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Saturday
Jan222011

Apple Announces 10-Billionth App Store Download

Photo Courtesy - Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(CUPERTINO, Calif.) -- Apple's App Store has surpassed 10 billion downloads.

The milestone, announced by the company Saturday, comes just less than three years after the App Store was introduced to consumers.

Gail Davis of the U.K., who downloaded the landmark app -- which was, incidentally, the "Paper Glider" game -- will receive a $10,000 App Store gift card.

The App Store was inaugurated in July 2008 and reached 1 billion downloads after just nine months.

The news comes just days after Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs announced that he would be taking a leave of absence from the company to focus on his health.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jan222011

Citigroup CEO Gets $1.75 Million Salary Raise

Photo Courtesy - Mario Tama/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Citigroup Inc. CEO Vikram Pandit will get an enormous salary increase after the company reported a $10.6 billion profit in 2010.

Pandit announced in Feb. 2009 that he would only receive $1 a year until the firm's profit margin was once again favorable. Citigroup shares jumped 43 percent in 2010, following tremendous losses during the worst of the recession in 2008 and 2009. The 54-year-old's base salary is now $1.75 million.

Pandit's pay raise follows similar increases for chief executives at Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jan222011

Qwiki Interactive Search Engine to Take on Google

Photo Courtesy - Qwiki [dot] com(NEW YORK) -- A new internet search platform is looking to be a game-changer in the lucrative search engine market, and it just might give Google a run for its money.

Qwiki, whose goal is to improve the way people experience information, intends to "deliver information in a format that's quintessentially human -- via storytelling instead of search," according to the company's website.

Rather than delivering simple links and bits of information, as is the norm with Google's search, Qwiki created an interactive experience that combines the text of a typical search engine with the video element of YouTube and the encyclopedic data of Wikipedia to create a personalized search experience that talks back to you.

Founded by Doug Imbruce and web pioneer Dr. Louis Monier, who founded the early search platform AltaVista, Qwiki is partially funded by Eduardo Saverin, the co-founder of Facebook who was recently portrayed in the award-winning film The Social Network. Saverin is one of several venture capitalists, including Jawed Karim, a co-founder of YouTube and Pradeep Sindhu, a co-founder of Juniper networks, who recently pumped $8 million into Qwiki.

Currently demos of what Qwiki will offer users are available on its website, and the site is asking users to join its Alpha, which will launch soon.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jan222011

MTV Loses Another Sponsor for Controversial Show 'Skins'

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- The Parents Television Council applauded General Motors on Friday for pulling its ads from the newly-controversial MTV show Skins. GM aired advertisements for the Chevy Volt on the show’s debut Monday night.

“Every single advertiser who sponsored the premiere episode of Skins is not only endorsing, but glorifying teen drug and alcohol abuse, not to mention a plethora of baseless sexual content,” the Council said in a press release, before vowing to go after a group of companies who continue to sponsor the program. Among the brands named are Schick Hydro, H&R Block, L’Oreal, Subway, Foot Locker, Orbit chewing gum and Extra chewing gum.

Taco Bell had already pulled its ads from the show.

Earlier this week The New York Times reported that some MTV executives were worried the show “may violate federal child pornography statutes.”

Skins pulled in a solid 3.4 rating in the 12-34 age demographic on Monday, the best numbers MTV says it has seen in that demo for a show's launch.

MTV is part of the Viacom-owned MTV Networks.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jan222011

Overdrive Mode on the Economy, Obama Says from GE Plant

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(SCHENECTADY, N.Y.) -- On the floor of the GE plant in Schenectady, N.Y., President Obama on Friday said that with the economy now growing again, it is time to jump into “overdrive mode.”
 
“The past two years were about pulling our economy back from the brink,” Obama said surrounded by workers. “The next two years, our job now, is putting our economy into overdrive.”
 
The president was joined on stage by GE CEO Jeff Immelt, who he announced would become the head of the new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
 
“We think GE has something to teach businesses all across America,” Obama said of Immelt’s leadership role. “He understands what it takes for America to compete in the global economy.”
 
