AP Technology NewsBrief at 5:35 p.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Review: Gift guide to smaller tabletsNEW YORK (AP) _ The tablet computer is without a doubt the gift of the season _ just like it was last year. But if you resisted the urge in 2011, now is the time to give in. This season's tablets are better all around. Intense competition has kept prices very low, making tablets incredible values compared to smartphones and PCs. The first step in the buying process is to decide on the size of the tablet. They fall into two rough categories: the full-sized tablet, pioneered by the iPad, and the half-size tablet, epitomized by the Kindle Fire.
Disney to shutter online movie store, websiteLOS ANGELES (AP) _ The Walt Disney Co. is shutting down its Web movie service, Disney Movies Online, saying the site wasn't keeping up with user demands. In an email to users, the company said the site would be closed as of Dec. 31.
Intel CEO Paul Otellini to retire in surprise moveSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Intel CEO Paul Otellini is retiring in May, giving the world's largest maker of microprocessors six months to find a new leader as it confronts two major challenges: a shaky economy and a shift toward mobile devices that is reducing demand for its PC chips. Although Otellini's impending departure was announced Monday, he notified Intel Corp.'s board of his retirement plan last Wednesday. The decision surprised Intel's board of directors, which had been expecting Otellini to remain CEO until the company's customary retirement age of 65. Otellini is 62.
Wii U: New console launches in a sea of gadgetsNEW YORK (AP) _ In the six years since the last major video game system launched, Apple unveiled the iPhone and the iPad, "Angry Birds" invaded smartphones and Facebook reached a billion users. In the process, scores of video game consoles were left to languish in living rooms alongside dusty VCRs and disc players. On Sunday, Nintendo Co. is launching the Wii U, a game machine designed to appeal both to the original Wii's casual audience and the hardcore gamers who skip work to be among the first to play the latest "Call of Duty" release. Just like the Wii U's predecessor, the Wii, which has sold nearly 100 million units worldwide since 2006, the new console's intended audience "truly is 5 to 95," says Reggie Fils-Aime, the president of Nintendo of America, the Japanese company's U.S. arm.
'Anonymous' targets Israeli websites over Gaza warJERUSALEM (AP) _ A concerted effort of millions of attempts to cripple Israeli websites during the Gaza conflict has failed, Israel's finance minister said Monday, claiming that the only site that was successfully hacked was back up within minutes. Cyber security experts said that such hacking attempts have become a new aspect of modern-day warfare and states have to invest in fortifying their virtual defenses on a battleground with vague terrain.
Cisco Systems to buy Meraki for $1.2 billionNEW YORK (AP) _ Cisco Systems Inc., the world's largest maker of computer networking gear, said Sunday it is buying Meraki for $1.2 billion to expand its ability to let customers compute in the cloud. Cloud computing refers to the increasingly popular practice of storing software applications in remote data centers that are accessed over the Internet instead of installing programs on individual machines.
Apple climbs; Topeka calls share sell-off 'insane'NEW YORK (AP) _ Shares of Apple jumped over 7 percent Monday, with one analyst calling a two-month sell-off in shares of the most valuable company on earth "insanely insane." After hitting an all-time of $705.10 on the day the company launched the iPhone 5, Apple's stock slumped into correction, and then into bear territory, down nearly 21 percent from that September high.
HP's fiscal 4Q to close the books on dismal yearSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Hewlett-Packard's fourth-quarter earnings will provide the latest snapshot of a technology pioneer struggling to regain its edge as its personal computers and printers lose their appeal in a market tilting toward smartphones and tablets. WHAT TO WATCH FOR: The results, due out before the stock market opens Tuesday, will close the books on a miserable year for the company, which is based in Palo Alto, Calif. The latest reporting period spanning from August through October will likely mark the fifth consecutive quarter that HP's revenue has declined from the previous year.
TV, movie features on new Wii U delayed until Dec.NEW YORK (AP) _ Some of the entertainment features on Nintendo's new Wii U won't be available when the game machine goes on sale Sunday. Nintendo didn't give a reason for the delay in Friday's news release. In a statement, the company said it wanted the service "to be the best possible experience for all consumers." Nintendo said it was still working to "make it available as soon as possible."
Review: Nintendo Wii U blows up dual-screen gamingWhen Nintendo first broached the idea of multiple-screen video games in 2004, many critics were skeptical that players could focus on two images at once. Yet the handheld DS, blending one touch-sensitive screen with a slightly larger video display, became a runaway hit. Turns out the portable DS may have just been a dress rehearsal for Nintendo's latest home console, the Wii U, which blows up the dual-screen concept to living-room size. It goes on sale in the U.S. on Sunday, starting at $300.
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