News Archive for 08/04/10

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Sony unveils gunmetal grey PS3 MGS4 bundle, more

04/10, 7:55pm

Sony PS3 Metal Gear bundle

Sony is offering consumers a gunmetal grey limited edition Playstation 3 console, with a matching DualShock 3 controller, bundled with Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots - Konami's latest sequel to the epic Metal Gear game series. The bundle, which has already been released and almost immediately sold out in Japan, features an 80GB hard drive for storage. Pricing and availability were not expressly mentioned, but Metal Gear Solid 4 is available on June 12th for $60.

Blockbuster to expand Blu-ray sales, rentals

04/10, 4:25pm

Blockbuster Blu-ray plans

Blockbuster Video has announced that it is finally moving to to expand its Blu-ray services. Although Blu-ray discs formally went on sale in the US in June of 2006, Blockbuster only began stocking the media in July of 2007, and then only in 1,700 of its outlets. The company now says that it will start selling and renting discs in some 5,000 stores, scattered throughout Canada and the United States. For people renting by mail, Blockbuster plans to offer Blu-ray as an optional default medium. HDTVs paired with PlayStation 3 consoles will serve as demonstration kiosks.

Aliph Jawbone 2 tips up in FCC filing

04/10, 4:15pm

Aliph Jawbone 2 at FCC

The sequel to Aliph's successful Jawbone Bluetooth earpiece is coming soon, according to a new FCC filing. The headset is referred to by the original Jawbone name but represents a major redesign, including a shorter, subtler design as well as a new noise-canceling jaw sensor that shifts from two 'bumps' to one measuring the user's voice, and a sleeker connector used to charge the headset from its special USB cradle.

AT&T rebate sheet reveals Pearl 8110

04/10, 4:00pm

AT&T Rebate Sheet 8110

A rebate sheet from AT&T for the spring retail season seems to have leaked on the Internet on Thursday, revealing that the cellular carrier will replace the Pearl 8100 with the new 8110. Buyers who opt for this phone will be eligible for a $50 rebate card from AT&T. Furthermore, the form indicates the phones must be purchased before May 11, meaning the new Pearl should hit shelves well before then. The other new phone to AT&T on the form is the Pantech C520, the Breeze, with a $30 rebate.

IBM lab develops 3D 'racetrack' memory

04/10, 3:40pm

3D memory designed by IBM

Researchers at IBM's Almaden lab have developed a new type of memory that operates in three dimensions, according to an announcement. Termed "racetrack" memory, it is composed of U-shaped nanowires, which are aligned perpendicularly to a chip and work as a shift register. While information can only be read or written at the base of the wire, the remaining space in its shape can be used to store and shuffle bits, thanks to minute pulses of electricity applied to the tips. In a finished racetrack chip, numerous wires would be built next to each other.

Study: 66% have no interest in mobile music

04/10, 3:30pm

Study on Mobile Music

A combination of disinterest and unnecessary hurdles is discouraging most cellphone users from using mobile music downloads, says a new Jupiter Research study (pay only). Although many Western carriers heavily promote their direct-to-phone services, approximately two thirds (66 percent) of the more than 1,800 respondents to the study say that nothing is likely to spur them into paying for music on a phone; 28 percent are interested in ringtones, while only 14 percent are interested in full tracks, according to the results.

Composite batteries to hold 30 percent more charge

04/10, 3:20pm

Argonne Composite Battery

Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, IL claim to have developed composite battery materials that will increase battery life by up to 30 percent, as well as making them safer and last longer than conventional lithium-ion batteries. The new batteries, based on a new generation of lithium-ion electrode chemistry, are similar to the ones GM is developing for its Chevy Volt electric vehicle, but Argonne is likely to market its technology to extend the usefulness of laptops and cell phones.

Europe votes against banning filesharers

04/10, 1:45pm

Europe cuts filesharer ban

The European Parliament has voted to abolish a plan to permanently ban illegal filesharers, writes IDG News. Under the rules of the plan, those caught sharing copyrighted music, video and other material would have been prevented from even connecting to the Internet for unspecified amounts of time, possibly permanently. "The vote shows that MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) want to strike a balance between the interests of rights holders and those of consumers, and that big measures like cutting off Internet access shouldn't be used," according to EP spokeswoman Malene Folke Chaucheprat.

iPhone beta hints stereo Bluetooth, GPS, more

04/10, 1:05pm

iPhone Beta Hints GPS

Text strings in the latest beta of Apple's iPhone 2.0 firmware point both to multiple new features as well as extra steps to prevent unlocking, according to explorations by a Greek iPhone unlocking site. In addition to references to 3G chipsets, the code also adds A2DP and "HeadphoneBT" entries that suggest support for stereo Bluetooth audio, in addition to the "HeadsetBT" mention for existing mono Bluetooth headset support. Bluetooth remote control is also an apparent option.

