News Archive for 07/10/24

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Microsoft buys 1.6 percent stake in Facebook

10/24, 5:45pm

MS invests in Facebook

Microsoft has purchased a 1.6 percent stake in Facebook for $240, pegging the four-year-old social networking site's value at $15 billion. As part of the deal, Microsoft will sell online ads for Facebook. The funding will help fuel Facebook's expansion plans prior to an expected initial public offering, which founder Mark Zuckerberg, 23, says he would like to put off for at least two more years. Facebook claims nearly 50 million active users, attracting 30.6 million U.S. visitors during September compared with 68.4 million for the other social networking giant, MySpace. The investment is the culmination of a feud between Google and Microsoft, who were both actively seeking to push capital into the young Internet firm.

Qualcomm chip may universalize cellular modems

10/24, 4:35pm

Qualcomm dual-3G chip

Dominant chip supplier Qualcomm has released a chip which may bridge a split in notebook modem technology, writes the Associated Press. While internal cellular modems are still relatively rare in notebooks, these have so far had to connect either to HSPA networks such as AT&T's, or EVDO networks belonging to the likes of Sprint and Verizon. The new Qualcomm Gobi chip is able to connect to both network formats, a fact which may make cellular modems more appealing to computer builders, since they do not have to risk obsolescence or installing two different chips. Similarly, notebook owners should be able to avoid picking a carrier they hate simply because their notebook supports them. Gobi chips should be available in computers as of Q2 2008.

HTC Touch initial hands-on

10/24, 4:30pm

HTC Touch Hands-On

Americans are often the first to receive import phones, but with the recent release of the HTC Touch on Telus, that changes: the Canadian cell provider has a weeks-long advantage over Sprint, and we at Electronista have managed to obtain a unit ahead of our US counterparts. Read on for our first take on the controversial but successful smartphone as well as an early photo gallery.

Helio Mysto really Samsung U600?

10/24, 4:10pm

Samsung U600 at Helio

The Helio Mysto, once rumored to be the Samsung C220, may in fact be the Ultra Edition II U600, one source claims. The Helio version makes a swtich to a CDMA receiver, and is also forced to abandon HSDPA broadband, turning instead to EVDO. The phone otherwise retains its most critical features, such as a 3.2-megapixel camera, QVGA screen, and touch-sensitive controls. It is also extremely thin, measuring no more than 0.42 inches deep. Release is said only be expected in the near future. [via phone Arena]

Verizon abandons fight against open-access

10/24, 3:30pm

Verizon drops FCC appeal

Verizon Wireless has decided to withdraw from a challenge to January's FCC wireless auction, filings reveal. The company has told the DC Court of Appeals that it is ceasing its legal efforts, which were concentrated around the auction's open-access provisions. Under planned FCC rules, 22MHz of the 700MHz spectrum will have to be made accessible to any device or software application, regardless of what carrier or broadcaster it might be associated with. For the federal government this represents an attempt to diversify the wireless broadband industry, which is currently dominated by a handful of companies including Verizon.

LG KU990 ships to Europe, lands at O2

10/24, 3:15pm

LG KU990 Ships

LG today sent word that the KU990 had begun shipping to Europe, giving subscribers on the continent access to the touchscreen phone for the first time. The handset emphasizes both the Flash-based interface that shares roots with the Prada phone as well as its advanced 5-megapixel camera. As promised, the camera is the only one of its kind on a phone to allow manual focus for precise shots, and records video at up to 120 frames per second for slow motion sequences. Users can even make basic edits and upload to YouTube from the phone's 3G Internet link, LG says.

RIM launches Facebook app for BlackBerry

10/24, 2:25pm

Facebook for BlackBerry

Research in Motion at the CTIA mobile expo today introduced Facebook for BlackBerry (registration required), a new app that gives users of most any recent version of the smartphone faster access to the social networking tools without using a browser. The platform takes advantage of the BlackBerry's network to "push" updates to and from the phone in real time: Facebook members will receive messages and updates almost immediately, RIM says. The software also takes advantage of camera-equipped BlackBerries and lets users both upload and tag photos without having to first sync with a computer.

Verizon to bring Samsung F700 to US?

10/24, 1:50pm

Samsung F700 Verizon Rumor

Verizon's primary competitor against the iPhone may be Samsung's Ultra Smart F700, according to a purported leak by CrunchGear lead editor John Biggs. The author claims that a version of the F700 adapted to the American carrier's CDMA network would be available as soon as the end of the year; no other details are available, though the change would require a switch to EVDO mobile broadband in place of the HSPA offered in the GSM version. The 5-megapixel camera, touch interface, and slide-out keyboard would likely remain unchanged.

Blu-Ray outstrips HD DVD in 2007 sales

10/24, 1:20pm

Blu-Ray beating HD DVD

Sales of Blu-Ray movies in 2007 have nearly crushed those of HD DVD so far, Reuters reports. According to data from Home Media Research, 2.6 million Blu-Ray titles were sold between January 1st and September 30th, while only 1.4 million HD DVD titles were bought in the same timeframe. This figure reinforces previous sales figures, which have almost continually pointed to the dominance of Blu-Ray. Recent trends may signal a reversal however, such as Paramount's paid decision in August to release solely on HD DVD.

