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If 3-D images weren't realistic enough. A new plastic screen that can display and refresh 3-D pictures may improve the way images are shown to medical professionals and film fans, according to an article in Nature magazine. University of Arizona researchers led by Savas Tay invented a display that can store and show a holographic image for as long as three hours, the magazine reports in today's issue. The display may have applications in film and marketing by eliminating special glasses usually needed for 3-D viewing. The 4-inch by 4-inch prototype is one-tenth of a millimeter thick. Three-dimensional images that can be updated would be useful for training and marketing, said Nassar Peyghambarian, an optics professor at the University of Arizona who supervised the project. In the past, 3-D images were permanently burned into a display, Tay said Wednesday.

Mobile phone usage exploding

The number of mobile phone users will overtake the number of nonusers this year for the first time, according to the U.N. telecoms agency. Ownership rates in developing countries are rising fastest, with Brazil, Russia, India and China alone accounting for 1-billion subscribers last year, the International Telecommunication Union said Wednesday. In 2000, only 12 percent of the global population had a mobile phone. "At current growth rates, global mobile penetration is expected to reach 50 percent by early 2008," according to ITU's January newsletter. This would amount to more than 3.3-billion subscriptions worldwide.

Chinese dumplings may be poisoned

As Japanese officials disclosed more evidence that may point to deliberate poisoning of the China-made dumplings that sickened at least 10 people here, Beijing suggested for the first time on Wednesday that the contamination could have been sabotage. The statement by a senior Chinese official to Japan's NHK broadcaster came as tests found a second type of pesticide in dumplings made by a Chinese company. Japanese Consumer Cooperative Union, a retailer, said tests have detected the insecticide dichlorvos in both the filling and dough of frozen dumplings made in June by China's Tianyang Food Processing Ltd. Tianyang was the producer of dumplings contaminated with the pesticide methamidophos that have been blamed for a string of illnesses in western and central Japan since December.

Taco Bell will add drinks, breakfast

Taco Bell, which has been in a financial slump for more than a year, will introduce a frozen beverage line, promote value meals and add breakfast to the menu this year, David Novak, chief executive of parent company Yum Brands, said Tuesday. "We are starting to turn the corner with this great brand," Novak said. Taco Bell is responsible for 50 percent of Yum's U.S. profits. Novak said the 5,600-unit Mexican chain will introduce the Frutista Freeze in the summer, which is already available in some markets. The company also will launch a "Why Pay More?" value menu campaign in the spring. A breakfast line will also debut this year, underscoring Yum's strategy to better diversify its menu offerings to customers, Novak said.


"We do this only when, because of the weather, we can't make that service commitment."

Sandra Munoz, a FedEx Corp. spokeswoman, on temporarily suspending delivery guarantees in its express unit after tornadoes in southern U.S. states Tuesday disrupted service Wednesday.