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Meanwhile, cybersecurity analysts say the computer-based attacks emanating from China continue unabated, and in fact are expanding and focusing more intently on critical American oil, gas and other energy companies.

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New Maps app is rare Apple flub

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ With a touch of geek whimsy, Google Maps famously warns anyone who seeks walking directions to Mordor â¿¿the land of evil in "The Lord of the Rings"â¿¿ to use caution. "One does not simply walk into Mordor," it says. Apple is finding this week that creating an alternative to Google Maps isn't a simple walk, either.

Apple released an update to its iPhone and iPad operating system on Wednesday that replaces Google Maps with Apple's own application. Early upgraders are reporting that the new maps are less detailed, look weird and misplace landmarks. It's shaping up to be a rare setback for Apple.

The most-hyped feature of the new app is a "Flyby" mode that shows three-dimensional renderings of buildings and other features. It presents a convincing depiction of the canyons of Manhattan, but has a hard time rendering bridges and highway overpasses, which tend to look wobbly or partly collapsed.

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US economy hobbled by weak hiring, manufacturing

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ A trio of reports Thursday offered a reminder that the U.S. economy is struggling to grow and add jobs.

The number of people seeking unemployment benefits last week stayed near a level that signals only weak hiring in September. Manufacturing shrank for a fifth straight month in the Philadelphia region, a sign that weaker global growth has hurt demand for American-made goods. And a measure of future economy activity declined for the second time in three months.

The data followed a poor month of hiring in August and the Federal Reserve's move last week to launch new stimulus measures to give the hobbled recovery a jolt.

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