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    Showing posts with label Reuters. Show all posts

    New York Times Sells Stake In Boston Red Sox

    The New York Times Co sold its remaining stake in the group that owns the Boston Red Sox baseball team for $63 million in cash, the company said on Friday. The company said it will recognize a pre-tax gain of approximately $38 million in the second quarter. Along with the Red Sox, the sale of the Fenway Sports Group includes the Liverpool Football Club, approximately 80 percent of the cable sports channel, the New England Sports Network, and a 50 percent stake in the NASCAR team Roush Fenway Racing. The New York Times Co.'s stock fell 1.2 percent to $6.43 in late afternoon trading on Friday. New York Times SEE MORE

    DOJ May Sue Tech Company Over eBooks As Early As Wednesday

    The Justice Department could sue Apple Inc as early as Wednesday over alleged electronic book price-fixing, while settling with several publishers as early as this week, two people familiar with the matter said.

    The Justice Department is investigating alleged price-fixing by Apple and five major publishers: CBS Corp's Simon & Schuster Inc; HarperCollins Publishers Inc; Lagardere SCA's Hachette Book Group; Pearson and Macmillan, a unit of Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH.

    A lawsuit against Apple, one of the parties not in negotiations over a potential settlement, could come as early as Wednesday but no final decision had been made, the people said.

    Apple declined to comment. The Justice Department and the five publishers could not be reached for comment.

    The Justice Department is investigating whether deals Apple cut two years ago with the quintet of major publishers - when the consumer electronics maker launched its iPad tablet computer - were done with the intent of propping up prices for digital books, sources have said.

    As part of those agreements, publishers shifted to a model that allowed them to set the price of e-books and give Apple a 30 percent cut of sales, the sources have said.

    Talks between the Justice Department and some publishers had been proceeding, with settlements expected as soon as this week, one of the two sources familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity, because the discussions were not public.

    Peru Miners Rescued After Almost A Week Trapped

    Nine workers trapped inside a wildcat mine in southern Peru were rescued and brought to the surface early on Wednesday after spending almost a week underground, officials said.

    The men had been stuck about 656 feet (200 meters) below ground since the informal copper-and-gold mine partially collapsed on Thursday. They had been receiving oxygen and liquids through a giant hose in place since before the accident. (Reporting by Mariana Bazo and Alfredo Loayza; Writing by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Sandra Maler)

    Apple Argues That U.S. Court Block Samsung Galaxy Devices Over Patent Violations

    A U.S. appeals court on Friday showed few signs that it was prepared to support a request by Apple Inc to block immediately the sale of some Samsung Electronics smartphones and tablets.

    In a high-stakes patent dispute, the court heard arguments about whether a federal trial judge acted correctly in December when she ruled that Apple failed to provide enough evidence to support an injunction of Samsung's Galaxy pro duct line.

    The court's judges reacted with skepticism to a premise put forward by Apple's lawyer that for the purpose of getting an injunction, Apple does not need to show that patent infringement would directly cause a loss of customers.

    Apple's lawyer, Michael Jacobs, said it is enough to show that Samsung likely infringed on Apple's patents used in products such as the iPhone, and that Apple is likely to be hurt. The trial judge found both those things but not enough evidence of a causal link.

    Judge William Bryson on Friday asked about a hypothetical case in which an automaker copied the design of a cupholder from a second automaker. Under Apple's argument, if the second automaker later lost market share, it could ask for an injunction against sales by the first automaker, Bryson said.

    "Can that possibly be right?" he asked. Bryson is one of three judges who heard the case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

    Apple and Samsung are scheduled to go to trial in July in federal court in California. An order to stop Galaxy sales would have the potential to affect settlement considerations.

    (Reporting by David Ingram; Editing by Padraic Cassidy and Richard Chang)

    Explosions In Cities, Towns Across The Country Claim Dozens Of Lives

    At least 26 explosions struck cities and towns across Iraq on Tuesday, killing at least 49 people and wounding more than 200, despite a massive security clampdown ahead of next week's Arab League summit in Baghdad.

    It was Iraq's bloodiest day in nearly a month, and the breadth of coordinated bombs in more than a dozen cities showed an apparent determination by insurgents to prove that the government cannot keep the country safe ahead of the summit.

    Iraq is due to host the meeting for the first time in 20 years and the government is anxious to show it can maintain security following the withdrawal of U.S. troops in December.

    "The goal of today's attacks was to present a negative image of the security situation in Iraq," government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh told Reuters.

    "Security efforts will be escalated to counteract terrorist groups' attacks and to fill loopholes used by them to infiltrate security, whether in Baghdad or other provinces."

    Tuesday's deadliest incident occurred in the southern Shi'ite Muslim holy city of Kerbala, where twin explosions killed 13 people and wounded 48 during the morning rush hour, according to Jamal Mahdi, a Kerbala health department spokesman.

