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A roundup of the latest high-tech news “Hot off the Wire” from The Associated Press and Local Tech Wire:

• MySpace overhauls its image

NEW YORK — , the online social hub that’s been fighting to stay relevant in the age of Facebook and Twitter, is overhauling its image and its website into an entertainment destination for its mostly younger audience.

The social-networking pioneer, which was among the top Internet sites just a few years ago, now has its sights set decidedly lower. Starting Wednesday and over the next month, MySpace will be relaunching its site to focus on giving users more ways to consume music, videos and celebrity gossip.

Entertainment has long been central to the MySpace experience, but over the years the site was also pulled in different directions as it dabbled in classifieds, job ads and even user reviews in a partnership with Citysearch as it pushed to become a social portal for the Web. It didn’t work out, and Facebook is now emerging as that portal.

MySpace CEO Mike Jones said the relaunch “pulls us out of the social networking category” to become a social entertainment destination. So instead of connecting with long-lost friends and sharing baby photos, MySpace wants to be the place where people go to find out about new bands, chat about TV shows and make movie recommendations.

“The vision has definitely gotten a lot smaller in this redesign,” said Debra Aho Williamson, a senior analyst at research firm eMarketer. “When News Corp. bought MySpace it certainly didn’t envision this. I don’t think Rupert (Murdoch, News Corp.’s CEO) thought MySpace would be a small social entertainment website.”

• Yahoo spruces up its e-mail service

SAN FRANCISCO — Yahoo Inc. is sprucing up its free e-mail service in the latest attempt to persuade people to spend more time on its website.

The new look debuting Wednesday includes several new features and repackages some previously introduced tools that hadn’t been easy to find or use.

Yahoo considers it to be the biggest overhaul of its e-mail service in five years. As part of the redesign, Yahoo is promising its e-mail will run twice as fast as it has been.

Yahoo’s estimated 273 million worldwide e-mail users will have the choice to switch to the new look beginning Wednesday, in a testing period that will last through at least the rest of the year. All e-mail accounts will automatically be converted to the new format at a still-undetermined time next year.

In a long-promised change, Yahoo is finally offering its e-mail users the opportunity to connect their e-mail accounts with their profiles on Twitter’s popular short-messaging service. The addition means people will be able to see incoming Twitter messages and post their own musings, or “tweets,” directly from their Yahoo e-mail. Yahoo previously had added a similar tool that connected its e-mail service with Facebook accounts.

Another upgrade will enable Yahoo’s e-mail users to play videos and peruse pictures sent to them without having to follow links to a new page. Both Microsoft Corp. and Google Inc. have already included some of this technology in their own free e-mail services.

• Internet rivals team up to oppose Google deal

SAN FRANCISCO — Several leading Internet travel agencies and search engines are trying to convince U.S. government regulators to block Google Inc. from buying a technology supplier that plays an instrumental role in finding the best airline fares.

The opponents, led by Expedia Inc., have formed a coalition called FairSearch.org to fight Google Inc.’s proposed $700 million acquisition of ITA Software. Other members of the group, which was announced Tuesday, include Farelogix Inc., Kayak, which also owns SideStep; and Sabre Holdings, which owns Travelocity.

The U.S. Department of Justice is already investigating the deal, which was announced four months ago.

FairSearch argues that combining Google’s dominant Internet search engine with ITA’s influential flight software would stifle competition and threaten to drive up air fares. ITA’s technology plays a role in most online searches for airline tickets, providing Google with the means to manipulate one of the biggest markets in electronic commerce, according to FairSearch.