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HP will offer the 2133 Mini-Note PC preconfigured with Windows XP in mid-May, something the company refers to as a "downgrade". Laptop Magazine observes that XP is more ideal for ultramobile PCs, given its lower power requirements, and better performance on lighter hardware. The revelation came after a chat with an HP Sales representative, who confirmed that XP would be an available feature in the future.
Blogger Kevin Tofel is currently trying to demonstrate a proof of concept by installing Mac OS X on an ultramobile PC - in particular, the Samsung Q1 Ultra Premium - noting that most of the operating system's features map correctly to the corresponding controls on the device. While still in a very experimental stage, the Mac OS was able to recognize the touch screen as a tablet, the dual-function stick as a scroll mouse with two buttons, as well as the keyboard, and volume controls.
Telus announced on Wednesday that the LG Venus slider is coming to the Canadian provider. The phone features dual screens on its top portion, with the smaller one on the phone's lower half meant as a touch pad only, replacing up to 12 traditional keys, Telus says. The Venus will be able to play Telus' mobile radio and TV, as well as 50 channels of streaming satellite radio programming and offers the provider's audible and visual navigation service. The CDMA phone accesses the Internet via EVDO high-speed mobile broadband. Hailed as LG's first touch-screen phone in Canada, dialing numbers is accomplished via a traditional keypad revealed once the slider is opened.
Nikon recently released a firmware update for its flagship D3 DSLR, version 1.10, that will enhance its usability as well as resolve some bugs with the old programming. What Nikon didn't account for was someone to go snooping through the code and finding mention of a 6048x4032-pixel, 24.4-megapixel resolution, something the current D3 is not capable of, topping out at 12.1 megapixels. This could only mean a D3x variant, which would effectively feature the second highest megapixel count of the current crop of popular pro-consumer DSLR cameras, falling just short of the rumored 24.8-megapixel Sony Alpha A900 and outdoing Canon's 21.1-megapixel 1Ds-MkIII.
Virgin's cellphone service in the US may face a dramatic setback after continued plunges in the company's stock, according to sources in touch with VentureBeat. Having seen its share value drop 85 percent from October to April, the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) is now understood to be cutting as much as 300 of the 400 staffers that run the US branch, significantly scaling back its ability to run in the country amid doubts for its future. Executives have received pay raises but only to compensate for poor stock options; the Chief Information Officer role has remained empty for months after two quick departures, the investigation notes.
Nintendo on Tuesday denied the possibility of a new DS portable gaming system making a debut at E3 in July, as suggested by Famitsu magazine publisher Hirokazu Hamamura. Last Friday at a seminar, Hamamura mentioned that historically, a new Nintendo handheld gaming system is launched every two years, with the DS Lite launching in 2006. At the time, Nintendo's PR department responded by saying they cannot say anything at the time, but Japan's head of PR had a more definitive answer yesterday.
BenQ announced its newest laptop, the Joybook R45, on Tuesday. The R45 sits near the top of the R-series and is aimed at style-conscious users with its soft-touch, leather-like surfaces, complemented by high-spec multimedia and connectivity hardware. The 14.1-inch LCD features a 1280x800-pixel resolution and displays videos thanks to NVIDIA's GeForce 8400M G graphics card with HDMI output. Bluetooth connectivity is integrated, and the R45 was designed with VoIP communication in mind thanks to noise-cancelling software.
PC shipments in the first quarter of 2008 reveal a changing landscape both in the US and in the world at large, according to preliminary results released today by IDC. While positions remain largely the same, shifts in growth percentages reveal that some companies are gaining at the expense of others. Dell in particular has recovered from its long slump in 2007 and has had a second consecutive quarter of strong shipments, leading US charts with 30.9 percent of the country's computer market (4.9 million units) and a 15.6 percent boost to shipments over the same period a year before.
A new website has been launched by the music industry, dubbed PluggedIn. The site focuses on hosting over 10,000 high-resolution music videos, by the likes of The Roots, Nine Inch Nails and Rufus Wainwright; in addition to watching in a window, the quality is said to be high enough that people can comfortably watch in a fullscreen mode. Other features of the site include news, blogs and photos, the ability to create and share playlists, and the option of giving or receiving recommendations.
Hitachi Global Storage Technologies announced on Wednesday the release of what it says is the world's highest-capacity 15,000RPM enterprise-class hard drive. The drive can hold 450GB of information, and Hitachi says its tests show it is 30 percent faster in sequential throughput than the drive it replaces. The drive is made for use in server or storage applications where high-volumes and multiple users access information, such as online transaction processing and intensive database queries.
The British government should tax the sale of media players, a body of the UK music industry is advocating. The Music Business Group is said to have rejected a recent government proposal, which would see people legally able to transfer music from CDs to media players for free; while the practice is widespread and taken for granted by the public and companies like Apple, in the UK it is technically a violation of copyright. The MBG is said to have taken the same position as America's RIAA however, and called for a levy on sale of devices such as iPods.
