News Archive for 08/01/09

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Last studios to drop HD DVD in weeks?

01/09, 11:20pm

Paramount and Universal

Both Paramount and Universal are biding their time and follow Warner's switch to Blu-ray within a matter of weeks, according to established movie writer Bill Hunt of Digital Bits. Sources "second to none" allege that these two remaining major supports of HD DVD are ready to switch to releasing Blu-ray movies but are waiting on the right conditions to announce the move, regardless of obligations. While Universal is waiting on its current contract to expire by February, Paramount is simply waiting to have one or more titles ready before it exercises its now corroborated opt-out clause from its HD DVD exclusivity deal, the insiders say.

iPhone's secrecy, development flips wireless industry

01/09, 9:30pm

iPhone flips cell industry

The iPhone is one of the most widely craved devices to grace the consumer market; after millions of dollars invested in its development, and secrecy so intricate that even Apple's own engineers were kept in the dark about the complete product. In 2002, shortly after releasing the iPod, Wired writes that CEO Steve Jobs began to notice the variety of devices that people would carry with them in day-to-day activities - such as a cell phone, BlackBerry, and MP3 player. Jobs realized that the products would inevitably come together and could potentially dethrone the iPod, so he decided that Apple would have to out-innovate the competition with its own device.

Nexsan unveils SATABeast Xi AutoMAID array

01/09, 7:00pm

Nexsan SATABeast Xi

Nexsan today unveiled the SATABeast Xi, an energy-efficient, high-density storage solution optimized for use with Xserve and Mac Pro computers. The 4U rackmount offers up to 42TB of storage, which take advantage of AutoMAID technology - MAID stands for Massive Array of Idle Disks. This allows the SATABeast to conserve energy and prolong disk life, while still maintaining almost instantaneous access to user data. SATABeast Xi includes fibre channel and iSCSI connectors, making it platform independent, and uses a Mac OS X-like interface for customization. Nexsan will ship the drive array in March, with prices starting at $1200 per Terabyte.

Nova Media unveils 7.2Mbit mobile USB modem

01/09, 5:50pm

Nova GlobeSurfer Icon2

Nova Media today unveiled a new USB modem for use on EDGE, GPRS, HSUPA and 3G UMTS compatible networks, allowing for up to 7.2Mbit per second. The GlobeSurfer ICON HSUPA functions on 850/1900/2100MHz HSUPA and UMTS networks, with 850/900/1800/1900Mhz functionality for EDGE and GPRS. Over 300 preset connections are included with Nova's Launch2net software, and features instant connectivity on a Mac. Nova Media's GlobeSurfer Icon HSUPA is currently shipping, and is available from the company's website for approximately $450.

Nokia planning aggressive US push in 2008

01/09, 4:30pm

Nokia Push in 2008

Nokia will conduct one of its most aggressive phone launch campaigns ever in the US this year, North American division chief Mark Louison said today in an interview at CES. Considered the largest cellphone manufacturer in the world, the Finnish company only released three handsets in the US last year but now intends to launch "between 6 and 12" phones in the country over the course of 2008 in a bid to gain marketshare. Nokia currently claims 11 percent of the overall US cellphone business.

Panasonic intros two standard-def camcorders

01/09, 4:25pm

Panasonic SD camcorders

In order to complement its HD camcorders, Panasonic has announced two standard-definition cameras, the SDR-SW20 and SDR-S7. The SW20 is dustproof, waterproof to a depth of five feet, and also shock-proof, albeit only to a height of four feet. It records to SD and SDHC cards up to 16GB in size, which at peak capacity allows for 13 hours and 20 minutes of video. The lens features 10x optical zoom, and the LCD display measures 2.7 inches.

High-profile wireless startup Frontline shuttered

01/09, 4:05pm

Frontline Exits 700MHz Bid

One of Google's major competitors in the upcoming 700MHz FCC auction has closed its doors just weeks ahead of the bidding itself, says RCR. Startup Frontline Wireless has issued a brief statement that indicated it was "closed for business" but has not explained its reason for the shutdown; the closure is believed to stem from an inability to land the $4.6 billion minimum for a bid in the auction, which is making available wireless space from analog TV that is likely to be used for long-range cellphone and Internet access.

BlueAnt preps speakers, voice-controlled headset

01/09, 3:50pm

BlueAnt voice headset

Bluetooth purveyors BlueAnt have announced two new devices through the CES expo in Las Vegas. The first of these is the V1 Voice Controlled Headset, which as its name implies, allows users to control "most" functions through audio commands rather than pushing buttons. Pressing a single button activates the voice system, which will list available commands if the user asks for help. The headset uses Bluetooth 2.1, and actually supports connections with two phones simultaneously, by switching to the ringing phone when necessary. The V1 comes with car/desk and USB chargers, and can handle up to six hours of talk time, or 200 hours (over eight days) of standby. It should be available soon for $119.

iRiver prepping iPhone clone for end 2008

01/09, 3:20pm

iRiver iPhone Clone

iRiver will enter the cellphone market with a device that bears an uncanny resemblance to the iPhone, say reports from the Consumer Electronics Show floor by PCMag. The Korean company, which normally makes portable media players, is exhibiting a prototype at the Las Vegas event known only as the "iRiver GSM phone" but which clearly takes cues from the Apple device. Its interface is almost entirely driven by an icon-based touchscreen layout with direct resemblances to the iPhone's front menu. Unlocking the device requires a near-identical sliding motion while other swiping motions help control scrolling and other navigation. Linux will underpin the OS.

