If last year's Consumer Electronics Show was overshadowed by Apple's about-to-be-announced tablet computer, the iPad, no-show Apple will have an even bigger presence this week in Las Vegas. Richard Doherty, an independent analyst at the Envisioneering Group, says that more than 100 companies will attempt to ride on Apple's iPad coattails with their own versions of a tablet computer. This comes at a time when Apple is expected to soon announce a second version of the iPad, tech analysts say. Toshiba, Motorola, Research In Motion, Asus and Acer are among the companies expected to unveil tablets at the multiday tech orgy that is CES. "There's no question Apple blindsided everyone in the industry with the iPad" last year, says Tim Bajarin, an analyst at technology research firm Creative Strategies. "Everyone's playing catch-up."
Vizio is entering the mobile business. The company, best known for its affordable line of high-definition televisions, will release a smartphone and tablet computer running Google's Android operating system. Both devices will be unveiled at the International Consumer Electronics Show starting Thursday. Both the Vizio VIA smartphone and VIA tablet will include GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support, a MicroSD slot for extra storage, an HDMI output for HD video playback, front-facing cameras and built-in apps that turn the devices into universal remote controls. The phone will feature a 4-inch touchscreen, while the tablet's display measures at 8 inches, Vizio said in a statement released Monday.
Google is working to build a digital newsstand for Android-based tablets and cell phones that would distribute newspaper and magazine content, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Google has already been talking to major publishers about this plan, including Time Inc., Hearst, and Condé Nast. The Journal said Google is also talking on Apple, which is currently the dominant distributor of this type of content via the iPad. Most major consumer magazines offer an app-based version for the iPad, including all 14 of Hearst's publications such as Esquire and Cosmopolitan. Despite the range of publications available on Apple's popular tablet, the iPad has not yet been the savior of print. A lot of publications that had strong launches for their iPad apps have seen a sharp decline in the sales of their digital editions. One of the main roadblocks is that there isn't a subscription model available.
Microsoft is still working to fix an issue that deleted Hotmail users' e-mail. The problem had led to widespread consternation over the weekend, with complaints about missing e-mail and new messages moved to the Deleted folder. Many affected users were quick to post on the Windows Live Solution Center's online forums. "This morning when I logged into my account, all [my] e-mail is gone," posted one user Dec. 31. "There should be 1,600+ messages in my account. I need it recovered ASAP. I have critical business information in my e-mail." Without explaining what exactly had happened, Microsoft deployed engineers to fix what the company termed "a limited issue." By the beginning of the week, a solution seemed to be in the offing.
An accidental leak may have confirmed Chinese hackers' suspicions that Internet Explorer has a critical unpatched vulnerability, a security researcher said Saturday. Sunday, Microsoft said it was analyzing the vulnerability. The bug was one of about 100 found by noted browser vulnerability researcher and Google security engineer Michal Zalewski using a new "fuzzing" tool. The vulnerabilities were in IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera. "I have reasons to believe that the evidently exploitable vulnerability [in IE] discoverable by cross_fuzz is independently known to third parties in China," said Zalewski, referring to the "cross_fuzz" fuzzing utility he created. According to Zalewski's account, a developer working on WebKit -- the open-source browser engine that powers both Apple's Safari and Google's Chrome -- "accidentally leaked" the location of the then-unreleased fuzzing tool. Google's search engine then added that location to its index.
Back on November 15, Wikipedia announced a fundraising goal of $16 million to help fund its $20 million a year operating budget. For weeks, banner ads on the site showed the head of founder Jimmy Wales-which several Ars staffers found oddly disquieting-and asked users to donate. On January 1, the site said that the goal had been reached, making this Wikipedia's shortest fundraising drive ever. In announcing the fundraising drive, Wales called Wikipedia a "vital public resource for hundreds of millions of people. We've come to depend on it being there for us-free to use, without any bias or interference, and without advertising." 500,000 users from 140 countries agreed. With an average contribution of $22, they funded the $16 million goal in a month and a half. 2009's fundraiser, by contrast, raised only $8 million from 240,000 individual contributions.
Gamemaker Nintendo is warning kids under six years old to stay away from its 3D games. Nintendo issued new guidelines on its Japanese website saying 3D causes both kids and grownups more eye strain than 2D video games. All players are warned to take a break every half hour or so and to quit immediately if they feel queasy. The biggest worry is over the littlest players since their eye muscles haven't finished developing. Parents can set controls on Nintendo devices so kids can only play in 2D.
Email from listeners
Terry from Seattle asks "How do I print with a wireless tablet computer?"
IPP Internet printing protocol, can be built intot he printer or a print server.