FREEPORT, Maine (AP) - With the final retail push under way, L.L. Bean CEO Chris McCormick is playing Santa's helper against a backdrop of conveyor belts and beeping front-end loaders as he boxes up slippers and shirts. But there's little time to reflect on the holiday cheer those gifts will bring because he's busy concentrating to make sure no shipments go astray.
NEW YORK (AP) - Twinkies, Wonder Bread and Devil Dogs are likely to return to shelves in coming months, but probably not under the same owners.
BURBANK, Calif. (AP) - Disney says it has completed its acquisition of Lucasfilm Ltd. for $4.06 billion in cash and stock.
MENLO PARK (AP) - Facebook says it is testing a service that will charge users $1 to guarantee that messages they send to people they are not connected to arrive in users' inboxes, rather than in an often-ignored folder called "other."
NEW YORK (AP) - Will Santa's sleigh be late?
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - When it comes to making coins, the Mint isn't getting its two cents worth. In some cases, it doesn't even get half of that.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Twitter is offering its more than 200 million users a chance to keep a digital scrapbook of all their tweets.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Apple filed an appeal Thursday of a judge's refusal to bar some Samsung smartphones from the U.S. market, extending one of several legal battles raging around the world between the two tech giants.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - From California to New York, teacher and public-worker retirement funds are reconsidering their investments in gun makers and confronting an uncomfortable fact: Their pensions have supported the manufacture of deadly weapons, in some cases the same type of gun used in the Connecticut school shooting.
OLIVE GARDEN OWNER SHIFTS COURSE TO FOCUS ON DEALS: NEW YORK (AP) - After new ad campaigns touting the quality of its food failed to spark sales, the parent company of Olive Garden and Red Lobster is retooling its strategy to attract diners with more promotional deals.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal watchdog has found that government-controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may have lost more than $3 billion from big banks' alleged rigging of a key interest rate.
NEW YORK (AP) - When it comes to fat holiday discounts, better late than never.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Google is turning on a "scan and match" service for Google Music users to store copies of their songs online, offering for free what Apple charges $25 a year for.
MENLO PARK (AP) - Instagram, the popular mobile photo-sharing service now owned by Facebook, said Tuesday that it will remove language from its new terms of service suggesting that users' photos could appear in advertisements.
REDWOOD SHORES (AP) - Snapping out of a summertime lull, Oracle's latest quarter demonstrated that companies have been splurging on software and other technology as the year comes to a close, despite uncertainty about the economy's prospects.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Think you're in control? Think again.
DETROIT (AP) - The four-door Mini Cooper Countryman was the only one of 12 cars to earn a top rating of "good" in new frontal crash tests.
DENVER (AP) - Hundreds of people across the country lined up Tuesday to tell the Environmental Protection Agency that its new rules for power-plant pollution either go too far or not far enough.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The little blue bird is flying high. Stronger-than-expected financial results pushed Twitter's stock sharply higher on Tuesday after the short messaging service said its revenue more than doubled in the second quarter.
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (AP) - Plenty of working parents can relate to the dilemma Debra Harrell faced when her 9-year-old daughter asked to play unsupervised in a park this summer. How do you find the time and money for child care when school is out?
WASHINGTON (AP) - Medicare's financial future is looking brighter despite a growing wave of baby boomers reaching retirement.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - The long parade of tourists who regularly stop by the downtown Las Vegas shop featured on the History Channel reality show "Pawn Stars" could soon have something better to do while waiting in line.
NEW YORK (AP) - Zillow and Trulia, two companies that changed the way people shop for homes, are combining.
REDMOND, Wash. (AP) - Microsoft Corp. CEO Satya Nadella painted an upbeat vision of the future Tuesday, saying that the next version of Windows will be unified across screens of all sizes and that two money-losing units - Nokia phones and Bing search - would become profitable in 2016.
CUPERTINO (AP) - Apple's growth prospects are looking brighter as anticipation builds for the upcoming release of the next iPhone, a model that is expected to cater to consumers yearning for a bigger screen.
NEW YORK (AP) - It's an almost weekly occurrence: On Tuesday, Goodwill said its computer systems may have been hacked, leading to the possible theft of customers' credit and debit card information. The nonprofit agency, which operates 2,900 stores in the U.S., said it is working with federal investigators to look into a possible breach.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - In New Orleans, discarded butts are being turned into something useful.
NEW YORK (AP) - Verizon Wireless is launching a nationwide loyalty program this week for its 100-million-plus subscribers. There's a twist, though: To earn points for every dollar spent, subscribers must consent to have their movements tracked so the company can help target ads that match their interests.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Raising beef for the American dinner table does far more damage to the environment than producing pork, poultry, eggs or dairy, a new study says.
REDMOND, Wash. (AP) - Before Ralf Groene helped devise the look and feel of Microsoft's Surface tablet, he designed food - or "food concepts," he says, for people on the go. Among them: dried noodles that come wrapped around a pair of chopsticks; a tubular meal that can be pulled with two fingers from a car cup holder base; and a fork that squeezes out sauce.