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Rollup TVs, smartphones and other longish thoughts from this week

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This was one of those weeks that could have been more focused. Instead of thinking about a few big ideas, I found myself trying to catch lots of little ones as they came pouring in, clamoring for attention.

It was like a mental mayfly hatch.

Here are some of the ones that managed to live longer than a day.

Why I still have a 20-year-old TV: You no sooner plunk down hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars for the latest in technology than something better comes along. We all know that. So I waited through the plasma debate, bided my time as HD sets became more affordable, and eventually lost my place in the whole “what’s best” tech discussion.

But, if I can hang on for just a few more years, it looks like I will be rewarded with the TV of my dreams. Korean electronics maker LG is developing a fairly large, high-resolution screen that can be rolled up to a radius of 1.2 inches. The company expects to have it ready for market by 2017.

I love the idea of being able to stash the thing in a closet or a drawer when it’s not in use, just like a mixer or the vacuum cleaner. And moving it would be so easy. Another reason I’ve stuck with my old Sony is the problem of getting it out of my house; it’s heavy and it doesn’t fit in my car.

Besides, a rollup TV just sounds cool.

But you know what? For video, my iPad is doing just fine by me. It’s the epitome of portable already. If I want to change seats – or rooms – or go out on the patio while I’m watching a show, I just pick it up and move without missing a beat.

So now I have to ask whether we will even be buying TVs much longer. Tablets are already outselling desktop and laptop computers, and video “consumption” is shifting to mobile devices, especially smartphones.

I’ll be eager to see, though, what business and industrial applications will be developed for LG’s flexible screens.

Speaking of smartphones: Thanks to NPR a couple of weeks ago, I now view my phone less like an ally and more like that friend in junior high who could never keep a secret no matter how much she promised not to tell.

Thanks to the proliferation of free WiFi hotspots around the country, it’s easier to connect and save on your data plan. But the vast majority of those connections are open – meaning woefully lacking in security – and as you move about your day, your phone is constantly reaching out and connecting indiscriminately without your knowledge. And in those moments between the query and the connection, you are vulnerable to hackers.

And speaking of hacking: If you worry about your business getting bad reviews online or being slammed on social media, here’s a new cyber-worry. Google map hackers can put you out of business by telling the world you’ve closed or moved. It was the last straw for a restaurant in Virginia.

The week ahead

A local study recently got national coverage that suggested the midstate is experiencing an Amish migration of serious proportions, posing a threat to tourism in addition to the cohesiveness of the Amish community. In this week’s print edition, reporter Heather Stauffer sets the record straight on what’s really happening and why.

Serious car collectors will be flocking to the Farm Show complex in Harrisburg later in the month for a premier auction of rare and luxury vehicles. Reporter Jason Scott gives us the rundown on the economic impact and on some of the choicer offerings.

The Inside Business focus this week is on employee benefits, human resources and insurance that includes an early assessment of what the recent Hobby Lobby/Conestoga Wood ruling could mean for your business and a look at employee perks available at some midstate employers. The lists are property and casualty insurers and employee benefits administrators.

Find the week’s networking opportunities here.

Hope Stephan

Hope Stephan

Hope Stephan is editor of the Central Penn Business Journal. A Pennsylvania native, she is a graduate of Penn State and Xavier University. Have a question or tip for her? Email her at hopes@cpbj.com. Follow her on Twitter, @hstephan. Circle Hope Stephan on .

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