AP Technology NewsBrief at 7:34 p.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) 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.
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 logs 2nd straight quarterly profitSEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ SK Hynix Inc. says it has posted a profit for a second straight quarter as the stronger won reduced the amount of debts denominated in foreign currencies. The South Korean semiconductor company said Wednesday its October-December net profit reached 163.7 billion won ($151 million), compared with a 239.9 billion loss a year earlier.
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.
Crucial, long-overdue BlackBerry makeover arrivesTORONTO (AP) _ The maker of the BlackBerry smartphone is promising a speedier device, a superb typing experience and the ability to keep work and personal identities separate on the same phone. It's the fruit of a crucial, long-overdue makeover for the Canadian company. Thorsten Heins, chief executive of Research In Motion Ltd., will show off the first phone with the new BlackBerry 10 system in New York on Wednesday. A marketing campaign that includes a Super Bowl ad will accompany the long-anticipated debut. 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.
Canada, Holland: WhatsApp violates privacy normsLONDON (AP) _ Regulators in the Netherlands and Canada say the popular messaging application WhatsApp is violating internationally accepted privacy norms by stockpiling phone numbers belonging to people who don't even use the service. Officials in both countries say WhatsApp Inc. is going through its users' address books and copying every single phone number before transmitting them to the Mountain View, California-based company's servers.
Yahoo's 4Q report shows more signs of progressSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Yahoo got a little healthier during the last three months of 2012 as the long-suffering Internet company took advantage of higher ad prices and more money coming in from overseas investments to deliver numbers that exceeded analyst forecasts. The results announced Monday covered Yahoo's first full quarter under CEO Marissa Mayer. Yahoo Inc. lured Mayer away from Google Inc. in mid-July in its latest attempt to snap out of a funk that had depressed its revenue and stock price.
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