News Archive for 07/04/02

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Photos of a new Nokia phone?

04/02, 5:45pm

New Nokia phone photos?

Images have emerged of a new, unidentified Nokia phone. Posting on HowardForums, a user called "micrors4racer" has shared a pair of photos depicting a previously unseen product, which can also be seen below. Current speculation suggests it is a successor to either the Nokia 8600 or 8800, but if so, it has been upgraded to use a larger LCD, as well as a more stylish control panel. The rear shows plastic casing and some form of still camera. Electronista will present more information as it becomes available.

Chinese phone bulks up for home use

04/02, 3:55pm

BW-A888 Cellphone

An unnamed Chinese company has launched the BW-A888, a cellphone that can double as a main house phone through a unique attachment: plugging the handset into its brick-like cradle boosts its battery life, reception, and speaker quality when inside. A sculplted design for the cradle also keeps the digital camera usable while docked; a small touch in the form of a compass on one side helps those who bring both pieces with them on a hiking trip.

No details have escaped regarding pricing or availability, though such a device is unlikely to reach North America through usual channels. [via SlashPhone]

Virgin lures with promise of 'free' digital TV

04/02, 3:25pm

Virgin VBox

Virgin on Monday presented an alternative for its Virgin Central digital TV service. A new device, dubbed the VBox, will let subscribers to the provider's British TV service tune into what the company hopes is the best of both worlds: while free of the need for a cable or satellite TV link, the content protection allows Virgin to beam TV channels (as many as 40) that aren't currently available with the country's Freeview over-the-air broadcasts or are out of range in rural areas. The VBox itself is also a wonder, Virgin claims, taking up as much space as a VHS tape but only consuming a small fraction of the power of a light bulb.

Apple may be worth $200 per share

04/02, 2:50pm

Apple Worth 200 Per Share

Apple's stock should double its current value, financial expert Stephen Coleman said today in a bold prediction. Despite the company's shares topping $90 in recent weeks, Coleman notes that its prospects are a "screaming buy" compared to what they have been in the past, pointing to both the 100 percent surge Mac sales compared to a year ago as well as the 50 percent increase in iPod sales. The Apple TV, iPhone, and Mac OS X Leopard were also bound to drive the firm's worth well past what it has been at the start of the year.

Aigo aims for kids with camera-equipped jukeboxes

04/02, 2:05pm

Aigo Media Players

Aigo hopes to please older children with its just unveiled F989 media player. Though patterned after handheld game systems and loaded with games to play, the system is mature enough to include several serious features: a 1.3-megapixel camera encourages photography, an FM tuner and recorder cover radio, and the 2.4-inch screen handles AVI video at a full 30 frames per second. Media is stored on SD cards.

Details of a second player can be read after the jump.

Rogers first in North America with 3G video calls

04/02, 1:20pm

Rogers Vision 3G

Rogers today announced VISION, a service it says is the first cell provider on the continent to offer true video calls. The technology takes advantage of the company's third-generation HSDPA network to chat with each other in real-time using phones that include a forward-facing camera; the first device on offer will be the Samsung A706, a clamshell phone with both a front VGA camera and a 2-megapixel rear camera as well as a microSD slot for music. Bluetooth and legacy support for EDGE Internet are also part of its hardware design.

Poll: iPod owners clamor for built-in FM

04/02, 12:55pm

Poll Clamors for iPod FM

iPod owners are most likely to want an internal FM radio, according to a new survey by Jacobs Media. The study group says that 43 percent of all its iPod-owning respondents (and a third of all respondents) wanted the ability to tune broadcast music without requiring Apple's Radio Remote, even when given the choice of more conventional expansion -- including higher capacities and video playback in smaller models, the report says. Almost half (49 percent) used their iPods in their cars, however, suggesting that many were using the device as a replacement for car radio rather than as an add-on.

