News Archive for 06/12/04

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James Kim's wife, daughter found; James still missing

12/04, 10:55pm

Some Kim Family Found

The wife and daughters of James Kim, whose family was reported missing, were found today by search times looking for the group, according to an update by CNET. The Portland Police indicated that James' wife Kati, as well as daughters Penelope and Sabine, were found in "good condition" by rescuers and have been airlifted to a nearby hospital. James, however, has not been found and is said by Kati to have left on foot in order to seek help. The family survived its ordeal by conserving its limited supplies, keeping warm with the car heater, and even burning the car tires when the heater was no longer available, officials said.

Search teams are continuing a round-the-clock search and hope to find James alive given his good condition before leaving the car. We at Electronista hope for the entire family to be reunited shortly and wish the rescuers the best of success.

CompuSTAR Pro car remote handles many tasks

12/04, 6:00pm

Multitasking car remote

Firstech's upcoming CompuSTAR Pro remote handles numerous functions beyond starting a car or opening doors from a distance. A color LCD displays data such as a clock, a parking meter timer and internal car temperature, while the starter itself can trigger heating or air conditioner systems at the same time. Vehicles are safeguarded with extra security features such as a siren and two-way paging capability. Range on the Pro extends to 6,000 feet. The key should be available in mid-January. To determine cost and availability, contact Firstech directly, or speak with Canadian companies such as Staub or Robert Thibert.

Sprint carries rugged Sanyo phone for kids

12/04, 5:00pm

Sanyo SCP-7000 at Sprint

In addition to the M1 music phone, Sprint today also began carrying the SCP-7000, a toughened phone meant primarily to survive the oftentimes rough use by children. A rubber trim covering a large portion of the handset both aids in maintaining a safe grip and better resists against cracks due to drops.

Equal protection is offered by the software, Sprint says. Parental controls are built in that can limit access to specific inbound or outbound phone numbers as well as curb the use of Sprint's multimedia services. The company offers the phone now for $180 at retail stores but will lower the price to $30 when tied to a two-year agreement.

US Modular preps PowerAid Mobile battery, charger

12/04, 4:35pm

PowerAid Mobile Charger

US Modular today said it will unveil the PowerAid Mobile battery pack. The handheld device stores its own lithium-ion battery and charges most portable electronics such as cellphones and iPods: a typical device gains an additional 2-3 hours of run time, according to the company's estimates. The Mobile version of the company's existing charger can plug into any USB device and ships with ten connectors to match the power demands of compatible devices. The PowerAid Mobile itself can recharge through either an AC adapter or the 12-volt port found on many cars. US Modular expects the smaller PowerAid to ship this month for $50.

SpeakerCraft speakers aim, conceal themselves

12/04, 4:10pm

Self-concealing speakers

SpeakerCraft has developed the TIME line of speakers, which have the unique ability to conceal and aim themselves. Normally built flush against a wall or ceiling, the speakers emerge on cue, and automatically rotate to a "sweet spot" pre-defined by the user. Each unit drops to a 15-, 30-, or 45-degree angle, and has a rotation range of 320 degrees. Three distinct models (the One, Three and Five) offer increasing levels of power and fidelity. The top-of-the-line Five can produce 100W, and has a frequency range of 33Hz to 20KHz. A single Five costs $750. To buy from SpeakerCraft, shoppers must locate a dealer through the company's website.

PNY reveals 4GB SD card

12/04, 4:00pm

PNY 4GB SD Card

PNY has just released its first SD card to support the new SDHC standard. The new 4GB model is the first from the company to take advantage of the new standard's higher memory limits and is also rated as a Class 4 card, giving it a minimum write speed of 4MB per second. This gives it the sustained performance needed for higher-end cameras and even HD-quality video recording, PNY says. Using the card requires an SDHC-capable reader such as that built into the Nikon D40. The 4GB card will be available this month for online retailers at a price of $120, while brick-and-mortar stores will receive the card in early 2007.

NEC produces durable, ultraportable laptop

12/04, 3:20pm

NEC VersaPro Ultralite VC

NEC today said its new VersaPro Ultralite VC is one of the few ultraportables to combine strength with its slim profile. Though weighing only 2.1 pounds without an optical drive, the 12-inch system's hardened outer shell is capable of supporting 330 pounds of pressure, preventing the case from easily shattering during a drop or the screen from cracking while inside a tightly-packed bag. The computer has a rubber-mounted hard drive and an extra-durable USB port for frequent use of flash drives and other add-ons.

NEC also claims to deliver an extreme level of efficiency: by using a low-voltage 1.06GHz Core Duo, the system can run on its own power for at least 4.5 hours and as much as 14.5 hours when using the extended-capacity battery. A fingerprint reader is standard, as is a FeliCa sensor for making wireless payments in NEC's native Japan. The VC is available now at an open price on the Japanese market; a North American launch has not yet been announced.

