Nuance’s Voice Control TV, OLPC’s Tablet For Schoolkids, Netflix Debuts In U.K., PayPal Testing Mobile Payments At Home Depot

Breaking news from your editors at Fast Company, with updates all day.

Nuance Brings Voice Control To TV. Nuance, the speech recognition firm behind Apple’s Siri app, has just revealed Dragon TV–a unique voice control platform for all sorts of TV industry makers. It offers natural language inputs like “When is Ellen on?” and “watch Dexter on DVR” as well as direct social media messaging by voice command. It could enable a revolution, as we predicted. –KE 


SpareOne Revealed, A Phone With 15-Year Standby. Low-end innovations don’t often grab attention at CES, but this new phone is remarkable: Concentrating on power management, the SpareOne is said to be “the only cell phone in the world powered by a standard AA battery.” The shelf life of this cell means it can sit in your car or in your storm bunker untended for up to 15 years, and then deliver up to 10 hours of emergency talk time. –KE

–Updated 12:05 p.m. EST

China Unicom’s iPhone Monopoly Near End. China’s regulators have just approved its second iPhone provider, China Telecom, thereby terminating China Unicom’s exclusive hold on the iPhone market in the country. That could mean millions more sales for Apple in the country. The iPhone 4S goes on sale in the country on January 13, and China Unicom is offering it free with a long-term contract. —NS

China Writers’ Group Sues Apple. Apple, infamous for its copyright lawsuits on copycat competitors, is being sued in turn by a small Chinese writers group. The China Written Works Copyright Society had been lobbying for months to get Apple to remove copyright-overstepping books from the App Store. When the books weren’t removed, the group took matters to court, where it’s suing the Cupertino company for $1.9 million. —NS

–Updated 10:15 a.m. EST


CES 2012 Showoff: OLPC To Unveil Low-cost, Tough Student-Friendly Tablet. One Laptop Per Child is bringing out their XO-3 tablet at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show, a little over two years after announcing it in 2009. It will cost $100 and is built as an educational accessory for students in developing countries (where tablets of other flavors are also hitting the education market). OLPC’s first attempt, the XO-1 laptop, disappointed with its late arrival and higher-than-promised final price, but it’s looking like round two with the XO-3 might fare a little better. –-NS

–Updated 6:30 a.m. EST

Over the weekend, Google wished Charles Addams, creator of the Adams Family television series, a happy 100th birthday with this Google Doodle.

Netflix Debuts In The U.K.  Netflix has officially launched in the U.K., challenging local favorite LoveFilm. In the months leading up to Netflix’s launch late Sunday night, both streaming services courted big film studios and television networks, hoping to get the freshest crop of streaming content on their own service. —NS


PayPal Testing Mobile Payments At Home Depot. A pilot trial running at a handful of Home Depot stores involving a few employees is testing PayPal’s mobile payment system, reports AllThingsD. If the system went into operation, customers would be able to pay for their Home Depot shopping using a PayPal credit card or their mobile phone number. Pilots with other retailers are expected in the coming months. —NS

Israel Will Fight Credit Card Hacker. Israel has responded sternly to the cyber security breach last week, supposedly perpetrated by a Saudi-based hacker, in which thousands of Israelis had their credit card details stolen and published. Reuters reports that Israel was viewing the attack as a terrorist threat, and would “fight back.” —NS

–Updated 5:30 a.m. EST

[Image: Google]

Friday’s Fast Feed: Ford Opening R&D Outfit In Silicon Valley, Iran Clamps Down On Internet Use, 45,000 Facebook Log-ins Stolen By Worm, and more!