January 11, 2012 |
LAS VEGAS - Handsets that listen and respond and make Apple's new Siri digital assistant look like a pretender. Cars with steering and motors all built into the wheels, so that the passenger compartment is for work or play, and the whole thing collapses for parking in tight spots. Foldable, flexible display screens - or a world where you won't even need to bring a device with you at all because you'll find connectivity everywhere. All week long, tens of thousands of inventors, entrepreneurs, businesspeople, and writers are clogging Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show, looking for what Michael Lewis, at the tail end of the 1990s technology explosion, labled "the new new thing.
January 10, 2012
OPENING TODAY in Las Vegas, the 2012 edition of the International CES is awash in Internet-connected and higher-definition video screens, razor-thin Ultrabook laptops and iPad wannabees - some at dirt-cheap prices. The enormous consumer electronics (and beyond) trade show also is flaunting dramatic growth in categories ranging from health and fitness to voice- and motion- controlled . . . everything. But for this seasoned showgoer, the most compelling CES story is how veteran companies are striving to make their products relevant.
December 26, 2011 |
Happy with all those new electronic devices you got for Christmas? Not so fast, Bucko: What about the old ones? You are going to recycle them, right? It's getting easier. State laws forbidding their disposal in landfills - already in effect in New Jersey, and coming into effect in 2013 in Pennsylvania - mean that opportunities for responsibly ditching the out-of-date devices are growing fast. Already, both states make manufacturers responsible for the afterlife of the devices they produce.
December 25, 2011 |
Since 2008, Thaddeus J. Bartkowski III's billboard wars have flared in more than a dozen communities in Delaware and Montgomery counties. Now he is moving on Phoenixville, with the first shot fired toward the Chester County borough's historic downtown. If Bartkowski prevails, three electronic, V-shaped billboards, 12 feet high and 40 feet wide, will go up along Nutt Road, a major thoroughfare. They will rise 43 feet above a borough that has struggled to reinvent itself, filling the void of industrial decline with quaint shops, good restaurants, and gussied-up rowhouses.
December 17, 2011 |
NEW YORK - Quite a number of people who rushed to snag holiday discounts on TVs, toys and other gifts are quickly returning them for much-needed cash. The shopping season started out strong for stores, but it looks like the spending binge has given way to a holiday hangover. Return rates spiked when the Great Recession struck and have stayed high. For every dollar stores take in this holiday season, they'll have to give back 9.9 cents in returns, up from 9.8 last year. In better economic times, it's about 7 cents.
December 14, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - States should ban all driver use of cellphones and other portable electronic devices, except in emergencies, the National Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. The recommendation, unanimously agreed to by the five-member board, applies to both hands-free and hand-held phones, and significantly exceeds any existing state laws restricting texting and cellphone use behind the wheel. The board made the recommendation in connection with a deadly highway pileup in Missouri last year that killed two and injured 38 others.
December 14, 2011 |
If you are looking for a way to earn money, clear out your closet and save the planet, then check out Gazelle, a site that will buy or recycle your used electronic devices. Last week, I spoke with Kristina Kennedy, director of brand and communications for Gazelle, about the services Gazelle provides. Kennedy explained: "Whether it's consumers or small businesses, most of us don't really know quite what to do with our small gadgets. They know they're not supposed to throw them away, but they aren't really quite sure what to do with them, so they end up sitting in drawers and sitting in closets.
November 4, 2011
I'D RATHER talk pad thai, but iPad is on my menu, and I'm just asking for a digital middle digit. All those I asked about their iPads gave me three words: "I love it!" (That's how I feel about pad thai.) Micki Bjork, the Daily News' sweet high-tech Jill of All Trades, who keeps me from leaping from the tower - took five words: "I love it very much . " (But not as much as her goldendoodle dogs.) Unlike undeserving ex-wives, Micki doesn't lie to me, but let's start with my suicidal impulses.
October 28, 2011 |
LOS ANGELES - Video game maker Electronic Arts Inc. said Thursday that its second-quarter loss expanded from a year ago due to higher costs, even as revenue grew. It raised its sales forecast for the all-important holiday season slightly above analyst estimates. CEO John Riccitiello said sales of "Battlefield 3," which launched two days earlier, were "very strong. " The net loss in the three-month period ending on Sept. 30 grew to $340 million, or $1.03 per share. Last year, the company had a quarterly loss of $201 million, or 61 cents per share.
October 10, 2011 |
SEPTA's new electronic fare-payment system may herald the biggest change for local rail commuters since the Center City tunnel was built 30 years ago. SEPTA expects to award a contract this month for its long-delayed "smart card" fare system, which will allow bus, subway, trolley, and train passengers to pay for their trips by tapping any "contactless" bank card on an electronic reader. Riders can use credit or debit cards they already own or get smart cards from SEPTA. The system is also being designed to eventually accept payment from smartphones.