News Archive for 07/10/29

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Apple, T-Mobile offer 3 German iPhone plans

10/29, 8:15pm

iPhone plans for Germany

Following the official announcement in September, T-Mobile and Apple today announced three rate plans for users of the iPhone in Germany, starting at 49 per month. Called "iPhone Complete" plans, all three include unlimited data, Visual Voicemail and access to T-Mobile's more than 8,000 Wi-Fi HotSpots in Germany. Apple's popular device is scheduled to go on sale on November 9 and will be sold in Germany through Telekom Shops of Deutsche Telekom and the T-Mobile website and will require a new 2-year T-Mobile rate plan; it will be available in an 8GB model for 399 including V.A.T. Apple has already announced that it has sold more than 1.4 million iPhones since its June 30th launch and that over 250,000 devices were sold to unlockers who used third-party hacks to enable the phone on other GSM networks.

LG Shine (Telus) review

10/29, 7:35pm

LG Shine (Telus) review

Although the Shine is, in various forms, one of LG's signature phones, it is a relatively recent arrival to North America, and its latest incarnation is a version for the Canadian carrier Telus. Electronista had an opportunity to test this new variant, and see whether the Shine lives up to its publicity.

Just on picking up the phone, it is impossible to avoid how stunning it looks. While it already shares a lot of design elements in common with the Motorola RAZR, such as extreme thinness and an antenna "lip" towards the bottom, LG has gone farther by building most of the body out of a brushed, highly reflective metal.

imeem to offer free EMI music catalog

10/29, 5:20pm

ad-supported service

imeem, a social network where users can share music, videos and other media on profile pages, will be offering a significant chunk of EMI Music's music and video content through an ad-supported online service. Artists such as Radiohead, Coldplay, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, 30 Seconds to Mars, Norah Jones, Interpol, KT Tunstall, Daft Punk, Joss Stone, the Beastie Boys and others are included. The move is significant because many included bands, such as Radiohead, rarely offer their music in single-track format, preferring to stick with full album sales. The EMI/imeem partnership is the latest in a long string of efforts to dethrone Apple's iTunes as king of the digital download purchase heap.

Fujitsu unveils portable color, two-way scanner

10/29, 5:00pm

Fujitsu ScanSnap S300

Fujitsu today released what it hopes is one of the most powerful portable scanners ever: the ScanSnap S300 is less than a foot long and weighs just 3.1 pounds but can scan full color documents at 600 DPI, including two-sided pages; up to 16 effective pages can be captured depending on the settings, Fujitsu says. Though these speeds demand AC power, the S300 will still run at half speed if connected solely through a USB port. The device automatically feeds images itself and is intelligent enough to recognize black-and-white or color pages, misaligned images, and different page formats without any help from the user.

FCC moves to end building-exclusive cable deals

10/29, 4:45pm

FCC ends cable exclusives

The Federal Communications Commission has announced that it may soon put an end to exclusive deals for cable companies servicing apartments. In a measure backed by AT&T and Verizon, expected to be approved on Wednesday, thousands of contracts guaranteeing exclusive building rights will be ended, paving the way for increased competition. The move should -- in theory -- drop prices, which have in some cases risen by as much as three times the rate of inflation with the last 10 years. Exclusivity is also far more likely to impact minority apartment dwellers, since while a quarter of all Americans live in buildings with 50 or more people, 40 percent of Hispanic- and African-Americans do.

Leopard II: iMac video issues revealed

10/29, 4:10pm

Leopard 2nd Take

When we first tested Leopard, initial impressions of the new OS were very favorable, and many of these initial observations hold over after days of extended use. The OS continues to not just run quickly but also upgrades the performance of a few previously sluggish components, especially Spotlight. We've discovered a few pleasant upsides to Leopard since then; however, we've also found a few potential showstopping bugs that may have early adopters think twice.

Linksys offers PoE, "triple-play" routers

10/29, 3:20pm

Linksys offers new routers

Linksys has debuted a duo of new routers, one sporting Power over Ethernet capabilities, and the other utilizing QoS and offering two phone ports. The new Wireless-G Access Point with Power over Ethernet includes the company's proprietary "RangeBooster" technology, which is purported to offer improved performance and "effectively double network size and increase throughput by 35 percent." Also included are 802.11F Roaming and auto-channel Selection. Security protocols include WPA2 Enterprise, 802.1x with Radius Authentication, HTTPS secure control, MAC Address Filtering and DES/3DES/AES Encryption. There are also multiple BSSIDs and 802.1q VLANs for keeping network traffic separate. The Business Series Wireless-G Access Point with Power over Ethernet (WAP2000) will have an estimated street price of $170.

Intel lifts veil on 45nm Core 2 Extreme CPU

10/29, 3:05pm

Intel 45nm Core 2 Extreme

Intel has officially revealed the Core 2 Extreme QX9650, a processor built on the 45nm Yorkfield/Penryn platform. The CPU, the first Penryn chip to be announced, is said to be a dramatic improvement on past quad-core processors such as the QX6850, and incorporates features such as SSE 4 instructions, hybrid gates built with hafnium, and 12MB of L2 cache, and increase from the earlier 8MB limit. In applications which support SSE 4 -- which does require specific coding -- users should receive a performance boost. The processor is by default clocked at 3GHz, and has a 1.33GHz front-side bus. Intel says that a November 12th release date is planned, although no prices have been published. [via Ars Technica]

AT&T launches Pantech Duo two-way slider

10/29, 2:40pm

Pantech Duo at ATT

AT&T this afternoon released the Pantech Duo, the carrier's first true dual-mode slider phone. Initially known as the C810, the handset follows the same style as the Helio Ocean and lets users either slip out a lateral QWERTY keyboard for messaging and browsing in landscape view or else a vertical number pad for quickly placing a call. Unlike its CDMA rival, the Duo runs on Windows Mobile 6 and allows for basic document editing with Office Mobile. The Duo should also be faster through built-in HSPA access that downloads at up to 1.4Mbps in real-world conditions, according to AT&T.

