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Chromecast: Big Threats Come in Small Packages?
July 26, 2013
Google shook up the streaming video world Wednesday when it introduced a $35 HDMI dongle that allows content to be airmailed from a smartphone, tablet or laptop to a TV. Called "Chromecast," the unit is already being hailed as a potential streaming set-top box killer. "It could make the set-top box obsolete," said tech analyst Rob Enderle. "It makes the set-top box redundant."
Microsoft Holds Out Olive Branch to Indie Game Devs
July 25, 2013
It was just about a month ago that Microsoft relaxed the rules for players of its forthcoming Xbox One, and on Thursday it made a similar concession for small game developers. Specifically, in a break with past policies, the company announced that it will allow small, independent game makers to self-publish their games on Xbox Live without the backing of an established publisher.
Google Sticks It to the Home Entertainment Market
July 24, 2013
Google on Wednesday unveiled a new Nexus 7 as part of its latest assault on the market for the connected living room. Another prong of that attack is Chromecast, a streaming content stick that plugs into a TV set's HDMI socket and lets users stream videos and other content seamlessly between the TV and any connected device, ranging from smartphones to tablets to laptops.
Leaping Lizards! The Leap Motion Controller Has Landed
July 22, 2013
A day after announcing that it has begun shipping to early backers, Leap Motion on Monday officially launched its widely anticipated gesture control system for the PC and Mac. The system, which has been compared to the Microsoft Xbox Kinect and Nintendo Wii, had been delayed for several months but will finally arrive in stores next week.
Video Gaming Inches a Step Closer to Pro Sports
July 16, 2013
The definition of sportmanship may lie to some extent in the eye of the beholder, but on Monday the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service reportedly recognized the video game League of Legends as a professional sport. The decision enables the most elite of players in the field to qualify for Internationally Recognized Athlete visas, also known as P-1A visas.
SolePower: Stepping Away From the Grid
July 12, 2013
Here's a charging method that could make a lot of sense. It's one that isn't reliant on the sun to convert solar radiation into power; it also isn't reliant on heavy batteries for its mojo. Instead, SolePower's Kickstarter project aims to generate power kinetically with each step you take. That's via a shoe insert, specifically, and it uses the same principle as a hand-crank flashlight.
Nokia's Lumia 1020: All Pixeled Up but Nowhere to Go?
July 11, 2013
It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but users of Nokia's upcoming Lumia 1020 mobile smartphone may well be able to do better than that. That's because the new marquee Windows phone -- formally unveiled Thursday at a Nokia event in New York -- will offer 41 megapixels, not to mention six-lens Carl Zeiss optics, high-resolution 3X zoom, autofocus and a dual flash system.
How to Set Up a Microwave Internet Link Over Distance
July 11, 2013
Around this time of year some buddies and I usually pack up a bunch of our brick-like ham radios, a few unwieldy 30-foot masts, a helium balloon antenna and some pop-up shade shelters and lug it all over to a local mountaintop near our suburban Los Angeles homes. We traipse up the baked hillside with this gear each year to perform a nonstop radio experiment that lasts over a weekend.
No Shortage of Heists and Vice in GTA V Trailer
July 09, 2013
Gamers eagerly awaiting the September launch of Grand Theft Auto V got a sneak preview on Tuesday with the release by maker Rockstar Games of the first gameplay trailer for the upcoming title. Due Sept. 17 for the Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360, Grand Theft Auto V promises to deliver a massive world along with seemingly limitless options for players.
B&N CEO Gets the Hook on Losses From Nook
July 09, 2013
Barnes & Noble's board of directors on Monday announced changes in the company's executive ranks that extend all the way to the top echelon. First and foremost, William Lynch has resigned as CEO and director effective immediately. In addition, former CFO Michael Huseby has been appointed CEO of Nook Media and president of Barnes & Noble.
Garmin Reroutes Smartphone Nav Display to Windshield
July 08, 2013
Fighter pilots have long had "head-up" displays for navigating advanced aircraft, but on Monday Garmin announced a new HUD offering that aims to bring the technology to drivers of virtually any automobile. Designed to reduce distractions by providing driving information within the driver's line of sight, Garmin's HUD is the company's first portable head-up display for smartphone navigation apps.
Guayadeque Music Player's an Impressive Featherweight
July 03, 2013
Music management programs for Linux often leave me wanting more -- more flexibility, more file type options, more friendliness towards large song collections, etc. Guayadeque, on the other hand, is a music player that proves that less can be more. Guayadeque is light on system resources but still manages to offer much more in the way of useful features.
