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The Japanese government is beginning research that could usher in a dramatically improved Internet structure in less than 15 years, the country's Communications Minister Yoshihide Suga has told reporters while on a visit to Brazil. The official revealed that Japan hopes to create a world network architecture that overcomes many of the fundamental problems that affect the current Internet by introducing faster overall connections, data packets that are more likely to reach their destinations, and security measures that could fight data hijacking or fast-spreading worms. Such a fix is ultimately needed as the Internet will ultimately strain to handle the speed needed by users, Suga argued.
Qwest has become the first American carrier to adopt the HTC S720, a QWERTY slider phone which originally came to North America via Canada's Telus. Qwest's version has been renamed the Fusion 5800, and like its cousin has Windows Mobile 6, a microSD slot, and a two megapixel camera. The Fusion is specifically identified as having WM6 Standard, and stereo Bluetooth, allowing wireless music uses. The phone is now available for $200, with data plans running from $20 a month for 35MB to $40 for 100MB. [via Phone Scoop]
Nintendo today officially unveiled the DS Lite Brain Age Edition, offering one of the first game-specific versions of the handheld available in North America. The new model comes in a unique, two-tone crimson/onyx color and also ships with a copy of Brain Age 2 to get users started on the intellectual training game, as well as a matching black travel case with red trim. The system is otherwise unchanged from the DS Lite released last year. Both the stand-alone game and the Brain Age Edition console should be available in shops this week, with the latter selling for $149.
A recent, two-day outage of the Skype VoIP service -- coming shortly after the launches of new Mac and PC versions -- has been blamed on a coincidental timing with Microsoft's Windows Update, writes the Associated Press. The problem reportedly stemmed from a Microsoft security update, which prompted many users to restart their computers simultaneously. This in turn led to an abundance of login requests, which flooded Skype and peer-to-peer services, ultimately leading to a total network overload.
Sony Canada today inadvertently released information about two of the company's upcoming Cyber-shot cameras, either of which includes previously unseen features in its mainstream point-and-shoot models. The T70 and T200 will each feature large, wide touchscreens of 3 and 3.5 inches respectively that completely replace buttons and dials for adjusting modes; like the G1, users either tap the display with their fingers or use a stylus for hand-drawing messages and other images on top of photos. Owners will have similar access to live HDTV-resolution viewing through either a component AV cable or a dedicated Cyber-shot Station dock.
One of Samsung's Korean brands, Anycall, is on the verge of launching the UFO, a new slider phone. The phone is also known as the SCH-W300, W3000 or U700, the last name being particularly relevant, since it has been mentioned in a leaked Verizon roadmap. As suggested, the phone does have a two-megapixel camera; its main feature turns out to be HSDPA broadband however, in this case as fast as 7.2Mbps. Such speeds are rare enough in Korea, and essentially non-existent in North America. Other features should include Bluetooth, a microSD slot and TV output. No exact prices or release dates have been mentioned. [via Akihabara News]
Two of Nokia's most anticipated North American phones have been proven real today, courtesy of new FCC filings. The N95 8GB is now known to come in black instead of the characteristic silver color and now has raised media controls that should be easier to strike. No mention has been made of the microSD slot of the original model, however, suggesting that the 8GB of flash memory will be the only storage option. This version will also omit the HSDPA broadband of the intended North American version in favor of Europe-only 2,100MHz UMTS despite supporting North American GSM calling and EDGE Internet access.
Samsung today upgraded its SpinPoint N2 drives to include a 160GB model, representing the largest capacity yet for a 1.8-inch hard drive. The two-platter drive has enough space for as many as 40,000 songs or 100 HD-quality videos but is small enough to fit in a portable media player, an HD video camera, or an ultraportable PC where a 2.5-inch drive would be too cumbersome. No sacrifice has been made in speed as the drive still spins at the same 4200RPM as the 120GB model made available in June, Samsung says.
Movie studio Paramount today increased the stakes in the next-generation video format wars and announced that it will release physical copies of most of its HD movies exclusively on HD DVD. The decision was made as the movies are typically authored in higher quality video at a lower cost than Blu-Ray and are playable on less expensive HD players, the company said. Internal studios such as DreamWorks Pictures and Nickelodeon are included, but Steven Spielberg's movies for DreamWorks SKG will be exempt and should appear in either Blu-Ray or HD DVD, Paramount added.
The latest device from IOGEAR is the Digital Scribe, a pen which can draw in ink and on-screen at the same time. Words written in print or cursive can be converted to digital text in 10 different languages, and should a user start sketching shapes or more elaborate art, the data can be converted automatically into JPEG images.
The Scribe is loaded with standard ink refills, but can also be used solely as a two-button mouse, and is bundled with software that creates "sticky" notes that can be time-delayed. The pen is further touted as compatible with Windows Vista and OneNote 2003 SP1, allowing desktop systems to function like tablets. The Digital Scribe requires Windows 2000/XP or later and is now selling for $100.
Augmentix today revealed the XTG630 in a bid to offer one of the fastest toughened notebooks available to date. While the 14-inch widescreen PC can use the latest Santa Rosa-era Core 2 Duo processors (up to 2.4GHz) and supports both X3100 video and 802.11n Wi-Fi, the system is designed to survive the roughest use possible in the field; the XTG's magnesium shell meets military-grade levels of dust- and waterproofing as well as shock tolerance and temperature. Its 14-inch screen is also specifically coated to improve viewability in direct sunlight.
