News Archive for 08/02/19

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T-Mobile offering unlimited cell plan

02/19, 5:40pm

T-Mobile Unlimited Plan

T-Mobile has announced an unlimited cellular plan to compete with similar offerings by AT&T and Verizon, both of which have already unveiled similar plans. The $100 monthly plan brings T-Mobile up to speed by offering its customers unlimited calling in the US, including roaming and long distance. Unlike the rival plans, the newest addition also includes text messaging without requiring an extension. T-Mobile offers the plan to customers for most of its phones as of Thursday.

Nokia N810/N830 WiMAX tablet sneak peeked?

02/19, 4:55pm

Nokia N830 WiMAX Leak

Nokia may finally tip its hand as to its first WiMAX-enabled tablet, according to a sighting in a Best Buy ad by members of the Internet Tablet Talk community. Superficially a variant on the existing N810 Internet tablet, the device (labeled at once the N810 and N830) uses the black and metal trim style seen on phones such as the N96. While additional information is scarce, the finish and model number are unique among the N800 series and may point to the promised WiMAX tablet for the launch of Sprint's Xohm service.

Two Google phones in development?

02/19, 4:25pm

Two Google phones coming?

The concept of a Google-developed phone, generally dismissed once the company revealed its Android platform, may in fact be very real, according to tech columnist Robert Cringley. The writer cites an unidentified source, who says that two so-called "gPhones" are being created with help by Samsung. Both should feature Wi-Fi, with the first expected to ship in September, and the second coming sometime after Christmas.

doubleTwist 'breaks' DRM with universal sync

02/19, 4:05pm

doubleTwist Desktop

Best known for his DeCSS routine that bypassed DVD encryption, Jon Lech Johansen and his startup company doubleTwist today launched a new utility they hope will all but eliminate the restrictions that normally block transferring music and videos between devices. Just referred to as doubleTwist Desktop, the app is designed to share and sync media regardless of the format and uses intelligent converters to produce more universal formats out of sometimes proprietary files.

Sony readies A820-series Walkmen

02/19, 3:50pm

Sony A820-series Walkmen

Representatives at Sony Europe have announced a new series of Walkman media players, the NWZ-A820s (not pictured). Each is equipped with a 2.4-inch QVGA screen, capable of displaying video at up to 30fps; for more comfortable viewing, orientation on images can be switched between left, right or vertical. Supported video types include MPEG-4 and H.264/AVC, although photos are limited to the JPEG format.

AT&T offers unlimited plan, includes iPhone

02/19, 3:10pm

AT&T Unlimited Calling

(Update 2 with iPhone and BlackBerry/Windows Mobile rates) Quickly following a similar move by Verizon, cellular carrier AT&T today said it would introduce an unlimited plan of its own. The $100 monthly agreement allows subscribers to call anywhere within the US without the long distance or roaming charges that normally come with service, regardless of the length of the call. Data and MMS/SMS messaging services are not included but can be added to the plan at either $15 for data or $20 for texting.

Universal throws weight behind Blu-ray

02/19, 3:05pm

Universal Backs Blu-ray

Universal Pictures today was quick to seize on Toshiba's end to HD DVD by announcing that it would stop producing movies in the now-obsolete format. The news confirms earlier hints and reveals that the movie studio will switch its entire schedule to Blu-ray for HD releases, including both new titles, back catalog releases, as well as movies that were previously available at the higher resolution only on HD DVD. The move is necessary as the format for HD video has "finally become clear," says Universal's digital production chief Craig Kornblau.

HP's UMPC spotted, gets early details

02/19, 2:40pm

HP Compaq UMPC 2133 Leak

HP's inaugural UMPC has already been photographed and received its first early details, according to a leak from Engadget. Resembling a compact notebook rather than the handhelds normally associated with the concept, the Compaq-branded UMPC 2133 will run an 8.9-inch, 1366x768 widescreen display and a nearly full-size keyboard that runs edge to edge. Also defying the normal limits of such computers, a full ExpressCard/54 slot should provide expansion for networking, storage, and other peripherals. Storage is built-in and should include the option of a solid-state drive.

Microsoft to wage proxy fight versus Yahoo?

02/19, 1:40pm

MS proxy war vs. Yahoo

Microsoft is indeed planning to pursue a "proxy war" against Yahoo management, according to reports. The New York Times cites anonymous sources close to the matter, who claim that if Yahoo does not concede to Microsoft's $44.6 billion takeover bid, it will use its influence on Yahoo shareholders to elect a Microsoft-friendly board of directors. This could be a vastly cheaper alternative to raising the value of the bid: while it would jump $1.4 billion for each dollar added to the share price, orchestrating a coup at Yahoo could cost just $20-30 million, factoring in a proxy solicitor and the cost of mailings to each shareholder.

Dell launches UltraSharp 2408WFP

02/19, 12:55pm

Dell UltraSharp 2408WFP

Dell has begun selling the UltraSharp 2408WFP, its newest LCD monitor. The screen is a companion to the 3008WFP, and is only the second model from Dell to support DisplayPort technology. DisplayPort is a simpler kind of video input that should eventually replace DVI and VGA, and possibly HDMI in some cases, due to an absence of licensing fees. The 2408 in fact supports all of the above connections, as well as component, S-Video and composite inputs.

Sony to spend more than $200m on OLED TV tech

02/19, 12:15pm

Sony Expanding OLED Tech

Sony will spend roughly $203.5 million on developing technology to build medium to large Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) panels for use in TVs and monitors, the company announced today. While Sony already has an OLED TV on the market that exemplifies the ultra-thin design of OLEDs at 3mm (0.12in) thick, the XEL-1, its display measures just 11 inches across and is priced out of most hands at about $2,500 in the US.

