep pace with increased spending on order fulfillment and digital content, a trend that's become the norm for the world's largest online retailer. The company's financial results missed Wall Street's expectations _ but investors sent the world's top online retailer's stock up more than 9 percent in after-hours trading.
Judge rejects Apple's patent award demandsSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ A federal judge late Tuesday rejected Apple Inc.'s demand to increase the $1.05 billion in damages a jury ordered Samsung Electronics Inc. to pay its fiercest rival in the smartphone market. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh also rejected demands from both companies to conduct another trial on different issues over claims that Samsung unfairly used technology controlled by Apple to build its iPads and iPhones to market knockoff products. She also upheld the validity of the Apple patents at the center of the dispute.
Microsoft retools Office for touch screen, Web useSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Microsoft is aiming its redesigned Office software at the growing number of people who expect their favorite applications to be at their fingertips, wherever there's an Internet connection. In an attempt to extend a lucrative franchise beyond personal computers, the world's biggest software maker is selling a retooled version of Office as an online subscription service to consumers for the first time. It's a departure from Microsoft's traditional approach of granting permission to install Office on solitary machines for a one-time fee.
Apple unveils iPad with more memoryCUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) _ Apple says it will sell an iPad with more memory than the current models available. Apple Inc. said Tuesday that the new, full-size model comes with 128 gigabytes of memory, up from 64 gigabytes. Nothing else has changed, so it will remain a fourth-generation iPad, which went on sale in November. The memory increase does not apply to the iPad Mini, which also went on sale in November.
SK Hynix posts profit as chip demand improvesSEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc. reported a second straight quarterly profit as its debt load eased and sales benefited from increased demand for chips used in smartphones and servers. The company said Wednesday its October-December net profit totaled 163.7 billion won ($151 million) compared with a 239.9 billion won loss a year earlier. SK Hynix returned to the black in the July-September quarter with a 2 billion won profit following a period of losses due to a slump in chip prices and weak demand.
Disney closing 'Epic Mickey' video game developerLOS ANGELES (AP) _ Now it's time to say goodbye to "Epic Mickey." The interactive division of the Walt Disney Co. announced Tuesday that it is closing Junction Point Studios, its Austin, Texas-based developer that created 2010's "Disney Epic Mickey" and its 2012 sequel "Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two."
After big rally, RIM selling off before launchTORONTO (AP) _ Research In Motion investors are turning skittish ahead of Wednesday's critical launch of the company's much-delayed new BlackBerrys. THE SPARK: The sell-off in RIM shares this week follows a months-long rally. The company's stock had nearly tripled from a nine-year low in September after favorable reviews on blogs and financial analysts started to see some possibility of a comeback.
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