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LaCie has announced that it is including PVConnect Media Server with its Ethernet Disk mini lineup of hard drives, enabling users to stream multimedia content from the drives to a DLNA-certified device, and ensuring compatibility with the new 1.5 DLNA standard. PVConnect is developed by Packet Video, and has just recently met the requirements set out by the Digital Living Network Alliance. The software allows users to just simply connect the drive to a network, and the drive will share content with certified devices, as well as select non-certified devices, such as the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. The drives start at $180.
Swedish website The Pirate Bay, which plays host to BitTorrent trackers offering thousands of illegal programs and media files, says that it has started developing a new download format which could keep the flow of pirated material going. Co-founder Peter Sunde tells Reuters that his concern is that as BitTorrent continues to accrue "legitimate" uses, such as video streaming and sales services, the format's creators may be tempted to enable DRM measures that slow piracy. "If they go and do something stupid, it will affect a lot of people," says Sunde.
Cellphone maker Sony Ericsson has announced a new USB notebook modem, the MD300 (not pictured). The highlight its its tri-band UMTS/HSDPA support, which supports download speeds up to 3.6Mbps. As a fallback, the modem can also operate on quad-band EDGE or GPRS networks. Both Macs and PCs are supported, but the latter can take advantage of the 300's 128MB of memory, which includes software and drivers that automatically configure themselves when the modem is connected; Windows 2000, XP or Vista is required. The 300 should be available in black and metallic silver come Q1 2008.
Sony-Ericsson today confirmed speculation by releasing three media-heavy new phones. The releases are headlined by the W890i, the company's successor to the popular W880; the extra-thin (0.39-inch) bar phone upgrades the camera to 3.2 megapixels and is the first W800 model to natively support HSPA access for 3G-grade downloads on European networks. It also comes with a 2GB Memory Stick Micro card out of the box -- the most external storage included for a Sony-Ericsson phone, the company says -- and an improved keypad layout. It should be available in early 2008 and should include a North American release given the addition of quad-band GSM for calling and EDGE data in the region.
Arriving somewhat later than expected, the BlackBerry Pearl 8130 will finally come to Verizon on November 8th, the carrier says. The phone primarily features RIM's standard e-mail service and SureType keypad, but also includes a two-megapixel camera with flash, as well as built-in GPS navigation (here tied to Verizon's VZ Navigator service). Operating on 1x EVDO, owners can turn a Pearl into a modem via BroadbandAccess Connect.
Canadian cell provider Rogers today became the first provider in North America to carry the GSM version of the HTC Touch, bringing the frequent iPhone rival in a version that can also roam on European networks. The handset is almost entirely driven by its 2.8-inch touchscreen and still includes HTC's custom TouchFLO interface to use some of the phone's more advanced media and Internet features with fingers rather than the supplied stylus. Unlike the CDMA version, Rogers' Touch model opts for EDGE instead of 3G but includes Wi-Fi for far quicker access at hotspots.
Sony-Ericsson is readying a high-end successor to its high-end P1i and P990 smartphones that will be announced within days, say insiders at Esato who claim to have seen the device. The P5i slider should be considerably more portable than the P990 but maintain a 2.8-inch touchscreen and a much wider range of connections. HSUPA Internet access would provide it with fast uploads as well as downloads; Wi-Fi would also be part of the package and provide an even faster link on local networks. The rear camera will be one of Sony-Ericsson's most powerful with a 5-megapixel sensor, autofocus, and flash, the sources claim.
O2 Germany today released the Xda Orbit 2, one of its most advanced smartphones yet. Better known as the HTC Polaris, the device boasts the same finger-oriented TouchFLO interface as the HTC Touch but includes both built-in GPS and Wi-Fi, allowing it to plot directions and connect to the Internet without using cellular service; it also brings tri-band HSDPA that connects to 3G networks both in O2's European home and North America. Users on these high-speed networks can either upload photos taken from the 3-megapixel rear camera or participate in video calls with a front camera, O2 says.
After 10 years in development, Nokia has at last developed a true feedback technology for touchscreens, a senior program manager at the company has revealed. Dubbed "Haptikos," it currently replicates the feeling of typing on a real keyboard through a combination through sound effects, an extra sensor layer, and a slight give in the touchscreen itself. A demonstration N770 for instance uses two piezoelectric sensor pads found underneath the screen, which has a 0.004-inch give to allow users to press down. As users type, speakers emit both the "in" and "out" sounds of keys in motion.
