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At AMD's financial analysts' meeting today, the company laid down details for some of its previously shrouded processors, particularly those in future mobile platforms. The first of these is a product codenamed "Falcon," a part of the Fusion line, which will be a quad-core chipset using a core nicknamed "Bulldozer." Notably, it is already being touted as compatible with DirectX 10 and 11, the latter not having been exposed to the public.
Ultra-mobile devices will soon be equipped with the "Bobcat," a CPU designed to consume anywhere between 1 and 10W of power for minimal battery drainage. No other data about it has been made public.
HTC's Kaiser smartphone could end up in the US with two or even three verisions, based on new FCC filings. The Kaiser 100 would serve as the business-oriented model with no cameras at all to help it find customers in security-conscious offices; the Kaiser 110 would add the 3-megapixel camera for normal users while the global Kaiser 120 would add a front VGA camera for video chatting where supported, according to the government body. Wireless tests in the documents also confirm the presence of Bluetooth, a GPS receiver, an HSDPA modem for 3G wireless, and WiFi in every version of the device.
Sony today sent word that its profit had soared in the spring, reaching a record level of 552 million dollars between April and June. The result largely sprung from very strong sales of the company's Cyber-shot camera line as well as its Bravia LCD sets and Handycam DV cameras. This was also a dramatic turnaround from a nearly $567 million loss during the winter, according to Sony's statistics. However, the Computer Entertainment division that handles the PlayStation 3 game system noted that its losses had only continued to worsen, growing to just over $245 million due to the struggling sales of the Blu-Ray console.
Sony has announced that beginning in the fall, and continuing through the winter holidays, its Blu-Ray systems will be the only HD players available in Target stores. Target already carries Blu-Ray movies, but has generally been platform agnostic, although only HD DVD players are currently available from the company's online store. The lock-out could prove to be a major victory for Sony and Blu-Ray in general, since the "big-box" audience served by Target is one of the largest in the North America. Blu-Ray and HD DVD continue to fight a heated sales war, with each side claiming superior figures.
Samsung has announced a deal to embed ShoZu into its cellphones. The service allows users to upload or download photos, music and movies, without first having to load a mobile browser, or even interrupt a phone call. The first Samsung phone with ShoZu will be the SCH-L760, which was recently announced as having blogging-friendly tools, but did not have a third-party company attached. Beyond YouTube, available upload targets will include Dada, Facebook, Flickr and more, with custom uploads being permitted to FTP sites and e-mail addresses.
Bookeen on Thursday promised a genuinely new era of eBook devices with the Cybook Gen3. Its design centers around a 6-inch, 166 dots-per-inch Vizplex e-paper display that provides much better contrast and cuts the refresh rate by more than half. The screen is so clear as to be easily readable even in direct sunlight, Bookeen claims. Just as special is the now confirmed inclusion of support for Amazon's Mobipocket eBook format, which lets users buy and read DRM-protected books from the online retailer.
ASUS is prepping one of its most advanced phones yet for a fall launch, according to a source near the company's Taiwan home. Dubbed the P750, the device would adopt the familiar candybar shape of most of the company's P-series phones but would check off many of the features considered valuable even in larger handsets, ranging from a dedicated GPS chipset to a full-strength HSDPA chipset that would peak at 3.6Mbps during downloads. These wireless extras would be fast thanks to a 520MHz ARM processor, 128MB of RAM, and Windows Mobile 6, the source claims.
Microsoft is now saying that it has sold over 60 million licenses for its latest operating system, Windows Vista. Reuters writes that the figure was announced at Microsoft's annual meeting with financial analysts, and is the most recent data available from the company since Vista hit the 40 million mark in May.
The announcement appears to confirm a permanent slowdown in Vista sales, which ran to 20 million in the first month, but were halved for both March and April. This rate remained relatively constant from the beginning of May until the end of June.
Having made its announcement early this year at CES, Sony has without fanfare begun shipping its TP1 home theater PC. The completed version of the cylindrical media hub runs on a 1.83GHz Core 2 Duo and carries 2GB of RAM, each of which give enough power to decode and display HD video through the HDMI output. The final version also relies on Vista Home Premium for its HDTV tuning and other media center tasks.
Verizon would accept the concept of opening the 700MHz band to any mobile device or provider -- but only under some conditions, the provider said in a statement today. Although still opposed to Google's offer to buy out and free up some of the spectrum, claiming that the search firm would be "imposing" freedom at the expense of special service plans, the carrier said it would prefer that the rules still allow for service contracts that are currently 'enjoyed' by cellphone customers today.
Samsung is developing an even more advanced camera-focused phone than its recent G600, according to a forum moderator. The G800 would share the same 5-megapixel sensor as its lesser cousin but would include a sliding cover that reveals a lens with a 5.6-17.4mm autofocus range, providing the real-world zoom often missing from cellphone cameras. Flash may also be upgraded from LED to a bright Xenon to illuminate more distant subjects. Internet access may also be upgraded to HSDPA to add bandwidth for the front video calling camera.
