News Archive for 08/02/14

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Spyker iPhone-lookalike spotted at MWC

02/14, 6:05pm

Spyker iPhone-lookalike

Dutch car manufacturer Spyker is allegedly doing its own take on the iPhone, since the mystery device was recently spotted at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona. CNET reports that a Spyker branded iPhone-lookalike was visible behind a glass case, but with a physical keypad, rather than relying on the on-screen keyboard of the iPhone. Spyker did not have any literature available for the device, and merely acknowledged that it is part of the company's product portfolio, saying little more.

Olympus E-430 DSLR leaked?

02/14, 4:30pm

Olympus E-430 leaked?

A Russian website claims to have leaked information on Olympus' next DSLR. The E-430 would follow in the wake of the E-410, and rely on a new, 12-megapixel Live MOS sensor, paired with a TruePic III processor. As described, it would also have a "real" (faster) USB 2.0 interface; the camera's most striking feature, however, may be its warped upper frame, which even distorts the shape of the pop-up flash housing.

PS3 said to outsell Xbox in 2008, crack 20m in 2011

02/14, 4:20pm

iSuppli on PS3 Sales

Sony's PlayStation 3 console will outperform the Xbox 360 and roughly double its user base in 2008, says a new estimate by research firm iSuppli. The study predicts that Sony will sell approximately 10 million PS3s over the course of 2008, roughly doubling the game system's share to 20.3 million by the end of the year. The unusually high estimate would also have Sony near Nintendo's own sales figures with just 12.2 million total Wii sales in the same timeframe. By contrast, the Xbox 360 is estimated to move just 7.5 million systems this year.

SCO revives with $100 million investment

02/14, 3:45pm

SCO receives $100 million

Having almost disappeared completely late last year, SCO says it has been resuscitated by a new financing plan. Under the terms of the deal, Stephen Norris Capital Partners and "its partners from the Middle East" will supply up to $100 million, enabling SCO to reorganize and launch a new series of products. SNCP will gain a controlling interest in the company, and take it private, allowing it to slip out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Apple files patent for "podmap" podcasts

02/14, 3:15pm

Apple Podmap Patents

Apple hopes to cement itself as the owner of a unique podcast concept that would serve as an alternative to GPS navigation, according to a just-published patent filing by the company. Describing the creation and management of map-based media, the invention would let users subscribe to map information in the same way they do with audio or video podcasts. The implementation would see an application or service turn map data into a series of audio and video elements based on location; driving directions and other maps could be spoken aloud with a view of the map at that location as a guide. Music, ads, and other content could play in between key points, with the amount of content in between calculated by the length of the expected trip.

Sigmatek builds low-cost Blu-Ray player

02/14, 3:00pm

Sigmatek Blu-Ray player

Though generally unknown in North America, Sigmatek has announced its first-ever Blu-Ray player, the SBR-1000. It's primary feature is actually cost, as in its intended European market it will retail for under €250 ($364) -- more than €100 less than comparable players like Sony's BDP-300. This is mainly a result of a new laser invented by Sony and Nichia, making Blu-Ray players cheaper to produce.

The player does sacrifice DTS-HD however, and use a coaxial audio output instead of optical. Regardless, it supports codecs such as standard DTS and Dolby TrueHD, and can play MP3s burned to disc. Video connections include an HDMI 1.3 output, and support native resolutions up to 1080p24/60. The 1000 should be available in April.

EU official wants 95yr copyright, media levy reform

02/14, 1:30pm

EU 95yr Copyright and Levy

The European Union should almost double the length of music copyrights and to reform media levies, EU Commissioner Charlie McCreevy argues. The official contends that many musicians, particularly older artists, are in danger of losing a reliable source of income and proposes the measures as a protective option. The current 50-year limit on copyright in particular needs to be extended to 95 years, McCreevy suggests. Without the safeguard in place, both regular band members and session performers could find themselves without guaranteed royalties, which often serve as retirement income.

Nielsen: DVRs increasing TV viewing

02/14, 1:10pm

DVRs boosting viewers

Digital video recorders (DVRs) are increasing the amount of time people spend watching TV, says the Nielsen research group. While DVRs can theoretically make people extremely selective, it appears to simply be enabling people to watch more programming they would ordinarily miss, due to inconvenient timeframes. A study specifically contrasted viewing from November 2005 -- before much DVR penetration, Nielsen says, although it did not track DVRs at the time -- and November 2007.

