Tech 2.0 for Friday, June 21, 2013

Contributor: Matt Davenport
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Updated: 6/21/2013 2:33 pm


The government is moving toward easing restrictions on cellphone use during takeoff and landing. An industry-labor advisory committee was supposed to make recommendations next month to the Federal Aviation Administration on easing restrictions on electronic devices. But now the FAA says the deadline will be extended to September. The FAA says in a statement that committee members asked for extra time to finish assessing whether it is safe to lift restrictions. The agency is under public and political pressure to ease the restrictions as more people use e-book readers, music and video players, smartphones and laptops. Use of electronic devices is prohibited when aircraft are below 10,000 feet over concerns they could create electromagnetic interference with critical aircraft systems.

Satellite TV operator Dish Network Corp. is officially abandoning its efforts to acquire Sprint Nextel Corp. The Englewood, Colo., company filed regulatory documents Friday formalizing the retreat it announced earlier this week. The move leaves Sprint free to accept what it considers a superior offer from Japan's Softback. Dish and Softbank were competing to acquire the wireless carrier since April. Sprint opted for Softbank's $21.6 billion offer for 78 percent of the company, versus Dish's $25.5 billion bid for all of Sprint. In the Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Dish said it has abandoned its efforts and plans to redeem $2.6 million in outstanding senior debt. Dish previously said it will continue to focus on its bid for Clearwire, a wireless network operator in which Sprint has a majority stake.

One of the first Apple computers ever built goes on the Christie's auction block next week — and it could sell for half a million dollars, or more. The Apple 1 from 1976 is a forerunner of today's MacBooks, IPads and IPhones. Ted Perry, a retired school psychologist from California who owns the old Apple, has kept it stashed away in a cardboard box. He says the green piece of plastic covered with memory chips is where the personal computer "revolution" started. The board was produced by two college dropouts — Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. It first sold for $666.66. The Apple 1 will be offered online from June 24 to July 9. Another Apple 1 was sold last month for a record $671,400 by a German auction house.

Sean Parker says the Big Sur resort where he held his posh, Lord of the Rings-inspired wedding threatened to cancel it if he didn't agree to pay for the unpermitted wedding construction and the inn's past land use violations. The co-founder of Napster and former Facebook Inc. president told The Associated Press Friday that the Ventana Inn & Spa preferred to cancel rather than work out an agreement with the California Coastal Commission. The commission investigated and found Parker had built fake ruins, a cottage and other structures near iconic redwoods and a stream with threatened fish without permits. Parker agreed to pay $2.5 million in a settlement with the commission that includes Ventana's past violations and future conservation programs.
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