    "The second explosion caused the biggest destruction. I saw body parts, fingers, hands thrown on the road," 23-year-old shop owner Murtadha Ali Kadhim told Reuters.

    "The security forces are stupid because they always gather at the site of an explosion and then a second explosion occurs. They become a target."

    Blasts also struck in the capital, in Baiji, Baquba, Daquq, Dibis, Dhuluiya, Kirkuk, Mosul, Samarra and Tuz Khurmato to the north, in Falluja and Ramadi to the west, and Hilla, Latifiya, Mahmudiya and Mussayab to the south. Police defused bombs in Baquba, Falluja and Mosul.

    Most of the blasts targeted police checkpoints and patrols.

    "This latest spate of attacks is very likely to have been co-ordinated by a large and well-organised group. It is likely an attempt to show the authorities that their security measures are insignificant," said John Drake, a senior risk consultant at AKE Group, which studies security in Iraq for corporate clients.

    Army and police forces are frequently targeted in Iraq, where bombings and shootings still occur on a daily basis. Sunni Muslim insurgent groups say that despite the withdrawal of U.S. forces, they will not lay down arms and will continue to battle the Shi'ite-led government.

    Although overall violence has declined since the height of sectarian fighting in 2006 and 2007, Iraqis worry whether their government has the wherewithal to impose security nine years after the U.S.-led invasion that overthrew Saddam Hussein.

    Zombies, Run!, App Gives Runners A Boost With Flesh-Eating Zombies

    An app called Zombies, Run!, is a narrated game where real-world runners must out run zombies and collect supplies to keep themselves and their fellow humans alive -- and the only way to do that, is to hit the pavement.

    "When you're out running, you'll occasionally get chased by zombies and you'll need to speed up in response over the next minute," said the app's co-creator Adrian Hon.

    "That's very much like interval training, which is one of the best ways to get fit and to improve cardio. But it's incredibly hard to make yourself do it because it's painful. But when you're being chased by zombies, well that's another thing," he said.

    The story, performed by professional actors, plays out in one to two minute acts interspersed between the music runners already have on their devices. As players progress throughout the game, they start uncovering the mystery of how this futuristic world came to be filled with zombies.

    Each mission that players embark on is approximately half an hour and there are currently 13 missions available, with 17 more in development. Players advance in the game by automatically collecting supplies like medicine, batteries and water for fellow humans back at their base.

    "You hear the sound of the gates of the base you live in going up and someone says, 'The gates are broken -- we've got an emergency' and suddenly the megaphone goes on and tells you to report to the gate immediately 'Go, go, go!'", said Hon about the beginning of mission three.

    "Every time I hear it, I still speed up. And it puts a smile on my face because I think 'OK, let's go for it'" he said.

    Created in conjunction with award-winning novelist Naomi Alderman, the motivation for the app was to use the power of storytelling to make running more entertaining and motivating.

    "For a lot of people who want to get into running it's been a great motivational tool. But we also have people who are running for an hour or two hours just because they want something more interesting than music or a podcast," she said.

    Dell Says 'Not Really A PC Company' Anymore

    Dell Inc launched a new line of servers for enterprise customers, boosting its corporate business unit and shifting its focus further away from consumers, who are increasingly choosing such devices as Apple Inc's iPad.

    Chief Executive Michael Dell said his namesake company is no longer a personal computer company and has transformed itself into a business that sells services and products to corporations, a lucrative market that he said is worth $3 trillion.

    Corporations have grappled with ever-smaller IT budgets as slow economic growth curtails spending. But many experts say tech spending will swell over the long term as companies upgrade systems, connect to the Internet cloud, or begin to make better use of user data.

    Dell's so-called enterprise business has doubled in the past five to six years and now represents half of the company's profit, he added.

    "It's not really a PC company; it's an end-to-end IT company," Michael Dell said at an event in San Francisco where the company launched a new line of PowerEdge servers aimed at businesses with remote computing needs.

    The company's founder said the growth of Dell's enterprise business validates its strategy of diversifying away from personal computers as a new crop of devices such as the iPad captivates buyers.

    Michael Dell said he wants to focus on the enterprise and public markets, rather than a drastically smaller $250 billion consumer market.

    "The consumer market is not particularly healthy and the enterprise business is much more so," Dave Johnson, Dell's strategy chief, told Reuters.

    Dell's storage and networking revenue grew 10 percent last year, while sales of its desktop PCs fell 4 percent.

    The world's No. 3 personal computer maker fell short of Wall Street's estimate for fourth-quarter earnings, hurt by weakness in U.S. public spending and the lingering impact of the Thailand flood on its product mix. It has also forecast weak sales for the current quarter.

    Sales at Hewlett Packard's, the No. 1 PC seller, declined 15 percent in its fiscal first quarter.

    Round Rock, Texas-based Dell has been waging an uphill battle to diversify its revenue base from PCs to become a larger player in the data center equipment market and IT services. It faces stiff competition in those markets from the likes of International Business Machines Corp and HP.

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