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TiVo is expanding its video-recording service so that users can transfer recorded television shows onto Apple Computer iPods or Sony PlayStation Portable.

The enhanced TiVoToGo feature being announced today will also add more copy-protection measures. Recorded shows will have digital watermarks that will follow the copied program wherever it goes, giving TiVo the ability to trace the origin of a transferred program that might get posted freely onto the Internet.

With its introduction in January of When TiVoToGo subscribers could transfer recorded shows to Windows-based PCs and laptops as well as portable media players. But the service was available only to devices compatible with Microsoft’s Portable Media Center platform.

By adding support for the MPEG-4 video format, TiVo hopes to capitalize on the popularity of iPods and PSPs.

The new service will be available today for current TiVo subscribers as a beta test and for the general public in the first quarter of next year.

SBC Communications

CEO says Cingular to use AT&T name

SBC, which closed its merger with AT&T on Friday, plans to sell Cingular Wireless under the fabled AT&T name, Ed Whitacre, chairman and CEO of the combined company, has confirmed.

Cingular is 60 percent owned by the new ATT. BellSouth controls 40 percent.

SBC recently said it would adopt AT&T’s name, but speculation swirled about what would happen to the Cingular brand name. Asked Friday if the company planned to drop the Cingular name in favor of the AT&T brand, Whitacre said, “Yes, we do.”

Whitacre said AT&T might still use the Cingular name in some markets. But the overall plan, he said, is to use the AT&T name to market all the company’s products, including wireless.


Phone kits headed to RadioShack

Skype, the Internet-calling phenomenon eBay acquired for $4.1 billion, is set to break into the U.S. mainstream by selling its telephone kits in RadioShack stores.

Skype Technologies, which has 66 million users of its free- and low-cost Web-based telephone services, mainly in Europe and Asia, said Sunday it will distribute Skype phone gear through 3,500 U.S. RadioShack stores.

Skype offers easy-to-install software to allow users to call other computers or phones.

RadioShack will feature Skype starter kits for $5 with an earpiece/microphone, software and 30 minutes of free Skype calling time to any number in the world.


Survey finds prices drop by 18 cents

Retail gas prices continue to plunge across the country, dropping 18 cents in the past two weeks, according to a survey released Sunday.

The weighted average price for all three grades declined to $2.27 a gallon Nov. 18, said Trilby Lundberg, who publishes the semimonthly survey of 7,000 gas stations.

Self-serve regular averaged $2.24 a gallon. The lowest average price was $1.94 in Wichita, Kan. The highest was $2.64 in Honolulu.


Airline’s CEO to leave in 2008

Michael O’Leary, the tax consultant who built Ryanair Holdings into Europe’s biggest discount airline, will leave the company in 2008.

Dublin-based Ryanair in August carried more passengers than British Airways. It is a big Boeing customer, and O’Leary, 44, has been an outspoken supporter of Boeing over European rival Airbus.

Airline spokeswoman Pauline McAlester confirmed a report in the Sunday Times of London of O’Leary’s plans.

Compiled from USA Today, The Associated Press, Bloomberg News and Reuters