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  • ‘Free Shipping Day’ exceeds $1 billion in sales

    WASHINGTON — The most wonderful time of year just got even better. Thousands of online retailers are promising free shipping on Thursday with on-time Christmas delivery. “Free Shipping Day” is a shopping day that has grown exponentially,  exceeding $1 billion in sales over the past two years. It’s enticing for many who don’t mind buying a gift, but…

  • Gift Guide: Home products come with connectivity

    NEW YORK (AP) — Do you really need an app to tell you to brush and floss? It seems every household appliance is getting some smarts these days, meaning some connection to a phone app and the broader Internet. But then what? To give you a feel for what that connectivity brings, here’s a closer…

  • Sony emails show a studio ripe for hacking

    WASHINGTON (AP) — In the weeks before hackers broke into Sony Pictures Entertainment, the studio suffered significant technology outages it blamed on software flaws and incompetent technical staffers who weren’t paying attention, even as hackers targeted executives to trick them into revealing their online credentials. Its chief executive was regularly reminded in unsecure emails of…

  • Vegas hotelier faces gambling commission scrutiny

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — The man who started a hospitality empire with a Los Angeles nightclub and turned the Sahara Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip into a hipper, sleeker destination is facing questions for the second time this month from gambling regulators about his cocaine use and questionable business dealings. Sam Nazarian…

  • Nightlife king faces queries from gaming regulator

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Los Angeles nightlife entrepreneur who revamped Las Vegas’ Sahara Hotel and Casino into a hipper, sleeker destination is getting ready to defend his past again so he can obtain a Nevada gambling license after admitting recent cocaine use and explaining his curious business dealings with felons. Nevada has long been…

  • Nevada regulator testifies in Vegas gambling ruse

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Nevada casino regulator told a federal judge that investigators spent hours briefing a federal prosecutor before employing a ruse to gain entry to high-roller suites at Caesars Palace and break up what prosecutors say was an illegal Internet sports gambling operation. But like other witnesses before him, Nevada Gaming Control…

  • Stolen emails reveal lapses in Sony security practices

    WASHINGTON (AP) — In the weeks before hackers broke into Sony Pictures Entertainment, the studio suffered significant technology outages it blamed on software flaws and incompetent technical staffers who weren’t paying attention, even as hackers targeted executives to trick them into revealing their online credentials. Its chief executive was regularly reminded in unsecure emails of…

  • Sanford giving $25M for South Dakota scholarships

    SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Philanthropist T. Denny Sanford is donating $25 million to South Dakota for a scholarship program for the state’s technical schools, the governor’s office announced Wednesday. The state is matching Sanford’s gift by pledging $25 million of its own to create the Build Dakota Scholarship Program, which officials say will help…

  • 5 things to know: Alcohol calorie labels on menus

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Want to know how many calories are in that alcoholic drink you’re about to order? You might be able to find out just by reading the menu. Five things to know about the Food and Drug Administration’s new menu labeling rules, which will require chain restaurants with 20 or more outlets to…

  • New York panel recommends 3 upstate resort casinos

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Three economically distressed counties in upstate New York have been selected as sites for casinos, a panel announced Wednesday, bringing an end to a fierce competition among developers and job-hungry communities. The Gaming Facility Location Board chose sites in Sullivan, Schenectady and Seneca counties and decided not to recommend a fourth…

  • BlackBerry launches Classic in last-ditch effort

    NEW YORK (AP) — BlackBerry is returning to its roots with a new phone that features a traditional keyboard at a time when rival Apple and Android phones — and most smartphone customers — have embraced touch screens. With the Classic, BlackBerry is courting its core customer, the business user. The physical keyboard is something…

  • Morgan to transition to new role at Krispy Kreme

    WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Krispy Kreme Doughnuts’ executive chairman is leaving his position after seven months. The company announced on its website Wednesday that Jim Morgan will become an unpaid, non-executive chairman. The change will take effect on Jan. 29, 2015. The 67-year-old Morgan has served as chairman of the board since 2005. As part…

  • NYC premiere of Rogen film canceled as threats fly

    NEW YORK (AP) — The blow that the hacking attack has dealt Sony is spreading beyond the entertainment corporation itself to theater chains and movie goers alike. And the financial toll is adding up too. Threats of violence against movie theaters. The New York premiere of “The Interview” canceled. Leaks of thousands more private emails.…

  • US travel industry carefully eyeing Cuba tourism

    NEW YORK (AP) — Cuba was once a haven for sun-seeking American tourists. Beautiful beaches, lively casinos and late-night dancing made it the perfect getaway, only an hour’s flight from Miami. But the Cuban revolution led by Fidel Castro and the subsequent Cold War embargo of the communist island nation put an end to that.…

  • On Kickstarter, everyone wants to be ‘Staff Pick’

    NEW YORK (AP) — Want your project to get selected as a “Staff Pick” on crowdfunding site Kickstarter? Good luck with that. Entrepreneurs and other users have been seeking the secret to getting their projects selected as a “Staff Pick” — a designation that one of Kickstarter’s 98 employees can give a project based on…