Two more of the world's biggest technology companies are clamoring to enter the growing market for pint-size computers targeted mainly for...

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Two more of the world’s biggest technology companies are clamoring to enter the growing market for pint-size computers targeted mainly for pint-size customers.

Hewlett-Packard (HP), the No. 1 seller of personal computers worldwide, said it’s throwing its weight behind a new class of miniaturized laptops, a fledgling market already populated with products from Intel, the world’s largest semiconductor company, and Asustek Computers, the world’s largest maker of computer motherboards.

And Dell will begin selling a notebook priced as low as $399 in late June or early July, a person familiar with the matter said. The new range of laptops will offer flash-memory-based storage of 8 gigabytes to 12 gigabytes and will have a maximum price of $499, the person said.

The machines are so new the industry hasn’t settled on a name for low-cost and scaled-down laptops used primarily for surfing the Internet and performing other basic functions such as word processing.

Intel has labeled them “netbooks,” and it expects more than 50 million netbooks to be in circulation by 2011.

TiVo / Dish

Dispute headed for Supreme Court

A federal appeals court said Friday it won’t reconsider a ruling favoring TiVo in its patent dispute with Dish Network.

The decision puts TiVo closer to receiving the $94 million a lower court awarded the digital-video recorder (DVR) maker for Dish Network’s patent infringement.

It also sets an important legal precedent that gives TiVo leverage as it negotiates partnerships with other satellite- and cable-TV providers who want to use DVR technology.

In January, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit agreed with a lower court that DVRs distributed by Dish violated the software elements of TiVo’s patent. The ruling overturned the lower court’s finding that Dish also infringed on the patent’s hardware elements.

Dish last month asked the Washington, D.C.-based appeals court to rehear the case, saying the court’s ruling relied on inaccurate testimony from a TiVo witness. But the court Friday declined to reconsider its decision.

Dish Network said it would file an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court.

Google Earth

All the news that’s fit to … sort by city

Google will add a feature on its Google Earth program so users can catch up on news from their favorite places.

Users of the program sort by cities such as London or Paris and read The New York Times articles about them, with headlines updated in real time.

Google’s Web sites got about 136 million American visitors in February, compared with Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo’s 137 million, according to data from ComScore. The New York Times Web site had about 48 million visitors in that period.

The New York Times stopped charging for access to parts of its Web site last year to draw visitors.

Only USA Today and The Wall Street Journal have larger circulations.


Some post offices to recycle gadgets

People who want to recycle small electronics can do so free under a test program at about 1,500 post offices.

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is testing the program in several states and, if it is a success, may make it national this fall.

Postage-free envelopes are available at the test offices for people to send in old cellphones, personal-data assistants, MP3 players, inkjet cartridges and other small electronic items.

Clover Technologies Group pays the postage, then remanufactures and remarkets the items. The tests are under way in several cities in California, Chicago and in and around Washington, D.C.


More offerings for Hispanics

The online hangout MySpace expanded its offerings for U.S. Hispanics, adding eight bilingual communities focused on Latino celebrities, soccer and other interests.

The year-old MySpace Latino has largely been a translation of MySpace’s English site into Spanish. Last week, MySpace unveiled content specific to one of the fastest-growing groups online.

“It’s been something they’ve been asking for,” said Victor Kong, managing director for MySpace Latino. “We’re not just duplicating everything and having the same exact programs in Spanish.”

Compiled from The Associated Press and Bloomberg News