News Archive for 07/10/31

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Review: Leopard's Time Machine

10/31, 10:35pm

leopard review part two

Time Machine is arguably the most promoted feature of Leopard, designed to make backup functional and accessible to the average user, as most users are put off by the setup and maintenance required of professional backup solutions. For the basic user, Time Machine is approachable and doesn't require much advanced comprehension to set up, so it succeeds in this regard. The real question is whether it will stand up to a conventional backup solution, and if it will suffice for the needs of more experienced users who have more exacting needs. Read on for the second segment of our multi-part Leopard review.

Wal-Mart pushes $199 Linux Computer

10/31, 6:15pm

$199 gPC at Wal-Mart

The $200 PC keeps coming back, this time on the shelves of a retail giant. About 600 Wal-Mart locations will soon begin selling a $199 Linux-powered "Green gPC" made by Everex of Taiwan. Bundling Windows Vista Home Basic and more memory with the machine bumps its price up to $300. The system includes a keyboard, mouse, and speakers, but no monitor. Wal-Mart spokeswoman Melissa O'Brien told The Associated Press that the company is stocking gPC in about one in eight stores to test the demand for an open-source product. The gPC has a low-end processor from VIA Technologies, 512 megabytes of RAM, an 80-gigabyte hard drive and a combination DVD drive and CD burner. It uses gOS, which is derived from the popular Ubuntu Linux variant. Wal-Mart has sold $200 Linux PCs before, but only online, never on its physical store shelves.

More details emerge for Google phone

10/31, 4:20pm

Google phone details

Yet more details are emerging on Google's still-rumored phone project, a new report claims. Anonymous sources appear to confirm concepts such as the creation of a Google-developed operating system based on Linux, and talks with companies such LG and HTC for producing Google-based handsets. Also suggested though is that Samsung and Motorola are interested in the project, and that an announcement is coming as soon as November 13th or 18th, to be made by T-Mobile USA and Bharti Airtel. The latter is one of the biggest cellular companies in India.

V7 debuts two low-cost GPS units

10/31, 3:25pm

Low-cost V7 GPS units

Ingram Micro's V7 branch has released two new GPS units, the NAV740 and NAV730. The units are hand-portable, and feature SiRFstar III receivers coupled with 400MHz processors. SD cards bundled with the units feature maps of all 50 US states, and can also be used to play a wide variety of audio and video formats, including MP3, WMA, OGG, AVI and MPEG-4 files. The primary differences between the 740 and 730 are 4.3- and 3.5-inch touchscreens, and the presence of 11 million points of interest on the 740. The units also come with 2GB and 1GB SD cards, respectively. The 730 costs $199, while the 740 is selling for $299.

Apricorn DVR Xpander drive grows to 1TB

10/31, 2:50pm

Apricorn DVR Xpander 1TB

Apricorn today brought out a one-terabyte version of the DVR Xpander, providing an option for users frustrated by limited space on their carrier-supplied DVRs. The device provides any Scientific Atlanta 8300 recorder, such as those used by Comcast and Rogers, with as much as 125 hours of extra recording time for HD video on supporting devices or 562 hours of standard-definition video. The use of an external SATA connector streamlines the setup and requires only that users attach the drive and let the DVR format space, Apricorn says. The connection format also ensures transfer speeds as quick as for the DVR's internal drive, and allows simultaneous recording and playback.

ASUS Eee on sale in US

10/31, 2:40pm

ASUS Eee on sale in US

ASUS' highly-anticipated Eee PC is already on sale in the US, it has been confirmed. Online vendor Newegg has posted a single model for sale, a day before the anticipated release date of November 1st. The machine is a standard 4G model, and features 4GB of flash memory, 512MB of RAM, a 900MHz Celeron processor and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi. Three USB 2.0 ports are present, and the seven-inch screen supports a native 800x480 resolution. Price is set at $400.

Verizon in talks for Google-based phones?

10/31, 2:20pm

Verizon Talks to Google

Sprint and Verizon are also in talks with Google to use the latter's upcoming mobile platform, according to purported sources speaking to Reuters. The discussions are said to include bringing Google's mobile apps to Sprint phones as well as incorporating Google technology and ad-sponsored services into Verizon's cellphones. Verizon chief operating officer Denny Strigl declined comment other than to say that his company routinely discussed deals with other companies, which included Google.

LG swings UP3 Shining Stone music players

10/31, 1:20pm

LG UP3 Shining Stone

LG grew its Shining jukebox lineup slightly today with the UP3, nicknamed the Shining Stone for its bright color. The player bucks the trend of larger flash players by including a USB connector in the device itself rather than requiring a proprietary cable; the device also uses an OLED screen rather than an LCD to save battery life, though the company has yet to rate battery life. LG makes it a point to support a wider range of audio formats including FM radio and OGG.

Dell ships first Energy Star 4.0-ready PC

10/31, 1:00pm

Dell Energy Star 4.0 PC

Dell says that it has begun selling its first Energy Star 4.0-compliant consumer computer, a new version of the Inspiron 531. The desktop is said to have an "80 percent efficient" power supply, and will by default switch to a sleep state after 15 minutes of inactivity, though this can be changed as necessary. There is also a "paperless" manual, though Dell has not confirmed what format it does come in. The company further claims that by using PCs like the 531 for four years, in tandem with a flat-panel monitor, owners can cut down on carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to driving a car for eight weeks.

