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Media giant NBC Universal has had "record performance" in 2007, according to statements by its chief executive Jeff Zucker. Profit for the past year amounted to $923 million on revenue of $2.1 billion and represented a 10 percent jump over the year before. Most of this increase is attributed to success from its cable and film businesses, which include networks such as CNBC and Sci-Fi as well as major movie releases such as The Bourne Ultimatum. This was despite the firm enjoying already increased successes from broadcasts such as the 2006 Olympics, Zucker noted to employees in an e-mail sent to the company.
Time Warner Cable's metered Internet experiment will have caps that may significantly curb increasingly common usage habits, a company spokesman has confirmed. The Beaumont, Texas trial will have 5GB, 10GB, 20GB, and 40GB limits depending on the service level; there will be no unlimited access option when it launches in the spring, Time Warner says. Subscribers who cross the limit for their plan will still have service but will be charged an unspecified amount for each gigabyte of data consumed past the cap. Only new customers in the area will use tiers, while legacy customers will still have unlimited access.
Dell is not publicly acknowledging a series of complaints that some of its aluminum-clad notebooks are sending minor electric shocks to users, according to numerous complaints from the company's support forums. Systems with the metal trim, which primarily include the XPS M1330 and M1530 as well as the Inspiron 9400, are said to deliver jolts when users touch the aluminum while grabbing the side or using the trackpad. As some systems have shipped with two-prong power plugs, the affected notebooks lack a proper ground and promptly send some electricity to the user instead of through the outlet.
Fujitsu on Friday rounded out its week with a new American version of its LifeBook P1620 convertible tablet PC. Smaller than most other tablets, the new system uses a small, 8.9-inch, stylus-sensitive LCD but still makes room for the components from larger, viewing-only ultraportables, including a 1.2GHz ultra low-voltage Core 2 Duo, at least 60GB of storage in a 1.8-inch drive, and up to 2GB of memory courtesy of small RAM slots. Wireless over 802.11a/b/g as well as PC Card and SD card slots also fit into the case. Despite these, the computer weighs just 2.2 pounds, Fujitsu says.
Increasingly larger cellphone producer HTC is taking control of making smartphones for a few of its larger challengers, a report in Taiwan's Commercial Times says. Without naming specific models, the trade paper says that Palm, MWG, and Dubai-based i-mate are all pushing their assembly orders back to HTC after previously turning to other contractors or their own factories. The reversal is not explained but should help HTC's manufacturing for others account for over 10 percent of the firm's bottom line, representing a significant boost for a company increasingly known for its own devices.
Microsoft may be set to release the next version of Windows sooner than expected, an allegedly leaked roadmap reveals to TGDaily. The operating system, internally referred to as Windows 7, is said to be in an accelerated development process which will see the software released to manufacturing in the second half of 2009. While flexible, the plan may see the Vista successor released as early as fall 2009, months ahead of a projected 2010 launch for the OS.
The FCC is attempting a second round of testing for so-called "white space" Internet devices, writes the Associated Press. The evaluation is set to begin on on January 24th, and will last three months, involving tests in both lab conditions and the real world. Results may be available by the end of June. The new technologies were developed by Adaptrum, Microsoft, Motorola and Philips; by contrast, the first round of testing examined the work of a coalition including Microsoft, Philips, Dell, HP, Google, Intel and EarthLink.
E-Ten plans to make its first aggressive step into media-friendly phones by tapping digital broadcasts, according to samples obtained by the forums of Russian fan site EtenClub. The V900 will reportedly be one of the few devices to support multiple digital over-the-air formats at once with Europe's DVB-H (handheld) and DVB-T (terrestrial) supported alongside Korea's T-DMB standard; DAB audio broadcast support for the UK will also be standard. A small front camera points to the device supporting 3G Internet access. US support is unknown, though historical evidence would suggest full support for both calling and AT&T's 3G (HSDPA) network.
AMD has finally solved the outstanding issues with some of its quad-core Phenom and Opteron processors, according to the company's CEO. Hector Ruiz tells analysts that although the fixed B3 stepping CPU is still "running through the paces," the first engineering samples should ship to system builders within two to three weeks. Production in bulk will begin sometime this quarter, with finished computers going on sale by the end of the period.
Toshiba has released three new phones in its Portégé G series that include one of its first non-smartphone devices outside of Japan, PocketPCItalia says following an announcement. The G450 (pictured) is capable of 3G Internet over HSDPA and UMTS in Europe but is chiefly limited to calling in normal use; the unusual double-circular dial pad is intended to keep the phone small enough that it can plug into a computer directly through USB for use as a 3G cellular modem, Toshiba notes. It ships with a small OLED screen, 160MB of memory, and will sell for the equivalent of $290 in mainland Europe.
ASUS is developing a touchscreen version of its successful Eee PC micro notebook, according to alleged tips from part suppliers in its home region of Taiwan. The companies reportedly say that the first major update to the Eee will not only bring larger screens but will include a resistive touchscreen in a 9-inch model that offers basic pressure-based input to the small computer; the feature will only add about $15 to the manufacturing costs, says one of the claimed sources.
Mackie has unveiled its new SRMv2 portable active loudspeakers that boast new Class-D Fast Recovery amplifiers. The SRM350v2 and SRM450v2 speakers both feature a switching power supply as well as new transducers, while the SRM450v2 includes a neodymium woofer with a 3-inch voice coil and titanium compression driver. Lighter than the original SRM speakers, the SRMv2 speakers are housed in durable midnight blue polypropylene cabinets. The company is offering two models which include the SRM350v2 and SRM450v2 (pricing was unavailable).
Sprint will cut about 4,000 jobs from its workforce and close 125 of its dedicated retail stores, the cellular carrier announced today. The move is expected to save the company between $700 million and $800 million a year and reflects a continued shrinking of the company's subscriber base, which gained about 500,000 subscribers in the most recent quarter but promptly lost 885,000 at the same time.
An online petition conducted by InfoWorld has managed to collect over 30,000 signatures asking Microsoft to keep Windows XP available, the magazine has revealed today. Called just Save XP, the petition argues that Microsoft's already extended June 30th cutoff point for sales of the 2001 operating system is still too short and that it should continue to sell "indefinitely," according to the organizers. The publication points to a lack of clear benefits to upgrading to its Windows Vista successor as well as problems with the new OS, such as slower performance in Microsoft Office tests as well as the expense of upgrading established business networks to the updated software. Regardless of where the computers are used, the limitation to Vista-only sales by July will be arbitrary, the petition maker says.
Nokia today said that the N95 8GB has been greenlit for the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) specification, making it the first cellphone to ever receive the status and the first to become a handheld media server. The approval allows the deluxe N95 to both share and receive media over a local Wi-Fi network between other DLNA devices; users can share music on the N95's 8GB of storage to a nearby notebook or browse the photos from a PlayStation 3. The feature lets phone owners be selective and share only some of their media with other devices in the area.
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