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Though not the first carrier as expected, Canada's Rogers Wireless has joined those selling the Product (RED) version of the KRZR K1. Aside from its distinct tint, what distinguishes the phone is that a small portion of the profits go towards the Global Fund, which aims to fight AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis around the world. The (RED) K1 costs as much as its regular counterpart -- $310 CAD unlocked, but less with contracts and rebates, down to a minimum of $150.
The New York City Police Department has become the latest government body in the US to embrace the famous Segway, once touted as a world-changing vehicle. The force has specifically ordered 10 i2 Police units, which are different from the basic i2 mainly for their extra indicators and storage space. Officers will use their Segways to patrol areas generally inaccessible to cars, such as Central Park and Coney Island; some of the other claimed advantages include faster response times and zero emissions. Their range, however, is limited to 23 miles before a recharge is required. Each vehicle should cost the NYPD $5,660.
Search engine giant Google today announced Universal Search, calling it a breaking down of the "silos" that shelter websites, media, and other content from each other during a search. Visitors to the site will now see both regular web results as well as visual links to photos, Google Video and YouTube clips, and also more information-specific details such as maps or book listings. Extra content will also filter into searches as the engine is developed over time, Google says. The change is dramatic enough that the Mountain View company is improving its underlying architecture to help compare results between one media type and another.
In a surprise statement, SanDisk this afternoon said that it praised news of Amazon's DRM-free music store and EMI's support. The company claimed that it welcomed the development, saying that the embrace of a universal format was crucial to establishing the digital music business.
"This is the first time a major record label and a major retailer have come together to offer consumers the freedom to buy music compatible with all MP3 players," said company general VP Daniel Schreiber. "As consistent advocates of consumer choice, we believe this is an important step forward."
Created by remote maker Ricavision, one of the concepts for the 2007 WinHEC (Windows Hardware Engineering) conference is the MK140 FM, which if brought to market would be the first of its kind. Simplistically it is just a 3.5-inch, QVGA touchscreen, but the difference is that it sticks to a refridgerator door, and is actually a SideShow device that pulls data from a nearby Vista PC via WiFi. This allows users to check their schedule, read e-mail and view media without even turning on the computer. A stylus is used to write virtual Post-it notes. The one drawback is that it has a 16-hour battery life, so if used as an electronic memo, it may need to be recharged every night, or left plugged in. [via SlashGear]
Sony's global recall of lithium-ion batteries may not have completely resolved Sony's battery problems, say reports. Toshiba has noted tat at least one instance of one of its portable computer's Sony-made batteries catching fire in late April, despite the system using a model of the power supply that had been altered to fix the original issue, which would often ignite batteries without significant warning or a comparatively modest impact.
Motorola's GSM version of the RAZR maxx could well reach US shores, says an anonymous source. The contact claims that Italian cell provider TIM will launch a version not just with the 850MHz GSM frequency needed to make calls in North America, but also HSDPA Internet access on the same band. The change would open the gates to a version for North American carriers such as AT&T and Rogers, according to the report, which would also mean both full 3G broadband access and a front video camera for either AT&T's Video Share or Rogers' VISION service.
Intel's just released Santa Rosa platform for the Core 2 Duo will start receiving updates as soon as July, a newly escaped roadmap shows. The semiconductor firm plans to release its first Core 2 Extreme processors ever released for notebooks sometime in July, offering at first a speed increase from 2.4GHz to 2.6GHz as well as unlocking the chip's clock rate multipliers to allow for overclocking in larger or heavily-cooled notebooks. An even faster 2.8GHz variant will be available by September, the roadmap explains. Each should still have the same 800MHz system bus and 4MB of level 2 cache as today's chips.
Best Buy's in-house brand Insignia today shipped out the NS-7HTV, the first known portable TV in North America with an ATSC tuner for picking up over-the-air HD broadcasts. While its resolution is limited to 480x234, the 7-inch screen manages the native 16:9 aspect ratio of HDTV content. Viewers can also tune into analog NTSC shows before the 2009 cutoff period and use the screen as a portable display for game consoles and DVD players through either RCA or RF jacks.
Formac has released a new portable hard drive, a version of the disk mini that supports FireWire 400, as well as the alternative's USB 2.0. Capacities from 60 to 160GB are available, and because the mini relies on six-pin FireWire, either connection can be used as the power source. The casing is notable for having a Mac-friendly black or white aesthetic, and also using a shock absorption system, protecting the drive from less dramatic impacts. Formac is currently marketing the new disk mini in Europe, where AppleMac.biz is selling it for prices ranging between £60 ($120) and £135 ($270) without VAT. [via Tech Digest]
Toshiba today stepped up its efforts in the HD video format conflict by announcing a new rebate for its entry-level HD-A2 and other HD DVD players. Beginning May 20th, those who pick up the basic player will receive an instant $100 discount that drops the price of the player to $300. The discount would make the device the most inexpensive complete movie player available until the price drop's end on June 9th, based on Toshiba's claims. Buyers of any other player will also see the momentary drop for a shorter period, earning the same price cut from June 10th until the 16th. Those who buy any of Toshiba's 42-inch or larger sets at the same time will see a $200 cut.
