Maine’s existing home sales drop 29 percent in October

A real estate organization says sales of existing single-family homes in Maine fell 29 percent in October compared a year ago, while median prices inched up.

The Maine Association of Realtors said Tuesday that real estate agents sold 885 homes last month, down from 1,247 homes in October 2009.

The median sales price in Maine was $166,500, up 1 percent.

Reporter finds Disney report on unprotected website

The Walt Disney Co.’s early release of its earnings report this month came down to a Dumbo move:

The company made the information accessible through an easy-to-guess Web address.

Disney didn’t plan on posting the link on its website until after the market closed. But a reporter at Bloomberg News found it with simple Internet sleuthing and reported results about a half-hour before the scheduled release, according to a person familiar with Bloomberg’s practices. The person was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

“It’s like putting your valuables under the bed instead of in a safe,” said Michael Cote, a software analyst.

German firm may appeal $1.3 billion verdict by jury

On the losing end of a $1.3 billion jury verdict for stealing a rival’s intellectual property, SAP AG is facing the difficult decision about whether to double down – by appealing – or folding.

Either route is going to cost the German company dearly, and will have implications for how other technology companies approach copyrights.

A jury in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Tuesday found that SAP’s behavior in plundering software and documents from archenemy Oracle Corp.’s secured websites was so egregious that it awarded Oracle nearly all of the damages it was seeking.

If SAP appeals, it will have to endure several more years of disastrous publicity, a jackpot for Oracle.

All-electric Volt uses no gas, but will have ‘mpg’ ratings

General Motors says its Chevrolet Volt will get the equivalent of 93 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving while powered by electricity.

The automaker says the rechargeable electric car will get an estimated 37 mpg when running on its gasoline-powered generator. The mileage figures will be on the Volt’s window sticker.