Friday Morning Cyber Corner

IN THE NEWS: SUPER MARIO AND NEW NINTENDO CONSOLE SET FOR LAUNCH

NEW YORK (AP) -- Gamers get ready, particularly those who favor Super Mario.

Nintendo's next generation console, the Wii U will have a beginning price of $300. It goes on sale in just over two months, on Nov. 18. Of course, that's in time for the holidays.

A "deluxe" version will sell for $350. It will be black instead of white and include extra features such as more memory, a charging stand and the game "Nintendo Land."

It will be the first major gaming console to launch since 2006. The device has a touch-screen controller called the Wii U GamePad. It also plays games made for the original Wii.

The next installment of the popular Mario franchise, "New Super Mario Bros. U," will be available as the new console launches.

There will also be new entertainment features for the console. "Nintendo TVii" will include access to movies, TV shows and sports. This includes pay-TV accounts along with services such as Hulu and Netflix. The GamePad works as a fancy remote controller and will let viewers browse shows they can watch.

IN THE AIR: BREAKING DOWN APPLE'S USE OF 4G NETWORK

NEW YORK (AP) -- The soon-to-be released iPhone 5 is the first Apple's first mobile handset that uses new "LTE" wireless networks.

That stands for "Long-Term Evolution". So what does that mean? It's the latest and fastest way to transmit data from cellular towers to phones and other gadgets. It's one of two so-called "fourth-generation," or 4G, wireless technologies that have been deployed by various phone companies. The other one is WiMax, which is available on Sprint phones. But WiMax coverage is low, and even Sprint is betting on LTE for the future.

LTE networks in the U.S. reach speeds up to 20 megabits per second. That's faster than most people get at home, with their cable or DSL services.

That means owners will be gobbling up more data and will need to pay attention to what their plan allows, or if there are data limits.

IN THE NEWS: HOW WE'RE USING TV

NEW YORK (AP) -- Just because folks are cutting the cable connection doesn't mean they aren't avid television viewers.

That point was hammered home this week when the Nielsen company issued a report about how people consume television programming.

The report says that three-quarters of the estimated 5 million homes that don't get TV signals over the airways or through cable, satellite or telecommunications companies have televisions anyway. An executive with the research firm says many of the users are satisfied to use their TVs for games or get programming through DVDs or services like Netflix or Apple TV.

As a result, Nielsen is considering redefining what it considers a television household to include people who get service through Netflix or similar services instead of the traditional TV signals.

And talk about a digital divide. People over age 65 spend nearly 48 hours, on average, watching television each week. Nielsen says at the other end of the spectrum are teenagers aged 12 to 17, who spend an average of 22 minutes per week watching TV.

ON THE WEB: WAITING FOR PRICE REDUCTIONS

NEW YORK (AP) -- A recent settlement with the U.S. Justice Department led to hopes that consumers could be enjoying lower prices. But that has yet to fully happen.

HarperCollins Publishers announced this week it had reached new price agreements with sellers that conform to the settlement. At issue were allegations five publishers and Apple colluded to set prices for e-books. Such new works as Michael Chabon's "Telegraph Avenue" now can be purchased on Amazon.com for $9.99, a price publishers and rival booksellers fear will give Amazon dominant control of the e-market.

Simon & Schuster and Hachette Book Group also settled, a recent check found e-prices for such fall books from those publishers as Bob Woodward's "The Price of Politics" and Tom Wolfe's "Back to Blood" were selling for $14.99. A spokesman for Simon & Schuster declined comment. Hachette issued a statement saying it was "engaged in productive discussions with e-book distribution agents."

Apple and two other publishers, Penguin Group (USA) and Macmillan, declined to settle and a trial is expected next June.

Publishers and booksellers face a complicated time of possible price wars or periods when books may become unavailable during the busy fall season, depending how quickly new agreements are signed.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


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