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The Buzz Report
HP tablets: iPad killers?This week in Buzz, we get all excited about a WebOS device with a sexy design. History repeats. But at least the 3DS is actually shipping. Hide your kids!
Hi, I'm Molly Wood, and welcome to the Buzz Report, the show about the tech news that e eryone's talking about. This week, a REAL iPad killer on the horizon, Steve Jobs takes another break, and start lining up now for the Nintendo 3DS. But first, it's the Gadget of the Week. The gadget of the week is the HP WebOS tablet. Or tablets, possibly! Engadget this week showed off pictures and details from an unnamed source, saying HP would release TWO WebOS tablets, known as "Topaz" and "Opal." See, now, I think WebOS could be the best competitor to iOS, and judging from the pictures, these things could be pretty hot- looking on the outside, too. Engadget reports the tablets will have "premium audio," access to cloud storage, and POSSIBLY features like a wireless dock that would let the slates function as an alarm clock, digital photo frame, or GPS device. HP is holding a press event February 9 where we expect to hear more. Until then, there can't be any harm in over-hyping a WebOS device that promises earth-shattering design, a near-perfect UI, and a wireless charging station long before we ever lay hands on it or have a ship date, right? And now for the news. The big news of the week, of course, was Apple's announcement that Steve Jobs would be taking medical leave from Apple to focus on his health. Jobs' statement did not give a time frame for his return, leading many to wonder whether he'll ever return to daily duties at the company. And as with the last time Jobs was so ill he actually had to leave the job and company he so clearly loves, there's really no jokes to be made. So ... Apple's stock took a brief dip on news of Jobs' departure, but quickly rebounded after the company's quarterly earnings call. Apple announced it had sold more than 16 million iPhones -- before it even got on Verizon. They sold more than 7 million iPads, and more than 4 million Macs. Sales in Apple stores were up 95 percent. It was ridiculous. At one point, and this is a direct quote from COO Tim Cook, they said, "We were selling sh*t so fast we think we might have accidentally sold a couple Newtons." That's true, I'm not making that up. Ok, I'm making that up. In much more disturbing news this week, the FCC and the Department of Justice approved the merger between Comcast an NBC Universal, against my express advice. The move means that, for the first time, a single company will control a broadcast network and a handful of cable channels, movie studios, local TV stations, online video distribution sites, AND the subscription services and physical network that deliver both the television AND the Internet. What could possibly go wrong? The FCC and DOJ say they have lots of regulations in place to keep Comcast from doing anything naughty -- like, they're not allowed to mess with Hulu at ALL. Now, the next great business plan based on aggregating TV online? Take a number, sucker. The list of regulations and requirements for the merger is long. But trust me: corporate memories are shorter. This? Is bad news. Good news for Nintendo 3DS fans, quickly; Nintendo finally announced this week that the 3DS will be shipping March 27th, it will cost $249, 30 games will be available between now and June, and it may or may not mess up your kids' eyes for them to spend literally every minute of like the next five years staring at this glasses-free 3D screen. Trust me. Have you ever seen a kid with a Nintendo DS? Talk about a zombie invasion. this just in, Google CEO Eric Schmidt is stepping down. He'll become executive chairman, and Google co-founder and former CEO Larry Page will become CEO again. Co-founder Sergey Brin will be high-level tech strategy. In a blog post about the change, Schmidt basically said Larry Page is now grown-up enough to take over again, and you know what? Google is hard to manage, and "don't be evil" was Larry and Sergey's idea in the first place, so why don't we let THEM figure out how to do no evil and keep shareholders happy at the same time. Have fun with that, guys. I'm paraphrasing of course. More on that story at CNET News dot com. And finally, let's have a look at what's clogging the tubes. Finding a way to deliver 3D without glasses ... it's kind of the new black right now. But this week, someone named Jonathan Post offered up a demo of a way to view 3D without glasses that ... well, doesn't really seem worth it. Check it out. Yeah, because who wants to wear glasses. That would look weird. And that's the Buzz Report for this week, everyone. I'm Molly Wood, and thanks for watching.