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Friday
Dec242010

Sony to Buy Toshiba Chip Factory

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TOKYO) -- Toshiba and Sony corporations have announced that they have signed a memorandum that will see the transfer of semiconductor fabrication facilities from Toshiba over to Sony.

The facilities’ operations were handled by Nagasaki Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (NSM), a joint venture among Toshiba, Sony and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., but according to a press release issued by Toshiba, once the transfer is completed that NSM partnership will be terminated. NSM has been responsible for manufacturing semiconductors and system-on-a-chip for applications in Toshiba and Sony digital products.

The transfer is expected to be completed sometime early in the fiscal year ending March 2012.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec232010

Mall of America Developers Take on Meadowlands

Photo Courtesy - Office of Governor Chris Christie | Tim Larsen(EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.) – The developers of the Mall of America, the most visited mall in the world, signed a letter of intent Thursday to revitalize the Meadowlands complex.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced that Triple Five will work to transform the space into a successful tourism and retail destination.

"This administration fully supports the progress being made and will be a true partner at every step in transforming the Meadowlands from a financial and economic drain into a vibrant destination so that New Jerseyans can begin to reap the benefits of the job creation and much-needed tax revenues this project will provide,” said Christie. "We're glad to have Triple Five's long-term investment in New Jersey and I am confident that the developers who created the most visited mall in the world, due to their vision and innovation, will transform the Meadowlands into New Jersey's very own Mall of America.”

Triple Five will unveil its plan for the project in 2011.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec232010

GM Recalls CTS Models, Potential Problems with Airbag Deployment

Photo Courtesy -- General Motors(DETROIT) – General Motors has announced the recall of around 190,000 Cadillac CTS models due to a manufacturing issue that could keep the passenger airbag from deploying.

GM said the problem is with a sensor in the front passenger presence system in the 2005-2007 CTS models. The sensor is meant to tell the airbag when to deploy.

Dealers will replace the system in affected vehicles for free. No injuries have been reported as a result of the issue.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec232010

Toyota Reaches $10 Million Settlement with Family of Crash Victims

Photo Courtesy -- Toyota(LOS ANGELES) – Toyota has reached a $10 million settlement with the relatives of four people who were killed in a crash last year in San Diego after the Lexus they were driving suddenly accelerated, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The crash, which claimed the lives of a California Highway Patrol officer and three of his family members, launched Toyota onto the national stage and was followed by a series of safety recalls.

The settlement was first announced in September, but the amount had not been disclosed due to requests from the families and Toyota. A Superior Court judge, however, denied the requests Monday saying a compelling reason had not been presented as to why the amount should be kept secret.

Toyota has faced several federal investigations and lawsuits in regards to recalled vehicles and problems with sudden acceleration.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec232010

Gas Prices Rising as Millions Prepare to Travel for Holidays

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(HEATHROW, Fla.) -- As millions of Americans pack up their cars to hit the road for the holidays, they are being greeted by an unfortunate sight at the gas station.

For the first time since October 2008, gas prices are now averaging $3 a gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service.  Gas prices have risen slowly over the past year, and increased by 13 cents in the past month.

Experts predict the trend will continue, and it is possible that drivers will see gas prices as high as $3.50 a gallon by the spring.

The rising prices come during what is one of the busiest travel seasons of the year.  AAA predicts holiday travel this year will top what it was in 2008 and 2009, and a majority of those voyagers will travel by car.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec232010

Toshiba Begins Selling Glasses-Free 3D TVs in Japan

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(TOKYO) -- Toshiba began selling in Japan the world's first 3D television that doesn't require the use of special glasses to view 3D images.

The 12-inch TV sets hit store shelves Wednesday at 119,800 yen, roughly $1,400.  Many shoppers in Tokyo stopped by electronics stores to see the 3D images for themselves, while mulling the price tag.

Unlike 3D TVs that create the illusion of depth by utilizing glasses which act as filters to separate images between each eye, Toshiba's screens use processing technology to produce the 3D images.

The Regza GL1 allows users to view normal TV programs in 2D and 3D.

Only the 12-inch version is available to customers now, but Toshiba plans to release its 20-inch model on Christmas day and a 40-inch model next year.

The relatively small TV models could deter some customers away from buying them, for now.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec232010

American Airlines Stops Selling Tickets on Orbitz

Photo Courtesy - PRNewsFoto/ American Airlines(FORT WORTH, Texas) -- American Airlines is trying to reshape the way airline tickets are sold, pulling all its flights off the online booking site Orbitz.  The move comes less than a week after Delta pulled its tickets off three smaller travel sites: CheapOair, BookIt.com and One Travel.

