• Apple’s growing patent portfolio offers clues about future products

    Updated: 30 min ago

    CUPERTINO, Calif. — A computer mouse that doubles as a scanner. A coating that keeps gadgets safe and dry even in the event of a spill. And a smartphone that rotates like a cat midair to avoid landing on its pretty glass face. You may not see them on shelves anytime soon, but they are among the inventions that Apple protected in 2014 as it took in a bumper crop of new patents. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple 2,003 utility patents, which recognize new and useful processes and machines. That’s a 13 percent increase over 2013 and more than triple the company’s 2010 haul, according to IFI Claims, a patent analysis firm.

  • Will our smart gadgets become trusted or oppressive companions?

    Updated: 30 min ago

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — Like legions of hyperactive butlers, many of the brainy gadgets being developed for the Internet of Things will anticipate our needs and make choices for us — without being told what to do — marking a momentous transformation in our relationship with machines. As we turn more of our decision-making over to the devices, they will evolve into our personal confidants and counselors, determining everything from the time we wake up and clothes we wear to the music we listen to and route we take to work. In the process, experts say, our reliance on these interconnected tools will far surpass today’s dependence on smartphones.

  • Gov. Inslee's cap-and-trade plan makes polluters pay

    Updated: 31 min ago

    OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — So many people signed up to testify on Gov. Jay Inslee's sweeping proposal to rein in greenhouse gases that Tuesday's public hearing on the bill was continued to Thursday. About three dozen people from across the state testified before the House Environment Committee on a bill to cap the overall amount of carbon emissions in the state and require major polluters to pay for each metric ton of carbon released. The hearing room quickly filled, and many who couldn't get a seat had to watch the proceedings on TVs in several overflow rooms. Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, D-Burien, who chairs the committee, said the impacts of climate change are real and the state can't afford to wait any longer to address it.

  • AP-Daybook-Wed-Congress-Senate

    Updated: 44 min ago

    AP WASHINGTON DAYBOOK, Wednesday, Jan.

  • Yahoo CEO heeds shareholders' call to spin off Alibaba stake

    Updated: 50 min ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is spinning off the company's $39 billion stake in China's Alibaba Group Holding in a move that wards off a potential shareholder rebellion. The highly anticipated decision announced Tuesday will enable Yahoo to avoid paying billions of dollars in future taxes while intensifying the pressure on Mayer to prove she can rejuvenate one of the Internet's oldest and best-known companies. A newly formed entity called SpinCo will inherit ownership of Yahoo's 384 million Alibaba shares when the tax-free spinoff is completed toward the end of this year. Existing Yahoo shareholders will receive stock in SpinCo, which will be designated as a registered investment company.

  • 43,000 Oregonians waiting in Medicaid application backlog

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — About 43,000 low-income Oregonians are waiting for their Medicaid applications to be fully processed, state health officials say. The Oregon Health Authority says some of the applications came through the federal government's portal and have been determined eligible for benefits but have not been entered in the state's system; others are still incomplete and stuck in limbo. About 30,000 applications in the backlog came in through the federal HealthCare.Gov portal. Another 13,000 are new applications that were filed with the state. The delay in processing, said OHA's Kimberly Mounts, is caused by a larger than normal influx of people who are applying and re-applying, and by a switch in the state's

  • Tech review: Typo 2 brings back fond thumb-typing memories

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    Remember the old days? Way before smartphones, there were two-way pagers from BlackBerry. They had small LCD screens about an inch tall that could display a few lines of text. It was like a little instant message machine in your pocket. I can also remember the first phone I’d consider to be a smartphone. It was a Treo, powered by the Palm operating system. Those two gadgets had one thing in common — a full QWERTY keyboard. These were the days before large touchscreens and onscreen keyboards, so we typed with actual buttons — AND WE LIKED IT! There have been a few attempts at physical keyboards for smartphones, but I haven’t found one worth using until now.

