News Archive for 08/03/25

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SiRF to cut jobs, drop mobile TV in wake of GPS sales

03/25, 4:35pm

SiRF Cuts Jobs Drops TV

Best known for its GPS chipsets, SiRF today said that mounting losses were forcing the company to both cut jobs and shed one of its newer businesses. The supplier to Garmin, TomTom, and several other major navigation device maker dropped its financial expectations for the first quarter of 2008 by about $10 million and explained that it would have to cut 7 percent of its total workforce and would shutter an office in the south end of San Francisco as well as a Stockholm, Sweden location.

Typhoon continues spate of tablet patent lawsuits

03/25, 4:15pm

Typhoon tablet lawsuits

New lawsuits have been filed by Typhoon Touch Technologies against the makers of tablet PCs, accounts say. The company first gained attention in December of last year, when it accused prominent computer builders Dell and Motion Computing of violating patents used not only in tablets, but also in smartphones and UMPCs. The new suits are targeted exclusively at makers of tablet PCs though, and name Electrovaya, Xplore Technologies and Sand Dune Ventures (a.k.a. TabletKiosk) as the defendants.

LG launches SH240 'skin-feel' phone

03/25, 3:50pm

LG launches SH240

LG Electronics' cellphone label CYON on Tuesday launched a new 3G-capable HSDPA phone for the Korean market. The SH240 has a silicon-covered front panel and buttons that give it a touchable, human skin-like feel, instead of the usual relatively hard rubber or plastic common to most handsets.

Creative to sell company HQ for $180m

03/25, 3:45pm

Creative Selling HQ

Creative has revealed that it will sell its Singapore company HQ for $180 million. The company says it plans to remain at the building but will release actual ownership of the location to an unnamed buyer. Under an agreement signed for the transfer, Creative will remain in the building and lease it for at least five years; the option will exist for two extensions of three and then two years if the company prefers to stay. The new terms will generate a $144 million profit on the building over the course of the next five years.

Gartner: Australian WiMAX failure not representative

03/25, 3:20pm

Gartner: WiMAX good to go

Buzz Broadband's failed WiMAX test should not in any way be taken as a sign of problems with the standard, claims the research group Gartner. The firm's VP, Ian Keene, observes that tests have been proceeding well in a number of areas around the globe, including Asia, Europe, North America and even Africa. In fact, says Keene, "we are seeing those networks expanding as conformance-tested products become available."

India sets 15-day ultimatum on BlackBerry network

03/25, 2:30pm

India BlackBerry Ultimatum

BlackBerry creator Research in Motion has been given just 15 days to allow government monitoring of its smartphone network in India, the country's Department of Telecom has said. Previous statements that had suggested a reprieve are now being contradicted by a warning that RIM must allow inspection of the content passing across its network to screen for security threats. Without an agreement, the Indian government will be forced to shut down access to RIM's "push" e-mail network, according to a new statement.

Windows Mobile 6.1 due on April 1st?

03/25, 1:40pm

Win. Mobile on April 1st?

The next version of Microsoft mobile operating system, Windows Mobile, may be released on April 1st, a British site claims. Quoting "sources close to the matter," the site suggests that at the least a formal announcement will be made, in which case the update would be provided sometime thereafter via download and/or new mobile devices. Upgrades from Windows Mobile 5 to 6 have typically been handled by either by device makers, or regional wireless carriers.

Netflix confirms interest in Xbox 360 movies

03/25, 1:05pm

Netflix eyes Xbox 360

Netflix has confirmed stories it is interested in streaming movies through the Xbox 360, Reuters reports. In February, rumors began circulating that Netflix would bring streaming to the Microsoft console, in order to help supplement its normal subscription service. Typically, Netflix customers receive DVD offerings by mail, as well as unlimited "instant" movie watching on a PC. The latter is only available with plans costing $17 or more per month though, and effectively tethers people to their computers.

Next ASUS Eee PC to use touchscreen after all?

03/25, 12:35pm

ASUS Eee PC to Get Touch

ASUS' Eee PC sequel will have a touchscreen implemented after all, according to new claims by screen producers in the company's home area of Taiwan. Regardless of assertions by ASUS head Jerry Shen that the new Eee PC would go without a touch-sensitive display, the PC builder is said to have ordered low-cost, resistive touchscreens that will be used with the micro-notebook when it launches in April. The technology is considered less elegant than capacitive touchscreens (such as that for the iPhone) but will add just $10 US to the cost of building one of the ASUS systems.

