Amazon, Random House terminate e-book deal

An exclusive e-book deal between and the agent for such Random House classics as “Invisible Man” and “Lolita” is no longer exclusive, and no longer a deal.

Random House Inc. and the Wylie Agency announced Tuesday that “Invisible Man,” “Rabbit Is Rich” and several other works were being “removed” from a program brokered between Wylie and Amazon that offered them as e-books available only through the online retailer.

Instead, Random House, which had claimed electronic rights, will publish the books on a “non-exclusive basis,” meaning that consumers can buy them through Amazon, Barnes & and other sellers of digital books.

NHTSA widening probe of Toyota Corolla engines

Toyota Motor Corp., still on the mend from its sticky-pedal fiasco, could be tracking toward yet another big recall.

This time, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is focusing on more than 1.1 million Corolla and Corolla Matrix models from 2005 to 2007, which have been reported to suffer from engine problems.

The federal agency said 1,101 consumer complaints have been received. There have been no reported deaths or injuries related to the defect.

“The engine can stall at any speed without warning and not restart,” NHTSA said in a statement on its website.

In November, NHTSA opened a preliminary investigation into the reported engine stalls. A recall has yet to be issued but the agency is widening its probe by opening an engineering analysis to further assess the problem.

Jeep Grand Cherokees coming under scrutiny

Federal safety officials have opened an investigation of 3 million Jeep Grand Cherokees over concerns that defective fuel tanks could cause fires in crashes.

The investigation is in response to allegations made last year by an auto safety group that the placement of the gas tank behind the rear bumper and below the rear axle could make the SUV vulnerable to spillage during a rear end crash.

The National Highway Traffic Safety says it has identified 10 crashes and 13 deaths that could be linked to the potential problem.

Jeep Grand Cherokees in model years 1993 to 2004 are covered by probe.

Apple pursuing deals for TV show content

Apple is in advanced talks with News Corp. to let iTunes users rent TV shows for 99 cents and is in discussions with other media companies about similar deals, said three people familiar with the plan.

Viewers would be able to rent programs from News Corp.’s Fox for 48 hours, said the people, who declined to be identified because the discussions aren’t public. CBS and Walt Disney Co. — where Apple CEO Steve Jobs is a board member and the largest shareholder — also are in talks about joining the effort, the sources say.

The content deals would give Apple users access to some of the most-watched shows on TV and increase the appeal of its devices, including the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

Toshiba making 3-D TV with no glasses needed

Japanese electronics maker Toshiba Corp. said Tuesday it is developing technology for a 3-D television that won’t require special glasses.

Company spokeswoman Yuko Sugahara confirmed such technology was in the works. But she declined to comment on a report in the Yomiuri newspaper that the Tokyo-based company plans to start selling the new TVs by the end of the year.

Mainstream 3-D TVs now on sale, such as those from rivals Panasonic Corp. and Sony Corp., require glasses. Screens that don’t require glasses are mainly intended for store displays.


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