Attempting to challenge Intel, a new company by the name of Tilera has introduced the Tile64, an embedded processor with the unusual feature of having 64 cores, well in excess of most competitors. Moreover, instead of relying on a centralized bus, each core has its own switch and memory, and can thus share data with four neighboring cores. The memory is divided into two 8KB L1 caches and one 64KB L2, with L3 being simulated as necessary up to 5MB.
The Tile64's RISC based architecture is clocked between 600MHz and 1GHz, and is claimed to be 10 times faster than Intel's embedded dual-core Xeon processor; performance-per-watt, meanwhile, is rated at as much as 30 times better. Tilera is now selling its CPU to businesses, pricing a 10K tray at $435 per chip. Indication of a consumer-level chip has yet to be put forward.
Nikon is about to launch the first full update to its top-end SLR camera in years, according to a teaser image for an announcement that has been circulating through the Japanese press. Likely to be called the Nikon D3, the mystery camera is the same size as the D2Xs but would use much more recent technology, which would include a 51-point autofocus system (higher than the 45 of Canon's EOS-1Ds Mark III) as well as 9 frames per second of continuous shooting and a 3-inch LCD. Most details were absent, though the camera is likely to improve on the 12.4 megapixels of the D2 and may include a live LCD preview of the viewfinder.
Rounding out Canon's releases on Monday are two CanoScan units. The 8800F (pictured) is geared towards preserving photos and slides at up to 4800x9600 DPI with a new white LED which is ready to scan instantly and completes image recording three times faster than could be possible with a traditional fluorescent lamp. When processing photos, the 8800F can also automatically compensate for fading, scratches, and other artifacts in older photos. The new photo scanner is 17 percent smaller than its predecessors and should be available soon for $200.
Toshiba today used Japan as the venue for a new class of REGZA LCD sets. The Z3500 series includes a dedicated Linux PC inside that serves up and shares content; viewers can either stream media from any Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) devices or Toshiba's in-house VARDIA recorders thanks to three Ethernet jacks. Two USB ports support external hard drives for impromptu DVR recording, Toshiba says. Regardless of size, each set boasts native 1080p at 24 or 60 frames per second, a 120Hz LCD panel that eliminates motion artifacts, and three HDMI inputs with deep color support.
Epson has announced details of three new photo printers, set to ship in September. All three are said to produce a dozen 4x6-inch prints in a little over two minutes, but can further print images as large as 8.5"x11", with or without borders. The printers can also "correct" a photo automatically, compensating for underexposure or washed-out highlights. The basic model of the three is the R280, whose main advantage is a $100 pricetag.
In addition to its pro and consumer camera updates, Canon today updated nearly all of its PIXMA printer series. Beginning the upgrades is the company's office all-in-one lineup, headlined by the MX700; the 4800x1200 DPI printer and scanner includes an Ethernet jack for a home or office network and a quick-start feature that has the printer completely ready in a matter of seconds; when copying, the built-in LCD lets users crop the image or selectively white out sections before committing the copy to paper. The MX700 includes a 30-page document feeder and will sell for $200; two lower-cost models, the MX300 and MX310, which each drop the Ethernet and on-screen editing to reach prices of $100 and $130 respectively. The MX310 includes the 30-page document feeder.
Canon on Monday hoped to blur the lines between DSLRs and medium format digital cameras with its final camera announcement, the EOS-1Ds Mark III. The new full-frame camera is Canon's sharpest ever and more than doubles the resolution of the previous Mark III at 21.1 megapixels, rivaling Hasselblads and other digital backs in sheer resolution while still being portable enough to use in handheld form. Even at the full image quality, the camera can still be used for high-speed photography at five frames per second for up to 12 shots in uncompressed RAW or 56 for JPEG; offloading photos to and from the CompactFlash card is just as quick as the lower-resolution 1D Mark III thanks to support for new UDMA cards that write twice as quickly as the best conventional cards.
In addition to the prosumer EOS 40D, Canon today expanded its popular PowerShot digital camera line with a new top-of-the line G-series G9 digital camera with a 6x zoom, 12.1 megapixel sensor and new face detection technology; a new line of ultra-zoom SX series of digital cameras featuring optical zooms of up to 10x; and two new PowerShot A-Series digital cameras, including the 12.1-megapixel PowerShot A650 IS and a 8.0-megapixel PowerShot A720 IS digital camera. In addition, the company debuted two new compact PowerShot Digital ELPH cameras: a flagship 12.1-megapixel PowerShot SD950 IS Digital ELPH and the 8.0-megapixel resolution PowerShot SD870 IS Digital ELPH.
Following the leak earlier this month, Canon on Monday officially took the wraps of the much-anticipated EOS 40D Digital SLR Camera with many of the features from its higher-end EOS-1D Mark III dSLR as well as a unique Wi-Fi transmitter/remote. Canon also announced a new entry-level, image-stabilized EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens. Due in stores in early September, the "prosumer" EOS 40D offers a 10.1-megapixel CMOS imaging sensor and the DIGIC III image processor as well as a "completely redesigned" autofocus sensor, a larger 3-inch LCD screen, support for sRAW, a redesigned AF sensor, and fast, 6.5 frame-per-second (fps) continuous shooting capability (for bursts of up to 75 Large/Fine JPEGs or 17 RAW images).
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