Google will test feature on 1 million Gmail users

Google’s Internet search engine is getting more personal by highlighting information drawn from its users’ Gmail accounts on its main results page.

The feature announced Wednesday marks Google’s latest attempt to deliver data that people are seeking more quickly as it tries to maintain the dominance of its lucrative Internet search engine.

Google Inc. is initially testing the feature with 1 million Gmail users who must sign up to participate.

Gmail’s more than 425 million users already can search within their email accounts to find something they need, such as an order from Amazon.com or an airline reservation.

Now, Gmail users who join the trial will be shown a list of relevant emails on Google’s main search results page if the correspondence contains a word entered in a search request.

American Airlines pilots reject final contract offer

Pilots for American Airlines expressed their anger with management by overwhelmingly rejecting the company’s final contract offer, but mechanics approved a contract by a razor-thin margin.

American said it was disappointed with the pilots’ vote. American will ask a federal bankruptcy judge to let it set pay and other working terms for pilots.

The Allied Pilots Association said Wednesday that the vote against the contract was 4,600 to 2,935. American offered the pilots pay raises and a 13.5 percent stake in the new company in exchange for more flexibility to shift flying to partner airlines.

Higher One will return $11 million to students

Federal regulators say Higher One Inc. has agreed to return about $11 million to college students for overcharging them for fees on debit cards and other practices.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Higher One, which also is paying a $110,000 civil fine, has agreed to change the way it imposes fees.

In addition, the FDIC said that Bancorp Bank, which issued the OneAccount debit card administered by Higher One, is paying a $172,000 fine.

New Haven, Conn.-based Higher One violated federal law by charging students multiple fees for overdrawing funds for a single transaction, the FDIC said.

Spirit Airlines facing suit for passenger usage fees

Miramar, Fla.-based Spirit Airlines was hit with a federal lawsuit that claims it misled passengers by implying that a usage fee was a government-required charge.

A Miami law firm has filed a class-action lawsuit against Spirit Airlines over fees that were allegedly baseless and misleading.

While the Miramar-based airline is famous for its abundance of extra charges — including for carry-on bags and seat selection — the suit focuses on passenger usage fees.

The lawsuit, filed late Monday in the federal court’s South Florida district, claims that Spirit actively misrepresented the cost of airfare by making the usage fee appear to be a government-required tax or charge.

Source says Times selling website for $270 million

The New York Times Co. is selling its troubled website About.com for $270 million.

The site, which provides basic information on a wide variety of topics, is being sold to St. Louis, Mo.-based Answers.com, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The Times said no definite deal has been reached.

About.com caused the Times to record a $195 million write-down in the April-June quarter, pushing the company to a loss despite a revenue gain.

The Times purchased About.com in 2005 for $410 million but the site has suffered in the last year because of a change in the way Google handles search results.

— From news service reports

 


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