News Archive for 07/04/18

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Cricket picks up Samsung phone for unlimited calls

04/18, 4:50pm

Samsung A870 and Cricket

Cricket today announced that it had begun carrying the Siren, a special version of Samsung's A870 that should help lure subscribers to its unlimited cellphone service. The flip phone spins the basic design with a custom red shell and the ability to download the apps and games from Cricket's network. The phone otherwise targets the relative budget range with Bluetooth, a VGA camera, and the VibeTonz force-feedback technology that can synchronize vibrations to a ringtone's beat.

The Siren should be available now through Cricket's retail shops and should be coming soon to its online page. No prices were mentioned but should include a set cost above and beyond the $40 minimum plan.

Microsoft pays $180m to Iowa in lawsuit

04/18, 4:25pm

Microsoft Pays in Iowa

An Iowa state judge today gave early approved to a settlement that would see Microsoft pay $180 million to Iowa residents, the software developer has revealed. The result of a class-action lawsuit, the deal will ask Microsoft to refund a set amount of money to private buyers who picked up a copy between 1994 and 2006, ranging from $10 for Word to $29 for the complete Office suite. MS-DOS and Windows 95-2000 buyers will receive $16. No proof of the sale will be needed for smaller claims.

Custom game rig color matches cases, iPods

04/18, 3:45pm

Smooth Creations Diablo PC

Smooth Creations has aimed at rivals in the exotic PC realm with its Diablo performance tower. Like similar offerings from Voodoo PC and similar custom shops, the PC can be had with an individualized paint scheme that extends to obvious peripherals such as the display, keyboard, and speakers. An added touch, however, is the option of buying a 30GB or 80GB iPod that will also receive the treatment; the dock will also be color-matched if it's bought at the same time, Smooth notes.

Segway touts greenness, offers energy credits

04/18, 3:15pm

Segway Energy Credits

Segway on Wednesday made an early start to its Earth Day initiatives by launching its own energy credit program. Referring to a self-published study which showed its Segway PT to be one of the most environmentally-friendly transportation options available, the company is promising to offset the 200 kilowatt-hours used to charge any PT bought in 2007 by investing money into renewable energy stations, such as solar cells or wind generators.

Sling in talks to stream TV to iPhones

04/18, 2:30pm

Sling Talks iPhone Streams

Sling Media has actively discussed the possibility of streaming media to its upcoming iPhone, the former company's CEO Blake Krikorian revealed this week during a speech at the NAB expo in Las Vegas. The executive declared that he would "love to support" streaming iTunes music and video to the cellphone, which would likely involve routing a computer's iTunes library through a Slingbox media streamer, which could then send live content directly to the iPhone through a customized version of SlingPlayer Mobile. The option would effectively overcome the memory limitations of the Apple handset by exposing the user's entire media catalog.

BenQ upgrades to the DC X725

04/18, 2:25pm

BenQ upgrades to the X725

The newest BenQ camera is the DC X725, an upgrade to the existing X720. The camera is identical in virtually all regards, having the same body, 3x zoom lens, and seven-megapixel sensor; one difference is that ISO sensitivity for photos has been raised to a more standard 1600, where previously it was limited to 1200 -- video sensitivity remains capped at 4000. Most important is the rearrangement of memory, which shrinks internally from 18 to 12MB, but which now supports both SD and SDHC cards. The latter permits anywhere between 4 and 32GB of extra storage. No price or release date has been published.

Microsoft sells only 244 Chinese copies of Vista

04/18, 1:40pm

244 Copies of Vista China

Microsoft has failed to make inroads in China with its new operating system, according to newly published figures. During its first two weeks on the market, only 244 official copies of Windows Vista sold in the southeast Asian country -- one of the smallest fractions of the 20 million sold worldwide during the first month.

Apple plans new iPod game wave?

04/18, 1:00pm

iQuiz iPod Game Surfaces

Apple is bringing at least one new game to the iPod in the near future, say visitors to France's iTunes Store. Titled iQuiz, the internally developed Apple game briefly appeared but then disappeared from the French site and will expand on the basic Music Quiz program included with the fifth-generation iPod and the iPod nano. Its interface will be enhanced and the game itself will be the first to let players actively share information between each other through custom question lists, according to the description.

Zune to see new features in May?

04/18, 12:25pm

Zune Features in May

The Zune may be set for its first true feature update in less than two weeks, according to the schedule for the presenters at the music-oriented Digital NARM expo. Microsoft's music marketing director Christina Calio is set to deliver a presentation at 5PM May 1st that will feature "exciting updates on developments in Microsoft's new innovative device," according to the show notes. Though the listing expectedly avoids details, the speech is the first to openly suggest new features for the Zune, which has remained largely static since its November introduction.

NTT DoCoMo joins the pack of designer phones

04/18, 12:10pm

NTT DoCoMo designer phone

Japanese phone carrier NTT DoCoMo is joining the increasing ranks of companies with designer phones. Its entry is the N904i, designed by Stefano Giovannoni, who in the past has been commissioned by the likes of Alessi, Fiat and Siemens. NEC and NTT itself have contributed to the more technical elements of the product.

It is set to be introduced during Milan's Design Week, starting tomorrow, and will come in four different color combinations: Orange Cut, Pink Soda, Urban Blue and Day and Night. Little else is known, but the phone will support FOMA, NTT's 3G-compatible WCDMA service. The product is unlikely to ship outside of Japan unless it is rebranded.

