Forget 3D, here comes the QD TV

Researchers have developed a new form of light-emitting crystals, known as quantum dots, which can be used to produce ultra-thin televisions. The tiny crystals, which are 100,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair, can be printed onto flexible plastic sheets to produce a paper-thin display that can be easily carried around, or even onto wallpaper to create giant room-size screens. The scientists hope the first quantum dot televisions - like current flat-screen TVs, but with improved colour and thinner displays - will be available in shops by the end of next year. A flexible version is expected to take at least three years to reach the market.

Apple's 'hobby' could own 1/3 of streaming set-top market in 2011

By the end of this year, the streaming set-top box market will reach about 12 million units worldwide, according to a survey published Monday. And the company known mainly for phones, tablets and computers is set to own a third of that, according to Strategy Analytics. It says Apple's small $99 streaming Apple TV is on pace to hit 4 million units by the end of this year. For perspective, four million devices is what the iPhone 4S sold in a weekend. But Apple's somehow managed to reach this number in Apple TV without really trying. And by "trying" I mean doing things like running TV and billboard advertisements or making it the centerpiece of press events. Apple has for years since its introduction excused Apple TV as merely "a hobby." And while it's played with the concept and design and the price, doesn't talk much about it or how many it's sold. Breaking with tradition, Steve Jobs did say in October 2010 that after a month on sale, the new $99 Apple TV had sold 250,00 units.

Panasonic Announces Availability of LF30 Series of Professional LCD Displays for Digital Signage

Panasonic announced the availability of the LF30 Series of Professional LCD Displays. The LF30 Series was designed to serve as a reliable indoor digital signage solution distinguished by high brightness, slim design, fanless design, low power consumption, light weight and a wide range of professional features. The displays are built specifically for digital signage and are ideal for environments such as airports, showrooms, shopping malls, hotels/casinos, financial institutions and hospitals. The LF30 Series features Slot 2.0 architectures which accommodates optional boards, expanding application possibilities. The technology allows users to easily mount and swap optional function boards to suit specific applications. The Slot 2.0 architecture also allows for a variety of input terminals, including DVI-D In/Out and RS-232C In/Out, for connection of up to 100 displays in a daisy chain configuration for greater operating efficiency.

Google TV: how soon will it be on your set?

Google chairman Eric Schmidt's claim that half of TV sets in stores next year will have Google TV capability sounds impressive – but how quickly does that mean it will reach everybody? Eric Schmidt, previously Google's chief executive and now chairman, forecast at the Le Web conference in Paris on Wednesday that "by the summer of 2012, the majority of the televisions you see in stores will have Google TV embedded on it". That's because he sees the "smart TV" sector exploding – with companies that make TVs wanting to build in internet connectivity and processing capacity. He didn't specify which companies will be selling sets with that capacity, but Samsung and Sony have already been offering "smart TV" sets for more than a year.

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.

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