Return of the Commodore

Culture
-It's Tuesday, April 5th. I'm Natali Morris and it's time to get Loaded. Texas Instruments announced plans to acquire National Semiconductor for $6.5 billion. This makes Texas Instruments the third largest semiconductor manufacturer behind Intel and Samsung. Texas Instruments and National Semiconductor specialize in analog processors. These are the kind of chips that convert real-world data, like temperature, into digital data that a computer can interpret, and then back to real-world data that a human can use. These are very important in consumer and industry electronics. Google may have an anti-trust case on its hands soon. Bloomberg reports that the Federal Trade Commission is eyeing down the search giant in consideration of a government investigation. They're said to be waiting on a decision from the Justice Department on whether or not Google's acquisition of ITA is allowed. ITA is a flight and ticket information company that Google is trying to purchase for $700 million. The government may not want to allow this because it could put too much information and, therefore, a monopoly in Google's hands. If you wanna upgrade your iPhone but you're not eligible for a new phone just yet, it will cost an extra $50 from here on out. iPhone contracts put you on a 2-year upgrade schedule. The cost of upgrading early is now $299 for an 8-gig model, $449 for a 16-gig model, and $549 for a 32-gig model. Sprint may be getting into the mobile phone payment business. Last week, we reported quite a few mobile companies doing this. Sprint's Vice President of Product Platforms told Bloomberg that Sprint phones will have near field communication chips (or NFC chips) soon, and these will let consumers waive their phones over payment terminals to buy everyday items. The NFC payments will charge your credit card, not your cellphone bill, although Sprint would take a cut of the transaction a lot like Visa or MasterCard. Google has updated Google Maps for Android with enhanced location history and check-in features. It also allows you to merge your latitude on your mobile maps. This is a feature that lets your track your friends and family on a map. You can also see graphs of your check-in history and a breakdown of you spend your time between home, work, gym, or wherever else you frequent. Sony may be launching Honeycomb tablets later this year. Sony is one of the few manufacturers we have not seen launch a tablet just yet, but it has to be just a matter of time. Bloomberg reports that Sony CEO Howard Stringer said that the company will launch tablets running Google's Honeycomb version of its Android Operating System sometime this summer. And finally, the Commodore 64 is back. The machine is being released in its old body but with new and improved inside, so it will run like a modern-day computer. It will have a new operating system, although it will be backwards compatible if you wanna run the programs of yore. The Commodore 64 was one of the most beloved computers of its time. It sold more than 30 million units. That's your news of the day. I will see you tomorrow. I'm Natali Morris for CNET, and you've just been Loaded.

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