News Archive for 08/04/08

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SDK comment leaks 3G iPhone plans?

04/08, 11:15pm

SDK leaks iPhone plans

The next iteration of the iPhone is likely to use the Infineon S-Gold3H processor in its 3G incarnation, an examination of the latest SDK beta suggests. According to ZiPhone.org, code in the SDK beta implies that the next generation iPhone will see "3.5G" HSDPA functionality, with a connection speed of 7.2 Megabits per second, as well as several other advanced features. No official word has been given on the status of a "3.5G" iPhone.

Apple leads player, music market with teens

04/08, 5:20pm

Apple popular with teens

Investment research firm Piper Jaffray today held a conference call regarding teenage spending habits and statistics, which brought to light several figures about Apple devices and services. Of the students surveyed, the report found that 87-percent owned an MP3 player, and of those, 86-percent are iPod owners. This also reflected in the students' choice of music store, with iTunes sitting at 79-percent. The advent of other iPod-compatible music stores eroded iTunes' share slightly from 89-percent.

Analysts: Blu-ray demand to exceed supply

04/08, 4:25pm

Blu-ray demand vs. supply

The supply of Blu-ray discs may be drastically inadequate for the actual demand this year, say analysts from Screen Digest. The group says that in 2008, it expects companies to want as many as 43 million discs -- three times last year's amount -- for purposes such as movies and data storage. It believes, however, that production capacity will only be able to reach 60 to 70 percent of that, at least until later in the year. Sony's DADC division is spending money on extra capacity, and hopes to produce 38 million discs per month by October.

Toshiba ships PS3-based video processor

04/08, 3:45pm

Toshiba PS3-based video

For other electronics companies, Toshiba has begun shipping the SpursEngine TM SE1000, a video stream processor meant for use in various AV products; it encodes and decodes MPEG-2 and H.264 clips, in resolutions up to 1080p. It is notable however for being one of the first third-party products based on Sony's Cell Broadband Engine, the processor technology behind the PlayStation 3 gaming console. In its SpursEngine incarnation, the processor runs at 1.5GHz and consumes between 10 to 20W of power.

Kensington keyboard packs top-mounted USB

04/08, 3:40pm

Kensington Ci70 with USB

Kensington has provided a spin on the routine for keyboards today by launching its Ci70 Keyboard with USB Ports. In a still-rare break from most keyboard designs, the updated Ci70 adds two full USB ports for peripherals but places them at the top of the keyboard rather than at the back or sides, making it easier to load in a flash drive or some portable media players. A third mini USB port with cable also lets users with digital cameras quickly hook up to the computer without finding the appropriate cable or leaving clutter on the desk.

Philips outsources US, Canada HDTVs to Funai

04/08, 3:15pm

Philips Outsources HDTVs

Philips today revealed that it will stop its direct development HDTVs for North America. The Dutch firm now says it will outsource all of the work for both these sets and Magnavox models to Japan-based Funai. The company will handle both manufacturing sets as well as marketing them in the two western countries. The move is cited as necessary to turn around Philips' loss-taking HDTV business, which is successful in Asia and Europe but has struggled in the more competitive North American space through tight profit margins.

Yamaha to debut Tenori-on instrument in US

04/08, 3:05pm

Tenori-on instrument

Yamaha says it is bringing a formerly Japanese-only digital instrument, the Tenori-on, to the United States. The instrument consists mainly of 256 LED buttons, which can be touched and swiped to create different patterns, in turn affecting how loaded sound samples are looped. By adding or deleting various layers of sound, a musician can theoretically play multiple parts of a song by himself, improvising on the fly.

Nokia agrees to pay $314m to drop German plant

04/08, 2:40pm

Nokia Pays 314m

Nokia on Tuesday said it has agreed to pay a total of $314 million to compensate for its planned factory shutdown in Bochum, Germany. The deal will let Nokia shutter the reportedly unnecessary plant on its original June 30th timetable but help accommodate the 2,300 workers belonging to the plant. A transfer company will be set up to accommodate the workers and help them transition to new jobs.

