News Archive for 07/10/10

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MySpace to roll out Facebook-like app platform?

10/10, 4:25pm

MySpace Platform

MySpace may be ready to introduce its own hooks for third-party programs much in the vein of Facebook, according to reports from developers. Unofficially named MySpace Platform, the programming interface would let coders create miniature web-based programs that fill a particular role. Like Facebook, the feature would optionally tap into a member's profile information and could use complex code such as Flash controls or videos as well as Javascript. The Fox-owned social networking site would break from its own traditions, however, and let app developers embed their own ads instead of running MySpace-controlled versions.

ASUS preps AMD notebooks for October

10/10, 4:15pm

ASUS AMD notebooks

Computer maker ASUS is preparing three new AMD-based notebooks for release in October. Beginning the list is the 17.1-inch G2K, which features a 2GHz Turion 64 X2 processor, along with 2GB of RAM and a 200GB, 7,200rpm hard drive. The video card is a 256MB Radeon HD2600; importantly, video outputs include HDMI in addition to VGA, composite and S-Video. Miscellaneous features include Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, a Super Multi DVD drive and slots for memory cards and ExpressCards.

Winamp 5.5 launches, echoes iTunes

10/10, 3:50pm

WinAmp 5.5 Launches

AOL's sub divsion Nullsoft today announced the official launch of WinAmp 5.5, the tenth anniversary edition of the company's pioneering music software. The new update is the first to chase iTunes users and includes a new skin, nicknamed "Bento," which gives users an Apple-like view with playback controls, a media browser view, and a source list all in a single pane. Nullsoft's player is further aware of iPods without requiring a plugin and will display album art in playback or when browsing. Tracks can be streamed over a network and an enhanced podcast directory helps find new listening material.

Virgin Canada offers unlimited data, new phones

10/10, 3:15pm

Virgin Cdn. unlimited data

The Canadian division of Virgin Mobile has made a trio of announcements, foremost being the availability of a new unlimited data plan. Unlimited data options are rare in Canada, and often extremely expensive compared to American counterparts; under the company's new "Tidal Wave" package, however, subscribers can pay $10 extra per month for unlimited web browsing, e-mail and other normal data services, as well as access to streaming radio and video subscriptions. Basic voice and data plans through Virgin can cost as little as $10 per month plus by-minute rates.

Shuttle rolls XPC Prima with Intel X38, dual PCIe

10/10, 3:15pm

Shuttle XPC Prima SX38P2

Shuttle this afternoon added to its barebones systems with the Prima SX38P2. The new case design is based on Intel's X38 Express chipset and not only supports the latest CPUs with a 1,333MHz bus but also includes an Intel-made utility that eases overclocking for knowledgeable gamers. It also makes room for two newer-generation, PCI Express 2.0 slots with the full X16 bandwidth and support for pairing up two ATI Radeon video cards in CrossFire mode. Up to 8GB of memory can be loaded into the system despite its small size, Shuttle adds. Builders can fit as little as a Celeron 400-series CPU but scale up to Core 2 Extreme and Core 2 Quad processors.

Warner intros DVD with bundled portable video

10/10, 2:45pm

Warner Portable Video DVD

Warner Home Video today used the DVD Forum conference in California to announce the the first DVD to explicitly provide multiple formatted versions of the same video on a single disc. The release of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on December 11th will include both the full-size DVD video as well as separate copies for playback on computers and on portable media players. Doing so will let viewers officially transfer copies to their computers without having to discover and use a DVD ripper or else buy a separate copy at an online store. It should also future-proof the release for users who abandon dedicated DVD players, said Warner senior VP Jim Wuthrich.

Gefen device transmits USB 2.0 up to 100ft

10/10, 2:45pm

Wireless USB Extender

Gefen on Wednesday announced the a device that allows users to wirelessly extend USB 2.0 signals. Without using any wires, the company's new Wireless USB Extender can transmit USB 2.0 signals up to 100 feet in distance. The sender/receiver system delivers cable-free USB connectivity and is designed to offer plug and play method of removing USB devices from the computer station. The company said the device can be used in extending typical computer peripherals such as keyboard/mouse and printer with full operational functionality; it uses radio transmission based on 802.11a, b, g, n and Extreme USB technologies. The product requires no drivers and supports up to four remote USB devices.

Sony intros boat receivers with HD, iPod support

10/10, 1:45pm

Sony Marine Receivers

Sony on Wednesday released a series of audio receivers targeted at boaters looking for the same music experience at sea as in their cars. To that end, the H905IP (shown) is one of the first of its kind to include a native iPod dock connector with direct control: a user in the boat's cockpit can navigate menus and recharge most iPods directly from the head-end, letting them tuck the Apple player safely away from where it might be splashed by water. It also offers support for optional HD Radio and satellite radio tuners as well as a rear auxiliary input jack. Unlike most receivers, the top-end model is deliberately designed to resemble the equipment found in a typical boat and includes oversized buttons for shuffling tracks and other common music tasks. It should be available for $350 in February.

