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Spoiler Alert! Here's What Will Be Unveiled at CES, and What Won't

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Yahoo, Intel, and Ford will make news at the biggest electronics show ever.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Why wear out shoe leather walking the endless and crowded corridors of the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where 1.87 million square feet of space will be devoted to 3,000 exhibitors from around the world? Especially since there have been at least cryptic news leaks about some of the biggest announcements expected at the show, which runs all next week.

Here's the word so far:
  • Ford (NYSE:F) and seven other automakers are turning out in force at CES this year. They're being coy about what they'll be showing, but best guess is incremental improvements in on-board voice command technology for such tasks as navigation, phone calls, and media controls. Ford is the current leader in this area, with its exclusive on the SYNC system developed by Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).
  • Marissa Meyer, the super high profile new CEO whose arrival has breathed life into Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), will be all over the event. No word on what, if anything, Yahoo has to show. Meyer will sit on a panel or two, throw a dinner party, and mostly schmooze with major advertisers. According to AllThingsD.com, she wants to make nice with the advertising industry's potential big spenders.
  • The streaming television programming service being developed by Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) is not ready for prime time, meaning this January's CES show. According to PC World contributor John P. Mello Jr., the problem is not technology, it is rights negotiations. It always is, as any number of companies trying to improve the way Americans get television programming have found out. The cable industry does not intend to go quietly into that dark night.
Forbes says Intel still hopes to go ahead with beta tests on its Internet-connected set-top box as early as March.
  • Meanwhile, Samsung (PINK:SSNLF) and LG (KRX:066570) are among the competitors expected to be on the CES floor showing updated versions of their own "smart TV" products. Nobody suggests they've figured out the rights thing, but they might have incremental improvements in areas like voice and gesture recognition.
  • Westinghouse Digital is hauling out a whopper of an "ultra high definition" LED TV. This 110-inch behemoth boasts four times the standard 1080 pixels. This is an interesting move from a company better known for low-end models, and in fact the monster reportedly will be available only by special order.
Or Westinghouse might be doing it just for spite, since it will dwarf the 84-incher to be showcased by LG. Most competitors are expected to be showing new jumbo models of 55 to 65 inches. These are the ones likely to actually pop up in stores and living rooms later this year.
  • Samsung is making everybody crazy with a head-scratching teaser of a new television that it will be taking to CES. The brief text is in Korean, but in any case it apparently doesn't explain why this device appears to be: a) longer than it is wide, and b) transparent. It also looks as thin as an onion skin, but that could be misleading.
Oh, and you can pretty much forget about major announcements in the smart phone world. Look for them in late February at Mobile World in Barcelona.

If you'd like to forget about CES altogether right now, take a look at PCWorld's roundup of the bombs of CES 2012. It proves that marketing, after all, can get you only so far in this world.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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