Apple Plots Its TV Assault

Apple Inc. is moving forward with its assault on television, following up on the ambitions of its late co-founder, Steve Jobs.
In recent weeks, Apple executives have discussed their vision for the future of TV with media executives at several large companies, according to people familiar with the matter. Apple is also working on its own television that relies on wireless streaming technology to access shows, movies and other content, according to people briefed on the project. In the recent meetings with media companies, the Apple executives, including Senior Vice President Eddy Cue, have outlined new ways Apple’s technology could recognize users across phones, tablets and TVs, people familiar with the talks said.

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Verizon Unlimited Data might be for a Limited Time Only…

Well, the all-you-can data party Verizon’s been throwing may be ending sooner than later, folks. In fact, if you were waiting for the iPhone 5 and hoping to nab an unlimited plan to go along with it, you probably won’t be able to do that. Speaking to Reuters, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo was hoping her name, which is surprisingly fun to say out loud, would distract us from her grim message that Verizon could boot unlimited data: “We will probably do that in the mid-summer time frame.” She went on to add that the company “didn’t want to put up a barrier” for users who wanted to try out the iPhone 4 on Verizon’s network. Translation? They get you in with a taste of the good stuff, then when things get hairy you’re still hooked. Maybe that’s a bit cynical, however, as the company doesn’t force a long two year contract with the iPhone 4, though heavily subsidizes the purchase if you sign up for it.

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One Person’s Annoyance is Another’s Freedom!

Attention texting pedestrians and iPod-obsessed runners on the street: You may soon get unplugged. After targeting drivers who paid more attention to their phone calls and text messages than the road, lawmakers in Arkansas and New York are now looking to crack down on pedestrians equally distracted by their own electronic gadgets. Lawmakers in both states have proposed restrictions on using cell phones and music players such as iPods by people running and walking on the street or sidewalk. The apparent message: Distracted pedestrians are dangerous. “It’s not just distracted drivers. We focus a lot on distracted drivers, but we also need to focus on distracted walkers and joggers,” said Jonathan Adkins, a spokesman for the Governors Highway Safety Association, a nonprofit organization representing state highway safety offices. The proposal in Arkansas would ban pedestrians from wearing headphones in both ears while on, parallel or adjacent to a street, road, intersection or highway. The measure also applies to runners and cyclists and would allow pedestrians to wear headphones in one ear.

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The 10 Most Significant Gadgets of 2010

“When this year began, we were feverishly speculating about an Apple tablet, looking forward to 3-D TV sets, and optimistically waiting for the end of the cable companies’ cruel grip on our wallets. We had to settle for one out of three. While manufacturers did release a handful of 3-D TVs, there’s just not enough content (either on cable or Blu-ray) to justify purchasing one yet. The heavy, expensive glasses you need to buy don’t make the proposition any more attractive, either. And as for getting all our video from the sweet, ever-flowing bounty of the internet? Sure, we still do that — when we’re at work. But at home, internet TV is still struggling to stand on its own. The gadget we’d pinned our hopes on, the Boxee Box, is unfinished and buggy. Google TV is hampered by the unwillingness of the TV networks to play ball. Apple TV remains locked into its own little iTunes-centric world. So that leaves the Apple tablet. If you’d told us in December 2009 that we’d be using the word “iPad” every day without giggling, well, we would have giggled at you. But there it is: There’s no getting around the fact that the iPad, silly name and all, has completely and successfully redefined what a “tablet computer” could be. But the iPad was far from being the only big gadget news of the year. E-readers, cameras, and even exoskeletons made huge strides in 2010. Here, then, are the 10 gadgets that were most significant in 2010.”

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iPad Competitor Coming Soon From Palm

The Apple iPad has a solid lead in the tablet space. But Steve Jobs had better watch out: the competition is coming. This year at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, pundits predict that manufacturers will unveil a host of tablet-style devices to compete with Apple’s funky iPad. But the product that could prove to be the strongest competitor isn’t from Blackberry-maker RIM, nor a gizmo from the Windows and Intel crowd. It’s from the dark-horse rival, Palm — and its owner HP.

FoxNews.com has obtained spec sheets for HP’s forthcoming PalmPad tablet this week from a trusted source. And I’m super excited to see these things debut at the 2011 CES IRL (that’s in real life). Here are some of the basic highlights.


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Otterbox Customer Service

OtterBox Replaces iPhone Case With No Questions, Amazes Customer

Andrew’s OtterBox Defender case (not pictured) for his iPhone 3Gs protects his phone tirelessly, but it’s seen better days. After using it for about a year, he noticed some ordinary wear problems with the case, including a missing headphone jack flap. When he contacted the company about their warranty requirements, they simply turned around and shipped him a new case.

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Will Microsoft Start Bricking Phones?

Microsoft finds itself in a struggle that mirrors Apple’s conflict with unlockers. The admission of a top Windows Phone executive that the company is “following in Apple’s line” appears increasingly true. The newly released Windows Phone 7 OS lacks certain features found in other phones on the market, much like the iPhone long did. But like the iPhone it sports a slick interface that has convinced some buyers to look past its shortcomings.

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Fifteen Classic Game Console Design Mistakes

Video game systems may be toys of a sort, but they’re also complicated machines. They require precision engineering, specialized hardware design, and careful industrial design to successfully achieve what seems like a simple goal: to play games on a television set. Throughout the history of home game consoles, each generation of machines has brought new opportunities to innovate. Along the way, companies have often slipped up and made mistakes that came back to haunt them later–some of which were so serious that they helped to destroy platforms and even entire corporations.

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