News Archive for 07/08/09

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Sony crafting motion-sensitive Walkman?

08/09, 4:35pm

Sony Rolly Rumor

Sony is developing a new class of Walkman music player that could be released very soon, claims one Belgian site. Nicknamed the "Rolly," the described player would be designed for partying with an easily-gripped egg shape, a built-in speaker, and a 'choreography' system that likely relates to changing lights or music in time with movement. Whether this borrows technology from the S2 Sports is unclear. A video from DailyMotion (since removed, pictured) of the French house group Justice briefly showed the player in action, the site claims, though follow-up examinations of videos available elsewhere fail to show the device.

Dell experiencing severe shipping delays?

08/09, 4:30pm

Dell shipping delays?

Buyers hoping to get a Dell computer before the school season begins may be in trouble, according to numerous customer anecdotes. The site NotebookReview observes that its Dell forum has seen traffic rise to 200 percent above average for the past four weeks, with a majority of threads being complaints about shipping delays extending into weeks or over a month. Specifically, the Inspiron 1420, 1520 and 1720 laptops appear to be in too high a demand, while the XPS M1330 only began shipping early last week, despite a late June launch.

Ford prices Sync car audio for iPods and Zunes

08/09, 3:55pm

Ford Sync Price Info

Ford today confirmed launch and price information for its Sync in-car audio system for portable media devices. The in-car audio system will be available for 12 Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury car models at a price of $395 and is based on Microsoft technology that uses voice recognition, the steering wheel, or center column controls to control playback of iPods and Zunes without requiring a bulky external adapter. The system is intelligent enough to drill down towards individual albums and songs, Ford says. Built-in Bluetooth will also pair with most any cellphone to enable hands-free calling.

Cowon iAudio X7 touchscreen player revealed?

08/09, 3:35pm

Cowon iAudio X7 Mockup

Cowon's next iAudio player may be a complete rethink of the X5 it replaces, if a reported set of prototype photos is found to be accurate. Like the smaller Cowon D2, the all-black X7 (not yet pictured here) would be dominated by a touchscreen interface with only a few menu and shortcut buttons along the side as tangible controls; the device may also be so thin as to use flash memory rather than the hard disk associated with the iAudio X5 but would still use Cowon's proprietary docking connector.

'Vista Capable' lawsuit given go-ahead

08/09, 3:30pm

Vista lawsuits a go

A Seattle court had ruled that two complaints against Microsoft's Windows Vista marketing campaign can proceed to court. District Court judge Marsha Pechman denied a Microsoft dismissal petition, which claimed that plaintiffs Dianne Kelley and Kenneth Hansen lack the standing necessary for a lawsuit. The two have accused Microsoft of deceiving customers through its "Vista Capable" campaign, which attempted to assure computer buyers that their system would be able to run Vista even though it was bought before the January launch.

Shuttle rolls out SFF PC with Blu-Ray

08/09, 2:55pm

Shuttle G5 3201M

Shuttle today released its first HD movie-capable, pre-assembled small form factor PC. The G5 3201M can be configured with either a BD/DVD-RW combo drive or a full BD-RE burner to read the 25GB discs at 5X and optionally write them at 4X. Every system comes with a 256MB GeForce 8600 GTS that almost completely offloads decoding work from the CPU at the native 1080p resolution of HD clips. Media center features also extend to single or dual TV tuners with support for either analog or digital broadcasts, a Windows Media Center remote, and video out to TVs through a DVI-to-HDMI adapter or S-video.

Telus adopts fast-typing ZTE D90

08/09, 2:40pm

Telus adopts ZTE D90

Canadian carrier Telus has adopted the D90, a phone by Chinese maker ZTE. Its most heavily promoted feature is its typing capacity, which works as a combination of elements. It firstly uses translucent, backlit keys, illuminating all the letter options as a person types. But D90 also adds extra letter and punctuation keys beyond the numeric pad, and uses software called eZiType, which attempts to autocomplete words and phrases in both English and French. As a user continues to type, it eventually memorizes common phrases to eliminate repetition.

