News Archive for 07/11/12

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Drive eRazer easily erases any hard drive

11/12, 7:45pm

Erase any drive easily

WiebeTech on Monday unveiled a unique hardware solution to erase data from 3.5-inch or 2.5-inch IDE/PATA and SATA hard drives: Drive eRazer is the a stand-alone solution that does not require a computer and is much less expensive and easier to use than other software or hardware solutions, the company claims. Priced at $100 for the standard version, Drive eRazer is faster than software, writing data at a sustained rate of more than 35MB/s: a 250GB drive would be fully erased in under two hours, according to the company. Drive eRazer writes over every part of a drive and using a standard single-pass mode writes a single time across the entire disk, deleting blocks including partitions and Host Protected Areas. It also performs verification and is compliant with the Department of Defense requirements (updated June 28, 2007) for "clearing" a "Non-Removable Rigid Disk."

FutureDial transfers old cell info to iPhone

11/12, 5:00pm

Migrating info to iPhone

Mobile device content management solution provider FutureDial on Monday announced that it has added the popular Apple iPhone to its portfolio of supported handsets for the company's software products used by carriers and wireless retailers worldwide. Stores, the company claims, can now transfer their customers' personal contacts, pictures, music, and video to the iPhone quickly and easily with a few clicks of the mouse. Supporting over 1,000 mobile phone models worldwide, FutureDial offers handset content transfer and management solutions that are centrally managed over a client-server architecture and operated from a PC interface.

Disney cellular to land on Japanese shores

11/12, 4:15pm

Disney cellular in Japan

Entertainment monolith Disney will soon launch new cellular products in Japan, the company has announced. Beginning in early 2008, the company will partner with local carrier Softbank, and begin producing unspecified content, as well as new Disney-branded cellphones. Softbank is currently the third-largest network operator in Japan; Reuters writes that it will most likely be the main beneficiary of the deal, since it is a new carrier and fighting giants NTT DoCoMo and KDDI.

Zune 80 edging out iPod classic in reviews

11/12, 4:10pm

Zune 80 Edging iPod

Early reviews of Microsoft's imminent Zune 80 are giving it an overall higher score than Apple's iPod classic, according to their respective sources. Reviews from mainstream sites such as CNET, PC Magazine, PCWorld, and YahooTech all note that the hard disk-based version of the player appears to have addressed most of the complaints about the device, which centered around its size and lack of podcasting support, while continuing to sport features Apple-made players lack. The 3.2-inch screen, FM radio, and access to an unlimited music subscription service all beat the iPod classic, according to the reviews; Wi-Fi sharing and sync are not even available on the iPhone or iPod touch, according to YahooTech.

Jabra brings out BT2020 Bluetooth headset

11/12, 3:35pm

Jabra BT2020 headset

Headset specialist Jabra has launched another Bluetooth device, the BT2020. The set is Bluetooth 2.0-compatible, and consists of a single, monosound earpiece; notably, it wraps around the ear on both sides, and it is reputedly balanced such that its weight is distributed evenly. Owners can of course answer and end calls using the headset, but they can also conduct voice dialing, as well as pair with devices automatically (foregoing selection). Talk-time is rated at eight hours, while standby extends to 360 hours (15 days). The 2020 should be available now, but does not have any pricing published online.

ASUS launches special-run F8p notebook for Christmas

11/12, 3:15pm

ASUS F8p Christmas Edition

In an unusual move, ASUS today rolled out a special Christmas Edition of its F8 series 14-inch notebook. The unique version, known as the F8p, scraps ASUS' familiar black for an all-white design with silver keys; the palm rests are covered in white leather, the PC maker touts. A matching bag is also included. Inside, the portable is focused on speed with a 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB of memory, a 250GB hard disk with a 1GB Turbo Memory cache, and a 256MB Mobility Radeon HD 2400 capable of driving both HD video and Vista Home Premium's Aero Glass interface.

Sprint to pick up Motorola Q2 before holidays

11/12, 2:55pm

Moto Q2 Teaser at Sprint

Sprint will be the next to use Motorola's Q9 smartphone but should apply its own twist to the core design, says a new teaser that has appeared on the company's website without an announcement. To be called the Motorola Q2, the phone will be a close cousin of the Q9m at Verizon but should be more faithful to the original design with blue lighting. The rendering shows the Palm OS running on the device, though this is believed to be a mockup; Windows Mobile 6 is expected to come standard as with the Q9's launch on other carriers.

Gibson introduces 'robotic' guitar

11/12, 2:50pm

Gibson Robot Guitar

Famous instrument maker Gibson has announced the impending release of the Robot Guitar, claimed to be the world's first guitar with built-in robotics. Servos located on the headstock tune the strings as desired; while the guitar defaults to A440 tuning, six other presets are included based on hit songs; to switch to one, musicians simply hit a button. The servos handle the rest. The guitar can also be tuned manually through a knob on the body, which pushes in and out and can also twist to change volume.

TomTom reveals HD Traffic, upgraded ONE XL

11/12, 2:25pm

TomTom HD Traffic

TomTom on Monday combined technologies with the advent of HD Traffic, an improved version of the traffic status service offered for many of its more advanced GPS units. The service borrows from the technology of assisted GPS from cellphones to provide a much more frequent and accurate position update than would be possible through GPS alone. TomTom units with a GSM modem can now track nearby cars and triangulate the position of the driver accordingly. In the right conditions, HD Traffic provides five times more updates than would be possible before, TomTom claims. The service launches first in the company's home country of the Netherlands in the next few days courtesy of Vodafone and will reach other parts of Europe by early 2008. A North American version is likely but unannounced.

