News Archive for 07/06/04

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Lala.com offers unlimited music for free

06/04, 9:40pm

Free music for iPods

Challenging iTunes' pay-per-song model, Lala.com is looking to revolutionize the digital music business by offering unlimited songs for free. The company is looking to transform its CD-swapping site into a music portal where members can download songs directly to their iPods, bypassing the computer hard drives where most music is stored, according to the AP. The company says it has an agreement with Warner Music Group to sell its catalog of nearly 200,000 songs for $0.99 cents, but that it also allow members to play the songs for free. Lala.com, however, will pay Warner a penny each time someone listens to a song. While most other streaming music sites charge a monthly subscription fee (e.g., Napster) or offer advertising, the Palo Alto-based company will do neither; instead it will rely on revenue from members who buy new CDs or swap used CDs with each other for a fee of $1 per disc. The company also said it would use DRM-free music, much like Apple's recent launch of higher quality, DRM-free music.

HTC TyTN lands at Rogers

06/04, 5:05pm

HTC TyTN at Rogers

Rogers Wireless has revealed that it will become the second carrier in North America to carry the HTC TyTN. Also known as a variant on the AT&T/Cingular 8525, the TyTN is only the second known phone from the Canadian provider with HSDPA for 3G wireless speeds and includes EDGE as a fallback. It also brings improved media capture and playback to the carrier with a 2-megapixel camera, a 2.8-inch touchscreen, and a microSD card slot for storing music, photos, and videos.

Red Zune announced

06/04, 4:45pm

Red Zune Announced

Microsoft today announced what may be the final special edition of the Zune. Joining the Halo 3 and pink models, the watermelon-tinted version of the player is intended to kick off the official start of summer and comes with a black trim. Similar to other models, however, features are identical to the pioneering model from November with Wi-Fi for player-to-player sharing and 30GB of hard drive storage.

SanDisk intros 64GB flash drive for notebooks

06/04, 4:05pm

SanDisk SSD 64GB

SanDisk launched its efforts at Taiwan's Computex expo by revealing a 64GB version of its SanDisk SSD flash drive. Already doubling the 32GB capacity shown early this year, the new version is built in a separate 1.8-inch, parallel ATA version for ultraportables and a 2.5-inch, serial ATA version for larger notebooks and drops in as a replacement for traditional magnetic storage. As with the earlier capacity, the solid-state nature shockproofs the drive and cuts down practical response times: a large OS such as Windows Vista cuts its boot from 48 to 30 seconds, SanDisk claims. Overall responsiveness is even shorter, dropping from 11 milliseconds for average file access to 0.11 milliseconds. Power use also drops to as little as half a watt compared to multiple watts for typical storage.

Sony VAIO CR notebook details slip

06/04, 3:45pm

Sony VAIO CR Leak

Sony is readying a new notebook for the mainstream that might replace its current C series, according to a leak from a Dutch online store. The 14-inch VAIO CR will be more subdued than today's models but is still clearly aimed at everyday users with black, blue, pink, and white shades. The casing will also carry over the trayless keyboard first seen in the VAIO TZ that reduces the likelihood of spills and should be thinner than today's model, though dimensions haven't yet surfaced beyond those visible in product pages.

Synaptics intros new media bar controls for notebooks

06/04, 2:25pm

Synaptics LightTouch

Normally known for its trackpads and jukebox controls, Synaptics today unveiled SmartTouch, a new concept for the dedicated media keys normally found ahead of the keyboard on most notebooks. Rather than fix the controls in hardware, SmartTouch relies on buttons with an on-screen display to indicate their role. The flexibility means that the buttons can change with each program that launches: controls may change from navigating a DVD in a media player to skipping through a browser or the operating system itself.

Dell plans radically designed 13-inch XPS notebook

06/04, 1:50pm

Dell XPS m1330 Leak

Dell is planning a major reworking of its smallest XPS gaming notebook, according to freshly leaked press material. The 13.3-inch M1330 will phase out the smaller but thicker M1210 while also bringing several of the latest notebook technologies that have been absent even in the company's flagship M1710 and M1210 systems. The design represents a major change towards minimalist style: the M1330 should be less than one inch thick and will turn to a slot-loading DVD-RW drive instead of Dell's historical tray drive while still cutting weight to 4 pounds.

Mystery 12th iPhone app?

06/04, 1:00pm

Mystery 12th iPhone App

A 12th iPhone program appears to have reached the iPhone, according to a frame-by-frame study of the newly released ads. While distance footage of the iPhone shows the by now familiar 11-icon layout of the Apple device's front menu, one of the close-up shots in the "How-To" ad shows four icons at the bottom -- indicating that an extra icon has appeared higher up in the layout, pushing the remaining icons towards the bottom. The discrepancy is unusual as the ads all appear to demonstrate the actual screen rather than artificial shot overlays. Other ads appear to remain consistent.

New Cruzer flash drives boast 24 MB/sec

06/04, 1:00pm

SanDisk Cruzers

SanDisk has taken the wraps off two new USB flash drives, the Cruzer Professional and Cruzer Enterprise. Primary features for the new drives include 256-bit, hardware-based AES encryption (optional and modifiable on the Professional, mandatory on the Enterprise) as well as read and write speeds of 24 MB per second and 20 MB per second respectively.

