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Gaming guru John Carmack today criticized Steve Jobs' mobile gaming strategy, saying that Apple's business-related decisions may affect the iPod and iPhone's future in gaming negatively. Fountainhead Entertainment and id Software recently formed id Mobile, a company dedicated to providing superior quality games in the cell phone market, after Carmack had experienced some less-than-stellar games on his own mobile device. In an interview with GameDaily BIZ, Carmack says that this is an important area to improve on, as there are approximately 10 to 20 times the number of mobile phones as there are computers in the world today, and about 100 times as many as there are gaming consoles.
Bell today upended the Canadian cellular business today by launching both the HTC Touch and a special service plan to match. While the touchscreen, Windows Mobile 6 phone is similar to the Telus version with a 2-megapixel camera and EVDO with the option of a faster Revision A upgrade in the future, the new version is available with an unlimited monthly Internet access plan for $7 per month. The plan is one of the first truly unlimited plans for phones in Canada and is the least expensive available anywhere, according to Bell.
Targeting Japan and Korea, Sharp has announced a new e-dictionary, the Papyrus PW-TC930. E-dictionaries are popular in Asia as they allow users to get around occasional language barriers; the 930 however may be more comprehensive than most, as it not only helps translate English (complete with spoken words), it offers a pre-loaded guide to birds, insects and other animals, with sounds for approximately 270 species. Should that not be enough, users are granted access to a version of the Encyclopedia Britannica for further reference.
Sprint will contribute its own share to Black Friday (the 23rd) by releasing two crucial smartphones as well as a third device for its iDEN network, says a new tip from Crave. The carrier intends to release its already hinted-at Moto Q2 (also known as the Q9c) the day after Thanksgiving and will include both Documents to Go for more advanced Office file editing than Windows Mobile offers and Good Mobile Messaging for push-style e-mail from Exchange servers. It will be priced at $150 with a two-year plan, according to Sprint.
Joint company LG.Philips says it has developed a new kind of LCD panel, one which is resistant to virtually any kind of dirtying. The problem with standard panels, the company says, is that the coating on most screens' anti-glare layers tends to hold onto oil and other substances. It is possible to add a second layer on top to eliminate the problem, but this naturally requires extra time and money on the part of screen builders. LG.Philips now claims that it has a simpler and cheaper solution, which the company's head of advanced technology development says is based on a principle "similar to that used on non-stick frying pans."
The Beatles' album catalog is close to a deal and should be available in 2008, band member Paul McCartney has revealed to Billboard. The musician notes that there is only "one little sticking point" to be cleared up before a release sometime next year and that it has only been a question of contractual obligations and the setup process itself. Neither the surviving Beatles nor Apple Corps want to rush the release and risk tarnishing the effect, McCartney says.
CBS today said it has switched on the CBS Mobile Zone, a free Wi-Fi area in mid-town Manhattan that will be accessible by anyone. The large hotspot is intended to CBS' main building in the borough and will ultimately range vertically from the south end of Central Park to west 42nd Street; some of Times Square as well as a significant area between 6th Avenue and 8th Avenue are also covered. This access will be subsidized by a unique approach to ads, CBS says. An initial connection to the network will open a page with ads as well as news and downloads. Many of the ads and content will be specifically targeted at the neighborhood rather than New York City and includes reviews of local restaurants and other shops.
PhotoVu today unveiled its latest wireless digital picture frame, the PV1765w. The frame contains a 17-inch widescreen LCD panel display in a 16:10 wide format, which is capable of displaying photos taken from high resolution digital cameras. Digital picture frames simulate standard picture frames to display photographs or to act as an advertising medium, but are able to cycle through thousands of photos which show up on the liquid crystal display within the frame. PhotoVu's 17-inch widescreen digital picture frames are priced from $700.
ASUS today quietly released the Galaxy Black Eee PC, the first model of the ultraportable to be available outside of its signature white color. The matte-finish system receives the color change through its entire body, including a switch to a black keyboard. The 900MHz Celeron M, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of flash-based storage remain unchanged from the original, as are its Wi-Fi access and multi-format card reader.
GPS makers Garmin and TomTom have at last settled their major legal conflicts, the companies have announced. The terms of the deal have not been made public, but it is known that Garmin initiated two US suits through courts in Wisconsin and Texas, charging that TomTom was violating intellectual property laws; it also called on Dutch and UK courts to invalidate some of TomTom's designs and patents. TomTom in turn countersued in Wisconsin, accusing Garmin of breaking three patents. Garmin scored an early victory in its war during 2006, when a Dutch court refused an injunction against one of its designs, which TomTom claimed was a copy of one it registered in Europe.
Korean giant Samsung claims it has developed the world's first eight-megapixel CMOS camera meant for cellphones. While cameras on cellphones have previously surpassed the eight-megapixel detail level, such as the one in Samsung's own B600, they have typically done so by expanding the dimensions of their hosts, making them unusually bulky. The new camera measures less than half an inch in its longest direction, and is just over a third of an inch thick, meaning that it should fit into the same spaces that current three-megapixel phones allow.
Electronista is preparing to compare the new Zune against the iPod and has just received a new 4GB model for testing. While a full review is stil some time away, we already have initial impressions of the device and its accompanying software, as well as how they compare to their most obvious rivals from Apple. Read ahead for this first take as well as an image gallery.
