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Sony kills its laptop and e-book businessSony says goodbye to Vaio laptops and closes the Reader store in North America. Also, Apple blocks a popular Bitcoin wallet app and Keurig partners with Coca-Cola.
It's time to bid farewell to Sony's laptops and e-readers. I'm Bridget Carey and this is your CNET Update. Sony will no longer be making Vaio laptops, it's selling off its PC business to an investment fund and it will lay off about $5,000 employees. Sony said that it rather focus the company on smartphones and tablets. Sony launched the Vaio brand back in 1996 when Windows ruled the world, but now global PC shipments are falling. In fact, we're in the middle of the worst decline ever for the PC. A few years ago, the laptop may have been at the center of your life, but now, it's your smartphone. Sony is also abandoning its e-reader business in North America. Sony's shutting down its digital bookstore for customers in the US and Canada, and it'll hand over its customers to Kobo, which is an e-reader company based in Canada. Sony e-reader owners will have to use the Kobo digital bookstore beginning in late March and Sony will email customer's details on how to transfer their books and credits over to Kobo. There is a bit of drama brewing in the world of mobile payments. Apple just removed a popular bitcoin wallet application from the app store. It's called Blockchain. The app allowed bitcoin owners to store and spend their bitcoins where possible. Blockchain released a statement that Apple has offered no explanation or opportunity to address any issues. Blockchain has been on the app store for more than 2 years and it's been downloaded 120,000 times. Apple has not made any public statements about it, but it seems Apple is keeping tight control over mobile payments and some think it has to do with Apple wanting to launch its own digital wallet service. Blockchain is still available for Android devices in the Google Play store. Amazon has just leveled up on its gaming talent. It acquired the video game maker Double Helix Games. The studio has about 75 employees and it recently produced the fighting game Killer Instinct for the Xbox One. It's been rumored for months that Amazon's working on making its own game console and Amazon buying up a gaming company just adds to that speculation. It looks like you'll soon be able to brew your own bottle of Coca-Cola branded soda from home. Keurig, the company behind those single serve coffee makers that use K-Cups, it's working on a cold beverage maker called the Keurig Cold and it can make sodas and sports drinks using a similar pod system and it's supposed to come out in the fall. Well, Coca-Cola just purchased a 10 percent stake into Keurig's parent company, so you can bet that it'll be selling Coke flavored syrups to go with that machine. That's your tech news update, but you can find more details at cnet.com/update and be sure to follow along on Twitter. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey.