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The PopCatcher MusicDock MD-601 redeems FM music stations, recording the music without commercials and DJ interruptions, which are sensed by the device and cut out automatically. The results are saved in MP3 format to a docked media player, such as an iPod, with each song being its own unique file. This may ironically be a problem for some users, since many FM stations repeat their tracks to catch more listeners. The 601 does however function with Internet broadcasts as well, which are less likely to produce duplicates. To order a Music Dock, users must contact PopCatcher directly. [via Crave]
Korea-based A1Display today said it now offers custom building for HDTV sets. Rather than insist on definite specifications for every model, the company invites buyers to visit its office and choose exact parts of the design. The outer shell, controlling mainboard, and TV tuners can be hand-picked and assembled by the company within an hour. An extra level of service is also promised, as the same engineers will make home visits to repair faulty systems.
Every model offered today is a full, 1080p set with sizes ranging between 42 and 47 inches. The basic 42-inch screen is available either as a PC monitor with DVI and VGA input ($1,792), or as a TV with dual HDMI connectors ($2,097), while the 47-inch model ($2,635) shares the same features as the TV at a larger size. A1D says all sets are available today. [via AVING]
Newly launched in Hong Kong is the C268 phone by Samsung, distributed under its Anycall brand. The key to the clamshell is affordable simplicity, since all but the most universal features have been removed. It only operates on dual-band GSM, for instance, and the screen is limited to 65,000 colors. It does however have SMS messaging and an attractive interface, plus an abnormally long battery life -- Samsung estimates seven hours of talk-time and 390 hours (16 days) of standby. The C268 costs $790 Hong Kong dollars, or $99 US. [via Unwired View]
Magellan this afternoon officially announced its Maestro range of GPS mapping units. The 4.3-inch handhelds are all the first navigators to have access to the American Automobile Association's TourBook, which adds hotels, repair sites, and other points of interest the group recommends for its members' trips.
The flagship Maestro 4050 ($700) is also the first GPS system to support voice commands, Magellan says. Owners plot routes simply by speaking to the unit instead of operating its touchscreen, keeping their eyes on the road. Real-time traffic warnings are also an option through the company's TrafficKit subscription service. Bluetooth is standard for hands-free calls. The lower-cost 4040 drops voice commands and traffic to reach a more affordable $500 price, while the base 4000 model ($400) sheds Bluetooth. The 4050 will be ready by May, with the two less costly models shipping April 1st.
Young startup TN Games used the GDC games expo today to introduce the ForceWear Vest. Force-feedback units located at eight points throughout the clothing create up to ten pounds of pressure in different rhythms depending on the type of hit inflicted to the player. Anything from a solid punch to gunfire can be simulated, reducing the need for visual damage cues in first-person games. Virtual G-force effects can also be generated for driving or flight simulators.
Three different styles of the vest will be sold, with a black tactical scheme, camouflage, and a flame-adorned racing model available to suit the wearer's tastes in gameplay. ForceWear should debut first on the PC in November.
Archos has just announced the 204 (Spanish PDF) as a replacement for the last of its Gmini players. Opting for the added storage of a 20GB hard drive instead of the more popular flash, the 204 is still small at just under three inches high. It also makes use of a 1.8-inch OLED color screen ready for JPEG photo viewing. Playback of MP3, WAV, and WMA songs (including WMA 10 subscriptions) makes up the device's audio format support. Battery life is a substantial 20 hours despite the rotating storage inside.
The new player is due to appear in Europe soon for $235; although most of Archos' lineup (including the new 704 Wi-Fi) is available in North America, the company says that the 204 will remain in Europe for the foreseeable future. [via PMP Today]
Delkin today released a swath of new card adapters aimed at frequent photographers. Topping the announcements are CardBus and ExpressCard 54 adapters designed for the new Ultra DMA CompactFlash standard. Each transfers data from the new flash memory as quickly as possible, peaking at 40MB per second and 33MB per second respectively. Both work in Windows PCs and will ship in April for $60, with the CardBus adapter also supporting PowerBooks using Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later.