The HTC Touch, much touted as a Windows Mobile rival to Apple's iPhone, has at last broken the one-million sales barrier, the company says. The figure was reached at the end of October, and includes sales going back five months to the beginning of June, the phone's launch date in the United Kingdom. Availability has since broadened to include Asia, North America and the rest of Europe; HTC CEO Peter Chou says he expects to hit sales of 1.5 to 1.8 million by the end of the year.
The introduction of the 40GB PlayStation 3 has dramatically boosted the sales of the console since even its announcement, Sony chief Sir Howard Stringer observed late yesterday. Although the Blu-ray based system had only been selling between 30,000 and 40,000 consoles before the news, sales jumped to about 75,000 within two weeks after the announcement and an included price drop for the 80GB model to $499. The availability of the $399 40GB model increased sales once again to over 100,000. This indicates that a "turning point has been passed" in terms of acceptance of the console after taking criticism for the high price ever since the launch last year, Stringer says.
Seiko Instruments today introduced an update to its Smart Label Printer software, adding new webcam support. Compatible with several Logitech Quick Cam models - the Chat, Ultra Vision, and Pro 900 - and the Ecamm iMage, it is designed to allow users to directly place images on labels, to create personalized address labels and temporary security cards, among other things. Seiko claims that they are the first to introduce webcam compatibility directly with a label printer. Update: The company today told MacNN that the software is compatible with Apple's iSight cameras.
Apple is one among many companies named in a new lawsuit filed by Autotext Technologies, accusing businesses of violating a key patent, while a second New York lawsuit stemming from the stock options scandal was dimissed. Autotext in 1994 patented a technology called "computer-based transcription," which attempts to predict entries during word processing, offering suggestions as users type; because this concept is now almost ubiquitous, Autotext is suing 23 companies, among them Apple, AT&T, IBM, LG, Microsoft, Nuance, Nintendo, Sony, T-Mobile and Verizon. Cellphone makers are a particular target due to Nuance's T9 format, while Apple is subject as a result of Mac OS X 10.4 and Safari.
YouTube has announced it would begin testing a new hiqh-quality format for its videos with a new player and that it would deliver higher-quality videos to all users within three months. Following the delivery of a new multi-file uploader last week, The company's co-founder Steve Chen said that the company was exploring a new player that would detect the speed of the viewer's internet connection and deliver higher-quality video at the user's request, according to a CNET report. Speaking at the NewTeeVee Live conference this week, Chen did, however, note that YouTube's goal "is to make the site's vast library of content available to everyone and that requires a fairly low-bitrate stream."
Slacker today announced the ship date for its long delayed Portable Radio Player, the first digital media player designed primarily around the concept of radio stations rather than just a library. The device uses its flash memory to cache user-made radio stations; like Pandora, Slacker's system can automatically queue music based on a user's tastes but saves protected copies of songs to the player on the fly. It will dynamically update through built-in Wi-Fi or when attached through USB but stores enough for most stations to work completely offline. Users can also bring in their unprotected AAC, MP3, or WMA tracks if they prefer at least some of their own music.
RealNetworks today ended its primary beta testing and released RealPlayer 11, the latest version of its audio and video playback software. The new version is designed to make web video usable elsewhere and lets users click a button to transfer many embedded videos on websites to an iPod; all fifth- and sixth-generation iPods as well as the latest iPod nano can immediately get unprotected videos in a compatible format. iPhone and iPod touch users will gain support early next year due to their software, RealNetworks says. Initially, Windows users can queue these downloads regardless of a video's progress, how many are already being downloaded, and share a direct link to the video through e-mail. Every version has an improved interface with a quicker install and optimized video playback.
AMD's graphics card label ATI today unveiled its anticipated Radeon HD 3800 series, a new chipset that promises better performance for the mid-range as well as new graphics features. The line bucks the trend of reserving new visuals for high-end cards by introducing support for Microsoft's upcoming DirectX 10.1 (and according OpenGL 2.0 features) and its enhanced features, such as high dynamic color range for lighting and improved anti-aliasing effects. For Windows, the 3800 series also introduces CrossFire X, a new technology that allows users with supporting AMD mainboards to use as many as four graphics cards in tandem to improve 3D performance beyond even what may be possible with higher-end graphics cards.
Sony Electronics on Wednesday introduced its latest HDV products, including two new camcorders -- the handheld, HDMI-enabled HVR-Z7U and the shoulder-mount HVR-S270U. Due in February of next year, both models feature interchangeable lens systems, 1080/24p/30p native progressive recording, increased sensitivity for low-light conditions, hybrid solid-state recording and a 12x high-quality, multi-purpose Carl Zeiss lens for HD video, with a Vario-Sonnar T coating to reduce reflections. In addition, the company also introduced the HVR-M35U playback and recording deck, expanding Sony's line-up of HD production technologies, which includes the recently introduced PMW-EX1 XDCAM EX solid-state memory camera and the soon-to-be-available HVR-HD1000U shoulder-mount HDV camcorder.
Duracell today announced 11 new consumer products, designed for those with mobile lifestyles. The company has discovered from recent statistics that there is an average of one power outage every 13 days in the US, with one in three adults saying that a lengthly power outage would present a small impact on their personal financial stability. Because of this, Duracell is designing these products for businesses, but says that home users will also find them useful. Among the offerings are three power packs, five inverters, and three automotive battery chargers and jump-starters. Pricing for the units start at $30.
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