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The iPhone has captured a lot of attention with consumers due to its intuitive nature as well as the future SDK and enterprise functionality, but some users are stuck feeling that the keyboard could use some work. According to a study at Good Housekeeping, testers had little difficulty navigating the iPhone, but the keyboard proved to be trickier to use. Writer Amy Roberts notes that users had a tough time learning to type properly using the on-screen keyboard, versus handsets that featured a physical keyboard.
Apple Japan and Sony have agreed to jointly pay about 1.3 million Yen (about $13,000) in damages to settle a lawsuit filed by a Japanese couple who argued that the husband had suffered burns after their Mac caught, according to Dow Jones. The couple sued and successfully recovered damages because the fire was caused by the Sony-made battery, according to judicial sources quoted by Japan-based Kyodo News Agency. According to the report, the three parties reached the settlement on April 2, but both Sony and the Japan unit of Apple declined to comment on the settlement.
IOGEAR on Monday took the wraps off its DVI Video/Audio Extender Kit that enables digital signage professionals to distribute video and audio signals up to 100 feet away with a single cable. The kit consists of two DVI units, a local transmitter and a remote receiver, which users connect with a CAT 5e/6 Ethernet cable. Using DVI cords, the transmitting component links to the native source and the receiving extender hooks up to a DVI display. Designed for audio/video set-ups in remote, insecure locations, the device can broadcast audio and video material for different environments, including exhibits, trade shows, train stations and airports.
Designed for mobile video markets, Maxell's Professional Media Products Division has introduced a light-weight, rugged and shock-resistant compact removable hard drive solution for field archive operations. Debuting at NAB in Las Vegas, the company calls it the first "Field Tough Media" solution of its kind. It leverages Maxell iVDR technology that connects directly through a bi-directional USB or eSATA adapter to a shoulder-mounted camcorder capable of delivering 10-bit, 4:2:2 master- quality video and native full HD video. In its current form factor, Maxell iVDR solution is capable of storing 160 GBof data and has a transfer rate of 540Mbps.
Kingston Technology today unveiled the DataTraveler BlackBox USB flash drive, a Federal Information Processing Standard-validated USB flash drive in 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB sizes. The BlackBox carries FIPS 140-2 certified encryption, which requires the device to pass a Power On Self Test which verifies the encryption architecture is functioning. The DataTraveler BlackBox USB flash drives are currently shipping, starting at $165 and ranging to $425.
FirmTek on Monday announced the SeriTek/SpyderHUB, which provides USB and FireWire host connection options plus hardware RAID, eSATA Mac OS boot capability and FireWire daisy chaining capability in an ultra-small external design. The ultra small, four-ounce device offers the ability to connect to external hard drives using any eSATA enclosure such as the SeriTek/2EN2, allowing users to attach and boot from up to two eSATA hard drives at a remote location. Supporting both desktop and notebook computers, it allows professionals to utilize eSATA enclosures from computers that do not support a Serial ATA host adapter.
Hewlett Packard, with some assistance from DreamWorks, is announcing a new technology dubbed "HP DreamColor" that the company says will be a "disruptive" force in the market place. MacNN spoke with Jim Zafarana is Vice President, Worldwide Marketing for Hewlett-Packard Company's Workstation Global Business Unit and Jeff Wood, Director Product Marketing at HP about the new technology, which will purportedly pave the way for displays with accurate, predictable color reproduction at a fraction of the cost of similarly capable monitors and finally offer a transition route to flat-panel displays for graphic design firms (like DreamWorks) that have thus far been stuck with CRT displays.
Motorola's Q line is finally receiving needed updates across the board, with attention now turning to CDMA carriers like Sprint and Telus through the launch of the Q 9c. The changes made turn the Q into a genuine (and cheaper) alternative to the BlackBerry line with an outstanding keyboard and a workhorse build quality, although some may find that phones above and below Motorola's newest Windows Mobile device are more cost-effective picks, especially for media playback. Read ahead for the full Moto Q 9c review.