Google Android SDK intros iPhone-like features

11/12, 1:35pm

Google Android SDK

Google today released its promised software development kit for Android, the company's new Linux-based operating system for cellphones and handheld devices. The utility allows developers to freely write programs that take advantage of all the hardware features of a given device or replace the most basic features; the dialing system and the front end can be replaced if a programmer likes, Google says. The search engine giant also stresses that all its most popular services are built-in and usable with third-party apps without requiring privileged access.

Envision launches 'cheap' 24-inch monitor [updated]

11/12, 1:05pm

Envision G416 LCD monitor

Display maker Envision has released a new, relatively low-cost LCD monitor with high-end performance, the G416. The 24-inch monitor supports resolutions up to 1900x1200 (above 1080p), and boasts a 5ms response time with 400cd/m2 brightness and 3,000:1 dynamic contrast. It displays in a 16:10 widescreen ratio, and can be VESA mounted to a wall for maximum space. The monitor's main limitation is that it lacks an HDMI port, preventing it from accepting full HD from some AV equipment such as game consoles; users must instead connect through DVI-D, or settle for RGB analog. The G416 is available now through Envision's online store for $400. [pricing updated

Google posts contest, SDK to boost Android OS

11/12, 12:25pm

Google Android award, SDK

Google has announced the creation of the Android Developer Challenge, two contests meant to foster the growth of its Android mobile operating system. The company says that while it has already built some applications for Android, it wants more and better ones, for which it will issue prizes ranging between $25,000 and $275,000 out of a total pool of $10 million. Fifty $25,000 prizes will be awarded towards the end of March, with the goal of funding extra development; the winners will then be eligible for the May prizes, consisting of 10 $100,000 and 10 $275,000 payouts.

Helio lowers price for all-in plans, offers refurbs

11/12, 11:45am

Helio All-In and Refurbs

Hoping to jumpstart its still young cell service, Helio today quietly lowered the price of its unlimited All-In cellular plan from $145 to $99. The discount effectively gives the provider one of the first truly unlimited subscriptions available for under $100; users can have unrestricted 3G Internet access, domestic calling, GPS mapping, and messaging with any handset. This plan requires a new two-year subscription and is only available for a limited time, Helio says, though the company does not say when the lowered rate expires.

Alienware intros 4GHz quad desktop with Intel 45nm

11/12, 11:10am

Alienware Area-51 4GHz

Alienware today introduced what it says is one of the fastest factory-tuned home computers to date. A new version of the Area-51 ALX mid-tower PC uses the power efficiency of Intel's new 45-nanometer Core 2 Extreme QX9650 quad-core processor combined with the case's more advanced cooling to offer one of the highest default clock speeds of any desktop PCs: the new system jumps from 3GHz to 4GHz without overheating or extreme power demands. t also becomes the first known system to use AMD's Radeon HD 3870 graphics and pairs two of the GPUs together for better 3D performance in CrossFire mode.

Microsoft buys Musiwave; Zune Wi-Fi store?

11/12, 10:30am

Microsoft Buys Musiwave

Microsoft today announced its intent to acquire Musiwave, a French firm primarily focused on mobile music services to cellular carriers and to labels. The deal will allow Microsoft to "explore new areas in the mobile space," according to the company, and to bring Musiwave's business connections and technology to Microsoft's more portable hardware and software services, including Windows Live, the Windows Mobile OS for smartphones, and the Zune media player. Neither company announced the proposed financial terms of the deal, which is still awaiting approval but will see Musiwave remain at its Paris headquarters.

OLPC sales open to public through Give 1, Get 1

11/12, 9:35am

OLPC Give 1 Get 1 Live

The One Laptop Per Child project today began its promised Give 1 Get 1 program, offering the XO notebook to North American buyers for the first time. The limited-run sale is meant to help fund the production of the developing-world portable and asks customers to buy two units as part of a $400 pack: one of the systems goes to one of the countries using the XO for education while another becomes the users' own, the OLPC team says. Those simply interested in charity can pay $200 to fund the cost of a system.

Zune to one-up iPod in customization?

11/12, 9:00am

Zune Originals

Microsoft intends to improve on the basic formula of customization pioneered by the iPod for the release of the new Zunes, according to an interview with company global marketing chief Chris Stephenson. To be called Zune Originals, the service will offer not just four lines of engraved text (up from the iPod's two) on the aluminum backs of the new models but also any one of 27 different full-size drawings from internationally well-known artists.

HTC debuts Touch Cruise with 3G, GPS

11/12, 8:30am

HTC Touch Cruise

HTC on Monday took on the launch of the iPhone in Europe with the release of the Touch Cruise, the company's third touchscreen-focused smartphone following the original Touch and the first to offer a significant new design. The device originally known as the Polaris is based around the same combination of Windows Mobile 6, the HTC Home front-end, and the finger-oriented TouchFLO interface but adds a navigation wheel as well as extra shortcut buttons for its special features. One of these is for GPS, HTC says: the Cruise is the first Touch to include full navigation and uses maps supplied by TomTom.

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