AP Technology NewsBrief at 1:28 p.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Media stocks buoyant after 'fiscal cliff' dealLOS ANGELES (AP) _ Shares of media companies rose Wednesday as fears of an advertising slowdown based on slower economic growth abated somewhat due to a deal to avert the so-called "fiscal cliff." Movie studio owners could also benefit from a one-year extension of certain film and TV tax credits in the budget deal passed Tuesday.
LG beats rivals in race to sell new OLED TVsSEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ LG Electronics Inc. started taking pre-orders on Wednesday for the world's first big TVs that use an advanced display technology promising startlingly clear images on wafer-thin screens. The South Korean company said the 55-inch TVs, which use a technology called "OLED" and have a price tag of 11 million won ($10,335), will be delivered to buyers in its home market next month. The new TVs will be available in North America, Europe and the rest of Asia before the end of March, LG said in a statement.
California newspaper defies trend to shrink costsSANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) _ New and expanded sections to cover business, automobiles and food. A nearly five-fold increase in community news pages and more investigative reporting. Even daily color comics. It feels like a throwback to an earlier era at the Orange County Register, where a first-time newspaper owner is defying conventional wisdom by spending heavily to expand the printed edition and playing down digital formats.
APNewsBreak: Google exec chairman to visit NKoreaSEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ Google's executive chairman is preparing to travel to one of the last frontiers of cyberspace: North Korea. Sources tell The Associated Press that Eric Schmidt will be traveling to North Korea on a private trip led by former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson that could take place as early as this month. The sources, two people familiar with the group's plans, spoke Wednesday on condition of anonymity because the visit hadn't been made public.
Tribune exits bankruptcy with new TV-focused boardCHICAGO (AP) _ More than four years after crushing debt and plunging advertising sales forced it to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Tribune Co. has emerged with a new television-focused board and over $1 billion in new financing. Led by such creative and technology heavyweights as Ross Levinsohn, the former interim CEO of Yahoo Inc., and Peter Murphy, former strategic officer of The Walt Disney Co., the board's roster suggests a focus on the company's TV assets rather than newspapers, which haven't managed to turn around declines in readership and advertising. Peter Liguori, a former TV executive at Discovery Communications Inc. and News Corp.'s Fox, is expected to be named CEO in the next several weeks.
`The Hobbit' holds on to first place with $32MLOS ANGELES (AP) _ A tiny hobbit has a mighty hold on the box office, staying on top for a third-straight week and wrapping up a year that saw a record-breaking $10.8 billion in total annual grosses. The Warner Bros. fantasy "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" remained at No. 1 with $32 million for a total of $221.7 million, according to final studio figures Monday. That's slightly down from the Sunday estimate of just under $33 million but enough to retain first place in a holiday weekend that featured the much-anticipated debuts of awards contenders "Django Unchained" and "Les Miserables."
Colleges help students scrub online footprintsBUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) _ Samantha Grossman wasn't always thrilled with the impression that emerged when people Googled her name. "It wasn't anything too horrible," she said. "I just have a common name. There would be pictures, college partying pictures, that weren't of me, things I wouldn't want associated with me."
Review: Making Facebook a warmer, smaller spaceNEW YORK (AP) _ A woman I haven't spoken to in six years is pregnant with her second son. Another college acquaintance reads the Bible a lot. A high school classmate likes to rant about politics. A college dormmate thinks he works too much. On Facebook, I'm connected to a lot of people who are not my friends. Over the years, as my Facebook friend list grows, it's made me increasingly uncomfortable that I seem to know so much about people that I don't actually know.
Telepresence robots let employees 'beam' into workPALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) _ Engineer Dallas Goecker attends meetings, jokes with colleagues and roams the office building just like other employees at his company in Silicon Valley. But Goecker isn't in California. He's more than 2,300 miles away, working at home in Seymour, Indiana.
Netflix CEO gets pay bump after 2012 cutLOS ANGELES (AP) _ Netflix CEO Reed Hastings' pay will double to $4 million next year, after he took a pay cut due to management missteps this year. Hastings' annual salary will rise to $2 million in 2013 and he will get $2 million in stock options, according to a securities filing Friday.
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