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TMCNet:  AP Technology NewsBrief at 2:39 a.m. EST

[December 17, 2012]

AP Technology NewsBrief at 2:39 a.m. EST

(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Review: New Google Maps boasts big improvementsNEW YORK (AP) _ Like a lot of people, I was happy and relieved to see Google Maps return to the iPhone. I'd been frustrated with the Apple mapping software that had replaced it three months ago. For one thing, it didn't have public transit directions, a feature important for New Yorkers like me. Apple's mapping app also wasn't as good as the old Google app in finding destinations. I often had to type full addresses rather than just the name of a business.



Google Maps return to iPhone with new mobile appSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Google Maps has found its way back to the iPhone. The world's most popular online mapping system returned late Wednesday with the release of the Google Maps iPhone app. The release comes nearly three months after Apple Inc. replaced Google Maps as the device's built-in navigation system and inserted its own map software into the latest version of its mobile operating system.

Hollywood hacker honed his skills for yearsLOS ANGELES (AP) _ A Florida man is scheduled to be sentenced Monday for hacking into email accounts belonging to Christina Aguilera, Mila Kunis and Scarlett Johansson. Christopher Chaney pleaded guilty in March to nine counts, including charges of unauthorized access to a computer and wiretapping. He was arrested last year as part of a yearlong investigation dubbed "Operation Hackerazzi." Yahoo adds 1 director as 2 board members exitSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Yahoo is adding a new director and parting ways with two other board members in the latest shake-up of the Internet company's hierarchy. PayPal co-founder Max Levchin joins Yahoo's board while Intuit Inc. CEO Brad Smith and Weather Channel CEO David Kenny step down.

NY Times jumps into mini digital book marketLOS ANGELES (AP) _ The New York Times is getting into the business of selling bite-sized digital books based on its reporters' work, giving it entree into a growing market for inexpensive "e-singles" that can be read in a couple of hours. The Times' first mini book will go on sale Monday. It's an 18,000-word piece about skiers caught in an avalanche by Times reporter John Branch. The story, called "Snow Fall," expands on an upcoming piece in Monday's newspaper.

Sprint offers $2.1B for the rest of ClearwireNEW YORK (AP) _ Sprint Nextel has offered to buy out the minority shareholders of Clearwire for $2.1 billion in a deal that would give it total control of the flailing company and also more space on the airwaves for data services. Sprint said in a regulatory filing Thursday that it's offering $2.90 per share for the 49 percent of the wireless network operator that it doesn't already own.

SKorea says Samsung chip plant caused cancerSEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ A South Korean government agency said Friday that working at a Samsung Electronics factory caused the breast cancer of a worker who died earlier this year, only the second time it has recognized a link between cancer and Samsung's chip plants. The Korea Workers' Compensation and Welfare Service, which is part of the labor ministry, ruled earlier this month that there was a "considerable causal relationship" between the woman's cancer and her five years of work at a semiconductor plant near Seoul. The ruling didn't become public until Friday when the agency announced compensation for the woman's family.

Senate takes step toward banning stalking softwareWASHINGTON (AP) _ A loophole that permits software companies to sell cyberstalking apps that operate secretly on cellphones could soon be closed by Congress. The software is popular among jealous wives or husbands because it can continuously track the whereabouts of a spouse. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill Thursday that makes it a crime for companies to make and intentionally operate a stalking app. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., also would curb the appeal for such inexpensive and easy-to-use programs by requiring companies to disclose their existence on a target's phone.

UN telecom chief 'surprised' by US-led treaty snubDUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) _ Envoys from nearly 90 nations signed Friday the first new U.N. telecommunications treaty since the Internet age, but the U.S. and other Western nations refused to join after claiming it endorses greater government control over cyberspace. The head of the U.N. telecoms group pushed back against the American assertions, defending the accord as necessary to help expand online services to poorer nations and add more voices to shape the direction of modern communications technology.

Internet restrictions across the worldDUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) _ Envoys in Dubai signed a new U.N. telecommunications treaty Friday that a U.S.-led delegation says endorses greater government control of the Internet. The U.S. and more than 20 other countries refused to ratify the accord by the 193-nation International Telecommunications Union. Here is a look at Internet restrictions and availability at selected countries and regions around the world: (c) 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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