World of Business

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NATIONAL

APPLE UNVEILS NEW IMAC HARDWARE, OS

Apple Computer Inc. yesterday unveiled an even more sophisticated version of its highly successful iMAC line, introducing machines with features never before seen on a personal computer.

The company also announced a new operating system designed to make it easier for users to search the Internet, download files and maintain security.

A little more than a year after reversing its fortunes with the brightly colored iMac computer, interim chief executive Steve Jobs showed off a redesigned line aimed at attracting new and repeat customers ahead of the important holiday shopping season.

The new iMac is slightly smaller than its best-selling predecessor, allows a user to insert a compact disc into a slot instead of the typical sliding opening that exposes the optics to dust, contains built-in high fidelity speakers and removes the cooling fan in favor of a convection air process.

The updated version also adds a second port for connecting devices such as printers and digital cameras and updated digital graphics.

The machine, which begins shipping immediately, runs at 350 megahertz and retails for $999.

US AIRWAYS MECHANICS VOTE ON CONTRACT

US Airways mechanics voted yesterday on whether to approve a tentative contract agreement with the airline after months of contentious negotiations.

Officers of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers endorsed the agreement but said approval of the rank and file is uncertain. They warned that the union would strike if the contract is defeated.

The count of ballots cast at union offices across the country was not expected until midday today. Union members were asked to vote on two questions: whether to approve the 5-year contract agreement, and whether to authorize a strike in case it is not approved. …