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Editorial Results (free)

1. Ballmer steps down from Microsoft board -

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is stepping down from the company's board, bringing to a close 34 years with the software giant.

Ballmer says he plans to devote more time to his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers, civic contributions, teaching and study.

2. Google's pivotal IPO launched a decade of big bets -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google's IPO, a decade ago this week, launched the company on a trajectory that continues to reshape its business and much of the world in its orbit.

And CEO Larry Page is determined to push even further.

3. Pew: Split views on robots' employment benefits -

WASHINGTON (AP) — In 2025, self-driving cars could be the norm, people could have more leisure time and goods could become cheaper. Or, there could be chronic unemployment and an even wider income gap, human interaction could become a luxury and the wealthy could live in walled cities with robots serving as labor.

4. Across US job market, layoffs are becoming rare -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The risk of losing your job is getting smaller and smaller.

As the U.S. economy has improved and employers have regained confidence, companies have been steadily shedding fewer workers. Which is why applications for unemployment benefits have dwindled to their lowest level since February 2006 — nearly two years before the Great Recession began — the government said Thursday.

5. Microsoft cutting 18,000 jobs, signals new path -

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Microsoft announced the biggest layoffs in its history Thursday, saying it will cut 18,000 jobs as it streamlines its Nokia mobile device business to focus on using the Windows Phone operating system.

6. Microsoft cutting 18,000 jobs, signals new path -

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Microsoft announced the biggest layoffs in its history Thursday, saying it will cut 18,000 jobs or 14 percent of its workforce as it streamlines its Nokia mobile device business to focus on using the Windows Phone operating system.

7. Stocks decline in afternoon trading; Mattel down -

U.S. financial markets veered lower in afternoon trading Thursday, giving back gains from a day earlier. Economic data were mixed and company earnings reports were mostly disappointing. Investors also monitored developments in Ukraine following reports that a passenger plane was shot down over the eastern part of the country.

8. PC shipment slump bottoms out -

NEW YORK (AP) — A two-year slump in personal computer sales ended in the second quarter, helped by improving demand in developed markets like North America and Europe.

PC sales have fallen in recent years, hurt by surging demand for tablets and other mobile devices. Tough economic conditions around the world have also disrupted sales. But quarterly figures released Wednesday by the research firms Gartner Inc. and International Data Corp. show the global slump is easing.

9. NSA's Internet monitoring said to be legal -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The first time the bipartisan Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board dissected a National Security Agency surveillance program, it found fundamental flaws, arguing in a January report that the NSA's collection of domestic calling records "lacked a viable legal foundation" and should be shut down.

10. Barnes & Noble wants to separate retail, Nook -

NEW YORK (AP) — Barnes & Noble is going to split its retail and Nook Media businesses into two separate public companies as it looks to boost shareholder value.

The bookseller's stock jumped more than 7 percent in Wednesday premarket trading.

11. Crime data show iPhone 'kill switch' cuts thefts -

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New crime data show Apple's addition of a "kill switch" to its iPhones last September has sharply reduced robberies and thefts, authorities said Thursday.

The report by state attorneys general, prosecutors, police and other officials from a year-old initiative called "Secure Our Smartphones" said Google and Microsoft will incorporate a kill switch into the next version of their operating systems on smartphones. The three systems — Android, iOS, and Windows Phone — are used in 97 percent of smartphones in the U.S.

12. Amazon is about to jump into smartphones -

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon, a company of seemingly boundless ambition, appears to be venturing into yet another market: smartphones.

The corporate juggernaut that started out with books and soon moved into music, video, cloud computing and Kindle e-readers is hosting a launch event Wednesday in Seattle, and media reports indicate the product will be an Amazon phone — perhaps one with multiple cameras that can produce 3-D photos.

13. Volume of encrypted email rising amid spying fears -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The volume of email cloaked in encryption technology is rapidly rising as Google, Yahoo, Facebook and other major Internet companies try to shield their users' online communications from government spies and other snoops.

14. Google says its workers mostly white, male -

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — In a groundbreaking disclosure, Google revealed Wednesday how very white and male its workforce is — just 2 percent of its Google employees are black, 3 percent are Hispanic, and 30 percent are women. About a third of the company's workforce is Asian.

