TMCNet:  AP Technology NewsBrief at 9:21 a.m. EST

[January 22, 2013]

AP Technology NewsBrief at 9:21 a.m. EST

(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Verizon Communications 4Q loss widensNEW YORK (AP) _ Verizon Communications' fourth-quarter loss widened, dragged down by restructuring, pension and Superstorm Sandy costs. The company activated a record number of new devices on its contract-based plans during the period. The parent of the country's biggest wireless carrier lost $4.23 billion, or $1.48 per share, for the period ended Dec. 31. That compares with a loss of $2.02 billion or 71 cents per share, a year ago.


AT&T to buy Alltel operations for about $780MDALLAS (AP) _ AT&T said Tuesday that it has reached a deal to buy the Alltel U.S. wireless operations for about $780 million to boost its spectrum in rural areas. The Dallas telecommunications company is buying the licenses, retail stores and network assets, along with about 585,000 subscribers, from Atlantic Tele-Network Inc. The news sent the Beverly, Mass.-based company's shares up 9 percent to $42.74 in premarket trading.

Ahead of the bell: Google's 4Q to give ad insightsSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Google's fourth-quarter earnings report should provide a barometer on how much more advertising shifted to the Internet during the holiday shopping season. The results, due out after the stock market closes Tuesday, will also give investors a better sense on how the growing popularity of smartphones and tablet computers is affecting the prices in the digital advertising market.

Atari US files for Ch. 11 to separate from parentNEW YORK (AP) _ Video game maker Atari's U.S. operations have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in an effort to separate from their French parent company, which is filing a similar motion separately in France. In a statement, Atari says the move is necessary to secure investments it needs to grow in mobile and downloadable video games.

Kim Dotcom's Mega site struggles under mega demandSYDNEY (AP) _ Indicted Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom admits his new file-sharing site is struggling to keep up with massive demand. Dotcom launched the "Mega" site with a lavish party on Sunday, the anniversary of his arrest on racketeering charges related to his now-shuttered Megaupload. Dotcom says 500,000 users registered for Mega within 14 hours.

Report: Cuba using undersea fiber-optic cableHAVANA (AP) _ Cuba apparently has finally switched on the first undersea fiber-optic cable linking it to the outside world nearly two years after its arrival, according to analysis by a company that monitors global Internet use. In a report posted Sunday on the website of Renesys, author Doug Madory wrote that Cuba began using the ALBA-1 cable on Jan. 14.

China's Huawei criticizes US security complaintsBEIJING (AP) _ Chinese tech giant Huawei on Monday criticized U.S. claims the company might be a security risk as trade protectionism that harms consumers. The comments came as Huawei Technologies Ltd., a maker of network switching gear and smartphones, disclosed details of its 2012 performance in an effort to show transparency and allay security concerns.

NKorea eases rules, lets visitors bring cellphonesPYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) _ North Korea is loosening some restrictions on foreign cellphones by allowing visitors to bring their own phones into the country. However, security regulations still prohibit mobile phone calls between foreigners and locals. For years, North Korea required visitors to relinquish foreign cellphones at the border until their departure, leaving many tourists without an easy way to communicate with the outside world.

Hundreds honor information activist Swartz in NYCNEW YORK (AP) _ Portraying his suicide as the product of injustice, friends and supporters at a memorial Saturday for free-information advocate Aaron Swartz called for changing computer-crime laws and the legal system itself. At a New York City ceremony that was part tribute and part rallying cry, Swartz _ who killed himself this month as he faced trial on hacking charges _ was painted as a precocious technologist, erudite activist and hounded hero. One speaker called him nothing less than an "Internet saint." Venture investments declined in 2012NEW YORK (AP) _ A new study shows that funding for business startups declined in 2012, the first time that's happened in three years, as venture capitalists spent less money on fewer deals. Capital-intense sectors like clean technology and life sciences were among the hardest hit, according to the MoneyTree study released Friday. It was conducted by PriceWaterHouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association, based on data from Thomson Reuters.

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