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A roundup of the latest high-tech news “Hot Off the Wire” from The Associated Press and Local Tech Wire:
• Apple sells 3 million iPads
CUPERTINO, Calif. — Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) says it has sold 3 million iPads less than three months after the new device went on sale.
The touch-screen tablet computer launched on April 3 in the U.S. and began selling last month in Asia and Europe. Apple Inc. plans to roll out the device in nine more countries in July.
The company has not broken out sales by region.
• San Francisco passes cell phone radiation ordinance
SAN FRANCISCO — In this city known for producing laws both path-breaking and contentious, legislators have forcefully stepped into another debate — this time over the potential danger of cell phone use.
With the Board of Supervisors’ 10-1 vote in favor of an ordinance Mayor Gavin Newsom has indicated he will sign, San Francisco has waded into the as-yet unresolved debate over the relationship between long-term use of cell phones and health problems such as brain tumors.
It would be America’s first law requiring cell phone retailers to disclose the phones’ specific absorption rate, or SAR, to customers.
SAR measures the maximum amount of radiation absorbed by a person using a handset. The Federal Communications Commission limits SAR to an average of 1.6 watts per kilogram of body tissue, but information about radiation levels is not usually readily available when people purchase phones at stores.
“From our perspective, this is a very reasonable and quite modest measure that will provide greater transparency and information to consumers for whom this is an area of interest or concern,” said Newsom spokesman Tony Winnicker, who noted that the mayor is an iPhone user. “We’re playing a role that we’ve often played, which is to be at the forefront of a debate.”
Still after a number of scientific inquiries into this issue, no conclusions have been reached.
A major U.N. study released last month, for instance, found no clear link between cell phones and the risk of developing brain cancer.
Industry representatives see that as a reason to oppose a law like this.
“They’re just responding to unfounded concern,” said John Walls, a spokesman for industry trade group CTIA-The Wireless Association. He said the law “could very likely confuse and mislead consumers.”
• Gourmet magazine returns – as an “app”
NEW YORK — Gourmet may be dead as a magazine, but the brand lives on.
Conde Nast, which closed the money-losing print magazine last fall, said Tuesday that it is launching a digital product called "Gourmet Live" for the iPad and other mobile gadgets.
It is another bet by Conde Nast on the world of apps – the mobile software applications popularized by Apple Inc.’s iPhone. The publisher has invested heavily to bundle its magazines as applications on both the iPhone and now the iPad.
Robert Sauerberg, the head of Conde Nast’s consumer marketing division, emphasized that Gourmet’s app is not a digital magazine. But he said the impetus comes in part from the reception its magazines have gotten on mobile devices.
Wired magazine’s first iPad edition sold more than 90,000 copies at the regular print newsstand price of $4.99 each – an accomplishment considering that few publishers have been able to charge for their content online.
"What it has done is demonstrate to us and other publishers that paid digital content packaged in a beautiful form is valuable to consumers," Sauerberg said. "There’s demand for the Gourmet brand, and I think we’ll see plenty of people testing it out."