News Archive for 07/11/29

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Aegis Vault features 128-bit AES encryption

11/29, 11:15pm

Apricorn Aegis Vault

Apricorn recently unveiled the Aegis Vault - a 2.5-inch drive protected with 128-bit AES hardware encryption - adding to its large lineup of Aegis portable media drives. The USB-powered drive features an encrypted partition that can be accessed through a password, and can be configured with public partitions for use in a shared environment. The Aegis Vault does not require the host computer to have special software installed to authenticate the drive, allowing any Windows-based computer to access the content in the encrypted partition when the correct password is entered. Pricing for the Aegis Vault starts at $170 for the 80GB version, with drive sizes available up to 250GB.

Cellphone subscriptions at half of global population

11/29, 5:10pm

Cell use at 50 percent

The number of global cellular subscriptions is now equivalent to half the planet's total population, says the research company Informa. A new analysis claims that subcriptions have surpassed the 3.3 billion mark, a staggering achievement for any electronics product. Growth is so fast, cellphones are already ingrained with otherwise impoverished countries such as China and India, with some tentative steps being made into Africa. National economies have in some cases benefitted greatly: much of Finland's financial health is dependent on Nokia, and among South Korea's corporate giants are Samsung and LG.

Dell takes tumble in world marketshare

11/29, 4:50pm

Dell Marketshare Tumbles

The once-dominant PC maker Dell is growing far more slowly than many rival PC makers and is taking a dive in marketshare as a result, according to a new study from iSuppli. The research group found that the company's shipping numbers grew just 1.5 percent year over year; this resulted in a drop of its command of PCs from 16.3 to 14.6 percent of the world's share. HP in turn jumped by almost 16 percent to take the lead with 19.1 percent of all PCs sold. Lenovo, Acer, and Toshiba rounded out top five, though Acer is expected to push its share upwards after it finishes its takeover of Gateway.

NVous to produce Romero Britto notebooks

11/29, 4:30pm

NVous Britto notebooks

Notebook builder NVousPC is publicizing a new custom-painted system, the Britto PC. A collaboration with pop painter Romero Britto, the only model currently produced is sitting at the artist's gallery, and is illustrated on all available surfaces with a version of a work called "Mia's Jungle." Other Britto notebooks should eventually reach the public however, and internal specifications have been revealed to include a 2.33GHz Core 2 Duo chipset, 2GB of RAM, and a 160GB hard disk. The system will also come preloaded with Windows Vista Ultimate, but the optical drive will merely be a DVD combo model. No prices have been mentioned.

Microsoft previews large Windows Mobile 6 update

11/29, 4:10pm

Win Mobile 6 Update Soon

Microsoft has provided companies a preview of a significant update to Windows Mobile at the cellphone-oriented Mobius conference, say reports from the event. Though guests have been asked not to leak specific information about the software, it should be an upgrade to Windows Mobile 6 rather than a completely new version but will still have tangible new features and other upgrades compared to the original version, which launched early this year and has remained largely unchanged since.

Zune 80 finally eligible in Originals plan

11/29, 3:55pm

Zune 80 in Originals

Microsoft has announced that the Zune 80, the company's latest full-size media player, is finally eligible for the Zune Originals program. Buyers of a Zune 80 can now have their player emblazoned for free with one of 27 different pieces of art, created by 18 different artists; alternately, up to five lines of text can be laser-engraved. Microsoft will later let shoppers choose from an additional 20 tattoo-style graphics, which can be combined with up to three lines of text.

Warner Music profit drops, blamed on digital shift

11/29, 3:45pm

Warner Music Profit Drop

Warner Music Group on Thursday reported a major drop in profits for its last financial quarter that it largely attributes to online music. Although the company noted that its purely download-based music income increased by 25 percent to $130 million, the company's overall profit dropped about 58 percent and resulted in just $5 million versus $12 million the year before. This income would have been worse still had the company not taken advantage of a settlement with Bertelsmann over a Napster legal dispute.

Phone not responsible for Korean death?

11/29, 3:15pm

S. Korean death challenged

The death of a Korean man may not be attributable to his cellphone, as once thought, the Associated Press writes. The man was found dead Wednesday with a melted cellphone battery near his chest, but the country's National Institute of Scientific Investigation now says that fatal damage to the heart and lungs could not have been caused by the pressure of a cellphone explosion. The man had also been found with burn-like chest injuries, as well as a broken spine and ribs.

ASUS reveals Nova mini-PC

11/29, 3:05pm

ASUS Nova P22

ASUS today introduced one of its rare desktop systems. Called the Nova P22, the PC is aimed squarely at the micro-PC field of the Mac mini and effectively hides virtually all of the front desktops while sitting roughly two inches tall; it includes a slot-load optical drive and places virtually all input at the back. Unlike the mobile CPU of its Apple counterpart, the system is driven by a desktop 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo with a far faster 1.06GHz front side bus.

Moto planning ZINE line with 8MP touchscreen phone?

11/29, 2:35pm

Moto ZINE Leak

Motorola is planning a whole new line of phones in 2008 and will center this around one of the most advanced media phones to date, claim bloggers tapping sources at a Motorola Spain event. Called the ZINE line, the series will reportedly include at least two models next year and will include at least one phone based on the kick-slider design of the RIZR Z8. The handset would be based on the rumored Z10 (which is now pushed back to early 2008) but would have a slightly larger housing to accommodate a touchscreen along with the usual sliding keypad. It would also draw on new technology developed in tandem with Kodak to include an 8-megapixel camera and boast an extremely rare optical zoom lens.