Slide leak reveals BlackBerry Pearl 2 details

08/09, 2:20pm

BlackBerry Pearl 2 Slides

Surprise information about the BlackBerry Pearl 2 has been revealed today through a set of leaked presentation slides. Simply dubbed the "new Pearl," the sequel known internally to RIM as the BlackBerry 8130 will reportedly drop the camera from the hoped-for 3.2 megapixels down to 2, but will also be available as a CDMA version -- the first that carriers such as Sprint or Verizon could use since the GSM-only Pearl release last year. Notably, however, Wi-Fi is not guaranteed for both devices; only the GSM version will offer 802.11g to make up for its slower EDGE access, while the EVDO version swaps Wi-Fi for assisted GPS mapping. The microSD card slot is also confirmed to have moved to an easily reachable outer location.

Zen Wav reaches US, undercuts iPod price

08/09, 1:40pm

Zen Wav reaches US

Creative has unofficially begun shipping the Zen Wav to US stores. Only available at first for Singapore, the American version is unchanged and adds built-in stereo speakers to the formula of the Zen V Plus, doubling as a portable boombox at the office or when headphones aren't available. The American Wav also holds on to the proprietary acoustic stand that boosts the speakers' performance by reflecting the sound outwards. Hardware such as the FM radio, line-in recording, and a voice microphone have also crossed over without changes, as have photo and video viewing.

HTC Kaiser coming soon as AT&T Tilt [U]

08/09, 1:05pm

Kaiser Becomes ATT Tilt

(Price and launch info added) HTC's Kaiser has received its final branding and feature set for the US, according to a tip from a visitor to an AT&T store. The carrier has confirmed that the phone is formally known as the 8925 (to replace the outgoing 8525) but will most often be referred to as the AT&T Tilt to reflect its angled, slide-out keyboard. Earlier FCC filings have also been validated by claims that there will be versions with and without the 3-megapixel back camera to please corporate customers anxious about the security risks of cameraphones, though the third version with a front camera has not been mentioned.

LG preps new, 7.2Mbps HSDPA phone

08/09, 12:50pm

7.2Mbps LG SH150

The Korean headquarters of LG -- under its Cyon brand -- has announced the SH150, a rarity in that it is one of the few phones that supports 7.2Mbps HSDPA. Even in its home country, testing of 7.2Mbps services is just beginning. Aside from broadband capacity, however, the phone is otherwise standard for the region, boasting features such as satellite DMB reception, a two-megapixel still camera, and a VGA front camera likely to be used for video calls. The screen is a 2.2-inch QVGA display with 262,000 colors; talk time is rated at 2.5 hours, while it can sit at standby for 150. It should launch in the next few weeks at a cost of 500,000 won ($541).

More details emerge on HTC Sedna

08/09, 12:05pm

HTC Sedna details

First revealed in a roadmap obtained by CTI Miami, HTC's Sedna (P6550) has now had more details attributed to it from a separate source. Key aspects have been confirmed: it supports HSDPA up to 7.2Mbps, and it has a 3.5-inch touchscreen, along with a three-megapixel autofocus camera. Newly exposed however is its intended business role, marked by oddities such as a fingerprint reader, and not one but two SDIO/MMC slots. Options include a credit card reader and an extended battery.

Blockbuster adds online movies with Movielink buyout

08/09, 11:40am

Blockbuster Buys Movielink

Blockbuster today announced that it was buying online movie store Movielink for an undisclosed amount, giving the video retailer its first access to a direct-download service for buying and renting both full-length features and TV shows. The maneuver is not just a quick entry into competition against stores from other competitors such as Apple's iTunes and Netflix but will also let Blockbuster expand the quality and access of the existing Movielink service, according to Blockbuster's chief executive James Keyes. Videos sometimes download too slowly to play instantly and can't be transferred beyond the computer outside of streaming to an AT&T media hub or an Xbox 360, as the copy protection bars users from burning DVDs or creating copies for portable media players.

Creative blames Q4 losses on iPod, Zune

08/09, 11:15am

Creative blames iPod, Zune

Creative, most famous for its sound cards and media players such as the Zen V Plus, is blaming newly-reported fourth-quarter losses on competition from Apple and Microsoft. Losses in the period ending June 30th amounted to $19.3 million, a substantial increase over the $12.7 million lost in the same period last year. Sales have fallen 28 percent to reach $165.2 million. The company attributes this primarily to the continuing dominance of the iPod, which holds 68.9 percent of the US market, but additionally to the introduction of the Zune, and more recently Microsoft's price cuts to clear out stock. Despite it being a new product, the Zune currently holds 2.5 percent of the market.

