New Year News: Welcome back, here's what you missed

We digest the tastiest morsels of tech news from the last week, along with the grubby end of the turkey and those coffee Quality Street no one else likes

Nick Hide Managing copy editor
Nick manages CNET's advice copy desk from Springfield, Virginia. He's worked at CNET since 2005.
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Nick Hide
2 min read

Happy New Year, dearies! Hope you had a smashing Christmas. We certainly did -- Nate got a hat with two bobbles, Charles got some books he won't read, Jason froze his unmentionables off in Yorkshire and Nick crashed his mum's car. Into two separate walls. Everyone else got a plane ticket to Las Vegas for this week's Consumer Electronics Show, which we'll be reporting in our customary depth. So, what did we miss while we were sleeping off the port?

The interminable saga of the Apple tablet seems finally to be drawing to a close, with a report that JobsCo has booked a San Francisco convention centre for 26 January -- all day! -- for a mobile-focused event. Other recent tidbits doing the rounds include Apple ordering 10-inch displays, Apple encouraging developers to adapt their apps for bigger screens, and Apple trademarking two possible names for the cursed thing.

Gambling on the possibility of a tablet bandwagon picking up momentum, chip manufacturer Freescale has revealed a reference design (pictured) for its own vision of the touchscreen portable. Smaller than Apple's supposed effort, Freescale believes we'll only need 7 inches of screen real estate, a low-power processor for all-day battery life, 4 to 64GB of solid-state storage and Linux or Android to taste. Think of it as the HTC Hero to Apple's iPhone.

Closer to home, the Daily Telegraph last week reported that UK video-game sales had for the first time surpassed movie box office and home DVD (and Blu-ray) sales combined. It quoted UK Film Council data showing £1bn in box office takings and £200m in disc sales in the 12 months to September 2009. That stacks up against £1.73bn in game sales in the same period, or 30 per cent higher. We hesitate to question the UKFC, but we raised an eyebrow at the £200m figure, which seems awfully low. Music and TV make more money than either films or games.

Speaking of which, it wouldn't be Christmas without a rich person making us all feed bad, and this year Bono took the opportunity to berate file sharers. "A decade's worth of music file-sharing and swiping has made clear that the people it hurts are the creators," wrote the multi-millionaire in an article in the New York Times. In fairness, he added, "Fledgling songwriters... can't live off ticket and t-shirt sales like the least sympathetic among us." As CNET News' Greg Sandoval points out, he risks becoming the new Lars Ulrich.

Now, if you'll excuse us, we're off to finish our chocolate coins and work out what to spend a Marks & Spencer voucher on. If there's anything else we missed over the festive period, feel free to let us know in the comments below.