Antec debuts Nine Hundred performance case

12/04, 2:45pm

Antec Nine Hundred Case

Antec has recently launched its Nine Hundred computer case. The enclosure is tailored for gaming and includes an extensive amount of cooling to reduce the heat of even the hottest-running CPUs and video cards, the company claims. Two LED-lit, 120mm fans are mounted at the front; a rear 120mm fan and a top-mounted 200mm fan draw heat out of the case quickly. The case also provides attachments for middle- and side-mounted 120mm fans for immediately cooling particularly hot components.

Convenience is also important in the Nine Hundred, Antec says. A tray on the top of the case provides room for music players or other peripherals while front-mounted audio, FireWire, and USB ports exist to connect those external devices to the host PC. The tower includes room for as many as nine 5.25" external drives and ships now for $150.

DLO readies iPod dock for home theater integration

12/04, 2:10pm

DLO HomeDock Pro

DLO today introduced the HomeDock Pro, an updated version of its longstanding iPod dock system. Unlike the earlier HomeDock and HomeDock Deluxe, the Pro model is built for home theater integration and has RS-232 as well as RS-485 ports to let more advanced stereo systems automatically control the iPod and trigger it alongside lighting, sound, and television systems. The Pro edition also adds the ability to navigate and play videos directly from a TV-based menu system; the previous Deluxe model only allows for music navigation on-screen, DLO says. An 18-button wireless remote is bundled with the dock. The dock works with all click wheel-based iPods. Pricing a launch date have not been announced.

LG unveils 22-inch widescreen LCD

12/04, 1:20pm

LG 22-inch LCD

Electronics giant LG today released its first 22-inch widescreen display, the L226WT. The screen incorporates HDCP encryption support to allow full-quality playback of certain Blu-Ray and HD DVD movies. LG adds that the 1680x1050 display is part of the new generation of LCDs and has an exceptionally high 3,000:1 contrast ratio as well as a quick 5ms (gray-to-gray) response time well-suited to games and videos. Input is provided through a single DVI-D port. The L226WT is compatible with Macs and is one of the first displays to be officially certified for Windows Vista, the company says. It ships today in Korea and will be available in North America soon for a currently unknown price.

Nokia announces new 1325, 1265 phones

12/04, 1:10pm

Nokia announces 1325, 1265

Promoting them at the 3G World Congress in Hong Kong, Nokia has announced two new CDMA phones, the 1265 and 1325. Pocket-lint notes that the phones are basic models, having no cameras or music players. The 1325 (pictured) does have a screen with 64,000 colors however, and can record up to a minute and a half of voice. Talk time is 3.5 hours and standby is 156. The 1265 is further stripped down, having only 60 seconds of recording and a black-and-white screen. Pricing and dates for both phones are unknown, but they will be shipping to Africa, Latin America, east Asia, and the Middle East.

USB Stylus Pen combines multiple functions

12/04, 12:30pm

Three-in-one USB pen

Sold by Restoration Hardware, the new USB Stylus Pen combines three different functions into the same device. Its standard purpose is as a traditional ballpoint pen, but it also contains a PDA touchscreen stylus, and removing the endcap reveals a 128MB USB drive. When completely assembled, the pen measures six inches in length and features an ergonomic grip towards the front. The ink cartridge can be replaced should the well run dry. Restoration is currently selling the Stylus Pen for $69.

Belkin promotes "first" wireless USB hub

12/04, 12:00pm

Belkin wireless USB hub

Belkin is promoting what it calls the industry's first USB hub to not require a direct connection to a computer. The Cable-Free USB Hub instead uses Wisair's Ultra-Wideband chipset to connect wirelessly, permitting the unit to be placed anywhere within a 30-foot range. The USB receiver dongle plugs into desktops and laptops; an optional stand may provide better reception. The hub itself has four USB 2.0 ports, which run at speeds of up to 480Mbps. The Cable-Free launches in the United States in mid-December for the price of $200, while Asian, European and Australian releases will follow after an indefinite time period.

Samsung launches three Ultra Edition media phones

12/04, 11:45am

Samsung Ultra Edition Trio

At the ITU 2006 conference, Samsung today revealed three phones in its high-end Ultra Edition line, each built for specific users. Leading the announcements was the i600 Ultra Messaging. Recently approved by the FCC, the i600 is the world's thinnest smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard at 11.8mm (0.46 inches), Samsung claims. The communicator is also one of the few of its size to integrate a forward-facing VGA camera for video chats and also supports the faster HSDPA mobile broadband standard. The i600 is set to debut in Asia and Europe as of early 2007, according to Samsung, though availability of the phone in North America is likely to follow.

Click through for photos as well as details of the Ultra Music and Ultra Video models.