Hitachi has announced a full nine new TVs for the Japanese market, under its Wooo branding. The core of these are the Wooo UT series of LCDs, coming in at 32, 37 and 42-inch sizes. While only the 37- and 40-inch sets support 1080p and Deep Color, all three have 120Hz refresh rates, and a 250GB hard drive. These sets should be out on June 7th, at prices of 270,000, 340,000 and 440,000 yen ($2,669, $3,362 and $4,350). Also out on that date will be the Wooo XVs, which are essentially identical to the UTs, but lack hard drives and in each circumstance are 100,000 yen cheaper.
LG's Voyager touchscreen phone has been successful enough at Verizon that the Korean company is looking to introduce it at other major US carriers, says a new report from the Electronic Times. An unnamed LG official states that the handset's success has been 'surprisingly' strong with its exclusive offering at Verizon and that versions for both AT&T and Sprint will be available sometime this year. Over 1.1 million Voyagers have sold to date despite being limited to the second-largest carrier.
The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association today lent support to a movement for new wireless standards by asking that the US government officially license white space frequencies. The organization, which typically represents carriers, is opposing attempts by the Google-backed White Space Coalition to develop and used devices with the deliberately blank spectrum on grounds that the technology could create problems for existing services. By leaving little to no gap between one frequency band and another, new companies using the service could create interference on existing services or cut out space that could be used for background portions of established, licensed networks, the CTIA claims.
Toshiba on Monday announced the delay of its DynaBook SS RX1 notebook, the first with a 128GB solid state drive (SSD). The company's Japanese DynaBook site said the laptop, scheduled for release in mid-April with web sales commencing on March 25, has been pushed back to June on account of parts delays, and apologized to any customers already on the waiting list. If the parts shortage in question involve the SSD drives and can't be reconciled soon, Toshiba may not be the first manufacturer to sell 128GB SSD drives in laptops, as it previously claimed.
Panasonic on Sunday revealed its newest AVCCAM professional camcorder, the AG-HMC150, at the NAB show in Vegas. The camera uses the industry's newest compression standard, AVCHD, to record video onto SD cards exclusively. Based on the standard-definition AG-DVX100, the HMC150 can record 1080 and 720 HD video at average speeds up to 21 Mbps. Four recording modes give users the flexibility to record up to 12 hours of 1440x1080-pixel HD video or three hours of 1920x1080 on a 32GB SD card. Resolution of 1280x720 can also be set, with the HMC150 supporting 1080/24p, 1080/60i and 720/60p HD formats.
E-TEN announced details on two of its newest quad-band PC Pocket phones from its Glofiish line, the M750 and the near-identical M810. Both feature an integrated GPS receiver, while Wi-Fi and a keyboard allow for easy Internet access and browsing. Java support for Internet games and applications makes them E-TEN's first Pocket PCs to do so. The 810 differs mainly with an extra camera to allow for video calls (pictured) and adds UTMS and HSDPA to the 750's GPRS and EDGE connectivity options.
RED today launched into the NAB pro video expo by debuting cameras at opposite ends of its signature RED One. The Scarlet is RED's first true handheld camera and incorporates a new, 2/3-inch version of the trademark Mysterium X sensor that still produces greater-than-1080p images. At 3K, the horizontal resolution is sharp enough to eclipse the best HD viewable on Blu-ray or other newer formats. While smaller than the Red Ray, it still offers an 8X zoom lens and shooting at up to 120 frames per second depending on the resolution; 180 FPS shots are available for short bursts.
An English company says it has demonstrated a new Bluetooth technology, one which could dramatically affect future implementations. CSR's Ultra-Low Power (ULP) Bluetooth hardware is claimed to be up to 50 times faster than what is currently available; rather than send out more data, however, a ULP chip merely consumes 1/50th the power in transfer, and 1/10th the amount in making the initial connection. It is also possible to implement ULP alongside Bluetooth 2.1 in a dual-mode radio.
