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Sony’s FeliCa Smartcard Chip Is Gearing Up For Wearables

July 21, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Sony’s FeliCa Smartcard Chip Is Gearing Up For Wearables

If you’re waiting for that multi-functional smartwatch of your dreams, Sony is working to add contactless payments to wearables with a new chip. The electronics giant’s FeliCa Networks subsidiary is modifying its FeliCa contactless card technology, widely used in Japan for public transit and e-money payments, for wearables. The company is designing a low-power chip that could be used in wearables such as smartwatches and smart bands, giving them contactless e-money or transit functions... 

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Amazon.com Considering Unlimited E-book Subscription Offer

July 18, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Amazon.com Considering Unlimited E-book Subscription Offer

Amazon.com appears to be considering a $9.99-a-month e-book and audiobook subscription service dubbed “Kindle Unlimited.” The as-yet-unreleased service would offer unlimited access to more than 600,000 book titles and thousands of audiobooks on any device, according to a test page that was briefly online. The test page was cached before it was taken down. The test page was apparently first spotted by gigaom.com. Amazon.com did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The test... 

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IBM To Partner With Apple To Sell iPads, iPhones For Business Users

July 17, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
IBM To Partner With Apple To Sell iPads, iPhones For Business Users

International Business Machines Corp will join forces exclusively with Apple Inc to offer iPhones and iPads loaded with applications geared at enterprise clients this fall, the company announced. The announcement, just days before IBM releases its second quarter earnings, comes as the company attempts to shift its focus to software and services as its hardware unit continues to slump, and follows a string of mobile software acquisitions. The company hopes software sales will contribute half of its... 

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Lionsgate Joins Alibaba In TV Streaming Joint Venture

July 16, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Lionsgate Joins Alibaba In TV Streaming Joint Venture

Chinese e-commerce juggernaut Alibaba Group Holding and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp, the studio behind the ‘Hunger Games’ films, plans on offering a subscription streaming service in China, the firms said in a statement on Tuesday. The service, to be known as Lionsgate Entertainment World, will be exclusive to Alibaba’s Internet television set-top boxes and is expected to launch in August. It will give users access to Lions Gate content, including several titles from the ‘Twilight... 

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Lenovo Ships First 4K Laptop

July 14, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Lenovo Ships First 4K Laptop

Toshiba is not the only company offering a 4K laptop anymore; Lenovo has finally shipped its first 4K laptop, sporting a 5.6-inch screen, after months of delays. The IdeaPad Y50 UHD laptop starts at $1,299.99 and is targeted at gamers. The 4K screen can display images at 3840 x 2160 pixels, which is the highest resolution available in laptops today. The Y50 is cheaper than Toshiba’s Satellite P50T, which starts at $1,499.99. The P50T started shipping in April, but was temporarily pulled from... 

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Standalone Wearables Coming This Year, Says AT&T

July 10, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Standalone Wearables Coming This Year, Says AT&T

The most successful wearable devices will be ones that can operate without a phone, and AT&T will have at least one of them by the end of this year, the man who manages the carrier’s partnerships said. “It needs to be an independent device. It needs to do something different for the end user, for people to buy it en masse,” said Glenn Lurie, AT&T’s president of emerging enterprises and partnerships. A likely place to start could be wearables for wellness, such as a... 

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AT&T Announces It Will Carry LG Smartwatch

July 9, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
AT&T Announces It Will Carry LG Smartwatch

AT&T Inc announced that it will be the first U.S. wireless carrier to sell LG Electronics’ smartwatch, a wrist watch that connects to Android phones and answers voice commands, and goes on sale on July 11. The announcement comes as demand for wearable devices surges. Juniper Research estimates the value of the wearable device market this year at $1.5 billion, up from $800 million in 2013. The LG “G Watch,” which was made in partnership with Google Inc, will sell for $229 and... 

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Samsung To Exit Plasma TV Market This Year

July 8, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Samsung To Exit Plasma TV Market This Year

Samsung will halt production of plasma TVs, its serial digital interface (SDI) division has said, shutting down production of such television sets by 30 November this year. The news was originally hinted at in January by VP of Samsung Visual Display John Ryu. However, the company has now confirmed that the reason for the shutdown is because no one was buying them. With the rise of LED and OLED 4K TVs in the last five years or so, that’s no great surprise, really. “We plan to continue... 