In the coming days the president is expected to announce other members of the council, including business leaders, labor leaders, and economists, which will replace the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

Echoing his goal to double U.S. exports in five years, the president said that the success of the efforts will be determined not just on what can be built in places like Schenectady, but also what can be sold in Shanghai.

“For America to compete around the world, we need to export more goods around the world. That's where the customers are. It's that simple.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan212011

Facebook Raises $1.5 Billion in Goldman Sachs Oversees Offering

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(PALO ALTO, Calif.) -- Facebook announced Friday that it has raised U.S. $1.5 billion in an oversees offering from Goldman Sachs.  In December of last year, Goldman, along with Digital Sky Technologies, invested $500 million into the social networking company.

Though execs at Facebook have not made immediate plans for these funds, the company will continue investing, building and expanding its operations. 

"Our business continues to perform well, and we are pleased to be able to bolster our cash position with this new financing," said David Ebersman, Facebook's chief financial officer.  "With this investment completed, we now have greater financial flexibility to explore whatever opportunities lie ahead."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan212011

Baby Strollers Recalled, Could Cause Laceration or Amputation

Photo Courtesy - U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission(FORT COLLINS, Colo.) -- A Colorado company is recalling 22,000 strollers sold in the U.S. and an additional 7,200 sold in Canada for risk of amputation and laceration.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and phil&teds USA Inc., of Fort Collins, Colo., said the company’s Jogging Strollers can cause a consumer’s finger to become caught in a hinge mechanism when folding, posing potential risk of injury.

The company has received at least three reports of injuries to the strollers’ adult users, including a finger tip amputation.

The strollers were sold at various locations throughout the U.S. and Canada from May 2008 through July 2010.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan212011

T-Mobile Backs Application to Block Texts, Calls While Driving 

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BELLEVUE, Wash.) -- If you don't have the will power to decline calls or texts when you're behind the wheel, T-Mobile now has a way to do it for you. To stop cell phone users from driving dangerously, the company this week unveiled a new service that automatically disables most texting and calling features when a phone senses that it is in motion.

The service, DriveSmart Plus, is not the first smartphone application to attempt to block on-the-road calls and texts. But while other cell phone carriers say they are working on similar kinds of technology, T-Mobile's service is the first carrier-backed service to hit the market.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but, in a press release, said the $4.99 per month application, developed by Emeryville, Calif. company Location Labs, will be available to T-Mobile customers with Android smartphones.

When activated, the DriveSmart application determines how quickly a phone is switching between cell phone towers. When it senses the phone is moving faster than 10 miles per hour, within a few minutesit automatically sends phone calls to voicemail or a hands-free Bluetooth headset.

Studies have shown that cell phone use while driving increases crash risk by four times. But "distracted driving is bigger than just cell phones," Rader said. "Targeting cell phones only addresses one slice of the problem."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan212011

IKEA Recalls Glass Mugs for Laceration Risk

Photo Courtesy - U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission(CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa.) -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and IKEA announced a recall Friday for approximately 13,000 glass mugs sold at the company’s locations throughout the U.S. and another 115,000 sold abroad for fear that they could shatter while in use due to variations in glass thickness.

The company says at least one person has required medical attention for lacerations after using RUND clear glass mugs. IKEA says it has received an additional 11 reports outside of the U.S., four of which resulted in injury.

The glasses affected were sold at IKEA stores nationwide from Oct. 2009 through March 2010.

The company said it is offering full refunds to customers who return the glasses to an IKEA location.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan212011

Gas Prices Tick Up to $3.12 Per Gallon

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A gallon of gasoline has risen to a national average of $3.12, AAA said Friday, up 26 cents per gallon since the end of November.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) tells ABC News that demand for gas has been weak, but John Felmy, chief economist at API, notes that the price of gas has risen with the price of crude oil and, he says, it could go higher in the summer months.

“Over the last couple months we've seen crude oil prices go up by 27 cents a gallon,” Felmy said, “and gasoline went up by 26 cents.”

Thirty-seven states and Washington, D.C., have gas prices above $3.00 per gallon, or within pennies of that marker.

Demand for ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel -- used on highways -- rose 13 percent last year, up 16 percent in December, signaling a rebounding economy.

U.S. fuel consumption has increased at the fastest pace in six years and total demand is up for the first time in two years.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio