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The three largest phone carriers in the US, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, are together facing a lawsuit over their e-mail services. A licensing company by the name of NTP is accusing the trio of violating eight different patents; in return, NTP is asking for royalties based on device sales. Certain phones by Nokia and Good Technology (acquired by Motorola) are exempt under earlier agreements.
The suit echoes an earlier one against Research in Motion, makers of the BlackBerry, who also have a self-run mail service. That case was settled for $612.5 million, one of largest patent resolutions in history.
Offering a new alternative for pre-built gaming PCs, Uberclok today began selling its first desktops for mid-range gamers looking for overclocked performance without performing the speed boost themselves. The Ion and the Reaktor are both based on Antec's high-flow Nine Hundred case that allows the system maker to ramp up clock speeds without overheating the system. The Ion's budget-oriented 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo is boosted to 3.4GHz in stock trim, outperforming many more expensive stock models; the Reaktor's already fast 3GHz Core 2 Duo is pushed even further to 3.7GHz with a faster 1,333MHz bus.
Nokia's N81 gaming phone, already released in Europe, appears to be bound for the United States. The company has already received approval for the phone from the FCC, which notes that its American version operates on quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900), with single-band WCDMA providing broadband.
Little else has been revealed; the application omits even common details, such as pictures and manuals. It is known however that the European phone is sold in two versions, with or without 8GB of internal memory, and that both versions should have standard 3.5mm headphone jacks. Americans will also likely have access to the N-Gage gaming store, which launches in November. [via Unwired View]
Major video eyewear manufacturer Vuzix today began shipping its iWear VR920 fully immersive virtual reality video eyewear. Designed for PC gaming and simulation, the glasses use the same technology that the U.S. Military employs, according to Vuzix. The VR920 features VGA progressive scan LCDs with support for up to 1024x768 resolution and a 32-degree field of view for a virtual screen measuring 64-inches from 9-feet. A built-in microphone and adjustable headphones support VoIP (Voice over IP) communications, while a 6-foot slim cable is included with a mini USB and VGA connector. The glasses allow users to switch between 2D and 3D viewing, and weigh 3.2-ounces. The glasses are priced at $400.
LaCie today kicked off the launch of a new line of hard drives intended for artists, video editors, and others who need both high speed and ample storage. The desktop 2big Dual and 2big Triple, as well as the group-oriented 2big Network, include two Serial ATA hard drives that can be hot-swapped for a capacity upgrade or in the event of a failure. They can also be set to either a RAID stripe or a mirror to emphasize absolute speed (up to 90MB per second) or safety; with a mirror, a replacement drive can be automatically filled up to reestablish the backup, LaCie says. Two USB ports on any of the three drives will add even more storage for especially demanding users.
Several US states have petitioned a federal judge to expand oversight of Microsoft for another five years, according to the Associated Press. Oversight of the company originally began in 2002, as part of an antitrust settlement; Microsoft was accused of hampering its competitors' ability to develop for the Windows operating system. This oversight is still set to expire federally and in 17 states as of November 12th, but attorneys for California, Connecticut, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia have all joined to ask for the extension.
LaCie on Wednesday announced the Golden Disk, a newly designed device created by industrial designer Ora-Īto. Offering up to 500GB of storage, the "liquid-inspired device will become the focal point for any design conscience customer looking to add glitz to their work environment," according to the company. "The Golden disk offers a unique jewel style while the outside finish actually contains a small percentage of real gold." Delivering fanless operation, the Golden Disk can connect to via a single high-speed USB 2.0 interface and offers cross-platform compatibility (with support for Windows 2000/XP/Vista and Mac OS X. The disk features a 7,200 rpm drive with 8MB of cache and an average seek time of 11ms. The LaCie Golden Disk, which bundles SilverKeeper Backup Utilities, will be available late October from LaCie direct and widely available via LaCie's specialized dealer network for $190 with a one-year warranty.
South Korea may consider applying trade sanctions against Intel for anti-competitive behavior in the country, according to statements from the country's Fair Trade Commission. The regulatory body said today that it had completed its probe of Intel's practices in the region and was considering action to prevent the company from unfairly excluding its rivals from the local market. No mention was made of which actions might be taken, though many would likely be targeted at the exact accusations leveled against the semiconductor firm when the FTC began its work in June 2005. An official announcement regarding the penalty would be due by October at the latest, said one source.
Microsoft could be preparing one last special color for the Zune before it's replaced with a new model, an image in Target's weekly flyer suggests. The September 9-15 issue of the ad shows a cobalt-like blue version of the 30GB player in the same design as previous models, complete with a lighter blue double-shot trim similar to the black model. Features also appear identical with an FM radio and the same sharing-only Wi-Fi access.
An analyst from a research group called Forward Concepts argues that a 3G broadband version of the iPhone is not only in development, but may be announced in the very near future. Wireless and DSP specialist Will Strauss claims that some form of announcement could happen as soon as this week, and that the possibility exists that a 3G WCDMA iPhone may be revealed at the same time as Apple reveals European carriers for the product. It is unknown whether Apple will opt for the high-speed HSDPA protocol or a more generic UMTS interface, but a separate leak suggests the former.
