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Pure Digital Technologies is planning a digital camcorder which will upload directly to video-sharing Websites, MacWorld writes. The nameless product will come with built-in software ready to send to sites like Grouper and Google Video. Since it's designed to be pocket-sized, the camera will have 2x digital zoom and a 1.4-inch display screen. A $129 version will hold 30 minutes of video while the $169 version will hold an hour. It should be compatible with Macs and PCs via USB connection. No release date has been stated.
Reading the time is seldom an interesting activity, especially in low light areas where even a backlight may be inadequate. The watch designer Saishin has just released a new model that it claims can address both problems at once. Dubbed the Retsu, the new design uses a single strip of LED lights to display the time in serial fashion, displaying the hour and minutes digit by digit in a way viewable even in total darkness. Saishin's brushed metal design also saves considerable weight: at 40 grams, the Retsu is considerably more comfortable and discrete than other LED watches, according to the company. The Japan-based importer TokyoFlash can ship the watch to North America for the equivalent of $125 US.
BenQ is putting out the X720, a seven megapixel point-and-shoot camera that's just 0.49 inches thick. Other highlights include an SD card reader, a 2.5-inch LCD display, 3x optical zoom, PictBridge printing support, and a "Super Shake-Free" technology which will supposedly produce "brighter, clear and natural color." The real point of interest however may be its ISO (light sensitivity) range, which extends from 100 all the way to 4,000 - higher than many professional DSLR cameras. Of course, it should be noted that the amount of noise in point-and-shoots can be substantially worse at high ISOs. It is always preferable to shoot at low ISOs when the light allows.
Although numerous music players can plug directly into the USB port of a computer to double as a flash storage drive, FlashPoint today announced a jukebox it says is more useful to owners who transfer files on a day-to-day basis. The SharePlayer has both male and female USB ports, allowing a user to copy files directly to or from any USB mass storage, including the iPod and other music devices, without the need for a computer during the exchange. For its own music purposes, the SharePlayer is also capable of FM radio and recording and supports audiobooks. FlashPoint is selling the SharePlayer now at capacities ranging from 128MB ($60) to 4GB ($160).
Many concered about disposing of old CDs and DVDs will simply break them in two, but those who need a more secure and safer way of erasing data now have the option of Plextor's new PlexEraser drive. "Physically breaking the discs means the organic dye can escape, which can damage the environment," says Plextor's Michael Arbisi, and the PlexEraser follows suit by using a laser to damage only the microscopic pits on a disc that manage data, rendering the storage unreadable without changing the integrity of the disc itself. All current CD and DVD formats except for DVD-RAM can be erased, according to Plextor, and this can include both full-size discs as well as the 8cm discs sometimes used by camcorders. The process takes approximately three minutes per single-layer disc and six minutes for dual-layer DVDs. The drive will be ready to ship in November for $250.
Coincidental to the Lenovo announcement, Linksys has announced the WRT350N, a combination wireless/gigabit Ethernet router that will support the draft version of 802.11n. In addition to its speed, the router will boast a USB 2.0 Storage Link for connecting hard drives and media players to your network, and UPnP support for instant detection of the content in Windows XP. MIMO technology should increase the range, coverage and reliability of wireless signals. Users worried about kicking other networks offline may be glad to see a "good neighbor" mode, which restricts the radio band of the router when other wireless devices are detected. No date or price for the hardware has been set.
Apple has all but confirmed that its upcoming music phone will be called the iPhone, according to AppleInsider. Discovered in a southeast Asian trademark filing dated September 15th, the trademark uses the name in direct reference to a device which is listed both under the category of "MP3 and other digital audio players" as well as handsets capable of "sending and receiving telephone calls." Also covered in the application is the role of a "stand-alone video game machine," raising the possibility that the iPod-influenced phone will be able to play games such as those recently introduced with the new video-capable iPods. Apple has previously filed for related patents in the US but until now hasn't committed itself to specific descriptions and names.
