Xbox drops to $399 (but no Kinect)
In a move to spur sales of the Xbox One, Microsoft says it will start selling the console without the Kinect sensor, which cuts $100 from the price. The new price of $399 begins June 9. Kinect is an accessory that detects motion and allows users to control the console using their voice. Microsoft says it is also allowing entertainment apps like Netflix to be used on both the Xbox One and the older Xbox 360 console without having to pay for an Xbox Live Gold membership, which costs $60 a year. The membership will continue to be required for multiplayer game mode, but it will also provide discounts on games and free games.
Airline cancellations soar among harsh winter
It's official: This winter was the worst for fliers in the 20 years that the federal Department of Transportation government has been collecting data. During the first three months of this year, U.S. airlines canceled 4.6 percent of their flights. Mother Nature is mostly to blame, with a relentless wave of snow and ice storms. But airlines are also quicker to cancel flights these days, sometimes a day in advance of a storm. The shift in strategy came in response to new government regulations, improvements to overall operations and because canceling quickly reduces expenses. Some of the highest flight cancellation numbers came from smaller regional airlines that are operated by other companies on behalf of the major airlines. ExpressJet, which flies regional planes for American, Delta and United, scrapped 5.1 percent of its March flights. In March, JetBlue had the highest cancellation rate among the bigger airlines: 2 percent of flights.
Google loses privacy fight in top European court
In a landmark ruling, Europe's highest court said Tuesday that people are entitled to some control over what pops up when their name is Googled. The Court of Justice of the European Union said Google must listen and sometimes comply when individuals ask the search giant to remove links to newspaper articles or websites containing information about them. The ruling applies to EU citizens and all search engines in Europe, including Yahoo and Bing. The court indicated that such companies must operate in a fundamentally different way than they do in the United States. Instead of operating as a single around-the-world, around-the-clock forum for other people's information, Google — and potentially companies like Facebook and probably Twitter — would need in the 28 EU countries to become more actively involved in refereeing complaints from users about information carried online. — tbt* news services