Any tickets previously sold on these sites are still valid.

"The move does make things a bit more difficult for consumers in terms of comparison shopping, since they will have to remember to search American separately if using Orbitz," said Anne Banas, executive editor of the travel website SmarterTravel.  "However, my advice would be to use a meta-search engine like Bing Travel or Kayak that searches multiple sites -- including Orbitz and American -- at the same time."

The moves come just as Google is trying to buy the airfare search software company ITA for $700 million, an acquisition that is being reviewed by the Justice Department for possible anti-trust violations.

While ITA is not a household name, it has some of the most powerful airfare search technologies, often sold to third parties.  Google dominates the overall search market and has transformed areas -- think of Google shopping -- that it has entered.  Competitors say they fear that if Google buys ITA, it would control airfare searches and give preferential treatment to the highest-bidding advertiser.

So why would American and Delta make their tickets harder to find?  Money.  An airline has to pay a fee to any third-party site, such as Travelocity, Expedia or Orbitz, that sells a seat on one of its planes.  Those fees can be as high as $4 per flight segment, according to Robert Mann, an airline consultant and president of R.W. Mann & Company.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec222010

Minimum Wage to Increase in Seven States

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(HARRISBURG, Pa.) -- A planned increase of the minimum wage, intended to counterbalance economic inflation, will take place in seven states Jan. 1.

The Keystone Research Center reports that the wage adjustments, expected to range from nine to 12 cents, will "modestly boost the incomes" of about 647,000 minimum wage workers in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington State.  The pay raises came about through six state ballot initiatives and 2005 legislation in Vermont.

Keystone Research Center labor economist Mark Price hails the wage increases, and expects the new wages will boost economic recovery on state and federal levels.

"Long term, boosting the incomes of working families and strengthening the middle class are the only ways to restore healthy job growth without sustainable deficit spending," said Price. "Increasing the minimum wage to keep pace with inflation would be a great place to start."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec222010

Minimalist Homes May Be Antidote to Sagging Housing Market

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The long economic downturn has led a small number of Americans to downsize their homes to minimalist mini-cabins, not much larger than the size of the average living room.

William Rockhill has been building cabins since 1991 when he started Bear Creek Carpentry in Woodgate, N.Y.

Based in the Adirondack Mountains, Rockhill has built 200 homes, mostly for vacationers buying second homes. That began to change in the past few years when the economy tanked, according to Rockhill. "Most people requesting information now are looking for a simpler, alternative life," said Rockhill, who builds about one home for every 10 requests he receives. "Off the grid is a big thing now."

Rockhill's mini-cabins range from $13,440 for an 8 by 16 feet complete cottage, to $50,400 for a 20 by 24 feet two-bedroom lodge.

Homebuyers interested in a do-it-yourself project can purchase the shells of these homes for $8,320 and $31,200, respectively.

Bear Creek Carpentry may be on the less expensive end of the small-home price spectrum. Jay Shafer, whom Rockhill called the "guru" of the small-home movement, started the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company in Sebastopol, Calif., with homes from $38,997 and up. Shafer's home sizes are 65 to 837 square feet and you can just buy the complete home plans for around $700.

Shafer co-founded the Small House Society, with a mission to "support the research, development, and use of smaller living spaces that foster sustainable living for individuals, families, and communities worldwide.

Gregory Johnson, president of the Small House Society in Iowa City, Iowa, said when the society first began several years ago, about 100 visitors clicked on its website every day. Today, still without advertising, about 1,000 people visit the website on average, though the site has received as many as 70,000 visitors in a day.

Johnson said another reason for the growing interest in smaller living spaces in addition to the economy, is greater awareness about human impact on the environment.

"Living small is a way to reduce our negative impact," he wrote in an e-mail.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec222010

Feeling Lucky? Mega Millions Jackpot up to $168 Million

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- If you thought you missed out on an early Christmas gift worth $145 million, you still have another chance at hitting it big.

No tickets matching all five numbers (8, 11, 12, 31, 32) plus the mega number (29) were sold in Tuesday night's Mega Millions lottery drawing.

Players have another shot at the jackpot Friday -- Christmas Eve -- with an estimated jackpot of $168 million.

Mega Millions, a multi-state lottery played in 41 states and in Washington, D.C., is the biggest jackpot game in the nation.

Jackpots start at $12 million and roll over to the next drawing if there is no winner. Other prizes range from $2 to $250,000, depending on how many numbers you match.

The largest Mega Millions jackpot ever won was $390 million in March 2007. Winning tickets were sold in Georgia and New Jersey according to the Mega Millions website.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio 







ABC News Radio