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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 looking for antenna engineers

CUPERTINO, Calif. — Wanted: Three geniuses to improve iPhone antennas.

According to job postings spotted by a reader of technology blog Slashdot, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) is

This wouldn’t be notable except that the redesigned iPhone has something of an antenna problem. Holding the phone a certain way can cause the signal to fade or cut out.

Apple isn’t saying whether these are new openings or spots that were recently vacated.

But while its public answer to the problem felt flip – buy a protective case, or, in a widely reposted e-mail attributed to CEO Steve Jobs, "Just avoid holding it in that way" – the hunt for experts indicates a real fix could be underway.

• Microsoft halts further rollout of Kin phones

SEATTLE — For Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), there will be no next of Kin.

The company said Wednesday it will halt the planned rollout of Kin One and Kin Two phones beyond the U.S., less than two months after Verizon Wireless started selling them.

Microsoft Corp. unveiled the two Kin phones in April, though they were widely anticipated after photos and details appeared on blogs last year. Microsoft had also acquired Danger Inc., the company behind the original Sidekick messaging phones sold by T-Mobile USA Inc., in 2008.

Kin One is an unusual, stubby little thing, while Kin Two looks more like a standard cell phone designed for heavy text messaging. Both have touch screens and slide-out keyboards, and were marketed to appeal to a younger crowd that wanted to share Web snippets, photos and video with friends. Both have Microsoft’s Zune media player software built in.

Neither Microsoft nor Verizon Wireless would say how many Kin phones have been sold. On Monday, Verizon cut the price of Kin One and Kin Two to $30 and $50, from $50 and $100, respectively.

Now, Microsoft says it will not sell the phones in Europe this fall as planned. In a statement, the company said it has decided to focus on the launch of the Windows Phone 7 software. The Kin team and its technology are being folded into the Windows Phone unit.

Verizon Wireless spokeswoman Brenda Raney said in an e-mail that "the Kin is still an important part of our portfolio." Neither company would say whether Microsoft will produce more Kins once existing stock sells out.

• Amazon buys deal-of-day web site Woot

SAN FRANCISCO — Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) has purchased deal-a-day website

In a joke-laden message on the company blog, Woot CEO Matt Rutledge said the deal won’t change how the site is run – "with a wall of ideas and a dartboard."

"For Woot, our vision remains the same: somehow earning a living on snarky commentary and junk," Rutledge wrote.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Amazon spokesman Craig Berman said the Seattle-based online retailer expects to finalize the deal by the end of September.

Amazon already offers daily deals on the "Gold Box" section of its site. The purchase of Woot – with its jocular product descriptions and focus on selling one item every 24 hours – may indicate that the company is increasingly interested in using quirkier methods to reach customers over the Web.

Woot, which is based in Carrollton, Texas, started out in the summer of 2004 as a site that sold one heavily discounted item every day – usually consumer electronics such as printers.