Alltel lands 2.4Mbps EVDO notebook card

08/09, 11:10am

EC360 EVDO Card at Alltel

Alltel this morning said it had launched the Huawei EC360, a new PC Card for frequent travelers that need its EVDO broadband on the road. The adapter is theoretically one of the fastest mobile Internet cards available for Alltel or other CDMA network providers and peaks at 2.4Mbps downstream; users on the fringes of coverage or in rural areas can fall back to 1XRTT, and a flip-up antenna rests completely flush with the card when not in use to prevent it snapping off inside a bag.

Sony readying upgrade to VAIO FZ notebooks

08/09, 10:40am

Sony VAIO FZ2

Sony is already set to release a feature boost for its 15.4-inch VAIO FZ notebook just a few months after its initial release. The company's B2B site shows two new models in the FZ2 series that would step up the performance and storage of the notebook beyond current models. An entry version, the FZ240, would be powered by Intel's relatively new Core 2 Duo T7250, which is clocked at the same 2GHz of today's T7300 but halves the cache from 4MB to 2MB similar to the 1.8GHz model it would replace. Storage on this and the faster, 2.2GHz FZ285 would also increase to 250GB, up from the 200GB of current systems.

Fujitsu promises 1.2TB notebook drives

08/09, 9:55am

Fujitsu 1.2TB Notebook HD

Fujitsu's research labs today said they had developed a new process that could quadruple the level of storage in notebook hard disks in the relatively near future. While today's drives rely on perpendicular magnetic recording almost exclusively to top out at 300GB, A joint development between the electronics maker and the Kanagawa Academy of Science and Technology has developed a new process for making aluminum oxide nanoholes that are "ideally" ordered in patterns on the hard disk platters, allowing for much finer-grained recording of individual data bits over a large surface when combined with perpendicular technology.

Belkin launches TuneCast 3 FM transmitter

08/09, 9:40am

Belkin TuneCast 3

Accessory maker Belkin has launched the TuneCast 3 FM transmitter, used to broadcast audio from any device with a 3.5mm headphone jack, but specifically from iPods: any generation of mini, nano or shuffle is supported, as well as full-sized iPods from the third generation onwards. The TuneCast runs on frequencies between 88.1 and 107.9MHz, and is powered by either removable batteries or a car adapter, rather than the player's own supply. The currently-selected frequency is displayed on an OLED screen. Belkin is selling the transmitter for $50.

Creative prepping Xdock for iPhone?

08/09, 9:20am

Xdock Coming for iPhone

Creative should soon be producing its first iPhone-specific accessory, according to hints the company's American chief Craig McHugh provided during the company's latest quarterly results call. The company only recently began producing its first iPod-specific accessories but is reportedly developing a version of its Xdock that would be fully compatible with the iPhone, allowing it to pipe audio to a stereo or to wireless receivers. It was unclear whether the update would be a genuinely new design or an updated version of today's model that would be certified to work with the Apple cellphone without causing interference or requiring that the handset switches to airplane mode.

Updated Nokia N95 to bring 3G speed to US

08/09, 8:55am

Nokia N95 with HSDPA

Nokia is readying an update to the N95 that will up the smartphone's Internet access speeds in North America, says Sling Media head Blake Krikorian. While the N95 on sale in the continent supports 3G only on European HSDPA networks and forces the slower EDGE technology in Canada and the US, Krikorian has confirmed that he is currently using an early sample of an N95 with native HSDPA support for North America built-in. The upgrade would let the smartphone stream video as well as greatly improve its web browsing experience, and is widely believed to be a direct result of Nokia's unprecedented success with its device, particularly in a US market that rarely adopts the Finnish company's high-end phones.

Microsoft confirms standard Xbox 360 with HDMI

08/09, 8:20am

Normal Xbox 360 with HDMI

Microsoft has already begun shipping its new HDMI-equipped Xboxes to stores, according to the company and anecdotal reports. An Atlanta, Georgia-based visitor to gaming site Shacknews discovered that his new mid-range console already included the HDMI output as well as an updated manual that reflects the digital video option. When contacted about the update, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed previous rumors of a gradual introduction of the update but would not say whether the low-end Xbox 360 Core model would receive the same treatment.

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