FCC approves removal of cable exclusives

10/31, 12:15pm

FCC opens cable exclusives

Following through on earlier indications, the FCC has voted to approve a ban on exclusive cable company deals with apartment buildings. While possibly forcing prices lower in initial bidding, such contracts can bar tenants from choosing cheaper or superior services later on, and have been present during the rise of cable fees at three times the rate of inflation. The Associated Press reports that some 25 million Americans may be affected by the ban. Cable companies have previously protested anti-exclusivity measures, arguing that they are illegal and tend to provide a better deal for subscribers.

Toshiba intros Vardia DVR with HD DVD burning

10/31, 11:50am

Toshiba Vardia HD DVD

Toshiba this morning stepped up the video format wars by releasing the Vardia RD-A301, the company's first digital video recorder which can record to HD DVD discs. The device includes dual digital tuners that will capture live, unprotected HDTV in its native MPEG-2 format and convert it to H.264 for use on HD DVD-R discs that can be played in most HD DVD players. The use of the format also lets Toshiba enable burning HD movies to regular DVDs for the first time: a new HD Rec feature fits two hours of video on to a single-layer DVD with a full 1080 resolution and 5.1-channel surround sound, the company boasts. A 300GB hard drive fits up to 159 hours of video where only 39 hours would have been possible on earlier hardware.

Nokia opens first music store, intros headset

10/31, 11:10am

Nokia Music Store Open

Nokia today announced the imminent launch of its first Nokia Music Store, which is now set to launch on November 1st in the UK. First revealed in August, the service will let users download from a catalog of "millions" of songs, either directly to phones such as the N81 or N95 8GB or else to a PC, which can sideload the tracks to a larger number of supporting handsets. Prices will match stores like iTunes in the country with songs costing 80p each and albums from 8, Nokia claims. Whether on a phone or a PC, users will be able to earmark songs to buy later or get personal recommendations.

Saitek leaks 3,200DPI Cyborg gaming mouse

10/31, 10:35am

Saitek Cyborg Mouse Leak

Saitek is readying its own reply to the latest gaming mice from Logitech and Microsoft, according to a quiet release on the company's own website. The Cyborg Mouse would earn its name through an exceptionally sharp, 3,200DPI laser sensor and an adjustable shell. Gamers will be able to slide the front section forwards and backwards to improve the fit, or remove weights from the base for quicker movement. The four-way scroll wheel will also have an adjustable speed setting where other gaming mice only adjust the main tracking speed, Saitek notes.

Samsung preps three speaker-laden LCDs

10/31, 10:00am

Samsung 2220WM and More

Samsung today unveiled three SyncMaster computer displays designed for home users and workers alike who want built-in sound to save space. The 22-inch 2220WM, 19-inch 920WM, and the standard-ratio 920BM all include chin-mounted stereo speakers that can substitute for a basic desktop speaker set. All three also bring into play Samsung's more recent MagicBright2 dynamic image quality adjustment and a typical 5ms pixel response time that curbs ghosting artifacts during video playback.

WD ships thin 320GB notebook drive

10/31, 9:15am

WD Scorpio 320GB Drive

Western Digital on Wednesday began selling the Scorpio 320GB, the company's largest-ever portable hard drive. At 9.5mm (0.37 inches) tall, the drive is slim enough to fit into thinner notebooks but spins at 5,400RPM, outperforming previous drives that had to throttle back to 4,200RPM to reach their storage levels. The disk also includes shock protection to guard storage in the event of a drop and is purportedly one of the quietest drives at its size and speed levels thanks to intelligent data seeking patterns.

Panasonic intros Blu-Ray player with HDMI 1.3, SD

10/31, 9:00am

Panasonic DMP-BD30

Panasonic late yesterday uncovered the DMP-BD30, a Blu-Ray movie player that adds what the company claims are several world firsts to HD video playback. The device is the first to ship with support for Blu-Ray's Final Standard Profile and will support enhanced features on upcoming discs, including picture-in-picture commentary and blending audio between the two sources. The BD30 is equally unique in carrying an SD card slot that will display AVCHD video and JPEG photos, allowing viewers to sample their shots at up to 1080p without first uploading them to a computer.

Google unveils OpenSocial platform

10/31, 8:25am

Google OpenSocial

Google late yesterday introduced OpenSocial (link to be active soon), a new platform for social networking sites. Instead of creating its own site or revamping its existing Orkut friends service, the company has established a common foundation for developing web applications for social sites. Programmers will write once and generate a program that works on multiple pages; each will have access to a user's profile information as well as friends and news feeds or other actions, Google said.

Review: Leopard Desktop and Finder [U]

10/31, 12:50am

Leopard review part one

(Updated link) We start our full review of Mac OS X Leopard by examining the first aspects that any new user will see on first boot: the controversial, new-look desktop and the revamped Finder. Whether Apple's first major change to the front-end of the OS in six years will appeal may depend on your own personal tastes; the Finder, however, is a strong improvement and may be enough for some users to make the upgrade all by itself. Click ahead for the first part of our review.

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