News Archive for 07/09/17

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AMD's triple-core Phenom coming early next year

09/17, 10:20pm

AMD's triple-core Phenom

One day ahead of Intel's Developer Forum, AMD has announced its new triple-core AMD Phenom for desktops. AMD's Phenom triple-core processors are expected to be the first PC processors to integrate three computational cores on a single die of silicon and are expected to ship in the first quarter of 2008. The x-86-based desktop processor will complement AMD's Phenom quad-core processors, which the company introduced in May and remain on schedule to ship in 2007. Utilizing the Direct Connect Architecture, the triple-core Phenom features an integrated memory controller and a shared L3 cache. Like the quad-core Phenom, the mid-market CPU also supports HyperTransport 3.0 and up to 16GB/sec of high bandwidth I/O as well as Cool'n'Quiet 2.0 technology that enables independent frequency adjustments to each processor core, and the HyperTransport bus and memory controller.

Media Center picks up Slingbox-like streams, live ITV

09/17, 4:50pm

Media Center WebGuide

Microsoft's Media Center interface is acquiring two new features that will greatly improve its usefulness online, according to news from the electronics promo group CEDIA. The Redmond, Washington developer today announced that it has struck a deal to integrate WebGuide into the software and should soon gain the ability to stream video from a home TV source over the Internet. Similar to the Slingbox, the extension lets users rely on a cellphone or web browser to remotely view shows. Users with DVRs and other recording equipment attached to the PC can also queue shows by issuing simulated remote commands, WebGuide adds. The previously $18 feature is now free and should receive future updates from its developer despite the Microsoft takeover.

HP prepares new dx, HDX laptops

09/17, 4:35pm

HP dx, HDX laptops

Expanding beyond new entries in its dv and tx laptops, specifications have come out on two more HP systems. The HDX9100 is a successor to the current HDX9000; although it should be a desktop replacement unit, little is known other than it will likely retain the 9000's 20.1-inch size. More remarkable may be the dx6600, important for being the first in a new dx series. Limited to integrated graphics on a 15.4-inch display, its main features will come in the form of hardware abilities, such as dual-layer DVD burning with LightScribe labelling.

US seeks to limit cell contract cancel fees

09/17, 4:10pm

Limit on Cell Cancel Fees

Consumer advocate groups today began supporting a new law put forth in the US Senate that could potentially reduce early contract termination fees or eliminate them altogether for some customers. Both the Consumers Federation of America and the Consumers Union have backed a move that would scrap the fees for any subscriber who quits their contract within 30 days of signing up, allowing customers to more easily back out of a poorly performing service without incurring a penalty. The measure would also prorate the fees after the 30-day period so that customers would not necessarily have to pay the full amount to exit a contract.

HP planning new notebooks

09/17, 3:35pm

HP planning new notebooks

Information has leaked through the site Notebook Italia indicating that a number of new notebooks from HP/Compaq are on the way. These include new HP Pavilion models: the dv2600, dv6600, dv9600 and tx1300 notebooks. Graphics options will include the Intel NVIDIA GeForce 8400M, GMA X3100, or GeForce 7100M. The dv9600 can also use the NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GS, and be configured with two hard drives for a maximum capacity of 500GB (2 x 250GB). The Pavilion tx1300 will only use AMD processors, and the NVIDIA C51M chipset paired. It's compact, using a 12.1" display and offering NVIDIA GeForce Go 6150. All models can be equipped with a variety of WiFi and Bluetooth chipsets. Finally, the new Compaq Presario C700 and C500 will utilize the Intel/X3100 AMD/GeForce Go 6100 chipset combinations respectively.

Photos, specs come out for Nokia 8900

09/17, 3:25pm

Nokia 8900: photos, specs

Preliminary information has slipped out for what may be the Nokia 8900, the latest in the company's line of high-end cellphones. Correspondingly, it has a high-gloss black exterior, with metallic trim around the edges; the screen also appears to be relatively large for a non-smartphone product. Another unusual design feature involves its slider mechanism, which does not slide one section over another. Instead the phone "breaks" open, revealing a centrally-located numberpad.

Samsung t429 arrives at T-Mobile

09/17, 3:15pm

Samsung t429 at T-Mobile

T-Mobile today picked up a new mid-to-low range phone in its range of Samsung slider phones. The t429 aims at bringing an added level of sophistication to a frequently stripped-down field. Relatively slim at 0.6 inches, the blue handset incorporates a VGA camera and Bluetooth that let it take pictures, pair with a headset, or transfer files. T-Mobile also supplies the phone with a suite of instant messaging tools to handle AIM, ICQ, Windows Live, or Yahoo chats. Some of the voice features sometimes omitted from the class are also present, such as voice memo recording and support for use as a speakerphone.

Kensington readies new USB laptop dock

09/17, 1:40pm

Kensing sd200v laptop dock

Continuing a spate of announcements, Kensington has launched the sd200v, its latest laptop dock. Meant to expand the usefulness of a laptop when sitting at a desk, it connects via a single USB port, but allows users to attach speakers and up to five USB devices, such as mice and keyboards. The focus however is on a VGA port, which allows an external display; a button on the dock toggles the display between mirroring the existing laptop screen, or treating it as a second screen for an expanded desktop. Resolutions up to 1280x1024 or 1440x900 are supported.

