iphone_4s_web.jpgApple apologizes for map app

NEW YORK — Apple CEO Tim Cook apologized Friday for the company's error-ridden new mobile mapping service and pledged to improve the application installed on tens of millions of smartphones.

In an unusual mea culpa, he invited frustrated consumers to turn to the competition. Apple released an update to its iPhone and iPad operating system last week that replaced Google Maps with Apple's own map application.

But users quickly complained that the new software offered fewer details, lacked public transit directions and misplaced landmarks, among other problems.

People have been flocking to social media to complain and make fun of the app's glitches, which include judging landscape features by their names. The hulking Madison Square Garden arena in New York, for instance, shows up as green park space because of the word “garden.”

Phone flaw in Android cited

WASHINGTON — Cellphones using Google's Android operating system are at risk of being disabled or wiped clean of their data, including contacts, music and photos because of a security flaw that was discovered several months ago but went unnoticed until now.

Opening a link to a website or a mobile application embedded with malicious code can trigger an attack capable of destroying the memory card in Android-equip-ped handsets made by Samsung, HTC, Motorola and Sony Ericsson, rendering the devices useless, computer security researcher Ravi Borgaonkar wrote in a blog post Friday.

Another code that can erase a user’s data by performing a factory reset of the device appears to target only the newly released and top selling Galaxy S III and other Samsung phones, he wrote.

Borgaonkar informed Google of the vulnerability in June, he said. A fix was issued quickly, he said, but it wasn't publicized, leaving smartphone owners largely unaware that the problem existed and how they could fix it.

Bank of America to pay $2.43B

WASHINGTON (AP) – Bank of America says it has agreed to pay $2.43 billion to settle a class-action lawsuit related to its acquisition of Merrill Lynch at the height of the financial crisis.

In the lawsuit, shareholders alleged that Bank of America and some of its officers made false or misleading statements about both companies' financial health.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of investors who bought or held Bank of America stock when the company announced its plans to buy Merrill Lynch in a $20 billion deal as the banking industry and federal regulators struggled to contain fallout from the financial crisis in the fall of 2008.

Egypt tourism takes protest hit

CAIRO — One of the world's largest cruise ships, its foreign passengers primed for onshore spending, was supposed to dock in Egypt this month. The port call, however, was scrapped because of security concerns surrounding Mideast protests against a film made in the U.S. that denounces Islam's holiest figure.

Once again, Egyptian tourism, an engine of the national economy and a flagship of the regional industry, has taken a hit. It was another setback for a business that had plummeted in parts of the Middle East and North Africa last year during the uprisings known as the Arab Spring, then moved toward recovery this year.

Egypt and other Arab nations undergoing turmoil rely heavily on the labor-intensive trade and see it as key to economic growth and social stability.