Intel, Yahoo to Build Internet into HDTVs

dell takes a slice at apple with super thin latitude z dellz closed

At this week’s Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, Yahoo and Intel announced a new initiative aimed at building support for Web-enabled channels directly into high-definition televisions, so Internet-based content (and, no doubt, advertising) can run alongside television programming. The initiative, dubbed the “Widget Channel,” will offer a television application framework developers can use to deploy Internet-based applications designed to be viewed alongside television content. The whole thing will be powered by Yahoo’s Widget Engine, and run on Intel’s new C3100 chips, due in the first half of 2009, that are specifically aimed at consumer electronics devices.

“TV will fundamentally change how we talk about, imagine, and experience the Internet,” said the senior VP of Intel’s digital home group, Eric Kim, in a statement. “No longer just a passive experience unless the viewer wants it that way, Intel and Yahoo are proposing a way where the TV and Internet are as interactive, and seamless, as possible.”

Developers will be able to tap into HTML, Flash, XML, and JavaScript to create their applications, which will appear in a corner of the screen much like a picture-in-picture frame. The companies promise the Widget Channel will also feature a Widget Gallery that will enable developers to publish their Widgets to both Widget Channel-enabled televisions and other consumer electronics devices. Intel and Yahoo imagine widget that enable users to tap into existing Internet services like email, eBay, Yahoo Sports, and video rental services, as well as social networking services like Twitter that enable users to chat about programming or share their favorite content with friends and family.

Support for the Widget Channel include cable operator Comcast, which has said it plans to develop Widgets and integrate it with the Java-based tru2way technology that provides interactive communications with set-top boxes, such as Comcast’s program guide.

Of course, the prospect of interactive widgets on a television raises privacy and security concerns: advertisers will no doubt leap at the chance to profile user’s Widget activity as a way to deliver ever-more-targeted advertising to their television screens and mailboxes. Also Widgets themselves may be vulnerable to attack—potentially exposing users’ login credentials for services like eBay—and, depending on how well the Widget Channel is policed, it’s even possible malware or Trojan widgets could debut. Imagine a world where turning on Sesame Street in the morning displays a message like “This TV has been pwned!”…or Symantec starts marketing antivirus products for your television.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Movies & TV

Comcast launches Xfinity Flex, a $5-a-month service aimed at cord cutters

For $5 a month, Xfinity Flex gives existing Xfinity internet subscribers a 4K- and HDR-ready set-top box that can stream video from YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, as well as free TV from apps like Cheddar and ESPN3.
Mobile

Rooting your Android device is risky. Do it right with our handy guide

Wondering whether to root your Android smartphone or stick with stock Android? Perhaps you’ve decided to do it and you just need to know how? Here, you'll find an explanation and a quick guide on how to root Android devices.
Movies & TV

Disney completes its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox

Now that Walt Disney Company has closed its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox's movie and television assets, what does this future hold for franchises like X-Men, the Fantastic Four, The Simpsons, and the rest?
Deals

Suck up the savings with these vacuum cleaners on sale for $100 or less

Keeping your floors clean around the home is a constant chore. To help make things a whole lot easier, we've picked out some great vacuum cleaner deals available right now, from full-sized upright models to robot vacs.
Smart Home

Is your coffee maker hiding mold inside? Here's how to clean it

Are you a coffee drinker? If you brew your coffee at home and you don't clean your machine, you could be drinking mold, yeast, and other bacteria. Here's how to clean your coffee maker.
Deals

Walmart drops prices on Google Home Hub and Lenovo smart displays

Walmart slashed the prices of Google Home smart displays for two highly regarded Lenovo models and the original Google Home Hub. We can't think of a better way to improve your smart home setup and these deals can help you save up to $100.
Deals

Amazon lowers Echo Dot cost and slashes price of the Dot and Smart Plug bundle

Amazon just unleashed extraordinary price cuts on third-generation Echo Dot smart speakers. The Alexa device is back in stock following the blowout sales last holiday season. The Echo Dot is the best-selling Alexa smart speaker worldwide.
Smart Home

These best outdoor security cameras will keep porch pirates at bay

Worried about porch pirates stealing your packages, or intruders entering your home? Always be in the know about who or what is on your property by installing one of these outdoor security cameras.
Smart Home

Your Instant Pot can do it all. Research says it has another important function

Researchers at Dakota State University tested a variety of pressure cookers for sterilization and found that Instant Pot provides enough pressure and heat to kill off food-spoiling bacteria.
Smart Home

Need some help? Here's our handy step-by-step guide on how to Airbnb your home

Getting ready to make your home a great rental? Here's how to Airbnb your home with the right amenities, insurance, supplies, and everthing else that you need. Use this guide to get started without making beginner mistakes!
Deals

Dyson sale shatters prices on vacuums just in time for spring cleaning

Steep price cuts on Dyson vacuum cleaners for the spring cleaning season help you save money on the tools you need to do the job. We've found the best discounts on Dyson vacuums from Amazon and Walmart and put them all in one place.
Deals

Amazon slashes prices on Echo devices that play Alexa’s sweetest-sounding music

Amazon slashed prices on Alexa-controlled Echo devices with the best music sound quality. All Alexa smart speakers stream music, but some sound better than others. Save on Echo Plus and the Echo Sub bundled with Echo and Echo Plus speakers.
Product Review

Simple and small, the Google Home Hub is your low-key smart screen

What’s small, simple, cute, and lacks a camera? The Google Home Hub is the latest smart display to hit the market. Powered by Google Assistant, there’s a lot to like about this device.