AP Technology NewsBrief at 7:38 p.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Smart TVs get smarter, by just a little bitLAS VEGAS (AP) _ In the not-so-distant future, couch potatoes will be waving, pointing, swiping and tapping to make their TVs react, kind of like what Tom Cruise did in the 2002 movie "Minority Report." That's the vision of TV manufacturers as they show off "smart TVs." The sets will recognize who's watching and will try to guess what viewers want to see. They'll respond to more natural speech and will connect with your smartphone in a single touch.
TV-over-Internet service expands despite lawsuitsNEW YORK (AP) _ The Barry Diller-backed Internet company that challenged cable and satellite TV services by offering inexpensive live television online plans to expand beyond New York City this spring. In the wake of a federal court ruling that tentatively endorsed its legality, Aereo will bring its $8-a-month service to Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington and 18 other markets in the U.S., as well as to New York's suburbs. For the past year, the service had been limited to New York City residents as the company fine-tuned its technology and awaited guidance on whether its unlicensed use of free, over-the-air broadcasts amounted to a copyright violation.
Gadget Watch: Pen makes old monitors touch-readyLAS VEGAS (AP) _ Many people who have tried Microsoft's new Windows 8 operating system without a touch screen have hated it because of the inability to use touch and swipe commands to get things going. Now, a company has made a digital pen to allow people to use Windows 8 on their old monitors for less than the cost of buying a new touch-enabled computer. The device was unveiled this week at the International CES, an annual showcase in Las Vegas for the latest smartphones, tablet computers and other consumer-electronic devices.
Panasonic shows off ultra-HD OLED TVLAS VEGAS (AP) _ Panasonic is showing off a prototype TV that combines the two hottest technologies at this year's gadget show in Las Vegas: organic light-emitting diodes and ultrahigh definition. The president of the Japanese electronics company, Kazuhiro Tsuga, showed off the prototype during a keynote speech on Tuesday, the opening day of the International CES. OLED TVs are hard to manufacture, and Tsuga didn't mention any plans for commercialization.
Hollywood offers free movies to boost UltraVioletLAS VEGAS (AP) _ In a bid to jumpstart its fledgling online entertainment system, Hollywood studios are resorting to a time-honored tactic: giving stuff away. An industry consortium called the Digital Entertainment Group said Tuesday that it will include 10 free movies from six major studios every time a consumer buys certain models of Internet-connected TVs. Buyers of certain Blu-ray players will get five free movies.
Dish Network makes $5.15B bid for ClearwireNEW YORK (AP) _ Satellite TV provider Dish Network is offering to buy wireless network operator Clearwire _ which agreed to sell itself to Sprint in December _ for $3.30 per share, or $5.15 billion. Clearwire Corp. said it will discuss the unsolicited offer with Dish. However Sprint, which owns 51 percent of Clearwire, said it would have to sign off on Dish's offer and that it does not intend to do so.
Google to offer public Wi-Fi in NYC neighborhoodNEW YORK (AP) _ Google said Tuesday it is teaming up with a New York City neighborhood business group to provide the company's first urban Wi-Fi network. The network will be available free to about a 10-block area surrounding Google's offices in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, where Google has more than 3,000 employees. The area also is home to other tech companies, as well as high-end hotels and nightclubs and a housing project with more than 2,000 tenants.
Fueled by fanboy-ism, an empire swells at NerdistNEW YORK (AP) _ There's no media entity more pleased to be called an empire than Nerdist, the online factory of earnest pop culture enthusiasm. This is largely because in the Nerdist universe, "Star Wars" is gospel; the kind of fandom those films have inspired is in many ways Nerdist's model of engagement. It would probably cheer Nerdist creator Chris Hardwick, a comedian and TV personality turned Internet entrepreneur, if this story began in words that drifted dramatically away into space.
CES unveils big TVs with 'ultra-high definition'LAS VEGAS (AP) _ The race to make TVs larger and larger has created a colossal problem for manufacturers: As screens grow, picture quality worsens _ unless the viewer moves farther away from the screen. The issue is playing out in cozy dens and family rooms around the world. To get the full benefit of a large high-definition screen, viewers must move back from their sets. Because the ideal viewing distance is no closer than three times the height of your screen, or about one and a half times the diagonal length, big TVs have literally forced many families' backs against the wall.
AT&T says it sold more than 10M smartphones in 4QDALLAS (AP) _ AT&T says it sold more than 10 million smartphones in the last three months of 2012, topping its previous record of 9.4 million set in the same period a year earlier. AT&T Inc. said Tuesday that the latest period marked the best-ever quarterly sales of Android and Apple smartphones.
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