Picture brightens on auto-tinting smart windows

Windows that shade automatically have been part of high-tech home demos for years, but there are signs that smart glass is leaving research labs and heading into more actual buildings.

Building-materials maker Saint Gobain earlier this week acquired Sage Electrochromics, and another smart glass startup, Soladigm, signed a distribution deal with Guardian Industries, one of the largest glass manufacturers.

Materials scientists have toiled for years developing glass that can automatically tint based on the amount of light coming in, but technical challenges have meant that the technology is hardly used.

The investment by large companies in tintable window glass signals … Read more

iPhone theft suspects enter no-contest plea

Two men pleaded no contest today to theft of lost property in a case involving last year's iPhone 4 prototype, which Apple claimed was so valuable that a price could not be placed on it.

The men, who were accused of selling the device to gadget blog Gizmodo last year, were sentenced to one year of probation, 40 hours of public service, and a requirement that each pay $250 in restitution to Apple, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe told CNET.

Brian Hogan, the man who allegedly found the prototype in a bar, and Sage Wallower, who allegedly … Read more

Gizmodo not charged in iPhone 4 theft

Hewlett-Packard permanently cuts the price of the TouchPad to just $399, Google is reportedly rushing to finish the Ice Cream Sandwich update to its Android operating system, and the San Mateo, Calif., district attorney has filed charges in the theft of an iPhone 4 prototype but not against Gizmodo.

Links from Thursday's episode of Loaded:

iPhone 4 charged filed against two men but not Gizmodo HTC buys Beats by Dr. Dre HP cuts price of TouchPad to $399 Google rushing to finish Ice Cream Sandwich Verizon and AT&T block jailbroken tetherers Nintendo 3DS gets "Flame Red"Read more

Early-access app teases Star Wars Blu-ray set

We're a little more than a month away from the arrival of "Star Wars: The Complete Saga" on Blu-ray, and Lucasfilm is continuing the recent Comic-Con buzz by offering the most detailed sneak peak of the set to date with Star Wars Blu-ray: Early Access App.

September 16 will bring the nine-disc Blu-ray set to store shelves, and Lucasfilm publicity poobahs have effectively been hyping the set since CES in January. Most recently, they made a buzz at Comic-Con by unveiling a trailer of the restored deleted scenes included in the set.

The free early-access app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch offers an early look at the more than 40 hours of bonus footage and other material included in the Blu-ray collection.… Read more

Google acquires DVR software maker SageTV

Google has acquired SageTV, which develops software for DVRs and home-theater PCs, for an undisclosed sum.

SageTV has been developing its software since 2002. The platform allows people to record live television, including full seasons, thanks to support for antenna TV, cable, and satellite. A place-shifting feature lets people start watching a show on one device, such as their PC or Mac, and continue watching it elsewhere, including on mobile devices or even in the car.

Though speculation abounds over what Google has planned for SageTV, one possibility is that the service will be integrated into Google TV. That platform, … Read more

Saint Gobain invests in self-tinting 'smart glass'

Building materials heavyweight Saint Gobain yesterday bought a stake in glass specialist Sage Electrochromics and plans to build a large factory to make automatically tinting glass.

France-based Saint Gobain paid $80 million for a 50 percent stake in Faribault, Minn.-based Sage Electrochromics, which makes energy-saving windows and skylights. The deal represents a significant boost for the green building technology.

With electrochromic glass, also called "smart glass," a low-voltage current causes windows to tint based on incoming light. Automatically adjusting the amount of sunlight that comes into buildings can significantly save on energy costs with a reduced lighting … Read more

Motorola Sage could be next AT&T Android phone

Judging by recent leaks and tips, the next Android phone for AT&T could be the Motorola Sage. First spotted in the FCC last week, the quad-band device appears to support AT&T's 850 and 1900MHz bands in addition to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Assisted-GPS, and EDGE. Over the next few days, a handful of images emerged showing the Sage and its sliding QWERTY form factor, looking much like the T-Mobile Cliq.

If you are familiar with Motorola's Android handsets so far, you'll likely recognize shades of T-Mobile's Cliq XT and the keyboard on AT&… Read more

Hearing on Gizmodo iPhone warrant scheduled

A judge in Silicon Valley will hear arguments later this week in a dispute over unsealing records about the criminal investigation into what may have been a prototype iPhone purchased by a gadget blog.

San Mateo County Judge Clifford Cretan has scheduled a hearing for 9 a.m. PDT Friday in his courtroom in Redwood City, Calif. Cretan previously approved a police request to search the home office of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen, a decision that unleashed a torrent of speculation about the legality of searching a journalist's workplace and whether Apple instigated the raid.

Media organizations including CNET, … Read more

The people involved in sale of lost iPhone revealed

The saga of the lost prototype iPhone started with a 21-year-old Silicon Valley resident who says he regrets not trying harder to find its real owner, according to a published report.

Brian J. Hogan, a 21-year-old resident of Redwood City, Calif., is the person who found the iPhone and was paid by Gizmodo, according to a story published on Thursday by

Hogan's lawyer issued a statement to Wired and said Hogan was in the bar with friends when another patron handed him the phone after finding it on a nearby stool, asked around if anyone owned it, … Read more

Sage assistant

This handy toolbox simplifies importing orders from your e-commerce Web site for manipulating with your business' Sage accounting software. However, a bug in the automatic scheduler means you'll have to rely on manual data pulls.

Sage Order Importer complements your existing Sage 50 or Sage Line 50 accounting software by serving as a bridge from your e-commerce Web site to your in-office accounting package. It streamlines orders and inventories onto a single platform, freeing business owners from having to shoehorn data into multiple apps. The Sage set-up wizard makes configuring data sources a simple matter. The two-paned interface has … Read more