ModeLabs Group launches Hummer-branded HT2

04/08, 2:25pm

ModeLabs Hummer HT2 phone

ModeLabs Group recently announced the release of its second Hummer-branded cell phone, the HT2. Unlike the HT1 predecessor, the HT2 is a quad-band phone and features dual SIM card slots and styling meant to mimic the range of the tough trucks built by General Motors it shares its name with. The phone's interface is via a traditional keypad and a 256,000 color TFT display sporting a 176x220-pixel resolution. The HT2 also comes with a 2-megapixel camera and an MP3 player, along with Bluetooth connectivity.

MS proposes end-to-end trusted computing

04/08, 1:55pm

MS End-to-End Computing

Microsoft today suggested a major change to Internet technology that it claims could dramatically improve the security of users online. Nicknamed End-to-End Trust, the system would take the existing philosophy behind the company's existing Trustworthy Computing for PCs and extend it to the whole Internet. Devices, data, and software would incorporate a "trusted stack" of code that authenticates the user at every step of a transaction online.

Microsoft offers five colors for best-selling mouse

04/08, 1:35pm

microsoft mouse colors

Microsoft on Tuesday announced it will offer its popular Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse 3000 in five new colors. After looking at the colors on today's popular clothes, accessories and consumer electronics, Microsoft decided to offer the 3000 in Milk Chocolate (brown), Pomegranate (red), Crème Brûlée (khaki), Dragon Fruit (dark pink) and Aloe (green). The new colors are meant to keep the 3000 at the top of the sales charts in the US.

Slacker gains label support for song copying

04/08, 1:20pm

Slacker signs music labels

Slacker, the creator of its namesake Portable Radio Player, has announced a deal for the support of all four major record labels: Warner, Universal, EMI and Sony BMG. The Portable is an unusual "radio" device in that it does not stream live music, but rather syncs with the Slacker service via USB or Wi-Fi, and copies up to 40 "stations" for listening offline as well as on. As music plays listeners can rate their tracks, and ban ones they do not want to hear again.

Wal-Mart joins stores refunding HD DVD customers

04/08, 12:35pm

Wal-Mart HD DVD refund

Bargain retailer Wal-Mart has joined the ranks of corporations attempting to appease buyers of HD DVD players, which are now obsolete and faced with an increasingly dwindling movie supply. The company is offering refunds to anyone who bought an HD DVD player on or following November 1st of last year, with or without original packaging. People must, however, return the player by April 30th, and bring with them their original receipt.

IOGEAR intros semi-portable 720p media hub

04/08, 12:05pm

IOGEAR PMP

IOGEAR today launched the Portable Media Player, its unusual take on the concept of a media hub. Rather than design a networked but fixed device like the Apple TV or Monsoon Hava, the company's new system is meant to be picked up and carried on vacation or between meetings, measuring only slightly larger than its remote and supplying many of the navigation controls on the player itself.

ASUS shipping Eee PC 900 minus Atom to beat Acer, HP

04/08, 11:25am

ASUS Eee PC 900 Celeron

ASUS is still set to ship the second-generation Eee PC without Intel's Atom processor at first, says a reported tip from retailers in the PC builder's home territory of Taiwan. The company's first new batch of micro notebooks is slated to launch with Celeron M processors similar to those in the existing Eee PC due to competitive reasons: with most Atom-based systems set to ship at the same time in June, ASUS' only true method of beating rival Acer and HP offerings was to ship using older technology, according to the claim.

iTunes solidifying grip on music business

04/08, 11:10am

Ipsos: Hard grip by iTunes

Research firm Ipsos has released a new study on the digital music industry, the results of which position Apple as the leader. Some 82 percent of American music downloaders are familiar with iTunes, versus a next-best figure of 76 percent for Napster. Some 38 percent of downloaders think of iTunes first when it comes to digital music, and while most major online outlets have had their name recognition increase during 2007, only iTunes showed a substantial growth in use past the first 30 days, up to 24 percent last year from 18 percent in 2006. Services such as Rhapsody and Walmart.com saw their 30-day-plus use decrease.

mobiBLU Cube3 announced for US release

04/08, 11:00am

MobiBlu Cube3

The latest digital music player from mobiBLU was announced on Tuesday. The Cube3 measures 1 by 1 by 1 inches, or 1 inch cubed, earning it the distinction of being the world's smallest digital audio player with a color display, just like the Cube2, its predecessor. The Cube3 can hold up to 2GB worth of MP3 or WMA audio as well as video and image files, including audio it can record live or from a built-in FM tuner. The Cube3 plays downloaded content as it's PlaysForSure certified and Podcast Ready.

