Why is the Mint testing coins?

The Mint is trying to figure out a way to make coins more cheaply without reducing their quality and durability. A penny costs more than two cents, and a nickel costs more than 11 cents to make and distribute.

The Mint has been conducting trials for almost two years, trying out a variety of metal recipes in the Philadelphia Mint's high-speed coin-making machinery. But evaluations of 29 alloys concluded that none met the ideal list of attributes. So the Treasury Department sent officials back for further study.

Are the days of the TV remote over?

If you own a Nintendo Wii, perhaps. The company has created a television service that transforms the tabletlike controller for its new Wii U game console into a remote that changes TV channels and accesses programs from the Internet.

It's the first time a video game console-maker has integrated live TV controls in a device.

The Wii U console has a unique controller -- the GamePad -- that is covered with joysticks and buttons and boasts a front-facing camera and 6.2-inch touch screen. The GamePad also houses an infrared emitter that talks directly to the TV or set-top box.

Where are Christmas tree ornaments made?

Mostly in China. In fact, the value of tree ornaments imported from China between January and September topped $1 billion, leading all other countries. China also was the leading foreign source of artificial Christmas trees, with $139.9 million worth, according to the Census Bureau.