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Sony's contributions to the PMA photography show will include features only just reaching most lower-cost digital SLR cameras, say scouts locating information from Sony's own SonyStyle online store. The body-only Alpha A300 and its lens-equipped A300K variant (both pictured) will still share the same 10.2-megapixel sensor as the A200 but will add a swiveling LCD to the basic design. The change not only allows viewing shot information at unusual angles but is also expected to provide a live image from the viewfinder. This will aid the A300 with beginner SLR users and give it the same flexibility as less powerful but also more flexible 'prosumer' cameras such as Sony's own recently unveiled Cyber-shot H3.
Display builder NEC has launched the 3-Series, a replacement for its 2-Series line of AccuSync LCD monitors. All of the five monitors in the series have a native resolution of 1280x1024, with a 5ms response time and 300cd/m2 brightness. Major splits begin with a division into 17- and 19-inch sizes, and in the case of the ASLCD73VXM and ASLCD93VXM, the inclusion of built-in speakers.
Verizon today posted its latest quarterly results, revealing mixed fortunes for the company and the potential effect of the iPhone. The American telecom firm netted about 37 cents per share and earned about $23.8 billion in net income during the last three months of 2007, representing a 5.3 percent climb compared to the same period last year. The results represent "strong growth" in "strategic" areas, according to company chief Ivan Seidenberg. However, the increase masks a slight dip in operating income of 0.6 percent and accompanying layoffs. The company's traditional landline services also saw a revenue drop of 1.4 percent.
Palm, maker of famous smartphones such as the Treo and the Centro, says it will close seven of its eight retail stores in February. Of the outlets, only the one in Sunnyvale, California will remain, NewsFactor writes. By the end of the company's third fiscal quarter, it will also have closed 26 of its Airport Wireless locations, considered "stores within stores."
Toshiba will run an ad during the Super Bowl as part of a final effort to rally support for the HD DVD format, the company confirms in the latest issue of Home Media Magazine. Marketing VP Jodi Sally provides few details but explains that the 30-second commercial will primarily focus on the company's own A3-series HD DVD players rather than movies or the platform as a whole. The time slot on Fox TV's network chosen by the Japanese firm may have cost as much as $2.7 million, the magazine says. The Blu-ray Disc Association had reportedly considered an ad but was given only short notice for an open spot, preventing it from offering a suitable commercial.
Confirming some earlier leaks, HP has formally begun using Intel's Penryn processors in a select number of its notebooks. The dv2700t, dv6700t and dv9700t should now all have the option of a 2.5GHz T9300 processor, which has a 6MB L2 cache and is approximately 10 percent faster than a similar chip from Intel's Santa Rosa platform. Choosing a T9300 adds substantially to the cost of a system however, at a price of $225.
Microsoft's next version of Windows may not be due until as late as three years from now, the company says in an e-mail response to inquiries about its launch. While recent news had claimed version 7 of the operating system had been moved up to 2009 and that a milestone release had already been seeded to developers, a spokesperson for Microsoft has refuted the idea and says that the company is still in the planning stages for its sequel to Vista. An actual release will take "3 years to develop," the official says, though when development began is unspecified. This places a release as early as the start of 2010 but as late as 2011.
Nikon's replacement for the D40 and D50 entry-level digital SLRs has been slipped out today, courtesy of a press release leaked through a forum post. The historically reliable source echos past rumors that the D60 will jump from 6 to the 10.2 megapixels of the D40x and D80 but will use the newer EXPEED imaging processor of higher-end cameras, such as the D300 and D3. This should improve color metering as well as boost the camera's speed: it will capture JPEG photos at an uninterrupted three frames per second for up to 100 shots, the release suggests.
The 8G (8GB) version of ASUS' popular Eee PC may have limited availability for the foreseeable future, say executives with the company. The management notes that as the supply of SLC (single-level cell) NAND memory is currently tight, it has temporarily cut off shipments of the 8G Eee to Taiwan. President Jerry Shen comments that this is compounded by a shortage of batteries, which may actually be a greater threat to ASUS.
A company called Skyfire Labs has announced a new, self-titled mobile web browser. The browser promises to deliver desktop-level browsing to smartphones, by using a proxy server to format content in a format that phones can still recognize. Pages are said to render exactly as they would on a PC, complete with desktop versions of code such as Ajax and Java, and embedded audio and video through formats such as QuickTime and Flash 9.
British store chain Woolworths today revealed that it will switch exclusively to selling Blu-ray for its movie discs, becoming the first large-scale retailer to drop HD DVD entirely from its shelves. The decision comes after holiday sales where Blu-ray titles outsold HD DVD by a factor of ten to one at the UK chain and is credited largely to the Sony PlayStation 3, which Woolworths says gives Blu-ray a major advantage in terms of a viewer base. As many as 750,000 homes in the country own at least one device that can play the discs, far eclipsing the statistics for HD DVD, according to the retailer's estimates.
Sony is developing a new range-topping PlayStation 3 that will replace the 80GB version once it is phased out, claims a purported source at Ars Technica. The tip suggests that Sony intends to maintain its two-unit strategy for the PS3 and will sell the console with additional storage that could reach either 120GB or 160GB depending on final details. This future system is also said to come bundled with the previously Japan-only Dual Shock 3 controller that adds rumble back to Sony's controllers while keeping the motion sensitivity of the SIXAXIS already offered with international PS3s.
Peer-to-peer service Qtrax is raising controversy by failing to make its intended Monday release date and offer what it claims would be some of the first free, legal peer-to-peer downloads from all four major music labels, says a report from Silicon Alley Insider. Although Qtrax has claimed that it would launch today with music from EMI, Sony BMG, Universal, and Warner, a challenge by the Bay Area publication reveals that most of the deals are either incomplete or unknown. Both EMI and Warner have denied authorizing music altogether; Universal is in talks with Qtrax while Sony BMG has not responded at all, according to the report.
Sony-Ericsson this morning revealed an aggressive step into online music with expanded plans for its upcoming PlayNow arena music service. The cellphone producer says it has now struck deals to offer downloadable full tracks from major labels EMI, Warner Music, and its sibling Sony BMG as well as larger independents such as The Orchard and X5. This will add up to more than five million songs available for owners of Sony-Ericsson handsets, the company says. No details have been given as to whether the catalog will extend to the ordinary PlayNow service already available today, which sells some full music as well as ringtones.
Nokia on Monday announced a potentially significant move to acquire Trolltech, a Norway-based software developer. The approximately $153 million deal gives Nokia access to Trolltech's Qt and Qtopia open-source software framework and should let the cellphone maker expand its services to work across multiple platforms; through the same architecture used by cross-OS software such as the Opera browser and Skype, services offered through the Ovi portal should work not just across Symbian series 40 and 60 handheld devices from Nokia but also computers running Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows, the purchasing company says.
Following leaks and delays, AMD today released its new flagship video card. The ATI-labeled Radeon HD 3870 X2 almost literally doubles the performance of the stock 3870 by including dual GPUs on a single card; as the first AMD graphics card to use 55 nanometer technology, the X2 can run both chipsets at 825MHz -- faster than a single 3870, AMD says. The boost not only allows some of the fastest gaming in a single card but can also accelerate HD video playback above 1080p, including routing surround audio through any version of the card with HDMI output.
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