News Archive for 07/02/02

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Fraunhofer develops micro HDTV camera

02/02, 4:55pm

Fraunhofer MicroHDTV

MP3 format creator Fraunhofer today unveiled the MicroHDTV, what it claims is the world's smallest-ever true HD video camera. The body is only 3 inches long and 1.5 inches wide but can still capture footage at a native 1920x1080, 60 frames per second resolution courtesy of low-power parts that avoid bulky heatsinks. This opens the possibility of HD video in places where the equipment would be too ungainly, the institute says, such as racing cars or the helmets of athletes in high-impact sports.

The camera is equally programmable and can be connected to a PC to adjust its settings through a web browser. Fraunhofer will show the camera at next month's CeBIT Expo and should reveal real-world production devices soon. [via Crave]

Intel slips out low-voltage Core 2 Duos

02/02, 4:40pm

Intel low-voltage Core 2

Intel this week quietly introduced its low voltage Core 2 Duo. The chip is the first of its kind from the company meant for ultraportables and other systems that need lower power and heat but still desktop level performance. Even at peak power, the new Core chip consumes only 17 watts, Intel says -- nearly half that of its fully-powered desktop chips. The two chips retain all the features of their larger counterparts and store 4MB of L2 cache shared between their dual 64-bit cores.

The chip designer is currently shipping two variants, the 1.33GHz L7200 and 1.5GHz L7400. Both are expected soon in pre-assembled notebooks; an even lower-power, ultra-low voltage version currently known only as the U7500 is expected in the Spring and should find its way into the smallest notebooks, such as the 11-inch VAIO TX. [via The Register]

Map-Star enters GPS field

02/02, 4:10pm

Map-Star GPS Receiver

A new firm known as Map-Star has just revealed its first GPS mapping unit, the HDN-400. While in many cases a standard device with a 4.3-inch touchscreen, the 400 ships with a large database: over 1.65 million points of interests in Canada and the US are stored on a bundled 2GB SD card. Map-Star's device also has room for voice guidance in six languages, including Korean and Spanish. The system also works as a media player for a car with the ability to play music, photos, and videos.

The newcomer to the fiercely competitive GPS arena expects the HDN-400 to arrive in US stores later this month for $500. [via Ubergizmo]

E-mails show Microsoft wanted to "whack" Dell

02/02, 3:40pm

MS E-mail Fears over Dell

Microsoft has been actively worried about Dell's choice to ship some of its systems with Linux instead of Windows, leaked e-mail messages revealed (PDF). Stemming from 2002, the e-mail indicates that Microsoft singled out Dell as a potential threat to Windows' command of the business computer world and vowed to threaten Dell's cash flow, worrying that the lower cost of Linux would give the computer maker either larger profits or an edge in price.

"We will continue to invest big, big [money] in Dell," wrote corporate VP Bill Veghte. "I do not want to invest [money] to fund their Red Hat [Linux] efforts."

Boston Acoustics ships tabletop HD radio

02/02, 2:50pm

Boston Acoustics Receptor

Boston Acoustics on Friday started shipping its new Receptor Radio HD. The company touts that its new stereo is the first high-performance tabletop radio to support the newer HD Radio standard, which boosts audio quality and adds digital information such as playlists and weather forecasts. The technology elevates FM radio to CD accuracy and AM to FM's level, Boston Acoustics and other HD Radio proponents say. The Receptor is unique for its sound quality at its size and has an included, distinct satellite unit that can be placed at a distance from the main receiver to increase the stereo effect.

Additional jacks are built in for other devices, including an aux-in port for iPods and other portable music sources as well as a headphone jack. Dual alarms are built in for waking its owner later on weekends. Sharper Image carries the Receptor now for $300. [via I4U]

Mead develops binder with built-in speakers

02/02, 2:15pm

Mead Binder With Speakers

Mead has just unveiled a new binder under its Five Star label that comes equipped with speakers. The vinyl-covered book includes its own headphone input jack and stereo satellites, allowing the iPod or most any portable device to play music without intruding into studying space or requiring headphones. Battery life and the strength of the speakers isn't yet revealed.

A line of school backpacks also containing speakers is also planned, the company says. Pricing is unavailable, but the two audio-equipped devices will launch in time for the return to school this September. [via My: Tech News Blog]

Dell faces lawsuit over questionable Intel incentives

02/02, 1:50pm

Dell Sued For Intel Payout

Dell has been served with a lawsuit from investors over potentially illegal Intel payouts, according to news today from Reuters. The suit -- filed jointly by Austin-based LongView Funds and the UK's West Midlands Pension Fund -- claims that the system builder secretly received "kickbacks" from its CPU supplier, accumulating roughly $1 billion over the space of four quarters in exchange for purchasing only Intel processors for its PCs. Attorneys said Dell was involved in a "widespread, long-running scheme" to fool investors by artificially inflating its income and its stock price. The computer firm declined comment, adding that it hadn't yet seen the allegations made in the suit. Intel had not responded as of Friday afternoon.

