Federal regulators approved changes to accounting rules Sept. 23 that in the short term will make sales and profits seem higher at technology companies selling certain gadgets that blend hardware and software, reports the Associated Press. Under the old rules, companies like Apple Inc. had to spread revenue from the sale of a smart phone over two years, the estimated useful life of the device. Existing accounting rules require many software companies to divide up sales over the length of licensing contracts; until now, companies with hybrid hardware-software products were also guided by those standards. The Financial Accounting Standards Board's...

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