15. Microsoft unveils larger Surface tablet -

NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft announced a larger version of its Surface tablet to make the device more compelling as a laptop replacement.

The Surface Pro 3 will have a screen measuring 12 inches diagonally, up from 10.6 inches in previous models. Microsoft said it's also thinner and faster than before. The company said it worked closely with chip-maker Intel Corp. to maximize performance in a slim device.

16. Today's CEO: The changing role at the top -

NEW YORK (AP) — Used to be that CEOs were hired for their knowledge of the industry, years of experience and the ability to lead with a tight fist. But the role of the top job has changed dramatically over the last several years.

17. European court: Google must yield on personal info -

AMSTERDAM (AP) — In a landmark ruling that could rock the Internet search-engine industry, Europe's highest court said Tuesday that people are entitled to some control over what pops up when their name is Googled.

18. Microsoft releases security update for Explorer -

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Microsoft is releasing a security update for Internet Explorer that closes a gap that allowed attackers to take complete control of a computer. It also issued the update to Windows XP users, despite dropping support for the older operating system last month.

19. Microsoft warns of Internet Explorer security gap -

REDMOND, Wash. (AP) — Microsoft says a security gap in Internet Explorer could allow an attacker to take complete control of a computer if the user clicks on a malicious link.

The vulnerability affects versions 6 through 11 of the Web browser.

20. Court declines to hear Microsoft antitrust case -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has declined to take up software maker Novell Inc.'s appeal in a long-running antitrust case against Microsoft Corp.

21. Microsoft earnings beat Street expectations -

REDMOND, Wash. (AP) — Microsoft Corp. posted flat revenue and a decline in net income for the January-March quarter. Revenue gains from its Windows operating system and cloud computing services like Azure were offset by the lack of special upgrade offer revenues from a year ago.

22. Microsoft expands ad-free Bing search for schools -

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Microsoft is expanding a program that gives schools the ability to prevent ads from appearing in search results when they use its Bing search engine. The program, launched in a pilot program earlier this year, is now available to all U.S. schools, public or private, from kindergarten through the 12th grade.

23. Netflix poised to raise prices after strong 1Q -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Netflix is preparing a sequel unlikely to be a hit with its subscribers. The Internet video service is about to raise its prices for the first time in three years to help pay for more Internet video programming such as its popular political drama "House of Cards."

24. Tiny power plants hold promise for nuclear energy -

PARIS (AP) — Tiny nuclear power plants that could be far cheaper to build than their behemoth counterparts could herald the future for an energy industry that has come under scrutiny since the Fukushima disaster.

25. Once-soaring tech stocks sink in sobering comedown -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The stock market's laws of gravity are inflicting pain on its highest fliers.

Just look at the list of technology trailblazers whose values have plummeted from record highs during the past few weeks. Investors have re-focused on safer sectors such as utilities, health care and consumer staples instead of companies that promise potential growth from online services that are building huge audiences.

26. Austin joins Regions as sr. VP, wealth advisor -

Regions has hired Brian C. Austin to the position of senior vice president and wealth advisor for Nashville and Middle Tennessee. In this role, Austin will focus on total wealth management for high-net worth individuals and families, providing solutions for multidimensional personal and business finances.

27. Continued drop in PC shipments slows -

NEW YORK (AP) — Worldwide shipments of PCs fell during the first three months of the year, but the latest numbers show that the global slump in PC demand may be easing.

Although the numbers released Wednesday by market research firms Gartner and IDC mark the industry's eighth straight quarter of declines, they also show a considerable slowdown from the drops in the fourth quarter of 2013.

28. 'Heartbleed' bug causes major security headache -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A confounding computer bug called "Heartbleed" is causing major security headaches across the Internet as websites scramble to fix the problem and Web surfers wonder whether they should change their passwords to prevent theft of their email accounts, credit card numbers and other sensitive information.

29. Nokia gets Chinese approval for Microsoft deal -

HELSINKI (AP) — Nokia has received regulatory approval from Chinese authorities to sell its mobile phone unit to Microsoft Corp., removing one of the last major hurdles to the 5.4 billion-euro ($7.3 billion) deal.

