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AT&T is confirming recent, widespread outages of U-verse throughout all the 33 regions where it is available, the Associated Press writes. The IPTV service went down entirely for many customers on Sunday morning, and while AT&T managed to shortly return some local channels -- in addition to larger cable news and sports networks -- it was not until Sunday night that AT&T could resume full service to all areas. In some cases, customers were required to reboot their cable boxes.
Microsoft's first artist-specific Zune will aim at Latin music fans, according to Billboard. The Redmond, Washington-based company will reportedly try to spice its lineup by producing a limited-run version of one of its players by preloading an advance copy of the musicians' album as well as music videos, photos, and a customized look. The choice of the successful but niche group "is a statement" that shows Microsoft cares about a wider audience, according to the company's multicultural marketing chief Javier Farfan.
The Federal Trade Commission is deliberately avoiding a probe of US chip giant Intel, one Democrat politician charges. In August, Sen. Charles Schumer of New York teamed with Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (also D-NY) to ask for the FTC investigation, on the basis that Intel is said to be offering rebates to computer builders who refuse to buy rival AMD products. The FTC replied in September by saying it could not disclose any investigations, and on Monday a Schumer spokesman accused the FTC of "slow-walking" concerns, according to the Associated Press.
Gateway's starter label eMachines today revealed two desktops aimed at increasing the baseline performance for the entire lineup. The T5234 will cost no more than $485 before a rebate but will hold the most storage of any eMachines system yet at 320GB; it will also provide dual-core performance to an audience used to single-core systems with a 2.1GHz Athlon 64 X2, eMachines says. Built-in GeForce 6150 SE video and 1GB of system memory should also provide it enough power to drive Vista Home Premium's more elaborate Aero Glass interface.
Nokia has announced that the both the regular (microSD) and 8GB versions of its N81 gaming phone should now be available "globally." While this term is vague, it would seem to include North America; the phones were already available in Europe, and are known to be FCC-approved in quad-band GSM form, with single-band WCDMA. The primary attraction of the N81 is the yet-to-be-launched N-Gage gaming service, but the phones should already include demos of FIFA 07, Space Impact Light and Asphalt 3: Street Rules, which will be unlockable as soon as N-Gage is opened to the public.
HP's Pavilion notebooks have been suffering from a critical problem with their wireless access that the company has yet to publicly acknowledge, say users reporting the issue on the official support forums. Users of both the 15-inch dv6000 and 17-inch dv9000 series portables have reported their Wi-Fi chipsets disappearing from Windows, forcing users to connect with Ethernet. Reinstalling Windows and updating the notebook's firmware have not provided a fix, according to customers. A replacement mainboard is said to be the only probable solution.
AMD is planning to revamp its ATI-branded graphics card line with new mid-range models next month, claims a leak from the Chinese division of enthuisiast site Tom's Hardware. To be called the Radeon HD 3800 series, the graphics chipsets will reportedly improve performance chiefly through a die shrink: all models will be built on a 55-nanometer process versus the 65 nanometers of today's Radeon HD 2400 and 2600 cards, allowing cards built on the technology to run faster without generating extra heat. Unlike past releases, these mainstream cards will still have a full 320 "stream" processors to handle pixel and vertex units. The memory pathway will also be 256-bit, or twice as wide as the outgoing Radeon HD 2600, according to the report.
HP today announced that multiple notebook models would soon have the option of embedded 3G cellular Internet access from Sprint, allowing the devices to connect to Sprint's EVDO Revision A network at several hundred kilobits per second without a separate network adapter consuming a card slot or USB port. The upgrade will affect models as small as HP's Compaq 2710p convertible tablet (pictured) and should scale up to the 14-inch Compaq 6510b, the 15.4-inch 6910p, as well as the Compaq 8510p and 8510w desktop replacements at 15.4 and 17 inches respectively.
Dell has announced a pact with the office supply chain Staples, which will soon carry its hardware, the company says. As of November 11th, Staples will begin carrying Dell desktop and notebook PCs, as well as various monitors and printers, along with associated ink and toner. Available at launch will be the Inspiron 1721 and 1521 notebooks, the desktop Inspiron 530, and two widescreen LCDs, in 19- and 22-inch sizes. Printers will include the 1320c laser model plus 948 and 926 inkjets.
While Dell already has an extensive retail presence, this has not typically been felt outside of dedicated electronics shops; its biggest push this year has been into Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores, which share the same owner.
