By Peter Thal Larsen
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
Japan's Panasonic Corp forecast on Monday its full-year operating profit would drop 11 percent to 270 billion yen ($3.4 billion) in the year to March 2012, after the earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan hit production and sales. Like many of its rivals, Panasonic delayed its profit forecast due to lack of clarity about the effects of the quake.
Microsoft reported a dip in quarterly sales of its core Windows operating system, mirroring a recent downturn in personal computers. The world's largest software company met Wall Street profit estimates, as strong sales of its Office suite of applications and game systems took up the slack. "Microsoft to me is no longer a growth stock but it is a very attractive value stock. They continue to generate tremendous free cash flow. Their balance sheet is really unmatched," Channing Smith of Capital Advisors said.
from Russell Boyce:
North Korea opened its doors and the internet to the World's media to allow a glimpse of the parade which marked the 65th anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party. More importantly, it gave the world its first independent look at the protege Kim Jong-un. China based Chief Photographer Petar Kujundzic took full advantage of the opportunity. The warmth of the picture of the women soldiers smiling - a rare glimpse into the world from which we normally only get formal, over compressed and pixelated images.
You may only have just heard about 3D TV, but Panasonic is already expecting it to be a hit with consumers. Yoshi Yamada, CEO of Panasonic's North America unit, told us the Japanese gadget maker hopes to sell 1 million units -- or more -- and they won't even hit the stores until the spring.
This video does not do justice to Panasonic's 152-inch HD TV, on display at CES. 3D TV is getting all of the buzz, but this screen just makes you stop and ponder, you know, everything. I only included that guy on the left for perspective. Its a big doggone screen.
from Raw Japan:
Whenever I hear the words "3D TV", I'm reminded of a scene in the 1971 flick Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in which Mike Teavee uses Wonka's television chocolate machine to miniaturise himself to fit inside a TV screen. As the mini Mike shouts with excitement about his TV debut, his mother reaches into the TV, picks him up and puts him in her purse. As a kid, that was as close as I'd get to 3D TV.
Most people beat up their laptops and eventually pay the price. But not so with an emerging class of so-called rugged laptops. Dell is releasing its second-generation fully-rugged model - the Latitude E6400 XFR - and the company says it provides even better protection from rain, dust and dirt, drops and spills and temperature extremes.