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In contrast to the small size and resolution of many digital photo frames, the new Ality PF-T150 from Mustek measures 15 inches diagonally, and can display 4:3 images at resolutions up to 1280x1024. Audio content can be loaded as well, which is played from a pair of 3W stereo speakers. Files for the frame are stored on 512MB of internal memory and transferred via USB 2.0. Images can be controlled from a distance with a remote, and owners who want a grander showcase can make use of the RCA output to connect to a television. The cost of the frame is not insignificant, however: it should retail for approximately $500.
Verizon is planning special Valentine's edition colors of its most popular phones, according to the company's test pages. Both the bright red KRZR Fire and a pink variant of the Chocolate, known as the Strawberry Chocolate [link removed], are expected to launch within the next few days to accomodate the yearly holiday. Pricing will remain unchanged and should see the newer KRZR available for $150 before rebates with a two-year contract, while its Chocolate parallel will be available for $180.
The Verizon introduction will also represent the first instance in which the distinctive red version of Motorola's KRZR clamshell is available in the US, as the phone has so far only seen a Korean release as of last month.
The protective code that controls media in Windows Vista has been cracked just days before its official release, according to programmer and researcher Alex Ionescu. The analyst said that he has successfully defeated the Protected Media Path inherent to Vista, which is meant to refuse the playback of audio or video from certain copy-protected videos if the system is not using approved hardware and drivers.
While exact details of the exploit remained vague for fear of legal reprisals, Ionescu noted that the successful code does not require any special drivers and bypasses Microsoft's anti-modification PatchGuard technology, potentially convincing any playback software that it can play content at full quality regardless of any actual protection. The hack is currently a proof-of-concept alone and is unlikely to be available as-is, but points to the likely defeat of Vista's stringent DRM despite Microsoft's efforts. Blu-Ray and HD DVD security have already seen partial breaches in recent weeks.
Continuing with its recent history of camera announcements, Samsung has unveiled the i7. The 7.2-megapixel device's centerpiece is a rotating 3-inch LCD that adjusts based on its purpose: it can be used in standard landscape mode for standard-ratio photography or MPEG-4 videos, but also rotates 90 degrees for reviewing portrait shots or a more comfortable hold while watching movie clips. An SRS sound enhancer is even built-in to simulate 3D audio during movie playback, Samsung says.
The i7 matches up to the latest generation of cameras as well, with a 3X optical zoom lens, sensitivity up to ISO 1600, and anti-shake compensation. Launch details remain unknown, but the new Samsung camera should launch first in its producer's native Korea with an American launch to follow by the end of 2007. Click through for high-quality images of the front and back.
Motorola's upcoming RAZRmaxx is headed to the US as a GSM device, according to a recently discovered FCC approval. While initially unveiled as a tri-band GSM phone that would have limited its presence to Europe and some parts of Asia, the RAZRmaxx has recently been certified in the US for use with the fourth, 850MHz band critical to its use by cell service providers in the country.
Notably, however, the phone is currently approved for 3G wireless broadband only on a single frequency for HSDPA, suggesting a likely appearance with the predominant GSM carrier AT&T. Other features remain the same from the 2-megapixel, Bluetooth 2.0-equipped version available in Europe. The discovery indicates an upcoming competition between AT&T and Verizon, the latter of which is already planning a CDMA version of the phone for as soon as next month. [via Phone Arena]
Century on Monday updated its popular Tera-Box with the EX35TR4, a drive enclosure for computer owners who regularly add or swap out new storage. In place of a metal or plastic shell, the EX35 has only a small base to connect its drive array through USB. The remainder is based around rubber sheaths that insulate hard disks against shocks and vibrations while leaving the drive exposed for a quick replacement as well as better cooling. Unique feet built into the design let up to four drives stack on one enough without threatening to fall over.
The enclosure works with any Parallel ATA hard drive and can stripe drives in a RAID or leave them alone as individual disks, supporting as much as 2TB of storage spread across four 500GB drives. Compatibility is provided for most modern operating systems and includes Mac OS X as well as Windows Vista. Century is already delivering the barebones enclosure without storage for $105.
ASUS on Monday demonstrated a new model in its notebook range named the U1F. The 11.1-inch widescreen system achieves a record-setting 1.8-pound weight through a combination of parts, according to ASUS: LED backlighting on the display sheds the need for a thicker casing while improving the color uniformity of the screen, and the use of a 1.8-inch hard drive similar to those found in the iPod reduces the overall bulk. An external DVD/CD-RW combo or DVD-RW drive is similarly included to save space.
