News Archive for 08/03/10

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LaCie intros sleek new desktop drives

03/10, 7:40pm

LaCie desktop drives

LaCie has introduced the Desktop hard disk available in 250GB, 320GB, 500GB and 1TB configurations. The 250GB, 320GB, and 500GB models are available in a stackable form-factor. All of the drives include a single USB 2.0 port and spin at 7200 RPM. The 1TB drive features 16MB (2 x 8MB) or greater or cache, while the smaller capacities feature 8MB of cache. The drives start at around $125 and should be available immediately.

Microsoft appeals Vista suit decision

03/10, 7:10pm

Microsoft appeal

Refuting allegations that it knowingly lowered the requirements for Windows Vista to help Intel sell more low-cost chipsets, Microsoft has appealed a decision by District Court Judge Marsha Pechman to allow procession of a class-action filed on those grounds. The Redmond company is simultaneously calling for a pause in the Judge's investigation and appealing her decision's merit in the US Court of Appeals. In its appeal, Microsoft questions how plaintiffs in the suit will be able to prove that the prices of systems in question were inflated as a result of increased demand due to the label "Windows Vista Compatible."

ASUS debuts bamboo computer concept

03/10, 4:50pm

ASUS bamboo computers

ASUS has debuted an unusual series of concept computers that rely on alternative case materials. Where most cases rely on materials like aluminum, titanium or plastic, the company's Bamboo computers are in fact made of the namesake natural wood, which has multiple advantages. Aside from being more aesthetically appealing, bamboo should be more environmentally friendly; it is readily renewable, unlike minerals or oils, and the material is biodegradable when it ultimately ends up in a garbage dump.

ASUS Eee PC 900 gets US info, Atom, WiMAX

03/10, 4:35pm

ASUS Eee PC 900 US Info

ASUS' just-announced Eee PC 900 has received its official release information for the US as well as a guide to its near future, an interview with company chief Jerry Shen. The system will cost less than its originally announced European price when it ships to the US and should be available for $499 in the US when available in the country, which is expected by April. Shen does not say which configuration will ship at that price, though the cost of a Windows XP license points to the starter version shipping with Linux.

Imation joins SSD storage race

03/10, 3:55pm

Imation SSD drives

Imation has entered the burgeoning field of SSD storage with two sets of drives, designed in collaboration with Mtron. The first of these are the MOBI 3000s, SATA disks meant for the consumer market; these consist of 16 and 32GB 2.5-inch drives, as well as 16, 32 and 64GB 3.5-inch models. The drives are capable of reading at 100MBs, and writing at 80MBs; random access speed is just 0.1ms. Prices start at approximately $700.

Buffalo ships fast 500GB USB portable drive

03/10, 3:45pm

Buffalo MiniStation 500GB

Buffalo on Monday slipped out a 500GB version of the MiniStation TurboUSB, its faster series of pocket USB drives. The 2.5-inch disk reaches the new capacity while still using an advanced disk controller that outputs data faster than other rivals. TurboUSB boosts transfers data at 35MB per second, or about 30 percent faster than other hard drives with the same 5,400RPM rotation speed, Buffalo estimates.

Intel Atom leak shows 1.87GHz, dual-core

03/10, 3:05pm

Intel Atom Roadmap Leaked

Details have surfaced about the near future of Intel's Atom processor for handhelds, courtesy of a new leaked roadmap for the chips. Though Intel has only publicly acknowledged a 1.6GHz Atom 230 processor and alluded to others, the slip shows that Intel expects to spread the line to the high end in the near future. After the initial version, the semiconductor firm plans a 1.87GHz Atom 200-series chip; in standard form, it would be a direct upgrade with a faster speed but the same 533MHz bus and 512KB of Level 2 cache memory.

FCC head: Comcast has been deceptive

03/10, 3:05pm

FCC: Comcast deceptive

Comcast may have already undermined its position in an ongoing government investigation, according to the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Kevin Martin addressed the question in a recent speech at Stanford University Law School, where the subject of Comcast's peer-to-peer sabotage was raised. Martin said he was disturbed that Comcast initially denied throttling peer-to-peer content, only to later claim the practice was standard and necessary.

Intel plans ultra-quick 160GB SSDs in 2008

03/10, 2:05pm

Intel SSD Plans for 2008

The very small Z-P140 solid-state drive is just a prelude to a series of much more significant announcements over the course of 2008, Intel's flash memory marketing head Troy Winslow says in a recent interview. The senior official explains that one of the chipmaker's introductions this year will be a series of 1.8- and 2.5-inch drives targeted at ultraportables that not only hold more but are also faster. While they will hold between 80GB and 160GB versus today's 64GB and just-shipping 128GB drives, they should also outperform the claimed 100 megabytes per second reading speed of the Samsung Flash SSD, which itself is already much faster than most rotating hard disks, the Intel executive boasts.