Nokia's N77 phone has been approved by the FCC, a recent filing shows. The successful test is curious due to the phone's use of DVB-H, a digital mobile TV standard generally only used in Europe -- raising the possibility that an Americanized version of the candybar handset may appear in the US in the future. However, the phone as tested by the FCC currently uses the same tri-band GSM and UMTS Internet as the original, ruling out an imediate release.
The N77 would also require the establishment of a new mobile TV network, as the only currently operating cellphone TV network in the US (Verizon's V CAST TV) uses the competing MediaFLO standard. View a sampling of the FCC photos after the break.
Carpoint has announced the XRoad V7, a combination GPS unit and personal media player. The highlight though is likely to be its presentation, since it uses a highly graphical interface presented on a seven-inch, 16:9 touchscreen, capable of resolutions up to 800x480. It also boasts considerable hardware inside, such as a 500MHz AMD processor and 128MB of DDR2 RAM. Supported media formats will include MPEG-4, WMV and DivX/XviD video, as well as FM radio, DMB TV, and unspecified music files. Videos can be shrunk to the corner while GPS navigation is in use. The V7 is shipping to Korea for the equivalent of $630. [via GPS Gazette]
Creative today chose Japan as the venue for introducing two new speakers designed for the iPod. The PlayDock i500 (shown) is an equivalent to the previously announced PlayDock i and serves as a luggable all-in-one stereo with video output and a USB port for synchronizing with a PC. Two 12W satellites and a 24W subwoofer provide up to 16 hours of music on battery power.
A newer addition is the TravelSound i, a conversion of the Zen-oriented mini stereo with the same AV and USB connections as the i500 but uses only two 4W satellites for sound, lifting battery life to 25 hours. The PlayDock and TravelSound will sell in Japan later this month for $256 and $153 respectively and work with fourth-generation iPods or newer as well as every iPod mini or nano. [via Impress]
Made by HoMedics, the iSoundSpa clock offers three ways to be woken up: an iPod dock, a beeping tone, or one of six nature tracks, such as "rain," "night" or "sunrise." The current time can also be projected on the ceiling in blue. All nano and full-sized iPods are supported through adapters, while iPod shuffles can be plugged in through a stereo jack. CD and other digital audio players can of course use the same jack. iPods are charged as they sit in the dock. HoMedics has begun selling the iSoundSpa for $80 from the official website.
AT&T may already have put in place service discounts for the iPhone, according to a receipt from one new subscriber to the cell service. Upon switching to the American carrier, Derek Punsalan noticed that although he had ordered a BlackBerry Pearl to go with his plan, his receipt for the purchase also mentioned the unreleased Apple phone, suggesting that it would receive a $150 discount when paired with a two-year service plan.
While clearly unintentional, the glitch indicates advance readiness for the phone and revives the possibility that AT&T will offer discounts in spite of the fixed $499 and $599 prices determined by Apple. View the receipt after the jump.
Leaked presentation slides have revealed the Samsung Q2, a successor to the Q1 ultra-mobile PC, which was said to be the world's first. Many of the specifications should remain the same, such as 1GB of RAM, a 60GB hard drive and a seven-inch touchscreen, but it will be substantially upgraded in some ways. Among these are a switch to an Intel CPU and Vista Home Premium, as well as increased resolution, now at 1024x600. A split QWERTY keyboard has been designed, and there are two cameras, one for stills (1.3 megapixels) and another for videoconferencing (0.3 megapixels). An unexpected development is the support of HSDPA and WiBro, which will allow roaming broadband in both Korea and the United States. More standard wireless options will include Bluetooth 2.0 and 802.11b/g. [via Engadget]
Pantech's premium brand Sky today updated its phone lineup for KTF with the IM-S200K. A white body with chrome accents betrays the Apple-led inspiration behind the central control scheme on the device: the "wheel key" at the heart of the phone both navigates the phone's mens and speeds up scrolling through a large library of MP3 songs. More unique is the menu system, which creates separate interfaces for home and business, and voice recording for memos.
