• Will Apple Pay be the next iRevolution?

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Apple's skinnier iPads and flashy big-screen iMac are sleek and stunning. But the tech giant is making a bigger strategic bet with next week's launch of Apple Pay — the mobile pay service aimed at turning your iPhone into your wallet. The service, which goes live Monday and has hundreds of banks on board, is "hugely important" says Forrester Research analyst Frank Gillett. It puts Apple in the middle of a wide range of consumer transactions, underscoring Apple's value as a brand and giving people a powerful new reason to buy iPhones, iPads and other gadgets. Apple Pay is designed to work on the company's newest iPhones, which contain a chip that allows payments at a special terminal in retail outl

  • Va. regs: New rules would raise electricity costs

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The cost of electricity would increase substantially and service reliability could be significantly affected under proposed federal environmental rules, the staff of the Virginia State Corporation Commission said in comments filed this week with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week. Federal officials are calling for cutting carbon emissions from existing power plants 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 in an effort to fight climate change, improve public health and provide affordable energy. Those rules would lead to a rise in electricity prices because they would much of today's electricity production be replaced with costly generation and expensive programs to decrease energy use, the S

  • Biofuels plant harbinger of renewable fuel future

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A new biofuels plant in southwest Kansas represents the future of ethanol production in the United States, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said. The $500 million biorefinery in Hugoton is one of only three commercially sized plants in the country that use only plant waste, such as stalks and leaves, for production and thus do not compete for food crops. The second-generation ethanol plant operated by Abengoa, a Spanish multinational corporation, began operating in late September and has the capacity to produce 25 million gallons of ethanol per year. Moniz said the biorefinery was built in the spirit of next-generation biofuels, solar and fossil technologies that reduce greenhouse emissions.

  • Bowdoin completes solar system

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    BRUNSWICK, Maine (AP) — Construction of Maine's largest solar power complex is complete with the installation of a ground-mount array at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station. The system comprised of more than 4,000 solar panels at four locations will produce 1.2 megawatts of power, or about 8 percent of the needs of Bowdoin College. College President Barry Mills said the partnership with SolarCity "reduces Bowdoin's dependence on fossil fuels and makes sense for the college economically." Under the arrangement, SolarCity financed and built the system and will own and maintain the solar installations, while Bowdoin will purchase all generated power.

  • Wading news conference set on climate change

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    BALTIMORE (AP) — A coalition of advocates for clean energy plans to wade into Baltimore Harbor to call attention to climate change. The group will be calling on Maryland lawmakers Friday to double wind and solar power in Maryland next year. Participants will wade into the harbor in waist-high boots. Josh Tulkin, director of the Maryland Sierra Club, is scheduled to attend. Mike Tidwell, director of Chesapeake Climate Action Network also is scheduled to attend. Gerald Stansbury, president at the Maryland State Conference of the NAACP, is also expected to attend.

  • Va. gov urges energy savings by state government

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Gov. Terry McAuliffe is stressing energy efficiency throughout Virginia state government. The Democrat signed an executive order on Thursday to reduce the energy footprint of state government, and named a chief energy officer to oversee the effort. McAuliffe has made energy efficiency a cornerstone of his four-year energy plan released this month. The executive order instructs executive branch agencies, authorities and departments to actively pursue energy efficiencies. The order extends to higher education, as well. In issuing the order, McAuliffe singled out the Department of Motor Vehicles as an example.

  • Asia stocks find footing after global gyrations

    Updated: Fri, Oct 17, 2014

    Asian stock markets mostly steadied Friday after a fall in U.S. unemployment applications and comments from a Federal Reserve official eased nerves about a stalling economic recovery. KEEPING SCORE: Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.2 percent to 22,956.27 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.4 percent at 5,276.50. Japan's Nikkei 225 sank 0.8 percent to 14,617.74 as a rise in the yen against the dollar hurt exporter stocks. Markets in Southeast Asia were mostly higher. China's Shanghai Composite dropped 1.2 percent to 2,239.34. THE QUOTE: "Large daily moves are a good reminder to investors that the superior long term gains in shares are accompanied by higher risk," said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC in Sydney. "

