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In an abnormal strategy, fashion producer Liz Claiborne has announced plans to make electronics gear targeted at women. Reuters writes that the Accessories line should launch in Best Buy stores in October, and consist of holders for virtually every purpose, from bags and sleeves for laptops to cases for cameras, phones and media players. Prices for some of the products may be as low as $25, but reflecting Claiborne's status as a "premier" fashion house, the upper limit of the line should reach $200. Only 250 Best Buy stores are currently set to carry Accessories items.
Nearly all the devices Verizon plans to introduce by the end of the year have been revealed through a leak of the company's roadmap. The new update elaborates on a previous claim and reveals new details about previously hinted-at devices; the SMT5800 is now known to be a CDMA version of the HTC Vox (pictured) which adds faster EVDO Revision A with an upgrade and includes a 2-megapixel camera. It will ship in October preloaded with Windows Mobile 6, according to the report.
Firefly Mobile, the carrier responsible for its namesake kids' phone, has submitted a new design for approval by the FCC. Whereas its predecessor limited kids to calling parents or for help, the W100 has a proper keypad, in the form of a touch-sensitive area that changes based on the task: numbers appear for dialing, while selecting a game will bring up directional arrows. The W100 also adds music and video playback, along with a camera, bringing it closer to par with its adult counterparts. No more details have been formally announced. [via Engadget]
Texas Instruments hopes to leap on the back-to-school audience with the announcement of several new calculators useful up to college level. Topping the releases is the TI-84 Plus Silver Edition; the updated version avoids the typically safe looks of most calculators with the online option of 14 different colors for the front or back, from silver to purple. The hardware itself stores 94 apps (with more transferred via USB) that handle math from pre-algebra to biology and calculus and includes 1,000 SAT/ACT test questions for students exiting high school. TI sells it online today for $135.
LimeWire, more famous for its peer-to-peer sharing software, has declared its intentions to go into legitimate music sales. In keeping with a growing trend, files from the company will be DRM-free; it will also be encoded at 256Kbps, a quality higher than the vast majority of stores. Backing the launch will be tracks from two different sources: indie label distrubtor IRIS, and Nettwerk, a label home to artists such as the Avril Lavigne, Delerium and Sarah McLachlan.
XtremeNotebooks on Wednesday touted itself as the first system builder in the States to ship a four-core notebook: the Xtreme 917V is based on the Taiwan-born Clevo D900C and scales up to a 2.66GHz Core 2 Quad reportedly fast enough for gamers and professional workstations. In contrast to a few versions of the 17-inch design, however, the company also offers a 512MB GeForce 8700M GT chipset as an option for DirectX 10-class 3D as well as up to dual 512MB GeForce Go 7950 GTX chipsets for raw speed.
LightScribe Direct Disc Labeling today rolled out its LightScribe Travel Kit, allowing users to add a personal touch to vacation or trip-oriented DVD and CD label designs. Owners of LightScribe-enabled drives can download travel DVD and CD label designs, mailers, and disc sleeve designs that reflect favorite trip memories to share with family and friends. The kit allows travelers to create personalized custom designs that integrate travel photos with text, and can label photo as well as video CDs/DVDs with a photo from the vacation to quickly identify a favorite visual memory. The LightScribe Travel Kit's DVD/CD label tips, templates, and resources are available for free via lightscribe.com.
Polk Audio helped kick off the launch of the Stiletto 2 by releasing a special version of the miDock Portfolio. Capitalizing the portability of Sirius' new player, the speaker dock flattens for travel but unpacks to put out more powerful sound at the office or a camping trip. Like the Stiletto itself, the miDock runs without needing an AC adapter but uses AA batteries for its charge. Plugging the dock into a wall outlet also charges the Sirius radio.
Canadian cell provider Telus may be the first home in North America for the HTC Iris, claims a network insider. The 2-megapixel, GPS- and Wi-Fi-equipped smartphone will reportedly sell under its alternate S640 name and will be released alongside or close to a localized version of Palm's Treo 755p. Both are most likely due in early September, according to the company source, though their pricing and the incorporation of any custom Telus features were not mentioned in the alleged leak.
