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Canon has introduced a new all-in-one printer and a low-cost straight inkjet printer. The new PIXMA MX850 Office All-In-One features printing, copying, scanning and faxing capabilities along with an Ethernet port for networking. The device features an automatic document feeder (ADF) which can copy or scan both sides of a document automatically. The Auto Duplexing feature permits two-sided copying/scanning of letter-sized documents, without the need to manually turn over pages and re-feed the document. Consumers are able to print two-sided documents automatically as well. This unit even has the ability to scan and print at the same time. When scanning a multi-page document to print, the PIXMA MX850 Office AIO printer will scan the first page and start printing it while the scanner is scanning the second page and so on. The printer also features a large 2.5-inch TFT display for easy viewing of images or printer menus.
Following its announcement of the GX-20 DSLR, Samsung has also revealed the i8, a new compact. The camera features an 8.2-megapixel sensor, with light sensitivity up to ISO 1600, and a lens capable of 3x optical zoom. Where it distinguishes itself however is in its ability to act as an MP3/MPEG-4 media player, and in its movie recording mode, which captures SVGA (800x600) video with the option of pausing midway through.
Sony has denied claims that the company is about to drop the price of the PlayStation 3 to $299, according to a statement provided by the company. Referring to a post on SlickDeals which claims a price cut for the console "on or around" January 28th, the Sony official claims that there are no plans underway. Talk of such a change is "purely rumor and speculation," a Sony spokesman says. The cut has been indirectly linked to the appearance of the previously Japan-only white PS3 at the FCC, suggesting that the price cut would come along with the new color option.
ASUS' high-selling Eee PC has launched with some differences in Japan. Instead of the current 2G, 4G and 8G versions found elsewhere, Japan is getting the 4G-X, which by default comes loaded with Windows XP Home, instead of ASUS' modified Linux interface. The system is also said to have a 900MHz Celeron M processor, where Western Eees typically show a 630MHz clock speed. Finally, Japanese buyers get a 4GB SDHC card, effectively doubling the total storage capacity.
Yahoo is in talks to revamp its music store to remove copy protection, says a report from the Chinese news agency SINA. Two record label executives have allegedly confirmed that Yahoo is in preliminary negotiations to change its service from its current, Windows Media protected format to an unspecified, unguarded format that would be interchangeable between devices and players. Yahoo spokeswoman Carrie Davis has confirmed that the company has discussed shedding digital rights management (DRM) on its music with labels but has also denied any new escalation in talks.
The Federal Communications Commission today began the highly anticipated auction for the 700MHz wireless spectrum. Divided into several blocks of airspace, the contest is widely believed to be responsible for future wide-area Internet airspace both across the US as a whole as well as for regional carriers. The rules of the auction prevent the FCC from detailing most of the process, though the regulatory body currently notes that bids so far have totaled $2.4 billion. This reveals that many of the larger players in the auction have yet to bid as the most coveted blocks of wireless space require a minimum $4.6 billion bid.
Having announced its E94U and D74U sets at this year's CES expo, Sharp today revealed yet more AQUOS LCDs at a press conference in Japan. The new X series will be comprised of 37-, 42- and 46-inch sets, each just under 1.4 inches thick. The sets will all be 1080p-capable moreover, and use 12-bit BDE color-rendering. A 120Hz refresh rate should permit fast response to motion, and their contrast ratio is said to be 15,000:1 -- making the sets mid-range within the AQUOS line, but still above-average for LCDs in general.
Alltel today unveiled a tangible update to its phones with three new models. Headlining the introductions is the Scoop; the LG handset builds off of the Rumor flip phone available at Sprint and provides both a conventional outer keypad for dialing as well as a QWERTY keyboard inside for messaging purposes. The 1.3-megapixel camera, microSD slot, and EVDO Internet access carry over intact, though the device includes support for Alltel's Voice2TXT service for converting voicemail. The Scoop ships in light blue, gray, and orange color schemes but has not received an official price or launch date.
Direct-download music sales saw one of its most significant increases yet in 2007 but is being "choked" by piracy, says a new report from the IFPI. The international music association notes that sales of music online grew by 40 percent last year to produce about $2.9 billion in sales and was large enough to account for a significant portion of some countries' entire music sales. Internet sales now represent about 15 percent of all music sold in the world and account for 15 percent in the US specifically, according to the IFPI. Single-track downloads comprised a large part of the success and grew by 53 percent to 1.7 billion individual songs.
Leading Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo has confirmed a deal with Google, as initially rumored late last month. The primary purpose of the deal is to improve DoCoMo's i-mode Internet service, which is said to have some 48 million subscribers. Google will make it easier for i-mode users to reach its various websites, in particular Google Maps, which will be preloaded on various handsets as on Apple's iPhone. A Google search bar will be added to the i-mode portal this spring; eventually it will be easier to load other material as well, such as Gmail, YouTube and Picasa.