  • The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, Mel Bracht column

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    During a conference call Tuesday afternoon, NBC lead announcers Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth discussed their roles in Sunday night’s broadcast, which NBC executives hope will attract a record 120 million viewers. It will be Michaels’ ninth Super Bowl broadcast and the third for Collinsworth, a former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver. Cris, you played in two Super Bowls and have called a couple on television. What is the excitement level for both, as a player and as a announcer? Collinsworth: As far as the emotions of it, I think they are pretty similar. There comes a moment during the game at which you forget you’re doing the Super Bowl and you start doing the game, or playing the game, or whatever.

  • Sundance Watch: Celebs talk fest, iPhone film premieres

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — The Associated Press is all over the Sundance Film Festival, from its premieres to the Hollywood glitz. Here's what they've seen and heard: ____ CELEBRITY QUOTES ON SUNDANCE From Kevin Bacon to Ethan Hawke, stars say they can't get enough of the Sundance Film Festival. Bacon walked the festival's crowded Main Street with wife Kyra Sedgwick, noting that he first visited in 1989 with her. "It was coming back to me today, because our journey form upper Main Street to down here was — you know — it's a pretty intense kind of trip — and it was so mellow, man. It was just a handful of people there," he said.

  • Record iPhone sales drive blowout quarter for Apple

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple had another blowout quarter thanks to its new plus-sized iPhones, which helped the company smash sales records for the holiday season. Apple said Tuesday that it sold 74.5 million iPhones during the three months that ended Dec. 31, beating analysts' expectations for the latest models of Apple's most popular gadget, introduced in September. The surge in iPhone sales drove the company's total revenue to $74.6 billion, up 30 percent from a year earlier. CEO Tim Cook said on a call with analysts that demand for the phones was "staggering," and noted that results would have been even higher if not for the impact of the strong dollar on overseas sales. Net income rose 38 percent to $18 billion, as Apple

  • Cherokee school district tabs new superintendent

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    CHEROKEE, Kan. — Brad Miner has been offered the job of superintendent for the U.S.D. 247 Southeast school district in Cherokee, the school board announced this week, and Miner has accepted the position pending release from his current contract. Miner, a native of Baxter Springs, has been principal of Royster Middle School in Chanute, Kan., since 2004. Southeast Board of Education President Greg Hite said that when Miner visited the district earlier this month, he did "the little things that made it clear that he wanted to be a part of Southeast." “We were impressed with how he came in as if he were a Lancer already,” Hite said. “Everything we heard from references and associates said he was a person of integrit

  • Big costs drag AT&T to 4Q loss, but revenue up 4 percent

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    DALLAS (AP) — AT&T booked a nearly $4 billion loss for the fourth quarter because of a slew of one-time expenses that included a loss on benefit plans, but its revenue grew 4 percent to top expectations. The nation's second-largest wireless carrier added 1.9 million wireless subscribers — twice as many as in the year-ago quarter. Postpaid "churn," or subscriber turnover rate, rose only slightly to 1.22 percent from 1.11 percent in the year-ago period, which was the best ever for a fourth quarter, the company said. Postpaid customers are generally those with better credit who stay with carriers longer, sometimes with contracts. In its landline business, AT&T added 405,000 U-verse high speed Internet subscribers to bring th

  • Obama sees need to move on drone rules now

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says the wayward quadcopter that crashed on the White House grounds — flown by an off-duty intelligence employee — shows that the U.S. must take steps to ensure commercial and consumer drones are used safely. It's his own administration that has lagged on the matter. Both Congress and the drone industry have pressed for rules and clarification as the technology of civilian drone use grows apace and the small unmanned craft become ever cheaper. Obama, in a CNN interview from India, likened the 2-foot-long quadcopter that crashed on the White House lawn to one that could be bought at Radio Shack, which lists them from $50 to $700.

