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Mexens Technology today released Navizon, a virtual GPS (Global Positioning System) for Apple's iPhone that uses Wi-Fi and cellular tower triangulation to show an iPhone owner their current location. The software adds a "Locate Me" button that allows iPhone users to see their position on a map and get directions to another destination, providing nearly the same functionality that other cellular phones offer with built-in GPS chips, according to the company. Navizon is utilizes a collaborative database where users can contribute wireless beacons' locations that let other members simulate a virtual GPS on their devices. Navizon is also available for Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows, as well as several other mobile platforms. The service is available for $25 and requires that Java is installed on the destination system.
NBC.com today unveiled a new service called NBC Direct that brings the network's primetime and late-night TV shows to users' desktops for a full week after the shows air. "With the creation of this new service, we are acknowledging that now, more than ever, viewers want to be in control of how, when and where they [watch] their favorite entertainment," said Vivi Zigler, vice president of NBC Digital Entertainment. "Not only does this feature give them more control, but it also gives them a higher quality video experience." A beta version of the new service will begin serving up shows to Windows users in October by providing full episodes which will expire one week after they are broadcast. A Mac version is planned at an unspecified later date. Content slated for availability during NBC's launch of the new service includes "30 Rock," "Bionic Woman," "Friday Night Lights," "Heroes," "Life," "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," "The Office," and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," according to ComingSoon.net.
Rumble feedback is set to return to the controller for Sony's PlayStation 3 console, according to reports. Originally a popular feature of the PlayStation 2's Dual Shock gamepad, it was taken out for the PS3's Sixaxis, due to legal threats from technology supplier Immersion. That case was settled earlier this year however, paving the way for future partnership.
A rumble-ready Sixaxis is said to already be on display at this week's Tokyo Game Show, and supported in the upcoming racing title Burnout Paradise. PS3 owners can already use earlier PlayStation controllers for rumble in PS1 and PS2 games, so long as the games themselves include this support. This was introduced with a PS3 firmware update in April. [via IGN]
Sony Ericsson has placed a massive order with fellow cellphone maker HTC, says the Chinese-language Commercial Times. The former will reportedly receive over one million phones in 2008, an amount so large that it should account for 10 to 20 percent of all of HTC's expected shipments for the year. HTC, creators of proprietary designs such as the Touch and TyTN II, also makes a number of reference designs for companies around the world; it has never taken ODM orders from Sony Ericsson however, who is said to be the first A-list cellphone vendor in its roster.
Several companies are announcing plans to carry notebooks with Intel chips featuring WiMAX support, InfoWorld reports. ASUS, Acer, Lenovo, Toshiba and Panasonic have all agreed to support Intel's upcoming Montevina platform, which features Centrino Duo processors. The decree, coinciding with the ongoing Intel Developer Forum, contains some notable absentees: major PC builders Dell and Hewlett-Packard have not signed on, nor has Apple, which switched to Intel processors in 2006. Core 2 Duo chips figure prominently in the marketing of MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks.
Google is still developing its own cellphone for release within the next few months, claim industry connections at Taiwan's cellphone manufacturers. In spite of reports that the search engine creator was focusing only on its own operating system, the sources allege that HTC has still been tapped to produce a handset for Google and that the primary issue is the chipset for cellular Internet access, which may delay the phone's release depending on Google's final choice. While the company has so far planned to use a Texas Instruments EDGE chipset that would let it release a cellphone before the end of the year, the company has been contemplating a 3G chipset from Qualcomm that would offer much faster speeds. This could push back a release to early 2008 through licensing and patent issues, the insiders say.
HP is expecting troubled sales for at least some of its computers late this year, according to a recent study from Goldman Sachs. Financial analysts at the group noted that the PC maker was reportedly scaling back part orders for its systems during the late summer and fall, particularly in the company's home market of the US and for desktops. Notebooks were also affected, Goldman Sachs said. Researchers suggested that the company may have optimistically ordered more than it could anticipate selling; the company may also be anticipating lower sales due to the perilous US economic situation, the report adds.
One of the parent owners of Verizon Wireless, Vodafone, claims that the Apple iPhone has caused little to no drain of Verizon's subscriber base, despite fears to the contrary. Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin notes that in the aftermath of the June 29th launch of the iPhone, it did in fact see enough subscribers switch to AT&T that Verizon's porting ratios went negative, instead of growing; but within a month, he tells Reuters, they had returned to normal. A similar cycle is said to have happened when Apple cut the price of the iPhone from $599 to $399.
Palm's Treo 750 smartphone has made its Canadian debut, and is now being carried by Rogers Wireless. The phone is the first Treo on Rogers' HSDPA broadband service, hosted in a limited number of urban areas; the company has also seen fit to load the 750 with Windows Mobile 6 Professional, which includes features such as Direct Push e-mail and Office Mobile productivity software.
The display is a 240x240 touchscreen, and its memory includes 60MB of free internal storage that can be boosted with miniSD cards up to 4GB in size. Music and other audio can be streamed to stereo Bluetooth headsets. Rogers is charging $650 CAD for the 750 without a contract, but the price can drop as far as $250 with a three-year agreement.
Microsoft's first hardware makeover for the Zune is due in less than a month, says an insider purportedly confirming earlier reports. The source says that an image displaying new models is accurate and reflects a major change in the control system for the Microsoft jukebox. All new models will drop the iPod-like circular control pad in favor of a concept called the "squircle," according to the claim: while resembling a single flat surface with rounded edges, the control will hide a four-way directional pad as well as a dome that serves as a center button. The double-shot black, pink, and red colors captured in the rendering are also accurate, the tipster says, suggesting that Microsoft has abandoned its often criticized brown color scheme.
