Seth has been a technology journalist for the past five years, covering consumer electronics and gaming. You can find him on Twitter, @SethAFitzgerald.

Google Fiber may soon reach North Carolina

North Carolina is already on the list of markets Google has considered for Fiber. Reports now claim Fiber is indeed headed to the area and will be placed initially around Charlotte and Raleigh. Google has sent invitations to officials in those areas for an event on January 28 and 29. WRAL TechWire claims Google will use the event to announce an official expansion plan for Fiber to NC.

Vudu Spark, competitor to Chromecast, costs $25

When Google released its Chromecast streaming stick, one of the most impressive aspects of it was its low price tag. Now, retailer Walmart has even undercut Google with its Vudu Spark. The streaming device is limited because it will only work with Walmart’s movie rental service, but the device also costs just $24.95. As of today, the streaming stick is available across the United States and via the Walmart website.

HTC One M9 leaks reportedly just decoys

There have been a few HTC One M9 units leaked in the past weeks, but they may not be legitimate. Rather than being fake altogether, it is now being reported the units that have appeared in pictures are just decoys from HTC normally used for testing. HTC Source reports the handsets are real but shouldn’t more »

LG phone sales jumped 25% in 2014

LG’s smartphone sales increased year-over-year by 25 percent in 2014. The release of the LG G3 and its subsequent success in the smartphone market were responsible for a large portion of the company’s increase in sales. LG is currently the second largest smartphone company in South Korea and sits right behind Samsung.

SpaceX could receive an investment from Google

Google could be planning to invest in SpaceX to help with its new internet satellite initiative. The Information and The Wall Street Journal report Google will invest $1 billion of the $10 billion SpaceX intends to raise over the coming years for its project.

Samsung’s phone market share decreases in China

Control of the Chinese smartphone market is moving almost entirely away from Samsung. Recent data from MarketWatch and CCID Consulting has shown the company’s market share decreased by 20 percent between January 2014 and October 2014.

Marriott hotels test Netflix, Hulu on TVs

Marriott hotels are beginning to test a new service at some locations that will let guests watch Netflix and Hulu or listen to Pandora rather than pay for on-demand content. At least eight locations are beginning to test the system and it is not clear if Marriott will make its guests pay a set fee for their use of Netflix, Hulu, or Pandora.

LA subways to get cellphone and WiFi service

Cellular and WiFi service is being added to subways in Los Angeles. The city has announced it is working with InSite Wireless to introduce cell and internet service to the subways. Los Angeles will join a number of other cities in the United States that already keep people connected while using the subway.

First Lumia phone reaches Sprint

Wireless carrier Sprint is now offering its first Lumia smartphone. The carrier hasn’t offered any Lumia phones since either Nokia or Microsoft began coming out with them, but now one is available to customers. The first Lumia phone to reach Sprint is the Lumia 635, a low-end device that costs $168 up front or $7 per month for two years.

Facebook Messenger tests voice transcription

A voice transcription feature is being tested in Facebook Messenger. The feature has been in services like Google Voice, and now Facebook is trying it out. With the feature, voice messages through Messenger will display transcribed text so that receivers can find out what the message generally is.

OnePlus One available without invite on January 20

Many months after the OnePlus One became a phone that everyone wanted to get their hands on, it is still only readily available with an invite. That has begun to change with short open order periods, and another one of those periods is coming this month.

Alibaba working on its first ever movie

Netflix and Amazon are both internet-based companies that have expanded into content production. Now, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is doing the same. The company has announced it will produce its first ever movie through the Alibaba Pictures Group and the movie will be directed by Wong Kar-wai. Included in the movie will be Tony Leung, who has previously worked with Kar-wai on a number of projects.