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Microsoft has introduced two new wireless notebook mice -- the Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000 and the Wireless Notebook Laser Mouse 7000. The former requires no transceiver or extensive setup process and uses a high definition laser. It operates on the 2.4GHz Bluetooth spectrum, is ambidextrous and comes with a carrying case. The mouse also features various power features like a battery life indicator on the unit, an on/off button and three-plus months of battery life. The Notebook Laser Mouse 7000 offers similar functionality and specs, but also features a button to access Windows Vista's Flip 3D feature, letting users flip through open windows. Other software features include a magnifier tool and back button. There is also a snap-in transceiver on the bottom of the mouse that turns the device off when snapped in. It boasts six months of use with one battery.
Microsoft could soon implement a new watermarking system for music that would discourage piracy without restricting the usefulness of the music, according to a newly granted patent. Titled "Stealthy Audio Watermarking," the patent originally filed in May 2004 would use audio analysis to automatically place a digital signature inside the sound itself. Encoding software on a server would either look for gaps in the energy levels of a given track or create an uneven "chess" pattern, inserting data bits in areas where they are unlikely to affect the sound. Authorized software could then piece together a signature from the resulting information, identifying who bought a given track without requiring a separate digital rights layer that might restrict which devices can play the audio file.
Owners of analog TVs should be able to hold on to them past a looming deadline, the Federal Communications Commission has ruled. While analog TV broadcasts will be officially ended in the United States as of February 2009, a panel voted five to zero to require cable company support of analog TVs until at least 2012, and possibly beyond. This may impose a significant financial burden on the cable providers, since over-the-air broadcasts will be divided solely between digital SD and HD; the only solutions will involve either converting to analog before streaming -- reducing available bandwidth -- or providing conversion hardware to each subscriber.
TRENDnet has launched a new 802.11n router, the TEW-633GR Wireless N Gigabit Gaming Router. Three antennas carry the wireless signal, which supports speeds up to 300Mbps over an indoor distance of 500 feet. Range extends to 1,300 feet outdoors. For added security, the wireless can be protected with a firewall, encrypted with WPA2-PSK, or shut off entirely. Four gigabit LAN ports allow use when wireless is not an option. The "Gaming" moniker refers to the prioritizing of lag-sensitive online titles, as well as 24 preset hosting and port triggering configurations. The 633GR is Mac, Windows and Linux compatible, and should soon be available in retail stores.
Sportline today shipped a new flagship for its Solo 900 exercise watches that is claimed to be the first of its kind. The Solo 960 is the first of its kind to include both a motion-based pedometer and a heart rate monitor without demanding any straps or other external devices. Runners can now track distance, calories, and other factors over the course of days or weeks while also checking the performance of their heart at the same time. The system is stable enough to accurately capture all the data even while on the run, Sportline says.
An anonymous source indicates that an unusual HTC phone is headed to T-Mobile. Called the Juno, it is said to run Windows Mobile, but with a "wow screen and interface," which the source adds is most likely the TouchFLO interface found on the namesake Touch phone. Somewhat resembling the iPhone's concept, TouchFLO lets users control a device through finger gestures on a large touchscreen.
More remarkable may be the keypad, which is described as a QWERTY keyboard, but more closely resembles the SureType scheme used in RIM's BlackBerry phones. The compressed layout of BlackBerries allows relatively high-speed typing without occupying as much space as a full keyboard. The Juno is currently pegged as a T-Mobile exclusive, and is expected to ship in mid- to late October. [via Boy Genius Report]
Palm's shareholders today greenlighted its recent plan for partial buyout of the company by private equity firm Elevation Partners, giving the company a 25 percent stake in the smartphone maker for about $325 million. Palm in return would pay about $9 per share, or $940 million, to shareholders to compensate for their reduced influence on the company. The deal would sharpen the company's performance through "renewed innovation and focused execution," according to Palm chief Ed Colligan. The company has recently been struggling to upgrade its lineup under current conditions, having just canceled the Foleo smartphone companion and running all of its non-Windows smartphones on aging PalmOS 5 software.
Motorola today launched a new range of colorful license-free walkie talkies for simple two-way radio communication. The company's TLKR T3 and T5 (site not updated) feature a practical hanging loop that enables a wide range of ways to carry as well as use the devices, which are designed for young people who enjoy being connected to friends, according to Motorola. The T3 comes in a pack of two that each feature eight channels for selecting the best frequency, up to 20 hours of battery life, a 5km range, a sleep function, and channel scan/monitor functionality. The T5 includes all of the aforementioned features -- minus battery life -- while adding 121 codes to channels for enhanced privacy alongside a 6km range. Both walkie talkies are slated for shipment in October, though Motorola has yet to confirm pricing for either model.
Sony Japan has announced four new Blu-Ray recorders, set to ship on November 8th. All four are equipped with AVC/H.264 encoders, which allows burning material from AVCHD cameras. Critical to their appeal however is the inclusion of hard drives: the BDZ-X90 holds 500GB, while the BDZ-T70 and L70 hold 320GB, and the BDZ-T50 fits 250GB. The X90 records in both BD-R/RE and DVD-RW, and features 1080p60/24 through gold-plated HDMI, in addition to two digital and two analog TV tuners.
