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Panasonic On The Hunt For Acquisition Targets

March 27, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Panasonic On The Hunt For Acquisition Targets

Japanese electronics giant Panasonic Corp said it is gearing up to spend 1 trillion yen ($8.4 billion) on acquisitions over the next four years, bolstered by a stronger profit outlook for its automotive and housing technology businesses. Chief Executive Kazuhiro Tsuga said at a briefing on Thursday that Panasonic doesn’t have specific acquisition targets in mind for now. But he said the firm will spend around 200 billion yen on M&A in the fiscal year that kicks off in April alone, and pledged... 

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Verizon To Bolster 100G Metro Fiber-optic Network

March 26, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Verizon To Bolster 100G Metro Fiber-optic Network

Verizon has announced new technology to bolster its super-fast 100 Gbps fiber-optic network serving metro areas, but didn’t reveal where the work will be done or other details. The vague announcement raised the question of whether Verizon is simply trying to show its competitive value against Google and AT&T, which have both announced fiber Internet services in a number of cities. “I think Verizon is trying to play catch up to the others without saying it that way,” said independent... 

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Vessel Launches Early Access, Paid Subcription Video Service

March 25, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Vessel Launches Early Access, Paid Subcription Video Service

Online video platform Vessel officially debuted its paid subscription service on Tuesday, offering programming at least three days before other websites in a bid to reshape an industry dominated by free content on Google Inc’s YouTube. Vessel, which costs viewers $3 a month, was founded by former Hulu Chief Executive Jason Kilar and Chief Technology Officer Richard Tom. They aim to create an early window for a selection of web video, similar to the way movies are released in theaters before... 

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NASA Testing Virtual Reality Smart Glasses

March 23, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
NASA Testing Virtual Reality Smart Glasses

NASA is testing virtual reality smart glasses that may one day assist astronauts as they travel to an asteroid or even Mars. The space agency is using glasses from Osterhout Design Group (ODG), a San Francisco-based company that develops wearables for enterprises and government use. NASA engineers and astronauts are set to test the company’s smart glasses, which are equipped with augmented reality and virtual reality technologies. The glasses are being tested using NASA applications and software. “The... 

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Apple Holding Discussions With Broadcasters To Launch TV Service

March 18, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Apple Holding Discussions With Broadcasters To Launch TV Service

Apple Inc’s frequently mentioned TV service may soon become a reality as the iPhone maker is having discussions with programmers to offer a slimmed-down bundle of TV networks this fall, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The service would have about 25 channels, anchored by broadcasters such as ABC, CBS and Fox, and be available across all devices powered by Apple’s iOS operating system, including iPhones, iPads and Apple TV set-top boxes, the newspaper... 

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Poll Reveals Most Americans Not Interested In Buying Apple Watch

March 16, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Poll Reveals Most Americans Not Interested In Buying Apple Watch

Apple Inc’s new smartwatch may face headwinds wooing consumers, with 69 percent of Americans indicating they are not interested in buying the gadget, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll. However, the survey also showed limited awareness of the watch. The poll was taken after Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook debuted the product last week, and only about half of respondents said they had heard news of the timepiece in the last few days. Also, in an encouraging sign for Apple, roughly 13 percent of... 

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Apple Watch Seen Challenging For App Developers

March 12, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Apple Watch Seen Challenging For App Developers

Many software developers agree that it’s a challenge to come up with a “killer app” for Apple Inc’s Watch – few have seen the product and the software is still in test mode. While app makers are passionate about developing for the Apple Watch, some are skeptical about the prospects of coming up with a big idea for the little computer on a wrist that hits stores on April 24, said Markiyan Matsekh, product manager at software engineering firm Eleks. A killer app that grabs... 

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HBO Streaming Service To Launch On Apple Devices In April

March 11, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
HBO Streaming Service To Launch On Apple Devices In April

HBO’s standalone streaming service will launch on Apple Inc devices in April, ahead of the season premiere of hit series “Game of Thrones,” the network said, a move to reach millions of viewers who do not subscribe to pay television packages. The new HBO Now service will cost $14.99 a month. It will include the network’s past, present and future series plus its lineup of Hollywood movies, HBO Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard Plepler said at an Apple event in... 

