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Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology. For the past few years, the media has met iPhone introductions with skepticism that precedes great sales success. This has become such a cliché that the superstitious might worry what would happen should new

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September 29, 2013 at 5:30PM
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Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology. On September 2, Microsoft announced that it would pay $7.2 billion for Nokia's handset business, including its smartphones and Asha phones aimed at consumers in developing economies. Key personnel from that business

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Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology. Motorola's return to the smartphone market after a year ensconced in Googliness raised many questions about how the handset pioneer would introduce a competitive smartphone without appearing to have most-favored man

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Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology. Casting aside such permutations as the DSi and the DSi XL, it makes ordinal sense for the Nintendo 3DS to have followed the Nintendo DS. This is true even if the \"3\" was for the number of dimensions and not necessar

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Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology. Last week's Switched On discussed the initial confusion and rough ride for Windows RT, which became a dealbreaker for inventive PC designs that used the operating system. Despite ASUS dropping out of making Windows

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Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology. Today's hottest and best-selling tablets and smartphones have one thing in common: they are powered by ARM processors. Offered in such variations as NVIDIA's Tegra, Qualcomm's Snapdragon, Samsung's Exynos and Apple'

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Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology. In that human-behavior lab known as the New York City subway, a vacationing family recently sought to get in a group self-portrait on their last day in the Big Apple. But the rocking train kept thwarting the capture

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Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology. At the launch of the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 -- the first hardware devices to run on the long-awaited BlackBerry 10 operating system -- there seemed to be a silver lining for the renamed company's struggling PlayBook

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Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology. Connor \"Con\" Sumer looked up at the beast that stalked him ever since flat-panel TV sales began to flatten out. \"Stereoscopy,\" he thought, \"the word even sounded like an uncomfortable medical procedure.\" This was fa

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Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology. The recent announcement by Barnes & Noble that it would discontinue its Nook tablets marked the exit of what once promised to be a strong rival to Amazon, at least among bibliophiles. Barnes & Noble's entry

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Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology. The PlayStation 4's is upgradeable; the Xbox One's is not. For at least the second consecutive generation (the third for the Xbox), hard drives will be offered as part of the gaming experience for two of the home vi

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Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology. The Mac Pro might have been worthy of the \"One More Thing\" kinds of reveals that Steve Jobs used to do at Apple events. Despite being foreshadowed by Tim Cook as a product the company was going to make in the US, it

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Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology. In 2002, the first LCD-based iMac succeeded the translucent PowerPC G3-based models that the original Bondi Blue iMac begat. The new generation was much more striking than the one that had placed Apple on the comeba

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Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology. Throughout the history of home game consoles, it's been notoriously difficult for a leader in one generation to maintain its leadership in the next generation. Sony, for example, went from dominance of the sixth-gen

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Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology. From pitch pipes to voice recorders, the list of standalone devices that an unadorned smartphone can substitute for runs long. But the portable electronics products that smartphones have had the most impact on have

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Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology. In a March interview, Google chairman Eric Schmidt, whose company's smartphone ambitions led to his vacating a board seat at Apple, claimed that he didn't use either an Android phone or iPhone. Rather, he uses a Bla

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Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology. When Microsoft introduced the original Xbox, the company had a lot to prove. The console newcomer promised that it was laser-focused on building a great system for games. There wasn't much to distract it. In a time

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Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology. The announcement of the Acer Aspire R7 was the best example of the company's assertion that it was moving from computers designed with touch to computers designed for touch. But if having a fancy, even unprecedented

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Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology. The television. The PC. The cellphone. We take the things in these sentence fragments for granted today, but they took many years to enter the mainstream. Could Google Glass herald the next great product that we wil

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Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology. In the early days of the internet economy, the saying went that webpages were created on Macs, served on Unix and viewed on Windows. In the iOS app economy, it's often the case that apps run on devices by Apple, but

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