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Canadian big-box retailer Future Shop today inadvertently revealed that a special version of its DS Lite will accompany the release of its upcoming game Brain Age 2. The Crimson/Black model will be one of the first DS models to ship in a two-tone pattern and will come with a red lid but a black body and stylus. It will also come with an identically-themed black and red traveling case and a copy of the game to get the user started, according to the listing.
Toshiba is testing the first Gigabeat player with Wi-Fi, a new FCC filing shows. Although no direct photos or formats were revealed, the MET401 will include its own wireless transmitter for at least local networking features. The Japanese company will also replace the now obsolete Personal Media Center OS used on its own device with a modern version of Windows Embedded, according to the label info on the back of the device. The large format of the player implies but does not confirm video capability.
RIM's new BlackBerry 8820 may arrive sooner than the end of summer timeframe the company announced, say insiders within AT&T. Although an August release is possible, the smartphone may be ready as early as "next week" and would immediately replace the 8800 as the top-end BlackBerry in the provider's lineup due to its addition of Wi-Fi. Sales staff would be discouraged from mentioning Wi-Fi, however, in order to encourage buyers to sign up for a more lucrative data plan.
An International Trade Commission ban against many of Qualcomm's 3G wireless chips reaching the US will stay on track, the US federal Court of Appeals ruled today. Citing a lack of authority to consider the decision, the court said it Qualcomm would have to hold for a possible reversal of the ban by President Bush by August 6th before any form of appeal could last in court. A second appeal is certain if the ITC's ban holds after the presidential review, Qualcomm said. The ban follows a patent dispute between Qualcomm and rival Broadcom which accused the former of treading on patents relating to power-saving measures in cellphones and other hardware with EVDO Internet access.
Casio today introduced a special run of its Exilim Z75 to raise awareness of and help fight breast cancer. The unnamed model is intended to show support for the National Breast Cancer Foundation and will ship a pink version of the camera with a special case featuring the well-known pink ribbon logo and a lanyard with a ribbon of its own. Casio's camera itself is fundamentally the same as the 7.2-megapixel original and includes a 3X optical zoom lens, a 2.8-inch preview LCD, processor-based anti-blur correction, and the company's special features such as an eBay mode for optimized auction images.
Riding the wave of environmentally-friendly technology, Kanguru has started shipping the Eco Drive external hard disk. Configurable from 80 to 750GB, its main feature is its three power-saving modes: after three seconds of inactivity, the drive steps down to 80 percent power; after three minutes it drops to 10 to 20 percent power, and finally, five minutes cuts levels to 5 to 10 percent. The drive is also compatible with the RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) standard, meaning that it has a minimal amount of chemicals such as lead, mercury, and cadmium.
Bell Canada has begun carrying the HTC 6800, its custom variant on the original PPC6800 also used as the backbone for the Sprint Mogul. Bell's edition features a radically different front layout with larger front buttons and an easier to hit square directional pad; the carrier's characteristic blue also outlines the phone. Technical features are unchanged but make it one of the most advanced smartphones in Canada, Bell says. The horizontal slider is the first to come equipped with Windows Mobile 6 Professional in the country and preloads Office Mobile and support for the latest features on its 2.8-inch touchscreen.
Shuttle is about to launch another one of its new G5 PCs, the SG33G5M. A small form factor system, its primary focus is on the living room: it supports HDMI, DTS Connect and Dolby Digital Live, and is visually reminiscent of many audiophile components, complete with translucent faceplates and a LED track display. Internally, it can be equipped with up to 4GB of RAM, and anything from a Celeron through to a Core 2 Quad processor; unlike the G5 3300m however, there is no mention of an HD optical drive.
Nokia has only managed to extend its dominance of the world cellphone industry in recent months based on a keenly sharpened business model, according to BusinessWeek. The Finnish handset maker's latest statistics have international marketshare growing to 37 percent, or more than a third of all handsets sold worldwide -- a figure that could grow as high as 40 percent before 2008, Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi adds. Nokia's success now has it overtaking Samsung while Motorola slips to third place amid continuing financial losses and the wait for improved devices such as the RAZR2.
Google is prepared to spend at least $4.6 billion on rights to use the soon to open 700MHz wireless frequency if it means keeping the bandwidth universal, company co-founder Eric Schmidt said in a letter to the FCC today. The search giant's executive said he would be willing to buy at least one part of the spectrum if the FCC's rules for 700MHz service guaranteed that any cellphone, computer, or other device could use the frequency for services such as mobile Internet access without being locked to a particular provider -- a common problem for cellphone frequencies, where carriers are often allowed to limit only their hardware and approved software to work properly. Anyone licensing the 700MHz band would also have to allow sub-licenses and tapping into the service whenever reasonable, Schmidt said.
