CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 20, 2009 |
The U.S. manufacturers of a toxic flame retardant commonly used in television sets have agreed to phase out production under a deal with federal regulators. The retardant, known as deca, is one of a class of chemical compounds that have been found in California residents at the highest levels in the country, a consequence of widespread exposure linked to the state's strict flammability standards for furniture. Deca is a polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE), a group of flame-retardant chemicals used in the manufacture of electronic equipment, furniture cushions, upholstery textiles, carpet backings, mattresses, cars, buses, aircraft and construction materials.
October 21, 2009 |
Barnes & Noble Inc., looking ahead to the next chapter in digital publishing, took the wraps off an electronic book reader, dubbed "nook." Anyone who has read Dr. Seuss' "One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish" will recall Theodor Geisel's Nook who took a look at the book on a hook. For Barnes & Noble's $259 device, the hook is its ability to let users lend their books to their friends for up to 14 days at a time. Using the LendMe feature, nook owners can send a copy of their digital titles to their friends' iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry or computer.
September 16, 2009 |
In a public demonstration that hope springs eternal, Microsoft on Tuesday introduced the latest version of its Zune portable player. As mighty as Microsoft is, the odds are not with it in this venture. If the Zune were an ancient myth, it would be Sisyphus forever trying to roll a giant stone up a hill. If a comic-strip character, Charlie Brown trying to kick a football, and if a politician, Ralph Nader running for president. All have little hope of triumphing, but they try over and over again.
June 23, 2009 |
A thirst among shoppers for stylish cellphones that can do more than make calls and take grainy snapshots has helped Apple Inc. ring up sales of more than 1 million units of its high-end iPhone 3G S just three days after the device went on sale, the company reported Monday. "Even with a down economy, food, shelter, clothing and now smart phones are becoming an essential part of people's lives," quipped Ken Dulaney, an analyst at Gartner Inc.
March 5, 2009 |
Trying to expand its book sales, Amazon.com Inc. released a free application Wednesday that lets iPhone and iPod Touch users read electronic books purchased at the e-commerce giant's Kindle online bookstore. The software performs many of the same functions featured on Amazon's $359 Kindle 2 reading device released last month, including bookmarking, noting, highlighting and adjusting the font size, the company said.
January 27, 2009 |
A New Zealand man who bought an MP3 player from a thrift shop in Oklahoma found 60 U.S. military files, including names and phone numbers for soldiers who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, TV One News reported today. Chris Ogle said he found the files when he linked the device to his computer. Details of equipment at bases in Afghanistan and a mission briefing were found too, the report said. In 2006, the Los Angeles Times found stolen flash drives containing secret military data for sale at Afghan shops.