ASUS firms up prices for Eee PC's US launch

10/29, 1:40pm

ASUS Eee PC US Prices

ASUS has solidified prices for the Eee PC in the US as well as its launch date, according to a leaked product sheet outlining details of the release. The company expects to launch three models that should vary significantly from the Taiwan release earlier this month. A top model, dubbed simply the 4G, will contain just half the memory and storage at 512MB and 4GB respectively but will include the webcam scrapped from the Asian edition; 4G Surf and 2G Surf versions will also be available and will drop some features to lower their respective prices, though these details are so far unknown aside from the use of 2GB in storage is certain on the 2G Surf. A reduction in memory to 256MB and the removal of the camera are possible.

British carrier launches dedicated Skypephone

10/29, 12:25pm

3's Skypephone

Multinational carrier 3 is nearing release of the Skypephone, a mobile device dedicated to eBay's VoIP service, Reuters says. Although phones centered around VoIP are not unusual, the Skypephone is the first to be sold by a standard phone carrier; typically, VoIP devices are sold either by independent makers or by VoIP-only companies such as Vonage. The phone also retains the features of more advanced cellphones, offering everything from games and a mobile web browser to watching TV and downloading music from the 3 MusicStore.

Lenovo brings Y-series notebook to US shores

10/29, 12:05pm

Lenovo Y410 in the US

Lenovo today surprised the North American PC business by releasing one of its previously Asia-only notebook models for the US. The Y410 adapts the China-made, 14-inch portable to the Western market and is one of the first American models to include the Shuttle Center control for playing back music and movies without booting the main system. Its lid-mounted 1.3-megapixel webcam is also unique among low-cost notebooks in allowing users to lock down their systems using face recognition rather than passwords or a fingerprint reader.

Sharp rolls out AQUOS P hybrid LCDs

10/29, 11:35am

Sharp AQUOS P Series

Sharp today introduced a completely new line of LCDs designed equally for computers and TV watching. The AQUOS P series is designed as much to sit on a desk as in a living room and is one of the first HDTV lineups to offer full 1080p video at small sizes; the 22-, 26-, and 32-inch sets all display up to 1920x1080 using either DVI, VGA, or one of the two available HDMI inputs. An integrated digital TV tuner and two 5-watt speakers allow the sets to operate independently of any outside device but can be used with a picture-in-picture mode to let users run a computer while keeping track of a TV show.

Motorola intros T505 Bluetooth speakerphone

10/29, 10:55am

Motorola T505

Motorola on Monday launched its new MOTOROKR T505 speakerphone designed both for hands-free calls and for music. The device clips to the overhead visor of a car and is designed to almost entirely avoid the need to reach for a cellphone while driving. In traditional mode, the T505 supports any handset with hands-free calling support and includes a microphone, an internal speaker, and vocalization of incoming caller ID. However, cellphones, Mac OS X Leopard systems, and other devices that support Bluetooth's A2DP profile can pair with the speakerphone to beam full stereo audio for music through to the car's built-in FM stereo; a play/pause button lets users quickly stop tracks to begin a call of their own, while music is automatically frozen for incoming calls.

NBC, News Corp launch Hulu service beta

10/29, 10:20am

Hulu Private Beta

NBC-Universal and News Corp today began the private beta of Hulu, their joint venture into web-based movies and TV. The service represents a break from both paid download stores and most free web-based sites by replicating the conventional TV model online: new ads are inserted in the place of the spots that would otherwise be left to traditional TV stations for both movies and TV shows. Hulu is also independent of any one provider, the founding companies say. While Fox shows like The Simpsons and NBC's The Office will be available, MGM and Sony have also promised their own movie and TV content.

NVIDIA debuts GeForce 8800 GT

10/29, 9:25am

NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT

NVIDIA today is releasing the GeForce 8800 GT, a new mainstream version of the company's fastest video card series. The chipset takes advantage of an improvement in the manufacturing process to allow much of the speed of top-performing cards with the single slot and cost of older cards. The new core is built on a 65-nanometer process (versus 90 nanometers) and runs far more efficiently: typical power use is 105 watts versus roughly 185 watts for a top-spec 8800 GTX, NVIDIA says. The GT can also potentially outperform the GTS by including more shader units to process pixels and vertices (112 versus 96) and faster clock speeds, boosting the core from 500 to 600MHz and reaching an effective 1.8GHz memory speed compared to the 1.6GHz of the GTS.

T-Mobile kicks off Shadow media phone line

10/29, 8:35am

T-Mobile Shadow

T-Mobile this morning inaugurated its second exclusive series of phones after the Sidekick. The HTC-designed T-Mobile Shadow is imagined as a smartphone for users who would rather not have the size and software of a phone meant for business. Its slide-out keypad borrows the SureType keyboard design of the BlackBerry Pearl to speed up text messaging; a scroll wheel also helps quickly scroll through music and message queues as well as scrub through videos. The Shadow also embraces Wi-Fi for wireless along with EDGE; the device is not set up for HotSpot@Home calling but sees improved data speeds, T-Mobile notes.

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