Intel has often considered Dell one of its closest allies, the latter having used only Core, Pentium, and Xeon CPUs in its systems until September's introduction of AMD-based Dimensions. The semiconductor firm has also regularly provides official incentives to companies that include the Intel logo on their computers and in advertising.

D-Link router taps into cellphone broadband

02/02, 1:30pm

D-Link 3G Mobile Router

Users who want to exploit the broadband offered by phone providers can now turn to the 3G Mobile Router, made by D-Link. Owners can insert a 3G laptop adapter into the CardBus slot, and from there access EVDO or UMTS/HSDPA networks, depending on whether they buy the DIR-450 or the 451 variant (due next month). The router can also be used as a conventional 802.11b/g WiFi device by plugging in an Ethernet cable, or even as a non-WiFi router by using the four 10/100 ports. Connections are encrypted with WEP, WPA or WPA2. The EVDO-based DIR-450 is on sale for $230.

Shuttle intros Vista-based XPCs

02/02, 1:20pm

Shuttle Vista XPCs

Case designer Shuttle today added three new XPC systems to keep in step with this week's introduction of Windows Vista. The P2 3700GC and G5 3200HC are each pre-configured versions of the company's normally custom-ordered 3700G and 3200H models built with gaming and home theater roles in mind. The two are similarly configured with a 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo, 1GB of RAM, a GeForce 7600 GT video card, and 250GB of storage in addition to their newly pre-installed copies of Vista Home Premium. Differences between the P2 and G5 versions rest in their focus, with the P2 focused mostly on games while the G5 adds a hidden front LCD and media remote for use attached to a TV.

The system builder's third model, the G2 3200BB, is designed primarily for workplaces that want small computers. Built from low-cost parts, it runs on a 3.2GHz Celeron D, 1GB of RAM, and an 80GB drive preloaded with Vista Business. A read-only DVD drive also trims the price. All three models ship with a 22-in-1 card reader and should be available today in Europe with prices varying by country. [via The Register]

Sony begins shipping iPod dock

02/02, 12:35pm

Sony ships iPod dock

In a somewhat unexpected move, Sony has begun shipping an iPod stereo dock, the CPF-IP001. Sony is infamous for favoring its own music products to the exclusion of others, such as the Walkman player, or the ATRAC file format. The IP001 would appear to mark a change in policy. The dock is officially licensed by Apple, and is compatible with all nanos and minis, plus full-size iPods from the fourth generation onwards. The satellites are rated at 5W of power each, but are bolstered by a 15W external subwoofer. Secondary input is supported through a stereo mini-jack, while all audio streams are controlled through an onboard DSP chipset. The dock is on sale today for $250, or $10 per month.

Sony Ericsson uncovers the W51S

02/02, 11:50am

Sony Ericsson W51S

Japanese carrier KDDI will be the first to the feature the W51S phone by Sony Ericsson. The most arresting feature about the phone is probably its exterior, which like the Z310 has glowing white icons, but in this case hides them behind a less reflective surface. The screen meanwhile is 2.7 inches, and its 2.01-megapixel camera plays and records QVGA video. Internal storage is a sizable 120MB but can be further supplemented by Memory Sticks. And while no wireless connections are mentioned other than IrDA, the phone will have Internet access, through which users can lock a phone and delete its contents should it be stolen. Talk time is 3.5 hours with 270 hours of standby. No exact release information has been shared, but it is a part of KDDI's Spring Collection. Colors will include black, gold and pink.

T-Mobile readying Dwayne Wade edition Sidekick 3

02/02, 11:25am

Sidekick 3 D-Wade Edition

US cell provider T-Mobile will soon release the D-Wade Limited Edition Sidekick 3, a leaked presentation revealed today. Similar to the fashion label models released last year, the hybrid phone and text communicator's look reflects its inspiration. Commemorating the basketball player's MVP achievement and years-long use of sidekicks, the phone is covered in a two-tone gold and white scheme meant to evoke Miami. It further highlights the number 3 on the keypad, drawing a link between Wade's playing number and the phone. The back also features a unique basketball-like texture that actually improves grip, the document says.