First Optiarc laptop Blu-Ray drive revealed

10/10, 1:20pm

Optiarc laptop Blu-Ray

A joint optical-drive collaboration between Sony and NEC, Optiarc, has released its first Blu-Ray drive targeted at notebooks. The BC-5500A can only read Blu-Ray media, but can burn dual-layer DVD±R discs at 4x speed, dual-layer DVD-RAM at 5x, single-layer DVD±R/RW at 8x, and lastly dual-layer CD-R/RW at rates of up to 16x. The drive should be available now in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, at a price of approximately £165, or $335. Crucially for many, Optiarc claims this cost will allow builders to incorporate it into mid-range notebooks, instead of the high-end systems HD is usually reserved for. [via The Register]

Dell releases Precision T3400 with new Intel backbone

10/10, 1:05pm

Dell Precision T3400

Dell today upped the ante for its mainstream workstations with the Precision T3400. Abandoning the old naming scheme, the new model is also based on Intel's latest X38 chipset and pushes system bus speeds up to 1,333MHz for newer Core 2 Duo and Extreme chips while also speeding up access to other components and improving the memory ceiling. Users running a 64-bit version of Windows Vista or XP can run as much as 8GB of memory, the Texas PC maker says. While low-cost enough to be used even at home, the Precision also has the option of quad-core CPUs and workstation graphics cards up to NVIDIA's GeForce 8-based Quadro FX 4600.

Motorola shows first glimpses of 2008 phones

10/10, 12:45pm

2008 Motorola phones

Using a public presentation in Amsterdam, Motorola has pulled the wraps on a host of phones it is developing for 2008. Of these the most notable may be the "Skarven," an extremely high-end cameraphone, featuring an eight-megapixel sensor and a 2.8-inch display capable of 16 million colors. It will also have a "banana slider" form-factor, similar to that found on the RIZR Z10. Rumors, though still unconfirmed, have suggested that the phone may also have GPS, Wi-Fi, and 640x480 resolution. The name meanwhile is likely a project code, as it does not fit into Motorola's current schemes.

Myvu intros universal model, new iPod support

10/10, 11:40am

Myvu Universal Edition

Myvu today broke with its tradition of focusing solely on iPods and released the myvu universal edition, a set of video glasses designed to work with almost any video device. Most devices with an RCA output or an RCA adapter cable can output to the myvu just by making a direct connection. This opens up the glasses to Archos players, Creative's ZEN series, and Microsoft's Zune 30 and 80 devices for the first time, the company says. Similar to the iPod-oriented version, the universal model has noise-canceling earbuds and runs for up to four hours on a rechargeable battery. Shipments begin later this fall for $200.

Sharp rolls out SP700 media jukebox, dictionary combo

10/10, 10:55am

Sharp SP700

Hoping to cater to travelers who may need to learn a language as well as have a source of entertainment on the road, Sharp today unveiled its new SP700 media player. It serves as a full entertainment device with MP3 music as well as video in DivX, most MPEG formats, WMV, and XviD formats; users in Korea can also tune into digital wireless broadcasts through a DMB tuner and antenna. On a vacation or business trip, the device can instantly become a learning dictionary, according to Sharp: the 30GB hard disk inside stores multiple learning guides and reference dictionaries for Chinese, English, and Japanese as well as optional packs for other languages. Video capability and a stylus-driven touchscreen mean users can receive visual and hands-on instruction without needing a teacher close at hand, the company says.

BlackBerry Pearl 8130 arrives at Sprint

10/10, 10:20am

BlackBerry 8130 at Sprint

Sprint today announced its anticipated launch of the BlackBerry Pearl 8130 in the US, becoming the second carrier in the country to offer the compact smartphone after Verizon. Like the reference version, Sprint's version offers true GPS and is tightly connected to the provider's Navigation service for automatic routing, voice directions, and location searches. The Pearl also takes advantage of its 3G access for music downloads and video streams from the Sprint Music Store and Sprint TV respectively, and provides on-demand news updates through customized feeds.

Samsung unveils trio of Euro music phones

10/10, 10:00am

Samsung i450 F330 F210

Samsung Mobile today confirmed three phones for a primarily European audience that focus almost exclusively on media playback and are designed to work well for the role without having to use traditional phone controls. The i450 (pictured) is the most advanced and parallels Nokia's N95 in more ways than one with its media emphasis: a dual slider action leaves the Samsung device either in a traditional phone mode with a Symbian 60 interface or in a media playback mode, with Nokia's dedicated buttons replaced by a hidden speaker but with software a near match for the N95's media player. 3G Internet access is provided through HSDPA up to its peak 3.6Mbps for video calls or streaming, and the microSD card slot holds up to 4GB of movies or music. Samsung plans to release the i450 first in Italy by the end of the month for 360 Euros ($507) before discounts and will spread the phone to most of Europe soon afterwards.

Panasonic adds AT&T's 3G to Toughbooks

10/10, 8:55am

Panasonic Toughbook 3G

Panasonic on Wednesday unveiled two Toughbook portables that now have high-speed Internet access through AT&T's cellular network. Both the Toughbook 19 convertible tablet (pictured) and the more conventional Toughbook 30 now have the option of a Novatel HSDPA modem that will let them connect at 3G speeds both in those AT&T areas with full access as well as when roaming in Europe through HSDPA or UMTS networks. In most other areas the Toughbooks can fall back to 2.5G-level EDGE or even the most basic GPRS if the area is on the very fringe of coverage, Panasonic says.

Nintendo launching Wii Fit first in Japan

10/10, 8:20am

Wii Fit Japan Launch Soon

Nintendo this morning revealed that it would release the Wii Fit before the end of the year in Japan, boosting the company's already high console sales for the holidays. The peripheral and game combo is unchanged from its announcement at E3 this year and includes a balance board that reacts to pressure on each half; users can play dance and exercise games, including the Wii Fit game bundle that comes with the console or new games made to support the accessory. Mario and Sonic at the Beijing Olympics will sell ahead of the hardware on November 22 to help get users started.

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