30. End of Windows XP support spells trouble for some -

NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft will end support for the persistently popular Windows XP on Tuesday, and with an estimated 30 percent of businesses and consumers still using the 12-year-old operating system, the move could put everything from the operations of heavy industry to the identities of everyday people in danger.

31. Mozilla CEO resigns after furor over gay rights -

Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich is stepping down as CEO and leaving the company following protests over his support of a gay marriage ban in California.

The nonprofit that makes the Firefox browser infuriated many employees and users last week by naming Eich head of the Mountain View, Calif.-based organization.

32. Microsoft reveals Siri-like Windows Phone feature -

NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft is showcasing a new virtual assistant as part of an upcoming update for Windows phones.

The assistant, named Cortana, tries to be chatty like Siri on Apple's iPhones and iPads, while anticipating information you might want, like Google Now on Android devices.

33. Windows 8 updates expected at Microsoft conference -

NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft is following through on a promise to update its Windows 8 operating system on a regular basis to respond to consumers' complaints and other feedback.

Just months after the release of Windows 8.1, Microsoft is preparing changes to make it easier for people to use Windows with traditional keyboard and mouse controls. Among other things, Microsoft will add search, power and settings buttons to the Start page, so people don't have to figure out how to pull those functions from the right side of their screens. The update also promises easier ways to close apps.

34. Sen. Paul: Give Caterpillar award for tax strategy -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Caterpillar Inc. executives defended a tax strategy Tuesday that has saved the manufacturing giant billions in U.S. taxes. They got support from Republican senators, including one who said the company deserves an award.

35. Supreme Court could limit software patents -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Is it too easy for high-tech companies to patent inventions that are not really new, but simply take an old idea and blend it with computer wizardry?

The Supreme Court wrestled with that question Monday as justices considered making it tougher for the government to issue patents for computer software.

36. US stocks rise, post meager gain for 1st quarter -

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are closing higher as the market posts a meager gain for the first three months of the year.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 14 points, or 0.8 percent, to close at 1,872 Monday. The index gained 1.3 percent for the first quarter of the year, the fifth straight quarterly gain.

37. Ford CEO's pay up 11 pct to $23.2 million in 2013 -

DETROIT (AP) — Ford CEO Alan Mulally's compensation rose 11 percent to $23.2 million in 2013, as the company reported record profits in North America and Asia.

Mulally earned $2 million in salary, the same as 2012. But he earned more in bonuses, at $5.9 million, and in stock and option awards, which totaled $14.6 million.

38. Microsoft unveils Office for iPad -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Microsoft on Thursday unveiled Office for the iPad, a software suite that includes programs such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and works on rival Apple Inc.'s hugely popular tablet computer.

39. Stocks edge up as Americans open their wallets -

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are ending broadly higher as traders were encouraged by an increase in consumer spending last month.

Microsoft helped technology companies recover from a week of losses. The biotech sector took another tumble, and the maker of "Candy Crush Saga" fell for the third straight day after its market debut.

40. Microsoft unveils Office for iPad -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Microsoft on Thursday unveiled Office for the iPad, a software suite that includes programs such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and works on rival Apple Inc.'s hugely popular tablet computer.

41. Tech companies, Citigroup tug US stocks lower -

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks were mostly lower Thursday as further declines in technology companies outweighed encouraging economic news. Citigroup fell 6 percent after the Federal Reserve denied the bank's plan to raise its dividend and buy back more stock. Most other major banks won approval to raise their dividends.

42. Jesse Jackson to take on tech's lack of diversity -

The Rev. Jesse Jackson plans to lead a delegation to the Hewlett-Packard annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday to bring attention to Silicon Valley's poor record of including blacks and Latinos in hiring, board appointments and startup funding.

43. Higher interest rates talk spooks stocks -

NEW YORK (AP) — Higher interest rates are coming. And they are coming sooner than you think.

That's the message investors took away from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday. In response, they sent stocks and gold prices lower and bond yields sharply higher.

44. Stocks gain after reports on housing, Ukraine -

NEW YORK (AP) — Encouraging news on the economy gave the stock market a boost on Tuesday.

Stocks also rose on expectations that the conflict between Russia and the West wouldn't escalate further. Russia's President Vladimir Putin is preparing to complete the annexation of the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, but he said Tuesday that he won't take over other areas of Ukraine.