Norwegian official applauds Apple, EMI

04/02, 12:20pm

Norway applauds Apple, EMI

Following EMI's announcement today that it will launch new high quality DRM-free downloads via Apple's iTunes Store, senior advisor Torgeir Waterhouse of the Norwegian Consumer Council immediately came forward to applaud the move. "It's with great interest [that] I've listened to the webcast from EMI & Apple today," Waterhouse told MacNN. "No matter how the digital music market develops, today will always stand out a very important date, the day when two of the really big market players finally took responsibility that follows from the position and made an interoperable solution available to consumers." The advisor told MacNN in early February that Italy had officially joined other European countries to apply pressure to Apple and the iTunes store to open up its musical tracks, enabling consumers the freedom of choice to choose their own medium for playing iTunes tracks. "I applaud [EMI and Apple's] move, and encourage all the other contenders in the digital music business to make the same important move."

CompAmerica claims 'most powerful' laptop

04/02, 12:15pm

'Most powerful' laptop?

CompAmerica has begun selling what it calls "the most powerful laptop on Earth," the Orca Extreme 9191. In its most expensive configuration it uses a Core 2 Duo Extreme processor rated at 2.93GHz, and not one but two GeForce Go 7950GT video cards, linked together in SLI mode. Combined video RAM is 1GB. Buyers can also have up to 4GB of system RAM, a 200GB SATA drive, and a 17-inch LCD with resolutions up to 1900x1280 (1080p). The screen does highlight one of the computer's deficiencies however, as there is no option for a Blu-Ray or HD DVD drive, only an 8x DVD-R/RW burner. Miscellaneous features include four speakers, memory- and ExpressCard slots, plus DVI, FireWire and USB ports. Prices for the 9191 start at $2,604.

New UBiQUiO Pocket PC coming in June

04/02, 11:40am

UBiQUiO 503G Pocket PC

Lesser-known maker UBiQUiO will be releasing a new Pocket PC phone this summer, the 503G. It features a QWERTY keyboard layout similar to the Palm Treo or Motorola Q, but makes the switch to Windows Mobile 6, and is accompanied a 520MHz Intel processor. Also notable is a two-megapixel camera and the use of HSDPA broadband, which should allow download speeds up to 3.6Mbps. Other connection options include Bluetooth 1.2 and 802.11b/g WiFi. Memory meanwhile features 64MB of RAM and 256MB of ROM, with a microSD slot expanding storage by up to 2GB. The 503G will launch in England on June 20th for 395 ($777). [via CrunchGear]

Microsoft bleeding cash?

04/02, 11:20am

Microsoft Bleeding Cash

Microsoft's cash reserves are less than half what they were two years ago, according to a report. The Redmond developer, which once had as much as $64.4 billion in 2004, is now down to $29 billion at its most recent tally. The company claims that the shrink been a deliberate choice to buy into smaller companies and to reward investors.

"We're focused on striking the right balance between investing in the company's growth and returning capital to shareholders," said Microsoft's investor relations manager Colleen Healy.

IBM develops ultra high-bandwidth optical technology

04/02, 10:55am

160Gbps optical networks

Optical technology developed by IBM may drastically improve the speeds of even the current fastest networks. The company has developed a new transceiver chip that uses materials such indium phosphide and gallum arsenide, and is capable of bandwidth as high as 160Gbps -- eight times as fast as Verizon's fiber-optic FiOS service. This is said to be fast enough to download 30 minutes of high-definition video in a second.

Perhaps more importantly, the cost of the chip is estimated to be cheaper than even slower modern technologies: whereas a 40Gbps transceiver presently sells for $25,000, the IBM chip may cost $500-600. Its first application is expected to be in the backbone of the Internet, located in routers, switches and network servers. Use within desktops and set-top boxes may come later, however. [via SCI FI Tech]

BenQ rolls out ultra-bright 720p DLP projector

04/02, 10:40am

BenQ SP830 DLP Projector

BenQ today upgraded its DLP projectors with the SP830 series. The two 720p-capable models introduced today are designed with brightness in mind for those who might screen in large rooms: the SP830 manages an unusually bright 3,500 lumens, while the SP831 boosts available light even higher at 4,000 lumens. Its contrast ratio is also relatively vivid at 2,000:1 thanks to the company's Hollywood-Quality Video processor which also cleans noise and scales video for two sources at once.

The SP830 line carries DVI input (with HDCP encryption), component, RCA, and S-video to hook up to most any analog or digital video feed. BenQ hasn't revealed pricing or availability but should offer the projectors both in Asia and the US.

