The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Business

January 20, 2010

New York Times to charge for Web access in 2011

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Times says it will charge readers for full access to its Web site starting in 2011, a risky move aimed at increasing online revenue without driving away advertisers that want the biggest possible audience.

The potential pitfalls have made most other major newspapers hesitant to take a similar step. But after months of deliberation, the Times said Wednesday that it will use a metered system, allowing free access to a certain number of articles each month and then charging users for additional content.

The Times did not disclose how many articles would be available for free each month or what it would charge to read more. Subscribers to the printed version of the Times would still have free access to the Web site.

It would not be the first time the newspaper has asked readers to pay for its online articles.

It charged for its Web site in 1996 but attracted only about 4,000 subscribers. Another experiment called Times Select, which required a $50 annual subscription to read Times columnists, drew 221,000 customers but was scrapped in 2007 because it dented ad sales. Advertisers generally pay more for higher Web traffic.

The goal of a metered system is to draw casual readers with free articles while getting fees from people who want to go deeper on the site.

The plan would not stop search engines from cataloging the newspaper’s Web site, so its articles could still benefit from the traffic generated by search results.

The Times said it will use 2010 to build a new online infrastructure for charging readers on different platforms, not just personal computers. For instance, the newspaper can be read for free through an application on Apple’s iPhone. But the Times did not specify its plans for mobile editions.

In a statement, New York Times Co. CEO Janet Robinson said the company is “guided by the fact that our news and information are being featured in an increasingly broad range of end-user devices and services, and our pricing plans and policies must reflect this vision.”

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Business
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    February 19, 2010

  • Exxon Mobil posts lowest annual profit since ’02 EW YORK (AP) — Exxon Mobil’s earnings were cut by more than half to $19.3 billion in 2009, the lowest total in seven years, as company refineries struggled with a plunge in fuel consumption around the world.

    But the world’s largest publicly traded oil company remains the profit champ among U.S. public companies. Wal-Mart is expected to earn $14 billion for the year ended Jan. 31, and Microsoft earned $14.6 billion in the fiscal year ended in June 2009.

    Exxon’s results have swung with the price of oil and the impact of the global recession. When oil spiked above $147 a barrel in mid-2008, Exxon set ever-higher marks for earnings by a U.S. company. Then oil prices plummeted, and Exxon suffered a yearlong hangover that included its smallest quarterly earnings in several years.

    February 1, 2010

  • Toyota tells dealers parts on way to fix pedals WASHINGTON (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. said Monday its dealers should get parts to fix a sticky gas pedal problem by the end of this week as the automaker apologized to customers and tried to bring an end to a recall that has affected 4.2 million vehicles worldwide.

    The company said in a statement that it has begun shipping parts and is training dealers on the repairs. Some dealers will stay open around the clock to fix the 2.3 million cars and trucks affected by the recall in the U.S.

    Technical bulletins on how to install the new parts should arrive at dealers by midweek, the company told dealers in an e-mail. It was not clear exactly when repairs would start, although dealers have said they’ll begin as soon as possible.

    The automaker also said Monday it would suspend production of eight U.S. models affected by the recall this week, with factories restarting on Feb. 8.

    February 1, 2010

  • Apple introduces new $499 iPad tablet computer SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the company’s much-anticipated iPad tablet computer Wednesday, calling it a new third category of mobile device that is neither smart phone nor laptop, but something in between.

    The iPad will start at $499, a price tag far below the $1,000 that some analysts were expecting. But Apple must still persuade recession-weary consumers who already have other devices to open their wallets yet again. Apple plans to begin selling the iPad in two months.

    Jobs said the device would be useful for reading books, playing games or watching video, describing it as “so much more intimate than a laptop and so much more capable than a smart phone.”

    January 28, 2010

  • Dealers swamped by worried Toyota drivers NEW YORK (AP) — Toyota dealers across the country were swamped with calls Wednesday from concerned drivers but had few answers a day after the company announced it would stop selling and building eight models because of faulty gas pedals.

    Toyota insisted the problem — sudden, uncontrolled acceleration — was “rare and infrequent” and said dealers should deal with customers “on a case-by-case basis.” But drivers of Toyotas and those who share the road with them were left with uncertainty.

    In an unprecedented move, the company said late Tuesday it would halt sales for the eight models — which make up more than half of Toyota’s U.S. sales volume — to fix the gas pedals. Last week, Toyota issued a recall for the same eight models, affecting 2.3 million vehicles.

    A private firm said it had identified 275 crashes and 18 deaths because of sudden, uncontrollable acceleration in Toyotas since 1999.

    In North Palm Beach, Fla., Clare Roden showed up at a Toyota dealership worried about the 2010 Camry she purchased recently. She was relieved when she was told her accelerator was not a problem part.

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    The iPad, which is larger in size but similar in design to Apple’s popular iPhone, was billed by CEO Steve Jobs on Wednesday as “so much more intimate than a laptop and so much more capable than a smart phone.”

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