Sony intros Bravia E4000 'art' LCD sets

04/10, 12:55pm

Sony Bravia E4000 LCDs

Sony has announced an unusual new group of Bravia LCD panels, the E4000 series. The primary sets in the line are sized at 32 and 40 inches, and are fully 1080p compatible. What distinguishes them however is their exteriors, which are designed to blend in with other pieces of art on a wall through the use of special framing. Four frames have been developed, in styles named "Aluminum," "Midnight Sky," "Pearly White" and "Dark Walnut."

Canon intros 'entry' pro HDV camcorder

04/10, 12:05pm

Canon XL H1S and H1A

Canon today preceded the NAB pro video expo with a pair of cameras it hopes will both upgrade its HDV line and extend it to buyers that normally might not consider HD cameras. Both the relatively budget-minded XL H1A and the updated XL H1S now have a new version of Canon's 20X lens that offers more control over the focus, iris, and zoom. The image processor also widens the scope of color changes, improves noise reduction, and supplies a larger range of gain and white balance settings.

Microsoft ClearFlow aims to get drivers out of jams

04/10, 11:35am

Microsoft Clearflow maps

Microsoft announced on Thursday it will launch ClearFlow, a software technology for its driving directions website that will help users avoid traffic jams. ClearFlow spent five years in development by the software giant's AI researchers, and will be available at no cost for 72 US metropolitan cities. It will take into account details such as sporting events, current weather and time of day to get drivers to their destinations in the shortest amount of time.

Dell notebooks, towers reach Canadian retail

04/10, 11:15am

Dell Retail in Canada

Dell this morning revealed that Canada would be the next to see the fruits of its retail initiative. Beginning late this week, the company will sell several of its desktop and notebook models in multiple large retailers for the country, including Best Buy, Future Shop, and Staples. The exact mixture of systems will vary by store but should include the Inspiron 530, its slimline 530s equivalent, and the XPS 420 for desktops; notebooks will include both the Inspiron 1525 as well as the XPS M1330 (pictured) and M1530.

Australia lets slip first Centrino 2 notebook

04/10, 10:50am

Pioneer First Centrino 2

Australian PC builder Pioneer on Thursday has inadvertently become the first to advertise a system based on Intel's Centrino 2 mobile platform. The DreamBook Style 9008 will be one of Pioneer's thin-and-light 15.4-inch notebooks and will achieve its goal in part by using an unnamed variant of the new "Montevina" era, P-series Core 2 Duo processors: the design will have the faster 1,066MHz system bus from the full-size chips but consume just 25 watts of power, letting it run with less cooling and with longer battery life than full-power 35W chips.

DTS-HD Master Audio coming to PS3 next week

04/10, 10:10am

DTS-HD for PS3 Next Week

DTS today said one of the longstanding criticisms of the PlayStation 3 would be addressed with a firmware update next week that adds DTS-HD Master Audio for movies on the Sony game console. The addition allows Blu-ray movies and other HD titles to output 7.1-channel surround at a 96kHz, 24-bit quality at up to 24.5 megabits per second. At this rate, the stream virtually equals the sound created in the studio masters that give the DTS format its namesake, according to its creator.

Nokia 'iPhone killer' gets named, dated in leak

04/10, 9:55am

Nokia 5800 XMedia Leak

Nokia's Tube touchscreen phone now has a more definitive name, launch window, and specs, according to a leak from NokiaPort. To be called the Nokia 5800 XpressMedia, the phone will sit on top of the 5000-series music phone line with its touchscreen as only one of its main features; the new model is now believed to have a 3.2-megapixel camera and native 3.5mm headphone jack in addition to the 3G Internet access and Wi-Fi already established in recent leaks.

Blockbuster to offer Apple TV rival this month?

04/10, 9:30am

Blockbuster Apple TV Rival

Blockbuster today is subject to rumors which claim the movie rental house is developing its own networked media hub. Similar to stand-alone devices such as the Apple TV or the Vudu, the unnamed project would let users watch Internet-streamed movies on TV and would take advantage of Blockbuster's union with Movielink to supply the content, with an unnamed electronics maker assembling the hardware itself. The device could be announced as early this month, though it may not be available until at least May.

Nikon intros P80 'prosumer' cam, S52 compact

04/10, 8:25am

Nikon P80 and S52

Nikon this morning interrupted the normal pattern of camera launches and released three COOLPIX models that skew towards the higher end of home cameras. The pictured 10.1-megapixel P80 aims to bridge the gap between compacts and entry DSLRs with an 18X, 27-486mm zoom lens and more control than most point-and-shoot models. While it shares the same image processor as newer Nikon cameras, the P80 is the first COOLPIX to offer a Sport Continuous Mode; the camera can take up to 30 shots in a row at speeds between 4 and 13 frames per second depending on whether duration or precision is the focus.

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