News Archive for 08/03/18

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Apple discussing alternative iTunes models?

03/18, 11:35pm

Alternative iTunes models

Apple is reportedly discussing a new iTunes store business model with record companies which would grant iPod owners unlimited access to the library by paying a slight premium for the devices. According to The Financial Times, the plan resembles the Nokia "Comes with Music" deal, wherein Nokia pays record companies almost $80 per handset; Apple is reportedly limiting its offer to $20 per device.

Sci-fi visionary Sir Arthur C. Clarke dies at 90

03/18, 10:50pm

Arthur C Clark passes on

British science fiction legend and visionary Sir Arthur C. Clarke today passed on in his home in Sri Lanka, after suffering a cardio-respiratory attack. The author, whose prophetic works inspired such films as Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, predicted such things as space shuttle, super computers, and rapid communications systems years before their time. He also inspired several other of science fiction's household names, such as Gene Roddenberry.

Adobe developing Flash for iPhone via SDK

03/18, 10:20pm

Adobe iPhone Flash Coming

Adobe is in the process of developing its own Flash client for the iPhone, company chief Shantanu Narayen told investment experts during a conference call (registration required). The executive revealed that Adobe has obtained the publicly available Software Development Kit and intends to release a version of the animation plugin through the App Store as soon as the software is completed. Narayen stated that analysis by the company suggested a form of Flash could be developed without requiring special access to Apple's mobile Safari browser and that it would be an important launch regardless of how it arrives.

700MHz auction ends, FCC waits to reveal winners

03/18, 9:35pm

700MHz bid ends

The 700MHz FCC-led wireless auction today ended with an estimated revenue of $20 billion, says Molly Peterson of Bloomberg.com. While the FCC hasn't disclosed the actual winner of the auction, this brings a close to a nearly two month long bidding war between 214 companies, including AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and Google. Analysts for the FCC expected the auction to raise between $10- to $15 billion.

StrapWrap keeps portable devices, accessories nearby

03/18, 7:10pm

StrapWrap device case

DLO today unveiled the StrapWrap, a universal neoprene case designed to attach to almost any bag strap so that users can keep iPods, cellphones or other digital devices close by. The sleeve features an extra-wide Velcro fastener that keeps devices securely fastened to a strap, with padded neoprene covering most of the inserted device. DLO is shipping the StrapWrap currently for $20; it is available from most nationwide retailers.

Intel NetBook computer leaked?

03/18, 4:40pm

Intel NetBook leak?

A secret in spite of the sibling NetTop platform's unveiling, photos and specifications have allegedly leaked for Intel's forthcoming NetBook. An employee with a US OEM claims to have obtained a sample system, intended for educational purposes; the computer runs Windows XP Pro, and operates on a 900MHz Celeron processor with 512MB of RAM, a 40GB hard drive and an Ethernet connection. The screen measures nine inches, and a conspicuous handle allows quick transport.

Rogers to carry 7.2Mbps ExpressCard modem

03/18, 3:50pm

Rogers 7.2Mbps ExpressCard

Canada's Rogers Wireless will be the first carrier in carrier in the world with a new ExpressCard modem, Novatel has announced. The Merlin X950D is a quad-band GSM/EDGE and tri-band HSPA modem, able to fit into both 34 and 54 ExpressCard slots. Notable however is that the modem supports not only 2.1Mbps HSUPA, but 7.2Mbps HSDPA, twice as fast as most 3G networks worldwide. Rogers has yet to launch 7.2Mbps speeds, but is rumored to be testing the technology in limited fashion.

Intel, MS team on multi-core CPU research

03/18, 3:40pm

Intel, MS Team on Research

Intel and Microsoft Research today said they would work together to research parallel computing for both home and work PCs. As part of a $20 million joint investment, the two companies will help fund Universal Parallel Computing Research Centers at both the University of Berkeley and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The institutions will help develop more advanced ways of programming for and using processors with multiple cores, including operating systems.

Sprint departures echo underlying woes

03/18, 3:10pm

Directors leave Sprint

Two more directors are leaving Sprint, writes the Wall Street Journal. Keith Bane and Linda Koch Lorimer have announced that they will not pursue re-election at May's shareholder meeting; the company now has a sizable four vacancies to fill, Frank Drendel and William Swanson having announced similar news last month. This may benefit Sprint, however, according to analyst Walter Piecyk of Pail Research. "The departure of four board members should provide a much needed fresh perspective to the board," he says.

Alienware updates Area-51 with 9800 GX2, more

03/18, 2:45pm

Alienware Area-51 9800 GX2

Alienware this afternoon upgraded its Area-51 gaming tower to take advantage of NVIDIA's latest speed boosts. The new system uses NVIDIA's just-introduced nForce 790i Ultra SLI mainboard and now has the option of the GeForce 9800 GX2 for video. The combination not only provides the fastest gaming performance from a single card, according to Alienware, but also adds more breathing room for expanded performance: the new nForce platform freely allows more CPU overclocking in its BIOS than earlier Area-51 models and also provides extra bandwidth for peripherals through PCI Express 2.0 as well as DDR3 memory.

Panasonic intros wide-angle, touch Lumix

03/18, 2:20pm

Panasonic Lumix FX500

Panasonic is expanding the top end of its Lumix point-and-shoot camera line with the FX500. The compact focuses on optics rather than just its 10-megapixel sensor; the 25-125mm lens is capable both of wide-angle shots and zooming to 5X, allowing the camera to catch both unusually large subjects as well as long-distance shots. Panasonic also claims a unique interface that combines both a touchscreen and a directional pad for users who want either the relative ease of the former with the option of falling back to physical controls.