45. US stocks turn mixed after a weak start -

U.S. stocks are finishing mixed after a listless day as traders continue to worry about slowing growth in China and tensions in Ukraine.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index managed a small gain Wednesday, narrowly avoiding its first three-day losing streak since January.

46. Apple dials up effort to meld iPhone with cars -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple is accelerating the race to make smartphone applications easier and safer to use in cars.

Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo are previewing Apple's iPhone technology for cars this week at an auto show in Geneva.

47. Many new phones coming, but Samsung hogs limelight -

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Sony unveiled a new waterproof phone that can take ultra-high-definition video. Nokia introduced three Android smartphones aimed at emerging markets. And Lenovo announced one with an all-glass exterior.

48. Wealth gap is widest in some affluent US cities -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The gap between the wealthy and the poor is most extreme in several of the United States' most prosperous and largest cities.

The economic divides in Atlanta, San Francisco, Washington, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles are significantly greater than in the rest of the country, according to a study released Thursday by the Brookings Institution, the Washington-based think tank. It suggests that many sources of both economic growth and income inequality have co-existed near each other for the past 35 years .

49. WhatsApp: A $19 billion bet for Facebook -

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is placing a $19 billion bet on reaching its next billion mobile users with the acquisition of WhatsApp, a popular messaging service that lets people send texts, photos and videos on their smartphones.

50. Music City a crossover hit as a high-tech hub -

Is there anything Nashville can’t do? One of the most recent accolades making the rounds on social media is the city’s status as a tech town, and it’s not hard to see why.

In September, Google selected Nashville as one of seven inaugural cities participating in its Google for Entrepreneurs Tech Hub Network, a program to better connect burgeoning tech hot spots with Google resources and vice versa. The hub is hosted through the Entrepreneur Center, which receives new tools and technology to help startups grow through the program.

51. LinkedIn gives members more room to share insights -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — LinkedIn is hoping to unleash more wisdom on its professional networking service by giving its 277 million accountholders more space to share their experiences and insights.

A new feature rolling out Wednesday will free LinkedIn users from restrictions that have limited posts to a maximum of 300 characters. Those limits had been in effect since the service began allowing status updates in 2009.

52. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg biggest giver in 2013 -

SEATTLE (AP) — Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, were the most generous American philanthropists in 2013, with a donation of 18 million shares of Facebook stock, valued at more than $970 million, to a Silicon Valley nonprofit in December.

53. Was Microsoft smart to play it safe with CEO pick? -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — After compiling a list of more than 100 CEO candidates, Microsoft settled on Satya Nadella a home-grown leader who joined the software maker in the early 1990s. That's back when Google's founders were teenagers and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was in elementary school.

54. Internet firms release data on NSA requests -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A flurry of new reports from major technology companies show that the government collects customer information on tens of thousands of Americans every six months as part of secret national security investigations. And the companies' top lawyers struck a combative stance, saying the Obama administrative needs to provide more transparency about its data collection.

55. Nadella to head Microsoft; Gates leaves chair role -

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Microsoft has named Satya Nadella, an executive in charge of the company's small, but growing business of delivering software and services over the Internet, as its new CEO. Company founder Bill Gates is leaving the chairman role for a new role as technology adviser.

56. Obama secures $750M in pledges to get kids online -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Claiming progress in his campaign to get American schools wired for the future, President Barack Obama is announcing commitments from U.S. companies totaling about $750 million to connect more students to high-speed Internet.

57. Nothing controversial in Super Bowl ads -

NEW YORK (AP) — What Super Bowl ads will people discuss over the water cooler a day after the big game?

There were no crude jokes. Sexual innuendo was kept to a minimum. And uncomfortable scenes were missing.

58. Apple's Mac still influences, 30 years after debut -

NEW YORK (AP) — Look around. Many of the gadgets you see drew inspiration from the original Mac computer.

Computers at the time typically required people to type in commands. Once the Mac came out 30 years ago Friday, people could instead navigate with a graphical user interface. Available options were organized into menus. People clicked icons to run programs and dragged and dropped files to move them.

