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More than 40B apps downloaded

CUPERTINO, Calif. -- Apple says people have downloaded more than 40 billion apps for the iPhone, iPad and the iPod Touch, nearly half of them in 2012.

Apple Inc. said Monday December saw record downloads of more than two billion apps. There are 775,000 individual applications available in the app store. Apple said it has paid app developers more than $7 billion.

Apple launched its app store in 2008. The store hit the 10 billion downloads mark in early 2011. In March 2012, Apple announced more than 25 billion apps have been downloaded.

The 40 billion milestone does not include updates or re-downloads.

Electric cars too quiet: agency

DETROIT -- A U.S. government safety agency wants electric and hybrid vehicles to make more noise when travelling at low speeds so pedestrians can hear them coming.

The cars and trucks, which are far quieter than conventional gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles, don't make enough noise at low speeds to warn walkers, bicyclists and the visually impaired, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Monday in a statement.

The proposed rule would require the cars to make additional noise at speeds under 29 km/h.

The NHTSA says the cars make enough noise to be heard at higher speeds.

Automakers would be able to pick the sounds the cars make from a range of choices. Similar vehicles would have to make the same sounds. And the government says pedestrians must be able to hear the sounds over background noises.

The public has 60 days to comment on the proposed rule.

The agency will use public input to craft a final rule.

NHTSA estimates the new noise would prevent 2,800 pedestrian and cyclist injuries during the life of each model year of electric and hybrid vans, trucks and cars.

The rule is required by the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act that was passed by Congress in 2010.

Airlines' passenger demand soars

CANADA'S major airlines enjoyed healthy passenger demand heading into 2013 as they reported record load factors for December, carrying substantially more passengers with modest increases to capacity.

WestJet said its load factor for December hit a record 81.9 per cent while Air Canada hit record load factors for the month and the year.

Montreal-based Air Canada said its load factor rose to 82.1 per cent last month while the full-year number was 82.7 per cent, up 1.1 points in each case. Analysts monitor load factor as a measure of how much total fleet capacity is used by an airline to carry passengers.

"These strong results, for both the month and full year, underscore the effectiveness of Air Canada's disciplined capacity management and our award-winning product," stated CEO Calin Rovinescu.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 8, 2013 B5

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