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Sony Computer Entertainment America today unveiled the North American Playstation store for PCs today, allowing users to access Playstation network games, video content, and services through a computer. The service allows PSP owners to create a Playstation Network account, so they can download and purchase content without requiring a Playstation 3. Users can download exclusive games and demos from the online store without requiring a UMD, and a number of different original Playstation titles, as well as add-on content, videos, and themes to re-skin their PSP's operating system. Playstation 3 owners can also log into the PC service with their Playstation Network ID.
Griffin Technology recently updated its TuneBuds in-ear headphones to color coordinate with the new line of iPods. The headphones come in six different metallic colors - red, light blue, light green, blue, silver and pink. The TuneBuds feature a neodymium driver, and three sets of interchangeable silicone ear cushions that allow for a wider comfort level for the user. The in-ear design cuts out external noise, allowing users to enjoy their music at much quieter levels, while still being able to hear all the detail. The headphone jack is very slim, which lets the TuneBuds work with a wide variety of iPod cases, or any recessed mini-jack. Griffin is currently shipping the TuneBuds in color for $20.
British radio maker Revo has released a new device, the Blik. Though able to function as a normal FM radio or alarm clock, the Blik's key advantage is its Wi-Fi, which has listings for over 6,000 continually-updated Internet stations, as well as various "listen again" services such as those operated by the BBC. Should Internet options not be appealing, users can stream MP3 and WMA audio from their Mac or PC, or plug in an iPod for more direct playback. The Blik is selling in the UK for £100 ($205).
Aluratek recently unveiled a new lineup of digital picture frames, and announced that they are fully compatible with Mac OS 10.4. Included in this release are the 10.5-inch ADMPF110 and 210 ($180), the 11-inch ADMPF311F($200), the 12-inch ADMPF312F($230), and the 15-inch ADMPF315F($300). The picture frames feature a high resolution TFT true color LCD screen, a wooden frame, and built in speakers, which allow users to listen to MP3 or WMA music files, view videos, or set up presentations with background music. The frames accept connections from digital cameras, USB flash drives, memory cards or a direct computer connection, and support drag-and-drop functionality. Aluratek's frames can be mounted on a wall or displayed on a surface using the included stand, and they come with a kit containing a remote, USB 2.0 cable, power adapter, and instructions.
Verizon Wireless will soon carry the KPC680, an ExpressCard 34 modem built by phone maker Kyocera. The card is notable mainly for supporting EVDO Revision A, a format which here peaks at 1.4Mbps down, although Verizon claims 600kbps is more likely. Upload speeds, meanwhile, are said to vary between 500 and 800kbps.
Distinguishing features of the card include a corkscrew flip-up antenna, and twin ports for improving reception with external antennas. Computers using the card require Windows 2000, XP or Vista, or else Mac OS X 10.4.8 and higher. The 680 normally costs $100 with a two-year contract, but is $50 cheaper online; in either case, users must subscribe to Verizon's BroadbandAccess service.
Outside of those most eager to sign on to Microsoft's 1.0 vision of its own digital music player, most agree that the original Zune -- still on sale as the Zune 30 after a firmware update -- is something of a flop. The hard disk drive-based player is bulky, quick to run out of battery power, and its much-ballyhooed Wi-Fi sharing turned out to be largely useless. This adds an extra burden to the first flash-based Zunes: they not only have to compete against the iPod nano and other fierce competitors but also represent a genuine improvement to the Zune line as a whole. As it turns out, both the Zune 4 and Zune 8 come close enough to the iPod's design that Apple may feel pressure for the first time -- though not quite enough to cause sleepless nights in Cupertino. Click ahead for the full Zune 4/8 review.
A second version of Canon's EOS-5D may be in production, a listing error suggests. Amongst the possible cameras a photographer might have, the bug submission form for Capture One beta 4 (by Phase One) lists a "Canon 5D Mark II;" selections are otherwise fairly conventional, limited to a host of known cameras and digital backs. The mistake is given weight both by Phase One's leading-edge reputation and by the EOS-40D, which was similarly exposed, and then officially confirmed on August 20th.