Sony's XBR line of top-end Bravia HDTV sets will receive one of its most extensive updates when refreshed for the fall, says a leaked roadmap provided to BGR. In addition to an improved interface and support for DLNA media sharing as well as online program guides, all of which will appear in the unannounced XBR7, the top-end XBR8 will be the first Sony set to include LED backlighting. Nicknamed TRILUMINOS, the feature will dramatically improve contrast ratios by allowing the TV to selectively shut off the backlight in darker parts of a scene, creating much deeper blacks without affecting the rest of the picture.
Web-based music service eMusic today celebrated a milestone with its 200 millionth song download. The figure was reached approximately four and a half years after the store's November 2003 launch of its MP3-based subscription service but is touted as having been accomplished without the help of most major labels, relying chiefly on independents for its content. By comparison, Apple is known to have sold more than four billion songs since launching iTunes in April of 2003.
Stepping up the already increased competition between US carriers, Verizon today became one of the first providers in the country after AT&T to offer an explicitly unlimited plan for smartphones. The simply-titled Wireless E-mail and Web for Smartphone plan lets users browse and check e-mail without restriction on devices that would normally be subject to data caps. The feature lets even home users use a smartphone as a hub for most of their Internet access, Verizon says.
Canon today catered to a growing number of notebook users who need printing with a new PIXMA design. The iP100 prints color pictures up to letter size but is small and light enough to fit in a travel bag alongside a computer: Canon weighs the device at 4.4 pounds and calls it thin at 2.4 inches deep. The new PIXMA is also said to be relatively quick with up to 20 pages per minute in color or 14 in grayscale, and is sharper than most other travel printers at a 9600x2400 resolution.
Sharp and Willcom together on Monday put out some of the first concrete details for an ultra-mobile PC based on Intel's Atom architecture. Known alternately as the Willcom D4 or the WS016SH at Sharp, the device is built to be small and light enough at just over one pound in weight but fast enough to run Windows Vista with a 1.33GHz Atom (capable of HyperThreading) and 1GB of memory; a unique tilt-slider design allows it to fit both a QWERTY keyboard and a direction pad alongside a 5-inch touchscreen sharp enough at 1024x600 to display a desktop operating system.
Blockbuster today made a surprise, unsolicited bid for Circuit City. The offer would provide $6 per share and equate to $1 billion, or approximately 54 percent more than Circuit City's current value. The offer is meant to seize on the increasing unity between media and technology and would create a "game-changing retail concept," according to Blockbuster chief Jim Keyes. Circuit City has not yet formally responded to the offer but is said not to have offered the "due diligence" necessary to provide a full assessment of Circuit City's worth; doing so could boost the offer to $8 per share, or more than $1.3 billion.
HP this morning has marked the launch of NAB with two systems targeted at AV editors or most anyone who depends on very high end performance. A new version of the xw8600 uses Intel's latest 3.2GHz quad-core Xeon to handle very processor-intensive tasks such as media encoding; up to two each can fit in a single system to make it the most individually powerful desktop at HP, the company says. Systems built on the new chip vary in price but lift the price by about $2,460 both through the faster design as well as the requirement of using 4GB of 800MHz memory.
At NAB in Las Vegas, Adobe on Monday launched a new effort for an industry-wide open file format for digital cinema files, initiative to define an industry-wide open file format for digital cinema files to streamline workflows an ensure easy archiving and exchange. Built on the company's Digital Negative Specification (DNG) file format for photos, Adobe said it plans to work with a broad coalition of leading camera manufacturers, including Panavision, Silicon Imaging, Dalsa, Weisscam, and ARRI--along with software vendors, including Iridas and The Foundry, and codec provider CineForm--to define the requirements for an open, publicly documented file format that it plans to call CinemaDNG.
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