Sprint launches AIRAVE indoor calling tech

09/17, 12:45pm

Sprint AIRAVE launch

Sprint has officially launched AIRAVE, a base station built by Samsung. Now being sold in portions of Denver and Indianapolis, Sprint claims that the product is the first commercially available femtocell, which works with a Sprint phone and a broadband connection to improve the reception of in-home wireless calls.

More crucially for some customers, calling within range of the AIRAVE is unlimited aside from the costs of the AIRAVE itself and a wireless voice plan. Moving out of range transfers callers back to the Sprint PCS network. An AIRAVE costs $50, plus $15 per month for individual subscribers, or $30 a month for families. Sprint plans to to cover all of Denver, Indianapolis and Nashville by the end of 2007, and expand to the rest of the country during 2008.

eMusic fights Audible with DRM-free books

09/17, 11:35am

eMusic Audiobooks

Online music retailer eMusic today revealed that it will begin selling audiobooks through its web-based portal, potentially upturning the traditionally closed-off digital audiobook industry. Reflecting the company's existing approach to albums and songs, eMusic will sell a selection of books in MP3 format. This will allow virtually any computer or handheld to play the files regardless of format support and will let users copy songs freely -- a break from books offered at Audible, iTunes, and similar stores, which often apply copy-protection to each song.

Kensington FM transmitters, notebook cases

09/17, 10:50am

Kensington FM transmitters

Kensington today announced new FM transmitters alongside two ergonomic notebook cases as part of a massive product unveiling. The company's LiquidFM Transmitters allow users to play tracks from an iPod or other portable media device in high fidelity through a vehicle's stereo while keeping the player charged for later use. LiquidFM Transmitters features Kensington's "ClearFM" technology to deliver high sound quality while featuring QuickSeek and RDS technology to eliminate time-consuming tuning and display song as well as artist information on compatible car stereos. The company's Contour Active Cases feature Kensington's "Contour" panel for ergonomic support while carrying a notebook, and feature clean external lines with a slim profile to please fashion-conscious users. Both the Contour Active Notebook Messenger and Contour Active Notebook Vertical Messenger are available in graphite finishes (pricing was unavailable). The company's FM Transmitters include the LiquidFM Deluxe for iPod, LiquidFM for iPod ($80), LiquidFM Plus for MP3 Players ($70), and LiquidFM for MP3 Players.

Kensington rolls out SlimBlade media mice

09/17, 10:30am

Kensington SlimBlade

Kensington today made sweeping changes to its controllers with the release of its SlimBlade series of controllers built for users who want to present media at home or at work. The releases are headlined by the SlimBlade Media Mouse, a wine-red pointer designed for home theater computers; tracking the same as any other laser mouse when on a desk, the use of a scroll ball lets it double as a remote. Dedicated media buttons also let it quickly choose tracks, play or pause, and adjust volume. Like most of the SlimBlade line, the design is notebook-friendly at 25 to 35 percent thinner than most mice and runs wirelessly up to 30 feet away from its USB receiver. It should be available in many areas today for $60 and is accompanied by a $100 Media Notebook Set that bundles the Media Mouse with a thin wireless keyboard and breakaway keypad.

Reports: European iPhone deals confirmed

09/17, 9:45am

European iPhone confirmed?

Several reports appear to solidify details for the European launch of the iPhone. British newspaper The Guardian indicates that the press event scheduled for September 18th will make O2 the official UK carrier of the iPhone, while T-Mobile will be linked to Germany on Wednesday, and Orange will take France on Thursday. The UK deal is said to be complicated; aside from Apple and O2, independent distributor Carphone Warehouse will be allowed to sell iPhones, receiving both commissions and revenue sharing from O2. Simply in dealing with Apple, O2 is expected to give the former 40 percent of iPhone revenue, plus another percentage of the sale price.

SpiralFrog intros free, ad-based music service

09/17, 9:45am

SpiralFrog Music Store

SpiralFrog this morning kicked off the launch of its self-titled online music service, hoping to try a relatively new business model. Rather than require users to purchase music or pay subscription fees, the service is completely free; the costs of media are supported by embedded ads, according to the company. This includes both songs as well as music videos, either of which use the protected version of the Windows Media Audio and Video formats respectively to help SpiralFrog track popularity rather than to deter theft. The store currently holds 800,000 songs and 3,500 music videos from major and independent labels and frequently includes biographies and reviews for artists similar to for-pay stores.

Microsoft loses EU appeal in anti-trust case

09/17, 9:00am

MS Loses EU Appeal

The European Court of First Instance today rejected Microsoft's appeal against a 2004 European Commission ruling that declared the company in violation of European anti-trust regulations. The decision upheld all major points of the decision, which claimed that the American software developer had shut out competitors by simultaneously limiting access to source code for its server software as well as by bundling Windows Media Player. The Court of First Instance in particular said there was no "objective justification" for requiring Windows Media Player's inclusion with the Microsoft operating system and argued that competitors such as RealNetworks were unable to challenge Microsoft's relative dominance of digital media.

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