Incipio unveils iPod nano USB adapter

06/04, 11:30am

iPod nano USB adapter

Incipio has released its IncipioHitch USB iPod adapter for Apple's current-generation iPod nano. The device is designed to easily connect an iPod nano to any USB port without the need for a large dock or messy cables. Incipio's adapter supports USB 2.0 transfer rates, comes with a repositioning USB arm to accommodate most computer or USB port locations, and works with both Mac and Windows systems. The IncipioHitch is priced at $13 and comes in black or white.

Sony trumps PS3 price with low-cost Blu-Ray player

06/04, 11:25am

Sony BDP-S300 Ships

Sony today began shipping its least expensive Blu-Ray player, the BDP-S300. The new reader is not only the company's most affordable but has also seen a price drop from $599 to $499 for its official launch, making it the first complete Blu-Ray player to ship for less than the $599, 60GB PlayStation 3. Few sacrifices have been made to reach the price, Sony adds. The S300 can display full 1080p signals when using HDMI, and includes HDMI 1.3 for support of x.v.Color for deeper color depths on supporting movies and TVs. Audio support includes Dolby Digital Plus as well as earlier 5.1 surround formats.

Sharp debuts trio of HD-savvy mid-range projectors

06/04, 11:00am

Sharp XR-40

Sharp on Monday backed up its XR series projectors with three new models with enhanced definition but real awareness of HD. The XR-30S, XR-30X, and XR-40X all have DVI inputs with native HDCP support that lets them display encrypted video from certain Blu-Ray and HD DVD discs as well as from some content stored on Windows Vista PCs; component input is also present for more conventional HD video while RCA and S-video handle analog sources. Each of the front projectors also has a newer image processing chip for better overall quality and a 3X color wheel for generating the DLP-based image.

Samsung intros camera-friendly E590 phone

06/04, 10:25am

Samsung E590

Samsung started its week with the introduction of a new camera-focused phone. The E590 boasts a 3.2-megapixel back camera with auto focusing as well as a half shutter and a panorama mode for stitching together landscape shots; the bar phone also includes a rare attachment for a bean bag mount to stabilize the body during formal portraits and similar shots. The phone itself also takes advantage of expert designer Jasper Morrison, according to the company. The creator lends his hand both to the phone's clean design as well as to a dual-sided set of side controls: one focuses exclusively on the phone, while the opposite end focuses on camera navigation.

Toshiba preps first notebook HD DVD rewriter

06/04, 9:55am

Toshiba SD-L912A

In advance of the Computex trade expo, Toshiba on Monday unveiled the SD-L912A, the company's first notebook drive fully capable of burning rewritable HD DVDs. The advancement currently lets the drive write many times to the new discs at a 1X speed, equating roughly to two hours of recording for a dual-layer 30GB disc or half as long for standard 15GB versions. Universal support also exists for write-once HD DVDs as well as most CD and DVD writable and rewritable formats. A 12.7mm-high body lets the tray-loading drive fit in most slimmer notebooks and should help bring the new standard to smaller PCs than the 17-inch Qosmio portable.

HP intros ultra-green slim PC

06/04, 9:35am

HP rp5700 Green PC

HP this morning tackled the problem of environmentally friendly PCs with the rp5700, its latest slim desktop. The computer is the first to achieve a gold rating for the US government's Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool through both its choice of components and even the materials themselves: 95 percent of the entire PC is recyclable, HP says. The system also relies on less power-hungry processors, and uses a special 80 percent efficient power supply that wastes far less energy than most desktops. In tandem with an LCD, a complete system consumes about 80 percent less power than a standard desktop with a CRT, according to the company's estimates.

Panasonic intros Santa Rosa-based Toughbook in US

06/04, 8:55am

Panasonic Toughbook 52

Panasonic on Monday morning rolled out the Toughbook 52, the company's first semi-rugged notebooks in the range to include 15-inch widescreen displays and the first North American Toughbook to use Intel's new Santa Rosa platform. Every configuration uses the newer Core 2 Duo processor with an 800MHz bus, and also brings the option of 3G Internet access: internal adapters connect the PC either to EVDO networks from Sprint and Verizon or HSDPA and UMTS access provided by AT&T and European carriers respectively. The casing till achieves the same military-grade durability for drops (up to 2.5 feet from any angle), Panasonic says, and has a liquid-proof keyboard that prevents accidents.

Intel: quad-core mobile chips in 2008

06/04, 8:45am

Quad-core mobile chips

On the heels of its recent Santa Rosa mobile architecture launch, Intel this weekend touted its next-generation quad-core mobile chips, which is expected to be available next year. At the company's Intel's Developer Forum conference in Beijing, the world's largest chipmaker said that the new technology will be used in high-level gaming and high-end, performance-oriented. The extra processing power, however, will come at the expense of battery life and likely won't find its way into mainstream business notebooks for sometime, the company said. "You'll see it at the high end, but I don't see it running so fast into the mainstream because I don't believe there will be enough threaded applications that will justify the trade-offs," says Mooly Eden, vice president and general manager of Intel's mobile platform group.

Palm recruits former iPod head for phones

06/04, 8:25am

Palm Recruits iPod Head

Palm today announced that it had hired Jon Rubinstein, the former head of Apple's iPod division, to take a place on the company's board as an executive chairman. The former senior VP of hardware engineering was recruited as part of a new $325 million investment in the company by Elevation Partners -- which itself is managed by previous Apple CFO Fred Anderson -- and will see Rubinstein lead the company's product development efforts, which should include the company's Treo line of smartphones as well as future products springing from the Foleo phone companion. The former Apple VP cited the possibilities behind cellphones as a key motivator for his new role at Palm.

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