News Archive for 06/08/09

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Blackberry 8100: new name, features leaked

08/09, 8:25pm

Blackberry 8100 Pearl

Earlier, we received word of a new Blackberry that was allegedly known as the Stealth. At the time, there wasn't much to know abou the phone other than that it was equipped with EDGE, a camera, and a media player. What appears to be the same source for the earlier story, however, has all but made an official announcement. The earlier information was correct; we now also know that the real name of the phone is the 8100 Pearl (undoubtedly due to its glossy black shell) and that it packs a 240x260 screen, Bluetooth, and 64 MB of internal memory (plus the now-ubiquitous MicroSD slot). Instead of RIM's signature scroll wheel, users scroll through data with a trackball, which is certainly more useful when checking more than e-mail. The best news of all is that the phone will be distinctly affordable compared to some multimedia phones: T-Mobile will offer the Pearl for $199 on its September 18th launch date. Even if this price comes attached to a contract, it could mean early success for RIM's first experiments with music and photos.

Intel-based Xserve: good for business?

08/09, 5:15pm

Intel Xserve Business

The Xserve was often regarded as a wise step by Apple into the business-oriented world of servers. NASA, the US Navy, Virginia Tech and transaction operator xTech were high-profile clients who used the rackmount servers as an energy-efficient and sometimes more powerful alternative to Opterons and Xeons. However, there was always a disclaimer attached to the purchase: because Xserves used PowerPC processors, IT managers were beholden to PowerPC's intermittent performance updates and running PowerPC-based versions of even standard Linux software. ITJungle's Timothy Morgan notes that the advent of Intel-based Xserves should offer a dramatic change: Xserves might be able to run more operating systems (including more Linux distributions), receive more predictable performance upgrades similar to Windows counterparts, and even offer better performance for the price.

Lieberman ousted by net activism?

08/09, 3:55pm

Lieberman Ousted by Net

A cynical view of American politics sees elections solely as the products of momentum. An existing reputation, a large amount of money, and support from the status quo is often seen as enough to win the ballot; genuine consensus is virtually a non-factor. Yesterday, Joe Lieberman learned the hard way that politicians now ignore the Internet at their peril. In Connecticut, Lieberman's campaign to represent the Democrats in the Senate was given a startling upset by a relatively unknown candidate, Ned Lamont. Despite the blessing of major elements within the Democratic Party, Lieberman suffered in no small part due to the activist campaigning of the high-profile Internet site MoveOn.org. More after the jump.

Sony-Ericsson K618: the blog phone

08/09, 3:30pm

K618 Blog Phone

In many senses, the K618 reflects the current wave of feature-rich Sony-Ericsson phones. It has a 2 megapixel camera with video recording, which is appreciated but no longer unique. Bluetooth EDR will be increasingly common in phones towards the end of this year. A 1.7" LCD is comfortable but not unheard of. What differentiates the K618 from most other phones is its software: it includes a program called Mobile Blogger that lets users post photos directly to their blogs. While the concept of a moblog (mobile phone blog) isn't new, most companies are more interested in music and are perhaps ignoring the MySpace generation's continued emphasis on blogs. You should be able to buy one with an included 256 MB Memory Stick Duo by the end of the month in "select markets." Full photo after the jump.

Samsung Z620 and "Joy" details

08/09, 3:20pm

Z620 and Joy Details

Motorola's primary opponent in the race to produce the slimmest phones is, by all accounts, Samsung. Its A990 is second only to the RAZR when it comes to slim flip phone designs. The Korean electronics firm knows this, and its next salvos in the field (revealed on the Internet today) should arrive just in time to compete with Motorola's imminent KRZR K1 and RIZR phones. The Z620 has some impressive specifications to support its thin shape: it has a sharp 2 megapixel camera and a very ample 138 MB of internal storage for music, plus a MicroSD slot and 3G video telephony. The Joy is a slider that boosts internal storage to 150 MB and adds video recording. Not much else is known about the phones, but the images provided indicate that both the Z620 and Joy should be ready by the end of the year. See the available photos of both phones after the jump.

