Business news briefs: Pittsburgh region gas prices decrease

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Local gas prices decrease

Gasoline prices in the Pittsburgh region continued their steady descent over the past week, ending up at $3.46 cents per gallon. That's 3.2 cents below last week, according to The national average was $3.37 per gallon, about a penny lower than the week before. Prices have been on the decline since the beginning of September.

Stronger ban on robocalls

Starting Wednesday, telemarketers will need prior written consent from consumers to make autodialed or prerecorded calls to cell phones or to make prerecorded calls to residential phones. Text messages also will need prior written consent. Previously, oral permission was sufficient.

Duolingo finds news partners

Pittsburgh-based language technology company Duolingo announced Monday it was partnering with news channel CNN and online news and viral content site BuzzFeed to translate online articles into Spanish, Portuguese and French. "Over the last few weeks, our native Spanish, Portuguese and French speakers learning English have been working together to translate BuzzFeed and CNN articles while practicing their English skills," Duolingo founder Luis von Ahn wrote on the Duolingo blog. "All of these articles have been published in the international versions of BuzzFeed and CNN."

Netflix looks to expand app

Netflix is in talks to add its application to the set-top boxes of U.S. cable-television operators, including Comcast, letting customers search for Web-based movies and television shows alongside traditional programs, according to people familiar with the matter. The talks suggest cable operators increasingly see Netflix's monthly service as a tool to attract and retain customers, rather than a threat that will lead to cord-cutting. Netflix shares rose $23.51, or 8 percent, to $324.36.

Microsoft updates phone software

Microsoft is updating its Windows software for cell phones to allow for better resolution for larger devices and make it easier for motorists to reduce distractions while driving. Devices with the update will start appearing in the coming weeks, and older phones will be eligible for a free upgrade, too. A new Driving Mode will automatically silence incoming calls and texts and send out a reply to say that you're driving.

Facebook to open overseas office

Facebook said in a statement Monday that it is acquiring Israeli mobile technology startup Onavo and opening its first office in Israel. Onavo produces technology that compresses content so mobile users can use more data. The Tel Aviv-based company also has an office in California.


First Published October 14, 2013 8:00 PM


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