News Archive for 08/02/04

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Grace unveils iPod tube amplifier, speakers, more

02/04, 9:45pm

iPod tube amp, speakers

Grace Digital recently unveiled a new line of iPod accessories, starting with the Hybrid PA-40Ti, a tube-based amplifier that combines retro technology with a modern industrial design. The amplifier features a four-channel input selector, allowing users to hook up phono, CD, or auxiliary audio connections, in addition to iPod connectivity. High quality speaker wire connectors, as well as a subwoofer and stereo headphone port handle output. Grace is selling the PA-40Ti for $450 through its website.

Nvidia to acquire Ageia, PhysX software, hardware

02/04, 7:25pm

Nvidia to acquire Ageia

Nvidia today announced an official acquisition of Ageia Technologies, the company behind the PhysX software and hardware components. The acquisition will give Nvidia a physics element for its Cuda parallel processing systems. The PhysX technology is currently in use in many Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii games, as well as many gaming PCs worldwide. Nvidia will be hosting a quarterly conference call on February 13th to provide more information about the acquisition in its final stages.

TI promises HSPA+ as bridge to 4G cellular

02/04, 4:20pm

HSPA Plus Chipset

Texas Instruments today said it had reached a major milestone by introducing a new platform for HSPA+, a new form of "3.5G" high-speed cellular Internet access that builds on today's normal HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) connections. The technology, currently based on a new signal processing chip, would effectively turn a cell tower's base station into a standard IP (Internet protocol) router that uses standard Ethernet to make its connection. This plus other optimizations should permit downloads as quick as 42 megabits per second and uploads at 11 megabits per second; the uplink speed would be roughly double that of already advanced 5.8Mbps HSPA uploads, while downstream access would be as much as six times faster.

Samsung preps high-speed, global W350/W3500

02/04, 4:15pm

Samsung W350/W3500

Announcing in its home country of Korea, Samsung has launched a new high-end phone, the SCH-W350. Also known as the SPH-W3500, the phone operates as a conventional clamshell device in most circumstances, but when viewing video, the screen can be twisted horizontally to maintain a normal aspect ratio and control scheme. This is increasingly common in Korean phones, but more unusual is the presence of 7.2Mbps HSDPA, faster than the typical 3.6Mbps standard.

Eizo intros color-accurate 30-inch LCD

02/04, 4:10pm

Eizo ColorEdge CG301W

Eizo is hoping to set a new benchmark for artists, video editors and other color-conscious computer users with the launch of the ColorEdge CG301W. Quietly introduced at the PMA photo expo but made public today, the 30-inch LCD is designed to be as faithful as possible to the color ranges that appear in most video: courtesy of 12-bit color lookup and 16-bit color processing, the display captures 100 percent of the NTSC gamut and 97 percent of Adobe's RGB color space, ensuring that few if any colors will be mishandled even in photo editing. Color calibration is also handled in hardware that guarantees the final palette will not have been affected by a computer's video card output, Eizo notes.

Motorola hints at Z12 media phone with teaser video

02/04, 3:25pm

Moto Z12 Teaser

Motorola is set to launch a new media phone at next week's Mobile World Congress, the company has hinted through a teaser video (posted below). Showing users trying to carry TVs and other devices as substitutes for the mystery phone, the teaser says only that "it doesn't have to be this hard" and hints that its future device will combine all of the features implied by the teaser, which includes mobile video viewing and Internet access.

Mozilla locks Firefox 3.0 Beta 3

02/04, 3:00pm

Mozilla locks Firefox 3 B3

The third beta of Mozilla's upcoming Firefox 3.0 has entered code freeze, says Mike Beltzner, the Mozilla interface designer. Testing should begin Monday, with a public release expected on or near February 13th, according to a schedule outlined in meeting notes. The company further states that at least 41 percent of its extensions have been modified for compatibility with Beta 3, although updates have yet to appear for the likes of IE Tab, Fasterfox or Firebug.

Microsoft fast-tracks Surface for home use

02/04, 2:40pm

MS Surface Home Fast-Track

Microsoft is accelerating the development of its Surface touchscreen technology for the home after customer requests, company chief Steve Ballmer said today at an analyst conference. The Redmond, Washington-based company had initially warned that a consumer-friendly version of the interactive table would not be available until four or five years after its early 2007 introduction but has since received a large amount of demand for a release sooner than the 2011 timeframe suggested by the schedule.

Intel expands Silverthorne ultra-mobile details

02/04, 1:25pm

Intel Silverthorne Details

Intel today supplied additional information about its expected Silverthorne ultra-mobile processors. Speaking at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference, the company has revealed that the 45 nanometer processor will not only be more power-efficient -- consuming between 0.5 and 2 watts at peak use -- but will also be fundamentally compatible with both newer and older technologies. Although far smaller, Silverthorne will share the same architecture as Core 2 chips. Programmers can write code for the common platform and know that it will scale down, Intel says.

Kodak promises ultra-small 5MP phone camera

02/04, 1:15pm

Kodak 5MP Ultra-Small Cam

Kodak today said it had developed a new camera sensor that could allow all phones, not just large models, to include a quality camera. The photography firm says it has successfully reduced the individual pixel sizes for a 5-megapixel camera from more than 1.7 microns to just 1.4. By using an enhanced CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) sensor, the advance allows smaller sensors to fit into extremely tight spaces without sacrificing actual image quality, according to Kodak. The camera maker also claims that more of the sensors will fit on a given production wafer, potentially driving down the costs of normally expensive cameras that are limited to devices such as the Nokia N95 or the LG Viewty.