  • FBI director warns against cellphone encryption

    Updated: Thu, Oct 16, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — FBI Director James Comey warned in stark terms Thursday against the push by technology companies to encrypt smartphone data and operating systems, arguing that murder cases could be stalled, suspects could walk free and justice could be thwarted by a locked phone or an encrypted hard drive. Privacy advocates and technology experts called the concerns exaggerated and little more than recycled arguments the government has raised against encryption since the early 1990s. Likening encrypted data to a safe that cannot be cracked or a closet door that won't open, Comey said the move by tech companies to protect user communications in the name of privacy is certain to impede a wide range of criminal investigation

  • Judge: No secret talks between utility, regulators

    Updated: Thu, Oct 16, 2014

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The state's public utilities commission should stop all back-channel contact between commission members and the state's largest utility for at least a year, a judge ruled Thursday. Administrative law Judge Hallie Yacknin's ruling also bans Pacific Gas & Electric Co. officials from communicating with commissioners' advisers for one year or until an ongoing rate case is settled, whichever comes first. The ruling comes a week after groups representing rate-payers urged the government to stop all secret contact between the two entities after emails made public showed regulators and utility executives secretly negotiating rate cases and other matters. Rate-payer groups have also demanded financial pena

  • Judge: Ex-soldier should pay fees to Burger King

    Updated: Thu, Oct 16, 2014

    HONOLULU (AP) — A federal magistrate judge is recommending that a former soldier suing Burger King for swallowing needles in a sandwich pay attorneys' fees and costs to the defendants for not showing up at a settlement conference. Burger King had filed a motion asking for sanctions against Clark Bartholomew because he didn't show up at last month's conference in Honolulu. The former Army sergeant's lawsuit says one needle pierced his tongue and another was lodged in his small intestine after biting into a Triple Stacker from a Burger King on a Hawaii base. Bartholomew, who has retired from the Army and lives in Chantilly, Virginia, said in a declaration that he couldn't travel to Hawaii for the conference because he recentl

  • iPhone glass maker to cut 727 jobs in Arizona

    Updated: Thu, Oct 16, 2014

    MESA, Ariz. (AP) — A manufacturer of sapphire glass that Apple Inc. uses in iPhones plans to eliminate 727 jobs at an Arizona plant. GT Advanced Technologies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week. The company on Thursday announced its layoff plans for the Mesa plant as required by the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. The job cuts include 524 production workers, 108 technical positions, 70 management jobs and 25 administrative jobs. The bankruptcy and ensuing effort to shut down the factory mark was a surprising turn after state, local and business leaders previously bragged that the plant would be a major boost to the Arizona economy.

  • NRC: Yucca closure plans meet safety objectives

    Updated: Thu, Oct 16, 2014

    RENO, Nev. (AP) — Permanent closure plans for a high-level nuclear waste facility at Yucca Mountain met all the necessary objectives based on safety evaluations completed before the Obama administration pulled the plug on the proposed Nevada dump, federal nuclear regulators said in a long-awaited staff report on Thursday. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's staff said in a 781-page document that the underground storage facility once planned in the desert mountains 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas would meet all post-closure design requirements. The multiple natural and man-made barriers would adequately protect public health and groundwater, and sufficiently guard against sabotage or human intrusion, the report concluded.

  • Judge mulls whether to block Arizona ID theft laws

    Updated: Thu, Oct 16, 2014

    PHOENIX (AP) — Advocates for immigrants urged a judge Thursday to shelve two Arizona ID theft laws that are the legal foundation for business raids by metro Phoenix's sheriff, arguing the Legislature's intent in passing the statutes wasn't to confront identity theft but rather to combat illegal immigration. The state's lawyers, meanwhile, told U.S. District Judge David Campbell that the argument about the Legislature's intent was off-point and explained that the laws were passed strictly to address the pervasive problem of identity theft within communities.

  • Senate task force to aid southern W.Va. coalfields

    Updated: Thu, Oct 16, 2014

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Senate President Jeff Kessler is setting up a task force as part of a push to help West Virginia's struggling southern coalfields. At a news conference Thursday, the Marshall County Democrat announced the Southern Coalfields Organizing and Revitalizing the Economy initiative, or SCORE. Senators stressed that they need to map out plans to reinvigorate the southern coalfields and bring in new job opportunities. They also assured that they still need to fight for Appalachian coal mining, an industry that is shedding jobs amid market-based, geological and regulatory woes.

