Alienware recently updated its Aurora gaming desktop to include an upgrade option for the AMD Phenom 9850 Black Edition processors, which feature the latter company's HyperTransport technology. The Phenom 9850 is a quad-core processor that provides users increased system bandwidth and true multitasking, while also supporting up to four ATI CrossFireX video cards. In addition, users can run either 32-bit or 64-bit applications without additional hardware, and the processor's Cool'n'Quiet technology reduces power consumption, heat output and noise.
Cizmo today upped its ante among gaming notebooks with the release of the CX15. Slipping ahead of Intel's official June announcement, the European PC builder claims to equip the system with processors built for the Centrino 2 (Montevina) platform. The CX15 will unusually run on Intel's low-power, full-performance P series Core 2 Duos ranging in speed from 2.26GHz (P8400) to 2.6GHz (P9400) while also using NVIDIA's high-end GeForce 8800M GTX for video. The combination both reduces the cost of the system while also reducing its heat output and increasing its usefulness as a gaming desktop's substitute.
Google deliberately manipulated the outcome of the FCC's recent 700MHz auction, three US Representatives have alleged. Republicans Cliff Stearns and John Shimkus, along with Democrat Eliot Engel, said at a hearing today that Google unfairly managed to obtain an open wireless network without having to win it, by promising to bid at least $4.6 billion on the 22MHz block if the winner was forced to allow open (third-party) access. Evidence of this is claimed to be bolstered by a recent Google blog post, in which officials admit that open access was a key priority during bidding.
T-Mobile is finally poised to release its second Shadow smartphone, says a scoop from newcomer TmoNews. Referred to just as the Shadow II in the slip, the device would represent a major redesign with a glossy black shell and a flatter, potentially touch-sensitive thumbwheel. It will also reportedly be the first Shadow to support HotSpot@Home, using Wi-Fi to bridge calls between VoIP and the cellular network.
Sanyo on Tuesday announced the addition of two new portable multimedia projectors to its T-series line-up, the PLC-ET30L and PLC-XT21/L. With 1400x1050-pixel (SXGA+) resolution and 4200 lumens brightness, the ET30L offers consumers a less costly alternative to pricey 1080p projectors. The XT32/L, meantime, is a value-priced 1024x768 (XGA), 4,000 lumens unit that replaces the company's volume XT20. Both are meant for use in classroom, boardroom or other areas where significant ambient light might be necessary.
Cable and Internet provider Comcast, in tandem with peer-to-peer tech company Pando Networks, says it is launching a new industry initiative in order to address conflicts relating to P2P file sharing. Dubbed the "P2P Bill of Rights and Responsibilities," it would see the creation of a document addressing "best practices" for both ISPs and filesharers themselves. The companies hope to gradually involve other parties, such as experts, media producers and other ISP or P2P companies; controversially, they have no present intentions of involving public interest groups, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Hidden among the features of the upcoming BlackBerry 9000 may be video calling, according to a Spanish news blogger with access to the device. Although not visible in at least some prototype shots, the report claims that a front video camera is present on the smartphone. The feature would make it the first BlackBerry to support two-way video calls and is believed to be included as a complement to the new blackBerry's already-verified 3G Internet access, which makes video chats possible.
The Wii Fit is scheduled to arrive on North American shores in just over a month's time, and Nintendo today released pricing for the Balance Board accessory and interactive fitness game combo. Nintendo's much-anticipated release, which includes a balance board and game disc that includes over 40 specific games and activities, will retail for nearly $90 when it hits store shelves on May 19.
HCL on Tuesday promised to make PCs more affordable for India with a special run of its MiLeap notebooks. Much in the vein of ASUS' Eee PC and other micro notebooks, the H series keeps costs low by using both a small 7-inch LCD and by using a low-power unnamed (but likely Celeron-based) Intel processor. Unlike some of its budget equivalents, the system serves as a convertible tablet with a directional pad for navigation and a touchscreen for handwriting that sometimes becomes necessary in HCL's home country.
British grocer and retailer Tesco today said it would launch Tesco Downloads, its own attempt at a digital music and video store. The service will follow the cue of Amazon, Wal-Mart, and other similar stores with a web-based interface and initially plans to offer about 3.3 million songs; about 1.6 million of those will be available in unprotected MP3 versions that should work with iPods and other devices that don't support the protected Windows Media Audio format of other songs on the store.
The U110, a 11.1-inch ultraportable notebook by China's Lenovo, has finally had more information disclosed on its specifications. The computer has appeared at the American online retailer J&R, in black and red versions; each edition is equipped with a low-voltage 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo processor and no optical drive, but does come with 3GB of RAM and a 120GB hard drive. Additionally, users have access to Bluetooth, a 1.3-megapixel webcam, and 802.11a/g/n Wi-Fi.
