News Archive for 07/08/06

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'Touch' interface to spread to other HTC phones?

08/06, 4:55pm

HTC interface spreads

The TouchFLO interface for the HTC Touch, whose control has been likened to that of the iPhone, may be migrating to other HTC products in the near future. The most prominent of these is the TyTN II (below), believed to be the Kaiser, which is now also described as having Windows Mobile 6, 128MB of RAM and 256MB of ROM. It should also have a 360-degree jog dial, and 3G wireless radio. This is on top of previously-known features such as GPS and a three-megapixel camera.

Sharp threatens to block Samsung TVs in patent suit

08/06, 4:25pm

Sharp Sues Samsung Over TV

Sharp today filed a lawsuit against Samsung in the US, accusing the Korean TV maker of violating five patents relating to its LCD sets. The suit alleges that Samsung has been using similar technology relating to most of the core components, including processing techniques that improve contrast and image quality as well as the visibility of the LCD panel. The suit is the result of failed negotiations between the two companies to establish a licensing deal for the patents, Sharp claims. Samsung has yet to comment on the accusations.

Microsoft, Nokia join on DRM-laced sharing software

08/06, 4:10pm

Microsoft, Nokia PlayReady

Microsoft and Nokia have announced a collboration on new software, used to transfer media from mobile phones to computers and media players, according to the news agency Newsfactor. Called "PlayReady," the software will come into release next year, when it will be pre-installed on Nokia phones running the S40 and S60 platforms. The traditional problem with songs and videos purchased on cellphones is that they are often limited to those devices, in spite of their cost and the roaming nature of their desktop companions. PlayReady should make it possible to finally copy the content elsewhere, a move that may help phone carriers by increasing the perceived value of download services.

Thomson promises ultra-minimal A1 video player

08/06, 3:55pm

Thomson A1

RCA's former parent company Thomson has unveiled the A1. One of the most compact players yet, according to the company, the A1 is just slightly larger than its 3-inch widescreen LCD and pushes all the controls to the edges. The relatively spacious screen adds to the effect of watching AVI clips at up to a film-grade 24 frames per second and provides extra room for navigating MP3, WAV, or WMA songs. Thomson finds additional room for an FM tuner and recorder.

NaturalPoint intros motion capture for "everyone"

08/06, 3:30pm

NaturalPoint ARENA

NaturalPoint today planned to democratize motion capture through ARENA, a hardware and software pack for budget editors. Where most systems need a dedicated environment and a crew, the new method requires just the six cameras, the bundled calibration tools, and a motion capture suit. The software itself is well-suited to amateur game developers and hobbyists as it doesn't require a second person to monitor the system while the actor performs in front of the cameras, NaturalPoint adds.

Survey: UK public demands DRM-free music

08/06, 3:15pm

Public demands DRM-free

A majority of the public strongly rejects DRM measures in its music, a new survey indicates. In a poll of 1,700 music buyers across the United Kingdom, Entertainment Media Research and the media lawfirm Olswang concluded that an overwhelming 68 percent would prefer to buy DRM-free music whenever possible. Furthermore, 39 percent would agree to pay extra for this right -- as on Apple's iTunes Plus -- while 18 percent would tolerate DRM, but only if it meant saving money. The remaining percentage is said to either be unfamiliar with DRM, or have no opinion on the matter.

Commodore preps C200 wireless jukebox

08/06, 2:55pm

Commodore C200

Recently revived PC brand Commodore today published details about its new C200 portable media player. Smaller than the Gravel in Pocket, the new device still keeps Wi-Fi for direct downloads, Internet TV, and social networking elements. Foreign movies additionally display on-cue subtitles in SRT or SUB format if the movie supports them; video playback is also unusually broad with DivX, MPEG-2, and XviD joining the more familiar MPEG-4 and WMV. The OLED helps extend movie playback to two hours in spite of the small size.