AT&T is joining in the series of lawsuits against Vonage, according to a newly published government filing. The voice-over-Internet provider is now known to have been sued by AT&T on October 17th regarding a patent for connecting a traditional phone to an Internet service; the complaint follows two years of unsuccessful negotiations with Vonage to license the patent, AT&T says. Vonage chief counsel Sharon O'Leary vowed that her company would continue to work for an "amicable" negotiated solution and avoid a court battle.
Korea's Samsung has unveiled a new, prototype LCD panel which should be one of the thinnest in the world, the company claims. Premiering at the FPD International expo this week will be a 40-inch screen that is only 0.39 inches thick, approximately the same dimensions as many 10- to 20-inch desktop monitors. The bezel has also been reduced to 0.58 inches instead of a normal 1.2, making the screen more closely resemble a mounted painting instead of a TV. Color reproduction covers 92 percent of the NTSC spectrum, while its brightness is aided by an LED backlight, still keeping power consumption under 90W. No timeframe for a commercial TV has been set out.
LG has announced the imminent launch of the 32PC5RV, its latest plasma TV. The set is distinguished by its 32-inch size, which LG claims will make it the smallest plasma TV in the world; by contrast, most sets with the technology measure at least 37 inches, and are frequently closer to 50, making them too expensive for the average person. LCDs and CRTs have no such limitations.
The company is releasing minimal details on the set other than the fact that it uses 16:9 widescreen, and its response time is 0.001ms, which should allow fast response in action scenes. HDMI and component inputs are available, and SIMPLINK technology should allow control of multiple devices through one remote. The 32PC5RV should availble in Brazil by the end of the month, with releases in North America, Europe and elsewhere coming in November.
Hitachi on Monday morning turned its attention to the environment and released the Deskstar P7K500, a new range of desktop hard drives focused on conserving power. The design is made for environmentally conscious hobbyists and computer designers and uses smarter power management to tangibly improve the active and idling power consumption. Active power use drops to as little as 6.4 watts for a single-platter drive and 8.2 watts for a two-platter model; when a drive is inactive, power use drops to as little as 3.6 watts, Hitachi says. The drop amounts to as much as a 59 percent reduction versus a typical desktop drive and can result in either more available power for other components in a system or else lower overall power use.
AT&T is strongly considering an investment in the soon to be opened 700MHz frequency band when it becomes available through an FCC auction in January, company chief Randall Stephenson has admitted at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. While the company has opposed the rules of the auction, which demand that any winning bidder allow any supporting device and program to run on a future network, Stephenson noted that the extremely long range of the 700MHz band could outweigh any perceived challenges to its existing business model, which relies on locking customers into specific devices and restricting third-party software that sometimes competes with AT&T's paid services.
Epson on Monday removed the covers from its first PowerLite home theater projector to provide HD video well below the $1,600 mark. The PowerLite Home Cinema 720 offers virtually the same image quality as the premium Home Cinema 1080 at a more modest 720p resolution; the three-LCD chipset allows for similar 10-bit color processing and a 10,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio that is only slightly behind the much more expensive model. It can also produce a 1,600-lumen brightness that tops most other devices in the class, Epson claims. The banding artifacts that sometimes creep up in images are gone thanks to 1,024 different grayscale levels.
After a premature leak through online stores, SanDisk today formally launched the Sansa TakeTV. Though it assumes the same brand as the company's portable jukebox devices, the TakeTV is designed as a substitute for the Apple TV and other media hubs for users who simply want to bring video from their computer to a TV without special network setup. The core player connects directly through USB and allows any Linux, Mac, or Windows user to load videos simply by copying them through the file system; a portable, modular video cradle and remote allow users to navigate footage directly from a TV without the burden of a full media hub, SanDisk says.
Samsung Mobile today launched what it says is a genuinely unique offering in media phones. The previously leaked G800 slider includes a 5-megapixel camera sensor like the N95 and other high-end phones but teams this with a genuine 3X optical zoom lens. Combined with xenon flash and software features like face detection, the hardware allows users to properly focus on subjects in a photo without the pixelated effects that stem from the digital zoom found on nearly every other phone, the company says.
AT&T on Monday announced that it would launch Napster Mobile, the company's first copy-protected digital music service. The extension brings access to the same catalog as the PC-oriented store and, while costing twice as much per track at $2 each, allows users to download the same song twice; a song already loaded on the PC can be downloaded through EDGE or HSPA to the phone rather than having to copy from one device to the other, AT&T says. A Five-Track Pack for $7.50 per month will offer the same features at a relative discount.
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