Official name of 4K becomes Ultra HD

Apparently, the sticky widget was whether to include a qualifier to distinguish between 4L and 8K, which was dropped. Of course, today there are a few pricey 4K TVs on the market. As with the early days of HD, content is mostly confined to upscaled discs (Blu-ray these days) and photos.

Rumor: Color Labs to be acquired by Apple

It would be odd to see Apple go back to the same well from which it drank up Lala, but Color hit on some emerging phenomena such as introductions and (live) video sharing that will undeniably become more important.

New Acer 7″ tablet enters crowded, margin-free market

Easy to blame this one on competing with your OS provider (albeit indirectly), but the situation would be similar if it the A110 were simply competing with the Kindle Fire HD, just as it was for other 7″ tablets from Samsung and Lenovo. Still, it’s the perception of competing with the OS vendor that makes for uneasiness.

Amphibious ATV coming for about $40K

Twice the fun at 45 mph on the water from the folks who brought you the Aquada. “It’s about freedom.”

Amazon touches seas of Kindles with Whispercast

Like Apple, Amazon’s standing as a successful retailer has allowed it to drive the Kindle business beyond those of any other Android-based tablet maker. Both companies have succeeded in part because of their focus on the end-user or customer. The introduction of Whispercast, however, throws a wrinkle into that. This is the first “Whisper”-branded technology that caters to the needs of institutions, priming the pump for large-volume purchases.

It may also signal a continued move away from ads that are not enterprise-friendly; Amazon greatly reduced the price to remove ads in its latest round of Kindles. The move is timed well to take advantage of the larger, higher-end Kindle Fires on the way that can do a better job of displaying documents and other rich media as wel as the lower-end Kindle Paperwhites that are lean, mean text-reading machines. It also helps to shore up Amazon’s defenses now that its main competitor is partnering with enterprise software giant Microsoft, but also to further differentiate it from the signage-class e-readers that may soon start to aggregate in that unforgiving pool known as “the bottom.”

Belkin debuts iPhone-connected baby monitor

It includes a Cry Notification feature and will compete directly with the startup Evoz. This may be another case of telepresence overkill.

Telenav acquires location-based advertising company

It’s always interesting to see how third parties react when much of their core functionality gets integrated into the operating system. Telenav had to do this with Android and now with iOS. Keeping its excellent Scout app free and functional will require creative and unobtrusive advertising.

Surface to “click in” to a separate accessory

One of the details about Surface that has been revealed is the price of the device which, at $499, is competitive with the current iPad. But that includes a significant asterisk, which is the $100 for the well-highlighted touch cover and even more for the thicker version with tactile keys.  The closest counterpart to this on the iPad is the Logitech Ultrathin keyboard which, unlike the Surface add-on keyboards, require a battery and Bluetooth and lacks a touchpad. But without such a relatively pricey peripheral, Surface users will have to rely on the device’s integrated kickstand for that satisfying  clicking sound. At least that kickstand will allow users to have device propped up unattended in landscape orientation, something that requires an accessory for the iPad.

Boxee TV lands between the living room and cloud

The new Boxee TV, like the original Boxee Box, is also produced by D-Link. But there’ll be little issue setting something on top of this one. Indeed, that’s what Boxee has figuratively done, stacking over-the-air DVR functionality on top of the Internet content that was delivered by the original oddly-angled cubazoid. The Boxee TV model is somewhat of a cross between Simple.TV and Aereo. Like the former, Boxee TV is a local device. Like the latter, though, it relies on cloud storage rather than local storage and unlimited local storage at that. Boxee TV will cost $99 and the company has struck a deal to blow it out at Walmart. Thus, not surprisingly, Walmart-owned Vudu will be one of the featured broadband TV launch partners along with Netflix.

Alas, there’s a monthly fee: $15 per month independent of any other services,. Like Aereo, Boxee will be offering access to all the recorded video via a Web app that should cover most services. So, it seems that Boxee, like Simple.TV, is courting the cord-never, or at least seeking to bring a bit of flavor of TV Everywhere to that crowd. Unlike Aereo, Boxee TV actually uploads recordings to the cloud, so it may be able to maneuver more deftly around legal challenges.

ASUS Padfone 2 improves on Russian doll design

It’s not quite building the trinity of the Mac, iPhone and iPad, but ASUS can lay claim to pioneering some minor form factor trends (or at least fads) including the netbook (Eee) and the detachable (Transformer), the latter of which will see increased adoption under Windows 8. Now it’s extending the case for form factor fusion and making a case for the trifecta with the Padfone, which embeds a phone in a tablet (which can then be docked).

There’s clear improvement in the Padfone’s second iteration. The phone is a competitive modern beast — 4.7″ IPS display, quad-core processor, the locking mechanism seems very secure, and the overall package with the tablet is thinner and lighter. But there is stil that hump in the back to literally and figuratively get over. The Padfone continues the assault on the tablet as  a standalone  device as something destined to become either a notebook variant or a smartphone accessory.