World Tech Update, Dec. 1, 2011

Thanks for joining us here on World Tech Update this week I'm Nick Barber. For those of you who missed last week's show it was a holiday gift guide so check it out if you're looking for a gift for a special someone or head over to Network World where they've reviewed over 100 tech treasures.

Facebook executives are reportedly looking to take the company public this spring and expect it to be valued at more than 100 billion dollars. The 800 million user social network may file for the IPO before the end of this year to take the company public between April and June 2012, according to the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. Facebook hopes to raise about 10 billion in its IPO. It declined to comment on any plans.

Amazon saw a Kindle sales surge last Friday, called Black Friday in the US, the big shopping day that follows the Thanksgiving holiday. The group of Kindle devices sold four times the amount sold on Black Friday in 2010 Amazon said in the statement. Those devices include the 79 dollar Kindle, 99 dollar Kindle Touch, 149 dollar Kindle Touch 3G and 199 dollar Kindle Fire.

HP CEO Meg Whitman expects Apple to take over as the world's top PC maker in 2012, taking the top spot away from HP. She also said that her own company will bounce back in 2013. According to data from analysis firm Canalys the iPad 3 is likely to be the product to tip the balance in Apple's favor.

Interest in tablets with Microsoft's Windows 8 is plummeting according to Forrester Research. According to the study released this week about 46 percent of US consumers quote yearned for a windows 8 tablet in the first quarter this year, but that has dropped to 25 percent in the third quarter. Microsoft has not officially announced a release date for Windows 8, but Intel executives expect the OS to arrive on PCs by mid-to-late next year. Microsoft's touch-oriented Windows 8 will work on x86 processors, which are used in PCs, and ARM processors, which are used in most tablets today. 

Famed auction house Sotheby's will put the founding Apple contract up for auction later this month. The document which detailed the founders duties and their share of the company is expected to fetch between 100,000 and 150,000 dollars when it's auctioned on December 13.

Zynga games has released a new mobile game in time for the holidays—Dream Zoo, the first game the company has designed with compressed mesh animation, which allows for more options in a smaller storage space. Artists in the San Francisco office were busy designing holiday-themed decorations for the game. In the game, users can build their own zoo space and breed animals. Users earn hearts by going to other user’s zoos and cleaning up dirty animals and feeding them. Each time you breed your animals, the next generation animal has wilder colors and spots. Zynga designed the game to allow for hundreds of possibilities in coloration.

Just when everyone is starting to go paperless a company called Berg is looking to buck the trend with its Little Printer. It's a tiny printer that makes receipt size prints of social media status updates, games, trivia and whatever else you may subscribe to. You can say when you want them delivered or press the button on top. It will work with both Android and iOS devices. It's an inkless thermal printer and you can use it wherever there's a power outlet. It connects to the internet using the Berg Cloud Bridge which sits by your broadband router and wirelessly connects the printer to the Internet. The Little Printer will be available in 2012, but pricing wasn't announced.

NASA sent a robotic rover called Curiosity to Mars over the weekend. The Mars Science Laboratory lifted off from Cape Canaveral on Saturday aboard an Atlas Five rocket. Less than an hour after launch the rover sent back a signal to NASA reporting that it had separated from the rocket and was flying free on its way to the red planet. It's ETA, August 2012. The new super rover will collect soil and rock samples and analyze them for evidence that the area has, or ever had, environmental conditions favorable to microbial life.

And in more space news NASA released this video which shows how fire behaves in space. NASA's Flame Extinguishment Experiment or FLEX has conducted more than 200 tests to better understand the fundamentals of flames and how best to suppress fire in space. What you see here is a droplet of fuel that is 4mm in diameter. There's a brief burn before what's called a radiative extinction. Following it is an afterglow from a condensing vapor cloud and scattered backlight.

Well that's our show for this week. Thanks for joining us here on World Tech Update. To find out what's coming up on every week's show be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. As we head out this week we'll leave you with some shots from the Tokyo Motor Show. I'm Nick Barber and for all of us here at the IDG News Service thanks for watching and we hope to see you next week.



Produced by

IDG News Service

Nick Barber



IDG News Service

Nick Barber

Kerry Davis

Sharon Gaudin, Computerworld

Matt Hamblen, Computerworld

Ben Camm-Jones, Macworld U.K




IDG News Service








© IDG 2011



Coming up on World Tech Update this week Facebook eyes an IPO, HP plans to give up its spot as top PC producer, far fewer are yearning for Windows 8 tablets, Zynga lets you build and run a zoo, a little gadget prints you reminders and NASA lifts off to explore Mars.