Vudu, the creator of its namesake set-top box, has announced that its basic version is dropping in price by over $100, to reach $295. The cut takes effect today, and anyone who bought the device at its regular price within the last 30 days is entitled to a $100 movie credit. Vudus allow users to rent or buy standard- and high-definition videos from their TV, downloaded via the Internet; purchases cost between $2 and $20, while rentals are $1 to $4.
Samsung today became the latest in a series of camera makers to update their lines for the PMA photography show next week. At the top of the line, the GX-20 digital SLR is a close cousin to the similarly new Pentax K20D but with key differences; while it shares the same 14.6-megapixel, low-noise CMOS camera sensor as the K20D, the GX-20 includes a different on-camera interface and generates JPEG images differently than its Pentax sibling. The Samsung unit's physical design is also different and sports a dedicated RAW shooting button that produces an uncompressed shot even when the camera is normally set to JPEG mode.
Netflix hopes that changes in two formats will prove to be catalysts for its business in 2008, the company said late yesterday in its quarterly results call. Following a year in which the company profited by 97 cents per share and added 1.2 million subscribers, the rental firm says it intends to offer a Mac version of its web-based Watch Instantly feature sometime this year. Though it did not say how it would reach this goal, the company explained that the move would reflect a larger trend towards web video in general by expanding the available audience.
Verizon today made one of its first phone releases of the new year with an update to the Samsung Gleam. The new version of the clamshell phone switches from the relatively safe black and bronze color scheme of the original to a new version with bright purple edges and a gray main body. Fitting in with the theme of the phone, it also has new "living wallpaper" that matches the time of the day with either a rural or urban backdrop.
Nokia on Thursday reported one of the best fiscal quarters in its history, earning about 47 Euro cents (69 US cents) per share in the October to December period, or just short of 2.5 billion Euros ($3.6 billion US) in profit. The achievement was the result of selling 133.5 million phones in the three-month span and was enough to grow the Finnish company's marketshare even further, pushing the firm's control from 37 percent to an even 40 percent, eclipsing Samsung, Motorola, and Sony-Ericsson in terms of overall influence.
YouTube's mobile video service will soon work with far more device s than currently available, the Google-owned company said today. A code change for the website should allow some phones from LG, Motorola, Nokia, and Sony-Ericsson to have largely the same playback features as the desktop page: this includes the ability to rate and search for videos as well as visit particular users' channels, YouTube says.
Sony-Ericsson this morning launched four phones, all targeted at essentialist owners. Both the 1.3-megapixel T280 cameraphone and the cameraless T270 each adopt a thin (0.5in) metal candybar shape and are focused chiefly on calling and basic web use; both have Bluetooth for hands-free calling, while the T280 adds an FM radio with RDS station data support. Either will be available before the end of March; versions are available both for international audiences (T270i and T280i) as well as for Americans (T270a and T280a) in a pair of two-tone color models.
Fujifilm on Friday unveiled several new digital cameras, including its SLR-styled 18x ultra-zoom S81000fd, the new 10MP FinePix Z20fd with new colors and video technology, the 12MP FinePix F100fd with ISO equivalency speeds up to 12800, and its most advanced consumer model: the FinePix S100FS with advanced dSLR control and functionality. In addition, the company claims to have introduced the world's smallest digital camera with a 12x optical zoom, the FinePix S1000fd. The advanced FinePix S100FS (Film Simulation) digital camera provides an all-in-one solution with manual controls and functionality of a Digital-SLR, including both digital and manual stabilization through a mechanically stabilized "floating" lens element to reduce blur from the photographer's hand-shake, with Fujifilm's Picture Stabilization Technology, to reduce blur caused by subject movement.
Alongside its K-series updates, Pentax tonight revealed a trio of point-and-shoot models as its entries in the PMA photography show. The Optio S12 is one of the smallest 12-megapixel cameras yet, the company claims, and produces features expected of some larger models such as ISO 3200 sensitivity in its anti-blur model. It will also be one of the least-expensive cameras in the category when it ships in April for $280.
Canon's mainstream PowerShot camera line is being upgraded tonight ahead of PMA through both a new designer model and three budget cameras. The flagship SD1100 IS (pictured) is now considered a designer camera and includes several designer colors such as Bohemian Brown or Pink Melody; regardless, it still represents a technical upgrade with a sharper 8-megapixel sensor than the 7.1-megapixel SD1000 and adds true image stabilization to provide stable shots in less than ideal conditions. The SD1100 IS further borrows the DIGIC III from the EOS Rebel XSi and higher-end cameras to improve its nine-point autofocus, shutter response, and overall image quality, Canon says.
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