Digital Won't Kill the Book-Publishing Star
July 03, 2013
There's no question that books have gone digital. Sure, there are still paper books aplenty in a smattering of brick-and-mortar bookstores -- available through online outlets as well -- but there's no escaping the proverbial writing on the wall that book-selling behemoth now sells more electronic books than hardcover editions.
Console Wars 2013: The Heavyweights Go Head-to-Head
July 02, 2013
The battle of the video game consoles has been going on for some time already, but this year it promises to reach new heights. Longstanding competitors Sony and Microsoft are both expected to release brand-new consoles in November, meaning holiday shoppers will have to make some difficult decisions. From a technical standpoint, the consoles are fairly comparable.
Google May Crash Game Console Party
June 28, 2013
Hard on the heels of the arrival of the Ouya video game console earlier this week, Google may be looking to get into the action. In fact, the company is currently working on an Android-powered console of its own, according to a Friday report. Apple is reportedly working on something similar as well. "There are too many screens to deal with," said IDC's Lewis Ward.
Monkey Light Pro: Bicycle Bling - at a Hefty Price
June 28, 2013
If you've been anywhere near Mid-City or central parts of baked-concrete urban Los Angeles in the last few years, you may have noticed the Midnight Ridazz, a large social bike group who generally ride in the evening and at night -- often en masse. This group of bicycle enthusiasts have been whizzing around the streets of LA in the dark since 2004 and make an impressive sight.
Windy City Next Up for Aereo's Streaming TV
June 27, 2013
Internet streaming TV service Aereo may face ongoing legal battles, but on Thursday it pushed ahead apparently undaunted and announced the upcoming launch of its service in Chicago. The news comes just a month after the company kicked off its Atlanta launch. With Chicago added to its lineup, the service will be live to more than 12 million Americans.
Giant Sharp TV Will Offer Ultra HD for $8,000
June 26, 2013
At this week's CE Week in New York City, electronics maker Sharp introduced a new, 70-inch class Ultra HDTV that the company says is the only model on the market to receive THX 4K certification. The Aquos Ultra HD LED TV is the company's first set in the new Ultra High Definition category for the U.S. market, and it offers four times the pixel resolution of current high-definition sets.
Android Sneaks Onto the Desktop in Giant HP Tablet
June 24, 2013
The line separating the mobile and desktop computing worlds has become increasingly blurred in recent months, and HP on Monday unveiled a brand-new all-in-one PC that continues that trend. Announced during its HP World Tour event in Beijing, the HP Slate 21 tablet is powered not by Windows but by Google's Android. It's also designed for use on the desktop, with a kickstand to prop it up.
Laying the Foundation for the Internet of Things
June 22, 2013
U.S. residential broadband Internet penetration has grown more than 400 percent since 2002, when just 16.5 million U.S. households had fast Internet service. The increased presence of these high-speed connections has implications for a variety of devices, which increasingly are arriving in the home with embedded connectivity capabilities. So far, the market is very fragmented.
Crushing Criticism Prompts Microsoft Xbox One About-Face
June 20, 2013
Roughly a week after being effectively shown up at E3 by Sony's more gamer-friendly approach with its PlayStation 4, Microsoft on Wednesday announced that it had revised some of the relatively restrictive policies it had originally announced for its own Xbox One. Microsoft pulled the proverbial plug on the always-on Internet connection that originally was to be required, for instance.
Sony Pulls Console-Paralyzing PS3 Update
June 20, 2013
After a routine firmware update was reported to "brick" some users' PlayStation 3 devices, Sony on Wednesday pulled the update until it is able to resolve the problem. "Hi guys, we're aware of reports that the recent PS3 update (4.45) has caused," wrote PlayStation Europe in a Wednesday tweet. "We have temporarily taken 4.45 offline and are investigating."
How to Turn an Old Android Phone Into a Webcam
June 20, 2013
Many of us are now at the point where we're trading in old smartphones for new. The big question is often, what to do with the old one? Possible solutions include leaving it in a drawer; trading it in; downloading maps and creating a dedicated in-car GPS navigator; or turning it into a free webcam. We'll look at some more solutions in the future, but for now, the last of these is a nice option.
Netflix, DreamWorks Team in Huge Original Content Deal
June 17, 2013
Video streaming service Netflix on Monday announced a new, multiyear partnership with DreamWorks Animation whereby it will bring many of the studio's beloved characters to the TV market via a branded collection of shows. Marking the largest deal for original first-run content in Netflix's history, the partnership will include more than 300 hours of new programming.

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