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TECH SPACE
200 mn in US to use smartphones or tablets by 2015: forecast
by Staff Writers
San Francisco (AFP) Aug 23, 2011

Some 200 million Americans will own smartphones or tablet computers by 2015, with many people having both, marketing intelligence firm In-Stat forecast on Tuesday.

"This market trend will have a huge impact on how video entertainment is acquired and consumed," the firm predicted in its forecast.

Technology titans such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft have been staking out territory in a "post-PC" world marked by people tapping into the Internet from mobile gadgets instead of desktop computers.

earlier related report
Miramax films stream to Facebook
San Francisco (AFP) Aug 22, 2011 - Hollywood studio Miramax on Monday began making some of its films available for online viewing as rentals at social networking powerhouse Facebook.

The release of free Miramax App software enhanced Facebook's status as an online venue for entertainment as well as an Internet neighborhood for exchanging news, views and happenings with friends.

"We are big believers in Facebook and what it could mean for the future of the content business," Miramax said in a blog post.

The initial version of the application allowed for streaming movies but the software will evolve based on feedback from users, according to the film studio.

Movie rentals cost three dollars each, with payment accepted in the form of credits at Facebook's payment platform.

"Our ultimate goal is to give consumers the opportunity to buy films and store them in their own cloud-based digital locker -- to then access the content anywhere they want, across all devices," Miramax said.

Miramax films include "Good Will Hunting" and "Pulp Fiction." The application went live in the United States, Britain and Turkey with limited film selections and was to gradually expand to more countries.

Reed Hastings, chairman and chief executive of US online video rental giant Netflix, was named to Facebook's board of directors in June.

Hastings, who founded Netflix in 1997, said at the time that Facebook is "propelling a fundamental change in how people connect with each other and share all kinds of content."

Warner Bros. early this year became the first Hollywood studio to use Facebook as a theater by making the 2008 Batman thriller "The Dark Knight" available as a streaming rental for US users of the social network.

Hollywood studios have been looking at various services to distribute movies online, including Amazon, Netflix, Apple's iTunes, Hulu, YouTube and others.




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United pilots to use iPad for navigation
Washington (AFP) Aug 23, 2011 - United Airlines said Tuesday it was replacing the hefty flight manuals and chart books its pilots have long used with 11,000 iPads carrying the same data.

The 1.5 pound (0.7 kilogram) iPad will take the place of about 38 pounds (17 kilograms) of paper instructions, data and charts pilots have long used to help guide them, parent company United Continental Holdings said.

The popular tablet computer will carry the Mobile FliteDeck software app from Jeppesen, a Boeing subsidiary which provides navigation tools for air, sea and land.

"The paperless flight deck represents the next generation of flying," said Captain Fred Abbott, United's senior vice president of flight operations.

"The introduction of iPads ensures our pilots have essential and real-time information at their fingertips at all times throughout the flight."

It will be supplied to all pilots on United and Continental flights; the two carriers merged in 2010.

United is the second major US carrier to adopt the iPad as a key pilot flight aid.

In May Alaska Airlines also adopted it, after the Federal Aviation Administration okayed the iPad for cockpit use.

United estimates that using the iPad will save 16 million sheets of paper a year, and that the lighter load it represents will save 326,000 gallons (1.2 million liters) in fuel.

"With iPad, pilots are able to quickly and efficiently access reference material without having to thumb through thousands of sheets of paper and reduce clutter on the flight deck," the company said.





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TECH SPACE
HP surrenders as post-PC era beckons
Washington (AFP) Aug 19, 2011
The stunning announcement by Hewlett-Packard, the world's top personal computer maker, that it is taking steps to exit the business is the surest sign yet the post-PC era is here. "We tend to throw the 'post-PC era' term around a lot, but it's clear that, in the wake of HP's announcement, were closer than ever to that reality," said independent technology analyst Carmi Levy. "When a stal ... read more


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