UPDATE: Two different iPhone models are likely to appear, reports AppleInsider. Prudential Equity Group analyst Jesse Tortora refers to anonymous sources that claim the new phone will be available in two distinct versions: a slim, basic version will play only music while a deluxe variant will include WiFi, video support, and a dedicated keyboard for messaging. No specific timeframe was given for when the phone will appear, though analysts such as Gene Munster have speculated that MacWorld 2007 is a likely venue for the introduction.
Sony-Ericsson's CyberShot-labeled phones have commonly targeted more dedicated phone buyers, but this should soon change with a new model in development, according to a member of the Sony-Ericsson Central online community. The forum contributor recently posted photos (since removed from the site) that show an early version of the as-yet unnamed phone that reveal a move towards more less expensive equipment while still offering better performance than many recent cameraphones. In contrast to the 3.2-megapixel K790, the upcoming device uses only a 2-megapixel sensor; nevertheless, it maintains an auto-focusing optical zoom that should keep subjects focused without losing quality. Also exposed in the photos are dedicated CyberShot buttons very similar to the Walkman buttons of the W810i, providing quicker access to the camera functions than would be possible through the menu system. The Sony-Ericsson phone is most likely to ship in early 2007; the remaining photos are available after the jump.
Although Logitech is often seen as the forerunner in universal remotes with its Harmony line, One For All has announced an alternative that can be more easily justified for most home theaters. The Kameleon Generation 3 remote controls many common devices, including DVD players, home lighting systems, and satellite receivers -- but rather than use a small and expensive LCD, the Generation 3 uses a dynamic display that covers virtually the entire front face and selectively highlights the number pad or other buttons and information depending on which device is being controlled. The remote can also combine its functions in a single action, such as turning down lights when playing a DVD. Pricing in the UK will begin at £70 ($130 US), making it one of the least expensive universal remotes available. Availability in the UK or for North America has not yet been established.
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Before the standard has even been ratified, Lenovo has gone ahead and announced 802.11n support for its T, R, X and Z lines of ThinkPad notebooks. At 540 Mbit/s, the wireless LAN standard may be as much as 10 times faster than 802.11g, but is still being evaluated by the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). The new ThinkPads should be compatible with 802.11a/b/g. Lenovo's networking announcement comes with mention of a separate ThinkPad, equipped with biometric scanning - in tandem with Utimaco's SafeGuard Easy software, a fingerprint reader should be able to encrypt an entire hard drive. SafeGuard has earned FIPS 140-2 certification from the US government. Lenovo will also be integrating Intel's 64-bit Core 2 Duo processors into the same product lines as 802.11n.
The young cellphone carrier Amp'd today said it would soon have its own version of Motorola's iconic RAZR phone to differentiate itself from rivals. Called the MOTORAZR Amp'd Edition, the updated model is tightly linked to the provider's focus on pop culture music and videos. Instead of a standard media browser, the Amp'd RAZR has a custom interface that taps directly into the company's EVDO broadband for live radio, TV, and direct downloads. Appropriately, the phone ships with an in-ear headset for private listening and a 256MB MicroSD card for more permanent copies of clips found through the network. Amp'd says it will sell its RAZR starting tomorrow for $99 with a monthly plan or $199 for prepaid service. The company is a mobile virtual network operator in the style of Helio, using existing cellphone networks rather than building its own.
Motorola is expected to ship a "Pro" verison of their Q phone in the first quarter of 2007, says phone retailer buywindowsmobile. The new version of the smartphone should have features aimed at a corporate demographic, such as upgraded hardware and a series of security measures. One of them is a software package called the MOTOPRO Mobility Suite, which can be used to manage applications and remote devices, or disable the camera. The phone itself should be equipped with a firewall, intrusion detection, data encryption, and VPN connectivity and authentication. The form factor will be the same as the basic Q setup. No price information is currently available.
The Chinese electronics maker Ainol has introduced a new media player that should provide better justifcation for video capabilities in a pocket-sized handheld. The V1000 is capable of playing AVI and MPEG-4 video at 30 frames per second, but its signature feature is built-in emulation of Nintendo Entertainment System games: ROM files from a computer can be loaded into as much as 1GB of built-in flash storage or removable SD cards. The V1000 is also one of the few music players capable of playing the lossless FLAC standard alongside MP3 and WMA. Pricing and availability have not been set, but Ainol's NES support will likely preclude all but imports for interested North American buyers.
