Economy Briefs: Report says some lose homes over as little as $400

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The telecommunications company says in a statement Monday that it is no longer pursuing its claims against Michael Smith of Ipswich, “though we are entitled by law to collect the amounts owed.”

Mr. Smith says someone hacked into his small manufacturing company’s phone system in 2009 and made nearly $900,000 in calls to Somalia. AT&T sued Mr. Smith for $1.15 million to recover the cost of the calls plus interest.

Mr. Smith told the Salem News he repeatedly asked AT&T to write off the bill. He said if forced to pay it, his company would close and his 14 employees would lose their jobs.

TECHNOLOGY

Staples stores to sell Google’s Nexus 7 tablet

SAN FRANCISCO — Staples office supply stores will sell the Nexus 7, a computer tablet that Google designed to compete against the Kindle Fire and iPad.

Monday’s announcement makes Staples Inc. the second major retailer to embrace the Nexus 7 since Google unveiled the device last month. Video game retailer GameStop Corp. also plans to stock the Nexus 7 in its U.S. stores.

Other merchants are expected to agree to add the Nexus 7 to their store shelves when the tablet ships later this month.

Adding more stores as sellers exposes the Nexus 7 to more shoppers as Google Inc. tries to make a bigger dent in the increasingly important tablet computer market. Google is also peddling the Nexus 7 through its own online store, Google Play.

The Nexus 7 will sell for $199 in an 8-gigabyte model and $249 in a 16-gigabyte model.

Windows 8 computers to go on sale in October

SAN FRANCISCO — Computers running on the next version of Microsoft’s Windows operating system will go on sale in October.

Microsoft Corp. announced the time frame for Windows 8’s mass-market release Monday in Toronto. A specific sales date in October wasn’t provided.

Most industry analysts expected Windows 8 would go on sale in the fall to ensure that the machines running on the operating system would be available for the holiday shopping season. Consumers and businesses who don’t want to buy new computers will be able to buy Windows 8 and upgrade their systems.

New versions of Windows typically come out every three years, but this update is the most widely anticipated overhaul of the software since 1995.

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