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iLive has debuted two new iPod docking systems with built in speakers. The new model IBR2807DP features a blue backlit LCD display with a digital clock, built in AM/FM Radio, a certified iPod Connector and a recharge circuit compatible with the iPod/mini/nano/video/photo. Input/output features include auxiliary in for other audio players, and standard AV output jacks. This model is priced at $70. The IBCD2817DP costs $30 more and includes similar specs to the former, but adds a vertical CD player located on the back of the unit, digital volume controls and a wireless remote.
Perfect Curve today released its simple Socket Pocket wall charger for handheld devices. Just wide enough for the iPhone and full-size iPods, the holder fits next to a wall outlet and keeps most devices safely on a vertical surface while they charge rather than resting them on a counter or desk, where they might be damaged by a knock to the ground or crushed by a larger object. A bottom port also provides the space for the Dock Connector's power cable or any other AC adapter to run directly to the nearby outlet. [pricing corrected]
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of the ubiquitous Facebook social networking site, will this week defend himself against charges that he knowingly stole the concept from classmates at Harvard University. First begun in 2004, the lawsuit filed by Cameron Winklevoss, brother Tyler and Divya Narendra accuses Zuckerberg of having registered "thefacebook.com" on January 11th of 2004, three days after promising to help his peers with their own social networking site (now ConnectU). In the long run, say the accusers, Zuckerberg intended to deliberately stall his classmates, enabling him to launch Facebook six months in advance.
Kingston made its third announcement today by introducing its first miniSDHC cards for certain cellphones and portable music players. Unlike most announcements, the line varies by speed rather than storage. Every model breaks the traditional SD limit by holding 4GB of music or other data, but varies in speed from a Class 2 model that writes at a minimum 2MB per second to Class 4 and Class 6 cards transfer at 4MB and 6MB per second for video capture and other, more demanding tasks.
Western Digital is following in the popular trend of "green" technology with its new GreenPower drives, designed to meet the Energy Star 4.0 standard. This may be able to reduce power consumption by as much as 40 percent, in turn contributing to lower demands on power stations. For most users the major incentive will be cost savings: while desktop drives will generally save $2-3 per year, these savings rise to $5-7 in consumer electronics (DVR units, etc.), and $10 in enterprise drives. A datacenter with 1,000 drives could (theoretically) cut power costs by more than $10,000.
T-Mobile USA will have more than just the Samsung t419 and t729 to support its entry-level phone lineup, say newly leaked product spec sheets. The Samsung t219s will upgrade the t219 already at the carrier with a new Network Address Book feature: T-Mobile can backup the contact list on its servers, giving subscribers a chance to re-download their contacts in the event the files are corrupted or the phone needs to be replaced. Another device, the Nokia 2610, will drop such a feature but may allow sending recorded voice messages.
Fujitsu is about to release its next generation of convertible tablet notebooks, according to a new FCC filing. Its LifeBook T2010 will draw on the ultramobile parts of Intel's Santa Rosa technology to keep the system thin and light (1.3 inches, 3.3 pounds) while still offering a swiveling 12-inch touch display. Systems will come with either a 1.06GHz or 1.2GHz ultra-low voltage Core 2 Duo, Intel's X3100 video, and as much as 4GB of memory. Certain models will also come with Intel's 802.11n Wi-Fi chipset while simpler versions start with 802.11g, according to the leaked manual that accompanies FCC test results. Bluetooth and a full-size, 6-cell battery are also known to be standard.
Beyond its CF cards, Kingston this afternoon has also released a special microSD bundle tailored just to music phone users. The MusiConnection pack includes both a USB reader and a 1GB card preloaded with ten MP3s from eMusic. Buyers also get a special invitation to a trial subscription that lets them download 50 more songs -- double the 25 typically given to new subscribers. A typical card stores about 160 songs at eMusic's typical 192Kbps audio quality.
Sony's European branch on Monday quietly unveiled its B100 Network Walkman music player. Marking a turning point for the company, the player confirms early reports that Sony would drop the need for the proprietary SonicStage jukebox for loading music in at least one player. Listeners can load up the player simply by dropping songs into it through the computer's file browser, which also allows for transferring raw data when space allows. ATRAC support is also absent, according to Sony; songs must be in the more universal MP3 and WMA formats.
HP today brought its series of upgrades to its pro notebooks, launching the Compaq-branded 8510w and 8710w. The 15- and 17-inch notebooks respectively freshen the line with Core 2 Duo chips based on Intel's more recent Santa Rosa platform. They also share a minimum of 2GB of RAM and the option of a Blu-Ray drive for 50GB data backups and HD movie viewing, including through a standard HDMI output. Video performance is a hallmark of either system; the 8510w uses a 1680x1050 LCD driven by a 256MB NVIDIA Quadro FX 570M, while the 8710w relies on a 1920x1200 screen and AMD's Mobility FireGL V5600 with 512MB of graphics memory.
Kingston today doubled the performance of its Ultimate-series Compact Flash cards with new 266X models, providing a dramatic speed boost to photographers with digital SLR cameras whose work may thrive on burst shots or quick transfers to a computer. While providing official speed just short of its Lexar 300X rival, it should write data at a minimum of 30MB per second -- double that of the older 133X, Kingston boasts. Freely downloadable MediaRECOVER software supported by the cards will let Macs and Windows PCs salvage damaged or deleted photos in the event of a mistake.
