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Everex today unveiled the Everex mini, a Mac mini-styled CPU that features the company's own gOS 2.0 running on a dual-core processor. An Intel T2130 dual-core mobile processor powers the PC, while using a 120GB HD for storage and 512MB of RAM. For multimedia, Everex chose the Intel GMA950 graphics processor and Realtek ALC268 audio hardware, and the system includes a DVD+/-RW drive. The Everex mini will be available from Newegg.com for $500 on March 1st.
Some users of Microsoft's "Live" services have reported difficulties trying to sign in with their Windows Live IDs. According to The Associated Press the problem is affecting many services, such as the Xbox Live community, as well as the Windows Live Messenger application. The issue is not comprehensive, as some users are able to sign in to the services without an issue. Microsoft has acknowledged the problem, but did not mention when a fix would be available.
Sony today announced that it will ship two major console bundles this year, as well as making the Dualshock 3 controller available for North American audiences. The Dualshock 3 wireless controller brings back the force feedback rumble from the Playstation 2, while incorporating the Sixaxis features of the standard PS3 controller. The Dualshock 3 controller will be available in April, at a cost of $55, and will be supported by over 100 current PS3 titles.
Tailing off its media assault, Sony has announced a new UX series of voice recorders, described as "hybrids" for their ability to double as music players. The players can optionally record to higher-quality stereo MP3, and support Macs and PCs as well as ID3 artist and title tagging. The top-end version, the UX80, uses 2GB of flash storage; this amounts to 36 hours of 128kbps MP3, or as much as 581 hours of lower-quality content. The UX70 comes with just 1GB of memory, and can thus record 290 hours of low-quality sound, or 18 hours in MP3. The 80 and 70 should both be released in April, at prices of $150 and $100 respectively.
Sony today unveiled a pair of 'personal field speakers' (site not updated) that act similar to headphones as well as new multimedia speakers designed to produce high quality audio. The company's new PFR-V1 personal field speakers are designed to create a listening field around the ears, projecting music through two 1-inch die-cast aluminum speakers connected with a headband made of lightweight duralumin metal. Sony's PFR-V1 personal field speakers are slated for shipment in April for around $500.
Swiss company Goldmund, a home theater builder which caters to the super-rich, says it is finally releasing its first Blu-ray movie player. The Eidos 20 BD was slated to be released at a later date, the company suggests, but due to the rapid failure of HD DVD, it is being launched early to gain industry attention. The 20 is said to contain extreme attention to detail -- among its components is a custom power supply circuit, aimed at reducing minute flaws in the dynamics and stability of output.
In its biggest headphone introduction to date, Sony released 20 new earphone models broken down over five specific use categories. Included in the release are headphones designed for children, another milestone for Sony. The remaining products include sets meant for sport and fitness use, a revised noise-canceling set, a pair of new flagship EX-series earbuds and a new series of the company's high-volume earbud and street-style, behind-the-neck headphones.
Sony is investing in a flat TV manufacturing plant Sharp is building for LCD panels, according to a report today. The $3.5 billion plant is due to be operational by March of 2010, with construction commencing this past December. The plant will be two-thirds owned by Sharp and will manufacture 40-, 50- and 60-inch flat panels. Japanese daily newspaper Nikkei claims that Sony will contribute about $926 million to the venture, though neither company has confirmed that number. Sony President Ryoji Chubachi and Sharp President Mikio Katayama were scheduled to speak at a joint news conference in Tokyo in the latter part of the day to shed more light on their joint venture.
ASUS has introduced the Nova P22, a new compact PC which it describes as the "smallest" running a desktop-level Core 2 Duo processor. It specifically uses a 1.8GHz CPU with a 1,066MHz front-side bus, and is equipped with 1GB of DDR2 RAM. The machine relies on integrated graphics, but does come loaded with Windows Vista Premium, and also features high-end wireless technologies in the form of Bluetooth 2.0 and 802.11n. Gigabit Ethernet handles wired network connections.
Continuing its publicity blitz, Sony has announced four new high-end AV receivers. All of them are capable of 1080p24 output, and in some cases can upscale standard-definition video to that maximum resolution, so long as owners connect to a similarly-equipped TV with HDMI input. The best of the receivers are the STR-DG820 and DG920, which can produce 110W for each of their 7.1 channels of audio; supported sound codecs include Dolby TrueHD and Digital Plus, as well as DTS-HD High Resolution and Master Audio.