Microsoft mulls iPhone software opportunities

03/25, 12:20pm

Microsoft iPhone software

Microsoft is considering software development for the iPhone, writes Fortune. The financial magazine notes that for over a week, a team based in Silicon Valley has been experimenting with Apple's beta SDK, which come June will let developers publish and sell native iPhone applications. Microsoft executives explain that they are not sure whether any apps will actually be put into production, but are deeply interested in the possibility. "It's really important for us to understand what we can bring to the iPhone," says Tom Gibbons, corporate VP of the Specialized Devices and Applications Group.

Yahoo joins Google's OpenSocial, Foundation

03/25, 12:00pm

Yahoo Joins OpenSocial

Yahoo today said it would both join Google's OpenSocial and that it would help found the OpenSocial Foundation, a new collaboration that involves Google as well as MySpace. The move would see Yahoo ensure that any social networking elements it develops can be ported between any OpenSocial-based social network and that the platform will be protected in the future. The Foundation will ensure that OpenSocial remains neutral and dictated by the public rather than controlled by any one company, according to its launch partners.

Analysts: MS being forced to lift Yahoo bid

03/25, 11:25am

MS May Raise Yahoo Bid

Microsoft may have no choice but to raise the value of its bid for Yahoo, according to a new investment report by Citigroup. Although it started at $31 per share and was characterized as "generous" by Microsoft, the offer is now predicted to increase by an unspecified amount as the Windows developer struggles to overcome resistance by Yahoo's executive board.

Gartner: notebooks, economy define 2008 PCs

03/25, 11:00am

Gartner on PC Rise in 2008

Worldwide shipments of computers will grow a healthy amount in 2008 but will largely be carried on the back of mobile computers in spite of a struggling economy, according to a new report by Gartner. The analyst group expects the number of PCs shipped to stores and users to grow by 10.9 percent over 2007, cresting at 293 million, and will primarily be driven by less expensive and more flexible portables.

Intel debuts 45nm, low-power quad Xeons

03/25, 10:25am

Intel 45nm LP Quad Xeons

Intel today used little fanfare to introduce new Xeon 5000-series quad-core processors that promise lower power without the accompanying drop in performance. The 2.33GHz L5410 and 2.5GHz L5420 are built on the smaller 45 nanometer Penryn architecture that underpins most of Intel's lineup but are tuned to consume much less power than standard Xeons: at their thermal design limits, both of the new Xeons consume no more than 50 watts, Intel says. The advancement allows for smaller, more efficient workstations and servers that can still handle heavy-duty tasks.

Samsung touch phone brings haptics, widgets

03/25, 10:00am

Samsung AnyCall Haptic

Samsung on Tuesday rolled out a surprise addition to its growing line of touchscreen phones with a new model that promises hardware and software rarely present on its opponents. Titled the AnyCall Haptic, the device adds its namesake haptic feedback to fill in the physical response often absent on touch devices. Pressing an on-screen button or changing the volume produces a vibration response that mimics the effect of a physical interface. The software also unintentionally mirrors design elements from the latest iPhone software, as suggested by Samsung's description: users can drag and drop shortcuts to favorite apps to the home screen and also add small widget apps to check info without leaving the phone's front end.

Sony mulls iPod-ready subscription music

03/25, 9:15am

Sony BMG Subs Music

Sony BMG is considering a subscription-based music service that would work with all devices, according to remarks by label chief Rolf Schmidt-Holtz to the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. While the company is exploring other ideas, the executive notes that the firm is considering an option that would allow unlimited downloads for most any portable music player, including iPods. Such a plan would cost between 6 and 8 Euros ($9 to $12) per month but would also allow users to keep between 40 and 50 of the tracks they download each year, eliminating common complaints about music disappearing once a subscription ends.

Western Digital intros My Passport Elite drives

03/25, 9:05am

WD My Passport Elite drive

Hard drive maker Western Digital has announced a new line of external USB drives, the My Passport Elites. The drives weigh less than 5oz, and are in theory small enough to fit in a pocket; they are nevertheless entirely USB powered, and are available in 250 and 320GB capacities. Like some other WD drives an external gauge shows how much space is left, and files are safeguarded using 128-bit encryption. Automatic backup software is included.

PS3 2.2 update goes live, adds Blu-ray 2.0 support

03/25, 8:15am

PS3 Version 2.2 Update

As promised, Sony today issued its version 2.2 update for the PlayStation 3. The firmware upgrade primarily adds Blu-ray Profile 2.0 support and allows HD movies to be released in April and onward to use Internet-based features, such as downloadable extras and live games. Viewers watching Blu-ray and DVD movies can also return to movies from where they left off after the movie is ejected. The software also sets up the framework for large downloaded or shared movies, and includes the PS3's first support for DivX and Windows Media videos larger than 2GB.

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