LG Rumor hits Alltel as Scoop

02/14, 12:05pm

LG Scoop hits Alltel

The LG Rumor, previously available on Sprint, is now being carried by Alltel Wireless as the Scoop. Superficially a basic candybar phone, a QWERTY keyboard slides out from underneath, allowing easier e-mail and text messaging, as well as instant messaging through AIM or Yahoo Messenger. A specific Alltel feature is support for Axcess Voice2TXT, which can convert voicemail into text messages, saving them in the inbox.

LG Chocolate, enV sequels for Verizon in pipeline?

02/14, 11:50am

LG VX8610 and VX9100 Leaks

LG is slated to provide updates to two of Verizon's more successful phones in the near future, according to a leak of photos and details. The pictured VX8610 is most likely to be a direct replacement for the current Chocolate (known as the VX8550) and will make the unusual move to a BlackBerry-like trackball in place of the jog wheel of the current phone or the directional pad of the original. LG's slider will also have the unusual addition of a detachable Bluetooth earpiece for hands-free calling without the need for a separate carrying case.

MS in post-holiday X360 shortages, 16% failure rate

02/14, 11:00am

MS Xbox 360 Shortages

Microsoft is running low on units of its Xbox 360 games systems in the wake of the holidays, the company revealed late Wednesday. Although sales of game systems most often cool after gifts for Christmas and other events satisfy demand, Microsoft's global game marketing chief Jeff Bell explained that the company had "misjudged demand" and that it has been unable to supply enough systems through at least the whole month of January with February's final results likely to reflect the same pattern. The shortfall is the result of unusually high demand and has triggered frustration among retailers as well as warnings that sales numbers may not reach their potential as a result.

AT&T adds HSUPA ExpressCard, PC Card

02/14, 10:10am

AT&T Option HSPA Cards

AT&T on Thursday expanded its data card options for its newborn HSPA 3G network with two adapters from Option. Both the ExpressCard/34-based GT Ultra Express and the standard GT Ultra (pictured) for older PC Card-equipped notebooks provide access to the HSUPA component of the carrier's network, permitting faster speeds in areas with the faster coverage: practical download speeds range between 600Kbps and 1.4Mbps while uploads run between 500Kbps and 800Kbps, AT&T estimates.

Panel: iPhone poses problems as model for success

02/14, 9:50am

MWC panel on iPhone

The iPhone may be a great success, but emulating it could prove a challenge, a panel at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona has concluded. Addressing other technology and behavioral experts, technology marketer Anup Murarka of Adobe noted that 77 percent of iPhone buyers have labeled themselves as "very satisfied" with their experience -- something he and the other panelists agreed was not attributable to carrier AT&T, but almost entirely to Apple, the phone's designer. The panel could not agree, however, on the path to Apple's achievements.

Overlay.tv allows on-video ads from iTunes, more

02/14, 9:30am

Overlay tv

Hoping to create a new way for even amateur video providers to make money, Overlay.TV says it has developed a new platform that can integrate ads into the content itself in an unintrusive way. The self-title service takes Flash-based videos from many common video sites (including MySpace and YouTube) and lets users create clickable areas in a video that tie into related ads; ads can be as subtle as links hovering over products that are already part of the video or as conspicuous as normal ads, Overlay.TV says. The resulting videos can then be embedded anywhere that accepts normal HTML code such as blogs or social networking sites.

Nokia's Yamake offers homebrew mobile games

02/14, 8:50am

Nokia Yamake for N-Gage

Nokia today said it had developed a new game for its N-Gage game platform that will let users create their own titles. Yamake is a game of its own but centers around creating mini-games using the player's own content: audio, photos, and videos captured or stored on the phone can be used to build puzzles. The resulting creations can be shared through the N-Gage Arena and are linked to a comment system that lets fellow Yamake players review the games as well as offer suggestions to creators.

Sharp laser hints 6x Blu-ray notebook burner

02/14, 8:25am

Sharp 6X BD Notebook Drive

Sharp today said it had developed a new laser that could enable far faster Blu-ray burning in portables than possible today. Courtesy of a new crystal growth technology and a smaller processor, the Japanese firm says it has produced a laser which measures just 3.3mm (0.13in) in diameter but which can record a dual-layer, 50GB Blu-ray disc at speeds between 4X and 6X. The size allows for a slim notebook drive but writes between two and three times faster than current drives. A slightly larger 5.6mm (0.22in) laser for desktop-sized drives has also resulted from the process.

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