MediaFile

Tech wrap: HP shake-up?

A change could be underway at the top at Hewlett-Packard. The company’s board convened on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of ousting CEO Leo Apotheker after less than a year on the job and may appoint former eBay chief Meg Whitman to fill in as interim CEO, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters. HP’s board of directors has come under increasing pressure in recent months after a raft of controversial decisions has left investors uncertain of the company’s leadership.

Newly minted Apple CEO Tim Cook will try his hand as star presenter at an October 4 company event widely expected to include the launch of the latest version of the tech behemoth’s iPhone handset, according to a report on AllThingD. Sources told the website that the plan is to make the iPhone 5 available to consumers within weeks of the event. Apple has yet to officially announce or even acknowledge that the new device exists at all. For those tired of yet another story about a rumored release date, there was something akin to a confirmation on Wednesday from an unlikely source: former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. Gore, an Apple board member, apparently told a tech conference that the next-generation phone will indeed be available next month. Oops?!

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt traveled to Washington on Wednesday to face critics who say his company has become a dominant and potentially anti-competitive force on the Internet. Schmidt told a Senate antitrust hearing that his company has not “cooked” its search results to favor its own products and listings, despite accusations to the contrary from senators and other Web companies.  “Google is in a position to determine who will succeed and who will fail on the Internet,” said Republican Senator Mike Lee, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel. Google has been broadly accused of using its clout in the search market to stomp rivals as it moves into related businesses, like travel search.

Dust your library cards off, Kindle users. Amazon announced on Wednesday its Kindle ebooks will now be available for borrowing from more than 11,000 libraries across the U.S. Borrowing a book seems pretty simple: customers find the book they want on their local library’s website and choose the “Send to Kindle” option, which will then redirect them to Amazon.com where they must log in to complete the check out. Amazon then gives customers the option of delivering the book wirelessly to their device of choice – the books are compatible with all Kindle models and mobile apps – or transferring it manually using a USB drive.

Netflix and Discovery Communications reached an agreement to bring episodes of popular TV adventure shows including “Man vs. Wild” and “River Monsters” to the streaming service, the companies confirmed to Reuters correspondent Paul Thomasch on Wednesday. The two-year deal covers only material from prior seasons of the TV shows and is limited to Netflix subscribers in the United States. Discovery has an option for a third year.

Verizon Wireless appeals to lawmakers, even newspapers

Verizon Wireless chief Lowell McAdam has been busy writing letters recently, mostly to U.S. lawmakers.

Yesterday’s missive had a similar intention, to explain how his company is really very warm and friendly toward consumers and competitors. The difference is its addressee — none other than Arthur Sulzberger, the publisher of the New York Times.

He did tear to shreds the newspaper’s opinion piece on phone companies. He accused the paper of relying on myths to make its point that regulators may want to take a look at phone company’s behavior.