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CNET senior editor James Kim, his wife Kati, and daughters Penelope as well as Sabine are missing after a trip to Seattle, according to a notice on the company's Crave blog. The family was to have returned on Sunday but has not been heard from since then. An official missing persons investigation has been opened and the San Francisco Police Department is asking those with information about the family's whereabouts to call 415-558-5508 during business hours or 415-553-1071 at other times. Portland police can be reached at 503-823-4000. The family was driving a silver 2005 Saab station wagon with the California license plate "DOESF."
As fellow members of the technology news community, our hearts go out to friends and family of James and we hope for the safe return of him and his family.
Motorola's popular KRZR phone is coming to Cingular. Though no official announcement has been made, the phone has made an appearance in a Cingular Rolling Stone ad, and the provider is listed as an option in a Motorola newsletter page. Inquiries made by Crave indicate that the phone should be available sometime next year. The KRZR K1 is equipped with features such as a two megapixel camera, streaming audio and video, and a microSD slot through which you can load MP3 and AAC/AAC+ files.
Though many people would like a home projector, the presence of windows often washes out the resulting image. Danish company DNP claims to have solved this problem with the new Supernova Screen, which uses a filter to absorb light from off-angles. A reflector behind the filter displays the intended image. The company argues that this can produce twice the brightness and a tenfold increase in contrast, allowing projectors to be used near windows, under harsh lamps, or even outdoors in midday sun. DNP is selling the Supernova in retractable and non-retractable versions up to 150 inches in size. Pricing information is not readily available, however.
DivX has launched Stage6.com, a video upload site targeting competitors such as YouTube and Revver. Though many sites already support DivX's proprietary codec, Stage6 is distinguished by keeping uploads intact rather than converting them to Flash or another downgraded format. Users will additionally have the option of applying DRM to their work, preventing others from copying videos outside of initial viewing. The eventual goal of this is to offer shows and movies for sale, but no official partners have been announced as yet. Visitors can, however, already watch free clips from G4TV in their own channel.
The i.Sound Plasma is a portable speaker system that puts on an electromagnetic display in time with your music. As a beat hits, bolts of electricity pulse from the center of the globe. Multiple globes can be swapped in and out to allow for different appearances. The system is designed primarily for iPods (a stand is included), but can be used with any device that has a headphone jack, including computers, handheld consoles, and other MP3 players. Music is emitted from four separate speakers. i.Sound is selling the Plasma for $150 in black or white, but The Sharper Image has it on sale for $100.
Kenwood has just added the diminutive HD10GB7 to its Media Keg line of audio players. The device is the world's smallest hard drive-based player, Kenwood proclaims; it holds a full 10GB of MP3/WMA music or JPEG photos despite measuring only 2.4 inches at its largest dimension. The company additionally promises uniquely high-quality sound through Supreme, an interpolation technology similar to the X-Fi technology used in Creative's Xmod. This latest Media Keg inherits the features of previous models and connects to the company's USB-equipped stereos to load music directly from CDs and MiniDiscs, bypassing a computer entirely. Available in black or white trim, the HD10GB7 launches in December for $345.
Seeking a high-end counterpart to its previously revealed NAV 500 and ONIX 200 receivers, Bushnell is developing the ONIX 400CR GPS handheld. The new model will be one of the few mapping units to provide explicit support for satellite radio, supporting not only XM Satellite Radio's weather radar service for live updates but also XM's entertainment-oriented services. The system is also the largest of the new Bushnell devices and has a 3.5-inch touchscreen enclosed by a shock- and waterproof rubberized shell. It ships preloaded with maps of North America and accepts downloads of aerial and satellite photography for real-world navigation, according to the company. An introduction of the ONIX 400CR is expected at CES 2007 with a formal release planned for February at a price of $499. Click through for a complete photo.
Most people are not buying HDTV sets to watch HD broadcasts, reveals a study by Frank Magid Associates (published in Marketnews.ca). Of the American shoppers surveyed, only 47 percent bought an HDTV in order to watch subscription channels; the majority were content to use their sets with DVD players or game consoles. This is actually lower than the 63 percent figure from two years ago, when there were also fewer HD channels in operation. Magid attributes this to a lack of quality programming in many markets, as well as high costs and overly complex payment plans. Some respondents believed they were already watching HD broadcasts just by buying a TV -- but even those subscribed to HD channels are often choosing to watch Standard Definition instead. Fifty percent of that group spends a quarter or less of its time viewing HD, whereas eight percent watches it exclusively, and 14 percent watches half to three-quarters of the time.
Median on Thursday unveiled what it says is the first VoIP-ready music player, the MX-400M. The jukebox plugs directly into an Internet-connected computer's USB port and adds voice over IP telephony functions to the system, even assigning a fixed phone number to the player to simplify receiving calls regardless of which computer is in use. The MX-400M is also a full-featured media player, Median adds, and can play back videos, photos, and FM radio. An SD card slot expands the flash storage built into the player by as much as an additional 2GB. Median is shipping the player today in 1GB ($140) and 2GB ($160) editions.
