Kindle Fire sold out; new model expected

NEW YORK – Inc. says it has sold out of its Kindle Fire tablet computer amid expectations of a new model for the holiday season.

The Internet retailer has a major press conference scheduled for next Thursday in Santa Monica, Calif. It’s widely expected to reveal a new model of the Fire there, so Thursday’s announcement that the first model is “sold out” suggests that Amazon halted production awhile ago to retool for a new model.

Amazon launched the $199 tablet last November. It was the first Kindle with a color screen and the ability to run third-party applications, placing it in competition with Apple Inc.’s iPad, at half the price of the cheapest iPad.

Amazon doesn’t say how many Fires it has sold, but says it captured 22 percent of U.S. tablet sales over nine months. That would make it the second-most popular tablet, after the iPad. Tom Mainelli at research firm IDC said that figure matches his estimate of 6.7 million Fires sold, all in the U.S.

Twitter offers new ad targeting tool

SAN FRANCISCO – Twitter is offering a new way for advertisers to deliver their marketing pitches to the people who are most likely to buy their products and services.

The targeting tool introduced Thursday allows ads to be sorted into different categories of interest. Once an ad has been tagged under a specific topic, such as “dogs” or “animation,” it could crop up among the tweets of users whose activity has indicated an interest in those topics.

Twitter also is allowing the ads known as “promoted tweets” to be tied to specific accounts that may have followers likely to have an interest in the subject of a marketing message.

As it mixes more marketing message into the flow of people’s tweets, Twitter’s annual revenue is expected to more than double to $540 million in 2014, according to eMarketer.

Fat Tire to monitor water after wildfire

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The maker of Fat Tire beer says it will be monitoring the water it gets from the city of Fort Collins to check for residue from a deadly wildfire that put ash in northern Colorado’s Poudre River.

The Fort Collins Coloradoan reports that New Belgium Brewery’s chemists have identified six compounds in the river water that could affect the flavor of its beer.

The Poudre runs through the High Park Fire burn area.

Runoff from the burned-out slopes has turned the river black.

Isaac pushes price of soybeans to record

The price of soybeans hit at an all-time high Thursday on expectations that Tropical Storm Isaac may cause more damage to crops that already have been battered by the drought.

Soybeans for September delivery rose 9 cents to finish at $17.7025 per bushel. That topped the previous record high of $17.575 per bushel set July 20. The most active contract, for November delivery, rose 10.5 cents to end at $17.635 per bushel.

Some reports of flooded soybean fields have been coming in as the front edge of the storm moved into the Delta and parts of some states, Telvent DTN analyst Darin Newsom said.

“Some of those places still had some pretty good looking beans and now I’ve heard talk of anywhere from 2 to 8 inches of rain in a very short period of time,” he said. “A crop that was questionable at best to begin with is now facing some more problems.”

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