Sales of the Zune have more than surpassed the one million target the company set for the end of June, according to Microsoft's latest quarterly financial results. Over 1.2 million units of the jukebox have sold between the device's November 14th, 2006 launch and the end of the recent quarter on June 30th. The result represents over 170,000 units per month and should see the Zune reach the 2 million mark by the device's one-year anniversary if the sales rate remains unchanged.
The Japanese division of Hitachi is preparing what should be the world's first camcorder to record directly to Blu-Ray. Currently without a codename, it will record to three-inch BD-R/RE discs, each capable of storing 7GB -- substantially less than the 25 to 50GB of full-size Blu-Ray, but still more than comparably-sized DVD media. DVD discs inserted into the camera will only allow playback.
Critically, the device should actually be able to take advantage of Blu-Ray, due to a 5.3-megapixel CMOS sensor that captures images in 1080p. The camera is further equipped with AVC/H.264 MPEG-4 encoding for better HD compression, and MPEG-2 serves as an SD fallback. Hitachi is unsure of the exact release date for the camcorder, but it should be out in Japan between fall and the end of the year. [via Impress Watch]
Rounding out its series of announcements, LG has expanded its LN700 GPS units with a new top model. The LN790 is both the largest of the series with a 4.3-inch widescreen and also the most advanced, bringing in support for Traffic Message Channel data for live route congestion info in 50 major North American urban areas and Bluetooth for hands-free speakerphone use. Passengers can also play music or watch videos when the map function isn't immediately needed. Map information is also comprehensive and includes maps for all US states, its Puerto Rican territory, and Canada.
Sharp on Friday distinguished its TVs from the rest by releasing the AQUOS T, a new extra-large series of direct-view LCDs that become the first to receive the THX blessing for theater-like image quality under certain conditions. Setting a THX Movie Mode optimizes the brightness and gamma levels for a darkened room; contrast ratios are lower at 2,500:1 for the 52-inch and 65-inch models than for their equivalents in the AQUOS R series (which reach 3,000:1) as the settings are better-suited to low light, Sharp claims.
LG today launched the second generation of its Super Multi Blue computer drives, boosting their performance and also making next-generation formats more readily affordable. The GGW-H20LI (pictured) is claimed to be one of the fastest Blu-Ray devices yet, burning both single- and dual-layer discs at a 6X rate that will complete a two-hour movie in 20 minutes. LG further adds HP's LightScribe technology for writing labels directly to the discs themselves. As with the earlier H10NI, the drive is read-only for HD DVD but writes dual-layer DVDs and CDs. It should be available soon for $500.
Following a special event, LG has launched a series of new flat-panel TVs for the US, beginning with its Opus LCDs. Competing directly with Sony's Bravia and other premium sets, the 42-, 47-, and 57-inch LBX screens all deliver not just native 1080p but also the better features of modern screens. Each uses a 120Hz panel that eliminates motion artifacts even from 60 frames per second images; improved backlighting also reproduces 92% of the NTSC color gamut and is helped by the company's XD Engine processing to generate a more accurate image. All sets arrive in September with prices of $2,499 (42LBX), $3,299 (47LBX), and $4,499 (57LBX).
T-Mobile has all but confirmed that it will carry the iPhone in Germany, according to a leaked text banner and product shot hosted on its own website. Calling it "the new cult mobile phone" and including an image of the iPhone with the AT&T logo edited out, the carrier's two images reinforce earlier claims of a temporary store listing for the device as well as a direct assertion by the regional newspaper Rheinische Post that T-Mobile had already won a contract to sell the device in the country. The paper had suggested that the iPhone would sell for 450 Euros beginning in November.
DataWind on Friday took the wraps off its anticipated PocketSurfer2 handheld. The flip-top device breaks the traditional models of cellular Internet devices by relying on a new, extremely efficient download method. Although the portable is only equipped with early GPRS access rather than EDGE or HSDPA, a custom data accelerator produces usable websites far faster than most devices. Where some sites would take two minutes to load a single page, the PocketSurfer can often manage the same in just seven seconds, according to DataWind's estimates. A 640x240 widescreen also promises a far more accurate page layout than the often cramped visuals of other mobile browsers.
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