Outrageous i-Sing turns any song into karaoke

08/06, 2:15pm

Outrageous i-Sing

Outrageous today revealed the i-Sing, its own spin on portable media players. The handheld focuses on karaoke over pure listening by displaying lyrics in time with the music and optionally stripping the vocals; with a built-in microphone, the user can dub in their own singing and either pump out the resulting mix through a built-in speaker or upload the resulting track to their computer if the results are worthwhile. Users less interested in creating new mixes can listen passively to MP3 or WMA songs for up to 10 hours on one charge.

Canon intros MF4270 laser all-in-one

08/06, 1:50pm

Canon imageCLASS MF4270

Canon this afternoon launched the imageCLASS MF4270, a multifunction laser printer it hopes will blur the lines between home printers and bulky office units. The new system is one of the smallest yet that can print in duplex and saves half the paper while still fitting on a desk in a home office. It also boasts 100Mbps Ethernet to share its printing across a smaller network. The most recent laser printing technology also ensures quick output of 21 pages per minute at a native 1200x600 DPI, according to Canon.

Kingston gets music phones started with microSD kit

08/06, 1:20pm

Kingston Mobility Kit

Kingston today catered to the steadily growing ranks of music phones listeners through a new Mobility Kit. While many phones and some portable media players include a microSD card for storage but lack an easy way to sideload music, the kit packs both the storage itself, two adapter cards for mini and full-size SD slots, and a compact USB reader that connects the microSD card to any computer with a free port. The reader even includes its own keychain so users can carry the reader and its storage with them on a trip, Kingston says.

Wibrain reveals business-oriented UMPC

08/06, 1:05pm

Wibrain B1 UMPC

The Korean company Wibrain is developing an unusual business UMPC, codenamed the B1. Rather than conform to standard tablet or laptop shapes, the B1 opts to go wide, splitting a QWERTY keyboard between either side of a 4.8-inch touchscreen. To refine control even further, the company has added a trackpad located on the right, with corresponding mouse buttons and a scrollwheel sitting on the left. Buyers will have to choose a VIA CPU running between 1 and 1.6GHz, with 512MB or 1GB of RAM; the B1 is otherwise a high performer however, having features such as 1024x600 resolution, Bluetooth 2.1, and a 0.3-megapixel webcam.

RAZR2 coming to Sprint in September?

08/06, 12:55pm

RAZR2 for Sprint Leak

Motorola's RAZR2 V9m will be available with Sprint as early as next month, according to a leaked sales sheet (PDF). The carrier will introduce the phone shortly after Verizon's August release and should have the same hardware features but will use the phone's EVDO Internet access for virtually all of Sprint's services: music store downloads and TV streaming will be certain, as will be tethering the phone to a computer to use it as a 3G modem.

Alienware rolls its first ready-made Area-51 notebook

08/06, 12:35pm

Alienware m5550 QuickShip

Alienware today reversed its old habit of producing custom-order systems with the m5550 QuickShip, a version of its mainstream Area-51 notebook specially made for students and others who want their systems immediately. The special version ships within two days thanks to a fixed feature set that Alienware hopes will satisfy most any user: the system arrives with a 2GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB of memory, and a 128MB Mobility Radeon X1400 fast enough to drive many 3D games as well as Vista Ultimate.

Palm 'Gandolf' to become Treo 800?

08/06, 12:05pm

Palm Gandolf is Treo 800?

An anonymous source has leaked further photos of the Palm "Gandolf," the rumored budget smartphone meant to compete with the likes of the Motorola Q. The phone's final name is said to be the Treo 800, not the 500, and it is described as having a much smaller shape that the existing 650, complete with a smaller keyboard that has soft, translucent keys.

The tested phone runs the Garnet OS as previously suggested, but notably, the source claims that the 800 does in fact have a touchscreen, rather than the basic LCD that was once ascribed. Also, if the new name is correct, there is a discrepancy between earlier Gandolf specifications and those for a rumored non-Gandolf 800, which has better camera, memory and operating system figures. [via PalmInfocenter]

Samsung lands two cameraphones at Disney Mobile

08/06, 11:15am

Samsung S105 at Disney

Disney Mobile today added two relatively high-end, stylized Samsung phones to its lineup. The S105 and S110 bring a VGA camera and Bluetooth headset support to the carrier's young audience while also adding a glossy black front with custom graphics. Each phone is loaded with parental controls that limit acceptable numbers and usable times but also uses GPS features to help keep tabs on the phone regardless of what features are switched on. Older children can use traditional cellphone extras, such as media messaging, a speakerphone, and SMS texting.

