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.
December 15, 2009 |
The Supreme Court said Monday it would rule for the first time on whether employees had a right to privacy when they sent text messages on electronic devices supplied by their employers. The justices agreed to hear an appeal from the city of Ontario, which was successfully sued by police Sgt. Jeff Quon and three other officers after their text messages -- some of which were sexually explicit -- were read by the police chief. At issue is whether the chief violated their rights under the 4th Amendment, which forbids "unreasonable searches" by the government.
December 10, 2009 |
IPhone users guilty of hogging data could see their phone bills fattening. In a presentation to investors Wednesday, AT&T's head of consumer services, Ralph de la Vega, said that just 3% of iPhone users generate 40% of the data traffic on AT&T's cellphone network. As such AT&T, the exclusive carrier of the iPhone, is likely to introduce a pricing system that would penalize heavy data users, encouraging them "to either reduce or modify their usage so they don't crowd out the other customers in those same cell sites," he said.
December 1, 2009
With holiday shopping well underway, the Times technology staff has compiled a list of 10 favorite gadgets of 2009 that might help those who are weighing stocking stuffers for someone else -- or themselves. FOR THE RECORD: Holiday gadgets: An article in the Dec. 1 Business section said the Kindle device restricted readers to books purchased on Amazon.com's online store. Although Kindle readers are unable to read copy-protected digital books borrowed from most public libraries or purchased from booksellers such as Sony Corp.
November 7, 2009 |
Apple Inc.'s iPhone has been a ringing success wherever it has been launched. But in China few are picking up the buzz. Challenged by high pricing, missing features and stiff competition, iPhones have logged only 5,000 sales since the handset debuted Oct. 30 in the world's biggest cellphone market. By comparison, more than a million units were sold in the first three days when the latest iPhone was launched in North America and Europe in June. One major hang-up might be the price.
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.
October 2, 2009 |
Here's maybe the best reason yet to make sure your Wi-Fi connection is secure from snoopers. A French technology company called Withings has introduced the first bathroom scale with Wi-Fi capability. And if that wasn't enough, it also has an iPhone app. All you do is step on the scale, and your weight shows up on a personal Web page (hopefully, that's secure too) or the phone screen, where you can compare it with past readings. You can even get a graphic showing weight loss -- or gain -- over time.
September 30, 2009 |
Will digital books catch fire this holiday? According to an online survey, 1 in 5 shoppers said they planned to buy an electronic book reader such as a Sony Reader or Amazon Kindle this year. When asked what they would like to get as a gift, about 1 in 10 cited a digital book reader. Portable music players, once the hot holiday ticket, got just 3.4% of the vote, while game consoles came in at 6%, according to the survey commissioned by Retrevo, a gadget review website. Likely buyers tend to be men under 35 years old who are living in the Northeast, where more people use public transportation, with an average annual household income of more than $100,000, according to the survey of 771 respondents.
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.
September 12, 2009 |
With the iPod getting to be old hat, Apple Inc. has frantically piled on extras in an attempt to make the player seem fresh again. The new version of the iPod Nano, unveiled this week at a company event, crams into the little player a video camera, FM radio, microphone, speaker and even a pedometer. Is this a sign of desperation? Well, if it is, bring it on. The new Nano is an astonishing triumph of engineering and design that has managed to pack all these new features -- along with the old ones -- into a sleek, elegant device that's a pleasure to use. None of the new features -- with the exception of the dorky pedometer -- seem like gratuitous add-ons.