25 July 2013

Google disintermediates TV industry with $35 Chromecast

Who needs cable TV? Who needs Roku? Just get a $35 Chromecast!

Chromecast Is Google's Miracle Device | Gadget Lab | Wired.com"At an event where everyone was expecting a new Android tablet ( and got one) Google announced something far more interesting and important: The Chromecast, a small stick that jacks into the back of your television via HDMI and allows you to sling content via Wi-Fi from your phone, tablet or computer to the big screen. It costs $35, and comes with three months of free Netflix (even for existing subscribers), which means it effectively costs $11 plus shipping. On paper at least, it’s the best device Google has ever announced. Chromecast is delightfully cross-platform. It works with Android and iOS phones and tablets, Chromebooks, and the Chrome browser for Mac and Windows. The original device controls playback–so if you want to turn up the volume on your TV, simply turn up the volume on your phone. Any program that uses the Googlecast SDK can send content–Google specifically mentioned Netflix and YouTube, and says Pandora is on the way. The Chrome browser itself can also sling content via “Chrome tab projection.”. . . ."

Tech spec showdown: the new Nexus 7 vs. iPad mini
ZDNet (blog)
If you haven't heard, Google today announced a revamp of its Nexus 7 tablet computer, which is manufactured by Asus and was first introduced at this time last year, during the company's I/O developer conference. The upgrade strengthens its hardware ...

more on the new Nexus 7: http://www.google.com/nexus/7/

Google Nexus devices are first to get Android ...
CNET (blog)
Google executive Huga Barra said that Google's Nexus family of devices will be the first to get the new version of Jellybean Android 4.3, but the Google Play Edition phones will have to wait a little while. ...

Forget the high margins, Apple -- cut iPad Mini prices
Computerworld - Apple sold 14% fewer iPads in the quarter that ended June 30 than during the same stretch in 2012, while the revenue it earned from those sales plummeted by 27%. Analysts tied the decline in revenue to the iPad Mini, Apple's smaller, ...

Arctic methane 'time bomb' could have huge economic costs
BBC News
Scientists say that the release of large amounts of methane from thawing permafrost in the Arctic could have huge economic impacts for the world. The researchers estimate that the climate effects of the release of this gas could cost $60 trillion (£39 trillion), ...

AT&T Q2 Sales: Where are the iPhone Numbers?
The Mac Observer
AT&T didn't break out iPhone sales this quarter. So that's new. While Apple was busy touting record iPhone sales during its third fiscal quarter earnings report on Tuesday, AT&T announced its own Q2 smartphone sales numbers. The cell service provider said ...

UK team designs human mission to Mars
BBC News
Scientists at Imperial College London have designed a concept mission to land astronauts on Mars. The plan envisages a three-person crew journeying to Mars aboard a small two-part craft. The craft would rotate to generate artificial gravity and use a heat ...

Here are some real problems for Google to solve while it's tinkering with Gmail
Google's new tabbed Gmail layout has been rolling out for a while now. I was finally subjected to it. I hate hate hate it. (Disclosure: I own Google stock.) The goal of the new Gmail tabs is admirable: To make it easier to filter through the emails that we get and ...

EA's biggest retail partner last quarter was Apple
Electronic Arts' first fiscal quarter reflected strong sales -- a good start to the publisher's year. But it wasn't EA's partnership with GameStop or Walmart that drove those sales. "Our quarter was notable for the high percentage of revenue attributable to digital ...

Tech lobbying reports barely scratch NSA issue
Tech companies have publicly petitioned Washington for the ability to disclose more about their work with the National Security Agency — but lobbying reports don't show the industry's giants making a play for sweeping changes to U.S. law. Google ...

Tech Tips: New Phone Upgrade Plans Akin to Renting
ABC News
Over the past few weeks, three major U.S. wireless providers unveiled plans to combat phone envy: Let's say you just bought a phone, and then one with better features comes out a month later. You no longer have to wait a full two years to get it ...

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