Samsung G810 smartphone at 3GSM?

02/04, 1:05pm

Samsung G810 at 3GSM?

A new, high-end Samsung smartphone will be announced at this month's 3GSM conference in Barcelona, a Czech website claims. The phone would be the G810, a successor to the G800, which is currently available in Europe but is not yet in North America. Like the 800, the 810 is a slider with a full-featured five-megapixel camera -- it not only features 3x optical zoom and autofocus, but a macro mode, face recognition and anti-shake technology. It will continue to have HSDPA broadband, as well as a microSD slot and Bluetooth, specifically Bluetooth 2.0.

Microsoft sends Vista SP1 to manufacturing

02/04, 12:25pm

Windows Vista SP1 rollout

The first Service Pack for Windows Vista has been released to manufacturing, Microsoft has announced. English, French, Spanish, German and Japanese versions are said to be heading to assembly lines, mainly for enterprise customers, but also for OEMs who will be installing the updated version on new computers. SP1 will also be released via Windows Update, but this is not scheduled until mid-March as a manual download, and mid-April as an automatic one.

Zune 8 receives quiet price cut, bests nano

02/04, 11:40am

Zune 8 Price Cut to 179

Microsoft has quietly dropped the price of its Zune 8 flash music player to $180 in a bid to gain marketshare, according to reports as well as checks with several major online retailers. Though unannounced by the company, the $20 drop makes the device one of the least expensive of the class at its regular price and undercuts the same-capacity iPod nano's $200 price. No features appear to have been cut from the 8GB Zune, which shares the same Wi-Fi sharing and sync features of the rest of the line and whose 240x320 screen is as sharp as for the larger-screened Zune 80.

E-Ten V900 TV phone, M810 made official

02/04, 11:00am

E-Ten V900 M810 Official

E-Ten on Monday rolled out two of its promised updates to its Glofiish smartphones in advance of the Mobile World Congress show next week. The now formally launched V900 is the company's first-ever mobile TV phone and is one of the few from any manufacturer to support more than one standard: it handles both DVB-H (handheld) and DVB-T (terrestrial) signals in Europe as well as T-DMB in Korea; it can also handle DAB digital radio. This makes the large-screened phone an ideal fit for international football (soccer) fans who may want to catch the game away from a fixed TV, E-Ten says.

Google updating Android dev kit

02/04, 10:25am

Google Delays Android SDK

Google today said it would upgrade the developer kit for its Android mobile OS, providing a significant upgrade to the Linux-based software based on feedback from programmers. The company does not say exactly what its enhancements will include but notes that both the user interface and the programming interface itself will receive upgrades. The delay is enough to justify pushing back the deadline for the Developers Challenge until April 14th, Google says, though the change will not force any software developers to migrate to the new code in the same timeframe.

NEC preps speaker-loaded wide AccuSync LCDs

02/04, 9:45am

NEC AccuSync xx4 Series

NEC is growing its AccuSync display line today with three widescreen models, all built with full features but also stealth in mind. The 17-inch LCD174WXM, 19-inch LCD194WXM, and 22-inch LCD224WXM all share stereo speakers but use a refreshed design that tucks them underneath the bezel, preventing the large "chin" that often plagues mixed-media displays. NEC also makes concessions to environmental friendliness with a special ECO mode that drops brigtness to reduce the display's power use by about 30 percent.

LG rolls out KF-510 slider with 3MP, touch controls

02/04, 9:25am

LG KF-510

LG Mobile began its week with the release of the KF-510. The slider phone is one of LG's first non-smartphones to ship with a 3-megapixel camera and virtually eliminates physical buttons on the outer shell, replacing them with a touch-sensitive directional pad and action controls. The approach is part of what allows LG package the entire phone in a shell that measures roughly 0.43 inches while improving features over earlier phones such as most Chocolate models.

MS offers Xbox 360 Arcade in Japan, fights PS3

02/04, 8:55am

Xbox 360 Arcade in Japan

Microsoft on Monday morning said it would release the Xbox 360 Arcade in Japan, marking the first appearance of the budget console in the country versus the more expensive but hard drive-equipped Xbox 360 Pro. Like the American version, the Arcade trims costs both by switching to a 256MB memory card from a 20GB hard drive as well as shipping with less expensive components, such as a wired gamepad without an Xbox Live headset. In exchange, the Arcade's removable card comes with five Xbox Live Arcade games preloaded to get casual users started.

Yahoo switches to Real for unlimited music

02/04, 8:25am

Yahoo Switches to Rhapsody

Yahoo today tilted the balance of digital music by announcing that Yahoo Music would switch to RealNetworks' Rhapsody for its on-demand music, replacing the Yahoo Music Unlimited service for subscription services. The move will see existing Yahoo subscribers transition over to Rhapsody accounts over the next several months, beginning mid-year, and will make Yahoo's music services accessible from devices which were previously limited to the Real service; devices such as Logitech's Squeezebox media streaming hub and TiVo recorders will now have access to Yahoo's services. Both companies also plan to collaborate on a la carte downloads in the future.

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