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A roundup of the latest high-tech news from The Associated Press:
• Rolling Stone’s archive going online – for a price
NEW YORK — For the first time Rolling Stone is inviting its readers on the long, strange trip though the magazine’s 43-year archive, putting complete digital replicas online along with the latest edition. But you’ll have to pay to see it all.
, Rolling Stone will become one of the most prominent magazines to decide that adding a "pay wall" is the best way to make money on the Web.
To many publishers and media analysts, charging for Web access is the fastest way to drive readers to free competition, where advertisers will follow. But even free sites with lots of readers haven’t been able to charge the kind of rates for advertising that print still commands. As one of the few major consumer magazines now asking readers for an online fee, Rolling Stone is likely to get a close look from the rest of the industry.
The magazine’s revamped home page will remain mostly free. The kind of material that seems to work best on the Web – quick updates on who’s breaking up, slide shows of popular bands on tour – won’t cost readers anything.
But there will be reminders planted throughout the site that full access to Rolling Stone’s latest issue is just a few clicks and a credit card number away.
A one-month pass will cost $3.95 and annual access is $29.99. Online subscribers will automatically get a print subscription, which normally costs $19.95 a year. But print subscribers don’t automatically get Web access.
The magazine has never put a full issue online except to tease an article here and there. On the new site, readers can flip through, search and zoom in on a complete replica of the print edition.
• Microsoft to investigate conditions in China plant
SEATTLE — Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) said says it will investigate reports of poor working conditions at a factory in southern China that makes some of its products.
The world’s largest software maker was responding to a report from The National Labor Committee, a nonprofit that looks into the treatment of foreign workers by U.S. companies. On Tuesday, the group published a report detailing long working hours, low pay, insufficient food and few freedoms for workers at the KYE Systems Corp. factory in Dongguan, China.
The factory makes Microsoft-brand Webcams, computer mice and Xbox controllers.
Included in the report are claims that 16- and 17-year-olds work 15-hour shifts for about 50 cents an hour, are prohibited from talking or using the bathroom during working hours, sleep crammed in 14-person dorm rooms and are only allowed to leave the factory grounds at certain times.
In a blog post, Microsoft said it has rigorous standards in place for suppliers such as KYE, and those suppliers are audited every year. Microsoft said it also does quarterly onsite assessments and gets weekly reports from KYE about certain labor and safety criteria.
The software maker said a team of independent auditors are headed to the KYE factory, and it will place monitors at the factory pending results of its inspection.
"We will take all appropriate steps to ensure the fair treatment of the KYE workers," said Brian Tobey, a corporate vice president of manufacturing and operations at Microsoft, in the blog post.
• Mylan launches generic version of GSK’s Wellbutrin SR
PITTSBURGH — Mylan Inc. has started shipping a generic version of the antidepressant Wellbutrin SR after getting approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
The FDA cleared Mylan’s version of the drug in 100 milligram, 150 milligram and 200 milligram doses, Mylan said. The brand-name version of Wellbutrin SR is made by GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK), and U.S. sales totaled $363 million in 2009.
Wellbutrin SR is the extended-release version of Wellbutrin, an older GlaxoSmithKline drug. Mylan said generic versions of Wellbutrin SR have been on the market for several years.