Buffalo on Wednesday became one of the first companies to offer a 32GB flash storage stick that should be both portable and quick. The SHD-U32GS fits 32GB of data into the same space as the company's existing 16GB version while maintaining the same speed. In-house technology known as TurboUSB boosts transfer speeds 20 percent past other external flash drives, Buffalo claims. The U32GS is also ruggedized and includes both a clip and a switch to prevent an accidental data wipe.
Two major parties are criticizing Rogers over its experimental messaging system, a Canadian newspaper reports. The company acknowledged this week that it has been inserting its own messages into third-party websites, in a bid to warn customers nearing their maximum download limits; this has generated criticism from a number of sources, among them being Google, which is now expressing disappointment with Rogers' practices. "We are concerned about these reports," a company representative says. "As a general principle, we believe that maintaining the Internet as a neutral platform means that carriers shouldn't be able to interfere with Web content without users' permission."
Two new software-as-a-service media-sharing products are currently in development for iPhone and iPod touch users, MoboVivo and Orb. MoboVivo is a commercial service that has recently finalized iPhone and iPod touch support, allowing users to "Buy and Sync" television shows directly to their device. The service offers multiple channels, such as MoboDiva, MoboDocs, UrbanVivo, and various lifestyle and entertainment channels. The service is also available to a number of different players and gaming consoles from companies like Archos, Microsoft, and Sony. Episodes are available from the service for $2, and the company says that it is the first to make paid TV downloads available to Canadians.
Social network site Facebook today announced the early stages of open access to Facebook Platform, the underpinning for the company's web application service. The company will let its existing platform serve as a reference for other sites and will allow competitors to license the company's proprietary tags and similar code, though the cost if any of a license has yet to be revealed. Expanding the code will let developers writing for Facebook export their web applications to other sites without having to significantly rewrite the code for another platform, the company says.
Some HP notebooks may be exposed to potentially serious code vulnerabilities, according to a SecurityFocus newsgroup discussion. A researcher working under alias says he has found flaws in an ActiveX control for HP's Info Center, software used to access system information and configuration. The difficulty is that if an HP owner visits a malicious website, a knowing hacker may then be able lay bare the software and the rest of a notebook, leaving it exposed to malware, registry changes, and other critical threats.
Microsoft's next version of Windows will support complex multi-touch features, according to a claim by company test engineer Hilton Locke. So far referred to only as Windows 7, the operating system will receive a Windows Technology update that should allow multiple points of contact and significantly more complex input options than the iPhone. Users of the Apple handset will be "blown away" by the additions to Windows, Locke hints without providing specific details.
Microsoft today said it was rebranding its well-known PlaysForSure copy protection scheme to Certified for Windows Vista, driving users to make a connection between the media digital rights management (DRM) scheme and the company's newest operating system. The decision will see media players, music phones, and similar devices use the new logo and places these in the same category as unrelated products such as digital cameras and printers. Microsoft has not explained the reasons for the decision but is believed to have made the choice as a marketing move.
Cubic Telecom today promised a minor shakeup of cellular calling with its new MAXroam SIM, a prepaid SIM card designed for frequent travelers. The card fits into any unlocked GSM phone and establishes a local number both in the user's home country and in at least one extra territory: owners can both place and take calls as though they were local in either area by pointing callers to the right number. The service is independent of any particular provider and will support as many as 50 numbers and 40 different countries. With rates that are virtually local, users no longer have to pay the frequently high price of roaming with their usual carrier, Cubic claims.
Microsoft has announced the acquisition of Multimap, a UK-based mapping company. Similar in concept to sites like Mapquest, the Multimap website lets users find places and driving directions, with additional options such as locating hotels or looking up subway routes. Microsoft says that the purchase is intended to complement its growing search services, including Virtual Earth and Live Search; the move may be more strategic still however, since it is competing not only with Mapquest but Google Maps, which has become increasingly integrated with other platforms.
Samsung today rolled out the SPF-83V, its first photo frame to offer a wireless sync feature. The 8-inch LCD incorporates an 802.11g Wi-Fi connection that will pull photos across the Internet from any site or service with an RSS image feed, such as Flickr; Windows Live members with a photo gallery also have access, Samsung notes. The feature keeps the frame stocked with images regardless of where and when the photos have been uploaded.
Several activist groups have submitted a petition to the FCC regarding SMS blocking, filings indicate. The problem, says a coalition include Public Knowledge, Educause and six other groups, is that cellular networks are sometimes blocking bulk text messages without legitimate pretext, hurting operations. One recent example comes from September, when Verizon refused to provide short codes to NARAL Pro-Choice America; although the group only wanted to send out opt-in alerts, Verizon said it would not allow "highly controversial" texts on its network.
T-Mobile will have a third choice for its upcoming 3G Internet service beyond the Nokia 6263 and Samsung t639 shortly after it launches in the near future, the FCC has unintentionally revealed through a newly public filing. The Samsung t819 should be a slider alternative to the t639 and bring support for 1,700MHz UMTS access that makes video streaming and faster web browsing possible with the carrier. Legacy support for T-Mobile's EDGE network is also known to be included with the device.
Samsung will soon be displaying the world's largest OLED TV to the public, the company has announced. At next month's Consumer Electronics Show, scheduled from January 7th to the 10th, Samsung will be displaying a 40-inch OLED set (not pictured), several times larger than Sony's flagship XEL-1, which is due to ship to the US within the next few months. OLEDs appear likely to replace LCD and plasma screens in the 2010s, due to several factors: they are first of all able to operate without a backlight, not only allowing true blacks, but also consuming less electricity.
The LG phone likely to become the AT&T Vu2 may have appeared at the FCC, according to a new filing. The LG MS25 appears to be very similar to the KS20 touchscreen phone already on sale in Europe but with changes both to accommodate the phone in the US and to upgrade features beyond the original version: the MS25 will add support for the 850 and 1,900MHz radio bands needed to offer full support for calls and EDGE data access in the US. 3G is mentioned in the listing but is not accompanied by a mention of HSDPA, which will be necessary for video calls or Internet streaming. The handset should come with Windows Mobile 6.1 to bring threaded text messaging, copying and pasting text, and other software upgrades.
Helio this morning announced it would add a dedicated YouTube program for the Ocean, becoming one of the few outside of Apple to receive a customized YouTube client. The Pantech-made, dual slider phone receives the ability to not just browse videos either in landscape or portrait view but also to contribute; users can rate videos and add comments but also upload contributions taken using the Ocean's built-in camera. Uploaders can customize the title and tags for a video but also take advantage of the Ocean's GPS unit to geotag videos, pinpointing the location for later use at a site such as Google Maps.
The PlayStation Portable will soon get a firmware update that adds some heavily requested features for its built-in Wi-Fi connection, according to an update from Sony. Version 3.80 will be the first to allow tuning Internet radio and should support live streams in the same formats as the player can handle offline, including MP3-based Shoutcast streams. The PSP will now also pick up photocasts through RSS feeds and supports OPML, allowing users to import lists with multiple feeds, such as from a dedicated RSS reader on a PC.
Toshiba on Wednesday revealed that it has developed a new design process which should greatly increase the capacity of flash memory for future storage. Known as double tunnel layer technology, it brackets a layer of silicon nanocrystals that help store memory between a pair of tunnel oxide layers that help control the flow of electricity in and out of the silicon; as the tunnels are only 1 nanometer thick, this helps move to smaller manufacturing processes -- as small as 10 nanometers -- that can pack more data in the same space, according to Toshiba. It also improves the overall speed of writing or erasing data.
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