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4K TV, tablets, and timepieces at CES 2013 (week in review)

Gadget madness descends on the desert, while Amazon retunes CDs. Also: A cheaper iPhone?

The Razer Edge gaming tablet

Forget about 3D TV -- this year's Consumer Electronics Show was all about 4K.

Sony got the ball rolling with the unveiling of new 55-inch and 65-inch 4K TVs, as well as the world's first 4K video distribution service, which offers native 4K movies from Sony Pictures and other 4K content creators. Additionally, the company also said it would be selling "4K mastered" Blu-ray discs this summer; they'll be standard 1080p resolution (not 4K), but supposedly look better than traditional Blu-rays.

The electronics giant unveiled a prototype 4K OLED TV at 56 inches, although little was said about it. Meanwhile, Panasonic displayed its own 4K OLED screen, which it claims is the world's biggest at less than half an inch thick. Panasonic also showed off a 4K tablet prototype that boasted a ridiculous 3,840x2,560-pixel resolution and 230 pixels per inch packed into a 20-inch IPS LED-backlit LCD display.

There were plenty -- plenty --of other stories at the Las Vegas show, but here's a brief roundup of some of the highlights:
•  Microsoft CEO crashes Qualcomm keynote at CES
•  Samsung shows off Youm flexible display
•  Scrappy Dish wows again at CES with TV anywhere push
•  Razer Edge gaming tablet becomes reality at CES
•  Actor, gadget fan Danny DeVito speaks with CNET at CES
•  Pebble watch is the smartest timepiece ever

More headlines

Amazon lets rip with AutoRip music service

When you buy an AutoRip-enabled CD, you automatically get the MP3 version for free, and those MP3 versions will be available via Amazon's Cloud Player.
•  Scoop: Amazon to launch auto rip, an effort to sex up CDs

New intrigue on trail of cheaper iPhone

Reuters has cryptically withdrawn a story pegged to remarks purportedly made by Apple's Phil Schiller in China.
•  Cheaper iPhone could cost as little as $99, Bloomberg says
•  Cheap iPhone could appeal to a half billion people, Munster says

Dish counters Sprint, makes $5.5B offer for Clearwire

The satellite TV provider's unsolicited offer for the wireless broadband company is more than 10 percent higher than Sprint's.
•  Sprint reportedly asks to partner with Dish

Google withdraws ITC patent claims against Microsoft

Motorola Mobility's parent drops two patents from its infringement case over video-coding patents used in Xboxes and smartphones.
•  Justice Department, Patent Office urge limiting sales bans
•  Sling Media sues Belkin, Monsoon for patent infringement

Iran said to be responsible for cyberattacks on U.S. banks

The massive wave of DDoS attacks that hit U.S. banks recently was thought to have been done by a fringe hacker group, however government officials now believe it was the work of Iran.
•  Iran develops software to control access to social networks

Congressman: Google FTC probe results were leaked illegally

News of the FTC's investigation into the search giant's business practices leaked a day before being made public. Now Rep. Darrell Issa is demanding an inquiry into the leaks.
•  Senator blasts leaks in FTC's Google investigation
•  Watchdog seeks FTC staff opinion on Google antitrust case
•  EU still unhappy with how Google shows search results

Microsoft to kill the Messenger on March 15

The tech titan plans to migrate users of the instant-messaging client to Skype, which it purchased in 2011.
•  Microsoft updates Skype for Windows with Outlook integration

T-Mobile rips up contract on unlimited data plan

In another example of its push into prepaid, the carrier is offering its unlimited plan without a contract.
•  T-Mobile expands iPhone-compatible 4G service, unveils HD voice

Netflix brings 3D, 'Super HD' video to some customers

The video streaming service adds a limited number of 3D movies to its library. The hitch? You can only access them if you've got an ISP that uses its Open Connect network.
•  Warner Bros. to bring 'Revolution,' 'Fringe' to Netflix

Google's Schmidt presses North Korean officials for open Web

The Web giant's executive chairman tells reporters that his private delegation warned officials that global Internet access is key to a developing economy.
•  In N. Korea, Google's Schmidt gets glimpse of Net

Also of note
•  Aereo to bring its TV service to 22 cities this year
•  Facebook invites media to event at HQ next week
•  Steve Ballmer bringing NBA's Kings to Seattle?