The future of TV looks like this
Having conquered our desks, then our laps, then our pockets, the big tech companies are eyeing up our living rooms. TV is going to change.
The TV set is probably the most universal gadget of them all, something few homes (and these days, few bedrooms) are without.
But TV is due for some big changes, and the technology companies that have sold us computers, laptops, tablets and phones now want to grab a slice of the television pie.
They're going to do it with their own set-top boxes. These boxes won't just challenge the likes of Freeview and Sky, they'll double up as games machines too, giving Sony, Nintendo and other console manufacturers something to worry about.
One box is Apple's minuscule AppleTV, once described by Steve Jobs as "a hobby" for the company.
The latest AppleTV is little more than a wireless receiver, designed to grab streams of content from other devices and display them on the TV screen it is attached to.
In other words, it converts your TV into an external display for your iPod, iPhone or iPad.
When the next version of iOS is released, this functionality will allow people to load up games on an iPad and see them on the TV. The iPad becomes a games console, movie player and TV streaming gadget.
Google is following the same path, with a set-top box called Google TV (www.google.com/tv/). It's only built into a few third-party products at the moment, and those are only available in the US.
But no one would be surprised if Google followed Apple's lead and launched its own set-top box product, which could tie in to Google's phones and web services just as AppleTV ties in to the iUniverse around it.
Most internet devices can play TV shows now, via online catch-up services such as BBC iPlayer (www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer). Whether you like it or not, your TV is moving in the opposite direction to become more like an internet device.
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30 YEARS YOUNG
The PC is 30 years old. To celebrate, Benj Edwards decided to boot up an ancient IBM 5150 and see how it fared with modern computing, such as reading email and posting to Twitter. Boasting only 640KB (yes kilobytes) of RAM and running BASIC rather than Windows, it looks pretty puny compared to modern computers. But the experiment worked: Edwards managed to check email, use Twitter, and sort-of browse the web. They don't make them like that any more. Read the full story at goo.gl/n7Uyk.
Tweetolife is a clever website that trawls through Twitter looking for keywords, and knows what time of day they were tweeted or whether they were tweeted by male or female twitterers. Women tweet about "love" more often than men, and men tweet about "money" more often than women. The best time of day to find people tweeting "commute" is between 7am and 9am. Search for the keywords of your choice at www.tweetolife.com
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