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Cisco tonight said that it will sue Apple after an apparent failure to resolve a trademark dispute over the iPhone name, according to the BBC. The two electronics firms, which were initially thought to have been close to a settlement that would let both use the name for their voice handsets, did not reach an agreement originally expected by Tuesday evening. No explanation was provided for the alleged stall in negotiations, though Cisco implied in a statement that a breach of trust had taken place.
"Cisco entered into negotiations with Apple in good faith," said the company's general counsel and senior VP Mark Chandler.
UPDATE: Apple on Thursday morning disputed the claim, arguing that Cisco's claim is "tenuous at best," according to spokeswoman Natalie Kerris. "There are already several companies using the iPhone name for VoIP products," she said. The statement indicates a likely prolonged court battle between the two rivals.
Launching later this month is the G-Tech Bluetooth Messenger Bag, which lets users control an iPod or cellphone without removing it from its compartment. Like the company's existing iPod Backpack, smart fabric located in the strap takes the place of conventional buttons. Speakers are also built in, connecting to a device through a 3.5mm input jack. The Bluetooth bag is of course wireless, and has extra controls, namely for muting music to take a call. A third-party receiver/transmitter is needed to control iPods. The price of the Messenger has not been finalized, but it should be comparable to that of the Techno and Psycho backpacks, which range between $80-100.
AMD has devised a new form factor called DTX, a rival to the current ATX standard invented by Intel. The requirements of DTX are described as being fairly open, specifying mainly where the motherboard will mount, and which areas are off-limits. DTX motherboards should in theory be quieter, however, and use less electricity than current designs. Size will also be reduced, with measurements falling somewhere between Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX, at approximately 7.9 inches by 9.6. An even smaller standard is Mini-DTX, which should be 6.7x7.9 inches, but will be limited to processors with 35W TDP (Thermal Design Power). AMD believes that these reductions should further enable cost savings, with four DTX boards (or six Mini-DTX boards) coming out of a single PCB panel, where the same material would produce two ATXs. AMD is set to distribute the DTX documents later this quarter, but companies such as Asus and MSI have already declared intentions to build DTX products.
iPod accessory producer iHome is preparing three new iPod speaker docks for budget-minded listeners. The pictured iH10 and iH4 are home units built to remind the listener of classic stereo design; the former's tower shape resembles a jukebox with different-colored lights and is intended as a clock radio with a backlit LCD for time functions. In turn, the speaker-only iH4 is patterned after mid-twentieth century transistor radios and relies on dials to change its settings. The company says its third system, the iH19, is a combination travel bag and stereo for the iPod that protects the latter while offering sound and basic track navigation on the outside. It will also be available in a variety of colors, the company adds. All three support every dockable iPod and are scheduled for a general Spring release, with the iH4 and iH10 both priced at $49 while the iH19 will retail for $69. Click through for photos of each model. [via Crave]
The One Laptop Per Child system may well be sold to individual members of the public, according to OLPC project heads speaking with BBC News. While the $150 system (now named XO) is intended primarily for large-scale educational use in developing countries, the MIT-based organization says it hopes to sell the computer to customers in wealthier areas, including North America. The plan will likely involve a charitable contribution plan that would ensure children in developing areas are cared for with each purchase.
"Many commercial schemes have been considered," says chairman Nicholas Negroponte. "One of which is 'buy 2 [laptops] and get 1.'"
Such a plan would give the buyer an e-mail address for a child who receives the second computer, effectively transforming the XO purchase into a sponsorship program. Individual sales are likely to begin in 2008 but will take a secondary priority in relation to bulk government orders.
Following the demonstration of its Quad Full HD display at CES, Westinghouse has announced multiple new LCD televisions. The TX series upgrades the company's existing full HD, 1080p screens by upgrading expansion and image calibration options: each of the 42-, 47-, and 52-inch displays builds four HDMI inputs into the chassis, every one of which supports the complete resolution of a given TV. The 52-inch version will also see an improved pixel response time of 6.5ms, versus 8ms on the smaller models. All three will bundle ATSC tuners and should be ready between April and May.
The SK series has also been announced and is aimed at more price-sensitive buyers: each panel sports a 720p resolution, dual HDMI connectors, an ATSC tuner, and an 8ms response time. Sizes will range between 19 and 42 inches when the entire SK line ships in April, with prices beginning at $449 for the smallest version and culminating at $1,699 for the 42-inch system. A 32-inch version with an integrated DVD player will be ready during the same month for $1,050 ($950 without).
GPS specialist Mio at CES previewed two receivers geared both to essentialist users and those in the mid-range. The DigiWalker C250 (shown) is focused almost exclusively on navigation for those drivers who prefer minimal expense: little beyond the 3.5-inch touchscreen surrounds the device, which comes only with a headphone jack and speaker for audio duties and comes with an SD card containing a map of the US. Music playback is possible but has not been confirmed, the company says. Mio plans a release by the end of this quarter for $299, $50 or more below most similar GPS mapping systems.
