Jon Barrett presents the first tech news for early ’08 including a preview of the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, a report on those pesky cell phone drivers, the RIAA and their litigious ways, and Radiohead’s In Rainbows.
It’s that time again—for the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. And if you’re not going, you’ve got the best seat in the house. Rather than trying to navigate the 200,000 gearhunters who will be trolling the 1.7 million square feet of exhibit space for a sneak peek at the gadgets that will have all of us salivating for the year to come, check back here next week for a rundown of some of the best. The most anticipated products will likely be mock-ups of phones using Google’s new Android mobile software platform and extreme-sized or cutting-edge TVs. If you can’t wait, check out CNet, Gizmodo, Engadget, or CoolHunting for on-site updates.
A week after CES, Steve Jobs will kick off Macworld 2008 in San Francisco, where he will announce Apple’s upcoming major releases. The rumor mills says these may include a MacBook Mini, computers with Blu-Ray disc drives, and iTunes movie rentals.
Speaking of innovation, Netflix announced on Wednesday that it has struck a deal with LG Electronics, allowing the rental company to send movies directly to customers’ LG televisions over the Internet. LG said that products with the integrated Netflix service will begin shipping in the second half of the year.
Cell phone users are to blame for that traffic jam that made you late to work the other day, according to new research out of the University of Utah. “At the end of the day, the average person’s commute is longer because of that person who is on the cell phone right in front of them,” said Utah psychology professor David Strayer. “That SOB on the cell phone is slowing you down and making you late.”
Microsoft executive Megan Wallent, who took leave from the company in November to undergo facial feminization surgery as part of her male-to-female transition, returned to work Wednesday, Valleywag reports. Wallent, who used to go by the name “Michael,” says the return was mostly uneventful. “I can in fact verify that while the men’s rooms in most buildings at Microsoft have blue tile, the women’s rooms have a pink to pinkish hue. Microsoft Pink?” Wallent is documenting her transition on her blog.
Don’t let curiosity get the better of you when you’re on Facebook. Wired.com’s Ryan Singel reports that the application “Secret Crush,” which promises to tell you if any of your online friends harbor lust for you, just wants you to install adware and help spread its infection: “According to an advisory from security software vendor Fortinet, the ‘Secret Crush’ application prompts users to install ad-serving software from Zango, a company that was fined $3 million in 2006 by the feds for letting third parties install its adware without user consent.”
New Jersey last week passed a law banning convicted sex offenders who used the Web to help them commit their crimes from using the Internet. The law exempts computer work done as part of a job or job search.
According to at least one lawyer for the Recording Industry Association of America, the lobbying group that has successfully sued people for sharing music with peer-to-peer software like KaZaA, you’re breaking the law just by ripping MP3s from CDs for your own use.
Speakers work just as well when it comes to sharing your tunes. But if you’ve got five friends intent on keeping their ‘phones on their head, check out the Belkin Rockstar, which offers six ports—one input and five outports—so you can split the sound.
Perfect for when you just can’t make up your mind: The domain name Bisexual.com is going up for auction January 13-15. It’s among a long list of NSFW domain names being sold by auction-house Moniker.
In case you missed the webcast and televised version of Radiohead’s performance of In Rainbows, originally broadcast on New Year’s Eve, the whole thing is now on YouTube. Here’s one of my favorites from the album.