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Rivaling the newly introduced Road Angel GPS unit, Snooper is now offering the Syrius. The company hopes to trump its challengers by tapping into an advanced database for speed cameras and other speed traps. Known as Enigma, the database covers the majority of Europe and is intelligent enough to provide warnings dynamically based on distance and speed. When driving safely at or under an impending limit, the system only resorts to visual notices; exceeding the limit, however, triggers a vocal warning and does so earlier than normal if the vehicle is already in a high-speed zone.
Beyond its speed-focused software, the Syrius uses a 4-inch touchscreen and has a lithium-ion battery for handheld use. Battery life isn't currently available. Snooper's GPS system retails for as little as £280 ($545). [Via NaviGadget]
Another illustration of Apple's greatly anticipated phone may show signs of legitimacy, according to an alleged leaked photo obtained by enthusiast site aMobileMe. The image, while far from confirmed, is remarkable for its consistency with Apple's current and projected interfaces. Notably, the design recalls previous patents issued to the computer company that are closely associated with the upcoming handset: the photo shares the rounded, aluminum body as well as a February 2nd patent for a square touchpad with gesture-based commands. The on-screen visuals also reflect Apple's fifth-generation iPod interface and would adapt the search function to text messaging.
More details and full images of the apparent leak can be found after the jump.
A new Korean phone, the SkySpring SP-770, has recently been approved by the Federal Communications Commission. It's a GSM phone capable of GPRS Internet, but notably, it's missing support for any 3G technologies, including WCDMA. What it does have is a three megapixel camera with side-mounted controls, and a microSD slot which is automatically detected as a USB drive when you use the included cable. Little else is known about the phone -- including prices or release dates -- but it should weigh just 2.7 ounces and measure 0.8 inches thick. [Via MobileWhack]
Firebox on Wednesday started sales of a new version of the VoIP Cyberphone. The handset replicates a conventional corded phone, including the cradle rarely included with most VoIP handsets, but is meant solely for Skype and other Internet-based telephone programs. It reduces cost by eliminating the LCD screen sometimes used by rivals but simultaneously uses its digital nature to its advantage by using voice prompts. Unlike with the first edition, inbound calls can be screened using customized WAV ringtones or voice notifications of caller ID; outbound calls can also be dialed by using the numeric equvialent to a recipient's name or by voice recognition. The third version of the Cyberphone further builds in a speakerphone for hands-free sessions. Firebox expects new stock of the phone early next year, when it will ship for $59. [Via CrunchGear]
Sling Media today expanded its SlingPlayer Mobile software for two of the most recent smartphones available in the US. Both the Samsung BlackJack available at Cingular and the HTC-made T-Mobile Dash can now run Sling's video streaming program, which lets cellphone users watch and schedule recording for TVs connected to one of the company's Slingbox Internet tuners. The updated version also lets owners of either phone run the program in full-screen to make the greatest use of the phones' smaller screens. The software is currently available as a free trial and can be unlocked for $30.
Further evidence of of HTC's Athena smartphone has come to light, according to the Polish website PDAClub. Photos since removed from the site's news page confirm key features of the Windows Mobile-based device, including its signature detachable keyboard and 3.5-inch touchscreen. The imagery also reveals a unique aspect of the Athena's crossover design. The keyboard connects to the main body while resting at an angle, allowing HTC to produce a leather case that folds completely flat when closed but can be used to rest the display at a comfortable angle for typing. Additional photos can be found after the jump.
Seeking to provide extra screen area for computers with few choices for external displays, Quantics has just produced a USB Display Extension. The external adapter combines a multi-port USB hub with hardware that can output a secondary image, reducing the necessity of a DVI or VGA port on the laptop itself. A second-generation processor lets the adapter display at a 1600x1200 resolution in 32-bit color; even with the relative limitations of the USB 2.0 bus, this performance is strong enough for DVD playback at full speed, the company claims. Quartics is offering the extension as a foundation for other companies and hasn't revealed immediate partners for finished devices.
Wireless carrier Cingular today made the Option GT Max 3.6 an option for subscribers to its mobile broadband plans. The PC Card adapter is capable of the full 3.6Mbps theoretical download speed on Cingular's HSDPA network. It also works as a true global Internet device, Cingular says: the receiver is a tri-band device that works with internetional HSDPA and UMTS access as well as legacy support for EDGE networks with Cingular and abroad. Seldom seen amongst its kind is a retractable antenna that slides into the card itself, improving reception without leaving the card exposed during travel. Cingular retails the GT Max for $350 but lowers its price to $50 when linked to a two-year contract.
