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A roundup of the latest high-tech news “Hot Off the Wire” from The Associated Press and Local Tech Wire:
Nokia sending N8 model up against BlackBerry and iPhone
HELSINKI (AP) — Nokia Corp. said Thursday it has begun shipments of its N8 model, a handset that aims to challenge RIM’s Blackberry and Apple’s iPhone in the smart phone market.
The news pushed Nokia stock up 2 percent, to close at €7.35 ($10.03) on the Helsinki Stock Exchange.
Nokia said deliveries would begin immediately for pre-orders of the touch screen model, which had received “the highest amount of consumer pre-orders in Nokia history.” Worldwide availability would be “in the coming weeks” and will vary by country, Nokia said.
The N8, which looks like an iPhone, features a 12-megapixel digital camera with Carl Zeiss optics and a 3.5 inch display. It is built on a new version of the Symbian software with photo uploading connections to social networks like Facebook and Twitter. The expected retail price of the handset at dealers was not given, but Nokia said on its Web site that it could be ordered for €500 ($680).
Yahoo losing 3 top execs, raising more worries
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Three top Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) executives are leaving the slumping Internet company in an exodus that could put CEO Carol Bartz on the hot seat as she approaches the end of her second year trying to engineer a turnaround.
The company disclosed the departures Thursday, confirming an earlier report published on the technology site All Things Digital.
The defecting executives are: Hilary Schneider, an executive vice president who oversaw Yahoo’s advertising in the U.S.; David Ko, a senior vice president in charge of mobile and audience; and Jimmy Pitaro, a vice president who ran the division that produced the heavily trafficked news, sports and finance sections of Yahoo’s website.
“These are some of the most important people at the company,” said Standard and Poor’s equity analyst Scott Kessler. “It’s definitely going to put more pressure on Carol Bartz.”
Bartz, known for her brash, sometimes profane language, has been cutting costs while trying to find ways to get people to spend more time on Yahoo’s website instead of rapidly growing online hangouts such as Facebook and Twitter. In doing so, Bartz also abandoned any hope of catching Google Inc. in the lucrative Internet search market. She has farmed out the bulk of the company’s search technology to Microsoft Corp.’s Bing.
“We wish them all the best in their future endeavors,” Yahoo said in a statement about the departing executives.
New IBM offerings aim to make buildings greener
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) is rolling out new software and services that can help companies make their buildings more energy efficient.
IBM said Thursday that with its sustainability management system, building-management systems from companies like Schneider Electric and Honeywell/Tridium can gather real-time data from heating, lighting elevators or other systems and can suggest or automatically make adjustments that will improve energy use.
The adjustments could come in the form of alerting a building superintendent to lower or turn up the heat, or having the building do so automatically, for example.
IBM said it is first putting this smart energy technology in its Armonk, N.Y., headquarters and its Rochester, Minn., manufacturing facility.
IBM, which is the world’s biggest provider of information-technology services and a major supplier of business software, also said that it is expanding its work with energy management company Schneider Electric to come up with services that help monitor and make buildings more energy efficient.