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The controversial User Account Control security guard in Windows Vista should be integrated with every OS, a Microsoft executive said today. The company's chief security advisor in Australia, Peter Watson, made the remark when discussing protection with a developer news site. The executive contended that the fundamental idea behind process, which is meant to trap viruses and spyware by asking permission before running potentially risky tasks, is an essential component that emphasizes the user's own responsibility.
The luxury electronics company Bang & Olufsen is developing what may be its closest equivalent to a "budget" television. The BeoVision 8 is a 26-inch set, and will sell for £1,800 ($3,600) without a stand. The price is mainly for the brand name and styling, as its maximum resolution is 1366x768 (less than 1080p), and there is only one HDMI input, and no digital TV tuner to speak of. It will however have 1,200:1 contrast and 500cd/m2 brightness, as well as B&O's famous audio, provided by a pair of two-inch tweeter/midrange drivers and a single four-inch bass driver. When the BeoVision 8 ships, a custom stand will cost £200 ($400). [via Tech Digest]
European electronics maker Sweex on Tuesday aimed high, introducing its Blaze series of media players. One of an increasingly large number of players that straddles the gap between music-only flash and larger video devices, the Blaze is thin at 0.47 inches but claims a larger screen than usual at 1.8 inches for handling AVI video clips. Audio quality is also an unusual focus with each player replacing the normally poor pack-in earbuds of other players with Sennheiser MX300 buds. Music in MP3/WAV/WMA formats and BMP/JPEG photos are also playable. Voice recording is also integrated with each device, Sweex says.
Maplin today began pressing hard for a truly affordable blend of GPS and music with its A05GW receiver. The GPS unit covers all the core functions of mapping systems, including a fast SiRFStar III chipset and 2D/3D modes on its 3.5-inch touchscreen. However, it also doubles as a dedicated music player for the whole car as well as individuals; the rare inclusion of a wireless remote lets those in the back seat change tracks, and a lithium-ion battery lets it operate as a GPS unit for three hours or for longer as a jukebox.
Microsoft's Zune Marketplace is quickly catching up to its rival at Apple, a new report says. The company today revealed that it now lists three million songs on offer as part of its online music store; while still well short of iTunes, the figure is an increase from the 2.5 million on offer as reported by Zune product manager Matt Jubilirer -- a jump of 20 percent in the space of only four months.
The global phone carrier Vodaphone may be facing a lawsuit over VoIP services, writes Techworld. VoIP network Truphone accuses Vodafone of deliberately crippling interaction with its customers, some of whom use numbers which are legitimately in the mobile range. This allows them to be displayed on caller ID and receive SMS messages, but Vodafone subscribers will simply see them as blocked.
Vodafone is also blocking other VoIP related content including the website of Skype, arguably the largest VoIP service in the world. According to Truphone CEO James Tagg, this is breaking law, as "European telecoms legislation, gives operators an obligation to interconnect, and to offer unfettered access to services." Vodafone is even said to be deliberately sabotaging its version of the Nokia N95, locking out VoIP features that the phone would otherwise have.
Plezo today broke from the pack with the PM-220 media player. Superficially a standard music and video jukebox, the 220 has an intelligent display that can rotate the image to any of four different angles; it can even play videos upside-down, the Korean firm says. The device also has dual headphone jacks for sharing music and games. Audio support is relatively wide with AAC audio included alongside the more ubiquitous MP3, WAV, and WMA. Video can include the 3GP videos from cellphones in addition to AVI, MPEG-4, and WMV.
Other World Computing (OWC) today began shipping its Mercury Elite-AL Pro "Quad Interface" 1TB external drive, which the company claims is the first and only 1TB Quad Interface single drive solution. The device features FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB 2.0, and eSATA connectivity to provide completely transparent data access regardless of which interface port is used. The drive is EMC Retrospect Backup Certified, and features the high-speed Oxford 924 chipset to offer 80MB/sec via FireWire or up to 150MB/sec via eSATA. OWC's new drive solution ships for $600, comes with a 2-year warranty, and features a blue activity LED behind the front grille.
Neglected among more attractive phones like the RAZR and the KRZR, Motorola is adding another PEBL to its lineup, the U3e. The new model appears to be GSM version of the CDMA U6c, and will have at least two frequencies (850 and 1,900MHz), with broadband being carried through EDGE. Details are otherwise fairly scarce, but the phone is suspected of being an "entry-level" phone for American carriers. Larger photos can be seen by clicking through. [via Engadget]
OCZ has just grown its still-young jumpdrive line with the VBoost. Instead of focusing only on storage, the memory stick serves as a companion to notebooks and other systems where low RAM or slower hard drives affects the performance of Windows Vista; plugging the VBoost in uses Vista's ReadyBoost to provide a cache that speeds disk and memory access. The design is also designed as truly portable with capless design that slides the USB connector back inside when not in use.
The famous Chocolate phone series by LG is expanding yet again, this time with an unusually wide slider branded for global carrier Vodafone. Larger photos can be seen below. Despite the choice of carrier, Hungarian site Mobil Portal reports that the KU580 is only a tri-band GSM phone, and broadband is supplied through single-band WCDMA. A 0.3-megapixel secondary camera is supposed to allow video calls however, and the phone is also equipped with Bluetooth 2.0. Miscellaneous features include an FM radio, a two-megapixel still camera and a TransFlash (microSD) slot. Accepted music formats include AAC, MP3 and WMA. No pricing or release dates have been suggested. [via SlashPhone]
Gateway on Tuesday claimed to be the first PC maker to release a quad-core desktop at retail through its FX8020 desktop. Though ignoring the earlier availability of the Mac Pro in its boasting, Gateway's new performance PC takes the same chassis as the online-only FX530 but chooses less extreme components. A 2.4GHz Core 2 Quad and 2GB of RAM make the system especially friendly to gamers; the 512MB Radeon X1950 used for video is pre-equipped with a CrossFire cable to let gamers put in a second X1950 card for faster 3D rather than replace the first card altogether.
