News Archive for 07/03/30

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'$100' OLPC to come to rich countries for $200

03/30, 5:40pm

OLPC $200 in First World

Nicholas Negroponte, the project's lead, has confirmed suggestions that the original One Laptop Per Child computer will be sold in rich countries as well, including the United States. It will be manufactured by the Taiwanese company Quanta, and in its First World incarnation, sell at a profit for as little as $200.

Developed by mainly by Negroponte and others at the MIT Media Lab, the non-profit OLPC systems will sell to schools and governments in the Third World, which are frequently deprived of the money needed to buy more than basic educational supplies. These clients will be able to buy the computer for $150, which is still $50 more than the original target. The OLPC group hopes that distribution will be partly subsidized by wealthier nations. [via Financial Times]

Palm reades sleeker Treo 755p for Sprint

03/30, 4:35pm

Palm Treo 755p for Sprint

Palm is about to release a parallel to the Treo 750 that should please both those who prefer Palm's own OS and who use CDMA-based phone networks, a leak has shown today. The Treo 755p will keep all the advantages of the GSM version -- including the antenna-free, smaller body and 1.3-megapixel camera -- while switching to Sprint's phone network and gaining support for EVDO broadband in the process. The launch buttons have also been simplified compared to earlier versions, the source adds.

Launch info for the 755p has gone unrevealed, but the device's virtually complete state points to a release for Sprint's subscribers within the next several weeks at a price competitive with AT&T's $399 cost when bundled with a two-year contract. [via Engadget]

Boost Mobile swings unlimited cellphone calling

03/30, 4:15pm

Boost Mobile Unlimited

Sprint's prepaid phone brand Boost Mobile today began trials a new, genuinely unlimited cellphone service. Dubbed simply Unlimited by Boost, the new plan sees Boost jump from iDEN networks (those used by Sprint's Nextel branch) to the more widespread CDMA used by Sprint itself. Testers in the current Dallas, San Francisco Bay, and Southern California test areas will be able to make local calls without a fixed number of minutes.

The trial service costs $45 per month in Texas and $50 in its California areas, and currently works only with the Motorola C290, which sells for $100 through Boost. The carrier's plans to launch the service after the trial are currently unavailable. [via RCR News]

Keomo tests waters with slim, simple GPS

03/30, 3:40pm

Keomo PND GPS Unit

Accessory maker Keomo is planning to make its first tentative steps into producing its own GPS units with the Personal Navigation Device (PND). This standard 3.5-inch touchscreen GPS unit overcomes some of the barriers frequently associated with GPS units, especially those in the budget arena. Its secondary media player is much broader than other basic players, handling videos and eBooks as well as the more typical music and photo support. Its design is also thin at under 0.8 inches.

June 11 iPhone date uncertain: report

03/30, 3:05pm

June 11 iPhone Uncertain

The alleged June 11th iPhone release date is likely the result of confusion, research has revealed. Telephone calls placed to 25 of the company's stores spread across the country presented contradictory information, with many asserting only that the Apple device would be ready sometime in June. Some pointed to delays to July or September triggered by popular demand, while one store pointed to a release as soon as "next month" and another pointed to late May.

Seagate preparing 1TB drive, release coming soon?

03/30, 2:20pm

Seagate 1TB hard drive

Earlier this year, Seagate announced its intentions to release an unprecendented 1TB hard drive by the second half of 2007; even the company's largest hard drives tend to be limited to 500 or 750GB. With only three months left before the deadline however, Seagate representatives insist that the drive is still on track, and the Spanish-language site Chilehardware claims to have acquired specifications: it is said to be a 7,200rpm model with a 3Gbps SATA interface, and use four platters, eight heads and a 16MB buffer. Should the information prove to be true, the drive will also be on sale by the end of April. The only 1TB product currently on the market is Hitachi's Deskstar 7K1000. [via DailyTech]

Jabra BT8010 headset goes live with Verizon

03/30, 2:20pm

Jabra BT8010 at Verizon

Following the CTIA show, Verizon has said that it would be the first to ship the Jabra BT8010. The Bluetooth headsed was first announced in November and is one of the few for cellphones to control audio as well as play it: when paired with an AVRCP-equipped phone, a jogwheel and OLED display help play and skip through songs without reaching into a pocket for the phone itself. Its battery is good for 10 hours of single-channel conversation or 6 hours of music, according to Jabra's estimates.