Korean company Movon has announced the Mini Forte, a Bluetooth headset with separate music and phone controls, AVING reports. The phone controls sit on the left earpiece, while the music controls -- including jog buttons -- sit on the right. To connect to audio devices without Bluetooth, a separate stereo dongle is provided. The headset mutes your music automatically when a phone call is detected. A2DP and AVRCP are supported. Talk time is measured at 10 hours, but this drops to eight hours listening to music. Uninterrupted standby time is 300 hours (12.5 days). The Mini Forte will go on sale in January at an unknown price.
Vigor Gaming today claimed a position as one of the first to launch a pre-built system using AMD's four-core Quad FX platform. The Force Recon QX4 uses two of AMD's Athlon 64 FX-70 series chips and is built to run games at full speed even when multiple programs are running in the background, Vigor claims. In stock configuration, the QX4 is designed as an extreme high-end system with 2GB of RAM, a GeForce 8800 GTX video card, and dual 250GB hard drives. All models share a special Thermaltake case with a 1100W power supply, both of which are tested to handle the cooling and power demands of the main system components. The default model ships today from Vigor for $3,150 but can be had for as little as $2,600 through custom assembly. [Via CrunchGear]
Buffalo today introduced the NFINITI Giga, a new wireless router that adds a four-port gigabit Ethernet switch to the draft 802.11n Wi-Fi access revealed earlier this year. The 1,000Mbps wired connection allows systems physically attached to the router to send or receive data as quickly as nearby wireless devices can process it. Buffalo promises that the 802.11n at the heart of the router is quick in real-world instances: while the closest devices manage 80Mbps, even those at the opposite side of an obstacle-laden building manage 32Mbps, the company says.
Security is bolstered by a built-in firewall, and the switch is heavily optimized for faster transfers in frequently hardware-limited FTP and PPPoE connections. The NFINITI Giga sells in Japan today for $250 and should be available in the US soon.
Onkyo has begun sales of the VR-1000J, a pyramid-shaped video recorder that formats for mobile devices. Resulting files are copied to SD cards and Memory Sticks, which can in turn be used with gadgets such as mobile phones, the Sony PSP, and the Nintendo DS, although the DS requires a special adapter. Users can select one of three different quality settings: Normal (176x144, 15fps), Fine (320x240, 15fps) and Super-Fine (320x240, 30fps). The MPEG-4 codec is used for images, while audio is recorded in AAC/G.726/AMR. The 1000J is currently available to Japan for 19,800 yen ($168).
Though the announcement of the LG/Prada collaboration was only made last week, Dial-a-Phone claims to have already acquired information and pictures (click below). It's reportedly based on the Korean KE850, which uses a touchscreen system to control all functions, displaying different interfaces as users navigate menus. The Prada version renders these interfaces in black-and-white, and actually strips the LG branding entirely in favor of the Prada name. The same applies to the candybar shell and the custom leather case. In spite of these luxury elements, the phone should still be priced in a reasonable range, nowhere near as expensive as the Dolce and Gabbana MOTORAZR. Dial estimates a cost closer to the Nokia N80 or the Sony Ericsson W950i. The product should initially ship to five European countries, starting in late March or early April.
Despite excellent sales internationally, US computer sales were virtually stagnant in the US, according to a new IDC report. While Europe and other regions saw a jump of over 10% in sales compared to 2005, the US saw only a third of that growth at 3.5%. The analyst group is quick to counter allegations that delays to Windows Vista, which have triggered coupon programs to shore up holiday sales, are the primary factor in the slowdown: the hardest-hit segment was the business market, an area where buyers rarely adopt new software the moment it becomes available. IDC instead points to slower update cycles with system builders and generally poor performance by these companies.
The news comes in the face of recent success by Apple, whose Mac sales jumped 30% year-over-year last quarter and are poised to set an all-time record for the company by the end of calendar 2006. The company has seen one of its most aggressive series of new computer launches this year, with its entire line having seen at least one major revision.
European mapping company Road Angel this morning unveiled the Navigator 7000. The handheld can receive its updates wirelessly through Bluetooth, according to NaviGadget, and thus saves the trouble of plugging in a USB cable or copying files to an SD card. Its portable nature is also a specialty: in addition to a size scarcely larger than its 3.5-inch touchscreen, the Navigator 7000 runs for up to 8 hours on a lithium-ion battery and is waterproof against heavy splashes.