Sony today revealed an impending update for the PlayStation 3 that will bring several important updates for video support and customizing the interface. Those who like to customize their video playback will be especially satisfied, Sony claims. Blu-Ray movies can now be forced to play back at a film-like 24 frames per second at 1080p when sent through HDMI, eliminating some hitches for plasmas and other TVs that prefer the slower frame rate. AVCHD support is equally new and lets owners of Sony's SR-series camcorders watch clips either on the hard drive or stored on a memory card. Video settings for PS1 and PS2 games are now changeable in-game rather than requiring a restart, Sony adds.
Although the companies have yet to even complete their merger, XM and Sirius have announced new "A La Carte" pricing plans based on a unified company. At the base is a $7 subscription, offering 50 out of 100 stations on either XM or Sirius exclusively; the major new option is a $15 plan, allowing listeners to pick 100 stations split between both XM and Sirius. A $17 plan, meanwhile, will give access to all of one network with a handful of stations from the other.
TomTom, the maker of popular GPS units like the ONE series, has decided to buy its principal map supplier, Tele Atlas. Reuters reports that the deal is a extremely lucrative one, valued at €1.8 billion ($2.5 billion); for TomTom, the incentive is said to be diversification, since the company's hardware margins are expected to follow the industry into single digits.
Though little known to the public, Tele Atlas is a preeminent company in mapping; aside from TomTom's GPS units, other products that rely on Tele Atlas include Google Maps, and some cellphones created by Nokia. The acquisition will put TomTom in competition with Garmin, the only other corporation to supply maps for its own GPS units.
Sony on Monday returned to semi-professional LCDs with the D24WD1 24-inch, full HD display. Officially intended as a complement to the VAIO R Master tower and other high-end desktops, the screen is described as ideal for both watching and editing Blu-Ray movies. Better backlighting provides about 92 percent of the NTSC color gamut as well as a more vivid 1,000:1 contrast ratio and an above-average 400cd/m2 brightness level. Video editors and even console gamers can attach as many three sources into the LCD with dual, HDCP-encrypted DVI ports and a VGA port for analog computer hookups.
AT&T today announced that its Video Share video call service is now active across most of the US, running in any of the 160 cities where the carrier runs its faster 3G networks. The service offers one-way video with two-way voice calling to let subscribers share footage either of themselves or of their environment. As examples, AT&T says Video Share can be used to help show a product in a shop or give a distant family member a chance to see relatives in real-time. Either end of the conversation can serve the video if they both have supporting phones.
Amp'd Mobile is "potentially" shutting down as soon as the 24th, according to a terse FAQ on the company's website. Although no explanation has been provided for the sudden deactivation, the company hints at an impending chapter 11 bankruptcy and supports claims through its policy for the shutdown: although discovered in just the past day, customer service will be discontinued by the end of Monday, the company says. The shutdown is also expected to be permanent, and customers have already been encouraged to port their phone numbers to other CDMA-based providers such as Sprint and Verizon.
Chipmaker is planning to release one more speed grade of the Athlon 64 X2 before it retires to be replaced by the Phenom, say mainboard designers in Taiwan. Though the company had largely intended to finish with the 6000+ model rated at 3GHz, the advent of Intel's E6850 Core 2 Duo at the same clock rate has forced AMD to introduce a stopgap model while it waits on its new technology, the sources claim. The 6400+ would be clocked at 3.2GHz and ship with a full 2MB of level 2 cache split between the two cores.
The MIT-designed XO notebook is at last ready for production, the One Laptop Per Child project announced today. The finished system represents a significant boost to the performance originally set out for the student PC and will be better suited to the years of use the organization expects. The clock speed of the AMD Geode processor has jumped from 366MHz to 433MHz while still consuming half the power of the original, making it easier to charge using a pull-cord or a solar panel for use up to 12 hours; memory has also been doubled to 256MB of system RAM and 1GB of permanent flash storage.
HTC's Cavalier smartphone is already available in the US ahead of any debut with a carrier, according to a listing by retailer Phone Source USA. The successor to the Dash includes all of the features promised in the earlier leak including the addition of US-native 3G wireless through HSDPA, a jump from 1.3 to 2 megapixels for the camera sensor, and a much faster 400MHz processor to help its responsiveness. Newly confirmed but expected is the addition of Windows Mobile 6 Standard with mobile Office support. Wi-Fi and microSD storage are carried over from the Dash.
Helios began its week with the announcement of the H2000. Catering to an audience that frequently downloads movies rather than buying them at the store, the player not only upscales regular DVDs to 1080i but also common digital formats such as DivX, MPEG-4, and XviD. It also adds a rare level of VobSub support for raw DVD files that need subtitles, Helios says. HD scaling also occurs regardless of the output method, as it works both through protected HDMI as well as component for older HDTVs and VGA for PC displays. Users that already have upscaling receivers can force scaling off to prevent duplicating efforts.
Logitech this morning unveiled the VX Nano, its adaptation of the earlier VX Revolution mouse to an ultra-compact form built for portables. Virtually eliminating the hassle of carrying an RF adapter, the transmitter included with the system is barely larger than its USB plug -- so small that it can be left in the notebook without fear that it will break off inside a bag, Logitech says. While smaller than the premium model, it still includes the Revolution series' unique scroll wheel that can either spin freely for navigating large documents or turn at a normal speed for websites and other everyday uses.
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