Kicking off the Mother's Day holiday, Motorola today released its MOTORAZR Purple V3i clamshell phone. The deep, metallic color is specially timed for the event and is the first variant of any Motorola phone to be sold only through the cellphone maker's own store.
The phone is a near match to the standard V3i, including the 1.23-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and music playback. Unlike carrier phones, however, the purple RAZR is sold unlocked and works with any GSM-based cell provider such as AT&T or T-Mobile. A single phone sells for $240, though two will sell together at a discounted $384.
Bucking the increasing emphasis on Bluetooth, the new Plantronics CS70N headset is indeed wireless, but instead uses conventional DECT radio technologies, and (aimed at workplaces) is tied to desktop analog and VoIP phones. The hooked earpiece is similar to popular mobile styles however, and it has considerably longer range than Bluetooth, being rated for 300 feet. All calls have 64-bit encryption, and can be answered and ended from the headset. Volume and mute controls are also present. When fully charged by its base station, the CS70N has up to six hours of active power. It is shipping today for $330.
The long-discussed camera add-on for Sony's PSP has finally been made official, and is now known as the Go!Cam. Using a 4GB Memory Stick in the handheld, the camera should be able to record as much as two-and-a-half hours of video, and over 40,000 photos. The lens comes with a built-in microphone, and can flip 180 degrees vertically. Bundled software called Go!Edit allows users to edit audio, photos and video, with the latter two having the option of inserting sound and graphical effects. The results can be uploaded to the Internet. The Go!Cam will launch in Europe on May 16th; in the UK it will cost £35 ($70). [via Pocket-lint]
Shipping later this month -- around the time many schools are making purchasing decisions -- is a new digital whiteboard from NEC, the IW77. Reflecting considerable enhancements in whiteboard technology, users can write annotations over any application it displays, and save image files for students or other viewers; notes and annotations can even be broadcast live to remote users through web browsers. The stylus can be used to treat the whiteboard as a mouse, and there are built-in controls for PowerPoint slideshows. The IW77 should cost a relatively hefty $1,799.
Despite a clear level of interest, few are actually willing to buy the iPhone when it launches, say the results of a newly published Markitecture survey. A study of 1,300 people who both own and pay for their cellphones has shown that 77 percent of survey takers were at least partly aware of the iPhone -- a feat before the actual launch, the researchers say -- only 6 percent of those who responded said they were likely to commit to buying the device within the next year. Two thirds of respondents were even certain that they wouldn't buy the phone with what they knew.
Google has finally made an official response to Viacom's lawsuit over the contents of YouTube, notes the Associated Press. Viacom is the parent company of TV networks such as MTV and Comedy Central; clips from many Viacom shows have appeared illegally on YouTube. Google is now saying in court, however, that it is in fact zealous about guarding copyright, exceeding requirements of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Web hosts are immune from lawsuits so long as they agree to removal requests, but Google says it immediately complies with any complaints about unauthorized material.
Epson this morning stepped up the quality of its projectors with two new models. Officially aimed at businesses and schools, the PowerLite 822p (pictured) and 77c are both bright enough for most large rooms at 2,600 and 2,200 lumens respectively. The two are also ready for HDTV input; although equipped with a 1024x768 output, either can accept 720p or 1080i from a VGA source and magnify it through a 1.2X zoom lens. RCA and S-video also provide a hook for analog camera and TV sources.
Following a limited trial run, Joost today announced that it had officially launched its self-titled Internet TV service. While still in late beta, the peer-to-peer TV network is now said to be in full business and is said to have high-profile ads already lined up to appear this month, including segments from Coca-Cola and HP. Over 150 channels are part of the official launch, ranging from cartoons to documentaries and sports.
Pure Digital promised a revolution on Tuesday with the Flip Video, a camcorder it says is expressly built for sharing video as easily as possible. Software is as important as hardware in the mix, the company says. A swiveling USB connector makes it possible to plug ihe camera without a separate cable, but the true appeal is the ability to send videos direcly to YouTube and a few other online sites, saving the trouble of opening a web browser or other separate tools.
Dell late Monday said it would ship its first Linux home PCs preloaded with Ubuntu, according to a company spokesman. While the system builder had yet to solidify its plans, it confirmed that the latest stable version (7.04) of the Linux OS would find its way on to certain desktops and notebooks with "a range of configuration options," closely following its model for Windows notebooks.
Ubuntu is generally known as one of the most user-friendly versions of Linux and may help Dell take an early lead in selling Linux to the mainstream, as previous North American systems friendly to the OS have either shipped without any major OS or else catered strictly to servers and workstations. Pricing for the Linux systems remains unavailable. [via CRN]
Averatec is about to release a new size of ultraportable PC, says an inadvertent store posting. The Averatec 1579 will be slightly larger than the company's smallest portables but will also be much faster, trading up from a Pentium M to a 1.06GHz ultra-low voltage Core Duo with 1GB of RAM as the baseline. The size also won't preclude storage, with a DVD drive and a 120GB hard disk both fitting into the small frame. A 4-in-1 card reader will also give many photographers needed storage.
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