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Motorola should have an equivalent to its PEBL clamshell that shares many of the elemental features of the RAZR2, according to a single leaked product shot. Dubbed the ROKR U9, it would adopt the same rounded shape as the PEBL but feature the same extra-large external LCD and haptic music controls on the outside; a rear camera would reach the final model and will probably be rated at 2 megapixels. At least one element of the recent ROKR Z6 would translate to the phone in the form of a mini-USB headphone set rather than a 2.5mm or standard 3.5mm jack. Motorola's Linux-based JUIX interface is also probable for at least one version of the device.
The District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Reuters writes, has ruled against a stay on royalty increases for Internet radio stations. Under a March order by the Copyright Royalty Board, stations are expected to pay $0.0008 per each listener of a song in 2006 and onwards; by 2010, this rate should reach $0.0019.
Royalties dating back to January 1st 2006 are due starting July 15th, but smaller stations such as SomaFM have said that they may effectively be driven out of business. According to the organization SaveNetRadio, even the six biggest networks (Pandora, Live365, etc.) will lose 47 percent of their revenue from last year.
The problem of Rogers' excessive data prices in Canada still creates dire prospects for the iPhone even when a more practical plan is chosen, says the country's National Post newspaper. While the journalist claims to have received "howls of protest" from wireless industry backers who claim that a $295 plan would feature more than any one cellphone user would need, with most use topping out at 25MB in a given month, he notes that many of Rogers' plans are still prohibitively expensive to be useful.
Fujitsu took a step back today from its Intel-dominated LifeBooks with the launch of the 15.4-inch A3130, the second notebook in its current American line to use an AMD processor. Features strike a balance between performance and price meant to appeal to students: the 2GHz Turion 64 X2 is supported by 2GB of memory in smoothing out the Vista Home Premium experience without a high price. College goers can also use Fujitsu's characteristic handwriting touchpad, which recognizes drawing motions for those courses where diagrams and sketches are essential.
The American division of Samsung has thrown open the curtains on the MM-X5 Player Docking Station, which despite its generic name, is a stereo targeted directly at owners of the Apple iPod. All generations of iPod are said to be supported, including the likes of the nano and shuffle. Unlike some other iPod stereos however, the X5 is meant to blend in with other audiophile equipment, and so is clad entirely in black. It also serves other purposes; in addition to having an FM tuner, a USB port allows non-Apple media players to connect, and a CD drive supports both standard and MP3 discs. The stereo's two satellites produce 10W of sound each. Samsung expects the X5 to ship for $200 in October of this year. [Image via Gizmodo]
Cowon could be one of the first media player makers to jump to 16GB, say French sources. Both the company's D2 touchscreen player and the more conventional iAudio 7 may both see the upgrade before the end of the year, giving the Korean firm the most flash storage ever in a media player should Apple, SanDisk, and others not update their own devices. The existence of an SDHC card slot on the D2 could also expand capacity even further to at least 24GB using today's cards and further still with later improvements.
In addition to its N1 Vision router, Belkin has also restyled its upcoming Wireless USB Hub in advance of its release. The change makes the device sleeker and more compact than before but will still provide its characteristic high speed, the peripheral designer says. Ultra-wideband wireless gives the hub the ability to wirelessly connect as many as four traditional USB devices to a PC while maintaining the same 480Mbps peak throughput of the wired format, even with a 30-foot gap.
Warner Music has signed a deal to allow imeem access all of its music and video content, free of charge to the user. In return for this privilege, imeem will be expected to share a portion of its advertising revenue. The deal is notable for two main reasons; foremost is that it is the first time a major label has offered ad-driven access to an entire catalog, instead of seeking standard royalties or per-song compensation (as in the case of Lala).
Nyko used the E3 gaming summit in LA to provide an early look at its first truly social accessory, the Party Station for the Wii. Based on the assumption that the Nintendo console is an ideal hub for social events, the station combines both holders for four Wiimotes as well as several useful features and spaces for everything associated with its namesake parties: four LEDs help keep manual scoreboards for players over the course of several games, while a fan helps keep hands dry over longer sessions. A drawer at the bottom holds Wiimote accessories; a bowl at the top of the station and separate cupholders will even preserve the food and drinks for a social event, Nyko says.
Motorola's cellphone business is struggling, the company has revealed in its latest financial report. The company's spring quarter saw the firm sell no more than $8.7 million in cellphones and other handhelds -- significantly less than the $9.4 billion expected. The shortfall will leave the company facing a loss even if the rest of the year is successful and is said to primarily be the result of poor Asian and European sales, where Motorola's name and influence are historically weaker than in the US. In reacting to the results, the company has shifted its supply chain executive Stu Reed to the head of its Mobile Devices group in the hope of saving the company's efforts.
HD DVD is outpacing its Blu-Ray rival in Europe in hardware sales by a factor of three to one, according to a study published by the disc format's promo group in the region. The agency drew on sales figures which suggest that the format has nearly three quarters of the market in some of the most influential countries in the area, including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK. Spokesman Olivier Van Wynendaele for the group alleged that the success had been achieved fairly and that profit on HD DVD players in Europe was the same as for its regular DVD players, dismissing US worries that Toshiba was winning by slashing prices to where it makes little to no profit.
Aiming for the best of two worlds, Mad Catz today launched the AirDrives, its new spin on earbuds. Instead of turning to in-canal earbuds or cupped headphones, the company said it had researched a new design that has the best qualities of both camps: the small speakers with an over-the-ear clip take up little space and make them easy to carry, but a new technique -- titled InAir by the accessory maker -- lets the buds sit over the ear canal rather than inside. This produces a more natural sound but also prevents the buds from blocking out too much ambient noise. The latter is especially critical for joggers who might ignore an oncoming car, according to designer Ken Wright.