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Will Microsoft Launch A Smartwatch Before Apple?

July 2, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Will Microsoft Launch A Smartwatch Before Apple?

Apple is so far behind on its iWatch vapourware that even Microsoft is going to beat it to market. Word on the street is that Redmond is releasing a smartwatch in the autumn. Another deep throat also told Tom’s Hardware claims that will be in October, which is the suspected launch date of the Apple iWatch. Microsoft’s watch looks vaguely interesting. It will have 11 sensors and will apparently not be much like any of the LG or Samsung smart watches which have been released. The position of the... 

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Aereo’s Future Uncertain After Supreme Court Defeat

July 1, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Aereo’s Future Uncertain After Supreme Court Defeat

Following last Wednesday’s adverse Supreme Court decision, Aereo will halt its online service, which lets its subscribers watch “over the air” broadcast television via the Web. “We have decided to pause our operations temporarily as we consult with the court and map out our next steps. All of our users will be refunded their last paid month,” wrote CEO Chet Kanojia in a letter to customers posted on Aereo’s home page. Kanojia, who advised customers with questions... 

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Sony Believes TV Business Will Swing To Profitability This year

July 1, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Sony Believes TV Business Will Swing To Profitability This year

Sony Corp believes its TV division will swing into the black this financial year after a decade in the red, even if it falls short of its volume sales target, the head of the newly independent division said on Monday. Masashi Imamura told a media round table that the TV business, which will become a separate subsidiary of Sony Corp on July 1, had reduced fixed costs during the last financial year, and profitability was now in sight. He said Sony this year would be able to absorb the impact of any... 

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2GB RAM Upgrade Coming For New Google Glass Explorers

June 26, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
2GB RAM Upgrade Coming For New Google Glass Explorers

Google will soon roll out an upgraded version of Google Glass with 2GB of RAM, angering early participants of its Glass Explorer Program stuck with the older model. Google Glass currently comes with 1GB of RAM, but to improve performance Google will begin shipping a new version with 2GB of RAM, it said in a post to Google Plus. The announcement angered some existing Glass owners. Some demanded a free upgrade to the 2GB version in comments on the posting. Others said they would be willing to pay... 

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Apple’s iWatch Will Have Multiple Screens, Designs

June 24, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Apple’s iWatch Will Have Multiple Screens, Designs

Apple Inc plans to introduce smartwatches with multiple screen sizes and designs this fall,  according to a Wall Street Journal report. Taiwan’s Quanta will begin mass production of Apple’s first smartwatches from July, in time for an October launch, several sources familiar with the matter told Reuters last Thursday. The Wall Street Journal on Friday also cited sources saying Quanta would manufacture the device. One of the sources told Reuters on Thursday that Apple expects to ship... 

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A Possible Deutsche Telekom, Netflix Collaboration In The Works

June 23, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
A Possible Deutsche Telekom, Netflix Collaboration In The Works

Deutsche Telekom is having discussions with U.S. video streaming company Netflix about a possible marketing alliance, a according to a German magazine. German monthly Magazine Manager cited people familiar with the matter as saying the talks were far advanced but no deal had been clinched and that Netflix was also in touch with other German telecoms groups. Netflix in May unveiled plans to launch in both Germany and France this year, in the biggest test so far of its global expansion strategy. Manager... 

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Microsoft Cuts Price Of Surface Pro 2, Gears Up For Surface Pro 3

June 19, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Microsoft Cuts Price Of Surface Pro 2, Gears Up For Surface Pro 3

Microsoft has dropped prices of its almost-retired Surface Pro 2 tablet by $100 days before the next-generation model hits retail. New prices for the Surface Pro 2 — which debuted last fall — now run $799 for the model with 64GB of storage and $899 for the 128GB configuration. The cuts represent discounts of 11% and 10%, respectively. Microsoft is scheduled to start selling the Surface Pro 3 it’s-a-tablet-it’s-a-notebook on Friday. The company has been taking pre-orders for... 

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