Tech Roundup: Consumer electronics sales slow, SanDisk Layoffs, Broadband Prices Narrow, More

Consumer sales sag -- October sales growth was sluggish in retail. Wal-Mart was up a few percent, as was Costco, and Target was down .7 percent. Consumer electronics was not able to save the day. At Costco, TV unit sales were up by 20 percent, but given sagging prices, the net was less than last year. BJ's Wholesale Club actually saw close to a 12 percent rise in sales, it reported that consumer electronics were weak. [Source: TWICE]

Dell has new notebook case technology -- Dell has developed a new approach to adding graphic designs to notebook cases. Digital printing puts the image on a film, which then gets transferred by heat. Colors are supposed to be brighter and cleaner than alternative technologies. However, whether anyone sees it in action is still a question; it currently costs too much to be put into production. [Source: DigiTimes]

SanDisk putting workers in storage? -- After the back and forth with Samsung, SanDisk has faced a difficult market. Not only has the memory market been in a slump, but with the stock market being as twitchy as it is, there's the problem of trying to pacify investors who saw Samsung's buy-out offer spurned. Then there was the $155 million loss last quarter. Some combination of it all has started at least the rumors that SanDisk will lay off upwards of 15 percent of its workforce. [Source: BNET Industry Technology Blog, Engadget]

Broadband prices narrow -- According to UK analysts Point Topic, worldwide broadband prices have dropped by 20 percent in less than a year. Fiber has the lowest cost per megabit of bandwidth, but it's still the most expensive per month on the average. DSL is the most expensive per megabit over fiber and cable, but that may change. AT&T has found ways of supercharging copper wire to carry as much as 18 mbps. [Source: Ars Technica]

Expect a tech ear in the White House -- President-elect Barack Obama is already showing some political affinity to high tech. Two members of his transition team are industry veterans. They include Julius Genchowski, managing director of Rock Creek Ventures, and Sonal Shah, who is in charge of global development for Google.org, which is the charitable organization set up by Google. [Source: InternetNews.com]

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