Samsung's November TV sales hit record

Samsung Electronics Co, the world's top TV brand, said on Thursday its television sales hit a record 5.7 million units in November, helped by strong U.S. sales during the long Thanksgiving weekend. November sales grew 14 percent from the 5 million units sold in October and Samsung is certain to keep its top global title for all of 2011, the South Korean firm said in a statement. During the Black Friday weekend, Americans spent $7.4 billion more in stores than a year ago. A Samsung spokesman said it was confident of meeting its 2011 flat-screen TV sales target of 45 million units. The solid results come as global TV manufacturers are restructuring their businesses and outsourcing production as cutthroat competition and weak demand squeeze margins.

Postal Service Looking to End Next-day Mail Delivery

The financially challenged U.S. Postal Service Dec. 5 said it is taking further steps to eliminate first-class, next-day delivery of letters, postcards and related items - such as Blu-ray Disc and DVD mailers - in an effort to save money. Netflix is the Postal Service's largest individual commercial mail client, generating more than $500 million annually in first-class postage revenue. The USPS in September first announced intentions to possibly eliminate more than 250 mail processing centers, stop Saturday delivery and eliminate about 28,000 jobs, among other steps. The USPS, which lost $5.1 billion in its most recent fiscal year, is looking to enact $20 billion in cost savings and return to profitability by 2015.

Amazon Will Pay Shoppers $5 to Walk Out of Stores Empty-Handed

Amazon is offering consumers up to $5 off on purchases if they compare prices using the online giant's mobile phone application in a store. The promotion goes live Saturday and will serve as a way for Amazon to increase usage of its bar-code-scanning application, while also collecting intelligence on prices in the stores. This holiday season, mobile commerce is surging as more people become comfortable using applications on their phone to compare prices or simply shop when not at home or at work.

Consumers Expecting A Wireless Holiday

American consumers want a wireless Christmas, according to a survey by Cisco's home networking unit. The survey found that 96 percent of those surveyed expected that they themselves, or one of their immediate family, would receive some type of new wireless gift this year. What people expected Santa to bring was wide ranging, with 26 percent expecting a new computer or laptop, 19 percent a game console system, 16 percent a tablet PC and 14 percent a smartphone. When asked what was the most important technology they had in their home, 28 percent said it was their wireless home network. However, 85 percent of those people had no idea what kind of wireless network was in their home, and this could cause a problem, Cisco said, as many of the newer wireless devices require an up-to-date 802.11n home network to properly operate.

TV isn't broken, so why fix it?

The technology industry is absolutely bent on reinventing television.  But nobody seems to be able to answer the big question: what exactly is so broken about TV anyway? It's true that the TV guide in most cable systems is pretty awful -- it looks like Yahoo circa 1994. It's a pain fiddling with a bunch of different remotes. It might be kind of nice to watch YouTube videos on a big screen in the living room. But I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that most TV viewers simply won't care enough about any of this stuff to shell out $1,500 for a new Apple TV, or spend a few hundred bucks and countless hours fiddling around adding a new box to their TV set and figuring out how it works. All of these are destined to be niche products at best -- just like every other attempt to improve TV over the last 20 years.

2012 International Consumer Electronics Show Report

From Las Vegas, NV the 2012 International CES is expecting record attendees and exhibitors along with a host of Hollywood Stars, Sports Legends and Musical Icons.  With so much to see the HomeToys team has compiled a report of some of the interesting products in the Home Technology sector at this year's show. And HomeToys.com is a great place to post your company's CES news and keep up to date on what others are up to.

Classic Home Toys Installment # 27

The development of Linux is one of the most prominent examples of free and open source software collaboration; typically all the underlying source code can be used , freely modified,  and redistributed, both commercially and non-commercially, by anyone under licenses such as the GNU General Public License. Typically Linux us a format known as a Linux distribution for desktop and server use.

Cooling the Enclosed Video Projector

Many of the projectors on the market today (all fixed-matrix; R.I.P., CRT!) have been specifically designed for home use. Part of the redesign for this market has been to significantly reduce noise, both from the fan motors and the movement of air through cooling passages. Nevertheless, some projectors still produce more noise than is acceptable in quiet theaters in which projectors are located close to the audience. There is also a desire in many cases to hide the projector for aesthetic reasons. So the client needs only a bit of noise reduction and perhaps a bit of camouflage. This makes life much easier, as a partial enclosure can usually achieve both objectives.

Interview - What is WiGig (Wireless Gigabit Alliance)?

Founded in March 2007, by a core team of executives and engineers from Intel's Wi-Fi Centrino® group, Wilocity is developing next-generation 60 GHz multi-gigabit wireless chipsets for both the mobile computing platform and peripheral markets that will enable mobile device manufacturers to deliver the thin and light platforms that consumers want without sacrificing the performance and functionality that consumers need. Based on the Wireless Gigabit Alliance (WiGig) specification, Wilocity's wPCIe TM technology will enable truly multi-gigabit wireless for a wide range of applications from I/O to networking to video.

Interview-Home Control in the Clouds

Our programming is simple drag and drop programming that is very intuitive for even the most basic installer. The best feature for the installers is the ability to log in off site and make simple changes to the system, like updating favorite channel buttons, adding custom family photo backgrounds or simply adding new/additional devices to the system from off site. A client can add a new iPhone, or update from original iPad's to new iPad 2's and the dealer never has to leave there office. Win for the dealer and for the client. If a client breaks there phone or looses there iPad, its a simple phone call to the dealer and the dealer can get them up and running from any where that they are at that time as long as they can get to any computer that has an internet connection.

Nature Could Make SSD the Storage Solution Everyone Will Enjoy Soon

Higher performance, higher reliability, light weight per capacity and lower power consumption are just a few of the many advantages that are making SSDs the drives of choice for power users, gamers and anyone who  wants high-speed and low latency-- including  businesses.

Project Showcase - iPad Controlled Mediterranean-Style Home in Arkansas

Featuring drag-and-drop functionality on a floor plan-based interface, the iPad app controls audio, HVAC, lighting, paging, intercom, security and surveillance. HomeSuite provides the client with similar look and feel across all control devices. The 14,500 square foot Mediterranean-style home sits on a bluff overlooking the Arkansas River, and features 191 lighting loads, 33 audio zones, 19 video zones, 10 HVAC zones, 12 intercom zones, and 24 paging zones, all controlled by Crestron integrated home technology.

Residential Power Monitoring

Living with soaring fuel prices, a difficult economy, and the emerging Smart Grid, I decided I would start to monitor and manage my power consumption when I rehabbed my 1912 house. The monitoring has been running for several months now, so did it make me a more eco-friendly citizen and did it save me money?

The Data-driven Video Discovery Evolution

Expanded consumer choice and interaction are disruptive forces for providers, consumer electronics manufacturers, content owners, and advertisers. Time-shifted viewing via the DVR or video-on-demand in combination with video options via the Internet has created an increasingly fragmented consumer "television" experience. And although live television still dominates viewing in a typical U.S. TV household, viewers are supplementing this experience with additional options.

The Personal Cloud

The main driver for cloud-based services today is data safekeeping, but as content libraries grow, so will demand, both explicit and implicit, for solutions to organize, manage, and retrieve data, files, and media.

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