Motorola today announced a new Bluetooth 2.0 headset, the H12. The headset is the first from Motorola to use CrystalTalk technology, previously limited to the company's cellphones; in its headset incarnation, the technology relies on twin microphones to separate voice from wind and other background noise. To improve comfort, the H12 comes with an ear hook and three different cushion sizes.
Talk-time is rated at 5.5 hours, with a battery standby capacity of just over eight days. Accessories include a shirt clip, desktop charger and charger case. While Motorola has not cited any specific sales plans, AT&T has stated that it should already have the H12 available, at a cost of $100 after a mail-in rebate.
Lenovo today broke two previous barriers by introducing both its first genuinely new Think-branded systems since taking over IBM's name in 2005 and launching the first computers ever to use Intel's Penryn processor technology. The ThinkStation D10 and S10 both use the 45-nanometer architecture to pack quad-core CPUs without the typical energy draw and heat associated with the extra performance. Both also share a uniquely quiet design that relies on passive venting to help cool the system without high fan speeds.
Sports specialist H20 Audio has begun shipping its latest product, the H3 waterproof earbuds. Though the company has not said to what depths the H3s can be taken, they come bundled with "aquatic silencer" earplugs, which form a watertight seal while aiding comfort and reducing outside noise. Also included is a detachable sport band, and a "reactive" coiled cable that should not tangle or pull while in motion. Compared to previous H20 headphones, the H3s are said to produce 10dB more output, with better bass response, and clearer sound when used outside of water. The earbuds are available now for $50 from shops including Apple Stores.
Genius today shipped out a pair of computer tablets it says are inexpensive enough to be truly accessible but share many of the features of higher-end tablets. The G-Pen 560 includes a 4.5 by 6-inch surface that offers breathing room for sketches as well as writing and presentations; it also boasts a pair of programmable hotkeys to assign to specific drawing styles, operating system commands, and other shortcuts. The device includes presentation and notetaking software as well as a pen that recognizes 1,024 sensitivity levels. It should support any Mac or Windows PC with a USB port and ships from several Mac- and Windows-oriented online retailers today for $69.
Over 20.4 million phones running one form or another of Symbian's self-titled mobile OS were sold during the past quarter, the company said today as part of its latest financial report. The number represents a jump of 56 percent more phones compared to a year ago and is joined by an increase in revenue of 30 percent to $52.4 million, suggesting a decrease in the overall price of phones. The statistic includes phones from Nokia, who owns a 47.9 percent stake in Symbian, as well as the Symbian variant UIQ found primarily on Sony-Ericsson devices but also increasingly used by Motorola for some of its devices. This proves that Symbian is the "preferred" OS for smartphones and similar handsets, according to company head Nigel Clifford.
Aiming to drive down the prices of typically pricey draft 802.11n wireless hardware, SMC on Tuesday released both a router and an adapter that bring access to a more reasonable level. The Barricade WBR14S provides the same 300Mbps peak speed as other new Wi-Fi routers without the features that drive up the cost: the device uses just the 2.4GHz band for its wireless connections and includes four 100Mbps Ethernet connections instead of the gigabit ports found on some premium routers. The device nonetheless includes a hardware firewall as well as WPA2 wireless protection and a one-button simplified security setup process. The WBR14S should be available today for $60.
Sony today revealed its promised new, slimmer PlayStation 2 that will help phase out the older console and appeal to budget gamers. Known internally as the SCPH-90000, the game system is closer in design to the slim PS2 but uses smaller components to dramatically reduce the weight and the space inside; the whole system weighs less than 1.6 pounds but can fit the AC adapter into the main case rather than use an external brick. This simplifies bringing the new PlayStation to a friend's house and encourages using a vertical stand, Sony says.
Apple is in the middle of developing a tablet computer, according to contacts within ASUS speaking to CNET. The Taiwan firm is reportedly contracted to build the device, which would be a completely new design rather than share roots with any existing ASUS model. No details have been provided as to the nature of the tablet, though all of Apple's touchscreen devices to date have included a mobile-optimized version of Mac OS X as well as a multi-touch display. A release date for the system is also unspecified, though the timing of the news points to a release next year.
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