Let’s start with a few of the highlights from the annual Consumer Electronic Show (CES) held each January in as Vegas.

One of the more interesting developments is a new kind of Web TV, worked out in a collaboration by Yahoo!, Intel, Toshiba, Samsung, and a few others. Some time later this year (2009),you’ll be able to buy new Internet-linked TVs. in addition to the normal picture, they will have a strip of icons along the bottom of the screen. Collectively, they’re called the “Widget Channel.” You will be able to click on “news,” “stocks,” “weather,” “photos,” or “YouTube” to start with. More icons will undoubtedly be added as the release point nears.

These Internet connected TVs are expected to cost around $300 more than regular high-definition models, though competition should drive down the difference. Right now, only about 1 percent of the population has Internet on their TVs but that’s expected to climb to 14 percent by the end of the year. By 2010, such TVs are expected to dominate the market.

— Among other new products from the CES, accompany called “Dashboard Devices” is bringing out a $2700 computer for the car that collects your email and reads it to you as you drive along. It will also play Internet radio channels and have a seven-inch touchscreen for quickly bringing in other functions.

— A new kind of “green” battery called the “Fuji EnviroMax” will deliver reliable current but be harmless to the environment when it is no longer useful. It doesn’t contain cadmium or mercury and can be disposed of through normal waste systems; the other ingredients will be biodegradable. Batteries for toys, radios, and flashlights are expected to cost around $4 per package and longer life batteries for devices such as digital cameras, remote controls and video games will be $6 a pack.

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