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Amazon unveils Fire TV set top streaming device PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by The Associated Press   
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 11:44

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is introducing a set top box that allows streaming of online video content.

The company says the Amazon Fire TV device has better speed, performance and search functions than other streaming services such as Apple TV and Google Chromecast.

The device runs Google's Android operating system and will offer Netflix, Hulu and other streaming channels in addition to Amazon Prime instant video. It has voice search via its remote control to make searching easier.

The announcement comes as the online retailer faces increasing pressure to boost its bottom line after years of furious growth. As more Americans shop online, Amazon has spent heavily to expand its business into new areas — from movie streaming to e-readers and groceries — often at the expense of its profit.

Meanwhile, Amazon.com Inc. has invested heavily on making TV shows and movies available to customers who pay $99 a year for Amazon Prime. Amazon recently boosted the annual fee to $99 from $79 annually. Members benefit from two-day shipping of certain items and access to videos including original series like "Betas" and "Alpha House."

Currently, the service relies on third-party devices like the Roku box to stream its programs to TVs.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
College athletes take labor cause to Capitol Hill PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by KIMBERLY HEFLING, AP Education Writer   
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 06:29

WASHINGTON (AP) — Members of a group seeking to unionize college athletes are looking for allies on Capitol Hill as they brace for an appeal of a ruling that said full scholarship athletes at Northwestern University are employees who have the right to form a union.

Former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter — the face of a movement to give college athletes the right to unionize — and Ramogi Huma, the founder and president of the National College Players Association, scheduled meetings Wednesday with lawmakers.

Among those they were to meet were Rep. George Miller of California, the top Democrat on the House Education and Labor Committee; Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., whose district includes Northwestern; and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.

The meetings were expected to provide a chance for the athletes to spell out one of their chief concerns, which is providing for the medical needs of athletes. Huma said the group also was concerned that the NCAA would lobby Congress to prohibit unionizing by college athletes.

"We want to make sure they have an opportunity to hear from us directly," Huma said.

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Samsung: Patents developed by Google engineers PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MARTHA MENDOZA, AP National Writer   
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 06:31

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Samsung fired back at Apple's accusations of patent theft Tuesday, saying the South Korean tech giant didn't write any of the Android software on its smartphones and tablets, Google did.

"Not one of the accused features on this phone was designed, much less copied, by anyone at Samsung," Samsung attorney Peter Quinn said. "The accused features on this phone were developed independently by some of the software engineers at Google, up the road in Mountain View."

The finger-pointing took place in U.S. District Court in San Jose, where Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. are accusing each other of stealing ideas from each other. At stake: more than $2 billion if Samsung loses, about $6 million if Apple loses.

On opening day, Google Inc. — which is not named in the litigation — was clearly a large part of it.

The trial marks the latest round in a long-running, worldwide series of lawsuits between Apple and Samsung over mobile devices.

Quinn told jurors that Apple's gripe is with Android, a Google-developed smartphone operating system that now makes up about 70 percent of the global market.

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$425 million Powerball winner wants privacy PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by CHANNING JOSEPH, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 06:13

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The winner of one of the largest Powerball jackpots in history has finally come forward — but he still hasn't quite revealed his identity.

B. Raymond Buxton, a Northern California man, waited more than a month to accept his prize on Tuesday at the California Lottery headquarters in Sacramento.

In a photo taken after he claimed the money on Tuesday, Buxton was covering his face with an oversize check for $425 million. Perhaps the only clue to his identity was his unusual shirt, which featured a picture of the Star Wars character Yoda and read, "Luck of the Jedi I have."

"He really wants to live a private life as best he can," Buxton's publicist Sam Singer told The Associated Press. "He was a solidly middle-class American, and today he is a solidly wealthy one."

Buxton is hoping to remain out of the limelight and doesn't want to speak directly to the media, Singer said. He also won't reveal his age, address or what he did for a living until his very recent retirement.

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