Above the entry-level model will be the DigiWalker C520, a portrait-style receiver with a 4.3-inch wide touchscreen and a Bluetooth transmitter for establishing hands-free calls through many cellphones. Its manufacturer has yet to commit to a price but promises a launch within the first half of 2007. Click through for a photo of the C520.
Recognizing a gap between its high- and low-end HD DVD players, Toshiba at CES unveiled a new, mid-grade player named the HD-A20. Sitting in between the previously announced HD-A2 and HD-XA2, the A20 adds the crucial feature of native 1080p video playback, making it the lowest-cost HD DVD player to show movies at their native resolution, Toshiba says. The new tier reduces costs by withholding the top player's costlier HDMI 1.3 output and its accompanying support for deep color as well as enhanced Dolby and DTS HD sound. Other features remain identical to the A2, the company's basic 1080i-capable model. The A20 will ship in Spring for $599, $100 more than the A2 but far lower than the $999 XA2.
The flurry of initially positive press regarding Apple's new iPhone may hide substantial flaws that could undermine the handset's long-term success, according to multiple ZDNet editors. Writing in his blog, Jason O'Grady notes that a combination of using GSM and an exclusive Cingular deal may seriously damage the roaming abilities of the phone outside of North America by shutting out CDMA users and easier access to international roaming through unlocked SIM cards.
"This phone will not work in Japan because it does not support [WCDMA]," O'Grady reports a friend as saying. "A contract with Cingular [also] implies it will be SIM-locked. Frequent international travellers rely on the ability to purchase a local SIM card in the destination country."
Read through for concerns about the iPhone's target audience and the processor likely at the heart of the device.
Though still seeking approval from the Blu-Ray Disc Alliance, TDK is using CES to promote a "Mini Blu-Ray" prototype, which can hold 16.5GB of data in a disc 3.1 inches in diameter. Full-size discs can hold 50GB. The applications of a smaller one are fairly minimal, but TDK does expect them to appear in Blu-Ray camcorders if the BRDA gives the green light. The company is also preparing a 50GB, inkjet-printable version of its regular BD-R disc, and is showing off a 200GB format that was first announced in April of last year but is still in development. The 50GB printable discs should be out in the second quarter. [Via The Register]
While there are a number of computer-based Skype phones, the SPH200D from Netgear is a stand-alone DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telephony) phone that plugs into a landline as well as your Internet connection, permitting any sort of important call, including dialing emergency services. The base station enables the use of three additional 200Ds throughout your home or office. Average talk-time on the phone is 12 hours, with a standby time of 120. Amazon is selling the phone for $180.
New camcorders from Hitachi combine DVD drives and hard disks in the same camera, the company has announced. The DZHS300A and DZH500A hybrid camcorders have 8GB and 30GB hard disks, respectively, and when they finish recording, can burn the video to DVD with a single button. Supported DVD formats include DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM and DVD+RW. The S300A has an SD card slot and 25x optical zoom; aside from having a larger hard drive, the 500A boosts zoom to 30x. Both models also have drop protection, ensuring that when a fall is detected, reading and writing is stopped, and the hard disk is secured for impact. The S300A is available now for $600, and the 500A will ship in April for $800.
Hitachi used its presence at CES to announce sweeping changes to its LCD and plasma HDTV lineups. The Japanese electronics firm says its upcoming P50H401 (pictured) will be the first 50-inch plasma to reach below $2,500 by striking a balance between full HD and the 720p sets that often reach the price point. By using a 1280x1080 panel, the set can still manage sharper resolutions when asked to display 4:3 ratio images while still supporting widescreen 1080i and 720p images. A scaler chip for 1080p sources and three HDMI inputs will ensure the best possible picture, Hitachi says. The 50-inch display, which ships in February, will be accompanied by 42- and 55-inch models in the H401 line that ship in April and July respectively. Upgraded T501 models with improved anti-reflective screens and SD card readers for direct photo viewing are anticipated in similar sizes and release dates.
Also planned for this year are two mid-size LCDs under the Cineform name. The H201 and T301 lines will each be available in 32- and 37-inch models and will share the 1080p scaler and trio of HDMI inputs from the larger plasmas but will display in a native 720p resolution; the more advanced T301 adds a new 120Hz-capable LCD that doubles the frame rate to improve perceived response times during gaming or fast movie scenes. The 37-inch panels will be ready first in May, while the smaller 32-inch equivalents are being prepared for June.
