News Archive for 06/08/17

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Sirius announces new radios, home system

08/17, 5:20pm

Sirius New Radio Systems

Sirius launched another strategic assault against its nemesis XM today by announcing five new satellite tuners, which includes four new radios that fill out the existing lineup as well as a new unit that taps into existing home stereos. All of the new radios are slimmer or less expensive than the existing models they replace. First to arrive will be the Sportster3 shipping in September, a $120 counterpart to the imminent $150 Sportster4 (pictured). Following closely in October will be the more compact Starmate3 and Starmate4 radios for $100 and $120 respectively; the Stratus shipping at the same time will be the new low-cost champion at $60. Lastly, Sirius will finish its year in November by shipping the Conductor, a wireless controller that streams satellite radio to most home audio systems through a receiver.

RoverTV portable DVR and media player

08/17, 5:00pm

RoverTV Portable DVR

Archos' new line of media players may have an accessory to turn them into video recorders, but this second step could prove to be a hassle for users who record live media on a regular basis. Bypassing the need for outside hardware is Doghouse Electronics' new RoverTV. It can not only record and play live video but do so on a schedule courtesy of a timer, much like a set-top DVR box. The RoverTV can similarly capture live FM radio and plays back a multitude of media formats, including digital audio and photos. Content is stored on SD cards such as the 2GB card included in the package. There are two distinct models depending on the aspect ratio you want to use: a $299 model has a 3.5-inch standard ratio screen for regular footage, while a $349 model expands to a 4-inch widescreen for users recording from those sources. Both versions work with Macs or Windows PCs and should be available now.

PlayStation 3 to play American and Japanese movies

08/17, 4:10pm

PS3 Plays US and Japan

As reported by Gamer Scan, Sony has announced that the Blu-Ray player in the PlayStation 3 will put North America and Japan into the same region code for movies, effectively giving viewers from one region the ability to watch movies from the other without requiring special hardware. It's still uncertain as to whether or not the loosened restrictions on movies will equate to a similar change for games, though Nintendo has set a precedent by eliminating regional codes altogether on DS titles. HD DVD players are also rumored to see restrictions lifted in the near future.

Eye-Film SD card with built-in WiFi

08/17, 3:50pm

Eye-Film SD WiFi Card

Engineers have successfuly put WiFi into SD memory cards before, but in the past this has resulted in either a bulge at one end (limiting the number of devices that can accept the card) or else the elimination of most, if not all, of the storage inside. Eye-Fi's new Eye-Film SD card will likely be the first SD card to include both storage and WiFi without compromising significantly in either direction. Beyond the 1GB of storage per card, the Eye-Film has an 802.11g wireless chipset that lets digital cameras transfer photos wirelessly without requiring explicit support from the camera firmware. While the new card is intended only for photography at the present, the company is investigating the possibility of using the card for PDAs and smartphones. Eye-Film cards will undergo testing within the next few weeks, and should be ready soon afterwards for an undetermined price.

More Zune: FM radio, transmitter, no scroll wheel

08/17, 3:20pm

Zune FM Radio But No Wheel

Yet more information has come to light today regarding the Zune and its abilities. As was anticipated by some, Microsoft intends to compete on features and is including an FM radio (complete with RDS track data from supporting radio stations) in addition to an FM transmitter that will broadcast audio to a nearby stereo. This supplements the somehwat limited WiFi already set to be included in the player. Surprisingly, the apparent scroll wheel at the heart of the controls is in fact a four-way directional pad whose scroll rate changes depending on the time spent holding a button. Other notable details include the presence of Windows Media Player-style visualization as a playback option and an interface that borrows some (but not all) elements from Windows Media Center.

Boeing shuts down its in-air Internet service

08/17, 2:40pm

Boeing Shuts Service

Hopes for widespread Internet access on passenger flights were dashed today when Boeing announced that it would shut down Connexion, which provides Internet access for laptop users onboard long-haul trips arriving in or departing from major US airports. The service simply hadn't been progressing at the expected rate, the company said. Multiple foreign airlines are affected, including Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, and Korean Air. Before the cancellation, flyers could pay $10 per hour of access or $27 for an entire flight. There is no word on whether the company is investigating alternatives or if there is a definite timeframe for the end of the service.

TomTom ONE makes its North American debut

08/17, 2:05pm

TomTom ONE debut

TomTom has developed a reputation for simplified GPS; instead of a set of dedicated buttons, its car navigation units rely on a touchscreen interface that eliminates the guesswork. The TomTom ONE, which was announced for the North American market today, should only add to that reputation. Part of the appeal stems from the streamlined setup: TomTom's navigation software and map data is preloaded on an included SD card, so users can simply plug the card into the GPS unit to get started. The device is also much thinner than most navigation units and has a Bluetooth receiver that can use a GPRS data connection to get optional live updates for traffic and weather. Importantly, the ONE is also priced as an entry-level unit: at $500 it sells for considerably less than other TomTom models. An exact release date is pending; official news only describes the new model as "coming soon."