Various sources online are reporting that Saturday, November 24th, starting at 8AM, Wal-Mart stores across the United States will be offering a unique bundle to promote Sony's PlayStation 3 console. Shoppers who buy the $499, 80GB PS3 will be able to pick up 10 free Blu-Ray movies at the same time, in a deal that may be worth as much as $300. This is claimed to be on top of any existing bundles a system might ship with, such as a mail-in for five more movies.
The worth of the bundle comes from its price restriction, which limits each title to a cost of $30 or less. This eliminates any TV boxsets from the equation, but should it should be enough to cover older movies such as Rocky, Reservoir Dogs and Unforgiven. [via G4TV]
The Japanese division of JVC, JVC Victor, says it is producing a new D-ILA projector capable of extremely high resolutions. The maximum image size of the DLA-SH4K extends to 4096x2400 -- a level simply dubbed "4K," and currently used by a select few professional movie cameras. Years from now, the standard may also be the next likely successor to the 1080p plateau on HDTVs. The SH4K is also capable of a powerful 3,500 lumens of brightness using a xenon lamp, and a contrast ratio rated at 10,000:1.
Verizon on Tuesday escalated its fight against cable by introducing a major increase to upload speeds for regular users of its FIOS fiber optic Internet access. While the provider has already offered special symmetric access plans since late October, 16 of the US states that carry FIOS will now see much improved asymmetric speeds. States which currently offer 30Mbps download speeds will see their uploads increase from 5Mbps to 15Mbps; Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island all see their 50Mbps connection plans gain an increase in upstream bandwidth from the original 5Mbps to an even higher 20Mbps. The major increase can provide a tremendous improvement to multiplayer gaming, video chats, and other software which depends heavily on uploads to reduce lag, Verizon says.
Best Buy today revealed some of its 'doorcrasher' deals for Black Friday, including an unprecedented $229 promotion for the bundle of a notebook and a printer. The deal will see a Toshiba Satellite A135 with a 1.73GHz Celeron M, 512MB of memory, and an 80GB hard disk paired with a Canon PIXMA MP210 hybrid printer and scanner; the combination is nearly a $651 drop from the normal price for the two, the retailer says. No mention is made of how widespread the deal will be or how many of the bundles will be available, though the company is handing out tickets on the store's opening and is believed to be clearing out existing stock while also driving customers to the store.
Nintendo today jumpstarted the sales of its DS Lite handheld system with a pair of models with unique colors and game bundles. The Gold model comes with the Zelda game Phantom Hourglass and reflects this with a special Triforce logo from the game on the outer lid. A counterpart Metallic Rose model substitutes Nintendogs and adds a paw print in place of the earlier logo. Both systems are otherwise the same as their original dual-screened counterparts
Normally known for its home appliances in the US, Haier today entered the American market with the ibiza Rhapsody, its first portable media player in the country and one of the few to take direct advantage of built-in Wi-Fi. Partnering with RealNetworks, Haier provides access to the former's Rhapsody unlimited subscription service to provide downloads of new tracks anywhere the ibiza can connect to the Internet; an existing subscriber can fill the player with music without touching a computer, Haier says. The device can also browse AOL Video clips for free and even subscribe to podcasts directly from the device.
Nokia late yesterday began shipping the N810 tablet to the US, hoping to replace both notebooks and portable media players at once. True to the version originally announced last month, the device adds a slide-out keyboard and a more compact overall shape to the formula of the N800, and carries a front VGA camera for calls and photos; the shipping version also carries 2GB of built-in storage and a card slot for up to 8GB more for users relying on the N810 as their chief media player or even a work system.
Nikon on Tuesday devoted attention to beginners graduating to digital SLRs with a new entry-level Nikkor lens. The AF-S DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens is specifically aimed at amateur photographers who need their first removable lens but also want a step up in image quality: though roughly equivalent to the 3X zoom factor of point-and-shoot cameras, the lens adds vibration reduction that steadies the image for minor shaking both in close-up shots as well as reasonably distant telephoto shots of landscapes and similar subjects. Photographers can drop their shutter speeds three stops lower to take photos in darker scenes without blurring, the camera maker says.
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