  • Second delay in Nielsen ratings

    Updated: Thu, Oct 16, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — The zombies really know how to make an entrance. AMC's "The Walking Dead" returned with an audience of 17.29 million people on Sunday, the Nielsen Co. said. That's a record for the series and, in fact, for any non-sports event on basic cable. It was easily the most-watched scripted series of the season for viewers ages 18 to 49, the demographic advertisers crave. Only "NCIS," the most popular drama on television, beat it among scripted series last week — and only by a fraction. Nielsen, which usually releases its weekly ratings on Tuesday, was delayed this week after the company revealed that a software error resulted in incorrect ratings information being released dating back to March.

  • US stands strong despite fear over global slowdown

    Updated: Thu, Oct 16, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Beyond the turmoil shaking financial markets, the U.S. economy remains sturdier than many seem to fear. The Dow Jones industrial average has lost 874 points since Oct. 8, largely over worries about another recession in Europe, a slowdown in China and world-spanning crises that include the Ebola outbreak and the rise of the Islamic State. Yet economists aren't reducing their forecasts for the U.S. economy. The International Monetary Fund, which heightened jitters by cutting its forecasts for global growth, has actually upgraded its outlook for the United States. Economists say the troubles around the world aren't enough to derail a U.S.

  • Arguments made in ex-dictator's suit against game

    Updated: Thu, Oct 16, 2014

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lawyer and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani cited his own experience as a public figure while arguing Thursday that a lawsuit by disgraced Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega against video game maker Activision should be dismissed. Noriega sued the gaming giant in July claiming his likeness was used without permission in the company's 2012 "Call of Duty: Black Ops II" game and that he was portrayed as a murderer and enemy of the state. In court, Giuliani noted that he could not sue for the numerous portrayals of himself in books and film and argued that Noriega should not able to sue Activision Blizzard Inc. for his portrayal.

  • Google's 3Q earnings fall as expenses climb 30 pct

    Updated: Thu, Oct 16, 2014

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google's third-quarter earnings slipped as the Internet search leader hired nearly 3,000 more employees while pouring more money into its zest for innovation and quest for new markets. The results announced Thursday fell below analyst estimates, causing Google's stock to drop by $12.92, or 2.4 percent, to $524 in extended trading. The shares had already declined by 4 percent so far this year. The report helps explain why Wall Street has had mixed emotions about Google Inc. for years. Powered by its dominant search engine, Google's digital ad network consistently delivers the kind of steady financial growth that endears investors. But Google Inc.

  • Inquirer, Daily News sites merging with Philly.com

    Updated: Thu, Oct 16, 2014

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News will shutter their individual websites and refocus attention on their joint Philly.com portal. Company officials say the fee-based newspaper sites will close in December, less than two years after they launched. Philly.com will remain free for now. However, newsroom leaders say that could change once they address the site's content. In a letter to staff Thursday, the company says the Inquirer and Daily News replica edition apps will remain premium products for subscribers. Staff members have endured a quick succession of owners, a prolonged bankruptcy and the plane crash death of co-owner Lewis Katz in just the past few years.

  • Nielsen's top programs for Oct. 6-12

    Updated: Thu, Oct 16, 2014

    Prime-time viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for Oct. 6-12. Listings include the week's ranking and viewership. 1. NFL Football: N.Y. Giants at Philadelphia, NBC, 18.09 million. 2. "NCIS," CBS, 17.3 million. 3. "The Walking Dead," AMC, 17.29 million. 4. "The Big Bang Theory," (Monday, 8 p.m.), CBS, 15.94 million. 5. NFL Football: Indianapolis at Houston, CBS, 15.85 million. 6. "NCIS: New Orleans," CBS, 15.41 million. 7. "Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick," NBC, 14.82 million. 8. "The OT," Fox, 14.56 million. 9. NFL Football: Seattle at Washington, ESPN, 17.29 million. 10. "The Voice," (Monday), NBC, 12.58 million. 11. "Dancing With the Stars," ABC, 12.32 million. 12. "S