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MySpace is set to launch a service that will compete more directly with YouTube, according to the social network's co-founder Chris DeWolfe. Titled MySpace TV (link to be active soon), the site will represent a complete reworking of the company's knowingly lackluster web video feature to speed up finding videos and otherwise compare more closely to its Google-owned rival; the page will focus heavily on professional content with ads appearing before TV shows and other videos to give an incentive to major outlets such as NBC. User-made videos will also be easier to find as every MySpace page will have a mirror TV site that shows just the videos, says DeWolfe.
HP is touting its role in a newly-published list of the 500 most powerful supercomputers in the world. According to TOP500, over 40 percent of the list is dominated by HP systems, specifically the Cluster Platform 3000BL and 4000BL, based on BladeSystem c-Class servers. The figure represents a 10 growth for HP since November of 2006.
The company is not, however, the creator of the fastest supercomputer. That mantle belongs to IBM, who produced the Blue Gene/L installed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (pictured). Using the Linpack benchmark, the computer was rated at 280.6 teraflops per second. IBM is already attempting to break the petaflop barrier with the Blue Gene /P, which will be deployed elsewhere by the end of 2007.
Western Digital this afternoon launched a third external drive beyond its desktop and notebook models: the My Library Video Edition DVR Expander (not shown) is one of the few drives explicitly made to boost the capacity of video recorders for recording more shows or keeping longer archives. Currently tested for Scientific Atlanta's near-ubiquitous 8300-series HD systems, the drive plugs into any functional external SATA port on a compatible DVR and adds an extra 500GB of space beyond whatever is included inside the recorder itself. This level of space adds about 300 hours of standard NTSC video or 60 hours of typical HD footage, by Western Digital's count.
The Wii is to get original games through its download service, says Nintendo. While players have already been able to buy games through the Virtual Console, these have been older Nintendo games, from platforms such as the NES and the N64; with the newly-announced WiiWare however, the Wii will join the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 in having completely new games sold only online. Buyers will have to visit the Wii Shop Channel and spend some of their Wii Points for each title.
Storage firm Call/Recall today revealed the 2-photon disc, a new approach to optical storage that could dramatically increase the amount of space for HD movies and other forms of extra-large content. Rather than burn two-dimensional pits as with every optical format from Laserdisc through to Blu-Ray and HD DVD, the photonic system creates 3D spaces on the disc. The third axis creates a near-exponential amount of extra space. A 5.25-inch disc can hold 1TB -- 40 times the space of a single-layer Blu-Ray disc and 200 times that of a DVD, the company says.
Bluetooth specialist Parrot is bringing two previously-announced accessories to North America. The Party is a Bluetooth speaker, able to stream audio from any device with A2DP stereo, such as PCs, cellphones and adapted media players. Non-Bluetooth devices are supported through an auxiliary jack, or else through an RF dongle that plugs into a headphone jack.
The PMK5800 meanwhile is an "all-in-one" car kit, in that it plugs directly into a car's power port, sending output to speakers via FM. A2DP means it accepts music as well as voice. It should ship in the third quarter for $130; the Party will come in the same timeframe for $170.
Hoping to avert the potential confusion over iPhone stock for Friday, AT&T on Wednesday launched the iPhone store locator. The web-based tool helps anyone find a company-owned AT&T store as far as 50 miles away to make sure that customers don't inadvertently visit resellers, which are currently barred from selling the iPhone at their shops. Entering a specific address will also provide maps to help navigate to the store. Notably, however, the company has set a one-iPhone limit per person to prevent the hoarding or wide-scale auctions with high profile launch events.
Trekstor this afternoon revealed its 250GB DataStation Pocket t.ub, its compact external drive for notebooks. The new version both boosts capacity to the quarter-terabyte level while maintaining peak efficiency through the company's signature Y-shaped USB cable; the drive plugs into two USB ports at once to prevent a single USB interface from becoming a bottleneck. Its black aluminum shell also keeps the inside from overheating without adding significantly to the drive's bulk, the German firm says.
Cowon's iAudio 7 is already bound for the US, the company revealed today. The player should arrive largely unchanged from its Korean version and will be one of the longest-lasting players in North America through its switch from a micro hard disk to flash, driving most common music formats (including AAC and OGG) for up to 60 hours. Capacities will also top out at 8GB as with the Asian version of the 7.
Microsoft today revealed its first entry into producing its own computers. Called the IQ PC, the system (not pictured) will be made by India PC makers Wipro and Zenith and is targeted primarily at students for whom many typical systems would be too expensive or lack the right software; the system will ship with the Encarta dictionary as well as Works for production and specialized learning tools, Microsoft says. The software developer has also launched a new Education channel on MSN and says the site will have custom online courses and tutoring regardless of which PC is used to access them.