  • Apple shows off stunning holiday iPhone sales and record profits, revenues

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    CUPERTINO, Calif. — Bigger iPhones make for a bigger payday. Apple announced record-breaking quarterly revenues and profits Wednesday, beating the market’s expectations by a landslide thanks to brisk sales of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Apple reported net income of $18 billion, or $3.06 per share, on sales of $74.6 billion in the holiday-shopping quarter, handily surpassing record results during the same period in 2013 as well as analysts’ expectations of $2.60 a share in profits on $67.7 billion in revenues, according to a survey conducted by Thomson Reuters. “We’d like to thank our customers for an incredible quarter, which saw demand for Apple products soar to an all-time high,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statem

  • US company outlooks worry investors, sending stocks lower

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    U.S. stocks slumped Tuesday after some of the market's largest companies reported disappointing earnings, taking investors on a turbulent ride that deepened the losses for the year. The companies that rattled the market included Microsoft, Caterpillar and Procter & Gamble. Some also forecast weaker results in months ahead. An unexpected drop in U.S. orders of long-lasting goods also weighed on investors, briefly dragging the Dow Jones industrial average down 390 points early in the day before it pared back some of the losses. It was the biggest one-day decline for the blue-chip index since Jan. 5. The downbeat company report cards raise concerns about corporate America's ability to grow profits at a time when many inves

  • Judge permanently shuts down cellphone spyware app

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A federal judge has permanently shut down a cellphone spyware app called "StealthGenie" that exposed targets to having their calls and emails monitored without their knowledge. Judge Leonie (LAY-uh-nee) Brinkema in Alexandria issued a permanent injunction shutting down StealthGenie on Tuesday. That follows a temporary injunction issued last year. The app's creator, 31-year-old Hammad Akbar, of Lahore, Pakistan, pleaded guilty last year to illegal sale of an intercept device and paid a $500,000 fine. Prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia said it was the first-ever criminal conviction involving the sale of an eavesdropping tool for cellphones.

  • Residents urged to close online deals at sheriff's offices

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office is urging residents in the county to come to one of their offices or substations to close deals they make online for goods or other transactions. The office announced the plan Tuesday, saying it hopes to serve as a safe place where transactions can be conducted because those out to prey on citizens won't want to do business with law enforcement officers present. Local officials say the locations are in response to a recent case in Georgia where authorities say a man answering a Craigslist ad from a couple who wanted to buy a car robbed, shot and killed the husband and wife when they traveled several hours to buy the vehicle.

  • Metro Atlanta areas picked for high speed Google Internet

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    ATLANTA (AP) — Google plans to bring its ultra-fast fiber optic Internet service to the city of Atlanta and eight communities in the metro area. The company announced Tuesday that the nine Atlanta metro areas cities are part of a larger expansion in the Southeast, along with Nashville, Tennessee and Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte, North Carolina. Each community provided Google with information about utilities, permitting and other expected issues for design and construction. That process is just getting started and expected to take years. Google Fiber Marketing Director Scott Levitan says every mile of the new network needs to be planned and will take hundreds of trucks and workers.

  • Apple tops Street 1Q forecasts

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) _ Apple Inc. (AAPL) on Tuesday reported fiscal first-quarter net income of $18.02 billion. The Cupertino, California-based company said it had profit of $3.06 per share. The results surpassed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $2.60 per share. The maker of iPhones, iPads and other products posted revenue of $74.6 billion in the period, also exceeding Street forecasts. Analysts expected $67.38 billion, according to Zacks. For the current quarter ending in March, Apple said it expects revenue in the range of $52 billion to $55 billion. Analysts surveyed by Zacks had expected revenue of $53.65 billion.

  • Caterpillar and Microsoft are big market movers

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market: NYSE Caterpillar Inc., down $6.18 to $79.85 The construction equipment company reported worse-than-expected quarterly results and issued a weak outlook for 2015. Freeport-McMoRan Inc., down $1.18 to $18.38 The mining company swung to a loss during the fourth quarter and its results fell short of Wall Street expectations. The Procter & Gamble Co., down $3.09 to $86.49 The consumer products company reported a profit drop on a stronger U.S. dollar and expects exchange rates to remain challenging. Packaging Corp. of America, down $5.23 to $76.