Verizon is shipping the main earpiece today for $100, and offers a stereo add-on earpiece for music purposes at a price of $30.

Acer launches trio of Vista-ready Aspire notebooks

03/30, 1:55pm

Acer Vista Notebooks

Acer ended its week on Friday by releasing three new Aspire notebooks bolstered for Windows Vista. All new models have at least 120GB of hard disk space, ATI Radeon Xpress 1100 video for handling the Aero Glass interface, and a DVD rewriter to help author home movies. The 15.4-inch systems begin with the Aspire 3140 that uses a 1.8GHz Mobile Sempron processor, 512MB of RAM, and Vista Home Basic; the 5102a steps up to a 2.2GHz single-core Turion 64, 1GB of RAM, and Vista Home Premium. Topping the range is the Aspire 5103 which opts for a 1.6GHz dual-core Turion 64 X2 in addition to the memory and OS of the mid-range version.

The computer designer is shipping the systems now at prices of $721, $891, and $1,018 respectively in their initial Japanese release. A North American equivalent is uncertain. [via PC Launches]

Philips cellphone with AAA backup battery

03/30, 1:35pm

Philips phone w/AAA backup

An upcoming cellphone from Philips may solve problems with drained batteries. Called the Xenium NRG, the phone will have a regular fixed battery, but will also be able to run off of a single AAA battery for three hours should the main one stop. Philips has also said that any brand of battery will be compatible, and can be either disposable or rechargeable. In the case of the latter, the backup battery will charge at same time as the main battery.

Remaining features of NRG are generally unknown, but it will be a flip-phone, and have an external display as well as a still camera. It is expected to launch sometime later this year, but pricing and the countries that will receive it have not been mentioned. [via BusinessWeek]

T-Mobile leaks official Sidekick ID shots, pricing

03/30, 1:30pm

T-Mobile Sidekick ID Shots

T-Mobile has again suffered an unintentional leak of its upcoming Sidekick ID handheld. Subscribers using the company's Rebate Center have discovered both the presence of the phone in the product listings as well as photos that solidify the device's existence, revealing new launch details. While regular pricing for the ID will reach the predicted $150, T-Mobile hopes to offer a $50 rebate -- pricing the system at roughly a third the cost of the Sidekick 3.

The compact messenger will also be available in three bright, solid colors versus the designer editions of its premium sibling. Information revealed through the discovery suggests that T-Mobile will be ready for an April 18th launch. A full image can be found after the break. [via Engadget]

BenQ trots out thin-bezel 19-inch LCDs

03/30, 12:55pm

BenQ FP93GW Displays

BenQ has just released two new LCDs in its Wide Series specially tailored for multi-display setups. The FP93GW and FP93GWa are suitably widescreen versions of its earlier FP93 line with an extremely thin bezel: the edge is less than half an inch thick and creates a relatively small gap between multiple screens.

The shift to the 1440x900 wide ratio still offers high-quality output, according to BenQ, producing a 5ms pixel response time fast enough for games and using the company's Senseye processing to boost the color alongside the 700:1 contrast ratio. The FP93GW should be available first in April beginning today, offering both DVI and VGA input; the FP93GWa will sport only VGA and ships slightly later in April.

Wireless USB hub comes to Japan

03/30, 12:45pm

Wireless USB hub in Japan

A still rare example of a wireless USB hub can be found in Japan, where shoppers can buy the Y-E Data YD-300. The hub accepts up to four USB devices, and broadcasts via ultra-wideband radio (UWB) to a USB 2.0 dongle plugged into a computer. Since it can be located as much as 33 feet away, this may make it ideal for tasks such as remotely broadcasting music or recording security video on a webcam. The 300 is already on sale for approximately 39,800 yen ($338). [via Impress Watch]

Nolan Bluetooth speaker just for Nokia

03/30, 12:00pm

Nolan Nokia 5300 speaker

A new Nolan Bluetooth speaker has made an appearance at the FCC, and appears to be very different from most of its peers. The Wireless Music Speaker System is targeted specifically at the Nokia 5300, and aside from streaming music, will also be able to conduct phone calls. The speaker will moreover have its own playback controls, enabling it to control the phone, and possibly secondary Bluetooth devices. A2DP and AVRCP profiles are being supported. [via Mobile Whack]

Apple store slip points to quad-core again

03/30, 11:25am

Apple Quad-Core Slip

Apple has again revealed in advance that it will soon introduce quad-core systems, accordting to AppleInsider. The computer company's special Adobe Creative Suite 3 page was the source of the leak, stating that all Macs "feature powerful dual-core or quad-core Intel processors" despite a lack of the latter in its current product lineup. The Mac Pro currently relies on two dual-core Xeon chips for its performance, although Intel has made its quad-core Xeon 5300 processors available since November.