The U1F will be of the more capable ultraportables available, ASUS claims: the PC is one of the first to use an ultra-low voltage 1.06GHz Core 2 Duo and will run for up to 2 hours on a standard battery despite its thin profile. Configurations are expected to vary by country and store but will start with 512MB of RAM, a 40GB hard drive, and a VGA webcam. Up to 80GB of storage will be included. ASUS hopes to ship the U1F in March. A full photo is available after the jump.
While companies like Canon and Nikon are racing to add millions of pixels to their sensors, scientists at Houston's Rice University have taken the opposite approach, developing a camera that needs only a single pixel to record an image. This is accomplished with an array of a million or more "micromirrors," each about the size of a bacterium, which focus light on a part of one sensor rather than omnidirectionally at a whole field of sensors. The mirrors switch on and off in rapid succession so that a processor can accurately interpret the incoming data.
The advantage of this technology is efficiency. While current sensor arrays can record tremendous amounts of detail, much of it is wasted -- pixels often contain duplicate information, and compression techniques can throw away as much as 90 percent of the recorded information. Cameras must nevertheless power all of the pixels for each shot, worsening the battery drain already presented by LCD displays. If the single-pixel technique comes to fruition as the Rice scientists are hoping for, the result could be cameras that take hundreds more shots before needing a recharge. It may futhermore be easier to implement alternate sensor types, such as UV, infrared, or night-vision. [Via BBC News]
iPod accessory creator iLuv today unveiled the i182 recording dock. Rather than play back content, the i182 records video through its RCA or S-video input and transfers the footage to a storage device, including Apple's fifth-generation iPod. The videos themselves are not immediately playable on the iPod, the company is quick to note; instead, custom software on a host Mac or PC recognizes clips stored on the iPod's drive and converts them to files that synchronize through iTunes. An adapter is also included (shown at left) that plugs into the Dock Connector on the iLuv dock and records directly to SD/MMC cards or any USB external drives.
Recording can be left unattended, the developer says: a button on the dock sets recording time in 30-minute intervals, up to 180 minutes, while the video resolution can be formatted specifically for an iPod's 640x480 resolution or the full 720x480 widescreen resolution of DVDs. The i182 is due to ship in March at a price of $230. [via iLounge]
Spain-based BLU:SENS said today that it hopes to improve on the limitations of newer music players with the G14. Unlike the Sansa Connect and Zune, the new player comes equipped with Wi-Fi that can be used to trade songs permanently between users. It can even make its 1GB or 2GB of flash memory available on the network, the company says. Bluetooth is also onboard and will link with A2DP-ready headphones or speakers.
The jukebox is similarly a full-fledged media player and supports JPEG photos as well as MPEG-4 video and music. Recording is an option for voice through a microphone as well as for the built-in FM tuner. Playback is estimated at 20 hours of audio, according to the Spanish firm. The company has not committed to a release date but expects to price the G14 at prices beginning at 180 Euros for the 1GB version. [via OhGizmo]
Coinciding with the launch of the K3 and Y9 music players in the United Kingdom, Samsung is opening up its own online music store in that country. Accessible from custom software much like Apple's iTunes, the Samsung Media Studio currently has over 2.6 million songs, from both mainstream and independent labels. The price of albums varies, but individual tracks sell for 79 pence each, and an unlimited download subscription costs £15 per month. The purchase of a Samsung player nets a free seven-day trial. Files from Media Studio can be legally burned to a CD, as well as transferred to any third-party player. [Via Pocket-lint]
A new Sharp cellphone will soon be released in Japan in 20 different colors, more than any other cellphone on the market. Branded by Pantone, the 812SH will be available in everything from black, silver and white to red, blue, cyan and brown. The phone will not be lacking in performance either, with full 3G support, a two-megapixel camera, and a 2.4-inch LCD that can display 260,000 colors. A 0.8-inch OLED displays simple information on the back, and a microSD card can store audio and video content. Though Sharp does produce phones for the North American market, the 812SH is unlikely to come to the US in the same color array as Japan's. [Via Impress Watch]
AMD today began shipping the Athlon 64 X2 6000+, its first true 3GHz processor. Although still unannounced by the chip producer, the dual-core CPU leapfrogs the earlier 2.8GHz, 5600+ model to reach the equivalent speed of a 6GHz single-core Pentium 4, according to the company. The chip sports the same 2MB of level two cache used by its highest-end Athlon 64 X2 and Opteron processors. Online retailer Newegg ships the processor today for $599 as an OEM model without a presupplied cooling fan.
The launch reflects the newly accelerated pace of upgrades to AMD's processor line, which has struggled in recent months in the wake of Intel's Core 2 Duo, which is said to outperform much of AMD's line while just short of the 3GHz marker.