Logitech today strengthened its PlayStation 3 accessory lineup with a pair of chat peripherals. The MediaBoard Pro enhances the peripheral maker's wireless keyboard with a set of media keys that streamline accessing the PS3's home menu, music and video controls, and web browser shortcuts. It also comes in a glossy black that matches the Sony console, Logitech says. The scrolling trackpad and notebook-style thin keys carry over from the original MediaBoard. Logitech plans a release in October for $80.
Pure Digital has launched its latest camcorders, the Flip Video Ultra series. The focus of the cameras is on sharing, to which end they have on-board software for uploading to YouTube, AOL, and other video websites. Users can also perform simple editing and cataloguing of clips, as well as one-click e-mail transfers to peers. Remaining features are mainly cosmetic, namely a compact size, and five different colors: black, white, purple, orange and green. Zoom is limited to 2x digital. The cameras are both Mac and PC compatible, and are shipping in 1GB (30min.) and 2GB (60min.) formats for $150 and $180.
Confirming a recent FCC leak, wireless carrier AT&T today became the first North American provider to pick up the Nokia 6555. True to expectations, the phone runs on the US company's HSDPA network at 3G speeds; a CV button immediately switches the device into AT&T's video streaming services, and a committed MEdiaNet key accesses constantly updated Internet news feeds. The carrier-specific phone also taps into MP3 and WMA subscription services from eMusic and Napster as well as live audio streaming across the Internet from XM Satellite Radio.
Loopbag has begun shipping a new backpack designed to carry portable notebooks like Apple's 13-inch MacBook alongside other important gear. The new Vanguard Backpack is designed around Loopbag's patented "Total Opening" frame, with one waterproof zipper that runs around the entire bag to produce a harmonious round shape as well as a peculiar design. The bag allows users to access the contents from anywhere -- via the main pocket or secured back pockets -- while hiding the zipper's pullers. Environmentally-friendly "Airguard" nylon offers a soft cotton-like touch and a matte aspect that is waterproof to protect contents in the multiple pockets from potentially damaging weather conditions. Loopbag's Vanguard backpack is priced at $130, and is available from kolobags.com. Loopbags also introduced accompanying Messenger and Street bags in the same style.
Acer's LCD display division today shifted away from its budget focus courtesy of a completely new LCD line. The P-Series displays emphasize high contrast ratios above all else; the budget 19-inch P191Wd starts off at an already high 2,000:1, climing to 2,500:1 for the 20-inch P201Wd and 22-inch P221Wd, and topping out at 3,000:1 for the premium 24-inch P241Wd. Every model also includes HDCP encryption support for full HD videos, either over a native HDMI input for the 24-inch screen or DVI for the three smaller models. A designer look is also the focus with a glossy, black bezel present on every model along with relatively inconspicuous controls.
Microsoft today launched a pair of USB webcams that it promises are ideal for sharing photos as well as video. The desktop-minded VX-7000 2-megapixel camera and its notebook sibling, the 1.3-megapixel NX-3000, are each intended to snap high-resolution photos and exchange them through a new feature known as Photo Swap: a single on-screen button snaps and sends a photo in the middle of a Windows Live chat, saving the trouble of preserving and manually transferring each shot during a video session. A similar button automatically uploads photos to Windows Live Spaces, and a hardware button streamlines bringing up a new contact by presenting a list of online contacts immediately in the middle of the screen.
Lenovo on Wednesday rolled out the ThinkCenter A61e, a new desktop for eco-friendly users. The tabletop system is no larger than a phonebook and is made of as much as 90 percent recyclable material. Its active energy consumption is also low through the use of 45-watt AMD Athlon 64 X2 and Sempron processors: the efficiency is such that the system can be powered exclusively through a solar panel, according to Lenovo. An 85 percent efficient power supply and 90 percent recyclable packaging also contribute to its green status.
Microsoft is preparing the Mobile Memory Mouse 8000, a laptop mouse which combines several important features. Above all is 1GB of internal memory, allowing owners to treat the 8000 as a USB flash drive. The mouse also offers not one but two wireless options: Bluetooth or 2.4GHz, the latter through the same USB port that allows file transfer. A switch flips between the two. The USB connector further offers magnetic charging through a direct connection.
Palm today launched back into competition with Apple and rivals through the Treo 500v. Geared for the everyday user rather than Palm's more typical business crowd, the 500v focuses on standard e-mail, instant messaging, and web access; but unlike most phones in its range, the refreshed Treo is said to run at 3G speeds over UMTS to deliver a more broadband-like Internet connection. The upgrade is also the first Treo anywhere in the world to sport a 2-megapixel camera, which in the new phone can provide stills with up to 2.5X digital zoom or capture video. Onboard storage is larger at 256MB, with 150MB available to the user and a microSD slot providing more space for music and movies.
Logitech this morning launched the Pure-Fi Elite, the new top end of the company's still-young iPod speaker dock range. Catering to users looking for a bookshelf speaker replacement, the system produces 80 watts split across two 1-inch tweeters and two 4-inch woofers, cleanly separating treble and bass. Users can also tweak the sound field to add a 3D spatialization effect or enhance higher and lower end frequencies. Like the company's generalized AudioStation, the Elite also brings a large LCD that displays track progress from an attached iPod or tuning info from the built-in AM/FM radio.
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