? All Tech Radio Episode 430
 all tech radio show
 
 
  • The Consumer Electronics show starts this week in Las Vegas. CES is the world's largets tech conference. This year we hope toi have answers on the following questions: Does 3D printing have what it takes to go mainstream? Can the dream of a connected home become a reality? Will 4K TV break out of its luxury niche? Will wearable tech be something people want to wear?
  • Yahoo users that visited the company's web site in the last week were gifted with malware that has been blamed on malicious advertisements that appeared on Yahoo's site. Yahoo has admitted to discovering the malware infection and having it removed. In a company email, Yahoo said that they take the privacy and safety of their users very seriously. They identified a malicious design in one of their ads that was meant to spread malware to Yahoo users. The ad was immediately removed by Yahoo who are now monitoring and blocking any future ads that may be designed for this type of activity.
  • Google has kicked off press day here at CES 2014 in Las Vegas by announcing that Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai, and chip manufacturer Nvidia are creating a partnership aimed at bringing Android to your car. Called the Open Automotive Alliance (OAA), it promises that automotive infotainment systems may run on the open-source operating system as soon as 2014. The idea of Audi bringing Android to the automotive scene was long-rumored ahead of CES. While it was expected that Audi and Google would pair up to bring Android into the car, the inclusion of other partners is something that hadn't hit the rumor mill until today. The alliance uses a platform that's already familiar to drivers and developers alike, giving automakers access to an open ecosystem and allowing programmers to easily create new apps specifically tailored to in-car use.
  • Nvidia held a pre-CES 2014 press conference in which it unveiled a literally "game changer" in the form of the Tegra K1 mobile chip with a massive 192-cores, effectively changing the world of next-generation gaming consoles forever. "We believe the Android operating system will be the most important console operating system in the future," said Nvidia CEO and co-founder Jen-Hsun Huang. Prior to the announcement, Jen-Hsun got the audience caught up on the company's past Tegra milestones such as the Tegra 3 being the first mobole quad-core processor, according to Forbes. According to Nvidia, Tegra K1 offers 3 times the processing performance as Apple's A7 processor chip. "We've brought mobile computing to the same level as desktop computing and super computing," Jen-Hsun said. During the brief reveal, the company demonstrated its new Digital Ira human face simulation, a simulation that originally debuted with the $1,000 GTX Titan, according to reports from Forbes.
  • Japanese electronics maker Sharp is bridging the gap between expensive 4K TVs and HD versions with an in-between solution that's also priced in the middle. Its new Quattron+ technology doubles the vertical resolution of a high-definition set by chopping the existing pixels in half. Meanwhile, it uses a mathematical formula to double the horizontal resolution for everything but certain parts of an image. According to Sharp, that gives its Quattron+ televisions 16 million subpixels, versus 8 million for its Quattron line and 6 million for HD. It's a middle ground before stepping up to a 4K TV, also known as "ultra HD," which has 24 million subpixels. Quattron+ TVs can receive 4K signals. A 70-inch model is expected to retail for about $3,200.
  • A year after purchasing the Linksys home networking division from Cisco, Belkin today brought back the design of what it called "the best-selling router of all time" but with the latest wireless technology. First released in December 2002, the blue and black WRT54G is an instantly recognizable consumer product despite not being a smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Belkin's Linksys division unveiled a new router with the same design today at the Consumer Electronics Show. It's planned to be available in the spring for $299.99. Updated to support the 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, the "Linksys WRT1900AC Dual Band Wi-Fi Router is inspired by the original WRT54G iconic blue/black stackable form factor but with a modernized spin as well as more powerful hardware such as a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, four removable antennas (instead of the standard three), and eSata and USB 2.0/3.0 connectivity ports," Linksys said. Four gigabit LAN ports are included. Maximum throughput will be "up to 1.3Gbps on the 5GHz band and up to 600Mpbs on the 2.4GHz band."
  • AT&T Inc. formally opened the door Monday for companies like Google Inc. to subsidize the cost of using their services on smartphones and tablets. The trick will be getting them to actually sign up. AT&T's new service, called Sponsored Data, works like a 1-800 number but for data. In theory, a company like Netflix Inc. could promote a new series by covering the cost of data that otherwise would count against a subscriber's plan. Subscribers will see a logo that lets them know the content they're accessing doesn't count against their data plan, and sponsored data volumes will be broken out on their bills. The move comes as plans by carriers like AT&T and Verizon Wireless to capitalize on data traffic are running up against the reality that cellphone bills already consume a large and growing share of household budgets. But it faces uncertain odds of success, as big Internet and media companies are wary of setting the precedent that they should help cover those costs.
  • Vizio has announced some new additions coming to its TV lineup at CES 2014 in the form of the new 4K P Series and the new, high end Reference Series. The consumer-grade P Series (seen to the right) will be priced aggressively and will come with some features usually only found in options that aren't. The line will be available in 50, 55, 60, 65 and 70-inch configurations and will feature a 64 LED zone backlight and advanced dimming features. This should generally mean we will get a nice vibrant picture quality, which based on reports from the show floor, appears to be the case. With the combination of the advanced backlight technologybeing very similar to what we see in some of the higher end TVs and Vizio's version of aggressive pricing, some are suggesting the P Series could be one of the best performing 4K options yet.
  • D-Link and Netgear have both announced so-called range extenders to improve the coverage of Wi-Fi networks based on the 802.11ac specification. At the International CES trade show, each of the network equipment vendors rolled out two new products. From D-Link comes the Wi-Fi AC1200 Dual Band Gigabit Range Extender and the Wi-Fi AC750 Dual Band Range Extender. Netgear is introducing the AC750 Wi-Fi Range Extender and the AC1200 High Power Wi-Fi Range Extender. The range extenders are not connected to the Internet like a wireless router, but are instead placed at the edge of an existing Wi-Fi network to amplify its signals. The goal with all four products is to extend wireless signals to hard-to-reach areas such as basements, upstairs bedrooms or outdoor areas and in the process improve the performance of applications such as video streaming. They all use 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands to achieve this. D-Link's Wi-Fi AC750 Dual Band Range Extender is the cheapest at $59.99, and is described as capable of speeds up to 433M bps using 802.11ac.
  • Apple's smartphone sales have risen following the release of the iPhone 5S and 5C. But its rivals have chipped away at the company's longer-term market share, according to market researcher Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. Looking at the global smartphone market for the three months ending November 2013, Kantar found that Apple's share had dropped in almost all regions compared with the same period in 2012. During that stretch, the iPhone's market share fell by 9.9 percent in the US, by 6.5 percent in the European Union Five, and by 1.5 percent in China. In most of the regions covered, Apple took second place behind Android. Only in Japan was Apple on top with a 69.1 percent share versus Android's 30 percent share. Both Android and Windows Phone saw gains in market share across most regions during the year-long period. "While there's no doubt that sales of theiPhone 5S and 5C have been strong, resurgent performances from LG, Sony, and Nokia have made making year-on-year share gains increasingly challenging for Apple," Kantar Strategic Insight Director Dominic Sunnebo said in a statement released Monday. "Windows Phone, for example, is now the third-largest OS across Europe with 10 percent -- more than double its share compared with last year."

email from listeners:

  • Juan from Seattle asks "There are reports that DVDs are soon going away due to newer technologies. What do I do with all of my old DVD movies?"