59. Nokia sees smartphone sales, profits plunge in Q4 -

HELSINKI (AP) — The Nokia handsets business that Microsoft is due to take over saw sales continue to slide in the fourth quarter as its Lumia smartphones failed to draw business away from larger competitors like Apple and Samsung.

60. Weak earnings drag US stocks mostly lower -

NEW YORK (AP) — After hitting a record high the day before, stocks were mostly lower Thursday as investors reacted to disappointing results from Best Buy, Citigroup and CSX, a railroad company.

61. Squeezing private profits from public schools -

Charter schools were intended as small public alternatives with unique learning methods for children stuck in failing schools. But dollar signs have transformed those boutique-type schools into big business commodities with profit streams available to operators – even in states like Tennessee that do not allow for-profit charter schools.

62. S&P 500 index ekes out another record high close -

NEW YORK (AP) — It was a squeaker, but the Standard & Poor's 500 index closed at its first all-time high of 2014.

The S&P 500 closed up nine points Wednesday, or 0.5 percent, at 1,848.38. That's just two-hundredths of a point above its previous high set on Dec. 31, 2013.

63. US stocks drift for a second day; Retailers sink -

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks wavered in early afternoon trading Thursday as traders reacted to disappointing news out of the retail industry. If the Standard & Poor's 500 index ends the day down it would be its fifth decline of the six trading days so far in 2014.

64. Snapchat aims to make app more secure -

NEW YORK (AP) — Snapchat says it plans to put out a more secure version of its application following a breach that allowed hackers to collect the usernames and phone numbers of some 4.6 million of its users.

65. Google's top searches peer into society's mindset -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Death, devices and celebrity drove the quest for more information on Google's search engine this year.

Three of the world's four fastest-rising search requests on Google were triggered by the deaths of famous men.

66. Obama to meet with tech CEOs amid NSA concerns -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is meeting Tuesday with executives from leading technology companies, including Google, Twitter and Apple.

The White House says the meeting will focus on efforts to repair the Obama administration's HealthCare.gov website and reform government information technology.

67. Tech firms vie to protect personal data, profits -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Even as Silicon Valley speaks out against the U.S. government's surveillance methods, technology companies are turning a handsome profit by mining personal data and peering into people's online habits.

68. Tech giants call for controls on government snooping -

LONDON (AP) — Major technology companies, stung by poor publicity for having helped the U.S. government access personal data, on Monday issued an open letter to President Barack Obama asking for tighter controls on surveillance.

69. To spin or not to spin: Does Microsoft need Xbox? -

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates donned a cool leather jacket when he first introduced the Xbox onstage in 2000. More than a decade later, the video game console is still the hippest brand in Microsoft's portfolio. But as the company begins selling its first new Xbox in eight years on Friday, some critics say Microsoft should spin the gaming unit off. They argue that Xbox distracts management from the company's fast-growing cloud computing business and its effort to catch up to rivals in tablet and smartphone sales.

70. Altered landscape for Sony, Microsoft consoles -

NEW YORK (AP) — Remember a time before "Angry Birds," the iPad and the iPhone? No?

When Sony and Microsoft last came out with new video game consoles — seven and eight long years, respectively, the companies touted the machines' high-definition graphics, powerful processors and ability to play DVDs, and in Sony's case, Blu-ray discs.

71. Lowe, father of IBM personal computer, dies at 72 -

CHICAGO (AP) — William C. Lowe had a bold idea: IBM should develop a personal computer that could be mass marketed, expanding the company's reach beyond businesses and into people's homes.

That was in 1980. One year later, the IBM 5150 personal computer was selling out at stores such as Sears and ComputerLand for $1,565, not including a monitor.

72. Tech earnings drive stocks to higher close; Microsoft leads Dow -

NEW YORK (AP) — Earnings gains from big U.S. companies are pushing the stock market higher.

Microsoft led the Dow Jones industrial average up after reporting a jump in sales of tablet computers.

73. Earnings gains send stocks higher in early trade -

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks edged higher Thursday as investors reacted to another slate of corporate earnings, this time from Ford, AT&T and the industrial conglomerate 3M, among others.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 55 points, or 0.3 percent, to 15,465 after the first half-hour of trading. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 2 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,748 and the Nasdaq composite was up seven points, or 0.2 percent, to 3,913.