The Japanese division of JVC has announced the release of two new small-size digital audio players. While compact and available in colors including blue, black, pink, red and white, the main attractions of the XA-S108 and XA-S206 are changes to their ports and interface. Whereas many such players are limited to recording voice and FM radio, the new JVC models have the addition of a line-in jack -- giving the option of recording from TVs, CD players and many other electronics.
The interface has now been simplified to use a menu with three categories, and its file browser is said to be similar to that used in iRiver's popular players. The S108 holds 1GB and costs $124; the S206 has 2GB and costs $155. [via Akihabara News]
LG has announced the production of a new phone in its Shine series, the Titanium Black. While the product is based on the original Shine, first revealed in October of last year, the new one is an aesthetic revision distinguished by its gunmetal tint, which does in fact use real metal unlike many of its rivals.
Internal features are tapped to include Bluetooth and a two-megapixel camera, as well as music playback that includes MP3, WAV, and AAC++ files. The phone is comparatively limited in terms of data however, since broadband Internet is restricted to EDGE. The Black should ship to Austria, France, the UK and the Netherlands at the end of July.
Promising to streamline the often cumbersome effort of loading music on to most cellphones, Verizon today rolled out its Music Manager tool. Similar to its Apple counterpart, the software turns any of Verizon's music-capable V CAST phones into a loadable music device with support for both an online music shop and a home collection. Songs can either be bought directly from the V CAST store at 99 cents per track and copied to the phone, or imported from CDs. Verizon also intends to convert iTunes users by importing unprotected AAC songs and intelligently converting them to WMA when a phone's music support requires the change.
Following its additions of new L-series cameras to its line, Samsung has also added a single camera to its S-series for those who favor image quality. The S85 uses the same 8.2-megapixel sensor of the L830 but includes an SHD lens with 5X optical zoom for closer shots without sacrificing detail. Like the higher-end cameras of this week's launches, the camera will include Samsung's unique software shake correction and face detection.
Apple may be ready to not only bring wireless file sharing to the iPhone and iPod but could affect Microsoft's Zune as well, according to the details of a newly publicized patent. The filing would allow fully mobile devices such as cellphones and MP3 players to automatically discover each other on a local network, similar to the way the Zune can recognize nearby devices on its Wi-Fi connection; also as with the Microsoft jukebox, owners would be able to "push" media and other files to other devices. But the patent's implementation would also let a device make such requests, Apple says, allowing one handheld to pick files for download in a way the Zune currently forbids. A wireless sync method could automate these requests simply by coming near the right device.
Navigon today brought two of its higher-end GPS units to North America with features and sizes not often seen in the country. The 3.5-inch 5100 and 4.3-inch widescreen 7100 are reportedly the only mapping devices in their class to include a textured 3D mode, dubbed Reality View, that presents the road ahead in a form closer to real life. Exits, lane markers, and intersections are all portrayed realistically, complete with overhead signs point out which lanes will take the driver on a given course. An assistant will even recommend a particular lane well in advance.
Breaking out from the company's conservative gray notebooks, Gateway on Thursday launched a major redesign of its portables. The 14-inch T-series and 15.4-inch M-series all feature colored top and bottom shells as well as a sleeker design; owners can pick from a safe slate color as well as blue and red. More important is HD video support, Gateway says. Every notebook comes with HDMI output to pipe video to modern flat-panels at up to 1080p; options also exist to equip either notebook line with a Blu-Ray or HD DVD drive. The larger M-series also gets the option of a Mobility Radeon HD 2400 XT for faster HD video decoding, and a 1920x1200 display that can play 1080p video at full detail.
Pentax today upgraded two of its most mainstream cameras to bring them up to par with the latest, 8-megapixel camera sensors. The Optio E40 brings this resolution to even the most inexperienced photographers and is targeted at the entry level: the proprietary Green Mode takes over all control of image quality for those who simply want to press the shutter. Face detection and an ISO-boosted blur reduction mode also take the guesswork out of producing portrait and nighttime shots for newcomers. This 3X zoom camera also runs on AA batteries to save cost and ships in September for $150.
Samsung has just released a slew of entertainment products yesterday, launching third-generation Blu-ray disc players, 22/24 inch widescreen monitors, 50-58 inch 1080p Plasma HDTVs, and 3D-ready DLP sets. New monitors include the 24-inch 245BW, with a 1920 x 1200 resolution, 5-millisecond response time, 1000:1 contrast ratio (3000:1 dynamic contrast), and 400 cd/m² of brightness, and the 22-inch 226CW with a 1680 x 1050 resolution, 300 cd/m² brightness, 1000:1 contrast ratio and a 2 ms response time. The 24-inch model retails for $550 and the 22-inch model is priced at $380. The new Blu-Ray sets include the BD-P1400 and higher-end BD-P2400. The former includes Samsung's proprietary de-interlacing technology, powered by the company's HQV (Hollywood Quality Video) image processor. They both feature native 1080p playback. Also included is upscaling for standard DVDs to 1080p when using HDMI. The units both sport component, S-Video, and composite outputs. The BD-P1400 will be available in September for $550; the BD-P2400 will follow one month later at $650.
Logitech has introduced a new rechargeable cordless mouse that operates on a flat surface or the air, working similarly to a television remote control when not desk-bound. The new device, dubbed MX Air, is meant to capitalize on the increased use of PCs as digital media hubs, offering the ability to navigate music, videos and photos without the user physically sitting in front of the system. It uses a technology called "Freespace" for motion-control and gesture command functionality, allowing wrist flicks and subtle hand movements to produce action on-screen. Freespace allows the user to hold the mouse in any orientation and point in any direction to control the cursor. The mouse also has built-in algorithms that distinguish between intentional and unintentional hand movements.
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