Nokia planning "visual search engine" for phones

03/30, 11:10am

Nokia visual search engine

Through a recent application to the US Patent Office, Nokia has revealed plans for an unusual search engine on its phones. Much as a number of phones can recognize songs being played, Nokia's "visual search engine" should be able to pick apart photos, using data such as shape, color and texture strength to detect objects such as cars, faces and trees. These then generate keywords, allowing people to quickly sort through large groups of images. Users should even be able to submit sample photos, which the engine will try to match. In any case the technology is unlikely to be utilized soon, as it is some time away from being approved. [via Unwired View]

Edgetech promises mystery PC Edge handheld

03/30, 10:45am

Edgetech PC Edge Handheld

Edgetech has used one of the last days of the CTIA phone expo to introduce the PC Edge. Billed as the first handheld computer with "DSL speed," the device will depend on a built-in modem for an unknown wireless protocol (suspected to be a cellular technology like EVDO or HSDPA) and use the Internet for most of its functions: the company points to web-based desktop programs and storage and notes that its small comptuer will have the support for full web code that many other devices lack at its size.

OCZ Trifecta combines SD, USB, microSD flash

03/30, 10:35am

OCZ SD/USB/microSD flash

Memory maker OCZ has announced a new line called Trifecta, which melds three different memory types into the same package. The core memory is a microSD card with a 66x read rate, but it can be inserted sideways into a full-sized SD adapter for use in devices such as cameras. Once the contents need to be transferred to a hard drive, the bottom of the adapter pulls off, revealing a USB connector. Trifecta cards will come in 1 and 2GB capacities, but OCZ has yet to disclose pricing or release dates.

SonyBMG hops from demo CDs to online

03/30, 10:20am

SonyBMG Online Artist Demo

Music label SonyBMG won't be accepting demo CDs from artists in the future, the company said today. Instead of submitting a physical disc, hopefuls will need to sign up at the websites of the firm's sub-labels, such as Columbia and RCA, and create a blog for the band which includes their associated songs, band photos, and music videos. The dramatic change is meant to help artists relate more closely to studios, said SonyBMG's UK and Ireland label chief Ged Doherty. The traditional demo CD or tape has often made it difficult for musicians to sign deals by emphasizing an existing reputation over fresh talent.

The new system should take effect as of Monday in both Britain and Ireland; the company hasn't clarified whether online demos will be necessary in every country or limited only to the most Internet-friendly territories.

Apple TV's USB port hacked

03/30, 9:50am

Apple TV USB Port Hacked

Hobbyists have successfully reverse-engineered the Apple TV's USB port. Although the port is officially reserved for diagnostics and service, those curious about the device have documented steps that change the media hub's Mac OS X code to allow more than just the handful of approved USB devices. Devices such as keyboards and mice are already known to work, the testers have written. The technique has already been demonstrated running third-party media center interfaces (pictured) and could be used to run general programs. (More details and video in the full story)

Dell finds bookkeeping problems: in trouble?

03/30, 9:00am

Dell Bookkeeping Trouble

Dell late yesterday admitted that there had been mismanagement of its finances in recent years, according to a statement by the company. An internal investigation had found "accounting errors, evidence of misconduct, and deficiencies in the financial control environment," the terse message said.

Though the company doesn't expect criminal charges to follow, Dell management has labeled the problem as "serious" and could be forced to restate its earnings, potentially revealing a considerably weaker company. The Texas system builder has struggled with poor sales that prompted a major management reshuffling, including the return of Michael Dell to the CEO spot.

AT&T: iPhone to launch June 11?

03/30, 8:25am

iPhone May Ship June 11

Apple's first cellphone should ship on June 11, according to a customer service manager at AT&T. The senior staffer at the company confirmed the date when reporter Declan McCullagh contacted them late Thursday. No other information about the release was available at this point, AT&T said. Apple has so far resisted committing to a precise launch date, so far only pointing to the whole month of June as its official release window.

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