IKEA Enters Home Electronics – The new IKEA TV (made in China, of course) comes in screen sizes from 24 inches to 46 inches, all in one self-assembled piece. IKEA has built everything around the electronics, hiding the cables, with all controls combined into a single remote. The furniture allows the signals thru, so devices can remain hidden from view. Of course you should be handy with screwdrivers and other tools. It is starting in Europe and will be available worldwide in the first half of next year, starting at about $995.
Record Profits for Samsung Electronics – The world’s largest consumer electronics firm reported that a record-high profit in smartphone sales helped to mask a drop in TV and semiconductor profit. For the first fiscal quarter ending March 31 the net profit was $4.46 billion. Sales rose 22% from a year earlier. The Samsung Galazy series of smartphones made them the second-largest handset maker after Nokia Corp.
Oscars Site to Stay at Same Theater Amid Name Change – The Kodak Theater in LA had been renamed the Dolby Theatre and will again by the site of the 84th Academy Awards. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences also made an agreement to keep the annual Oscars extravaganza at the theatre for 20 more years. The theatre seats 3400 on four levels and has been the home of the Academy Awards since 2002. A bankruptcy court judge approved the earlier exit of Eastman Kodak Co. from a naming rights deal it signed in 1999. During this year’s Oscar ceremony, Billy Crystal jokingly referred to the space as the “Chapter 11 Theatre.”
BlackBerry Music Gateway – The new Gateway is smaller that the original one, adds NFC support and cuts the price to $50. It lets you stream wireless music to your car or home stereo from your BlackBerry smartphone, PlayBook tablet, or any other Bluetooth-enabled device, with about a 30 foot range. It uses standard RCA cables to connect to any existing home stereo equipment or car stereo. Once connected you can access other apps or surf the Net while still playing music. The music pauses automatically when an incoming phone call is received and continues when the call is ended. It may work best with BlackBerry and NFC-enabled Nokia smartphones, but may not play well as with others.
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