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iFive: Skype iPhone Video, Android Music App, Smart Grid Smarts Problem, Pogue’s 2010, Mossberg’s 2011

Just under 48 hours until the ball drops in Times Square and 2011 bursts upon us–but there’s still time for some news to happen in 2010:

1. Skype video calling for the iPhone is here. It’s a big deal, with Skype challenging Apple’s FaceTime system with one that many millions more people can use (unless they live in China), and it runs over 3G–a reinvention of the 3G video calling that Europe’s had for some time. Skype celebrated with a promo video, a crazy, odd, possibly inspirational reinvention of Budweiser’s wasssuuuup classic. Check it out below.

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2. Leaked video has surfaced of a make-over for the Android Music App–a key element in the battle with Apple for the hearts and minds of smartphone buyers (who’ll likely give up using their iPod when they get an Android or iPhone). It’s slicker, more colorful, with neat animations that may make iPhone users envious. It could even hint at designs Google has in mind for its upcoming music selling service.

3. The smart grid is imminent, and as well as boosting service it’ll make electricity consumption much more eco-friendly. There’s just one problem: smarts. The electricity industry hasn’t innovated for so long it desperately needs smart young minds employed to make the smart grid work. Hence news of a “big push” to “make utilities [as a career] cool again,” with education grants, a PR effort and academic research.

4. David Pogue, the New York Times‘ influential tech writer, has summarized his fave tech treats of 2010–great PR for many companies. Amazing live-text translator Word Lens is in there, along with Apple’s iMovie 11 comedy “movie trailer” themes, a wall power socket that also incorporates USB charging, and “cable company Wi-Fi alliances.”

5. Meanwhile Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal summarizes his tech expectations for 2011–a key article for consumers as Mossberg is steeped in tech culture. He’s made predictions for Apple, Google, Microsoft, RIM, HP, Facebook, and Twitter–it’s generally positive future-looking, highlighting things like HP’s webOS plans, MS’s Windows for tablets, and the business-person friendly BlackBerry PlayBook.

To read more news on this, and similar stuff, keep up with my updates by following me, Kit Eaton, on Twitter.

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About the author

I'm covering the science/tech/generally-exciting-and-innovative beat for Fast Company. Follow me on Twitter, or Google+ and you'll hear tons of interesting stuff, I promise.

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