Samsung D780 brings dual SIMs, dual calls

04/08, 10:50am

Samsung D780

Samsung this morning chose an unusual approach to cellphone roaming by introducing the D780. While it supplies the same dual SIM card slots as many cellphones for eastern Europe and Asia, the new model is the first candybar phone (following the D880 slider) to allow for two active calls on those cards: an owner can switch between calls without dropping either, much as they would on a landline business phone network. The change is pitched as essential for phone owners who need to keep business and home calls separate or those who regularly need another provider.

Nokia offers Tube as iPhone rival, dismisses Apple

04/08, 10:05am

Nokia Tube Early Info

Nokia has given its touchscreen phone an early name and demonstration, the company has revealed at the Evans Data Developer Relations Conference. The handset maker at the Redwood City-based event said its first touch device is internally known as the Tube and is said to be visually similar to the iPhone. However, the Finnish handset is already known to include features that its Apple competitor lacks, including the ability to directly upload videos as well as support for Java-based apps.

Toshiba speeds up Satellite X205 with Penryn, more

04/08, 9:20am

Toshiba X205 Penryn

In addition to re-revealing its new Satellite designs, Toshiba on Tuesday updated its Satellite X205 gaming notebook to take advantage of newer hardware. The 17-inch desktop replacement now draws on at least a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo from Intel's Penryn era that offers both extra speed as well as better battery life. It also includes at least 320GB of storage split across two drives, each of which spin at 7,200RPM: the speed provides desktop-like load times without sacrificing space, according to Toshiba.

Sony launches Blu-ray, DVR hybrid players

04/08, 8:15am

Sony Blu-ray DVRs

Sony this morning showed increased confidence in Blu-ray by launching its new BDZ series of Blu-ray recorders. The A70 and top-end T90 both pick up unprotected HDTV feeds and use AVC (H.264) encoding to record shows for posterity to their respective 320GB and 500GB hard drives. The choice of format not only allows the devices to record videos directly to Blu-ray but also allows converting videos directly to portable-friendly formats: videos can be resized to fit on either a PSP or another H.264-capable player, such as Sony's own Walkman lineup or some NTT DoCoMo cellphones.

Microsoft: Windows 7 set for 2010, not 2009

04/08, 7:50am

Windows 7 due 2010

Microsoft chief Bill Gates recently indicated that Windows 7 would see store shelves sometime in 2009, but today the company hurriedly retracted the statement, saying Gates was most likely referring to developer seeds. Microsoft restated that its intended release schedule for Windows 7 would be from three years of Vista's launch, placing it some time during 2010. During an interview, Gates allegedly said that Windows 7 would be released "sometime in the next year or so."

SpaceNavigator 3D mouse for notebooks

04/08, 4:00am

SpaceNavigator for laptops

3Dconnexion today unveiled the SpaceNavigator for Notebooks, a new addition to its 3D mouse product line, ideal for mobile 3D professionals. Weighing in at half the weight of its standard SpaceNavigator mouse - around 240 grams - the notebook model gives users a refined cap design to provide more immersive and natural interactions with 3D workspaces. The ruggedly designed SpaceNavigator for Noteooks is available for $130 at many online retailers.

HP intros Mini-Note micro notebook

04/08, 12:10am

HP Mini-Note

Slightly ahead of a formal release, HP has revealed the Mini-Note, one of the few Western attempts at entering the field for micro notebooks. The previously leaked system aims to improve the formula started by the Eee PC by offering a genuinely comfortable keyboard: despite having just an 8.9-inch screen, the Mini-Note's keyboard is just 8 percent smaller than that of a full-sized notebook. The design is also more upscale than counterparts from ASUS or Everex and is built out of aluminum with a spill-resistant key layout.

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