Sony today marked the rollout of S-AIR, a new wireless technology it hopes will provide real multi-room audio without the added burden of an expensive or complex home theater server. Using hubs known as S-AIR Air Stations, the system can either transmit music to other rooms with the hubs (which themselves include 8W speakers) or fill out the rear channels in a main surround system without stringing cables to the back of the room. Unlike most wireless sound bridges, no security codes or other steps are needed to create a link between receivers, Sony claims.
Canonical today hoped to preempt all comers today with news of Ubuntu Mobile. Its first Linux variant aimed at handhelds, the software is tailored for the Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) expected to launch in spring based on Intel's Silverthorne technology and is designed to recognize basic iPhone-like gestures such as swiping to scroll through menus and websites. A scrolling visual front end based on Flash or Clutter replaces the traditional Ubuntu desktop and is designed to be used solely with fingers, including with an on-screen keyboard.
Catering to the highest-end home theater enthusiasts who want a central location for all their media, Sony today launched its new NHS-130C rack system. The system is designed to pipe Blu-ray and other 1080p HD videos around as many as 13 individual zones and can supply a primary zone, such as the living room, with 7.1-channel surround audio. The device also focuses heavily on music with a 160GB hard drive to store music in a central location, a SIRIUS satellite radio tuner, and an in-wall iPod dock that uses just one cradled Apple player to supply music to the entire home.
Sony has developed a new version of its ICF-C1iP iPod alarm clock, the C1iPMK2. The clock is the first from the company to specifically support the iPhone, and has an adjustable "backstop" used to secure any size of USB-equipped Apple player in its dock; Shuffles and non-Apple players can also connect, but must do so through a line-in jack and thus cannot charge simultaneously. To use an iPhone with the bundled remote, the former must be set in advance to iPod mode.
In an environment where users are more likely to turn to piracy, Apple's iTunes Store has climbed to second place among all legal US music stores and is second only to Wal-Mart, according to a new study by The NPD Group. The research firm notes that about 29 million users, or 10 percent of all people acquiring music in the US, turned to paid download services throughout the course of 2007 and more often shopped at iTunes than through any other service. The total figure represented a jump of about five million versus 2006 and saw most sales go to buyers between 36 and 50 years old. This same segment largely drove sales of portable media players like the iPod.
Sony on Tuesday capped its success over HD DVD by releasing two S-series Blu-ray players. The basic BDP-S350 and its S550 counterpart are both Sony's first players to support the Internet features made possible with Blu-ray's Final Standard Profile 2.0 and come with Ethernet jacks both for online-only features as well as downloading upgrades as they become active. They also support the picture-in-picture features from Profile 1.1, according to Sony. Either model is also slimmer than before while still finding room for a USB port for storage; the S550 adds a 1GB flash drive for browsing media and transferring updates out of the box.
Apple today announced long-awaited upgrades for both its MacBook and MacBook Pro portables, adding Intel's 45 nanometer Penryn architecture for its Core 2 Duo processors. All systems now include the larger Level 2 cache, SSE4 media instructions, and reduced power consumption of the new chips. As the flagship, the MacBook Pro now receives the multi-touch trackpad from the MacBook Air and also adds the first LED backlighting option for the 17-inch display; choosing the high-resolution, 1920x1200 screen also adds the more color-accurate backlight and potentially extends battery life. Video memory has also been doubled across the line.
Sony today launched a sweeping change to its Walkmen players that brings recently launched Japanese players, and more, to the US. The A820 is Sony's first music player with built-in Bluetooth and uses the technology to supply wireless stereo sound to headphones, speakers, and any other audio output that can pair with the device. It also features Sony's largest screen yet for a device at 2.4 inches across, which helps both for playing H.264 and MPEG-4 videos as well as navigating AAC, MP3, and WMA songs. The A820 is also one of Sony's longest-lasting large players yet with up to 36 hours of steady playback.
Dell today took the wraps from the XPS 630 (site live soon), its bridge between the mainstream XPS 420 desktop and the higher-end XPS 720. The tower computer is designed to run affordable components but is also made for headroom as gamers look to improve their systems; every model has a mainboard capable of dual video cards (either AMD's CrossFire or NVIDIA's SLI) as well as a 750-watt power supply capable of handling both the video cards as well an overclockable Intel processor and high-speed RAM from Corsair.
Sony today launched the Mylo COM-2 developer community, a website for Mylo developers to meet and learn about creating widgets for the communications device. The Mylo COM-2, announced January 6th, allows users to communicate over various social networks, such as Facebook and YouTube, and is customizable through the use of official and user-created "widgets". The service will give users a place to meet other widget developers, as well as upload and discuss their own projects.
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