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The marketing campaign for Apple's fourth revision of iChat may push the visual effects and presentations, but it will be the organizational features and extra feature support that win over Mac users wanting to leap to Mac OS X Leopard. That said, a few technical issues and a slightly awkward interface for some elements prevent the instant messaging software from becoming a perfect replacement. Our third segment explains in further detail.
Camera maker DXG has released the DXG-110, a compact model whose main attraction is intended to be price. The company is selling the 110 for $170, which is claimed to make it the first 10-megapixel camera to breach the $200 price barrier. The camera is in many other respects standard, with 3x zoom, 32MB of internal memory and an SD slot for main storage. ISO sensitivity extends up to 1600, and 30fps video can be recorded at VGA resolution. The rear LCD measures 2.5 inches; power is supplied by two AA batteries. DXG says it is now selling the 110 at retail and online, but no product page existed as of press time.
A number of consumer groups and legal scholars have united to petition the FCC over Comcast's bandwidth policies, the Associated Press reports. The news organization recently uncovered that Comcast has been sabotaging BitTorrent traffic, slowing it down or preventing it from functioning at all. Consumers Union, Media Access Project, the Consumer Federation of America and professors from Yale, Harvard and Stanford's law schools have come forward, asking the FCC to label Comcast in violation of government policy; two more groups, Free Press and Public Knowledge, are asking for a $195,000 fine per affected subscriber.
Verizon today formalized the launch of the BlackBerry Pearl 8130, the company's first Pearl model. The design holds close to the reference model with a 2-megapixel camera, 3G data access through EVDO, and an externally accessible microSDHC card slot that holds up to 8GB of music, videos, and other data. The candybar phone's signature GPS is intact and can be used with Verizon's VZ Navigator GPS service to find routes using NavTeq-supplied maps. New software on the phone lets it stream video over the web using 3GPP from sites such as YouTube's mobile website.
(Confirmed, see update below) MySpace could upset the balance of the social networking sphere by joining OpenSocial, claims a report from Silicon Alley Insider. The Bay Area publication claims that MySpace would join the Google-run initiative as early as today and would modify some of its code to work with the platform, allowing programmers to write a single web app that could run on the major network without neglecting several smaller but still influential social networks, including LinkedIn.
The expected launch of the Samsung F700 touchscreen phone with Verizon may reduce the device's functionality by the time it reaches American shores, according to purported internal sources in contact with Phone Arena. The new information corroborates earlier reports which suggested Verizon would use the handset as a response to the iPhone, but indicates both a new name and a reduced feature set: the Americanized version would be called the U940 and shed the 3-megapixel camera in favor of a 2-megapixel model. As before, the U940 would need to adopt CDMA phone network support and EVDO access to function on the new network.
Apple's iPhone has been selected as TIME's Invention of the Year, the magazine has announced. Five reasons are cited: on a superficial level, the iPhone is said to be extremely attractive, taking account of design touches that many technology companies do not consider, but which make a device more interesting to paying customers as well as easier to use. Secondly, the phone's touchscreen interface is said to be the first to genuinely combine a touchscreen with natural motions, such as flicking through album covers or "stretching" photos.
As a part of its incoming 905i series, Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo is introducing a new Sony Ericsson phone, the Cyber-shot SO905iCS. The phone's primary feature is a 5.1-megapixel camera, which is also equipped with flash and 3x optical zoom, allowing it to serve as a genuine replacement for a separate compact. The phone is well-equipped in other areas too however, such as through built-in GPS functions, and access to FOMA 3G broadband. Its 2.7-inch screen is capable of 480x640 resolution, and the battery should last over 21 days on standby mode (without other use).
Accessory designer Mad Catz today announced that it would be updating its AirDrives earbuds for the iPhone. The change will bring an in-line microphone as well as a button that automatically switches between music and an inbound call, allowing a user to answer without pausing the music in software. The upgraded listening devices will maintain the unique design that the company claims eliminates much of the quality of in-canal earbuds while allowing enough background noise to walk safely around busy streets.
InFocus on Thursday sent word of the Work Big IN15. The firm's latest DLP projector is made specifically for travelers and is designed for a relatively easy fit in a bag alongside a notebook with a case under 1.7 inches tall and a 3.9-pound weight. In spite of this size, the unit is roughly a quarter brighter than its IN12 predecessor and puts out a full 2,500 lumens of brightness, allowing it to display an image even in some brighter rooms. Native resolution tops out at XGA (1024x768) but will scale 1280x1024 images from computers and HD video up to 720p or 1080i.
Wal-Mart will temporarily achieve the lowest price ever for an HD-capable movie player when it launches a new promo this Friday, according to the company's holiday ad. The retailer expects to sell the Toshiba HD-A2 for just $99 when the deal begins, undercutting the company's already discounted $200 price for the HD DVD player. The move is known to be an attempt to clear stock for third-generation players and will mean limited stock of the movie reader at each store that can host the sale, Wal-Mart says. Some stores have already run out and are not expected to honor the deal, though a map of these stores is unavailable.
Second-largest American cellular carrier Verizon today announced a new structure for its data services that could provide the company's phones with better data services ahead of the LG Voyager and other Internet-centric, but non-smartphone, devices aimed at Apple's iPhone. The provider has eliminated the minimum $5 charge for its Mobile Web access on Nationwide plans; any device with a 1XRTT or EVDO Internet connection can now use some services without incurring extra data charges, such as the V CAST music store or VZ Navigator assisted GPS mapping. Costs are also potentially lower for users who only occasionally use data, Verizon says: users of the most basic plans are charged $2 per megabyte and can pay that minimum amount for browsing, e-mail, or downloading common add-ons like ringtones.
An unintended side-effect of the iPhone may be higher prices for smartphones in general, analysts suggest. Richard Windsor of Nomura Securities argues that the iPhone has an unusually high-end feature set, lack of 3G notwithstanding; it is for instance capable of desktop-like graphics, where many phones have primitive menus. Were other carriers to add dedicated graphics chips from companies such as AMD and Nvidia, this alone could add $10 to a smartphone's raw costs, for which shoppers would be charged several times that amount.
AT&T today launched the Moto Q Global, its own adaptation of Motorola's Q 9h smartphone. The Global is the first Q at AT&T that can download at 3G speeds on AT&T's HSPA network, theoretically peaking at 3.6Mbps. It also brings native GPS, a 2-megapixel camera, and microSDHC card support up to 32GB. New to any Moto Q model is the concept of a My Q Pak, according to both AT&T and Motorola. Rather than offer programs individually, a Q Pak offers a bundle of programs linked by their theme, such as the Fun Seeker pack with five games (including Bejeweled) or the Road Warrior collection that helps track flight times or stocks. Buying a Moto Q Global grants free use of one of the bundles for up to a year.
Operating outside of its normal upgrade schedule, Apple today quietly upgraded the performance of its MacBooks and added new performance options for its MacBook Pro models. The former, 13-inch systems are now based on the Intel Santa Rosa platform used by the recent MacBook Pro and run on a faster 800MHz system bus in addition to using faster GMA X3100 integrated graphics, which add improved hardware 3D acceleration compared to the GMA 950 used in previous models. The improved bus speed has led to a slight increase in processor speed from 2.16GHz to 2.2GHz for the mid-range $1,299 and high-end $1,499 models.
There could very well be a new king of the hill for Bluetooth speakers, with Sound Blaster's recent entry into the marketplace. Bringi ...Kenu Airframe Plus
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