Toshiba launches two new cellphones

12/04, 11:25am

Toshiba TS32, TX80 phones

Toshiba has launched two new cellphones in Hong Kong, the TS32 and the TX80, says The Register. The former is a business-oriented candybar phone, measuring only 0.4 inches thick, but likewise has limited features, such as Bluetooth 1.2 and a 1.3-megapixel camera. Active talk-time is just 2.5 hours, and onboard memory is restricted to 5.5MB, though a microSD slot can provide up to 1GB of extra storage. More relevant to the public may be the TX80 (pictured), a clamshell phone with 40MB of memory and anywhere between three (3G) and five (GSM) hours of talk-time. Video calls are limited to VGA resolution, but stills can be taken with the phone's full 3.2 megapixels. The TS32 will ship in black-grey, black-purple and and silver-and-gold colors, while the the TX80 will come in black, white and pink. Prices for both models are unpublished.

Sanyo M1 music phone arrives at Sprint

12/04, 10:40am

Sanyo M1 at Sprint

Sprint today revealed that it carries the Sanyo M1, a high-end music phone targeted at frequent listeners. The clamshell design holds a full 1GB of internal memory, allowing it to store a large number of AAC, AAC+, or MP3 songs without requiring a removable card. Dedicated music controls on the outer shell also give control without having to open the phone itself; the phone also has access to Sprint's own radio and TV streaming services.

The M1 is equally notable for its camera, according to the cellular provider. Its 2-megapixel camera is uncommon amongst music phones and includes autofocus for more accurate photos. Sanyo's device is additionally one of Sprint's Power Vision phones, supporting EVDO broadband as well as video capture. The phone ships today for $350 at retail or $200 alongside a two-year service plan. A profile gallery follows after the jump.

TrackClipPRO tracks head motions in 3D games

12/04, 10:35am

NaturalPoint TrackClipPRO

While VR headsets have largely fallen by the wayside, products like NaturalPoint's TrackClip PRO are salvaging some of the benefits. The PRO, shipping today, clips on to an existing pair of over-the-ear headphones, tracking a user's head movements in PC games. Motions are exaggerated so that a user doesn't have turn completely away from a monitor. NaturalPoint boasts that the PRO has a full six degrees of freedom, meaning that in supported titles, players can tilt or thrust their view as well as rotate it. Some notable games in the lineup include EVE Online, GTR 2, and Flight Simulator X. The TrackClip PRO can be bought online for $40.

Gibson intros HD.6X-Pro digital guitar

12/04, 10:10am

Gibson Pro Digital Guitar

Guitar maker Gibson on Monday released the HD.6X-Pro digital guitar, an instrument the company calls a revolutionary first for professional musicians. The new guitar's unique Hex pickup immediately converts the motion of the strings into a pre-amped, digital signal that the company says can produce studio-grade output regardless of the intended destination. Though a standard 1/4" output is included for conventional amplifiers, the HD.6X-Pro can also link to other devices through Gibson's Ethernet-based MaGIC system: this not only ensures a direct connection to computers but also greatly simplifies the wiring process. Attached to an included breakout box, a single Ethernet cable can carry all the needed input and output signals for miles without a loss in quality, according to Gibson. The guitar is available today through Sweetwater for $4,000; a limited run of 100 guitars signed by Les Paul is also shipping for $8,000 each.

Keyspan ships TuneView iPod remote control

12/04, 9:20am

Keyspan TuneView Remote

Keyspan this morning began shipping the TuneView remote for iPods. The controller is unique courtesy of its two-way interaction with the iPod, the company claims. Using a two-way RF signal, the TuneView can view the iPod's content directly from a color LCD and effectively eliminates the need to view the iPod screen directly for track information or more advanced playback controls. The remote connects to a specially-made dock that can both synchronize with a host Mac or PC and relays both line-out audio as well as images through S-video. The TuneView works with all dockable iPods and is available for $179.

Azureus launches BitTorrent-based video service

12/04, 8:50am

Zudeo Video Service

Software developer Azureus today made its first entry into the commercial realm by introducing its new Zudeo service. A combination of software and a portal website, the service is meant to share long-form content such as games and videos at no cost to their creators. This is possible by using an updated version of the company's existing BitTorrent client: as all files are downloaded from an Internet-wide group of peers rather than a central server, even HD-quality videos can be downloaded free and quickly, Azureus says. The company is offering a mix of both commercial and user-submitted content and already includes official material from Tony Hawk. More content deals are expected in coming weeks.

The program itself is also dramatically expanded, according to the company. While the previous edition (known under the Azureus name) focused solely on downloads, the new Zudeo edition allows for browsing, content channels, and searches to help discover new media. A peer-to-peer streaming feature is promised for the near future. Files are currently free to download with the new service, though the company has not said whether or not it will charge for downloads in the future.

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