The phone will be available through KTF with a 1.3-megapixel camera for the equivalent of $429 in Korea. Click through for a detailed profile shot.
Updated with photos At today's ongoing Game Developers' Conference, Sony's Phil Harrison announced an initiative to draw gamers back to the company through social interaction. At the forefront is PlayStation Home, which mimics the Mii Channel of the Nintendo Wii in that PS3 owners can meet each other online in a 3D environment; unlike the Wii, however, Home users will be able to buy items such as clothing, apartments and decorations. Moreover, trophies and other objects won in PS3 games will have a 3D representation in Home, and a program called LittleBigPlanet will allow users to create their own games with material found on the network. Neither Home nor LittleBigPlanet have been given formal release dates. [via MarketWatch]
Zenum today previewed the Organum. Hoping to compete in the music player field through sheer style, the Swiss firm's player is exceptionally thin and hides controls on the sides. Its features are slightly broader than its obvious parallel in Apple's iPod nano: while MP3/WAV/WMA music and BMP/JPEG photo support are expected in most players, the Organum includes a hidden microphone for voice recording and a larger 1.8-inch LCD. Zenum anticipates releasing the finished player with 2GB of flash storage by the end of this year.
The firm may also use next week's CeBIT expo in Germany to finalize the Opus Operis, its full-keyboard designer smartphone. The company had originally intended a November launch but pushed the device to a spring launch following unexplained delays. [via Unwired View]
To support its camera launches, Kodak today has released the EasyShare G610 photo printer dock. The updated model prints high-quality 4x6 inch photos within a minute, says Kodak, and creates that are both waterproof and laminated to survive a person's entire lifespan. The dock prints directly from any EasyShare camera and charges those models with lithium-ion batteries. It ships in April for $130.
The firm has also released a new line of NiMH Digital Camera Batteries for those cameras that use disposables. The AA- and AAA-sized rechargeables will keep their power for as much as four times longer than others, according to Kodak, and last roughly 300,000 shots. Kodak expects to release packs that include 1-hour and slower value rechargers for $30 and $16 respectively, with AA and AAA battery packs shipping for $14 and $9. All four should be ready by July.
TiVo today announced that its Unbox on TiVo service had become available, fulfilling a promise made just a month earlier. New with the release are the addition of two new studios to the service: movies from MGM Studios and Sony Pictures will be available alongside those announced originally. New subscribers will also get $15 in free downloads if they sign up before May, Amazon says.
The newly launched service lets customers of Amazon's online video store download purchased copies of movies and TV shows directly to a Series 2 or Series 3 TiVo at no extra charge, including the ability to remotely queue movies through the Web.
Kodak on Wednesday contributed its share to the PMA imaging expo by launching a quartet of EasyShare cameras. The Z712 IS (pictured) leads the introductions as the company's new fixed-lens flagship: the 7.1-megapixel camera features both 12X optical zoom and image stabilization to help in focusing shots. It also has the shortest shutter lag of any camera at its level, Kodak boasts, taking only 0.26 seconds to move from pressing the button to being ready for the next shot. The camera will ship in April for $300.
Samsung this morning started shipping the SpinPoint MH80, the world's first readily available hybrid hard disk. The notebook drive includes either 128MB or 256MB of flash memory that automatically caches important system information to speed access and cut load times. The time to boot or resume a system is cut in half, the company claims. The drive also drops power consumption on Windows Vista PCs by 70 to 90 percent by using the ReadyBoost feature of the OS to store frequently-accessed files, giving notebooks roughly an extra 30 minutes of battery life.
The MH80 will be available in 80GB, 120GB, and 160GB models that are already shipping to notebook PC designers. Upgrade versions sold individually should also be available in retail stores soon.
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