Icron releases wireless USB hub with 802.11g Wi-Fi

04/02, 10:20am

Icron WiRanger Hub

Icron on Monday launched its WiRanger Cable Free USB 2.0 Hub. Rather than wait for the relatively short-range Ultra-Wideband (UWB), the company has instead chosen 802.11g Wi-Fi; this lets both Mac OS X and Windows computer owners attach less demanding USB 2.0 devices to a host PC as far as 100 feet away -- several times the distance of a UWB device, Icron says.

Targeted primarily at pro and serious home users, the WiRanger should be available for $395 soon; future versions should support UWB as well as 802.11n for greater speed.

Dell packs notebooks with 160GB, 7200 RPM drive

04/02, 9:55am

Dell M1710 Drive Option

Dell has begun shipping the XPS M1710 and other portables with Seagate's just-introduced Momentus 7200.2 notebook drive. The hard disk option is both one of the largest-capacity drives at its size at 160GB but is also one of the fastest, matching the 7200 RPM speed of desktop storage. The choice helps gamers and other performance users who may demand both features.

The feature is currently an exclusive to Dell, the company says, and is available for any current XPS notebook as a $250 extra beyond the base 80GB disk included with most models.

Panasonic swings new mid-size LCD TVs

04/02, 9:35am

Panasonic LX70 LCDs

Panasonic this morning touched on some of its smaller TVs today with two new updates to the LX70 series. The 26- and 32-inch screens provide less expensive features than the LX75 but at a larger size than the company's current LX70 models: either is capable of 720p but uses a standard 60Hz panel, dual HDMI inputs, and a digital TV tuner for over-the-air broadcasts. Either is still vivid with 6,000:1 and 7,000:1 dynamic contrast ratios respectively.

The two sets will ship first to Japan on April 20th at prices of $1,444 for the the 26-inch LX70 and $1,711 for the 32-inch version. US equivalents are likely to ship later this year.

ATO launches iSee 360i video recorder

04/02, 9:10am

ATO iSee 360i Recorder

ATO today unveiled the second generation of its iSee 360i video recorder for iPods. The portable media player allows most Click Wheel-enabled iPods to capture, store, and play video from any analog video source -- including some iPods that normally can't play video, the company says. The updated version includes adapters to allow both first- and second-generation iPod nanos as well as the 30GB fifth-generation iPod to play video in MPEG-4 format on a 3.6-inch screen nearly 91 percent larger than the largest available on Apple's current devices. Even a 2GB iPod nano can store up to four hours of footage, according to ATO.

iTunes to offer DRM-free music from EMI

04/02, 8:35am

DRM-free music on iTunes

At the special event in London on Monday, EMI Music announced that it is launching new premium downloads for retail on a global basis, making all of its digital music available at a much higher sound quality than existing downloads and free of digital rights management (DRM) restrictions and that Apple iTunes Store will be the first retailer to offer the higher quality, DRM-free music. The Cupertino-based company will make individual AAC format tracks available from EMI artists at twice the sound quality of existing downloads and without any digital right management (DRM technology). Pricing will be $1.29/1.29/0.99; however, iTunes will continue to offer consumers the ability to pay $0.99/0.99/0.79 for standard sound quality tracks with DRM still applied. Complete albums from EMI Music artists purchased on the iTunes Store will automatically be sold at the higher sound quality and DRM-free, with no change in the price. The new higher-quality, DRM-free songs will be available in May.

Widescreen-only ThinkPad T61 on the way?

04/02, 8:15am

ThinkPad T61 Enroute

Lenovo will be shifting its flagship T-series ThinkPads to widescreen displays, a company salesman has claimed. The representative noted that the next version of the notebook, known as the T61, will need to use 14-inch widescreen displays as the majority of the market no longer uses the 4:3-ratio screens that have been the staple of the ThinkPad line; the screens simply aren't available, the agent said. The update to the computer in late November brought the first, 15.4-inch widescreen model to the line but still contains the company's historial 14- and 15-inch standard-ratio displays.

While specifications and a precise release date are unavailable, the T61 is expected to use Intel's faster Santa Rosa platform with a faster 800MHz system bus and should be available within the next several weeks. [via ThinkPads.com]

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