Paramount, Universal already switching to Blu-ray?

02/19, 12:15pm

Paramount, Univ. & Blu-ray

Following today's announcement of the end of the HD DVD format, a German site is reporting that movie studios Paramount and Universal are already pledging to switch to the Blu-ray format for future HD releases. Both companies were once staunch supporters of HD DVD, the latter after a controversial $150 million payout which brought it on-side. Sony has also used money to influence format adoption, but Paramount claimed that its decision was based solely on merit.

iPhone at 6th place in 2007 US phone sales

02/19, 11:40am

NPD US Phone Sales 2007

US phone sales over the course of 2007 grew substantially and saw the iPhone register a significant percentage all by itself, according to new data from The NPD Group. With roughly 146 million phones trading hands over the period, Apple's shipment of about 3.7 million iPhones during the year equates to approximately 2.5 percent of the entire market, or sixth place. The top rankings remain largely unchanged from last year and see Motorola leading sales with about 32 percent of sales, down slightly from 33 percent the year before; Samsung gained signicantly, moving up to second place with a jump from 14 to 17 percent of US share. LG dipped to third place with a flat 16 percent of the market, while Nokia and Sanyo held on to fourth and fifth places respectively with 10 and 4 percent share each.

Verizon adds Samsung U550 clamshell to lineup

02/19, 10:35am

Samsung U550 at Verizon

Verizon today added the Samsung U550 clamshell to its roster of mid-range phones. The flip phone boasts external touch controls for navigating music (including tracks from Verizon's V CAST Music store) and is capable of both V CAST streaming video over its 3G link as well as capture through the phone's built-in 1.3-megapixel camera, including in the dark through a special Night Shot mode.

Verizon formalizes unlimited cell plans

02/19, 10:15am

Verizon Unlimited Plans

Verizon today fired a salvo at AT&T with the introduction of its Unlimited Calling Plans. Validating an earlier leak, the carrier's service guarantees an unlimited amount of calling within the US regardless of the time of day or whether the destination is a landline or mobile. Extra plans also supply unlimited SMS (text) and MMS (media) messaging within the country as well as unfettered access to some of Verizon's data services, such as its Mobile Web 2.0 portal, V CAST Internet video, and VZ Navigator for assisted GPS mapping.

Ricoh intros wide-angle R8, 5X zoom R50 cams

02/19, 9:25am

Ricoh R8 and R50

Ricoh this morning used the relative lull in the weeks after the PMA photo show to introduce two new Caplio models. The 10-megapixel R8 serves as one of the firm's new top-end models and bridges some of the gap between point-and-shoot and semi-pro cameras through its lens: the wide-angle glass not only has a 28-200mm focus range that helps compose more difficult shots but also zooms out by a 7.1X factor for long distance images.

Apple's low demand spurs memory price drop?

02/19, 8:25am

Apple Spurs Memory Prices

A lack of orders from Apple is triggering a price drop in the NAND flash memory used by many companies for storage, say claims from memory manufacturers. While requests for memory from device makers have gone up since the very start of the year, a glut of supply outpacing demand for iPhones and iPods has sent prices downward as memory producers seek to clear stock: an 8 gigabit (1GB) MLC chip sells for less than $3, while even a 16 gigabit (2GB) chip is very nearly at the $5 level, according to the claims. These larger chips are said to be under the highest amount of price pressure as electronics firms demand more capacity.

AT&T brings GSM-based Palm Centro to US

02/19, 8:05am

Palm Centro at ATT

AT&T this morning became the first North American GSM carrier to pick up the Centro, Palm's first non-Treo Palm smartphone in years. Already available through Sprint in CDMA form, the AT&T model switches to a unique white color scheme but switches to slower EDGE technology for data instead of EVDO. The phone nonetheless makes use of its Internet access with support for AT&T's music services and access to streaming versions of a collection of XM Satellite Radio channels. AT&T's push-to-talk feature is also available.

Apple intros 2GB iPod shuffle, drops 1GB to $49

02/19, 7:45am

iPod shuffle price cut

Apple today introduced a 2GB iPod shuffle while quietly slashing the price of the 1GB model to $49, dropping the price of the device while simultaneously offering more capacities. Both sizes are available in all colors; the 1GB model should be available immediately through the online Apple Store, while the 2GB model ships later this month. The change makes for "the most affordable iPod ever," according to Apple senior iPod marketing VP Greg Joswiak.

Apple filing points to user-set multitouch

02/19, 6:30am

Apple Multi-Touch Panel

Apple has developed a system that will allow users to define their own gesture-based commands in Mac OS X, according to a recent patent filing. Co-invented by Wayne Westerman, who helped found the FingerWorks company largely credited with pioneering multitouch displays, the patent would let users enter a control panel which adds both basic and advanced levels of multitouch control to the existing trackpad options. In an advanced mode, the software would be capable of recognizing different finger patterns, or chords, and assigning different actions depending on the swiping motion associated with those cords.

Toshiba drops HD DVD, has no Blu-ray plans

02/19, 5:30am

Toshiba Drops HD DVD

Ending a longstanding format war, Toshiba on Tuesday formally announced that it would halt production of HD DVD devices and discs, all but rendering the format obsolete. In a confirmation of Japanese reports, the company plans to wind down hardware production by March for both stand-alone movie players and PC drives. Development of notebook HD DVD drives, such as for the company's own Qosmio line, will depend largely on demand. Writable HD DVD media will also continue to exist past March to cater to owners who need the format for burning video or computer data.

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