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Microsoft recently announced that it will support Acid2 and other industry standards in Internet Explorer 8, bringing the browser up to date with modern standards for displaying complex web code. Following in the footsteps of Safari and Firefox, which have been able to make use of the code for quite some time, Microsoft's IE development team calls the progress "a milestone". While the Acid2 test isn't an official release from a true web standards conglomerate, it is a fairly accurate test for verifying compatibility with W3C HTML and CSS 2.0 code.
Intuit today announced that it will be providing Quicken as an online software service for iPhone and mobile users by January 8th for $3 per month, which it hopes will expand its constantly-growing 14 million user-strong base. Reuters reports that with yearly sales of 1.7 million copies, Quicken has gained 8-percent marketshare, putting it at 80-percent for 2007. The service will be accessible through web browsers on most mobile devices, using the same encryption techniques used for internet banking to keep a user's data safe. The iPhone version, while having a lighter feature loadout than for other devices, will be completely optimized for on-the-go financials on the iPhone's crisp screen.
Google's Linux-based Android mobile OS is currently suffering from major flaws in both the code itself and in the development process, according to separate reports from Ars Technica and the Wall Street Journal. Though the phone software contains multiple significant flaws that have prevented a smooth development process, Google's current interaction with programmers includes no public tracking system and only minimal documentation; developers must petition Google to report a bug or to receive help, according to the reports.
AMD has begun shipping OEM units of the Phenom 9600 Black Edition, a special version of the company's flagship quad-core processor. Like the regular CPU, each Black Edition is rated at 2.3GHz, with a 3.6GHz HyperTransport bus and 2MB L2 and L3 caches. The difference is that the Black Edition is effectively "unlocked," ready for overclocking past 2.3GHz without having to adjust power ratings. The thermal design power (TDP) of the chip is normally 95W. System builders should be able to pick up a Black Edition for approximately $283. [via Impress Watch]
A US District Judge has terminated a case against TorrentSpy.com in view of evidence tampering, reports say. Representatives from the MPAA sued TorrentSpy in 2006, claiming that the BitTorrent tracker provided illegal access to copyrighted video. Although TorrentSpy countersued, arguing that the MPAA hacked into its computers and e-mail accounts, the company was later ordered to record its data traffic, which could have been used as evidence. Lawyers protested, calling the request "unprecedented and damaging to online free speech and privacy and to free market values that support technological development."
A new nanotechnology development should produce a major increase in the power available from lithium-ion battery technology, according to a report from Stanford University. While current batteries are limited to holding a relatively small amount of lithium by the need to use carbon for the anode that supplies the battery's current, the new technique developed by assistant professor Yi Cui instead uses a nest of silicon nanowires to hold the lithium. This allows far more lithium to fit into the battery while avoiding the swelling damage that occurs if larger silicon patterns are used.
Though only in time for post-Christmas shoppers, HP has decided to refresh several computers in its notebook line: these include the dv2700t, bw and se 14.1-inch models, the 15.4-inch dv6700z, t and se, and finally the dv9700t and z. All the machines continue to have dual-core Intel processors and a maximum 4GB of RAM, but people can now choose to upgrade with extra graphics and optical drive options. The latter comes in the form of a Blu-Ray drive; while read-only with HD discs, it can also burn DVD-R and RW discs.
Intel is consciously delaying three of its desktop quad-core chips based on the new 45-nanometer Penryn architecture to undermine similar releases from AMD, claim some Taiwan mainboard producers. Previously slated for January 20th, the 2.5GHz (Q9300), 2.66GHz (Q9450), and 2.83GHz (Q9550) Core 2 Quad will be pushed back to a February or March release specifically to counter releases of upgraded Phenom processors timed for a similar period. While Intel is confident its processors will outperform those from AMD, which still use a less efficient 65-nanometer design, there is no point to releasing the new Core 2 Quads until AMD begins to catch up in performance, according to the purported insiders.
Palm's profits have turned to sharp losses in the company's second fiscal quarter as it struggles to revitalize its smartphone business, the company announced today. Roughly falling in line with the company's already lowered expectations, the company's three-month period ending November 30th saw the company lose $9.6 million on sales of $349.6 million. Palm earned $12.8 million on a considerable higher sales number of $392.9 million in the same quarter a year ago, according to the report.