Radeon X1950 XTX and benchmarks leaked

08/09, 1:55pm

Radeon X1950 XTX Leaked

ATI has remained largely silent since nVidia released the GeForce 7950GX2 and made quad SLI possible. Now, though, there are signs that ATI is ready to fire a parting shot in the battle between current-generation video cards. A major leak today revealed not only the specifications of the X1950 XTX, but also early benchmarks that show the tremendous leap in performance the X1950 can deliver in CrossFire mode. In most of the tests, the X1950 was dramatically faster than quad SLI - in the case of Half-Life 2, almost twice as fast. Both the XTX and CrossFire editions will ship with a 650 MHz core and an effective 2 GHz GDDR4 memory clock. This is very good news for Core 2 Duo owners, as CrossFire is currently the only option for multi-card graphics with Intel's latest mainboards.

AOL: free e-mail domains

08/09, 11:45am

AOL Free E-mail Domains

The latest move in AOL's large-scale transition from Internet access provider to ad-supported content host was announced today. In addition to previous news that AOL would give away free aol.com e-mail addresses, the company said its new AOL My eAddress would let users register an available .com or .net domain for up to 100 e-mail accounts on a given domain. Furthermore, these same e-mail addresses have 2 GB of storage each and can be used for AIM and any other AOL services. The one caveat is that the domains can't be used outside for websites or other Internet content while they remain registered at AOL. My eAddress is officially available in September.

DirecTV HD-DVR by August

08/09, 11:35am

DirecTV HD-DVR by August

One of the common complaints about HDTV is the lack of real DVR options. TiVo continues to work on its Series 3 player, but satellite viewers who either can't or would prefer not to choose a third-party DVR have something to look forward to in the near future. Briefly mentioned as part of DirecTV's quarterly results is the news that the television provider plans to release an HD-DVR unit of its own this quarter. Though nothing is known about the DVR beyond its existence, DirecTV says the DVR will launch in Los Angeles by the end of August. A full national release will follow within the next few weeks.

Nanotube batteries charge in seconds

08/09, 10:45am

Nanotube Batteries

The daily ritual for most consumer electronics involves recharging almost anything used for a significant amount of time. While most of us would attribute this to battery life, the amount of running time isn't the only factor in our constant need to recharge. The time spent recharging is at least as important; when a battery may take two to four hours to reach full capacity, forgetting to charge an iPod or laptop in advance could render it useless the next day. Researchers at MIT may have a solution in nanotube batteries. Traditional batteries, such as those made with nickel metal hydride (NiMH) or lithium-ion, depend on a chemcial reaction to produce electricity; there can only be so many reactions before the chemicals are effectively inert and the battery needs to be tossed aside. The MIT design takes a very different approach. It uses capacitors covered in millions of nanotubes each. This gives the capacitors much more surface area to store energy than was previously possible and avoids the inherently limited lifespan of chemical batteries. Read on for the very positive consequences.

LG L600V music phone approved by FCC

08/09, 10:10am

LG L600V Music Phone

LG isn't the most recognized name in music phones; that honor is typically awarded to Motorola or Sony-Ericsson. This may be about to change with the FCC approval of LG's L600V music phone. As is quickly becoming the standard, the L600V has both a fairly large external screen and accompanying dedicated music controls, which lets you control the music without having to flip the phone open first (though this is less advanced than the upcomingSamsung A720). There's a MicroSD slot for storage and Bluetooth for data sync and peripherals. Little else is known, including price and availability, but public FCC approval typically signifies that a launch is due soon. See a full photo after the jump.

Nikon unleashes the D80

08/09, 8:40am

Nikon Unleashes the D80

A clock on Nikon's international sites had been counting down over the past few weeks, promising a very special new camera. The company would only hint that the camera had a 10.2 megapixel sensor and that it was a digital SLR. Yet it was enough for many people to make educated guesses, many of which were proven right today: Nikon today finally unveiled the D80, a successor to the now-classic D70. Besides the dramatically increased sensor resolution (up from 6), the D80 also has better image processing, a 2.5" LCD, and on-camera image editing for issues like red-eye. Prices are about the same as they were when the D70 was new: the body alone sells for $999, while the kit version sells for $1299. The kit lens is a substantially improved 18-135mm model, replacing the old but venerated 18-70. Full press release and photo of the back after the jump.

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