AMD debuts FireGL Vx600 series with 2GB memory

08/06, 10:40am

AMD FireGL Vx600 Cards

AMD this morning revamped its ATI-branded FireGL pro graphics cards with new models based on the technology first seen in the Radeon HD 2900. Every card shares the same unified shader model that can adapt to pixels or vertexes on the fly and provides full feature support for both DirectX 10 and more recent versions of OpenGL. A mid-range card is up to three times faster at 3D modeling as its previous generation V5200 equivalent, AMD contends. The top-range FireGL V8650 is also the first card in its class to ship with 2GB of video memory and is said to give artists and engineers the chance to produce more complex 3D models.

New 2.1-channel iPod audio system ships

08/06, 10:05am

New iPod audio system

Easyishop.co.uk has unveiled the BooM1 2.1-channel audio system (site not updated) designed for iPod owners. The combination speaker system and iPod dock offers two channels of stereo sound with a 25-watt "BooM Box" sub woofer. Boom1 is compatible with most dockable iPods, and charges any compatible iPod -- except iPod shuffle -- while the portable player remains plugged into the dock. An IR remote control works with most iPod models as well, and the Boom1 features a 3.5mm stereo audio jack to connect with other music players and audio devices. The Boom1 dock boasts a speaker output of 8-watts per channel, while the entire system produces frequency response from 50Hz to 20KHz at -3dB. The Boom1 2.1-channel audio system is already shipping for $270 exclusively from Easyishop.co.uk's online store, according to the company.

Apple prepping 16GB flash iPod video?

08/06, 10:00am

16GB Flash iPod Claim

Apple is in the last stages of preparing a flash-based video iPod, claim sources in Taiwan's semiconductor business. The new model will reportedly draw on 16GB of flash memory and should be ready by late September, according to the sources. No mention was made of whether this model would directly replace today's hard disk-based models, which offer as much as 80GB of storage, or whether it would supplant the already flash-driven iPod nano. The introduction would take place roughly at the same time as the Apple Expo event in September.

Lenovo adds pre-installed Linux to ThinkPads

08/06, 9:10am

Lenovo ThinkPad Linux

Lenovo today became only the second major computer builder in the US after Dell to introduce systems with preloaded Linux, adding the free and open-source OS as an option for its ThinkPads. Systems will optionally have the choice of Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10; the addition not only gives users a viable alternative to Windows but includes OpenOffice for producing Office-compatible work without having to pay for a separate office suite. Unlike Dell, however, Lenovo will provide full support for Linux as well as the underlying hardware. Novell is only involved in providing software updates, Lenovo says.

Garmin intros nuvi 260 GPS with voiced street names

08/06, 8:50am

Garmin nuvi 260

Garmin on Monday morning introduced the nuvi 260, a new improvement on its popular earlier nuvi 250 that adds voice ID for street names. Instead of calling out the distance to the next turn or stop, the GPS unit can intelligently add the actual street to the directions. This helps drivers focus on looking ahead to the next turn instead of distracting themselves with double-checking the turn on the 3.5-inch touchscreen, according to Garmin.

Toshiba reveals third-gen HD DVD players

08/06, 8:20am

Toshiba 3G HD DVD Players

On cue with expectations, Toshiba today unveiled the third iteration of its HD-A series HD DVD players. The new models (not yet pictured) are all sleeker than past models and are half as tall at 2.3 inches, fitting them more easily into home theater setups. Most models also have native 1080p, 24-frame playback for movies that haven't already been converted to a TV-native frame rate and have CEC support to control basic functions of a supporting HDTV through HDMI. Like earlier HD DVD players, each also keeps the Ethernet link for Internet-based movie features and upgrades.

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