AP Technology NewsBrief at 1:45 p.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Gadget Watch: Samsung shows bendable phone screenLAS VEGAS (AP) _ By showing off a phone with a flexible screen, Samsung is hinting at a day when we might fold up our large phone or tablet screens as if they were maps. The Korean electronics company provided a glimpse of such a device at a keynote speech Wednesday at the International CES gadget show in Las Vegas. It's an annual showcase of the latest TVs, computers and other consumer-electronic devices.
Schmidt joins elite few to glimpse net in NKoreaSEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ Google chairman Eric Schmidt's glimpse of the Web being used at a top university in Pyongyang makes him part of a tiny elite that has seen the Internet in North Korea. His four day visit to the North was a golden propaganda opportunity for North Korean officials striving to give one of the world's most closed societies a modern, tech-savvy face. But the images of students surfing the Web in a brightly lit, spacious computer lab were far removed from daily reality for most North Koreans.
'Smart' potty or dumb idea Wacky gadgets at CESLAS VEGAS (AP) _ Some of the weirdest gadgets at the International CES show are designed to solve problems you never knew you had. Are you eating too fast A digital fork will let you know. Is your toddler having trouble sitting still on the potty Let the iPotty come to the rescue. Are you bored driving to work in a four-wheeled vehicle Climb inside a 1,600-pound mechanical spider for your morning commute. Of course, not all of the prototypes introduced at the annual gadget show will succeed in the marketplace. But the innovators who shop their wares here are fearless when it comes to pitching new gizmos, be they flashy, catchy or just plain odd.
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.
Report: Apple may build less expensive iPhoneSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Apple is trying to decide whether it makes sense to offer a cheaper iPhone as it tries to boost sales in less-affluent countries and reclaim some of the market share lost to cheaper phones running Google's Android software, according to a published report. Wednesday's report in The Wall Street Journal speculated that Apple could lower the iPhone's price by equipping the device with an exterior that costs less than the aluminum housing on current models.
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. regions 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.
Google's Schmidt urges Internet openness in NKoreaBEIJING (AP) _ Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said Thursday it's up to North Korea to shed its self-imposed isolation and allow its citizens to use the Internet and connect with the outside world, or risk remaining way behind other countries. Schmidt was returning from a private trip to North Korea with former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson that was not sanctioned by the U.S. government and has been criticized for appearing to boost Pyongyang's profile after its widely condemned rocket launch put a satellite into space last month.
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.
Nokia: Q4 mobile phone sales beat own forecastHELSINKI (AP) _ Nokia Corp. signaled Thursday its smartphone partnership with Microsoft was starting to reap rewards as it revealed that fourth-quarter mobile phone sales exceeded expectations and that its handset business would return to profitability. The Finnish company's share price surged 11 percent to close at (EURO)3.32 on Helsinki Stock Exchange.
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.
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