- - Monday, December 5, 2011

NEW YORK

Facebook hires Gowalla team; will phase it out

NEW YORK — Facebook has hired the team behind Gowalla, the location service that lets people share where they are using their mobile phones.

Gowalla started out in 2009 as a way for people to share their location with friends and strangers by “checking in.” Now, Facebook will wind down the service, as it often does when buying a startup to hire its talent.

Financial terms were not given. Gowalla co-founder Josh Williams says in a blog post that Gowalla will join Facebook in California.

Facebook says Mr. Williams, co-founder Scott Raymond and others at Gowalla will move to Facebook in January. Gowalla is currently headquartered in Austin, Texas. Facebook did not acquire the Gowalla service or technology.

MASSACHUSETTS

Hedge fund founder reports to prison

DEVENS — The hedge fund founder handed the longest prison term ever given for insider trading has reported to a federal facility in Massachusetts to begin serving his 11-year sentence.

Raj Rajaratnam reported to the Federal Medical Center in Devens on Monday, U.S. Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Traci Billingsley said.

The 54-year-old Sri Lanka native and one-time billionaire lost his last-minute effort last week to get a federal appeals court to let him remain free pending appeal. He was convicted this year of trading on inside information from 2003 through 2009. Prosecutors say he made more than $70 million in illegal profits.

He had asked for leniency because of health problems.

The prosecution of the insider trading case resulted in the convictions of more than two dozen people.

MICHIGAN

Subaru, Honda recall car due to brake issue

DETROIT — Subaru of America is recalling three of its car models and Honda Motor Co. is recalling some motorcycles, all because the brakes can malfunction.

The Honda recall covers 126,000 GL-1800 motorcycles from the 2001 to 2012 model years. A problem with a secondary brake master cylinder can cause the rear brake to drag, possibly causing a crash or fire.

In documents sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Honda said that 26 complaints have been received, including two about fires.

In one case, a customer had to put out the flames with a fire extinguisher.

Honda said the problem has not caused any crashes or injuries. Company documents say that only 4 percent of the recalled vehicles have the defective part.

The Subaru recall involves nearly 32,000 Legacy, Outback and Impreza models from the 2012 model year. A defective brake master cylinder could cause the brake pedal to travel farther than expected.

Federal safety regulators say this could cause a driver to misjudge the amount of pressure needed to stop quickly.

Subaru says no crashes or injuries have happened because of the defect. The company has received 112 reports of the problem, mostly through its dealer network. Only about 3,000 of the cars were sold, and the rest are either on dealer lots or en route to dealers. They will be fixed before being sold, the company said.

NORTH DAKOTA

Microsoft, Hitachi pair on business software

FARGO — Microsoft Corp. is joining forces with Hitachi Consulting to help develop new software for Microsoft’s business group in Fargo.

The agreement announced Monday would establish a technical development center in Fargo. Plans call for the business to start out at the Microsoft campus and eventually move into a new facility.

Hitachi Consulting spokesman Mike Gillis expects the new venture to employ about 20 people in the first six months, but says it has potential to hire more than 1,500 people.

Hitachi Consulting is a global management consulting and technology services company with operations in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

About 1,700 people work for Microsoft’s Fargo operation.

From wire dispatches and staff reports