Intel provides more Nehalem details

03/18, 1:35pm

Intel Nehalem More Details

The upcoming Nehalem processor design will not just be an upgrade to existing processors but a complete replacement for the Core architecture, Intel has explained as part of a press briefing. It will be built on the same 45 nanometer manufacturing process as today's Penryn architecture but is designed to be extremely scalable: in addition to scaling from as few as two cores per chip to as many as 8, Nehalem can be optimized to run efficiently in notebooks or at full speed for servers and workstations.

Intel boosts Wi-Fi range to 60+ miles

03/18, 1:20pm

60-mile Intel Wi-Fi

Intel says it has devised a new Wi-Fi technology, meant to increase the availability of Internet access worldwide. The Rural Connectivity Platform (RCP) consists mainly of a processor, radios, software and an antenna, and operates on a point-to-point scheme said to deliver up to 6.5Mbps at distances exceeding 60 miles. The hardware has already been installed in places such as India, Panama and Vietnam, and is expected to go on sale in India this year for less than $500 per node.

Toshiba, Samsung lead Greenpeace rankings

03/18, 12:40pm

Greenpeace CE rankings

Japan's Toshiba and Korea's Samsung are the most environmentally friendly of the major electronics manufacturers, claims Greenpeace. The activist group has published a new edition of its Guide to Greener Electronics, ranking producers of consumer electronics against each other in terms of factors like pollution and recycling. Toshiba has leaped ahead six positions to tie the previous leader, Samsung, due to continued improvement in areas of both recycling and electronic waste; Samsung's static ranking, meanwhile, is attributed to an "incomplete" product takeback policy.

Nokia ships black N82, N95 8GB NAM

03/18, 12:05pm

Nokia Black N82 N95 8GB

Nokia on Tuesday shipped out revisions to a pair of its most successful phones. The N82 now ships in black and provides a subtler look than the silver version that has until today been the only choice for the smartphone. The 5-megapixel camera with Xenon flash, GPS, Europe-focused 3G, and Wi-Fi all come through from the original model. The Finnish cellphone producer sees the updated N82 arriving in stores within three to four weeks at a price of 400 Euros ($631) in its home continent, but also sells the device in the US as an unlocked device for use with AT&T or T-Mobile.

Genius launches GHP-05 headphones

03/18, 11:25am

Genius GHP-05 headphones

Genius released a premium headphone set Tuesday which reportedly offers a more 'live' listening experience thanks to a new 3D surround technology. The GHP-05 Live features an integrated DRD True 3D surround sound system said to enhance bass and dynamic range. According to Genius, the technology allows for pronounced low bass while delivering high treble levels along with well-defined vocals.

SSD notebooks suffer 30% failure rates?

03/18, 11:15am

SSD Notebook Failure Rates

At least one major computer manufacturer is encountering an unusually high rate of failure among notebooks equipped with solid-state drives (SSDs), according to a report by analyst group Avian Securities. Declining to name the company in question, manager Avi Cohen of the research firm claims that a major PC manufacturer is seeing returns of at least 20 percent and as much as 30 percent of the SSD systems it sells. Most of these, or up to 20 percent, are from drives which failed outright, though Cohen doesn't say whether this stems from the storage itself or the controller chip, which manages data transfers between the SSD and its host computer.

NVIDIA reveals GeForce 9800 GX2

03/18, 10:20am

NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2

NVIDIA today unveiled what it now calls its fastest single-slot video card. The GeForce 9800 GX2 is the company's second card to combine dual chipsets and merges two 9800-series chipsets into a single design that is said to be faster than two GeForce 9600 GT cards. While clocked lower at 600MHz versus the 650MHz of the less expensive card, the much larger 512-bit memory interface and 2GHz effective video memory help edge out most two-card solutions.

TiVo intros new Desktop with iTunes podcasts

03/18, 9:35am

TiVo Desktop 2.6

TiVo this morning pushed out an update to TiVo Desktop that helps turn its DVRs into networked media hubs. The new version stresses the ability to pull podcasts and can either recognize them directly from iTunes on a networked PC or else pulls them directly through RSS subscriptions; on Series 3 units, this also includes 720p HD podcasts. Customers can also use the Season Pass feature normally used for recorded TV shows to monitor web video sources and add new videos from folders on a local PC without adding them to the list by hand.

Samsung preps ultra-thin 8MP phone camera

03/18, 9:10am

Samsung Ultra Thin 8MP Cam

Samsung this morning revealed what it says is one of the world's smallest high-resolution cameras yet. Although capable of 8-megapixel shots, the new camera is roughly as wide as a coin and a third of an inch thick, allowing it to fit into far thinner and more compact phones than even many 5-megapixel cameras. The sensor is also more powerful than most at its size with up to ISO 1600 light sensitivity, anti-blur and noise correction, and both face and smile detection for portraits.

Panasonic rolls out 100-hour D-Snap player, stereos

03/18, 8:40am

Panasonic D-Snap Mar 2008

Panasonic today expanded its D-Snap line with a new player and stereos to match. The SD870N is billed as one of the longest-lived digital audio players and boosts the run time from an already long 80 hours in the SD850 to 100 hours. With the line's signature active noise cancelation turned on to block 83 percent of outside sound, the player still runs for 60 hours, Panasonic estimates. The updated player also comes with a larger 2GB SD card to store more music out of the box and headroom for up to a 16GB SDHC card.

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