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BUSINESS
October 31, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
The Federal Aviation Administration has announced plans to ease restrictions on the use of portable electronic devices to play games, read or listen to music during takeoffs and landings of commercial planes. But federal officials have not lifted restrictions on making cellphone calls from a plane. Before the changes take effect, the new rules announced Thursday in Washington require airlines to prove that using electronic devices such as electronic readers and tablets on "airplane mode" is safe for their aircraft.
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BUSINESS
October 31, 2013 | By Hugo Martín and W.J. Hennigan
Score one for the weary air traveler. Ever-increasing baggage fees, vanishing leg room and invasive security screening measures have made air travel hellish for millions of passengers. Now the government is giving fliers more screen time with their gadgets. The Federal Aviation Administration announced Thursday that it will ease restrictions on the use of portable electronic devices during takeoffs and landings. Within a few weeks, travelers will be able to operate their iPads, Kindles and even smartphones throughout a commercial flight, though phone calls will still be banned.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 12, 2013 | By Mikael Wood
Even by the outré standards of the 1980s - when music was full of smooth criminals and material girls - the Pet Shop Boys stood out. Two fashion-conscious English guys with the crisp enunciation of schoolteachers, the pioneering duo made electronic synth-pop that looked to the future just as it drew on the old-fashioned storytelling of Noel Coward and P.G. Wodehouse. But nearly 30 years after it broke out with the worldwide smash "West End Girls," the group might be more singular now than it was back then: It's the exceedingly rare veteran act that's gone about its business - and held onto much of its fanbase - without coming across as desperate or uninspired.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 10, 2013 | By Martin Tsai
A documentary purportedly on how electronic devices have driven us all to distraction, "Dsknectd" is itself a sensory assault. A one-stop shop for technology-borne maladies such as multitasking, virtual gaming, sexting, catfishing and Internet commentating, it is a series of free-associating non sequiturs underscored by nonillustrative graphics and an intrusive soundtrack. "Dsknectd" crosscuts interviews, reenactments and its own unscientific quasi-research - such as soliciting responses with a fake personal ad and subjecting a random woman to 24 hours without cellphone and Internet.
BUSINESS
October 4, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
If you were looking forward to the day airlines eased the restrictions on the use of portable electronic devices on planes, you will have to wait a bit longer. A panel of representatives from the aviation and electronics industries submitted a plan Monday to the Federal Aviation Administration for lifting the limits on when you can power up electronic readers, tablets and other gadgets during commercial flights. But the FAA says it can't begin to work on adopting the recommendations because key FAA staff have been furloughed by the partial government shutdown.  "The FAA staff that would advise the Administrator on this report, as well as work on the potential execution or implementation of the guidance, are furloughed, with remaining staff, including the Administrator, focusing their time during the shutdown on issues related to life and safety," the agency said in a statement.
BUSINESS
September 27, 2013 | Hugo Martín
Airplane passengers might not have to stow away their tablets and smartphones during takeoffs and landings in the near future. A federal panel is expected to release recommendations Monday saying the use of some electronic devices is safe during takeoffs and landings. The proposal by a committee created in January by the Federal Aviation Administration may ease longtime restrictions that have frustrated airline travelers. Regardless of what the panel recommends, the use of cellphones to make calls or send messages will still be prohibited under U.S. law. The 28-member panel must find a balance between the demands of travelers who love tinkering with their electronic devices and flight attendants who worry that passengers will be too engaged with their gadgets to follow instructions.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 26, 2013 | By Ryan Faughnder
Warner Music Group Corp. has tapped Bart Cools to lead its electronic dance music strategy as it pushes to take advantage of the growing EDM genre. Cools, a key architect of EDM star David Guetta's dramatic rise, will hold the newly created position of executive vice president for global A&R and marketing for dance music at Warner Recorded Music.  Cools, who will report to Atlantic Records Chairman and Chief Executive Craig Kallman, came to Warner when the record company closed its acquisition of Parlophone Label Group  from Universal Music Group in July.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 19, 2013 | Steve Chawkins
Donkey Kong, Super Mario Brothers, Legend of Zelda: For Hiroshi Yamauchi, the hits kept coming - but he enjoyed none of them. "I have better things to do" than play video games, he told interviewers. Yamauchi, a gruff and uncompromising businessman who autocratically transformed Nintendo from a purveyor of playing cards to a gaming gargantuan, died in Japan on Thursday of pneumonia, his company said. He was 85. He ran the company for 52 years, until his retirement in 2002.
SCIENCE
September 11, 2013 | By Amina Khan
Here are two things you might not expect to see together: spider silk coated in carbon nanotubes. This hybrid material is stretchy, super strong and can shrink and grow with humidity, making it potentially very useful for sensors and flexible electronics - and scientists made it by rubbing it between their fingers. This nanotube-coated spider silk, described in the journal Nature Communications, could be useful for devices such as heart monitors inside the body and might even act like synthetic muscle.
BUSINESS
September 9, 2013 | Bloomberg News
Molex Inc., a maker of electronic components for Apple Inc.'s iPhone and other products, agreed to a $7.2-billion acquisition by Koch Industries Inc., the holding company controlled by the billionaire Koch brothers. Koch will buy Molex's shares for $38.50 apiece, a 31% premium over the publicly traded common stock, the companies said Monday. Koch, a closely held company that owns things as varied as biofuel, fertilizer makers and commodity-trading services, is using the acquisition to expand into connector components.
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