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.
NEW YORK (AP) - New York City is getting ready for an old-fashioned Easter egg hunt with a 21st-century twist: The public will hunt for the eggs as part of an interactive contest using a smartphone app.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The man Newsweek claimed is the creator of bitcoin has hired a lawyer in an attempt to clear his name, repeating a denial he made to The Associated Press more than a week ago that he has never had anything to do with the digital currency.
• SAN FRANCISCO UPS TOTAL IT WILL LEND TO HOMEBUYERS: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - San Francisco will now lend as much as $200,000 to some homebuyers toward a down payment on their first house or condominium.
NEW YORIK (AP) - Uninsured Americans face an important deadline at the end of this month, and many don't realize it.
DENVER (AP) - Colorado made roughly $2 million in marijuana taxes in January, state revenue officials reported Monday in the world's first accounting of the recreational pot business.
NEW YORK (AP) - On the edge of the SoHo neighborhood downtown, The Henley Vaporium is an intimate hipster hangout with overstuffed chairs, exposed brick, friendly counter help - but no booze.
ATLANTA (AP) - It's not just grandma with a new hip and your uncle with a new knee. More than 2 of every 100 Americans now have an artificial joint, doctors are reporting.
SAN JOSE (AP) - Arwin Buditom guards some of the most successful high-tech firms in America. Joseph Farfan keeps their heat, air and electric systems humming. But these workers and tens of thousands like them who help fuel the Silicon Valley's tech boom can't even make ends meet anymore. Buditom rooms with his sister an hour's drive from work. Farfan gets his groceries at a food pantry.
CUPERTINO (AP) - Apple is accelerating the race to make smartphone applications easier and safer to use in cars.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Dish Network and Disney have reached a landmark deal that envisions the day when Dish will offer a Netflix-like TV service to people who'd rather stream TV over the Internet than put a satellite receiver on their roof.
NEW YORK (AP) - Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is once again the world's richest person.
TOKYO (AP) - The sudden disappearance of one of the largest bitcoin exchanges only adds to the mystery and mistrust surrounding the virtual currency, which was just beginning to gain legitimacy beyond the technology enthusiasts and adventurous investors who created it.
DETROIT (AP) - The Tesla Model S electric sedan is Consumer Reports' top pick in this year's automotive rankings.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Billions of dollars in U.S. taxes are going unpaid because Americans are exploiting Swiss bank accounts, and the U.S. government has failed to aggressively pursue Switzerland's second-largest bank, a Senate investigation has found.
WASHINGTON (AP) - It's not just about what America's kids are getting in the lunch line.