Microsoft is developing a unified media store for the Zune that would draw on lessons from the Xbox 360, according to information relayed to long-time Microsoft observer Mary-Jo Foley. A service so far codenamed Zune Video X (Experience) is said by a source to address a gap in the Zune's online purchasing options by offering movies, TV shows, and "more" content in addition to the music already available through the Zune Marketplace. The service would be more than just an expansion of the existing store, says the report.
Updating through an official mouthpiece blog, a Sony executive has confirmed several upcoming features for the PlayStation 3 game console. Peter Dille, the senior VP for marketing with the PlayStation Network, says that while he cannot comment on rumors of a download store for movies and TV shows, some form of new video service is definitely in the works, different from "others you've seen or used." PSN currently only lets users download videos such as game trailers; by contrast, Microsoft's Xbox Live service has let users rent movies and buy TV shows for some time.
Panasonic topped off its LUMIX cameras today via the new TZ50. The 9.1-megapixel camera is Panasonic's first Wi-Fi model in the country and draws on its wireless linkup to share photos without the memory card leaving the camera: Internet access allows the camera to send individual or batch photos to a Picasa Web Gallery and provide a link to the gallery through e-mail. Every TZ50 will also have a year of free T-Mobile hotspot access to let photographers upload photos from normally pay-only connections.
Russians may soon be forced to register each and every device they own that has Wi-Fi capabilities, a local news publication reports. Fontanka writes that the policy has been adopted by the government agency responsible for regulating communications and cultural protection, and may only allow people to use a Wi-Fi device so long as they have special permission. The registration of items like smartphones and notebooks could take up to 10 days, while routers may require extra documentation, as well as a proper license. In locations such as Moscow and St. Petersburg, people may need the approval of the FSB, the successors to the KGB.
Verizon today began fulfilling promises made at the CTIA phone expo by launching the XV6900 at its online store. A rebadged version of the HTC Touch, the touchscreen-dominated phone appears modified from the reference design not just by its white color but by an uprated camera: the 2-megapixel unit now reportedly adds autofocusing to properly frame shots around the right subject. The US carrier also supports tethering the phone to a computer for use as an impromptu 3G modem.
ViewSonic addressed a price-conscious audience on Wednesday and shipped the PJ513DB, its latest DLP front projector. The all-black unit is a rare nod to improving the base quality for budget projectors and uses more recent Texas Instruments hardware to generate 2,200 lumens of brightness and a 2,000:1 contrast ratio. Both are vivid enough to be used clearly in ambient light, the company argues. Although capped at an 800x600 native resolution, the new projector can recognize larger resolutions through VGA and accepts 720p or 1080i widescreen video through relevant adapters, such as a bundled component adapter or third-party DVI attachments.
An addition to Archos' media players will include a form of GPS navigation, the company has revealed today in an announcement sent to the press. While short on details, the announcement refers to driving directions and suggests worldwide mapping support, with China, Europe, and the US all receiving the option. There will also be "new uses and services at home and on the road" that follow the introduction, the company hints in its update.
Sony on Wednesday showed off its newest thin organic LED TVs at the Display 2008 expo trade show in Japan. The company demonstrated even thinner displays than its already industry-leading OLEDs, showing a new version of its 11-inch XEL-1, the world's first mass-produced OLED TV. The new display panel itself, not the 'packaged' TV, measures just 0.3mm thick (0.01in), a huge improvement over the current model's 1.4mm (0.06in) thickness. Despite being near paper-thin, the display is good for the same resolution of 960x540 pixels, as the thicker panel.
Creative's answer to the iPod touch and Zune has had details firmed up in its development, says a new, purported leak to epiZENter. The player once known as the ZEN Share is now said to have been changed to ZEN X-Fi to turn attention to the player's sound quality. While Wi-Fi is still a defining feature, the future jukebox now appears likely to include the Crystalizer used in other Creative devices to auto-enhance sound quality by filling in audio detail lost to compression.
ASUS has officially released the Eee PC 900, the larger, 8.9-inch version of its popular micro notebook. The larger-screened system not only ups the screen resolution from 800x480 to 1024x600 but represents ASUS' fastest and most feature-laden version. Onboard memory is doubled to 1GB of RAM, while storage is also significantly increased: while all editions ship with 4GB of flash storage soldered inside the system, a Windows XP model adds 8GB more (for a total of 12GB) while a Linux version uses its less expensive OS to allow for 16GB more, or 20GB. A sharper 1.3-megapixel webcam is also part of the 900 series.
The Taiwan-area Economic Daily News paper today appeared to confirm claims of a specific 3G chipset being used for the iPhone by naming the company assigned to manufacture it. Factories for United Microelectronics Corporation have reportedly been contracted to produce the PMB8878 Infineon chipset (incorrectly labeled as PMB878 in the article) at one of the former's more advanced, 65 nanometer process facilities. The move is described as a switch from Taiwan Semiconductor, which is known to manufacture an Infineon chip for the current model, according to the report.
Yahoo and AOL are reportedly examining the potential combination of their respective internet operations, which would involve a 20-percent stake of the former company. According to Forbes Techland, the deal would fold AOL into Yahoo, who would then repurchase several billions of its shares at a mid $30 figure. Time Warner will make a large cash investment into Yahoo for this deal to occur.
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