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The One Laptop Per Child project set out to create a system that could be used by children, even those who have never seen a computer before or may not even know how to read. With the system coming to North America through the recently-ended Give 1 Get 1 program, however, it also serves as a benchmark for low-cost computing and for the progress of Linux as a mainstream operating system. In our XO notebook review, we find out not just whether the $400 spent is worthwhile for the donation but also whether it can stand in as an ultra-budget alternative to a Mac or Windows portable.
FlipStart's self-titled UMPC system has just undergone a sharp price cut. Whereas the computer at one point cost as much as $1,499, it is now less than half that price at $699. No reason for the drop has been given, but the change makes the computer more closely competitive with rivals such as ASUS' cheaper Eee PC, or the more expensive Q1 Ultra by Samsung. The FlipStart is smaller than either system, narrowed to less than six inches at its longest point.
AT&T will soon announce the acceptance of iPhones under corporate and business accounts, an anonymous source claims. The announcement is expected to happen on January 21st, and already has some rumored details: among these is the continuity of corporate discounts, which may serve to lure in a number of customers. There may however be some restrictions, such as having a data plan at or above $25 a month. It is also said that there will be no equipment discounts, and buyers will have to run through a pre-activation process before the normal one in iTunes.
Everex is already gearing up for a larger, enhanced version of its yet-to-ship CloudBook micro-notebook, the company's marketing head has confirmed in a CW interview. Much as with future updates to the ASUS Eee PC that serves as the CloudBook's rival, a future version of the Everex system will jump from a 7-inch to a 9-inch screen. Whether the resolution will climb up from the 800x480 of today is unknown, though the computer will have a larger keyboard. It may also have a faster CPU and more memory as well as new colors, though the company warns that the price may climb upwards from the $399 asking price of the 7-inch system.
Microsoft will directly publish specs for its core Office suite's older formats as well as help developers map them to the Open XML formats used in Office 2007, the company said on Thursday. Addressing complaints that the formats for Excel, PowerPoint, and Word were not accessible, the Windows developer says it will switch from a system that only supplied the information through e-mail to posting the information directly on the web, allowing anyone to access the information needed to implement Office formats. Microsoft also plans to make the file types fit the company's Open Specification Promise that protects users from all but patent infringement claims.
Information is said to have leaked on a new HTC device, identified as a low-budget smartphone. The P3470, also dubbed the Pharos, is claimed to rely on a 200MHz CPU, when some of its rivals are approaching the 400MHz mark or surpassing it. Combined with the lack of a front-facing camera, this may mean it is unlikely to have any 3G broadband, as features such as streaming video can be extremely processor-intensive.
The phone may compensate to a degree with the presence of Windows Mobile 6, Bluetooth 2.0 and a built-in GPS receiver, as well as 128MB of RAM and 256MB of ROM. Wi-Fi is omitted however, and it is unknown what if any TouchFLO controls will be used, given that the Pharos has extra hardware and software controls not found on normal Touches. [via the::unwired]
Stanton is getting a start to this year's NAMM musicians' expo through today's release of the SC series, a new set of decks made just for scratching and mixing digital music from an attached computer. At the core of the system, the SCS.1d turntable deck is designed to wean traditional DJs on to digital; it comes with a vinyl-surfaced platter along with familiar transport and pitch controls but adds digital-only features such as MIDI trigger pads that cue loops or samples on demand from a live DJ music suite.
Time Warner Cable has confirmed a leaked memo concerning bandwidth caps, the Associated Press writes. The memo indicates that in Beaumont, Texas, new customers will soon become part of a trial in which tiers are offered with maximum download limits, instead of the normally uncapped service common to American Internet providers. Alex Dudley, a spokesman for Time Warner, says that the measure is an experiment in improving network performance.
Warner's decision to produce exclusively in Blu-ray may have already dealt a fatal blow to HD DVD movie sales, according to the latest charts from Home Media Magazine. The industry-oriented weekly reports that all but one of the top ten HD movie discs sold in the same week as the Warner announcement were Blu-ray exclusives. Aggregate results are the same with only the tenth-place Bourne Ultimatum shipping solely as an HD DVD version, the magazine adds.
The BBC is strongly considering offering its iPlayer web video service through the revamped Apple TV, says the company's technology director Ashley Highfield in his Internet blog. Apple's shift from purchase-only videos to a rental model would allow the British network to mimic the functions of the website while providing a more comfortable TV environment, he says. While the shows could still be free to watch, the Apple TV's system would avoid copyright issues by automatically clearing episodes after their viewing period is up, a feature that show producers currently "insist" upon for the website.
Gigabyte will be the latest to introduce a micro-notebook in the vein of ASUS' Eee PC, company VP Richard Ma has said. Without providing full details, the executive notes that the new mini PC will use Intel's Shelton platform with a 1.6GHz, single-core CPU whose entire platform draws just eight watts. Screen size will range anywhere from 7 to 9 inches depending on the final design. As with ASUS, the unnamed system will be made in-house rather than contracted to someone else, Gigabyte says.
ASUS has just spun out a new flagship GPS with the R700. While following the trend of 4.3-inch widescreen navigators, the addition to the line brings a live, more realistic 3D mode. In addition to pivoting the view along with the heading of the car, it also displays textured models of landmark buildings in major cities to help drivers recognize locations just by their appearance on the map. It also uses microSD rather than full SD cards to keep size down: the R700 is just over half an inch thick despite holding 1GB of built-in memory and room for 4GB more through the card slot.
Pioneer this morning opened up the NAMM music expo with two digital offerings in its Pro DJ lineup. The MEP-7000 (shown) is aimed at a modern DJ who may never bring stacks of vinyl or regular CDs to a set. Dual DVD drives allow it to play and mix both traditional music CDs as well as AAC and MP3 tracks, while USB connections allow flash drives, external hard disks, and other removable storage loaded with AAC/MP3 as well as raw AIFF or WAV cuts -- including from Mac-formatted drives, according to Pioneer. Connecting to a Windows PC also provides direct control over Pioneer's own DJ software as well as other live DJ or music editing tools.
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