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BUSINESS
December 19, 2008 | TIMES WIRE REPORTS
The nation's advertisers pulled back significantly from most print and Internet outlets in the first three quarters of the year, although overall ad spending fell only slightly, partly because of strong demand for television ads during the Olympics and the presidential election. Nielsen Co. reported that ad spending totaled $100.5 billion through September, down 0.6% from the same period in 2007.
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BUSINESS
December 19, 2008
Average rates on 30-year fixed mortgages dropped to 5.19% this week, down from the year's previous low of 5.47% set last week, mortgage company Freddie Mac said. The rate is the lowest since Freddie Mac's weekly mortgage rate survey began in April 1971. The average rate on a 15-year fixed mortgage dropped to 4.92% from 5.2%. Five-year adjustable-rate mortgages fell to 5.6% from 5.82% last week, while one-year adjustable-rate mortgages dropped to 4.94% from 5.09%. The nationwide fee for 30-year and 15-year mortgages averaged 0.7 of a point last week.
NATIONAL
December 17, 2008 | JAMES RAINEY
This might go down as the week that they took paper out of the newspaper business. Detroit's two daily newspapers announced Tuesday that they plan to reduce home delivery to just three days a week. And the trade organization for newspaper editors scheduled an April vote on whether to drop "paper" from its name.
BUSINESS
December 3, 2008 | DAVID LAZARUS
Universal Internet access sounds great. But not the way the head of the Federal Communications Commission envisions it. FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin is proposing that free wireless Net access be made available to everyone as part of a sale of public airwaves. At the same time, he wants filters put in place so that no smut slips through to impressionable young Web surfers.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 22, 2008 | Lisa Fung
While its financial problems get the headlines, the Museum of Contemporary Art has quietly launched its online exhibition archive. The searchable archive at www.moca.org/library/archive /exhibition/, funded by a grant from the Getty, provides curatorial information as well as images for most of the diverse installations from 1984 to 2004.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 15, 2008 | Associated Press
A federal judge ruled Friday that evidence of a girl's suicide can be used by prosecutors against a woman charged in an Internet hoax. The ruling came just days before the start of trial for Lori Drew, 49, of O'Fallon, Mo., who has pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy and three counts of accessing computers without authorization. Prosecutors said Drew helped create a false-identity MySpace account and harassed Megan Meier, her daughter's former friend. Meier, who was being treated for depression, hanged herself after allegedly receiving messages saying the world would be better off without her. Drew's lawyer had argued the suicide evidence would lead jurors to focus on that rather than the question of whether Drew violated the terms of service of MySpace.
BUSINESS
November 14, 2008 | Joseph Menn, Menn is a Times staff writer.
Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates' 2004 proclamation that the spam problem would be solved within two years has proved a bitter joke, with unsolicited messages doubling yearly to make up about 90% of mail transmitted on the Internet. But this week, the tide turned. The number of unwanted, offensive and misleading e-mails sent across the globe plummeted by about two-thirds, to a mere 60 billion or so a day by Thursday, according to spam filtering companies.
BUSINESS
November 11, 2008 | Jessica Guynn, Guynn is a Times staff writer
Microsoft Corp., a distant third in the search market, has signed a distribution deal with a former foe in a bid to increase its share of search traffic. U.S. Web surfers who are downloading Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Java software will be asked whether they would also like to download a toolbar featuring a Microsoft Live Search box, under the deal announced Monday.
BUSINESS
November 4, 2008 | Dawn C. Chmielewski, Chmielewski is a Times staff writer.
In an attempt to make headway against rampant film piracy, Warner Bros. will distribute newly released films online in China. The studio struck a deal with Union Voole Technology in China to offer new movies, as well as those that have never been seen in Chinese theaters, at rental prices ranging from 60 cents to $1. The inexpensive video-on-demand service seeks to entice China's estimated 253 million Internet users to pay for Hollywood fare rather than download illicit copies.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 4, 2008 | Associated Press
In a batch of 20 new episodes, Charlie Brown and the gang have been brought back to animated life, much in the style of their classic holiday TV specials. But this time Lucy, Snoopy and the others have been remade for the Web in 3-to-4-minute videos taken directly from classic 1964 comic strips. The videos, produced with Flash animation, were made by Warner Bros.' Motion Comics, which has previously brought strips of Batman, Superman and Watchmen to animated life. The "Peanuts" project was done with the involvement of the Charles Schulz family and estate, which monitored the adaptation.
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