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October 3, 2013 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
Amazon Studios has put into production three comedy pilots as the online retail giant deepens its investment in original content for its Prime Instant Video streaming service. The studio struck deals with several established Hollywood writers and producers - including Jill Soloway, producer of the Emmy-nominated HBO series "Six Feet Under," and writer Roman Coppola, who received an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay for "Moonrise Kingdom" - to develop the latest pilots.
September 25, 2013 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
As Internet video streaming becomes more commonplace in American households, a maker of dedicated devices introduced a new lineup of products and expanded programming options in hopes of capitalizing on this trend. Roku unveiled three new streaming players, priced at $50 to $80, that it says will offer high-definition video, among other features. These devices, with names only a geek could love (the Roku LT, Roku 1 and Roku 2), reach stores in October. Roku also is adding the M-Go movie and television service to its entertainment offerings.
September 24, 2013 | By Joann Loviglio
Ruth Patrick, a scientist whose research on freshwater ecosystems led to groundbreaking ways to measure pollution in rivers and streams, has died. She was 105. Patrick, recipient of dozens of the nation's top science awards including the National Medal of Science, died Monday at a retirement community in Lafayette Hill, Pa., according to the Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University. The cause was not given. Patrick is credited with creating an approach that assesses the health of a lake, stream or river by evaluating the quantity, diversity and health of its plants, insects, fish and other organisms - not solely examining the chemistry of the water.
September 17, 2013 | By Ryan Faughnder
Streaming music pioneer Rhapsody, one of the first digital music companies to offer access to songs through monthly subscriptions, has cut its staff by 15%. Also, its president, Jon Irwin, is stepping down and will continue as a strategic advisor.  Rhapsody International, the service's parent, said Monday that the layoffs were concurrent with New York investment firm Columbus Nova Technology Partners' taking a large share in the company....
September 16, 2013 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
A prominent media analyst projects that Netflix will exceed 40 million streaming subscribers by the end of 2015, thanks to its low monthly price and the proliferation of Internet-connected devices. Netflix currently has about 30 million people in the United States who subscribe to its Internet service for on-demand access to TV shows and movies. BTIG media analyst Richard Greenfield wrote that he can "see no reason why" the service cannot surpass the 40 million streaming subscribers mark in 2015.
September 16, 2013 | By Ryan Faughnder
Cumulus Media Inc. is investing in digital media through a new deal with online music-streaming service Rdio that gives the radio giant what it calls a " significant equity stake" in Rdio's parent company, Pulser Media . Rdio will also launch a free version of its service for the first time. Financial details were not disclosed.  The partnership will give the San Fransisco-based Rdio (pronounced "ar-dee-oh") a big promotional boost as it tries to compete with larger competitor Spotify.
September 8, 2013 | By Ryan Faughnder
Xbox Music, Microsoft Corp.'s entry into the ever-expanding music-streaming industry, will introduce applications for Android and iOS devices and allow free streaming on the Web, the company said Sunday. Microsoft launched Xbox Music about a year ago, and it's currently available through Xbox 360 consoles, a Windows 8 app and a version that lets subscribers stream through Web browsers. A subscription to the service, which allows access to some 30 million songs, costs about $10 a month or $100 a year.
September 6, 2013 | By Ken Dilanian and David S. Cloud
WASHINGTON - In July 2012, senior U.S. intelligence officials drove to the Capitol to secretly brief top lawmakers on the first indications that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against its own people. The classified reports about a small-scale attack weren't definitive, according to U.S. officials who were privy to them. It was still a month before President Obama warned that the use of chemical weapons would cross a "red line" and "change his calculus" about taking action in Syria.
September 2, 2013 | By Louis Sahagun
WALKER, Calif. - State fisheries biologist Dave Lentz poured poison into a remote High Sierra stream and watched quietly as every rainbow and golden trout in the water turned belly up. After the rotenone spread along 11 miles of Silver King Creek last Wednesday, other biologists poured in a neutralizing agent, making the river again habitable - and a suitable home for the rarest trout in the world. Kneeling beside a small brass spigot that dripped the milky white toxin into a pool edged with alders, Lentz, a conservation coordinator for native trout with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, smiled and said, "Looks like everything is working as intended.
August 23, 2013 | By Louis Sahagun
Ending decades of bitter disputes over fragile Mono Lake, Los Angeles and conservationists on Friday announced an agreement to heal the environmental damage caused by diverting the lake's eastern Sierra tributary streams into the city's World War II-era aqueduct. The controversy over alkaline Mono Lake, which is famous for its bizarre, craggy tufa formations and breeding grounds for sea gulls and migratory birds, is one of California's longest-running environmental disputes. The settlement resolves all of the issues among weary combatants, including the city of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Trout and the Mono Lake Committee.
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