74. Microsoft releasing Windows 8.1, a year in making -

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Microsoft is releasing its long-awaited Windows 8.1 upgrade as a free download starting Thursday. It addresses some of the gripes people have had with Windows 8, the dramatically different operating system that attempts to bridge the divide between tablets and PCs.

75. Microsoft's phone update to feature driving mode -

NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft is updating its Windows software for cellphones to accommodate larger devices and make it easier for motorists to reduce distractions while driving.

It's the third update to Windows Phone 8 software since the system's release a year ago. Devices with this update will start appearing in the coming weeks, and older phones will be eligible for a free upgrade, too.

76. Google unveils $279 Chrome laptop made by HP -

NEW YORK (AP) — Google is introducing a $279 laptop that runs its Internet-centric Chrome operating system, borrowing many of the high-end features found in models that cost $1,000 or more.

Hewlett-Packard Co. makes the new HP Chromebook 11. Although its price is in line with most other Chrome OS notebooks, the new model sports many design features found in pricier devices, including the $1,299 Chromebook Pixel.

77. Microsoft unveils new Surface at NYC event -

NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft introduced new Surface tablets, including a professional model that allows people to use it more like a laptop or a desktop computer.

The Redmond, Wash. company is trying to boost its tablet business as sales of traditional desktop and laptop computers decline.

78. Microsoft board boosts dividend by 22 pct -

REDMOND, Wash. (AP) — Microsoft said Tuesday that its board approved a 22 percent increase in the company's quarterly dividend to 28 cents along with a new $40 billion stock buyback program.

The new dividend represents an increase of 5 cents over the world's largest software company's previous dividend. It will be paid on Dec. 12 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 21.

79. Stocks edge higher as Fed kicks off 2-day meeting -

Stocks rose on Tuesday as investors shrugged off worries about what the Federal Reserve is up to.

Many expect the Fed to announce Wednesday that it will reduce its $85 billion monthly bond-buying program. Wall Street is hoping for a small reduction because the bond-buying has kept interest rates ultra-low and made it cheaper to borrow money.

80. Combined net worth of America's richest rises -

NEW YORK (AP) — Life is good for America's super wealthy.

Forbes on Monday released its annual list of the top 400 richest Americans. While most of the top names and rankings didn't change from a year ago, the majority of the elite club's members saw their fortunes grow over the past year, helped by strong stock and real estate markets.

81. Deane, Smith and Partners expands reach -

Agencies in Nashville and Jackson, Miss., have sealed a partnership agreement designed to grow their business in public relations, marketing, advertising and branding.

In the shared-services agreement announced Friday, Deane, Smith and Partners of Nashville and Mad Genius of Jackson will collaborate on projects in the Southeast and nationwide.

82. New Pandora CEO faces royalty fight with artists -

LOS ANGELES (AP) — One of the biggest challenges facing Brian McAndrews, the new CEO of Pandora, will be renegotiating the royalty rates the Internet radio giant pays to the music industry.

If Pandora doesn't prevail, the outcome could impede the company's growth and hamper its ability to compete with services such as Apple's iTunes Radio, which launches next week.

83. A seven-day rally in US stocks loses steam -

NEW YORK (AP) — Traders are pausing Thursday after the stock market's longest rally since July.

Stocks were flat in late morning trading. The Dow Jones industrial average was up five points to 15,331, after adding more than 400 points since Monday. The index is up more than 3.5 percent just this month.

84. Christmas in summer? Gadget makers reveal lineups -

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — It's still officially summer, yet major electronic companies have already announced a slew of holiday gift ideas: iPhones of different colors, video game players and a new category of wristwatches designed to mimic the functionality of smartphones.

85. Apple's new iPhones simultaneously aim high, low -

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — For the first time since introducing the device that has reshaped technology and culture, Apple will offer two distinct versions of its latest iPhones — a cheaper model made of colorful plastic and another one that aims to be "the gold standard of smartphones" with a faster processor, fancier camera and fingerprint scanner for better security.

86. Stocks rise as Syria conflict looks less likely -

Stocks rose and oil prices fell Tuesday as the risk that the U.S. would attack Syria appeared to fade.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index had its sixth straight gain, the longest winning streak since July.