Built for Britain and Europe, the 7000 can search for primary schools, warn of speed cameras, and notify the driver of the congestion toll areas found in London. MP3 and photo playback are also part of the system. Road Angel offers its latest nav unit for £300 ($584) after taxes.
Creative's new SE2300 headphones have an absolute minimum of cords and connections, even eliminating the headband. They communicate wirelessly with any Bluetooth 1.2 receiver, whether it be a PC, a PDA, or the bundled audio-jack adapter. The phones support A2DP stereo as well as AVRCP remote control, though one of the earpieces has a built-in volume knob, and a beeping sound identifies when they're low on power. The battery is a polymer-ion unit with an eight hour supply, which can be replenished with an AC adapter or a USB connection. The phones power down when no Bluetooth points are in range. Creative is selling the SE2300s for $130.
TangleToys has just launched its DNA Speaker for iPods and other digital audio players. Both satellites are attached to the base by the toy company's signature "tangle" connectors that can twist the speakers in most any angle or position, either improving the sound and stereo separation or simply providing entertainment for younger listeners. The DNA accepts input from either a USB port or a standard line-in jack and can be powered by a wall outlet or batteries. TangleToys' online store carries the DNA for $63.
Buffalo today introduced its minimalist BOMU-SL silent mouse. The company claims to have tuned the mouse button mechanism to completely eliminate the distinctive clicking sound, making the SL an ideal mouse for those who want to use their computers when someone nearby is asleep. Its shape is also completely symmetric and works just as well for left- and right-handed users, Buffalo writes. Attached through USB, the mouse has the increasingly prevalent 800DPI optical sensor for high precision and works without drivers on Macs and Windows PCs. Black and silver models of the SL ship now for $28.
Nokia on Wednesday announced a special version of its 8800 Sirocco designer phone that will be available only through a charity auction. The Brian Eno Signature Edition features a unique ambient music ringtone composed specifically by Eno for the phone. The music is meant to be calming and notifies the owner of a call without drawing excessive attention, Eno says. The special Nokia handset also has the musician's engraved signature and is individually numbered.
Only ten of the phones will be produced for the auction, whose proceeds will be split between the Keiskamma AIDS Treatment Program for South Africa as well as the World Land Trust conservation group. The auction will begin on January 8th and ends February 12th. Click through for a full photo of the phone in silver.
Virtual cellular network operator Helio today said that its subscribers can now use Obopay, a mobile payment system created by MasterCard. The system revolves around a prepaid credit card account that can send or receive money directly from the phone itself without the immediate necessity of the physical card itself. Obopay on Helio's network is effectively a peer-to-peer system, the carrier says: money can be sent to anyone with a cellphone, and the phone owner's contact list can be integrated with Obopay to send or receive money through recognizeable names instead of numbers. Ringtones can be personalized to identify when particular friends or family call in with a payment. Signing up for the Obopay service is currently free; MasterCard says it makes money through the service by charging 10 cents when sending money.
Iomega today revamped its external hard drives pre-formatted with HFS+ for Mac users. The 1TB UltraMax desktop drive (pictured) is a major upgrade from the 640GB limit of the original that retains many of the same key features. Set to a single, 1TB RAID 0 stripe by default, the newer UltraMax can also be switched to a 500GB RAID 1 mirror or even a "simple" mode that shows the two 500GB drives by themselves. A triple-interface drive with FireWire 800, FireWire 400, and USB 2.0, Iomega's range-topping Mac drive is bundled with EMC's Retrospect Express backup software and is shipping immediately for $500.
Also revealed today is the 120GB Black portable hard drive. The simple-shaped hard disk is built with Apple's notebooks in mind and has its own Drop Shock technology to prevent damage to the drive platters during a fall. The Black is also completely bus-powered over either FireWire 400 or USB 2.0, Iomega says. It too ships with Retrospect Express and is ready today for $190.
MojoPlay early Wednesday shipped its MP-920XB screen for the Xbox 360. The 9.2-inch, 800x480 widescreen is tailored for entertainment during visits to friends and relatives where attaching Microsoft's console to the TV may not be viable, the company says. Stereo speakers are built in for audio, but dual headphone jacks are also present so that even a two-person game can be played without intruding into conversations. The folding display mounts on top of the Xbox 360 but is carefully designed to avoid blocking the cooling vents, according to MojoPlay. The MP-920XB is ready today for $170, and should be followed by PlayStation 3 and Wii equivalents early next year.
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