LG notebook battery fire rekindles wider fears

01/09, 2:30pm

LG Notebook Batt Explodes

LG is investigating the causes of an incident in which the lithium-ion battery pack in a Korean reporter's notebook caught fire, the company says. Following the accident, which largely destroyed the notebook, LG has noted that the battery was made by its own LG Chem sister label but also claims that this sort of fire simply "should not occur" in normal conditions. A third-party group is being brought in to independently judge whether or not the fire is evidence of a systematic flaw or an isolated problem.

OLPC to mimic Apple's Boot Camp

01/09, 1:55pm

OLPC Dual-Boot

The One Laptop Per Child project is developing an update to its XO notebook that will let users run two operating systems on one of the computers, group chair Nicholas Negroponte says in an interview. Though multi-boot setups are not unique to the Mac, the OLPC head says the portable for developing-world schools will soon have a multi-OS system "like on an Apple" that lets users quickly flip between the OLPC's custom Sugar Linux-based interface and Windows XP. Although concerns have been raised about the Microsoft software's performance on the $200 system, the OLPC group notes that the XO's version is not the same as on most computers.

Alltel adopts HTC Touch

01/09, 1:50pm

Alltel adopts HTC Touch

The latest American carrier to adopt HTC's Touch smartphone is Alltel Wireless. There the phone can download games and other applications through Axcess, download themes and ringtones from Magmic, and sync photos with a PC via Sharpcast. Additionally, Handmark Pocket Express provides news and weather updates, while Digby can be used to buy items from the likes of FTD and Barnes & Noble. Voicemails can be converted to text through Voice2TXT.

Panasonic updates HD camcorders

01/09, 1:15pm

Panasonic HD camcorders

Moving beyond the home theater sphere at CES, Panasonic has announced two new camcorders, the HDC-HS9 and SD9. Both are capable of recording AVCHD video at 1080p and 24fps, and are also equipped with 3CCD sensors and optical image stabilization. Onboard software detects faces automatically, and also analyzes situations for shooting problems; should it find any, it suggests corrections like better lighting or slower panning. Sound is recorded in 5.1 channels using five separate microphones, and output can be displayed on HDTVs using an HDMI cable.

Pioneer preps hybrid GPS with voiced iPod link, more

01/09, 12:25pm

Pioneer GPS at CES

Pioneer at CES has unveiled a slew of in-car devices for both navigation and music, including a unique hybrid device that can work outside of the car. The AVIC-F500BT (pictured) is tailored for drivers who want the features of an in-dash GPS and stereo unit but also the ability to take it on the road; although the 5.8-inch touchscreen device can connect to an existing head-end unit through an auxiliary input jack or a mounting kit, it can also detach and run independently on a battery.

Motorola showcases low-end W-series phones

01/09, 12:20pm

Motorola W230, W270 phones

Targeting more rational cellphone budgets, Motorola has announced two new W-series phones, the W230 and W270. Interrelated, the phones both feature music playback, with a special music button enabling owners to jump straight to the audio player. People can listen to MP3s stored on microSD cards, or else they can tune into FM radio, which supports RDS track information and can be recorded for the sake of the phones' alarm sounds.

Sprint's WiMAX service official in April

01/09, 11:10am

Sprint Xohm in April

The upcoming Xohm WiMAX Internet service from Sprint now has a more firm release window and a uniquely flexible rate structure, the carrier has said at the Consumer Electronics Show. Sprint's fourth-generation (4G) wide-area broadband has been in soft-launch mode for Baltimore, Chicago, and Washington, DC since December but will be ready for a formal release by late April; whether or not the service will also be available in other areas is unclear, though the company is already expanding into the outer reaches of these areas, according to officials.

Upcoming 8-inch Eee PC leaked

01/09, 10:30am

New Eee PC Leak

ASUS' expected larger-screened Eee PCs have been spotted for the first time, says one anonymous leak. Occupying only slightly more physical space than the current 7-inch model, a new 8-inch design would expand the screen to to fill the blank space left by the early design with a thinner display bezel. The screen would keep the same 800x480 resolution; the system itself may change little but may double its internal storage to 8GB while keeping the SDHC card reader, USB ports, and VGA video output, according to the source.

Comcast may face FCC fines over BitTorrent blocks

01/09, 9:55am

Comcast FCC Investigation

Comcast is under investigation and could be subject to fines over its tactics of throttling BitTorrent traffic on its cable Internet service, the Federal Communications Commission has revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show. FCC chair Kevin Martin acknowledged that it was looking into complaints from advocacy groups and lawyers, both of which accuse Comcast of violating basic principles of network neutrality by preferring certain data types over others. If found to be violating FCC rules, the cable provider could face fines as high as $195,000 for every affected subscriber, Martin claims.

MS: no iPhone rival in works

01/09, 9:15am

MS Says no iPhone Rival

Microsoft will not be producing an in-house attempt at replicating the iPhone, soon to be retired company CEO Bill Gates has told Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (registration required for full article). The executive explained that it was more important for his firm to stress its partnerships with companies such as Motorola and Samsung than to try and replicate Apple's efforts, which depend on both the phone and software being made by the same company.

Everex launches $399 CloudBook ultraportable

01/09, 8:20am

Everex CloudBook

Everex this morning helped draw CES to a close by introducing the CloudBook, its first ultra-small notebook. The unveiling confirms an early leak and reveals that the system is a direct challenger to ASUS' Eee PC. It shares a similar 7-inch, 800x480 screen that defines its small size and reduces its weight: the entire system with battery weighs just two pounds, the company says. It also uses Linux rather than Windows; like Everex's desktop gPC, the CloudBook uses the company's custom gOS that provides quick access to tools such as OpenOffice or RhythmBox for work and music but also websites like Facebook and YouTube.

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