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Briefs

Net giants hit mark in region

A government survey on high-speed Internet performance shows area providers hitting their mark.

The Federal Communications Commission, in a report released this month, said Comcast Corp. achieved Internet speeds that were faster than advertised, while Mediacom Communications met its goal 99 percent of the time during a September 2012 test period.

Frontier Communications Corp. reached its speeds 87 percent of the time, a rate 10 percentage points higher than in an April 2012 survey by the FCC.

Comcast’s April rate was the same as its showing last fall at 103 percent, while Mediacom’s mark was 100 percent last April.

The reports were based on a sampling during peak usage, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., and other periods of the day.

Insurers’ stock hit over possible Medicare cuts

Health insurance stocks wobbled Tuesday after data released by the federal government pointed to possible steep Medicare Advantage payment cuts in 2014, which could lead to reduced coverage or fewer options for people buying the plans.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Friday after markets closed that it expects costs per person for Medicare Advantage plans to fall more than 2 percent in 2014, a bigger drop than many analysts who cover the industry anticipated.

Builders’ confidence dips from 6 1/2 -year high

Confidence among homebuilders in the U.S. slipped this month from the 6 1/2 -year high it reached in January, with many builders reporting less traffic by prospective customers before the critical spring home-buying season.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Tuesday dipped to 46 from 47 in January. It was the first monthly decline in the index since April.

Readings below 50 suggest negative sentiment about the housing market.

Chrysler to outline Kokomo expansion

A report says the Chrysler Group will announce investments and jobs to boost transmission manufacturing in the Kokomo area next week.

The Kokomo Tribune reports that Chrysler Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne will join Gov. Mike Pence for the Feb. 28 announcement.

Chrysler officials announced last year they intend to produce more efficient eight- and nine-speed transmissions at the company’s three Kokomo transmission plants.

Local officials approved tax abatements on what’s expected to be a $1.3 billion investment in new transmission manufacturing lines that could create up to 400 new jobs.

Apple offices infected by malicious software

Apple says a small number of Macintosh computers at its offices were infected by malicious software, in an attack similar to the one Facebook acknowledged last week.

In both cases, computers were infected through software downloaded from a site for software developers. The attacks took advantage of flaws in the Java plug-in for Web browsers.

Neither company said there was any evidence that the attackers gleaned any data from their attacks.

In January, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommended disabling Java in Web browsers to avoid hacking attacks.

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