Techzone360 Week in Review


It has been a fun if long week at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), with another year now under everyone's belts, and another year of amazing technology, gadgets and toys. It's also been a week in which Apple was in the news a good bit with a lot of speculation running about on whether or not the company is going to launch a cheap iPhone. Trust us on this - there will never be a cheap or inexpensive Apple iPhone. We have our excellent reasons to believe this. Here is another thing we very strongly believe, Apple needs to quickly get back on the track to true innovation. The way to make that happen? It's all about Apple's iOS 7 and Apple's need to make a complete break with the past and take a new leap into the future. Much is at stake for Apple, and making a cheap iPhone is not how Apple will retain its mobile leadership role.

Another thing we have heard lots about over the last several months is that Apple needs to get its act together and finally deliver in that long rumored Apple Television we keep hearing about -- and yes, that we ourselves also make note of. But all of the television technology that various companies showed off at CES this week now suggests very strongly to us that Apple TV may very well be toast. There is already so much great tech here that we are hard pressed to figure out what Apple can add to the mix that would make a difference and cause people -- even Apple fanatics -- to go out and buy it. Samsung's S9 85 inch TV ruled the roost at CES in our opinion, but even that was topped by Samsung's own 110 inch concept TV and curved screen TVs.

Samsung also delivered more cool CES tech in the form of bendable screen technology. In fact, Samsung has now finally also come up with a brand name for its bendable display tech. What is it? Well, its "Youm" -- an interesting choice for a brand name.Along with the brand name however comes some technology that may actually see the light of day in the retail consumer market this year.

Though Google, Microsoft and Apple were all missing in action from the CES show floor -- as they always do -- there were competitors showing off lots of products that aim to compete with them. One in particular that caught our eye is new eyewear from Vuzix, which competes with Google's Project Glass. Or at least it will once Google Glass actually becomes available. Vuzix's M100 glasses were first announced back in November, with an eye toward releasing them for about $1,000. However, with the CES unveiling, the company backtracked a bit and said it’d be bringing them out for just $500 when the wider launch slated for later this year arrives.

Lowell McAdam, Chairman and CEO of Verizon provided a CES keynote that spoke to the next wave of mobile tech we can expect as far as the wireless carrier, which will play a big role in it, is concerned. McAdam also brought on stage Roger Goodell, commissioner of the national football league, who spoke about  how mobile technology has allowed the NFL to keep in touch with fans and provide content to them even during the off-season. We provide some interesting details.

Before we move on to some other things, we'll note a few other things that captured our attention at CES. Nvidia announced its impressive new Tegra 4 processor, which includes some very cool new photography capabilities.Meanwhile, automaker Lexus (the auto companies are always present at CES) focused a great deal of attention on the use of mobile and other auto technology to greatly increase car safety. And connected car company Livio unveiled FM Connect. Livio enables in-car mobile applications and announced at CES that it has adopted a freemium model for app developers, new app and automotive partners, and a product called FM Connect that could open new revenue and other promotional opportunities for FM broadcasters.

Last, but hardly least, Lenovo unveiled a monster 27-Inch, multiuser "table" PC. The new gadget is being billed by Lenovo as a “multi-user, multi-touch and multi-mode” device that will allow home computer users to take their personal computing experience and turn it into a shared computing experience. It sounds good, at least on paper (and it looks great).

Enough about CES 2013 though. Are you one of those "less technically savvy folks" who get the cold sweats when faced with even the smallest of challenges, such as having a problem establishing a wireless connection? There are more of you than one might imagine who have this problem and fear. But we're here to help. We spent some time with George Otte, CEO and founder of Geeks on Site, who revealed to us five extremely helpful wireless tipsusers should keep in mind next time they just can’t seem to connect wirelessly.

And once you do manage to make that wireless connection and get onto your social media site, be careful what you do if you happen to live in Kenya. Slam someone via social media and you might end up in the slammer!Even worse, according to Bitange Ndemo, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Information and Communication, those accused of committing that type of crime can be fined up to $11,500.

How about something a bit less onerous and a bit less expensive instead? Still longing for that iPhone 5 and jealous of that friend of yours with the grandfathered in unlimited data plan at AT&T? Well, be jealous no longer. Wal-Mart and StraightTalk have partner to offer a fantastic no contract iPhone 5 deal complete with unlimited monthly, text, talk and data!It's a deal not to be missed and it’s yours for a total of $70 a month. And while you are at it, if you happen to live near New York City, head down to Chelsea with that new iPhone 5, because Google is now offering free Wi-Fi service thereas part of a two year test to extend Wi-Fi everywhere in the city.

We will wrap up the week's review by leaving you with some very interesting technology-focused ways on how to make 2013 your safest year yet.

TechZone360 Senior Editor

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