Toshiba has announced a new LCD in its Regza line of televisions. Though measuring a relatively small 20 inches, the set is still capable of resolutions up to 768x1366 (greater than 720p), and uses Toshiba's Meta Brain Pro technology, which is normally limited to the company's Z2000 TVs. This digitizes the whole signal process, creating better contours on moving objects, and avoiding unnecessary picture degradation. The built-in speakers support SRS WOW surround, and there are two HDMI ports plus two DVI ports. The viewing angle is 178 degrees. Pricing and availability are unknown. [Via Akihabara News]
i-mate at CES revealed that its two most recent smartphones, initially available only in the Middle East, will now launch in North America. Courtesy of their quad-band GSM receivers, both the JAQ3 and PDAL (pictured) will arrive on the continent largely unchanged from their original forms, retaining the support for Bluetooth, EDGE Internet access, and Wi-Fi. A 2-megapixel and readiness for "push" e-mail are similarly standard. The handhelds are separated primarily by input, i-mate says. Where the JAQ3 is built for messaging and includes a QWERTY keyboard for typing on its widescreen display, the PDAL is more compact and uses its 2.4-inch touchscreen for typing and most navigation. American pricing is unavailable, but the two devices will arrive in stores by the end of January.
Visteon at CES officially launched its HD Jump receiver. The adapter tunes the HD2 digital radio broadcasts now in place alongside many terrestrial stations and even raises the quality of existing analog stations: FM stations achieve CD-quality sound while AM stations reach FM levels, according to the company's claims. The receiver gains a large LCD to help with navigating and viewing the text information only available with HD radio. Described as the first "transportable" radio of its kind by Visteon, the Jump needs a separate power source but includes a windshield mounting kit to link with any car and can alternately link with an optional cradle to play radio inside the home; the car mount also sports an auxiliary input jack to play music from an iPod or other pocket player through the vehicle's sound system. Neither a price nor a ship date have yet to be released.
System builder Micro Express today said it would move its largely budget-oriented WinBook line upscale this month with the addition of two notebooks to its line. Both the 13.3-inch TL (shown) and 15.4-inch GL will adopt a glossy, brown chassis meant to recall the unconventional choice of style made by Microsoft for its Zune music player, including a halo-effect secondary color around the portables' edges. Hardware and pricing has not been provided for the new WinBooks but will likely include Core 2 Duo processors and an overall higher price to reflect performance. Micro Express says it will announce the GL and TL series by the end of this month, in time for the launch of Windows Vista. [via Crave]
Razer at CES announced two new peripherals for media PC enthusiasts. Opening the introductions is the Mako (pictured), a 2.1-channel speaker system the company hopes will break new ground in desktop sound. The Mako is the only desktop audio system to not just receive THX certification but also use the engineering firm's technology to improve sound quality. THX Ground Plane creates an even soundstage regardless of the listener's position relative to the satellites, says Razer, while THX Slot Speaker's downward-firing audio helps prevent the desk vibrations that frequently create muddy bass response. A ClassHD digital amplifier also cleans the signal and is accompanied by two distinct amplifiers in the satellites themselves. The resulting output delivers 300W of total sustained power, 100W of which is shared by the satellites. Pricing and availability have yet to be released.
In addition to the Mako, Razer revealed the Reclusa keyboard for gamers. The LED-backlit input device is made for quick response during action games and has short-travel keys that reduce the delay in issuing commands. Two jog dials are placed on opposite ends of the keyboard for weapon selection or other times when fast scrolling is needed; four bumper buttons and six macro keys are also said to cut down on time spent finding keys. Customizable with a detachable palmrest and key reprogramming software, the Reclusa will ship in March for $60.
Sling Media late Tuesday revealed its new Clip+Sling video sharing service. Citing the common problem of wanting to share favorite scenes from favorite TV shows or a play in a sports event, the Slingbox maker says it has developed a new version of its SlingPlayer computer and mobile software that lets owners of the TV streaming hubs record short clips and publish them to a Web portal, where the resulting footage is viewable by anyone.
As with the Slingbox itself, the service requires only a broadband connection and the relevant software. The software is currently limited to a private beta, Sling notes; however, the company says American Slingbox owners can sign up for the test program to join the service once it expands. A final version of Clip+Sling should be ready later this year.
In a surprise demonstration, Haier at CES revealed that it will partner with media giant AOL to launch a new media player that it hopes will both break away from the software limits of current players while also providing a clear rival to the iPod and Zune. Dubbed the SmartScreens Media Device, the player uses an iPod-influenced menu system but is Linux-based, allowing for relatively easy changes to the software by developers and owners alike. Wi-Fi is the player's true appeal, Haier says. Contrasting against the Zune, whose Wi-Fi is limited to local sharing, the SmartScreens device connects to a wireless network to access Internet services from AOL. Any user can stream Internet radio stations for free, according to the two companies; it will also be possible to buy songs and other content directly from the handheld. Bluetooth adds the option of playing music through wireless headphones or speakers.
Complete music support for the player has not been mentioned by Haier, which says that its jukebox will support protected Windows Media stores from AOL, Napster, and Real as well as MPEG-4 and WMV video clips. Storage will match the entry full-size iPod and Zune players with a 30GB hard drive. The SmartScreens device should launch paired with the new AOL service in the second or third quarter of 2007 for an unknown price. See a complete photo afer the jump. [via PC Mag]
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