Customized PC house enano today announced the e2 series of its book-sized mini PCs. In contrast to most PC makers' small systems, the e2 is pitched as a green alternative to towers and other large desktops. The use of mobile Core 2 Duo processors and other notebook-oriented parts cuts energy use by as much as 80 percent and also reduces the amount of heat, noise, and consumed desk space -- earning the desktop an Energy Star approval from the EPA for its contribution to the environment, according to the company.
Samsung has announced that a variant of its U600, the U608, is going on sale in Hong Kong under the company's Anycall brand. Like its predecessor, the new phone has Bluetooth 2.0 and a 3.2-megapixel camera, and can play MP3, WMA and AAC/eAAC+ music files. Other features include an FM radio and a microSD slot. In fact the phone is essentially unchanged, though it will be available in blue, silver and copper colors. An oddity in Samsung's specifications is that while quad-band GSM is mentioned, there is no reference to any sort of broadband support, even the U600's EDGE. The 608 is being priced at $3,480 HKD ($445 US). [via Unwired View]
Dell may be guilty of committing fraud against its customers, according to a lawsuit filed yesterday by New York's government. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's suit alleges that the system builder's financial branch misled buyers, promising relatively inexpensive financing plans but then turning back on guarantees and support contracts, leaving users stranded when their systems break. The state attorney would force an end to the reported fraud through an injunction against Dell's methods and would also obtain damages for every customer affected.
A collection of Japanese Epson products are being promoted as part of a unified "digital darkroom" concept -- a computer system ideally suited to serious photography work. At the heart is the Endeavor CM3100, a slim mini-tower computer that nevertheless has a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of RAM, and a Super Multi DVD drive. Perhaps most importantly it comes with 500GB of SATA II hard drive space, which is useful for archiving vast photo collections.
Sprint on Wednesday began offering the Samsung M300. The clamshell is a simplified companion to the M510 launched on Monday and brings some style to the often-neglected sphere of entry-level phones. The reflective outer shell hides the LCD until calls or the clock light up the display; a red or silver shell around the phone also lends polish and stops the phone from catching on clothes. Bluetooth is standard; Sprint notes the clamshell trims price through a VGA camera as well as stripping the EVDO broadband and microSD slot of the M510.
Financial problems continue to plague Sony into 2007, says the Associated Press. Already hurting from 2006 issues like development delays and a massive battery recall, the company reports that between January and March, it lost 67.6 billion yen, or $563 million US. This was even worse than the 66.5 billion yen lost in the same quarter a year prior. Sony attributes this mainly to the Playstation 3, which has not sold as well as expected, and in fact costs the company more to produce -- most income is generated through games.
Online retailer Amazon today announced the upcoming launch of a direct-download music store completely without digital rights management on its tracks, making it one of the few stores to offer music from multiple unrelated labels without the restrictions. Songs will be offered in the unguarded MP3 format, allowing users of Macs, Windows PCs, and most any operating system to download and play the songs regardless of the playback software. The choice also means that music bought through the store will play both on iPods as well as competing players such as the Zune or Creative's Zen series.
Sling Media will enter the Internet access business by reselling it to Slingbox users, the company revealed late yesterday. CEO Blake Krikorian indicated that his company would turn over existing broadband access so that users could temporarily boost speed through software, allowing for a better streaming experience to a computer or smartphone. The strategy would begin with Boston provider GetConnected, though Sling would not elaborate on pricing or the specially enhanced speeds.
Fujitsu this morning started offering the Lifebook U, one of the company's smallest PCs and reportedly the world's smallest official convertible tablet PC. Its 5.6-inch, 1024x600 screen makes the computer a UMPC when the display is folded shut or flipped into tablet mode, the Japanese designer says, but opening it reveals a conventional keyboard layout ideal for desk work. The U also boasts a far longer battery life of up to 8 hours courtesy of Intel's 800Mhz A110 ultra-mobile CPU and an extended battery pack. Extra security comes through a fingerprint reader.
In time for the launch of the Halo 3 beta and the announcement of the September 25th game launch date, GameStop today launched pre-orders of the Special Edition Halo Zune. The start of sales reveals the full scope of content beyond that mentioned in the company's original preview. As well as the custom plastic shell and menu wallpaper, the limited edition will come with several videos including a Zune-specific episode of Red vs. Blue; the player will also be preloaded with the complete Halo series soundtrack to date and conceptual artwork.
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