Six new Viera LCDs have been announced by Panasonic, ranging in size from 15 inches to 32. At the high end are the TH-32LX75 and the TH-32LX75S (pictured), which have a 7,000:1 contrast ratio, and are only really distinguished by a different exterior design. The TH-26LX75S is limited to 6,000:1 contrast, but like the 32-inch sets, is HD-ready and has an HDMI port. HD and HDMI are also featured on the new 23- (TH-23LX70) and 20-inch (TH-20LX70) sets. At the low end is the TH-15LD70, which is barely HD compatible, in that it should support 480p. All the new sets do however use Panasonic's VieraLink technology, which allows control of both TV and audio equipment from the same remote. Prices are only available for the LX75 sets: the 26-inch should cost $1,652, while the 32s are $1,898 and $1,982. [Via Akihabara News]
Sony this morning boosted its PC speaker line with the SRS-DZ10. In contrast to most computer audio systems, the 2.1-channel DZ10 depends on a unique, tube-shaped subwoofer that changes position based on the listener's tastes; an adjustable stand allows the unit to sit either horizontally on the floor or vertically on a desk, either of which can potentially save space. The design also prevents either of the two woofer ports from being blocked, Sony said. Dual audio inputs are a hallmark of the design and let the system quickly switch between the PC and a secondary source, such as a notebook or digital audio player. A headphone jack is built-in for private listening.
Pricing and availability were not announced, though the DZ10 should arrive first in Europe. A North American release is possible but has yet to be confirmed.
Gateway continued the succession of Vista-related PC announcements today by releasing two new systems, including a completely new desktop. The DX430 marks a fresh tower design from the American company that caters to both everyday users as well as the more performance-minded. Starting with a Pentium 4, 15-in-1 card reader, and a standard 160GB drive, the system is also configurable with as much as a 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo and exotic drive options such as 750GB or high-speed Raptor drives. An HD video tuner and a new portable hard drive (due in February) with up to 160GB are also options, according to the system builder. Style is also a new element: the case is one of the few to ship with removable faceplates, which help the tower match its surroundings. The DX430B ships with a 2.8GHz Pentium 4, 512MB of RAM, and Vista Home Basic at a price of $500; the higher-end DX430S ($850) and DX430X ($1,100) jump to 1.8GHz and 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo processors respectively as well as 1GB of RAM, Vista Home Premium, and a 19- or 22-inch widescreen LCD. All three should ship by Vista's release tomorrow.
Mirroring the launch in portables is the NX270S, a 14-inch starter notebook built for those unused to the relatively easy abuse of portables. The NX270S sports a scratchproof, toughened outer shell and is inexpensive enough to be more easily replaced, starting with a 1.73GHz Celeron M, 512MB of RAM, and a 60GB hard drive. The updated notebook ships in early February for $700.
Lenovo today added a fourth model to its A-series ThinkCenter desktops, timed just as Microsoft's Windows Vista makes its official debut. The A55 Small Form Factor PC is only as large as a briefcase and is nearly 64 percent smaller than its tower counterpart, Lenovo said. The desktop also sees added performance and is the first of the A-series to have the choice of more than the 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo found in the current tower, though the company did not mention specific models. The A55 should be ready in early February with a base configuration shipping for $579.
Also announced was an upgrade to Windows Vista for much of the company's ThinkPad and ThinkCenter lines, which will all receive the new OS upgrade as of tomorrow while maintaining their current components and shapes.
JVC on Monday released a trio of new LCD TVs designed for fast video response without a cost premium. The 42-inch LT-42LC95, 37-inch LT-37LC95, and 32-inch LT-32LC95 all use a new processing engine that refreshes the screen at 120Hz, double the minimum for HDTV sets. The extra speed helps with fast motion -- especially 1080i scenes, JVC said. Each TV is equipped with only one HDMI port but also ships with three of Japan's D4 digital inputs and comes with a hybrid analog and digital TV tuner for receiving over-the-air broadcasts. Individual component and VGA inputs are available for high-resolution analog sources, and a 20-watt speaker system are common for every set.
The smaller 32- and 37-inch sets are due to launch in Japan as of February for prices of $2,247 and $2,395 respectively; the higher-end 42-inch is due last in March for $3,060. All three are likely for a North American launch soon afterwards with component and HDMI connectors expected to replace the D4 ports.
LG this morning unveiled the LC-3200. A compact slider, the 3200 is built for callers who frequently leave their home country, particularly in LG's home territory of southeast Asia. A multi-band CDMA radio lets the LG device automatically connect to the cellular networks of countries as exotic as Thailand and Vietnam. An English dictionary with a pronounciation guide is also present for visitors to Western countries.
Media features are said to be just as important and involve a 1.3-megapixel camera, quick access to MP3 playback, and five preloaded games; talk time is rated at over 2 hours while standby lasts for 120 hours. The phone should be available today through LG Telecom in Korea and may appear in North America for regular travelers.
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