AP Technology NewsBrief at 11:50 a.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Gadget Watch: Electronic fork nags you on eatingLAS VEGAS (AP) _ If you've always wanted a fork that spies on your eating habits, you're in luck: A company has developed a utensil that records when you lift it to the mouth. The electronic fork is one of the gadgets getting attention this week at the International CES in Las Vegas, an annual showcase of the latest TVs, computers and other consumer-electronic devices.
Review: Aereo makes it tempting to cut cable TVNEW YORK (AP) _ Broadcast networks make many of their shows available on the Internet, but you usually have to wait at least a day after an episode airs on television. A subscription service called Aereo breaks those shackles and makes network programs available right away. That sounds too good to be true, and in a sense it is. First, it works only in New York City for now, though Aereo said Tuesday that it will expand to 22 more U.S. cities this spring. Its channel selection is limited to 29 over-the-air channels and Bloomberg TV. It doesn't include the other cable networks I frequently watch.
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.
Chinese buyer says solar firm MiaSole will expandBEIJING (AP) _ The Chinese company that bought MiaSole, a California producer of thin-film solar panels, says it can make the emerging technology successful where others have suffered huge losses. Hanergy Group's strong finances will help MiaSole invest in research and ride out a downturn in the global solar market, while its links to customers in China and abroad will help build sales, chairman Li Hejun said Wednesday. Hanergy says it is China's biggest privately owned renewable energy company, with interests in hydro, wind and solar power.
AP Exclusive: Google exec in NKorea openness callPYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) _ A private delegation including Google's Eric Schmidt is urging North Korea to allow more open Internet access and cellphones to benefit its citizens, the mission's leader said Wednesday in the country with some of the world's tightest controls on information. Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson also said his nine-member group called on North Korea to put a moratorium on missile launches and nuclear tests that have prompted U.N. sanctions, and the delegation asked for fair and humane treatment for an American citizen detained. He spoke in an exclusive interview in Pyongyang with The Associated Press.
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.
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