Tuesday’s sexy tech trifecta

(iStock/Sonya Rosas)It is what is on the inside that counts: Apple is freshening up its MacBook laptop design and technology. The faithful lined up in Cupertino for the announcement, and the blogs tracked the event like pundits on the eve of a presidential election day.

Don’t expect a touch-screen laptop or another MacBook Air. But, clearly the company is taking the learnings of the MacBook Air into its new computers–the laptops are lighter and thinner, while including as many or more high-end features as the previous models. Digital Daily writes, “In many ways, these notebooks are more beautiful on the inside than they are on the outside.”

Another interesting note, Steve Jobs announced the company will no longer be using Intel Corp. graphic chips–instead moving to Nvidia Corp in the quest for faster processing technology.

And, if your pocket book is squirming these days, you’ll be happy to hear that Apple will be selling its first-ever Mac laptop for under a thousand dollars–but not by much, the selling price will be $999.

NBC thinks globally but acts locally: NBC’s Local Media division announced it is launching several local news portals in key cities to draw local viewers to the Web. Nbcchicago.com launched Monday with the subheader, “LOCALS ONLY.” The site has a refreshingly sleek design, relevant tabs for a local audience, and several interactive elements including a live traffic cam with easy to use maps and a place where users can share photos and video–right now the topic is “Is Your House Haunted?”

If the local networks can drive traffic to these sites, and maintain the editorial quality of their television-based news, it’s an excellent way to engage local viewers/users. Advertisers should also be highly receptive: There are very few websites with users in one specific geographic location. Local furniture stores, service providers, and restaurants will likely get a lot of bang for their buck by investing ad dollars on these kinds of news sites, especially if they can coordinate their ad buys with TV news programming. Way to go NBC, major props from us at the Lab. Watch out for more local portals coming soon in LA, San Francisco, Dallas and NY, among others.

Elephants send text messages. In Kenya, rangers and an animal protection group are experimenting with “elephant texting.” Of course, the elephant doesn’t actually carry a mobile phone and type in its plans for the day. Instead, the elephants are fitted with a SIM card in their collar which alerts rangers when the elephants leave a particular boundary and roam into neighboring villages. It’s not only good for the elephants who have increasingly less open space to wander, but also for the farmers whose crops the elephants often raid.

I’ve heard many a mobile expert describe the infinite possibilities of mobile for our lives, but this has to be one of my favorites.