November 11, 2008 |
Move over, Motorola. Apple Inc.'s iPhone has shaved away your lead in the mobile phone market, passing the Razr to become the top handset bought by U.S. adult consumers in the third quarter of 2008, according to research firm NPD Group. The Razr had held on to the lead spot for 12 quarters. Consumers are buying more iPhones than Razrs because there is a "watershed shift in handset design from fashion to fashionable functionality," said Ross Rubin, NPD's director of industry analysis.
October 1, 2008 |
The first of the so-called Google phones is controlled using a method that's finally gaining momentum in mobile computing: swiping a finger across the screen. The touch sensors in T-Mobile's G1 phone, which hits the market Oct. 23, are made by Synaptics Inc., a little-known but influential Silicon Valley company co-founded in 1986 by a Caltech professor. For the two decades since, Synaptics has championed the use of the finger as a navigation tool for computers.
August 18, 2008 |
After losing out in the battle to define the high-definition successor to the DVD, Toshiba Corp. has turned its attention to the next best thing: the DVD player. Today, the Japanese electronics company is releasing a DVD player that it says does more than previous models to improve the look of standard-definition DVDs on high-definition TVs. The XD-E500 will sell for a suggested price of $149.99, twice as much as regular "upconverting" players, which also improve the look of a DVD, but less than half the price of a Blu-ray player.
July 24, 2008 |
Sony, Samsung and other consumer-electronics heavyweights are uniting to support a technology that could send high-definition video signals wirelessly from a single set-top box to screens around the home. The consortium announced Wednesday is an important development in the race to create the definitive way to replace tangles of video cables, but doesn't end it -- Sony and Samsung also support a competing technology. In the new consortium, Sony Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co.
July 16, 2008 |
Sony Corp. finally launched its long-awaited video download service for the PlayStation 3 video game console. The company started selling and renting movies and TV shows through its PlayStation Network late Tuesday. MGM, 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, Warner Bros., Disney, Paramount, Turner Entertainment and of course Sony Pictures are making titles available. PlayStation 3 owners will be able to buy TV shows for $1.99 and up. They can also rent movies for $2.99 to $5.99 and buy them for $9.99 to $14.99.
July 6, 2008 |
Have you chosen your new hands- free headset yet? Armed with a photovoltaic cell, the new Iqua Sun is the world's first solar-powered model, which means Angelenos, beach bums, baseball players and gardeners will rarely have to recharge. -- Elizabeth Khuri -- Iqua BHS 603 Sun Bluetooth headset, $89.99, at Fry's Electronics and www.iqua.com
May 7, 2008 |
Videogame publisher Electronic Arts Inc. unveiled two initiatives Tuesday to breathe new life into its sports business by making games that are easier to play and customized for Nintendo Co.'s popular Wii console. Key games such as "Madden" football, "NBA Live" and "FIFA" soccer will come out in special versions for the Wii, which has become the bestselling game system by drawing in female and older players with friendly graphics and simple motion-sensing controls. EA also is starting a sub-brand dubbed Freestyle that will be home to a new set of games not tied to any existing league, therefore free of expensive licensing rights.
May 4, 2008 |
"Whoso walketh in solitude, and inhabiteth the wood . . . into that forester shall pass . . . power and grace." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson But what if I snap my ankle? Or blow a cardiac gasket? Or fall or get stuck on a mountain where I can't go up or down, what climbers call getting "cliffed out"? What then, Ralph Waldo? I won't give a tinker's damn about power and grace then. I'm going to be looking for that orange-and-white rescue whirligig in the sky. Swing low, sweet Stokes litter.
March 14, 2008 |
Communist Cuba has authorized the unrestricted sale of computers and video players in the first sign that President Raul Castro is moving to improve access to consumer goods. An internal government memo says the appliances can go on sale immediately, although air conditioners will not be available until next year and toasters until 2010 because of limited power supplies. Only foreigners and companies have been able to buy computers in Cuba before now, and DVD players were seized at the airport until customs rules were eased last year.
February 13, 2008 |
The company behind the BlackBerry smart phones said a three-hour e-mail outage Monday was caused by an upgrade designed to increase capacity. Research in Motion Ltd. said Tuesday that the upgrade was part of "routine and ongoing efforts," and that similar upgrades in the past had caused no problems. The outage, which started about 12:30 p.m. PST, annoyed subscribers who are used to checking and writing e-mail whenever they're in cellular coverage and able to make voice calls.