While North Americans will be among those receiving Fujifilm's S8000fd, Europe and Asia alone will get the FinePix S5800. Like the 8000, the 5800 is a "prosumer" camera, and shares features such as an eight-megapixel sensor and support for SD, xD and SDHC cards. Missing however is sesnor-shift stabilization, as well as ISO levels beyond 1600. Zoom has been reduced from 18x, but still retains an impressive 10x optical capacity. Fujifilm expects shipments to begin in September of this year.
The European division of Sony is set to debut the GD-HD700E, the first HD Video Walkman. Despite its name, the player is not designed for portable entertainment; it is instead meant for viewing camcorder footage, culled from HDV discs or just the standard miniDV format. HD resolutions top out at 1080i, but video can be viewed on an seven-inch, 800x480 screen, or sent via component and HDMI to much larger displays such as TVs. The 700E is also the first Video Walkman to support x.v.Color, a gamut said to double the amount of colors on compatible xvYCC screens.
Microsoft today extended its efforts to push HD DVD by cutting the price on its Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on and including it in a new promo. The attachment drops $20 to $180 and now qualifies for an upcoming deal that will offer five free HD DVD movies from a hand-picked list of 15 titles, giving the same head-start on movie collecting that has previously been available only for Toshiba's dedicated HD DVD players. The combination of videos nearly equals the cost of the drive itself, Microsoft notes.
Hitachi on Thursday upgraded its Wooo flat-panel TVs with individual LCD and plasma sets. Similar to the initial sets, all updates today include Hitachi's own iDVR slot that uses removable hard drives to capture analog or digital TV shows while securing some videos against casual copying. Any video can be put through Hitachi's XcodeHD transcoder to compress video by as much as half for when recording time is more important than absolute quality.
PhotoVu today began shipping its PhotoVu PV1965w 19-inch widescreen wireless digital picture frame that offers a 16:10 wide format viewing experience. The digital frames allow users to display thousands of digital photos or other signage advertising content stored on any Mac or Windows computer, or from select RSS-enabled photo sharing websites like Picasa and Flickr. PhotoVu digital picture frames require no additional image manipulation or software installation. An optional removable USB hard drive or USB flash drive is also available for stand-alone operation, according to the company. All features and operations, including displaying photo collections organized by Picasa or iPhoto photo management software, are controlled remotely from any computer's Web browser on the network. The PV1965w is available for $1,200, while the non-widescreen version -- the PV1965 -- is priced at $1,000.
Fujifilm continued its camera announcements today by releasing two cameras that tackle opposite ends of the amateur photographer spectrum. A new prosumer model, the S8000fd, is the first camera in the class from Fujifilm to bring in a new, wide-angle lens with 18X zoom that accommodates virtually every type of photography through an equivalent 27-486mm focal range. Sports photographers also have access to a new, ultra-fast burst mode that takes up to 15 shots per second by dropping the resolution from 8 to 2 megapixels. Like the Asia-only Z100fd, the S8000fd also incorporates image stabilization using sensor shifts.
Sprint and Google today announced a pact that will provide software for the former's upcoming WiMAX network. The search engine developer will give the makers of Sprint's devices open access to many of Google's web-based apps -- including Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Talk -- to write mobile versions that take advantage of the speed provided by the future 4G network. Subscribers will be able to count on these features not just on computers with WiMAX cards but also mobile devices such as cellphones and media players that could use some or all of the features on the road, Sprint says.
Beginning a surge of camera announcements, Fujifilm has unveiled two high-end compacts, the F50fd and the F480. The former is the preeminent model, as it features an unprecedented 12-megapixel sensor -- a dimension rarely seen outside of digital SLRs. Additionally, the camera introduces a mechanized image stabilizer, and can reach light sensitivities up to ISO 6400. At ISO 3200, however, it steps down to six megapixels, and it is limited to three megapixels at 6400. Meanwhile, Fujifilm's Face Detection 2.0 can identify up to 10 human faces and automatically adjust focus, exposure and white balance for them, even if they are standing in profile or laying down. SD, xD and SDHC cards are supported.
Fujifilm today began a full sweep of its camera line and started with major replacements for its Z-series ultra-compact cameras. The 7.2-megapixel, 3X zoom Z10fd (shown) radically restyles the compact with a unique, asymmetrically curved design and extremely bright colors ranging from Sunset Orange to Wasabi Green. Changes are also more than just cosmetic versus earlier models: a new automatic red eye removal eliminates one of the most common artifacts of flash shots, and users can now use a single slot for either Fujifilm's preferred xD cards or more universal SD and SDHC storage.
Logitech had its second release of the week on Thursday in launching the Wave keyboard. Its namesake design improves on the conventional approach to ergonomics by recognizing the length and positions of most fingers: both the center and outer keys are elevated, while all keys are the same size and subtly curved to hold the fingers at rest. The palmrest is also cushioned to encourage a proper typing position. In addition to media keys, programmable keys let Macs and PCs assign shortcuts to specific apps, folders, or even specific websites. A Media Center button will automatically trigger Front Row on supporting Macs or Windows Media Center on relevant PCs.
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