Sonnet has begun selling a new device for ExpressCard slots, the 21-in-1 Multimedia Memory Card Reader and Writer. Unlike a previous ExpressCard device, the R&W can also copy to memory cards, and does so without increasing in size; it fits flush with a notebook's body for travel. The 21 supported formats are divided between SD, xD, MMC and Memory Stick types, and include the likes of SDHC, microSD and Memory Stick Micro. Maximum transfer speed is 480Mbps.
Creative plans to revive the concept of a dedicated video phone with a device to be released soon, according to an FCC filing published yesterday and recently discovered by Engadget. The portable InPerson embeds a 7-inch LCD and rotating VGA camera that can be used for video chats between users with SightSpeed's live video service; directional pad controls and a simple onscreen interface help the user place calls more easily than would be possible either through software on a PC or on a legacy video phone. VoIP calls to and from real-world numbers will be possible through a number pad, the leak shows.
A new, formal complaint has been filed with the European Commission, directed against an anti-piracy levy present on the continent, Reuters reports. The complaint was made to Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen, but neither he nor Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy could say who made the complaint, except that the party objected to "obstacles to the free movement of goods."
Like Canada, all but two countries of the European Union -- Britain and Ireland -- collect varying amounts on items such as blank CDs and MP3 players, the money from which is used to compensate for illegal copying. In France and Finland for instance, the levy helps pay for cultural activities.
People buying certain Sharp TVs can receive a Vudu box for free, the latter company has announced. As part of a bundle running through January 5th, people who buy an AQUOS LCD can also get the Vudu set-top system, which is further tied to a $50 movie credit. Vudu estimates that the deal is worth approximately $449, but there are some catches: the TV must be 42 inches or larger, and 1080p-capable.
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is one of those already confirmed as bidding in the upcoming FCC auction for the 700MHz wireless band, according to the list of accepted applicants (PDF). The former executive is using a proxy firm known as Vulcan Spectrum in an attempt to capture a slice of the soon to be free wireless spectrum, which has been eagerly sought after by telecom providers for its potential with long-range Internet and similar data. Neither Allen nor Vulcan has revealed the reasons behind the bid, though Allen is also a significant stakeholder in cable provider Charter.
One of Motorola's upcoming ZINE cameraphones has been seen for the first time, according to a teaser from Chinese site IT168. The site largely confirms earlier details and notes that the 'kick-slider' handset will have a relatively advanced, Kodak-developed camera: the 5-megapixel sensor will include variable focus and a xenon flash to properly capture more distant subjects in low light, according to the report. The shot suggests a resolution lower than the originally claimed 8 megapixels, however.
Setting a new record for long-range wireless, Nokia Siemens Networks today revealed that it has completed a test of fourth-generation cellular data that proves the service quick in real-world conditions. Using the upcoming Long-Term Evolution (LTE) standard, the company has successfully reached wireless download speeds as high as 173 megabits per second in a downtown Berlin environment where interference would normally reduce the signal strength and hurt connection speed. The service crests above 100 megabits per second even with multiple users wandering as far as a kilometer (0.6 miles) away from the tower providing the signal, according to Nokia Siemens.
Panasonic's parent brand Matsushita is holding discussions with its frequent rival Hitachi that could permanently alter the HDTV business, according to a source speaking with Nikkei Business Daily (registration required). The former company is allegedly set along with Canon to take control of a joint LCD development project shared with Hitachi and Toshiba, giving it a far greater stake in the TV technology than it has to date. In return, the deal would help Hitachi offload the more unprofitable parts of its LCD business, which have left it struggling to compete with companies more dedicated towards HDTVs.
Dell today set an industry first by releasing the world's first commercially available screen with a DisplayPort connector. The 3008WFP uses the new standard to provide the high resolution of dual-link DVI with the integration of TV-oriented standards such as HDMI: when using a compatible video card, the single DisplayPort cable both drives the 2560x1600 of the 30-inch display while also providing audio and the HDCP encryption needed to play back some protected HD video formats. Dual protected DVI outputs as well as single HDMI, VGA, component, and S-video jacks provide support for virtually all legacy video standards.
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