The leak hasn't divulged a release date or a price, but the latter is widely expected to match that of the original. Click through for a gallery, including the back. [via Hiptop3]

Pantech PN-820 launches with Verizon

02/02, 10:55am

Pantech PN-820 at Verizon

Verizon has quietly released the Pantech PN-820 in its lineup. Originally scheduled to launch as soon as December, the device represents the first flip-phone from the US carrier to be driven by Windows Mobile and uses this to its advantage. Pocket editions of Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player are preloaded and bring the phone closer to desktop-class programs than other clamshells, Verizon claims.

The mid-range phone has the hardware needed to support its OS and comes with a 1.3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, EVDO mobile broadband, and a miniSD card slot for loading music or other files. It sells today for $150 after a rebate and signing up for a two-year contract.

Gap closes between Blu-Ray and HD DVD

02/02, 10:55am

Blu-Ray/HD DVD gap closes

The sales of Blu-Ray discs are finally beginning to approach their HD DVD counterparts, says Nielsen VideoScan, an division of the famous TV ratings company. By the end of the first week of January, HD DVD sales were 47.14 percent of Blu-Ray's; by the end of the second week, that ratio was 38.36 percent. The gap had narrowed to a mere 7.6 percent as of January 14th. If this growth continues, Blu-Ray should soon overtake HD DVD, despite the latter's headstart -- the first HD DVD player having launched in April of last year, and the first Blu-Ray player in the fall.

RIZR to launch at Oscars with special promo case

02/02, 10:25am

Moto RIZR at Oscars

Motorola today revealed that it would introduce its RIZR Z3 at the Oscars next month in the form of a special gift. The top 25 nominees in the highest-profile categories will receive the handset in a unique box meant to recall the traditional actor's dressing room door, complete with a personalized nametag; each phone will also come with Motorola's H800 Bluetooth headset as well as its S9 sports headphones.

No wider availability of the RIZR was revealed during the announcement. An imminent launch is likely given the phone's FCC approval in October. The RIZR is largely considered a slider equivalent to the KRZR and has the same 2-megapixel camera and EDGE broadband support of the GSM-based clamshell.

Chi Mei dips toes into US waters with 42-inch HDTV

02/02, 9:55am

Chi Mei 42-inch LCD TV

Taiwan's Chi Mei said today that it will launch its own TVs in the US. While the company long ago began making the LCD panels used by other TV makers, it now intends to sell its own complete sets in the country. The introduction will begin with a 42-inch LCD TV known as the DTL-742E500 (pictured), Chi Mei says. A full 1080p set, the system is equipped with a pair of HDMI inputs as well as VGA for PC-based signals. A 30-watt speaker set is mounted underneath.

Chi Mei is already delivering the screen today to Europe and its home territory for a price of $1,665. The US should see the screen during the Spring for roughly the same price. [via DigiTimes]

Vista family discounts failing

02/02, 9:20am

Vista Family Bundles Fail

Microsoft's days-old Windows Vista has already encountered its first licensing barrier, according to reports. Buyers who tried the software firm's Family Discount plan, which is the first from the company to drop prices on multiple home purchases of the OS, have discovered that the product keys for their secondary copies are failing. The flaw effectively blocks all but the master copy of Vista Ultimate from installing, owners say. Microsoft is aware of the issue and notes that while the issued keys are technically valid, many of them aren't properly associated with Vista installs. No immediate fix is available; the company is offering to call individual users when the problem is resolved, and is also offering refunds.

The error, which affects large numbers of Family Discount buyers, is an ill-timed embarassment for Microsoft, which has struggled with a lukewarm reaction to Tuesday's Vista launch.

Nike offers cap with built-in iPod nano controls

02/02, 8:40am

Nike+ Hatphones

Nike has just released its new Hatphones, a collection of skull caps for cold-weather runners using the iPod nano for music. A mesh at the back of the cap (shown) provides access to click wheel controls for Apple's flash-based player without removing it from a strategically located pouch. Accordingly, a set of headphones is built into the hat for listening without extra equipment.

The Hatphones are available today through Nike's online store in solid black, gray, obsidian (dark blue), and red for $60. Black and two-tone Graphic Hatphone models with the copmany's logo in front are also shipping with the same features for $55. [via CrunchGear]

KRZR Fire lands at Verizon

02/02, 8:00am

KRZR Fire lands at Verizon

Verizon early this morning began carrying Motorola's special edition KRZR K1m Fire in time for Valentine's Day. The bright red version of the phone joins the black and two-tone silver models and is functionally identical to the earlier version, including the 1.3-megapixel camera and dedicated music playback controls on the display lid. The Fire is also selling for the same $100 price as its predecessors when paired with a two-year plan and rebate.

The previously indicated LG Strawberry Chocolate, also expected for a Valentine's promotion, remains unavailable.

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