January 6, 2010 |
In an ambitious bid to expand its reach even to consumers on the go, Google Inc. on Tuesday unveiled the widely anticipated Nexus One smart phone as it launched a bold new business model that could shake up the mobile phone industry. The Internet giant began selling the phone -- manufactured to its specifications by a Taiwanese firm -- directly to consumers through its website rather than through retail outlets and service providers. Although initially available only with T-Mobile service, the phone could eventually be used on other networks, including Verizon Wireless and Vodafone Group in Europe.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 20, 2009 |
The U.S. manufacturers of a toxic flame retardant commonly used in television sets have agreed to phase out production under a deal with federal regulators. The retardant, known as deca, is one of a class of chemical compounds that have been found in California residents at the highest levels in the country, a consequence of widespread exposure linked to the state's strict flammability standards for furniture. Deca is a polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE), a group of flame-retardant chemicals used in the manufacture of electronic equipment, furniture cushions, upholstery textiles, carpet backings, mattresses, cars, buses, aircraft and construction materials.
December 18, 2009 |
Three-dimensional television took a big step forward Thursday with the finalization of a standard for Blu-ray disc machines. The Blu-ray Disc Assn. announced it had reached agreement on the long-awaited standard that allows for full 1080p viewing of 3-D movies on TVs. Blu-ray disc players that use the standard will be delivering two images, each in full resolution, to create the effect. Details on the first Blu-ray machines equipped for full-on 3-D are expected at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January and then be available later in the year.
October 21, 2009 |
Barnes & Noble Inc., looking ahead to the next chapter in digital publishing, took the wraps off an electronic book reader, dubbed "nook." Anyone who has read Dr. Seuss' "One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish" will recall Theodor Geisel's Nook who took a look at the book on a hook. For Barnes & Noble's $259 device, the hook is its ability to let users lend their books to their friends for up to 14 days at a time. Using the LendMe feature, nook owners can send a copy of their digital titles to their friends' iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry or computer.
September 16, 2009 |
In a public demonstration that hope springs eternal, Microsoft on Tuesday introduced the latest version of its Zune portable player. As mighty as Microsoft is, the odds are not with it in this venture. If the Zune were an ancient myth, it would be Sisyphus forever trying to roll a giant stone up a hill. If a comic-strip character, Charlie Brown trying to kick a football, and if a politician, Ralph Nader running for president. All have little hope of triumphing, but they try over and over again.
June 23, 2009 |
A thirst among shoppers for stylish cellphones that can do more than make calls and take grainy snapshots has helped Apple Inc. ring up sales of more than 1 million units of its high-end iPhone 3G S just three days after the device went on sale, the company reported Monday. "Even with a down economy, food, shelter, clothing and now smart phones are becoming an essential part of people's lives," quipped Ken Dulaney, an analyst at Gartner Inc.