HP is developing an all-in-one PC to coincide with the official release of Windows Vista, documents obtained by Engadget reveal. Nicknamed "Crossfire," the IQ770 is expected to represent both a showcase for Vista's features as well as a direct challenger to Apple's emblematic iMac. The design will be the first widely available touchscreen desktop and will ship with a stylus to let owners draw directly on the adjustable 19-inch widescreen LCD. Vista Home Premium's Media Center software will also be a core focus of the design, using an integrated ATSC tuner for HDTV broadcasts. An integrated 1.3-megapixel webcam will also take advantage of video chat in Windows Live Messenger.
Details and photos of HP-specific features, such as a Dashboard-style interface and the hardware specifications, follow after the jump.
British carrier O2 is preparing to launch a new Asus smartphone, the XDA Zinc, in January of 2007. The Register notes that it was once known by the codename "Mars 2" when it was under review by the Federal Communications Commission in the United States. The phone should be functionally similar to the XDA Mini S, but will have a sharper two megapixel camera, a faster 520MHz processor, larger buttons on its QWERTY keyboard, and support for 802.11b/g WiFi. It will also be a tri-band GSM unit, which should allow roaming across many different regions outside the United Kingdom. No costs have been announced.
Thanko's new VIGLBL01s attempt to remedy some of the problems of competing video glasses. The Thanko pair weighs only 4.6 ounces, and the display won't easily wash out in the presence of sunlight or strong artificial light sources. The projected image is equivalent to a 37-inch TV viewed from six-and-a-half feet away. The glasses also come with a variety of connectors, including composite cables, and a minijack for video iPods. A lithium ion battery gives the 01s approximately four to five hours of continuous usage, after which they can be recharged via USB or an AC adapter. The glasses are on sale now for 29,800 yen ($255).
The navigation expert Garmin plans to introduce a rare take on the traditional information provided by GPS units, according to the CES 2007 honorees list. Unlike most receivers, which either display only pre-recorded map information or else must link to a satellite radio service, the upcoming nuvi 670 (pictured) will integrate with Microsoft's MSN Direct to provide real-time information relevant to the driver's location. In addition to essential services like traffic and weather conditions, the nuvi 670 can also overlay fuel prices, movie showtimes, and other data for nearby points of interest. The company plans to officially unveil details of its new receiver at the CES show in January.
Pioneer today released a range-topping DVD and DVR hybrid recorder dubbed the DVR-940HX. As it uses a newer core chipset than previous models, it has enough performance to upscale DVDs even to the full 1080p resolution of newer HDTV sets, according to Pioneer. A second but equally central feature is its recording ability: the 500GB internal hard drive can capture up to 1422 hours of standard-definition video and is used to provide disc-to-disc DVD recording. External SATA and USB ports give the 940HX additional storage as well as the ability to load music or photos.
Also built into the design for the European market is a DVB-T tuner to receive the continent's Freeview digital broadcasts. While input is limited primarily to analog sources such as RCA, S-video, and SCART, the device includes HDMI output to display the full 1080p image and has DV input for viewing home movies directly from attached cameras. Pioneer offers its player for €1,999 ($2,629) in Europe; a North American equivalent is likely but has not been revealed.
Japan's Elecom today revealed its flagship travel mouse, the M-D!3UR. The controller's distinctive shape is meant to provide the best aspects of both desktop and laptop mice, according to Elecom: the back of the mouse rotates 180 degrees, creating either a more natural angle when the mouse is in active use at a desk or a flatter surface for storage.
Other elements of the controller reflect its performance-oriented design, the company says. A touchpad replaces a physical scroll wheel, eliminating the common problem of accumulating dirt inside the shell. The D13UR is also a high-precision laser mouse and connects wirelessly to a host PC through a 2.4GHz RF adapter, a slot for which is included in the base of the mouse for portability. The input device ships within a few days in black, silver, and red colors for the equivalent of $68 US; it should be available for import from GeekStuff4U soon.
Apple is in the later stages of finalizing its cellphone design, according to a US patent granted to the company this morning. The patent, which refers to a radio-transparent "handheld computing device" cellphone and media player combination, was only filed on August 7th of this year and appears to confirm key aspects of the company's hotly anticipated iPhone design. As described, the future device will greatly resemble the iPod mini and second-generation iPod nano, consisting of a "seamless tube" of a material such as aluminum that houses internal components for both media playback and wireless communications, including a hidden antenna.
Notably, though included illustrations show a design nearly identical to the iPod mini, Apple takes care to note that the control scheme is not limited to the company's signature click wheel and may include input devices such as a cellphone keypad, a trackball similar to that of the BlackBerry Pearl, or others that suit the needs of the future phone. While the filing provides new insight into the iPhone's aesthetics, questions still remain about software functions such as iChat-style messaging and exact controls. A photo from the patent follows after the jump.
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