Denis Kvasov, former head of the Russian download site AllofMP3.com (now MP3Sparks), has escaped damages sought against him by the international music industry. The Associated Press writes that a Moscow judge threw the case out on Wednesday, observing that while the Russian government passed laws aimed at the site last September, Kvasov ended his association with the company in December of 2005.
The case was filed by EMI, the Warner Music Group and the Universal Music Group, who together asked for $587,000 from Kvasov. The labels accused the executive of selling their artists' music without permission, as well as reproducing it, the latter act indeed being illegal while Kvasov was in charge. Both arguments were rejected.
Traffic in Blu-Ray movies has outperformed its rival HD DVD by more than twice as much this year, according to a new study by Home Media Research. The organization's report estimates about 1.6 million copies of Blu-Ray movies sold between the start of the year and July 1st, with HD DVD only reaching 795,000. Reasons were not provided for the jump but may include the release of Casino Royale earlier in the year, which set sales records for HD movies, as well as wider sales of Blu-Ray players thanks in part to Sony's PlayStation 3. Sales are also likely to tip in Blu-Ray's favor for the second half of the year thanks to the movie 300, which is also selling in record numbers and favors Blu-Ray over HD DVD, according to the research group.
Stealth Computer today took the wraps off the LittlePC 350 PCI, one of its smallest-yet systems to feature expansion. The system is 2.75 inches tall but finds room for an average-sized PCI slot, allowing for options that would be impractical in typical very small systems, such as a dedicated video card or sound hardware. Though modest in speed with either a Celeron M or a Pentium M, the low power demand lets the PC attach to a car's 12-volt port or other mobile power hookups. A rugged, aluminum shell is said to toughen the Little PC against shocks while also preventing overheating in some tighter spots.
Following its Sonos deal this morning, Sirius has also released three new satellite receivers. The pictured Stiletto 2 is truer to its portable roots with a slimmer, lighter shell and a boosted Wi-Fi capability that connects to 802.11g access points, more secure connections, and paid hotspots. Users also have access to Sirius' premium stations and can flag either individual songs for permanent copies through a "Love" button or schedule recording in advance for up to 100 hours of shows. A microSD slot adds to the storage space with up to 2GB of extra music.
Helio on Wednesday morning claimed the record for the thinnest flip phone in the US with the release of the Fin, also known as Samsung's A513. The blue-tinted handset is just 0.45 inches thick but packs features absent from most thicker phones and its close cousin, AT&T's A717. A 3-megapixel camera improves over the 2 megapixels of the AT&T model. The Fin is similarly stronger in music with a dedicated play/pause button, 100MB of internal storage, and an enhanced microSD slot with up to 4GB of AAC/MP3 songs or H.264/MPEG-4 videos. GPS navigation has also been given a boost, says Helio: beyond the carrier's trademark Buddy Beacon and Google Maps, a deal with Garmin provides voice-based driving directions. Subscribers additionally have access to RSS news feeds from their phone.
Sharp today prepped for the holiday season with the launch of its AQUOS D64U sets. The new design tackles the problem of expanding LCD sizes by cutting back on the effective footprint: each set is about 25 percent thinner on average than the D62U models, roughly 20 percent lighter, and sports a thinner display frame. A new 42-inch set is same size as the old 40-inch model, Sharp boasts. All sets are 1080p-native and have had their dynamic contrast ratios stepped up to 10,000:1 while improving black and red levels. Every set also claims a 4ms pixel response time and a 176-degree viewing angle range.
Sonos today unveiled a deal with Sirius that would bring the satellite radio provider's content to the Digital Music System media hub (pictured), allowing owners to stream stations wirelessly throughouta house. The agreement brings most of Sirius' channels and includes higher-profile content such as Howard Stern's show, Martha Stewart Living, the NFL, and most music networks. A software update from Sonos allows the main controller to pull the stations from the Internet and delivers them over a local network to each Sonos receiver in the home. This cuts past the signal strength problems inherent to using satellite radio indoors and also gives it multi-room access, Sirius says.
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