AT&T is preparing a third Samsung phone to accompany the A717 and A727 flip and candybar phones already in service on the network, according to a new leak with a photo and early details. The A737 would share the same basic concept as either device but in a slider shape for those who prefer the form. The device is also influenced by Europe and includes at least UMTS Internet access and likely HSDPA that would provide 3G speed on AT&T's network. In a break from the previous two phones, however, the new model would have bright red accents and would be explicitly music-oriented, complete with a dedicated media player button on the front face and a control pad that may double as a scroll wheel.
Virtually all of Sprint's upcoming smartphones for the fall have been shown in formal photography today, including the anticipated Palm Centro. A new leak confirms that the Centro will be available within the last three months of the year and should include a 1.3-megapixel camera and touchscreen. It should also bring along the majority of Sprint's streaming and downloadable video services plus instant messaging and mail. An exact price is still absent from the product sheet but is still rumored to reach $99 with a two-year contract.
Tannoy has unveiled the i30, a portable iPod speaker system built on the company's numerous decades of speaker manufacturing experience. The i30 features two 100mm iCT drive units, and includes a Digital Sound Processor optimized for sound quality. The portable system's drive units boast frequency response of 60Hz to 22kHz with sensitivity of 88dB/1W at 1m. The device has no crossover, has point source for accurate imaging, and features an internal power supply for a built-in amplifier. BASH amplifier technology offers class D efficiency, according to Tannoy, with sound quality of analog Class AB despite low power consumption with universal 100-230V operation. Each i30 ships with five common dock adapters to support most iPod models, and includes an auxiliary 3.5mm input alongside video output and a USB port. An infrared remote matches the glossy black system, which is expected to ship for approximately $500.
Fujitsu today broke with conventional notions of security by unveiling its new PalmSecure mouse. Where most computers or mice rely on a fingerprint reader for biometric security, the new design picks up on the vein patterns in a user's palm. The scanner requires no special guides or fixed distance limits for the scan; a user can sit down at a computer and casually place their hand right over the mouse before grabbing it to use the computer in question. The mouse otherwise works as a conventional USB mouse and comes with software to use the palm reader in place of passwords or other security measures.
Sony updated its NETJUKE stereos today with three models that serve as a digital music hub without the need for a PC. The D55HD, M75HD, and M95HD (pictured) each bring hard drives for ripping and storing music CDs to either MP3s or Sony's older ATRAC format; the M75HD and M95HD models add MiniDisc decks that can also add media from Sony's proprietary storage format to a larger digital library. Owners of newer Walkman players like the A800 and S610 can use the stereos as their digital home: a Walkman Port syncs music from the NETJUKE's hard drive and will transfer over full album art and track information pulled across a built-in Ethernet connection. A 4.3-inch LCD displays the full track detail when playing music from the system itself.
NEC on Tuesday released a trio of new AccuSync LCDs for gamers and other video-conscious users. The 19-inch LCD19WMGX, 22-inch LCD22WMGX, and 24-inch LCD24WMCX all support HDCP encryption to display video from Blu-Ray, HD DVD, and other protected sources at the full resolution of the display, up to a full 1080p on the 24-inch model. Both it and the 22-inch display also sport a native HDMI connection that feeds audio and video, allowing users to hook up a PlayStation 3 or a dedicated movie player to the LCD without an adapter or occupying the DVI port. These larger screens also have a special DV mode with six presets optimized for different game and movie settings.
Toshiba this morning unveiled the TDP-EX20U, a DLP front projector targeted equally at home theaters and PCs. Unlike most in its class, the EX20U compensates for screen glare and shadows to cast images at very short distances while maintaining a usable image. A 60-inch image can be projected from as little as three feet away; a smaller picture is visible from as close as 1.9 feet, Toshiba says. The EX20U is also comparatively bright at 2,300 lumens with a 2,000:1 contrast ratio, helping it operate in less than perfect light conditions.
Logitech this morning took the wraps from the AudioHub, a new stand for those who treat their notebooks as full desktop replacements. Its namesake speaker system includes both two 3-watt satellites as well as a 9-watt subwoofer, providing balanced sound without the bulk or clutter of a stand-alone system. The speakers accordingly slide outwards to accommodate larger notebooks and are low-profile enough to fit underneath a larger second display. A single USB connection allows the sound and a three-port USB hub to work through a single USB cable, Logitech adds.
JVC launched three new HDTV sets at the CEDIA Expo -- the 37-inch LT-37X898, the 42-inch LT-42X898 and the 47-inch LT-47X898. The sets include Clear Motion Drive II, designed specifically for full HD (1920 x 1080) displays, purportedly improving motion detection fivefold compared to the original high speed driver. CMD II uses a frame doubling driver (120Hz) and motion interpolation. It also uses a 10 bit IPS LCD panel, which renders more than one billion colors. Other specifications include a contrast ratio of 2000:1, 4.5msec response rate, 500cd/m2 brightness, and a 178-degree viewing angle. The 37-inch LT-37X898, the 42-inch LT-42X898 and the 47-inch LT-47X898 will sell for about $2,100, $2,600 and $3,300, respectively. The company also dropped two new 1080p home theater projectors that deliver a native contrast ratio of 30,000:1 without inflationary tactics like a dynamic iris.
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