News Archive for 07/11/27

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Brother unveils color multifunction lasers

11/27, 10:10pm

Brother color MFC lasers

Brother on Tuesday unveiled its first line of digital color laser copier-printers, with the introduction of the DCP-9040CN and DCP-9045CDN. Targeted at small offices and workgroups, the DCP-9000 series uses the same single-pass print engine that is resident in the HL-4000 and MFC-9000 series devices that were introduced earlier this year. The new line of all-in-ones feature up to 21 pages-per-minute print speeds in both color and monochrome, producing up to 2400 x 600 DPI prints. The units connect through Ethernet and USB 2.0, and the upper model features compatibility with USB Direct Interface electronics, such as USB flash drives and PictBridge-enabled cameras. Brother is selling the DCP-9040CN for $600, while the DCP-9045CDN will be available for $700 in December.

Universal: Apple using "golden handcuffs"

11/27, 4:40pm

Universal on Music, Apple

Universal Music Group has been slow to acknowledge technological change and has been ensnared by the "golden handcuffs" of Apple's music efforts as a result, says the music label's chief Doug Morris in a newly published interview with Wired. The executive observes that Apple approached Universal for signing on to 2003's iTunes Music Store at a time when the latter was desperate to find a successful online music sale model and was willing to take a risk on the iTunes operator, which promised minimal damage due to its small computer marketshare and the lack of a monopoly on digital music players at the time.

Blu-ray's 3:1 European lead sign of larger victory?

11/27, 3:55pm

Blu-ray vs HD DVD in Euro

The Blu-ray disc format accounts for nearly three quarters of all HD movies sold in Europe and is contributing to an overall lead for the format, according to new reports from manufacturers. The Blu-ray Disc Association says it has sold about one million movies on the continent compared to about 370,000 HD DVD titles, giving the former standard a 73 percent marketshare. The wider adoption of the format becomes even clearer if PlayStation 3 games are factored in at 21 million units total for Europe, the Association boasts. No games are currently made for the Xbox 360's HD DVD attachment as the drive is considered strictly optional.

Google planning network storage service?

11/27, 3:10pm

Google Drive Service Soon

Google is working on its first network storage service, says a claim from the Wall Street Journal. The paper refers to anonymous sources which say the company plans to offer a mixture of free and paid service plans that would primarily serve as backup but also as a way of merging Google's various web-only and software services. A user could search through the Google drive and find photos stored locally in Picasa as well as text files stored online through Google Docs, the paper says. File management would also be virtually transparent and behave more like a drive local to the computer than a website.

Greenpeace ranks lift Apple, punish Microsoft

11/27, 2:05pm

Greenpeace December 2007

A combination of new entrants and shifts in corporate practices have shaken up the rankings for ecologically friendly electronics makers, according to the December 2007 Greenpeace guide to the technology industry. Apple has improved from its previously very low scores, moving from 12th to 11th place; this is largely due to the use of aluminum and glass for the new iMac as well as a reduction in toxic chemicals for many iPods. The company nonetheless needs to more explicitly outline which hazardous substances it continues to use and also needs to greatly expand its takeback policy for recycling obsolete hardware outside of the US, Greenpeace argues.

Zune 80's battery life well below iPod?

11/27, 1:15pm

Zune 80 Battery Life

The just-launched Zune 80 may fall well short of the iPod classic in battery performance, according to benchmarking performed by CNET. The site reports that the hard disk-based player runs for 22 hours with Wi-Fi disabled, eight hours short of the competing 80GB iPod's official figure of 30 hours. Switching Wi-Fi on without using it drops battery life to about 18.5 hours, the tests show. By contrast, Electronista's iPod classic review netted 32.5 hours before time constraints forced an early end; CNET's own review generated about 45 hours of runtime.

Microsoft backs Verizon open handset effort

11/27, 12:05pm

Microsoft Backs Verizon

Microsoft on Tuesday was quick to say it would support Verizon's new Any App, Any Device initiative, encouraging companies to produce unlocked phones that would support Verizon's network. As US cellular customers get used to smartphones, they will want the ability to install their own software and the freedom to switch carriers, Microsoft claims. The Redmond-based software maker's Windows Mobile 6 OS technically allows users to install apps signed by Microsoft but is often restricted by Verizon and other carriers, which in the past have regularly blocked voice-over-IP and other programs that would compete with their own services.

Dell rolls out Penryn-based Precision workstations

11/27, 11:10am

Dell Precision with Penryn

Dell today expanded its fledgling line of computers using Intel's 45-nanometer Penryn technology with the release of the Precision T5400 and T7400. Both tower systems are designed for the new Xeon 5200 and 5400 quad-core processors and can use two of them for as many as eight cores in a single system -- this includes the range-topping 3.2GHz chips with a 1.6GHz front side bus, according to Dell. Each also boasts dual PCI Express 2.0 slots that can individually handle up to a Quadro FX 5600 card with 1.5GB of memory for the most intensive 3D work.

Zipit ships Wireless Messenger 2 handheld

11/27, 10:30am

Zipit Wireless Messenger 2

Zipit today rolled out the Wireless Messenger 2, its foldable handheld built with instant messaging in mind. Nicknamed the Z2, the device connects through Wi-Fi and allows chats through AIM, Windows Live, or Yahoo with a full QWERTY keyboard and navigation pad but without the expense of a cellphone or a notebook. Beyond reducing the price, this also makes the Z2 an ideal substitute to keep teenagers and younger kids in a malware-free environment, Zipit says. Particularly concerned parents can remotely control access through a web portal.

Fujitsu readies 320GB notebook drive

11/27, 9:40am

Fujitsu 320GB Laptop Drive

Fujitsu today became one of the first notebook drive makers to break past the 300GB barrier and announced the MHZ2 BH series, a new line of 2.5-inch Serial ATA drives destined for notebooks. Like the recently announced Toshiba and Western Digital equivalents, the new range tops out at 320GB without sacrificing much speed, spinning at the same 5,400RPM as drives that were previously limited to 250GB of storage. This also occurs while minimizing power draw: the 320GB disk consumes 0.6 watts at idle and no more than 1.9 watts at peak, suiting it to very energy-sensitive computers or handhelds.

Dell aims at MacBook Pro with XPS M1530

11/27, 9:05am

Dell XPS M1530

Dell today completed the overhaul of its XPS notebook line by introducing the XPS M1530. The system is one of Dell's few high-end 15-inch notebooks and is aimed at the same audience that would otherwise seek slim, stylized portables such as Apple's MacBook Pro: the minimalist system is 0.9 inches deep at its thinnest point and uses a slot-load optical drive (like the M1330) in place of the usual tray-loading option. A minimum 128MB GeForce 8400M GS graphics chip provides dedicated 3D acceleration even on the least expensive model, which also includes a 2-megapixel webcam and a fingerprint reader.

Verizon promises open device, software access

11/27, 8:35am

Verizon Any App Any Device

Verizon today hoped to shake up the US cellular industry by announcing a new strategy that will allow customers more choice of their own hardware and software. Nicknamed "Any Apps, Any Device," the option will let any cellphone, computer, or similar device that meets a certain minimum technical threshold run on the carrier's network and use its services. Testing will also certify those devices not already offered by Verizon to greenlight them for the company's network, the company says. These devices will be able to use any software users like rather than what Verizon dictates for its own handsets.

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