The tech battle for your living room is underway. Consumer electronics manufacturer LG is building out its lineup of Google televisions to seven models in five screen sizes for 2013, including premium models featuring LG's Cinema Screen design that sports an ultra-thin bezel for a more immersive viewing experience. The latest YouTube application update for Android, smart phones and tablets can be automatically paired with Google TV over the same home network via WiFi, making it possible to send videos from a mobile device to the TV. LG Google TVs will also offer the OnLive application pre-installed, which turns the set into a gaming platform without the need for a separate console. The app also makes hundreds of video games available from the cloud. In addition, LG's Magic Qwerty Remote, which combines a keyboard with the Magic Remote's point-and-click control, works together with the Google platform to enhance the effectiveness of voice search and the PrimeTime quick guide. An updated home dashboard also offers streamlined access to video on-demand, such as HBO Go,
After getting shut out of the initial Windows tablet push, and amid plummeting sales, HTC is working on two Windows RT tablets. HTC, only days after it was revealed that Nokia is rebooting its Windows RT tablet plans, also is throwing its hat into the ring, according to an article in Bloomberg. The Taiwanese handset maker is making up for lost time. HTC is reportedly readying two Windows tablets for release in the third quarter of 2013 after having missed the first wave of Windows tablets this year. The company was locked out of the Windows 8 launch due to weakening sales. In recent quarters, HTC's financials have taken a hit as it struggled to reclaim mobile market share from its rivals. HTC's profits plunged by nearly 80 percent during its third quarter. RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Sue noted, "HTC is still donating market share to Samsung and Apple, and its net profits are shrinking in dramatic fashion. In our assessment, other market-share donors include Nokia, Motorola, LG and Sony."
There have been recent rumors about Nokia extending its Windows-based product line by jumping into tablets, and The Verge now claims to have more information about the Finnish phone giant's forthcoming Windows RT slate. Like Microsoft's Surface model, the Nokia Windows RT tablet will feature a 10.1-inch screen and run on an ARM chip. One notable difference, though, is that the Nokia tablet will have a cellular networking option, with AT&T set to offer it in the U.S. Nokia is also going to try to up the ante on the Surface with its cover. Its Windows RT tablet will also offer a cover with a keyboard included, but unlike the Surface's Type Cover, it will additionally include a built-in battery to extend your time away from a power outlet. It will have a kickstand, too, but the Surface already has one built into its hardware.
It has taken years, but Google seems to be cutting into Microsoft's stronghold -- businesses. Google's software for businesses, Google Apps, consists of applications for document writing, collaboration, and text and video communications -- all cloud-based, so that none of the software is on an office worker's computer. Google has been promoting the idea for more than six years, and it seemed that it was going to appeal mostly to small businesses and tech start-ups. But the notion is catching on with larger enterprises. In the last year Google has scored an impressive string of wins, including at the Swiss drug maker Hoffmann-La Roche, where over 80,000 employees use the package, and at the Interior Department, where 90,000 use it. One big reason is price. Google charges $50 a year for each person using its product, a price that has not changed since it made its commercial debut, even though Google has added features. In 2012, for example, Google added the ability to work on a computer not connected to the Internet, as well as security and data management that comply with more stringent European standards. That made it much easier to sell the product to multinationals and companies in Europe.
If you're not a Netflix subscriber, you may not yet know that issues at Amazon's US-East data center facility took down Netflix' streaming service on Christmas Eve - arguably the worst possible time. Starting at 1:50 p.m. PST, as GigaOM's Janko Roettgers reported, Amazon's US east facility reported issues with its Elastic Load Balancing service that carried over into Christmas morning. Interestingly, Amazon Prime Instant Video streaming service, which competes head-on with Netflix and which also runs on AWS, appeared to be unaffected by the US East snafus.
According to Japanese blog Macotakara, as picked up by 9to5Mac, the next iPad will be unveiled in March 2013 and boast a thinner, lighter profile. That includes a 4mm reduction in height, 17mm in width, and 2mm in depth, Macotakara said. The blog also suggested that the next-gen iPad will incorporate elements of the iPad mini - namely the black/slate or white/silver color schemes. A March 2013 unveiling for the fifth-gen iPad would come one year after the release of the "new iPad" or iPad 3. It would follow Apple's recent release cycle of iPads in the winter and iPhones in the fall. But Apple did only just release the iPad mini - and a revamped, fourth-gen iPad - in October.
Amazon can bring in higher-margin revenue by selling advertising than it can from its retail operations. By showing ads for products that it may not actually sell on its own website, Amazon establishes itself as a starting point for consumers looking to buy something on the Web. Research firm Forrester reported that 30 percent of U.S. online shoppers in the third quarter began researching their purchase on Amazon.com, compared with 13 percent who started on a search engine such as Google - a reversal from two years earlier when search engines were more popular starting points. Amazon now sells ads that show up to the side of product search results on its website. There were 6.7 billion display ad impressions on Amazon.com in the third quarter, more than triple the number in the same period of 2011, according to comScore.
Venus, the minimalist high-tech yacht commissioned by the late Apple founder Steve Jobs, has become embroiled in a row over a disputed bill. French designer Philippe Starck claims Mr Jobs' heirs still owe him 3m euros of a 9m euro fee for the project, according to Dutch paper Het Financieele Dagblad. Mr Starck called in the debt collectors and had the yacht impounded, The Port of Amsterdam confirmed that the boat is not allowed to leave. Jeroen Ranzijn, spokesman for the Port of Amsterdam told the BBC: "The boat is brand new but there is a 3m euro claim on it. The parties will have to fight it out."
It's time for the $99 USD tablet war to commence, ladies and gentlemen, and you know good and well that a fast-paced company line Acer isn't going to be left out in the cold: behold, the Iconia B1. This machine has been leaked this week with the full name Acer Iconia B1, a 7-inch tablet that looks in its rendering images to be extremely similar in styling to the original Barnes & Noble NOOK. This machine is, on the other hand, being shown in full-color renderings as well with a little home-button-style corner that replaces the area that the NOOK "loop" sits, this perhaps showing the true nature of the final product.
It would be the first Motorola hardware development to be directed by Google, which bought the handset maker for $12.5bn in May. The development has hit some hurdles, however, the Wall Street Journal said, in manufacturing and supply-chain management, causing a rethink of some features of the planned device, such as a bendable screen. The report quoted people saying that Motorola is now working on two fronts: devices that will be sold by carrier partner Verizon Wireless, and on the X Phone. Motorola plans to enhance the X Phone with its recent acquisition of Viewdle, an imaging and gesture-recognition software developer. The new handset is due out sometime next year, said the report, citing a person familiar with the plans. Motorola is also expected to work on an "X" tablet after the phone. Google Chief Executive Larry Page is said to have promised a significant marketing budget for the unit, it was claimed..
email from listeners:
Cameron from Portland asks: "I received a new iPad and Windows computer for Christmas. I couldn't connect to the app store or to many of my favorite websites. I know I have internet access so what gives?"