Microsoft fined $140m in two-password patent suit

11/29, 2:05pm

Microsoft vs Z4 Suit

Microsoft will have to pay $140 million in damages after being found culpable of patent infringement for a password system, a judge in a Marshall, Texas court has ruled this week. The software firm's Windows XP operating system and Office 2003 have both allegedly abused patents held by licensing firm Z4 Technologies that address a system which asks the user for two password-like security codes that can be used to both access and deactivate software. Requiring CD keys and activation codes for these programs is a blatant violation, Z4 claims. AutoCAD and Maya creator Autodesk is also liable and will pay $18 million to the court.

Blu-Ray, DVD win Black Friday sales

11/29, 1:35pm

Blu-Ray takes Black Friday

Blu-Ray remains the format of choice in the HD world, results from the week of Black Friday show. Data from Nielsen VideoScan reveals that of the HD discs bought during last week, 72.6 percent of them were Blu-Ray titles, leaving HD DVD at 27.4 percent. This is despite a massive influx of HD DVD players from Wal-Mart's $99 sale, and the success of particular titles such as Transformers. Simply by itself, the Blu-Ray version of Live Free or Die Hard sold nearly 100,000 copies, according to one Fox Home Entertainment executive.

Wal-Mart carries $199 Venturer HD DVD player

11/29, 1:20pm

Venturer SHD7000 HD DVD

Venturer today vowed to up-end the typically expensive HD video player market and launched the SHD7000, one of the lowest-cost HD DVD players yet and one of the few inexpensive models beyond Toshiba. The slim device is the first to sell at the $199 mark without a closeout sale or a promo campaign and matches many of the features as Toshiba's HD-A2 and HD-A3: it outputs at a maximum 1080i but supports Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD in 5.1-channel surround, outputs through HDMI, and accepts Ethernet connections for updates or Internet-based special movie features.

Cowon Q5W Wi-Fi player to hit in December

11/29, 12:20pm

Cowon Q5W coming in Dec.

Cowon has revealed that its Q5W media player, announced for the US earlier this month, will at last ship in early December. The player is unique in several respects; it supports 802.11b Wi-Fi for instance, but unlike Apple's iPod touch, can browse websites with and without Flash. The player also has a five-inch, 800x480 touchscreen, which can be optimized for either fingers or a stylus.

EMI may scale back RIAA funding

11/29, 11:40am

EMI Scaling Back RIAA

Music label EMI could weaken the anti-piracy campaigns of both the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in the near future by reducing its financial help with both organizations, claims an anonymous insider speaking to Reuters. A recent acquisition of EMI by the private equity firm Terra Firma is known to have triggered a financial review that would reduce the millions of dollars that the label supplies to both groups.

Verizon confirms 4G access, to share with AT&T

11/29, 10:40am

Verizon Chooses LTE for 4G

Verizon on Thursday confirmed a choice of its fourth-generation cellular Internet access that will dictate both its phone offerings and its compatibility with other networks. The company says it will use the new standard known as Long-Term Evolution, or LTE; the technology promises as much as 100 megabits per second in downloads and 50 megabits in the reverse direction while also cutting down latency to 20 milliseconds, making particularly intensive online games, high-quality two-way video, and other time-sensitive features more practical.

TiVo hinting at Series 4 with full two-way tuning?

11/29, 9:30am

TiVo Series 4 Hint

TiVo may have tipped its hand and revealed the next generation of its digital video recorder, according to the company's third-quarter results briefing. The device maker says that it has made a deal with the cable TV industry that will let TiVo's hardware tune any signal that supports the OpenCable standard in both directions. This will allow an upcoming DVR to access video-on-demand services and other features that have previously been impossible to implement in the past, the company says. Today, TiVo's Series 2, Series 3, and TiVo HD models all support only one-way analog or digital tuning, forcing users to visit non-interactive channels.

Canada to open cell industry in new auction

11/29, 9:10am

Canada Wireless Auction

An upcoming wireless frequency auction in Canada will mirror the 700MHz auction in the US in its attempt to foster genuine competition, says the country's Industry Minister, Jim Prentice. Under a new set of rules, the government will deliberately set aside 40 percent of the available spectrum for companies new to the field in an attempt to prevent incumbents such as Bell or Rogers from shutting out competitors. The amount of airwave space up for grabs will be enough to start a national wireless carrier and offer a fourth alternative that could drive down the high cellular calling and Internet access prices that are hurting customers, Prentice says.

DVB-H becomes Euro mobile TV standard

11/29, 8:15am

DVB-H Becomes Standard

The DVB-H (digital video broadcasting, handheld) format championed by Nokia is now ratified as Europe's standard for portable digital TV, the European Commission says today. Although the continent-wide organization had chosen the format in the summer, a vote by European Union members voted in favor of choosing the standard. This will demand that any cellphone, computer, or other device made for mobile TV in these countries must use the format for their networks. Such a decision will avoid fragmenting the market and encourage companies to develop hardware knowing they can ship a large amount and reduce the overall price, the EC says.

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