Tech Yeah!

  Wednesday, 18 Dec 2013 | 4:19 PM ET

Is the LG Chromebase the opposite of the Mac Pro?

Posted By: Althea Chang

Two new desktop computers are on the way to a market full of laptops, and each is likely to have its own set of fans.

Apple's new Mac Pro lands in stores Thursday, and while most shoppers may not be clamoring for the desktop computer in the same way they have for the iPad Air, the influence of business users could help put the pricey machines into the hands of everyday computer users, according to CNET Editor-in-Chief Lindsey Turrentine.

"It's really more business users or professional freelancers and you know, of course, always that person who wants the very most powerful computer that they can get. There are always a few people out there like that," said Turrentine of those she expects to buy the new Mac Pro.

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  Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 | 4:17 PM ET

This is Facebook's biggest video ad challenge

Posted By: Althea Chang

Facebook is testing out new video ads that autoplay on some of its users' news feeds, a move that could potentially spark a major increase in the social network's revenue from advertisers.

Advertisers will have spent an estimated $66.4 billion on TV ads in 2013, according to research firm eMarketer, and online ad spending could chip at that share of of overall ad spending, according to Jeremy Rosenberg, head of digital at communications company Allison+Partners.

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  Friday, 13 Dec 2013 | 4:02 PM ET

Twitter reverses privacy rule

Posted By: Christina Medici Scolaro

In what some might call a humbling move, Twitter reversed its privacy policy just one day after it was implemented.

Originally, when a Twitter user blocked another user, all interaction ceased.

The company outraged users by adjusting the rule—allowing "blocked" users to continue to follow accounts that had blocked them, only the "blocker" wouldn't see it.

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  Friday, 13 Dec 2013 | 8:06 AM ET

LG aims to raise the 'bar' for home audio systems

Posted By: Erika Santoro

Want to crank up that home theater system? LG is hoping its new wireless speaker system will turn your entertainment area into your personal rockin' arena.

The LG Sound Bar and subwoofer works with LG's Smart TV platform to bring streaming content from Netflix, YouTube and Pandora from the Web to the living room via a Bluetooth connection with tablets, PCs and smartphones.

The Sound Bar is entering a market already stacked with similar wireless home speaker systems. Companies like Phillips, Sony and Samsung all offer similarly styled but cheaper speakers. But priced at $399.99 it costs less than the higher-end wireless speaker systems made by the likes of Harmon and Parrot.

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  Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 | 3:52 PM ET

Free Spotify on mobile takes on Apple iTunes Radio

Posted By: Althea Chang

Streaming music service Spotify announced that it's finally offering free versions for tablet and mobile apps that will perform more like its Web streaming service.

Users will be able to search, shuffle and play songs from their iOS and Android devices, paying only in time spent listening to advertisements, the company announced Wednesday.

Mobile Spotify users previously had to pay $10 per month for a premium subscription in order to access their full accounts on tablets or smartphones.

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  Tuesday, 10 Dec 2013 | 4:23 PM ET

Wal-Mart to offer no-contract iPhones

Posted By: Althea Chang

Wal-Mart has announced that Apple's newest iPhones will be available for sale at its stores without a contract.

Buyers of iPhone 5s and 5c can talk, text and surf the Web on their devices via Straight Talk Wireless for a fee starting at $45 a month, according to that firm's parent company, Tracfone Wireless, whose no-contract service plans are available for phones sold at Walmart locations.

That price doesn't include the phone, however. According to Tracfone, the price on a no-contract 16-gigabyte iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s will be $549 and $649, respectively.

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  Monday, 9 Dec 2013 | 4:15 PM ET

Tech giants take a stand on NSA surveillance

Posted By: Althea Chang

Eight tech giants took a stand on mass surveillance of the companies' customers in an open letter to the government.

Apple, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, AOL, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn said in full-page ads in The New York Times, The Washington Post and other major newspapers that instead of broadly surveilling Internet users, the National Security Agency should limit its investigations to known suspects. The companies also asked that they be allowed to disclose the frequency and nature of government requests for user information.

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  Friday, 6 Dec 2013 | 2:14 PM ET

The Copenhagen Wheel—Enhancing urban mobility

Posted By: Erika Santoro

Imagine cruising through the city on a bike at 20 mph without exerting much effort? That's what a hybrid bike can do. Any ordinary bike can be turned into a hybrid through the Copenhagen Wheel—a motorized disk unit that attaches to the rear wheel.

The disk module senses the energy of the rider when pedaling and helps provide a boost when biking long distances or going uphill.

There's even a regenerative component to the disk module: Energy is captured when a rider brakes and this energy is stored for later use in the motor.

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  Wednesday, 4 Dec 2013 | 5:00 PM ET

Google's robot plan for the next 'moonshot'

Posted By: Christina Medici Scolaro

Just days after Amazon announced it was working on delivery drones, Google reported it has been quietly acquiring robotic companies to make its own futuristic vision come to life. In just the past six months, the giant has bought seven such businesses.

Google is calling it a "moonshot" program.

According to a report in The New York Times, the company's focus is on manufacturing, rather than consumer, technologies.

Andy Rubin, who built Google's Android software, is directing the robot project.

"Rubin's efforts on Android were very real and very successful," said CNET senior editor Scott Stein.

"This is entering science fiction territory, where who knows what will happen," he added.

—By CNBC's Christina Medici Scolaro

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  Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 | 3:40 PM ET

Computer shipments more than double decline in '13

Posted By: Althea Chang

Computer shipments to retailers are estimated to end the year much lower as consumers spend more time on smartphones and tablets.

Shipments of desktops and laptops (whether they run on Windows, Mac or other operating systems) are expected to show a decline of more than 10 percent, the most dramatic drop ever, according to research firm IDC. Shipments dropped about 4 percent last year.

"It's like newspaper subscriptions," said CNET Editor-in-Chief Paul Sloan. "They're just going to keep going down. Mobile is growing; tablets are growing."

Although no tablet on the market can entirely replace a personal computer, he said, the ones available are fine for what most users do with them.

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