Monthly Archives: January 2013

Slumping sales of PCs in the fourth quarter last year are further evidence of a structural shift in the PC market rather than simply a weak economy, say Gartner analysts.

Worldwide PC shipments totalled 90.3m units in the fourth quarter of 2012, a 4.9 per cent decline from the fourth quarter of 2011 while PC shipments in Europe, the Middle East and Africa fell by 9.6 per cent, according to preliminary results from Gartner.

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HTC, the Taiwanese smartphone maker, is the latest foreign investor lured to Myanmar and the potential of its growing consumer base, writes Sarah Mishkin and Gwen Robinson

What edge does HTC think it has against Samsung, its much larger competitor that already has big operations in the country? Perhaps the fact that, as it has done most notably in China, HTC’s phones are designed specifically for the local market, with an operating system capable of handling Myanmar’s alphabet, not something supported by most software.

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Getty Images

Interesting commentary from around the Web on the tech story that made headlines this week.

The curtain came down on the International Consumer Electronic Show on Friday, bringing an end to the largest event in its history. As expected, the Las Vegas show was filled with TVs, smartphones and computers. But despite the acres of print and online space given to covering the show, there has been no shortage of tech commentators questioning its continued relevance. Read more >>

Aaron Swartz, a computer programmer and ardent internet activist who played a key role opposing 2011 anti-piracy legislation, was found dead on Friday at age 26.

His family confirmed that he hanged himself in his apartment in Brooklyn, New York.

Friends and fans of Mr Swartz’ work flooded social media feeds and web sites over the weekend with grief-stricken tributes to a coder they considered a “genius” and a “hero”. Many offered lengthy defences of his activist work to make legal and academic documents available for free online – work that garnered the attention of government prosecutors and led to criminal charges still outstanding at the time of his death. Read more >>

Chris Nuttall

What it is: ION’s second-generation point-of-view action camera, the Air Pro 2

Key points: 14Mp sensor, 180-degree lens and the addition of a microphone in-jack are the main improvements to the Air Pro, which retains its basic design and features, such as vibrating when it is turned on and its body being watertight, obviating the need for an extra waterproof case. Read more >>

Chris Nuttall

What it is: The PowerShot N - a point-and-shoot camera from Canon with a radical new design.

Key points: Very compact and lightweight with an 8x optical zoom, 12.1Mp sensor, 28mm wide-angle lens, tilt-touch LCD panel and Full HD video capability. The unusual feature is two rings on the lens are used for operating the shutter and the zoom. The camera’s Creative Shot mode analyses a photo taken and offers you five different versions of it, using various filters, crops and focuses. A “mobile device connect” button activates Wi-Fi, turning it into a hotspot and allowing a mobile device such as a tablet or laptop to connect to it and download photos. An app is available. Read more >>

Chris Nuttall

What it is: Cambridge Consultants, the product development company that helped create the first round tea bag, has come up with a prototype pod-based tea maker called the Tê.

Key points: Hot water is drawn into a brewing chamber where a pod containing tea has been placed on a spindle and will begin to spin, pulling water in, mixing it with the tea leaves and then forcing it out through small holes in the side of the pod. (See video below) This dispenses an excellent cup of tea in just two minutes. Read more >>

Dr.Dre

With millions of record sales under his belt and a glittering career producing albums for stars such as Eminem and 50 Cent, Dr Dre is lauded within the music industry as a hip-hop pioneer.

The consumer electronics industry has come to hold him in similar esteem, judging by the rash of imitators of Beats by Dre, the headphones company he co-founded, showcasing their wares at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

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When Steve Jobs unveiled the original iPhone six years ago this week, he did it not alongside the rest of the gadget world in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show, but at the Macworld event in San Francisco.

By 2013, Microsoft, Amazon and Google have all joined Apple in shunning CES. Yet even without the market’s leaders, mobile technology dominated CES 2013.

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CES

International CES – the major annual show for the consumer electronics industry in Las Vegas – gave us the first sight this week of new televisions, smartphones, computers and a wealth of other products. As CES shows products often far in advance of launch, pricing and availability for many of them is still vague or unknown, but here’s the highlights of what to look out for in trends and gadgets in the coming year.

Huge TVs with prices to match, yet showing the smallest of details, were most-talked-about at CES and are likely to be least-seen about the living room for years to come. In a night of big numbers, I went up 64 floors to see Toshiba’s 84in L9300 UHD TV unveiled in a Las Vegas hotel’s rooftop restaurant, before crossing over to a lounge where Samsung showed its 85in S9 4K UHD TV . The head of Samsung TV told me they had a 110in one, but it would not fit in the elevator.

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