Seagate has begun the first of what may be several lawsuits against makers of flash memory, show filings from the US District Court in San Francisco. It has accused STEC, formerly known as Simple Technology, of violating four patents it owns, connected to the creation of flash memory -- should it win, Seagate could be granted an injunction against STEC products as well as unspecified damages. Seagate CEO Bill Watkins argues that compensation would be well-due, as it has invested heavily in developing technology for SSD drives, and it has tried to persuade other companies to license its patents.
NEC this morning prepped the final launch of its Lui media streaming devices. Essentially more advanced versions of today's media extender devices, all four models provide a network connection to the music and video of a DLNA- or Windows Media Center-capable PC in a reportedly more elegant way than with traditional extender hubs. The Lui RP (pictured) is considered the standout with a UMPC-like handheld design; users are given enough control with a directional pad and QWERTY keyboard to find and play media from its four-inch LCD. The Lui RN offers the same formula in a 10.6-inch notebook that reaches a very thin size by depending on its media source for storage.
iRiver has lived up to its word today by launching the US edition of the E100, its new mid-range player that sits between the basic T60 and the more video-focused Clix Gen 2. The device ships with a relatively large 2.4-inch screen but moves the company's D-Click controls from the edges of the LCD to a pad at the bottom; the effect suits the E100 more to the vertical hold preferred for music but still presents a similar near-seamless look. This newest model adds a microSD slot to expand free space by as much as another 2GB, and boasts its own stereo speakers for listening without headphones.
Amazon's highly-touted MP3 store has had little to no effect on the success of iTunes, according to a new analysis by The NPD Group. A study conducted by the group reveals that just 10 percent of all purchasers at Amazon MP3 are converts from Apple's service, with the rest either switching from other stores or else are new to direct-download music. This comparatively new audience is a "healthy indication" that other stores don't necessarily have to draw customers away from iTunes to grow, says NPD entertainment analyst Russ Crupnick.
Retailer Brookstone on Tuesday announced it started taking orders for the iHome iP99, a docking radio designed to work specifically with Apple's iPhone. The company claims the iP99 is the first product that will allow the iPhone to play music through its speakers but still retain phone functionality. iHome says it achieved this thanks to shielding that eliminates interference. The iP99 is also compatible with all docking iPod models.
Sony today marked the official launch of version 2.3 (link to update soon) of the PlayStation 3's firmware, which adds key new features to the console. The cornerstone of the update is a complete redesign of the PlayStation Store built to help users more quickly find content: add-ons, games, videos, and other content are now easier to find from the top level. Gamers can also get a taste of content before the download with either screenshots of games or streaming clips for video content. A shopping bag lets users track their purchase history.
Microsoft today announced that it has completed its acquisition of Danger, bringing the Sidekick maker entirely into the larger company. Danger will now become a core component of the new Premium Mobile Experiences group at Microsoft and will be part of the Mobile Communications group inside of the Entertainment and Devices division. The freshly acquired company's founders now report directly to Roz Ho, corporate VP for the Premium Mobile Experiences group and former head of the Macintosh Business Unit.
Nokia this morning revealed one of its first dedicated phones with near field communication (NFC) as a staple feature. The 6212 classic uses the new wireless technology to hold a virtual wallet used to make wireless payments and take info without a setup process; users can simply bring the phone close to a toll booth to buy tickets or exchange calendars by tapping another NFC-equipped phone. A special version of the BH-210 Bluetooth headset can pair up with the 6212 in much the same way, Nokia says. The Finnish company also packs in a set of three NFC tags that can be changed to trigger certain events when the phone comes in proximity to any one tag.
Dell on Tuesday gave its small business line a turn with a new Vostro line. Every model is thinner and lighter than existing models while also adding security features that are often limited to Dell's pricier Latitude series: while a fingerprint reader is more common, all have the newest Trusted Platform Module to let administrators lock their systems down. The Vostro 1310 (shown) is also Dell's first 13.3-inch Vostro and provides the same 1280x800 screen resolution of the 14-inch Vostro 1400 in a smaller, lighter (4.6-pound) frame.
Blackmagic Design recently unveiled several new video interfaces at the NAB 2008 conference, the USB-based Video Recorder - available in consumer and professional versions - and a large scale 8U rack-mount SDI router. The Blackmagic Video Recorder offers consumers the ability to capture video directly to H.264 through component or S-Video onto their computer. The consumer USB Video Recorder sells for $120.
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