Energizer Holdings today unveiled the Energizer Energi To Go (different product shown), an accessory providing portable power for Apple's iPod. The new iPod charger makes use of Energizer Lithium AA batteries, and includes a patented intelligent control chip to maximize power transfer to the iPod. The charger features a unique flip design that serves as a stand, allowing users to prop the iPod up for viewing video. Testing by Energizer revealed more than 46 extra hours of music playback on an iPod nano and more than 32 hours of music playback on a video iPod. The Energizer Energi To Go includes a licensed Apple iPod tip and is adjustable to work with fourth- and fifth-generation iPods as well as iPod nano and iPod mini. The charger is due to ship this fall for $30 with two Energizer e2 Lithium AA batteries included.
Hoping to offer an easy way for TV viewers to bring content to both their computers and their Apple handhelds, ReplayTV this morning launched its Personal HD recorder for PCs. The USB device bundles both digital ATSC and analog NTSC tuners into one device and, like newer USB tuners, will play both over-the-air HDTV signals and any analog TV source. Bundled software is the real key, ReplayTV says. The Personal HD is one of the first TV tuners to emerge with explicit support for the iPhone and the iPod touch, allowing users to schedule DVR-like recording and then transfer videos to a format that will play well on the Apple devices' widescreen displays. A unique multi-tuning recording mode is also available, according to the company: the software can preserve multiple shows at once and even supports USB devices from rival companies, such as ATI (AMD) and Pinnacle.
Canon on Wednesday released two multimedia projectors designed for extremely bright rooms and large environments: the REALiS SX7 and X700 both run on enhanced liquid-crystal-on-silicon (LCoS) systems that boost their brightness as high as 4,000 lumens, nearly twice that of most projectors and enough to work in almost any lighting condition. The improvement also has a particular benefit for the top-end SX7, Canon adds; the device is accurate enough to match Adobe RGB and sRGB color output, making it ideal for image editors or viewers who insist on an accurate picture. Lamps in both of the projectares are now much more durable and lasts about 3,000 hours in normal use -- about 50 percent more than earlier versions.
AT&T today announced the launch of the BlackBerry 8820 on its network, bringing the first Research in Motion smartphone with Wi-Fi to the US. Like the reference model, AT&T's edition supports most 802.11 wireless connections, including the 802.11a hotspots often neglected by other wireless phones. This gives it a true data roaming ability that isn't possible with any other BlackBerry or most other smartphones, AT&T says. The carrier's version also brings assisted GPS through TeleNav, push-to-talk service, and online music purchasing through eMusic Mobile as well as Internet streaming from XM Satellite Radio.
Sony today introduced its VAIO FZ Maya Hayuk Edition notebooks, marking the first time the PC designer has provided the 15.4-inch portable in the company's signature Graphic Splash trim. The new take on the notebook includes custom artwork by its namesake New York City artist that decks the outside lid in either a nature-themed "Grow" design or the patterned "Never Stop." But unlike earlier Graphic Splash models, these changes are not just applied to the outer lid, Sony says. A custom engraving on the inside bezel is backed by a matching desktop background and a video interview with Hayuk about the design. Buyers also contribute to the Creativity Explored charity for disabled artists.
(Updated with official confirmation) Following its UK launch, Apple on Wednesday is expected to announce an agreement with T-Mobile to offer the iPhone in Germany. Supporting earlier reports, Dow Jones Newswire reports that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs will announce the company's iPhone carrier agreement with T-Mobile in Berlin at the German Telekom AG. On Tuesday, the CEO launched the new iPhone in the UK with O2, but said -- at the Q&A session following the launch -- that a faster 3G iPhone was still months away as the company balances battery life with expectations of customers. Update: Apple and T-Mobile officially announced that T-Mobile will be the exclusive German carrier of Apple's iPhone when it makes its debut in Germany on November 9.
Intel, HP and Microsoft on Tuesday announced the new USB 3.0 Promoter Group. The new marketing and development alliance is designed to create a new personal desktop connectivity standard that can deliver over 10 times the speed of the current USB 2.0 standard. Also being supported by NEC, NXP Semiconductors and Texas Instruments, the technology will target fast sync-and-go transfer applications in the PC, consumer and mobile segments and will accommodate the growing need for standard digital connectivity and file size of approaching 25GB. The USB 3.0 standard, expected to be completed in the first half of next year, will be backward compatible with current USB products and will draw from the same architecture of wired USB. Intel said the group is "committed to preserving the existing USB device class driver infrastructure and investment, look-and-feel and ease-of-use of USB while continuing to expand this great technology's capabilities."
The source code for LINA has been opened and released under the GPL v2. LINA enables Linux binaries to run with the appearance of being native under Windows, Mac, and Linux, without the need to recompile. The tool also provides a thin virtual layer that enables developers to write and compile source code using ordinary Linux tools. This compiled binary can then run on a variety of operating systems. For users, LINA runs invisibly in the background. Operating systems supported in this release include Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 2003, Mac OSX, Fedora 7, OpenSUSE 10.2, and Ubuntu 7.04. The LINA library currently supports C++ development. The company says that future releases of LINA will support applications written in any language native to Linux.
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