Envision rolls out 20-inch, high-contrast LCD

10/24, 1:05pm

Envision G2016wa LCD

Envision on Wednesday upgraded the visual quality of its LCDs with one of its first dynamic contrast screens: the G2016wa selectively adjusts lighting to increase the contrast ratio as high as 3,000:1, greatly improving the 20-inch display's usefulness for image editing or watching videos. Several built-in presets also change color values to bring out details in games or when reading text, the company says. A 5ms pixel response time matches the performance of other displays and eliminates much of the ghosting effect from fast movement.

First Treo 800w reports emerging?

10/24, 12:30pm

Treo 800w in development?

Palm has already begun production on the "true" Treo 800w, according to sources. Though one recent rumor misidentified the low-cost Centro as the 800, a new image (right) submitted by "jrinehart" appears to depict a phone more in keeping with typical Treo stylings, while implementing Centro cues such as rounder edges and a less cluttered control pad. Another source, "howiecam," claims to have had hands-on experience with the 800w, which he says has features such as Wi-Fi and a standby clock, but which relies on a proprietary data connector and a keyboard smaller than that of the Treo 750.

LG demos plasma TV display with 30,000:1 contrast

10/24, 11:35am

LG 30,000:1 Plasma TV

LG today said it was using the FPD International expo in Japan to demonstrate a plasma TV panel with a 30,000:1 contrast ratio, setting a new record for the visual quality of flat-panel sets. Called the G Platform, the new display would double the 15,000:1 ratio of today's better plasmas by actively creating blacks in an image. Most manufacturers today rely on black-tinted, clear panels that only generate black passively; the G Platform uses better plasma phosphors and dielectrics to actively remove color from the scene, LG says. The change still allows for other advanced display technologies, such as doubling the refresh rate to 100Hz (on PAL screens) or 120Hz (for ATSC in Japan and North America) to cut back on motion artifacts.

MSI GX600 gaming notebook makes US debut

10/24, 11:00am

MSI GX600 in US

MSI today officially brought out the GX600, its mid-size gaming portable. The system is the only 15.4-inch notebook of its kind to include a one-button hardware overclock option, according to the company. Pressing the conspicuous Turbo button increases the clock speed of the Core 2 Duo inside from 2.0GHz to 2.4GHz when the system is on AC power, providing a free short term boost to performance for gaming. It also cuts boot times for Windows Vista Home Premium from a full minute to 40 seconds, MSI claims. The design highlights the WASD key layout used for many first-person shooters and comes with metal and optional flame accents to reflect its gaming focus at a network gaming session.

Facebook deal with Google or MS imminent?

10/24, 10:25am

Facebook Deal Imminent

Social networking site Facebook is about to receive its first major investment within the next one to two days, according to a purported source speaking with the New York Post. The paper claims that either Google or Microsoft is prepared to make an investment "between 5 percent and 10 percent" in the startup, which has so far relied primarily on venture capital and similar funding for outside help. As Facebook is widely known to be valuing itself between $10 billion and $15 billion dollars, such an investment would be rated anywhere between $750 million and $1.5 billion.

Contest hints at Canadian iPhone release date?

10/24, 9:10am

Canadian iPhone Contest

A giveaway from Canadian brewer Molson may provide a hint as to when the iPhone will be available in the country. The Devisse et Compte (translating to "Twist and Score") contest for French-speaking Canadians lists the iPhone as one of the available prizes and claims the device will be available exclusively from Rogers Wireless in January of next year. The price of the phone is listed as $800 Canadian ($828 US) but is known to be an arbitrary value relating to the nature of the contest, which asks entrants to pick one or more potential prizes that reach a set spending limit. No subscription fees are included with the device, however.

Sony DSC-T2 boasts 4GB internal memory

10/24, 3:30am

Sony DSC-T2 debuts

Carrying 4GB of internal memory, the new Cyber-shot DSC-T2 from Sony can store more than 40,000 VGA-quality photos or 1,000 8-megapixel pictures without the use of a memory card. The device's filesystem includes an album folder in which photos can be viewed in chronological order and displayed in a calendar view. Users can also view images categorized by events. Aesthetically, the camera features a black LCD frame and a sliding lens cover available in blue, green, pink, white or black. It uses a touch-panel LCD screen and standard Sony features like face detection, optical image stabilization and high sensitivity (ISO 3200), The T2 camera can be connected to a TV set via an HD component cable or an HD cradle (both sold separately), and will ship in December for about $350.

Dell all-in-one XPS One takes on iMac

10/24, 3:10am

All-in-one XPS One

Images of Dell's newest upcoming all-in-one XPS One have surfaced. The new machine looks to go head-to-head with Apple's iMac and the Gateway One, sporting a 22-inch WSXGA (1,680 x 1,050) display with two built-in speakers and media buttons on the side. Also included is an integrated webcam and a slot-loading Blu-ray disc burner. Specs list a 2.66GHz E6750 Core 2 Duo and ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2400 graphics along with 4GB of RAM. Also included are a wireless mouse and keyboard and a memory card reader. Yesterday Dell took the wraps off a new desktop XPS model, the XPS 420, which includes a Windows Vista Sideshow LCD: a top-mounted screen that lets users play music, view photos, and track basic information through gadgets without having to turn on the full system. That system is priced starting at $1500, and the new XPS One could fetch upwards of $2000. [Via Engadget]

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