In a decidedly odd situation, McDonalds Japan has had to issue a recall on audio players given away in a contest, The Register reports. As many as 10,000 restaurant customers were awarded a Flash MP3 player, which came loaded with ten songs and an unwanted guest - a variant of the QQpass spyware Trojan. When a player was connected to a Windows PC, QQpass would then scour a system for Web passwords and other data, promptly transmitting it back to hackers. The suspected source of the contamination is the machine used for pre-loading songs. McDonalds has set up a helpline for the recall, and is offering free replacements as well as advice on disinfecting your computer.
Motorola is known for launching phones officially for one cellphone network while later producing an alternate model for another. News has arrived today that this will be the case for its new RAZR MAXX handset. Originally planned to ship only for GSM cellphone carriers, the new phone will be available soon through the CDMA-based Verizon, online sources have learned. Unlike the recently introduced KRZR K1m, the MAXX is more a direct successor to the original RAZR in design. It adds an upgraded 2-megapixel camera, external music controls with a large external display, and 50MB of internal memory to complement the existing microSD card slot. Expect the Verizon MAXX to support EVDO mobile broadband as well. As the phone has not been officially announced, no pricing is available; the existence of professional photography of the new model, however, indicates a release within the next few weeks.
German outfit Maxfield has today announced its first GPS receiver, the MAX-TRACK. Running on Windows CE 5.0 with a 400 MHz Samsung processor, Maxfield claims it has the "world's fastest sat nav system." More interesting may be the accompanying features. The receiver comes with Maxfield's MAX-Navigator 5 software, covering the whole of Western Europe and allowing most of that to be loaded at any given time. Route plotting can be customized by setting preferred routes and/or blocking specific streets, which may come in handy if you know that the Champs-Élysées is going to be jammed. Maxfield is probably best known for its audio players, such as the G-FLASH and the BLACKline. The MAX-TRACK comes out in November.
Luxury home theater equipment maker Bang & Olufsen has long been known for producing exotic audio and video systems, but is only now taking its first steps into the media center market with its upcoming BV9. Though few details are known about its features, the 50-inch plasma TV is expected to incorporate a media center function in the vein of HP's MediaSmart display, which gives access to music, photos, and videos from a host PC without having to attach separate streaming hardware. Appropriately for the company's high-end focus, the BV9 should also include four HDMI ports (double the industry standard) for full HD video and the ability to control multiple complete speaker systems. Pricing and availability have not yet been determined.
Electronics importer Audio Cubes has just made the IS201 Universal iPod Dock available to American buyers. The $169 product enables users to connect their iPod to several devices at once, including TV and home theatre systems. Phono, S-Video, RC-5, IR-Flasher and RS-232C connections are supported. IR-Flasher allows the dock to control (or be controlled by) an AV receiver, while RS-232 enables PC control. A remote control is bundled with the system. Audio Cubes further claims the IS201 will accept any iPod from the third generation onwards, charging players while in use. Of special note is the actual connection point for inputs and outputs: since it's separate from the dock itself, you can prevent your desktop from becoming a cluttered mess of cables.
Sound ID announced on Monday two new wireless headsets that it says help with the common problems of phone conversations. The flagship SoundFlavors is a combination headset and external microphone that includes an adaptive sound system that can focus on the caller's voice while blocking out wind and other ambient noise which is often caught by regular earpieces. While adaptive technology has existed in the past, what makes Sound ID's system different is the ability to prioritize it through different modes: a Phone Mode exists for the most common uses, but an Amplification Mode can deliberately bias the audio towards background sounds and a CompanionLink Mode shifts attention to the external microphone for interviews. A One2One Mode is also available for two owners of Sound ID's headsets that takes advantage of their noise isolation. The SoundFlavors system includes a charging cradle and ships now for $699.
For those who only need the technology in a simple headset, the SoundMate (pictured) supports all but the Amplification Mode (which requires a microphone placed away from the main source) and is also shipping now for $250.
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