News Archive for 08/03/21

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Sony drops Fresh Start fee after backlash

03/21, 8:45pm

Sony Drops Fresh Start Fee

Sony tonight has already dropped the fee for its Fresh Start program less than a day after it was introduced. While the VAIO TZ offered with Fresh Start does not come with the option enabled by default, the company now allows the option to remove trial software to be enabled for free versus the $50 cost from before. Sony has not officially stated its reasons for the decision but is known to be reacting to criticisms for charging extra to remove unwanted software.

Moto MING 2 phone already on sale in China?

03/21, 4:35pm

Moto MING 2 Leak

Motorola's MING 2 touchscreen phone may already be on sale in its intended Chinese marketplace without Motorola's permission, says at least one witness in the country. The flip phone has purportedly been offered at a market in Shenzhen, where many companies manufacture electronic devices, and closely resembles concept images of the device reported in February. The handset on display is localized and appears to have an interface that reflects the phone's touch-driven nature.

Teclast aims directly at iPhone with M26

03/21, 4:20pm

Teclast M26 player

A new media player by Asia's Teclast is directly targeting the iPhone and the iPod touch. Like the Apple devices, the M26 is almost entirely touchscreen controlled, but Teclast is specifically marketing the player as using the same type of capacitive technology as the iPhone, permitting light finger gestures. The M26 differs mainly by way of having a 2.6-inch, 400x200 screen, and playing AVI, RealVideo and even Flash video files. Neither the iPhone nor the Touch support Flash.

Leak uncovers Sprint BlackBerry 8330 launch, price

03/21, 4:10pm

Sprint BB 8830 Launch Leak

Sprint's BlackBerry 8330 variant has already had its launch date and price exposed, a tip from BGR shows. The smartphone is set to appear on April 16th and will sell for about $600 without a contract, putting it at the higher end of Sprint's smartphone line. No clues have appeared for the phone's standard two-year contract price, though the phone will appear first in a titanium color and should be followed in two months by a red model like that from AT&T.

Meizu M8 interface evolves

03/21, 3:30pm

Meizu M8 interface evolves

The interface for Meizu's iPhone clone, the M8 -- also known as the MiniOne -- is undergoing subtle changes, according to various reports. Meizu itself is now claiming to have added more touch software to the phone, though it is not disclosing specifics. The company should eventually release a framework describing the entire interface of the phone, a potentially risky move given the device's association with the iPhone and Apple's plans for a Chinese release.

Myka vows torrent-based rival to Apple TV

03/21, 3:15pm

Myka Media Hub

Myka is offering a self-titled media hub it says is a viable alternative for those who want most of the features of the Apple TV but a less restricted environment. Rather than depend on a closed download system such as iTunes, the Myka depends chiefly on BitTorrent downloads to accomplish its download goals. The peer sharing format not only reduces dependence on any one server for content but also theoretically allows downloads of content beyond the typical music and videos, according to the company. The system is designed to simplify the experience and also includes web access so the owner can queue up content away from home.

Sony’s range-topping Alpha DSLR spotted

03/21, 2:35pm

Sony A900 Alpha DSLR

A sneak peek at what is believed to be Sony's top-end digital SLR was offered at Japan's Photo Imaging Expo on Friday. The camera, dubbed A900 until an official name is released, is likely to use Sony's first full-size 24.8 megapixel sensor which would also be the biggest in the DSLR game. The new pro camera offers almost twice the image resolution of Sony's current best-resolution Alpha, the 14.2MP A350, and slightly outperforms Canon's 21.1MP EOS-1Ds Mark III.

Palm chief: no new Treos until summer

03/21, 2:30pm

Palm Chief on New Treos

No new Treo smartphones are expected to appear until the summer, Palm chief Ed Colligan said late yesterday during the conference call for the company's latest quarterly results. The company founder warned that quarterly losses were likely to continue during the spring quarter as the Sunnyvale, California-based company would not have an updated model during the period, which runs until the end of May. Palm will primarily focus on expanding the reach of the Centro to Europe and other carriers until it can release a new Treo before the end of the summer, Colligan said.

RIM chief confirms 3.5G BlackBerry in test stage

03/21, 1:25pm

RIM Chief on 3G BlackBerry

Research in Motion president Mike Lazaridis has effectively confirmed the upcoming release of a BlackBerry capable of 3.5G Internet access, the Financial Times revealed in an interview (registration required). The company founder noted that he has a prototype phone that can connect to an HSDPA network, providing a "very fast" connection to the Internet when in the right coverage areas. His statements echoed earlier comments by fellow executive Jim Balsilie that a device would be available soon, but now confirms that such devices are close enough to completion to be used in the field.