Sony Ericsson P700 details emerge

04/18, 11:25am

Sony Ericsson P700 details

A poster to the Esato forums claims to have acquired an image of the upcoming P700 phone from Sony Ericsson, one which can also be seen by clicking below. Also frequently identified as the P700i, no official announcement of the phone has yet been made, but some specifications have been rumored: it should for instance have a 3.2-megapixel still camera with twin LED flashes, and to go with it a VGA video camera, which can be used in full 3G functionality. It is also expected to use the Symbian OS and Opera web browser, each being displayed on a 2.6-inch QVGA screen. Memory will come in the form of Memory Stick Duos or 160MB of internal storage.

Potentially disappointing may be the lack of news on supported broadband formats (other than WiFi), and the "semi-QWERTY" keyboard, which doubles up the characters on some keys. As usual for most phones today, Bluetooth should be standard. Electronista will share more details as they become available. [via Unwired View]

Directed ships in-car DVD players with USB, SD cards

04/18, 11:05am

Directed In Car DVD

Directed this morning hoped to ready drivers for vacation with a pair of new in-car entertainment systems. The 8.5-inch OHD800B and 10.2-inch OHD1020B mount on a car's ceiling and have both a slot-load DVD player for movies in the widescreen LCDs' native ratio as well as input for raw data; a USB port loads music and other media directly from a flash or hard drive, while an SD card slot picks up on more easily removable storage. Dual RCA inputs pipe video from consoles or other players into the device while a solo RCA output and an FM transmitter can echo the audio or video out to other screens in the car and to built-in speakers.

The different sizes should be available now at $449 and $549 respectively; digital format support hasn't been explained but should include MP3s at a minimum.

Clevo laptop to come with built-in HSDPA

04/18, 10:45am

Clevo laptop w/HSDPA

A pair of unusual laptops have been announced by the Taiwanese company Clevo. The M720S and M721S use a non-standard motherboard for instance, and support CPUs seldom found in modern laptops, the Pentium 4 and Pentium D. Core 2 Duo chips are likely to be more commonly used. Perhaps most interesting is built-in support for UMTS/HSDPA networks -- while USB, PC Card and ExpressCard modems are becoming increasingly prevalent, the M72x series may signal a trend towards making cellular broadband as standard as WiFi.

Other specifications include 12.1-inch screens, and up to 4GB of DDR2 RAM, clocked at 667MHz on the M721S and 533MHz on the M720S. Graphical power is limited to an embedded SiS chipset. Clevo laptops are generally not released in North America; however, they will sometimes appear branded for another company. [via DigiTimes]

ICQ 6 packs windowless chat, SMS

04/18, 10:30am

ICQ 6 Launched

ICQ today released ICQ 6, a complete overhaul of its instant messaging tool. While supporting some increasingly widespread features such as tabbed chat windows, the IM app brings some new twists not seen in earlier apps, ICQ says. Foremost is Quick IM: users can now send off shorter messages to their friends directly from the contact list, saving the clutter of an open window; ICQ is also one of the first to support two-way SMS texting for communicating with friends outside of phone calls or the Internet. The app is also unique in having its own soundtrack for message events, composed by the psychedelic trance group Infected Mushroom.

Version 6 also boasts improved history and search tools, and is available to download immediately for free; it currently requires Windows XP and Vista as well as 256MB of RAM.

Prada phone updated with mobile TV

04/18, 10:05am

Prada Phone with Mobile TV

LG and Prada together updated their jointly developed Prada phone by LG with the SB310, also known as the LB3100. Launched just a few months after the original, the updated version adds DMB support to the handset: owners can now watch digital terrestrial broadcasts on the touchscreen phone, taking advantage of the tall 3-inch display to watch TV either in standard ratio or widescreen. An antenna keeps reception strong but folds neatly into the phone to preserve its clean lines, LG says.

Intel unveils ultra-mobile CPU platform

04/18, 9:35am

Intel Ultra Mobile 2007

Continuing its unveilings at its Developer Forum, Intel today revealed its new A100 CPU platform. Based on the x86 architecture of today's Core processors, the technology previously known as "McCaslin" shares its roots in the ultra-low voltage CPUs used in ultraportable notebooks but is designed explitictly for handheld Mobile Internet Devices (or MIDs) and more advanced ultra-mobile PCs. A new chip packaging method and tuned architecture cuts power consumption down to as little as 3W while still shrinking the size of currently bulky handhelds and keeping the performance needed for Linux (the preferred OS for MID) and other desktop-class software.

BlackBerries hit with major outage

04/18, 8:45am

BlackBerry Outage

BlackBerry owners in North America had a major scare late Tuesday with a wide-scale service outage, say reports. The "push" e-mail service that forms the backbone of the smartphone's service was taken offline in North America, preventing phones from sending or receiving messages. The outage was likely due to one of Research in Motion's two datacenters going offline, according to reports: unlike some messaging services, all BlackBerry service in North America is filtered through RIM's Canadian headquarters. Users in Asia, Europe, and elsewhere weren't affected, the company says.

Google phone coming by 2008?

04/18, 8:15am

HTC May Make Google Phone

Taiwan component makers claim to have confirmed that Google is working on its own cellphone, despite previous denials. Although the device may have little connection to the heavily rumored Switch touchscreen device, the sources report that the well-known smartphone producer HTC will build the phone and should incorporate both a Texas Instruments-made 3G wireless chip (most likely HSDPA) for Internet access as well as EDGE. Despite Google's heavy investment in its Maps tool, however, the phone isn't expected to include GPS and will instead turn to Gmail and its keystone web search.

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