87. EU: Google submits new proposals in antitrust case -

BRUSSELS (AP) — Google has submitted new proposals to address concerns by Europe's antitrust watchdog that the U.S. internet giant is stifling competition, the European Commission said Monday.

The new concessions offered by Google come two months after the Commission, which acts as the 28-bloc's antitrust authority, rejected the company's initial proposals as insufficient.

88. Microsoft launches Xbox Music on Web for free -

Microsoft is making its Xbox Music streaming service available for free on the Web — even to those who don't use Windows 8.

The expansion beyond Windows 8 devices and Xbox game consoles starting Monday is intended to bring new customers into the software giant's ecosystem of devices and services and could help it compete with other digital music offerings like Pandora, Spotify and iTunes. It's also an acknowledgement that the music service hasn't done much to drive sales of the Windows 8 operating system.

89. Stock market gains are checked by Syria concerns -

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market logged modest gains Tuesday as renewed worries about a U.S.-led attack on Syria dampened an early rally.

Stocks surged in the opening minutes of trading as worries of an imminent attack on Syria appeared slimmer after President Barack Obama announced over the weekend that he would seek congressional approval for a strike.

90. Microsoft to buy Nokia phones, patents for $7.2B -

REDMOND, Wash. (AP) — Microsoft Corp. is buying Nokia Corp.'s line-up of smartphones and a portfolio of patents and services in an attempt to mount a more formidable challenge to Apple Inc. and Google Inc. as more technological tasks get done on mobile devices instead of personal computers.

91. Facebook: Governments demanded data on 38K users -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Government agents in 74 countries demanded information on about 38,000 Facebook users in the first half of this year, with about half the orders coming from authorities in the United States, the company said Tuesday.

92. Microsoft says CEO Ballmer to retire in 12 months -

NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who took over the helm of the world's largest software company from founder Bill Gates, will retire within the next 12 months.

Microsoft Corp. did not name a successor. The company said it is forming a search committee, which will include Gates, and Ballmer will stay on until a replacement is found.

93. Nasdaq breakdown puts pressure on crisis work -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The latest high-tech disruption in the financial markets increases the pressure on Nasdaq and other electronic exchanges to take steps to avoid future breakdowns and manage them better if they do occur.

94. Stocks end higher on Wall Street; Microsoft jumps -

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are ending with modest gains on Wall Street after recovering from an early stumble caused by a poor report on the housing market.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 46 points, or 0.3 percent, to 15,010 Friday.

95. Deane, Smith and Partners expanding into Mississippi -

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Deane, Smith and Partners, a public relations, marketing, advertising and branding agency based in Nashville, has opened an office in Mississippi's capital city.

Deane, Smith and Partners said the move is designed to serve its growing roster of clients in Jackson.

96. BlackBerry weighs putting itself up for sale -

TORONTO (AP) — BlackBerry will consider selling itself after the long-awaited debut of its new phones failed to turn around the struggling smartphone maker.

The company said Monday that its board has formed a special committee to explore "strategic alternatives" in hopes of enhancing the company's value and boosting adoption of its BlackBerry 10 platform.

97. US factory means buyers can customize Google phone -

NEW YORK (AP) — With its first smartphone designed completely in-house, Google is demonstrating one of the benefits of moving production from Asia to the U.S.: It's letting buyers customize phones to give them their own style.

98. NSA revelations reframe digital life for some -

In Louisiana, the wife of a former soldier is scaling back on Facebook posts and considering unfriending old acquaintances, worried an innocuous joke or long-lost associate might one day land her in a government probe.

99. Choices: Closer look at 2 plans for Dell's future -

Dell Inc. has delayed Thursday's vote on founder Michael Dell's plan to take the computer maker private. That's a sign the board needs more time to rally support. Activist investor Carl Icahn and the Southeastern Asset Management fund, which own 13 percent of the company combined, have made a competing proposal.

100. Dell delays buyout vote, signaling lack of support -

ROUND ROCK, Texas (AP) — Michael Dell believes he can revive the company bearing his name if his group of investors can buy it for $24.4 billion. But that deal is in danger of falling apart, increasing the chances that the personal computer giant's founder might not be CEO much longer.