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Toy halls of fame will unite

Updated: 2013-06-26T03:36:37Z

Playtime shrine

The great minds of the toy industry will be honored alongside their famous creations when the Toy Industry Hall of Fame combines with the National Toy Hall of Fame under a partnership.

The 5,000-square-foot National Toy Hall of Fame gallery at the National Museum of Play in Rochester, N.Y., will undergo $4 million in renovations, with the goal of opening the combined hall in fall 2015.

The Toy Industry Hall of Fame, whose inductees have included Milton Bradley, Frederick August Otto Schwarz, Walt Disney and George Lucas, has been without a physical presence for about eight years after the International Toy Center in New York closed.

Windows adjustments

Microsoft will use its annual developers conference to release a preview of Windows 8.1, a free update that promises to address some of the gripes that people have with the latest version of the company’s flagship operating system.

Many of the new features have been shown off already. The Build conference, which starts today in San Francisco, will give Microsoft’s partners and other technology developers a chance to learn more about the new system and try it out.

Bag tag test

British Airways will start testing an electronic baggage tag to speed passenger check-in times and eliminate the need to print out a paper version.

The suitcase tag contains information such as the destination airport. Passengers who have checked in can hold their smartphone over the tag to display flight information. The tag is then scanned where bags are dropped off.

British Airways estimates the system could cut baggage drop-off times to about 35 seconds from the 3 minutes it routinely takes now.

Clearing the smoke

The Food and Drug Administration is taking a small step to whittle away a backlog of 4,000 tobacco product applications, some of which have lingered for more than two years.

The federal agency said it has approved applications for two kinds of cigarettes sold by Lorillard. They are two non-menthol versions of its flagship Newport brand.

As the world turns

The days of Americans being the biggest overseas shoppers at London’s Harrods store are over.

Seven years ago, U.S. visitors were the top foreign spenders at the purveyor of luxury fashions and specialty teas, but they are now outnumbered by wealthy customers from China and the Middle East, according to managing director Michael Ward.

“It is probable today that America will not feature in our top 10 of overseas customers because of the growth of the East and the mineral- and oil-rich nations,” said Ward. China is “by far No. 1.”

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