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Facebook, Other Apps Fine Tune Apps Before Apple Watch Launch

March 9, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Facebook, Other Apps  Fine Tune Apps Before Apple Watch Launch

Apple Inc  has allowed some of the more popular firms to test their apps on its yet-to-be-launched Apple Watch and adjust the tools to the watch’s design, Bloomberg reported. Facebook Inc, United Continental Holdings Inc, BMW AG  and others have spent weeks at Apple’s headquarters, working with the smartwatch to test and fine-tune apps that will debut alongside the device, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the process. The watch, which will let consumers check their... 

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Lenovo Announces 64-Bit Android Tablet For $129

March 3, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Lenovo Announces 64-Bit Android Tablet For $129

Tablets running 64-bit Android haven’t been on the market forr long but prices are already projected to drop quickly. Lenovo’s 8-inch Tab 2 A8 will ship in June starting at $129, with a 64-bit version of Android 5.0 and a 64-bit quad-core processor from MediaTek. It was one of three tablets Lenovo announced ahead of the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona. Sixty-four-bit tablets have a few advantages. They can support more memory and therefore make light work of multimedia-intensive... 

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AT&T To Link Smart Homes With Connected Cars

March 3, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
AT&T To Link Smart Homes With Connected Cars

AT&T Inc  will link its connected car and smart home technologies to expand its reach in the fast-growing market for Internet-connected devices, a new battleground for the telecom giant and its rivals. The wireless company’s home security and automation service “Digital Life” and connected car service “Drive” will be integrated so users can control their homes from a dashboard in their vehicles, Glenn Lurie, chief executive of AT&T Mobility told Reuters last... 

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Apple Watch To Replace Car Keys, Says Cook

March 2, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Apple Watch To Replace Car Keys, Says Cook

Apple Watch will take the place of car keys and its battery will last the whole day, so says Apple Inc’s Chief Executive Tim Cook in an interview with the Telegraph. The watch is designed to replace car keys and the clumsy, large fobs that are now used in many vehicles, Cook told the newspaper. Its battery will last the whole day, and will not take as long to charge as an iPhone, the report quoted Cook as saying. Apple Watch will also work as a credit card through Apple Pay, Cook told the paper,... 

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Apple Wants In On Car Batteries?

February 23, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Apple Wants In On Car Batteries?

A year and a half ago, Apple Inc applied for eight patents related to car batteries. Recently, it has added a slew of engineers, just one of whom had already filed for 17 in his former career, according to a Thomson Reuters. The recent spate of hires and patent filings shows that Apple is fast building its industrial lithium-ion battery capabilities, adding to evidence the iPhone maker may be developing a car. Quiet, clean electric cars are viewed in Silicon Valley and elsewhere as a promising... 

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Will Sony Exit TV, Mobile Phone Markets?

February 19, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Will Sony Exit TV, Mobile Phone Markets?

Sony Corp hopes to increase operating profit 25-fold within three years by growing its camera sensors and PlayStation units, its chief executive said, laying out a strategy that could see the company exit the ultra competitive TV and smartphone markets. CEO Kazuo Hirai said on Wednesday the Japanese consumer electronics firm would no longer pursue sales growth in areas such as smartphones where its has suffered competition from cheaper Asian rivals as well as industry leaders like Apple Inc and... 

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Sony To Release Smart Glasses For $840

February 18, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Sony To Release Smart Glasses For $840

While Google is moving away from a consumer release of Glass, Sony is moving forward with sales to developers of its augmented reality SmartEyeglass. The struggling Japanese manufacturer said it will release its Android-compatible smart glasses for $840 in early March, targeting developers and industrial applications ahead of a commercial release in 2016. That price is just over half of the $1,500 that Google was asking from early adopters of Glass before it shut down commercial sales of the wearable... 

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