OLPC restructuring leaves casualties in wake

03/21, 1:10pm

OLPC project turmoil

The One Laptop Per Child project is undergoing serious internal problems, InfoWorld reports. The non-profit group is said to be in the middle of a massive restructuring effort, prompted by an organization described by chairman Nicholas Negroponte as "almost like a terrorist group, doing almost impossible things." OLPC is now hunting for a new CEO, and its director of Security Architecture, Ivan Krstić, has announced his resignation.

FCC nears decision on XM-Sirius merger

03/21, 12:30pm

XM-Sirius decision nears

The FCC is indeed moving closer to a decision on the merger of Sirius and XM Radio, according to the group's chairman. Kevin Murphy is cited by Reuters as saying that draft documents are being put together, which will outline the choices the FCC can make on particular details of the merger. "I have asked the staff, after we've gotten all the final information that we needed, to be doing drafts, and when there were issues outstanding to do a range of options for us," he states.

Dell Latitude E4000 to chase Air, X300

03/21, 11:55am

Dell Latitude E4000 Detail

Dell's Latitude E4000 series will more explicitly target the same very thin, advanced technology field covered by Apple's MacBook Air and Lenovo's ThinkPad X300, according to leaks continued today by Engadget. While both the E4200 and E4300 will offer thinner LED-backlit, 12-inch displays, the E4200 will be far thinner than earlier Latitudes and will measure between 0.6 and 0.8 inches thick and will optimally weigh just 2.2 versus the 3 of its challengers. This will in part come from its storage: the E4200 will require either a 32GB or 64GB solid-state drive instead of a conventional hard disk.

AT&T's 700MHz wins require $1.3b up front

03/21, 11:05am

ATT 700MHz Costs

AT&T's gains for wireless space in the FCC 700MHz auction will cost it enough to require a major downpayment, according to a filing by the cellular carrier. The company explains that its new space will demand a $1.3 billion down payment within the next ten days and that it will need to take on a debt load of $5.3 billion to pay for the remaining amount. The figures make up a significant portion of the overall auction, which resulted in a reportedly record-setting $18.9 billion in net bids spread across a mix of large telecoms companies as well as regional businesses.

BlackBerry Curve 8330 with GPS due for Sprint, Telus

03/21, 10:20am

BB Curve 8330 for Sprint

RIM is prepping an upgrade to the BlackBerry Curve tailored for at least two CDMA networks, according to separate discussions at Pinstack. The previously GSM-only Curve will reportedly switch to the networks of Sprint and Telus and will follow the same upgrade pattern set out by the Pearl 8130, which added native GPS to the original design. However, the new version may also receive a storage upgrade along with its network change, boosting the phone to 80MB and improving its ability to store third-party apps without resorting to a microSD card.

Sony charging extra to remove PC trial apps

03/21, 9:25am

Sony Fresh Start

Sony has begun offering Fresh Start, a controversial practice to clean its systems of unnecessary software. Initially available only with the VAIO TZ ultraportable, the option removes both VAIO-specific programs as well as games and other trial software. The practice is meant to "free up valuable hard drive space and conserve memory and processing power" before the system ever leaves the factory, according to Sony.

Patent dispute may block Blu-ray, cellphones

03/21, 8:35am

ITC Patent Dispute

A patent infringement claim may lead to blocks against importing both Blu-ray technology as well as cellphones and other storage, the US International Trade Commission said today. The potential impasse has its roots in a complaint by patent holder and Columbia University emeritus professor Gertrude Rothschild, who claims that bringing numerous foreign-made devices with short-wave lasers and LEDs violates her own claims to the technology in the US. Most companies affected by the dispute are those producing Blu-ray optical storage drives and involve chief backer Sony as well as LG, Pioneer, Samsung, and Sharp.

Averatec rolls out AMD-based 2575 ultraportable

03/21, 8:05am

Averatec 2575

Averatec has chosen the start of a holiday weekend to launch the 2575, its latest 12-inch ultraportable. The notebook adopts a more serious all-black design than some earlier models but is ultimately focused on offering as complete a system as possible: the stock system ships with 2GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, and a DVD burner. The company refrains from mentioning clock speeds but incorporates an AMD Turion 64 X2 to provide dual cores without the higher costs of some Intel processors.

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