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Talk of the day

By Times Staff Writer
Published March 7, 2008


IPhone changes prove Apple means business

Apple Inc., which wants the iPhone to become a corporate e-mail gadget and a portable video game machine, unveiled new software Thursday that reflects its intensifying effort to court business customers and placate third-party developers who want to build iPhone applications but have been locked out. A beta version of the free software update went out Thursday; the full version will be available in June. Apple is tweaking the iPhone to support Microsoft Corp.'s Exchange software, which addresses a key weakness in the consumer-oriented gadget and puts it in more direct competition with Research in Motion Ltd.'s BlackBerry and Palm Inc.' Treo smartphones.

Circuit City bends policy for HD DVD

Circuit City Stores Inc. is getting on the Blu-ray digital video format bandwagon by tripling the period in which customers who purchased a rival HD DVD player can return them for store credit. The nation's No. 2 electronics retailer has instructed its stores to "take care of our customers" and accept returns of HD DVD players within 90 days of purchase instead of the usual 30 days, spokesman Jim Babb said. The policy doesn't apply to HD DVD movie discs.

New Microsoft IE plays by the rules

Microsoft Corp. gave early testers their first glimpse of its next-generation Web browser Wednesday and said Internet Explorer 8 will adhere to the same standards as competitors' programs. Microsoft's browsers, including the current Internet Explorer 7, gained notoriety among Web developers for handling Web page code differently from Mozilla Corp.'s Firefox, Apple Inc.'s Safari and others. For the most part, major non-Microsoft browsers and outside developers who built Web pages worked with agreed-upon technical standards, while Microsoft was accused of adding proprietary code to those standards. The result: Web pages that looked good in Internet Explorer but broke on other browsers, or vice versa.

IRS site provides free stimulus aid

People who do not normally file a tax return can now use the IRS Free File program to get their economic stimulus package payment, the Internal Revenue Service said Thursday. The tax agency said people filing for no reason other than to get their payments should use those companies listed on the IRS Web site,, at Free File - Economic Stimulus Payment. To qualify for the rebates, individuals and families must have at least $3,000 of income from a combination of earned income and other sources such as Social Security retirement or disability benefits or Veterans Administration survivor benefits. But people must file a tax return to receive a payment.

Adidas, Samsung: training partners

Adidas and Samsung have teamed up for a new twist in training: a mobile phone that can coach. The companies announced Thursday a mobile phone that works with Adidas shoes and apparel to plan, track and motivate users in training. The device directs and motivates users during workouts by combining a mobile phone, heart rate monitor, stride sensor, MP3 player and the voice of an electronic "personal coach." MiCoach hits U.S. retail stores next year.

[Last modified March 6, 2008, 23:34:16]

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