Electronics maker JVC today unwrapped the IL-H1, a budget home-theater-in-a-box that adds inputs not always seen in its class. The 360W, 5.1-channel system centers around a uniquely vertical receiver that serves as a hub for digital media. Two HDMI ports provide input and output for HD signals in 1080p, including those encoded with Dolby Digital, Pro Logic II virtual surround, or DTS. USB is also up front; the port not only plays MP3/WMA music and most MPEG videos from any USB storage but also provides advanced connections for iPods, allowing the receiver and its remote to pause and skip tracks as well as charge the device.
Samsung today rolled out a new chipset it hopes will break the barriers for over-the-air digital TV. A combination channel decoder and RF tuner have been made on a smaller, 65 nanometer process that lets them support more than one digital TV standard at once. The technology would let companies using the chip build true world handhelds: Europe's DVB-H (handheld) and DVB-T (terrestrial) video formats would work on the same chip that supports Korea's DMB, Samsung notes.
To coincide with the release of new Inspiron laptops and desktops running Windows, Dell has also launched two new Linux equivalents, loaded with Ubuntu. The laptop is a version of the 1420N, measuring 14.1 inches; it runs off a 1.5GHz Core 2 Duo processor, and has integrated graphics and 1GB of RAM. The hard disk holds 80GB, and the optical drive is a 24x DVD combo model. Wireless comes in the form of 802.11a/b/g.
AT&T has published a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Web page that aims to answer most of the common questions consumers may have who are looking to purchase Apple's iPhone when the device hits shelves this coming Friday. The wireless carrier notes that wireless insurance is unavailable for the iPhone but that Apple offers its own warranty for the device, and that activating the handset usually takes a just a few minutes. AT&T says customers can upgrade to iPhone by visiting a company retail store and mention that they are replacing their existing phone, and adds that customers will soon be able to upgrade through myWireless online. Existing AT&T customers can add iPhone to a FamilyTalk plan without the need to switch that plan, and users who just upgraded a phone recently will experience no penalties or restrictions from upgrading to an iPhone.
Countering Dell, HP has issued a refresh of its Pavilion desktops with extra speed, including some firsts for the industry. The Intel-based m8120n tower is the company's first quad-core mainstream system, shipping with a 2.4GHz Core 2 Quad; it should also be one of the first home systems to ship with 3GB of memory in standard trim, HP notes. Its media center origins continue with a TV tuner, dual 320GB hard drives, and a wireless keyboard/mouse combo for browsing in the living room.
Apple today posted a new video detailing the intelligent keyboard found in its forthcoming iPhone, which some critics said made the device unfit for practical business use. The video covers such features as the included English language dictionary, automatic correction as users type, and word anticipation functionality to intelligently guess which word users are typing as letters appear on the screen. The iPhone also enlarges the 'tap area' around keys that users are most likely to press next by comparing the series of letters already typed to known words, making those keys which are unlikely to see inclusion harder to hit while increasing the likelihood that users will tap on letters that spell actual English words.
Solving the frequent problem of grime on mice, Belkin on Wednesday took the unusual step of releasing the Washable Mouse. A watertight body and materials add enough water resistance to the design that it can be run under a faucet, scrubbing free the bacteria and dirt that accumulates over time. The technology underneath is also more advanced than some rugged mice, Belkin says: it uses a touch-sensitive pad for horizontal and vertical scrolling as well as a 1200 DPI optical sensor that provides better-than-average tracking, especially on unorthodox mousing surfaces such as upholstery. The Washable Mouse is driven by USB and should work with Macs and Windows PCs alike when it ships in August for $30.
MPC has just refreshed three of its core models, adding speed as well as a few key features. Most distinctive in the group is the pictured ClientPro 434 all-in-one: the thin profile PC receives an upgrade to Intel's 3-series chipset and is now one of the fastest systems of its kind, getting up to a 2.66GHz desktop Core 2 Duo as well as GMA X3000 video in the system's stock form. Pros and others who may need physical security also get access to a Smart Card reader, while home users still have access to extras such as a TV tuner. A base model loaded with Vista Home Basic starts at $1,893 with a 1.6GHz Pentium dual-core, 512MB of memory, an 80GB hard disk, and a 17-inch screen. Custom orders can outfit the PC with usual upgrades plus either a 17-inch touchscreen or a 19-inch widescreen.
SanDisk today claimed to be the first in the world to introduce an 8GB microSDHC card, doubling the capacity of removable storage on even the newest cellphones. The extra space matches the built-in storage on the iPhone, SanDisk says, and is good for roughly 2,000 songs or five hours of MPEG-4 video at full VGA. This card and a smaller 6GB version are also rated as Class 4 SD devices that can write at a minimum 4MB per second to ensure they work well for video capture or other high-stress tasks.
T-Mobile on Wednesday announced a US-wide launch of HotSpot@Home, its currently unique service that bridges cell and VoIP calling. Expanding from the limited trial, the carrier pairs a D-Link or Linksys wireless router with special phones using Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) that can switch back and forth between Wi-Fi and regular GSM phone connections. The service lets cellphone users call regardless of reception indoors and without eating into subscription minutes -- in some cases letting subscribers drop landlines entirely, T-Mobile says. Those with the plan can also connect for free at T-Mobile's public Wi-Fi hotspots.
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