News Archive for 07/06/01

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Grundig jumps into flash video player game

06/01, 4:50pm

Grundig MPixx

Grundig has just taken its first steps into smaller media players through the MPixx 2000 series. The jukebox is small but includes the features often left to larger devices, including video support through SMV with conversion of other formats (such as QuickTime's MOV) in software. It also includes FM radio, a BMP/JPEG photo viewer, and voice recording to bolster the industry-standard support of MP3, WAV, and WMA tracks.

Mamiya intros lower-cost medium format cam

06/01, 4:25pm

Mamiya 645AFD II Combo

High-end camera producer Mamiya today launched what it says is the least expensive complete medium format system to date. Consisting of the company's new 645AFD II main body as well as the ZD Back digital back-end and an 80mm f/2.8 lens, the camera takes 22-megapixel shots that capture far more of the immediate scene than standard SLR cameras while also providing a high level of control over aperture, bracketing, flash sync and the level of autofocus.

Google picks up FeedBurner

06/01, 3:10pm

Google Picks Up Feedburner

Google has bought out FeedBurner, an announcement from the smaller company read today. The Chicago-based firm said that Google was interested in the acquisition to expand its ads into RSS feeds, which are becoming increasingly popular for checking news as well as for audio and video podcasts. The exact financial terms of the deal were being kept private at the time and weren't up for discussion, FeedBurner said, though it acknowledged that the deal had already been finalized and would take effect immediately.

Garmin preps wider Nuvi GPS units

06/01, 2:45pm

Garmin Nuvi 200W Preview

Garmin will soon have widescreen versions of its entry-level Nuvi 200 GPS units, the company has reportedly announced at a German trade show. The receivers will keep the same thin profile and basic feature set of the standard 4:3 ratio models but add a 4-inch widescreen display with a higher 480x272 resolution. The display resolution should display more of the road ahead at once and provide more room for on-screen detail.

Blu-Ray and HD DVD protection updated, cracked again

06/01, 2:15pm

AACS Cracked Again

The copy protection behind next-generation movies has already been defeated after a new update, according to hackers' claims. Although the body handling the AACS system that guards the discs had changed the encryption keys to thwart earlier attempts -- prompted in part by the Digg revolt that published one key -- the hacker posted the new key just a day after it had been updated, rendering the new security measure useless. Developers at SlySoft are said to have already implemented the new key in their controversial AnyDVD software, which allows viewers to copy and strip down AACS-protected movies.

Sony patents PSP phone concept

06/01, 1:45pm

Sony PSP Phone Patent

Sony-Ericsson believes it can negotiate the balance between serious gaming and phones, according to a patent just granted to the company. Although titled a "Mobile Information Terminal Apparatus" in the description, the patent describes a device similar in shape to the Sony PSP game system but with a unique swiveling screen similar to that of the Samsung i7. The LCD could rotate either 90 or 180 degrees to move the attached directional pad to a more comfortable position for gaming or (at the mid-point) a widescreen display for movies. A second directional pad would sit among the buttons with a layout that prevents accidental number presses during game sessions.

More signs point to imminent MacBook Pro

06/01, 12:15pm

MBP Santa Rosa Tuesday

The MacBook Pro may be updated a week in advance of the World Wide Developers Conference, according to multiple sources. An industry contact points to Apple having discontinued production of the current systems weeks ago, allowing its stores and its secondary retail channels to drain excess stock before new models are released. Regions that require custom keyboards and other language-specific changes have already been running low on systems, the claims said, and would only get replacements sometime in early June.

Raon Digital intros unique Everun UMPC

06/01, 11:50am

Raon Digital Everun

Raon Digital today aggressively chased the ultra-mobile PC market with the Everun. Instead of forcing a particular aspect ratio, the UMPC includes a special QWERTY keyboard that can be used either in the traditional landscape mode or vertically, as with some PDAs. The Korean designer also wants to avoid the excess bulk and poor battery life that often plague original UMPCs. The screen has the same 800x480 resolution as most alternatives but shrinks physically to 4.8 inches in size; the choice of an AMD Geode LX800 (500MHz) or LX900 (600MHz) processor draws battery life to seven hours using the stock battery. An extended battery gives an even longer runtime of between 11 and 12 hours, Raon claims.

Pentax intros special 50th anniversary DSLR camera

06/01, 11:10am

Pentax AP50

Pentax this morning kicked off the 50th anniversary of its camera brand with a special digital SLR camera. The AP50 is a tribute to the original film camera released in 1957 by the company (then known as Asahi Optical) with digital hardware inside to showcase the advancements made in the half-cenutry life of the firm. The modern components are built on the readily available K10D but includes much of the vintage design, including the pyramid housing for the pentaprism viewfinder that delivered some of the first truly accurate preview in a camera and eventually inspired the change to the Pentax name.

Smartparts intros monster digital photo frame

06/01, 10:40am

Smartparts 15 inch Frame

Smartparts today introduced one of the largest digital picture holders to date. Its 15-inch SP15MW eclipses the typically 7- or 8-inch LCDs of most frames and makes a better fit for family portraits and other central images; the panel also claims a full 24-bit color display and a sharper 1024x768 resolution. Birch framing helps the display blend into homes more easily than the plastic of some frames. But like those devices, the 15-inch model can handle more than just images, Smartparts says. Hidden speakers can play MP3 songs or the audio from AVI, MPEG, and MPEG-4 videos loaded on to either the 256MB of built-in flash or any one of multiple card formats, including larger CompactFlash and SDHC cards.

Analyst: 4M iPhones in 2007 alone

06/01, 10:05am

4M iPhones in 2007

Apple is preparing to sell far more iPhones than it originally anticipated, according to a new report by Merrill Lynch. The financial group estimates that while production will start modestly at between 200,000 and 300,000 phones per month, Apple will gradually step up its production to reach 1 million per month by the end of 2007, resulting in 4 million units just for the remaining portion of the year. If nothing changes, production should level off and result in 12 million iPhones shipped during 2008, the researchers say.

Two Samsung 3G phones reach AT&T

06/01, 9:20am

Samsung A717 and A727

AT&T today launched two phones from Samsung that take full advantage of the carrier's faster 3G network. The A727 (pictured) is AT&T's slimmest-ever 3G phone at 0.35 inches thick but still achieves the real-world 400 to 700Kbps download speeds possible through HSDPA service. The extra speed also lets it tap into AT&T's more advanced services, such as Mobile Music for streaming online radio and Video Share for streaming one-way video to or from other equipped phones using its 1.3-megapixel camera. Stereo Bluetooth audio and a microSD slot also find room within the handset.

Cowon intros hybrid GPS and media player

06/01, 8:45am

Cowon L2

Cowon finished its week by launching the L2, its latest entry into the field of extra-large media players. Intended as much for the car as for home viewing, the L2 revolves around a large 7-inch widescreen and includes its own GPS receiver for route finding on the road but also includes heavy media playback components. Owners can watch AVI or MPEG-4 video clips, and (in Korean form) tune into over-the-air digital TV broadcasts through a DMB tuner; Cowon includes a more advanced picture-in-picture option that can display both maps and the media window at the same time, reducing the map view to as little as a quarter-size for when the map is only a secondary concern.

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