Zune player: real-world photo, new details

08/17, 12:20pm

Zune Real-World Photo

Every image so far of the Zune player has been a formal shot of the prototype; there has been little to suggest that Microsoft would keep the design or showcase the more practical features. Today, however, a photo appeared online showing the Zune in real-world circumstances. Though still labeled as a prototype, the Zune in the photo is largely unchanged from the publically sanctioned version seen earlier in the summer. The new photo also provides interesting new information about the player and its included earbuds. Microsoft is clearly prepared to offer the Zune in colors other than white, as previously confirmed, though the pictured example was given a dark color in an attempt to identify the sources of any leaks. The earbuds, in turn, are clearly meant to improve on the iPod's design by including magnets that keep the buds together while wrapping the cord. Click through to see the full photo.

OLPC to see its first field use in Thailand

08/17, 11:50am

OLPC First Use in Thailand

Wide-scale deployment of the $100 computer isn't set to begin until 2007, but beginning in October five hundred Thai schoolchildren will be the first to use MIT's One Laptop Per Child system as part of final testing. If successful, the laptops would eventually replace individually-assigned paper books altogether in elementary schools, Thai Prime Minister Shinawatra said. The Thai leader cited the availability of books online as the reason. These early tests are particularly important for the OLPC project, as prospective clients - including China, Egypt, and India - will want assurances that students can actually benefit from a shift towards computer-focused learning.

LG Chocolate Folder first photos

08/17, 11:20am

LG Chocolate Folder Photos

In addition to improved versions of its Chocolate slider, LG is set to launch a flip phone inspired by the concept in an attempt to expand its newfound success. Photos of the tentatively-named Chocolate Folder surfaced on Thursday and show that the design is not directly modeled after the popular original, but instead takes general styling cues and applies them to what is largely a different design. Not much is known about the hardware aside from the presence of a camera and an unusually large external screen. Given the essentially complete state of the phone and the prominent Verizon logo on the shell, it's reasonable to expect the Chocolate Folder to ship very soon. See a photo of the inside, including the new button design, after the jump.

Logitech AudioStation and AudioStation Express

08/17, 10:50am

Logitech AudioStation

Virtually all of Logitech's current iPod-friendly speakers are meant as portable units for the office or the family vacation. Today, however, Logitech joined rivals such as Apple, Bose, and Klipsch by introducing two new iPod speaker sets designed primarily as home stereos. The $299 AudioStation is relatively unique in its class for truly separated stereo speakers that each have their own tweeters and woofers. The design delivers 80W of sustained power and also features a digital AM/FM clock radio. For $100, the AudioStation Express is meant more for personal listening and removes the clock radio in favor of a smaller, single-piece shape that can run on batteries if necessary. Both AudioStation versions have wireless remotes and input jacks for other audio devices, and will ship in October. See full photos of the AudioStation (pictured) and AudioStation Express after the jump.

Egokast: the belt-worn media player

08/17, 10:10am

Egokast Belt-Worn Player

Whether or not they were the original reasons for someone to purchase a portable player, fashion and self-esteem are often significant factors. Being seen with the right player can, in some circles, draw approving looks. It might be questionable as to whether the appropriately-titled Egokast will truly improve your social status, but it's undoubtedly one of the few portable media players to make public display the central feature. Sitting in the middle of a stainless steel belt buckle, a removable media player can play audio or video on its 3.5-inch screen during the 4 or more hours of battery life. While its format support runs the typical gamut of multiple MPEG and Windows Media files for audio and video, the designer also includes a DVD of "fragments:" looping animations made expressly to bring attention to your belt. An SD slot with an included 512MB card should be more than enough for the relatively small video clips its target user will likely need. The asking price of $290 will get you the player and all accessories, minus the belt you provide yourself.

PSP phone modification takes inbound calls

08/17, 9:35am

PSP Phone Modification

Aftermarket changes to hardware normally fall outside the scope of this site, but those that could have a significant impact on how many people use the device in question are certainly worth investigation. An example is the PSPhone: as the name implies, an enterprising user has discovered a way to integrate cellphone functions with Sony's handheld console on a basic level. Though it can't yet make inbound calls due to the absence of keypad-style controls, the PSPhone modifcation can receive calls through either CDMA or GSM phone networks and route the audio through a microphone-equipped headset. The inventor would like to sell a more refined version of the modification for about $60.

Deluxe and 3G Chocolate phones by Christmas

08/17, 9:00am

Deluxe Chocolate Phones

LG's style-oriented Chocolate phone has only been available for under a month, but the company is already set to deliver variants on the design before the end of the year. One of these is a deluxe version which upgrades both the appearance and the hardware itself. A gold or platinum paint scheme (pictured here in a conceptual image) will be accompanied by a 2 megapixel camera (up from 1.3) and 256MB of built-in storage alongside the MicroSD slot. There should also be a 3G version ready to connect to services such as EVDO, though it will grow in size to make this possible.

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