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Yahoo is Listening

August 4, 2008

YAHOO PLAYS NICE

Just because Yahoo is getting out of the music-download biz , doesn’t mean it’s leaving its customers hanging.

The company is offering coupons or refunds to users who find songs they had purchased inaccessible after Sept. 30, when Yahoo shutters the service. Yahoo announced this year it was closing its music subscription service and switching customers to RealNetworks’ Rhapsody.

The company said last week it is offering coupons on request for people to buy songs again through Rhapsody. Yahoo wouldn’t disclose the number of users affected by the change.

ONLY IN JAPAN

No need waiting in a doctor’s office for hours in modern-day Tokyo. You only have to walk as far as your bathroom to get your blood pressure or blood-sugar level checked.

Daiwa House Industry Co. and TOTO Ltd. are selling what they call the “Intelligence Toilet” system. It features a “unique” blood- pressure device inside the bathroom’s wall that measures it from a person’s breath.

Another device checks blood-sugar levels as a person stands in front of the sink, gauging weight and body-fat automatically . The data are sent to a personal computer programmed to detect health abnormalities .

A standard version of the system in a newly built house costs about 400,000 yen, or more than $3,700. About 9,000 units have been sold.

SO LONG, CASSETTES

Another one bites the dust. This time, it’s books on tape.

Hachette book publishers in Manhattan announced it is bidding farewell to the tapes: sailing into the sunset with one final tape: “Sail” by James Patterson and Howard Roughan.

While the music industry dumped cassettes long ago , it lived on among audio book publishers . Many listeners prefer cassettes because they make it easy to pick up in the place where they left off, or rewind in case something is missed.

Hachette held a mock funeral – really an office party in the audio-book department – to mark the demise.

Cassettes limped along for some time, because of their usefulness in recording conversations or making a mix tape . But sales of portable tape players, which peaked at 18 million in 1994, sank to 480,000 in 2007, according to the Consumer Electronics Association.

Only 4 percent of 2007 model year vehicles sold in the United States had factory-installed cassette players, down from 23 percent in 2005, according to Ward’s Automotive Yearbook.

SONY AND A SMILE

During August, Sony Electronics is helping Norfolk-based Operation Smile with its efforts to provide free surgery to children around the globe.

Through a retail promotion of its Cyber-shot cameras featuring Smile Shutter technology, Sony will make a $100,000 donation to Operation Smile.

The money will be used to provide free physical examinations and reconstructive surgeries for children suffering from cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities.

The promotion is taking place at Sony Style stores, sonystyle.com and participating retailers.

Sony also is donating some Cyber-shot cameras to help Op Smile volunteers capture children’s smiles at more than 30 worldwide mission sites.

– Staff and wire reports Just because Yahoo is getting out of the music-download biz doesn’t mean it’s leaving its customers hanging.

The company is offering coupons or refunds to users who find songs they had purchased inaccessible after Sept. 30, when Yahoo shutters the service. Yahoo announced this year it was closing its music subscription service and switching customers to RealNetworks’ Rhapsody.

The company said last week it is offering coupons on request for people to buy songs again through Rhapsody. Yahoo wouldn’t disclose the number of users affected by the change.

During August, Sony Electronics is helping Norfolk-based Operation Smile with its efforts to provide free surgery to children around the globe.

Through a retail promotion of its Cyber-shot cameras featuring Smile Shutter technology, Sony will make a $100,000 donation to Operation Smile.

The money will be used to provide free physical examinations and reconstructive surgeries for children suffering from cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities.

The promotion is taking place at Sony Style stores, www.sonystyle.com and participating retailers.

Sony also is donating some Cyber-shot cameras to help Op Smile volunteers capture children’s smiles at more than 30 worldwide mission sites.

Another one bites the dust. This time, it’s books on tape.

Hachette book publishers in Manhattan announced it is bidding farewell to the tapes: sailing into the sunset with one final tape: “Sail” by James Patterson and Howard Roughan.

While the music industry dumped cassettes long ago, it lived on among audio book publishers. Many listeners prefer cassettes because they make it easy to pick up in the place where they left off, or rewind in case something is missed.

Hachette held a mock funeral – really an office party in the audio-book department – to mark the demise.

In modern-day Tokyo, there’s no need to wait in a doctor’s office for hours. You only have to walk as far as your bathroom to get your blood pressure or blood-sugar level checked.

Daiwa House Industry Co. and Toto Ltd. are selling what they call the “Intelligence Toilet” system. It features a “unique” blood- pressure device inside the bathroom’s wall that measures it from a person’s breath.

Another device checks blood-sugar levels as a person stands in front of the sink, gauging weight and body-fat automatically. The data are sent to a personal computer programmed to detect health abnormalities.

A standard version of the system in a newly built house costs about 400,000 yen, or more than $3,700. About 9,000 units have been sold.

(c) 2008 Virginian – Pilot. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.




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