Hitachi, IBM work to shrink silicon chips

03/10, 1:05pm

Hitachi, IBM shrink chips

Hitachi and IBM are set to announce a partnership which will result in smaller, more efficient silicon chips, according to the New York Times. While many companies are only now making the switch to 45nm technology, as with Intel in the case of its Penryn processors, Hitachi and IBM say they are working on the next step, which involves research at the atomic level to produce 32 and even 22nm semiconductors. In some cases this may make components as little as a few atoms thick, approaching the physical limits of non-quantum computing.

Analysts warn of chip overstock, sales slump

03/10, 1:05pm

Analyst on Chip Oversupply

An oversupply in the amount of electronics chips stemming from the holidays is the sign of a decline in demand for computers and handhelds, according to a new Gartner report sent out today. The research group warns that its index of surplus inventory around the world grew nearly 12 percent between the third and fourth quarters of 2007, largely due to poorer sales. As the downturn is likely to have carried over to this quarter and potentially the spring, many companies should deliberately scale back their extra stock to avoid being caught out by any further drops, the report notes.

Ericsson: Wi-Fi hotspots already set for slow death

03/10, 12:15pm

Ericsson on Wi-Fi hotspots

The end for Wi-Fi hotspots may already be in sight, claims the chief marketing officer of telecom multinational Ericsson. Speaking today at the European Computer Audit, Control and Security Conference in Stockholm, Sweden, Johan Bergendahl commented that at least in Europe, cellular broadband is growing so rapidly that it is surpassing any rate ever achieved by either mobile or fixed voice networks. "In Austria," says Bergendahl, "they are saying that mobile broadband will pass fixed broadband this year."

Microsoft makes Euro X360 price drop official

03/10, 11:15am

MS Drops X360 Euro Price

Microsoft has quickly confirmed existing rumors and today officially dropped European prices for the Xbox 360. The base Xbox 360 Arcade system now costs 160 in the UK and 200 in Europe, making the system less expensive than the already low-cost Nintendo Wii that serves as its chief rival; the standard 20GB Xbox 360 in turn drops to 200 or 270. The black, 120GB Elite model now sells for 270 or 370 depending on the region.

Samsung reveals jukebox with 4G Internet

03/10, 10:50am

Samsung W100K 4G Player

Samsung this morning upped the stakes in portable media players and released the SWT-W100K. The 4.3-inch touchscreen device is built to replace not just most handhelds but also some PCs, courtesy of its fourth-generation Internet access. The W100K is one of the few devices to support WiBro (known as WiMAX in the West) on the go and pulls data more quickly than some landline connections: it can download up to 13Mbps and has enough upload speed for high-quality video calls with a built-in front camera. A back 2-megapixel camera with autofocus takes on video capture.

Analysts say both Apple and RIM positioned well

03/10, 10:40am

Apple, RIM positioned well

American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu today released a note to investors regarding the renewed competition between the iPhone, with its new ActiveSync functionality, and the Blackberry. While users of the Blackberry claim the platform features better security through encryption, network management and efficiency, as well as push email, ActiveSync advocates highlight simplicity, less expense, and features its own security benefits.

Sprint gives Mogul an EVDO Rev A upgrade

03/10, 10:20am

Sprint Mogul EVDO Rev A

Sprint on Monday fulfilled a promise made in June and has released an update for the Mogul to add EVDO Revision A. The update boosts the speed of the HTC-made smartphone's Internet access, particularly for uploads: while downloads jump from a peak 700Kbps to as much as 1.4Mbps in better real-world conditions, uploads climb several times from 70Kbps to 500Kbps. Patching to the newer standard is said to make photo and video uploading more feasible than on the standard EVDO (Revision 0) network.

SanDisk's nano-beater leaked on Amazon

03/10, 9:50am

Sansa Fuze on Amazon

More details have surfaced about SanDisk's upcoming Sansa Fuze music player, according to an Amazon leak. The listing confirms the Fuze's role as a direct iPod nano rival with a 1.9-inch screen, music and video playback on 4GB of storage, and a jog wheel for navigation. Unlike the Apple player or rivals like the Zune 4, the Fuze would add a microSDHC slot for as much as 8GB or more of additional storage. It would also bring an FM radio and voice capture through a microphone.

Sony preps GIGA JUKEs with wireless, iPod hooks

03/10, 9:20am


Sony today expanded its still fledgling GIGA JUKE line of stereos outside of Japan with two models built to almost entirely replace a computer as well as traditional stereos for digital audio. The SC55PKE (shown) is the first small audio system from Sony to promise a full multi-room setup while also storing a large range of music: its main unit holds up to 80GB of ATRAC, MP3, WMA music ripped from CDs (up to 16X) or other sources but supplies both a wireless adapter and dedicated control unit to listen to the system with separate speakers in another room. As many as five areas can be served from one hub, Sony says.

MS: no immediate plans to merge Yahoo tech

03/10, 8:35am

MS on Yahoo Plans

Microsoft would not immediately begin merging technology if its proposed takeover of Yahoo goes through, the company's chief software architect Ray Ozzie has explained in an interview. Although the two companies often have competing technologies, Microsoft would move slowly to integrate either firm's technology with the other. The work climates and technical foundations are said to be too different to encourage an early start and could alienate users if forced together too quickly.


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