Netflix Dumps Qwikster Idea – Due to significant criticism and conjecture, Netflix will not spin off its DVDs-by-mail service into a separate company called Quikster after all. A posting on the Netflix web site said “It is clear that for many of our members two websites would things more difficult, so we are going to keep Netflix as one place to go for stream and for DVDs.” The previously-raised fees for DVDs-by-mail will, however, remain in place, as announced in July. Netflix says it continues to improve its subscription streaming of movies and TV shows and has added a number of partners and content franchises in recent weeks.
Pioneer Adds More Apps for Their AppRadio – Pioneer’s AppRadio head unit will have a greater selection of third-party apps before the year is out. AppRadio is a double-DIN FM/AM RDS vehicle head unit at $399 whose primary source of content is the iPhone. Its capacitive touchscreen controls and displays iPhone-stored music, video, photos and contacts with Bluetooth calling, calendar items, and Google Maps local search results. Four third-party apps are already available: Pandora Radio, Motion X GPS Drive Cloud-based navigation, Inrix real-time traffic copy, and Rdio—an on-demand music subscription service with social networking functions. When the parking brake is released, AppRadio displays iPhone-stored video plus video from YouTube and Netflix.
Parents and Children Adjust to Taking Home Electronics and iPads – Some public schools in New Zealand are distributing iPad computers to high school students this year, and some schools in Holland have handed out laptops to students for about five years. Parents worry about the devices becoming used inappropriately off campus, where the wireless Internet is not being filtered. One parent said they may download filter apps to their child’s iPad if they wish, but it provides an opportunity to teach students Web norms—what is acceptable use of the Internet, and what types of websites give out reliable information.
Sony Hoping to Buy Ericsson’s Stake in Sony Ericsson – Sony needs to take over Ericsson to compete with the likes of Samsung and a more aggressive Apple as home electronics sector products become increasingly converged. The smartphone sector is highly lucrative. Sony has seen its cameras, music players and gaming platforms subsumed by the smartphone. Sony Ericsson has to reinvent itself as a smartphone-focused vendor using Google’s Android OS, but it is struggling against Apple and present Android stalwarts HTV and Samsung.
Bose New Line of Audio Products – The audio manufacturer has two home theater entertainment systems: Cinemate and Lifestyle 135, and the SoundLink—a mobile wireless speaker. The SoundLink is a compact portable speaker that plays music from any smartphone, tablet or computer. It has a leather case that acts as a stand for the speaker, and normal listening gives 8-9 hours of play time before you need to recharge. It can connect up to six devices at a time with Bluetooth connections. The Lifestyle 135 is one of two of the firm’s first soundbars—a space-saver for consumers wanting minimal technological presence in their home. The CineMate has the same audio processing function, plus is a media console for up to six HD sources, an AM/FM tuner and a dock for iPod or iPhone. A single cable connects the Cinemate system to the TV, and both feature a programmable remote. Do we need to mention prices? Didn’t think so.
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