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Taiwan-based MSI recently revealed more information on its low-cost, ultra-portable laptop, the Wind Notebook. The roughly 2.2lb notebook will run on Windows XP and feature an unusually large 2.5-inch HDD with an 80GB capacity. The Wind will be offered with either an 8.9- or 10-inch LCD display, the resolution of which is pegged at 1024x600 pixels. It is expected to compete with ASUS' Eee PC 900.
Nintendo's Wii console continues to be the strongest-selling of all systems a year and a half after its launch, according to March statistics from The NPD Group. The organization says that about 720,000 examples of the motion-driven Wii were sold last month, helped in part by both its lower $250 price and the launch of the first Super Smash Brothers game for the platform. The result is nearly three times the 262,000 Xbox 360s sold and a slightly larger increase again over the PlayStation 3, which was near-equal at 257,000 systems sold.
Europe's iPhone carriers may face a significant financial hit from sub-par iPhone sales in the region, says a report from UK's The Times. Speaking to Morgan Stanley analyst Katheryn Huberty, the paper hears that temporary price drops at T-Mobile in Germany and O2 UK are likely to incur "significant" financial losses as the phones sell below cost. Carriers are expected to recover much of this through monthly fees, with T-Mobile altering its discounts depending on subscription rates, but are still anticipated to suffer to some degree.
The Electro-Mechanics division of Samsung says it has developed a hydrogen-powered prototype cellphone, one which could soon have a commercial equivalent. The new technology consists of a special hydrogen generator and a micro-fuel cell; when the phone is turned on, metal and water react to produce hydrogen gas, which is then transferred to a fuel cell where oxygenation releases energy. Most conventional versions of this technology are said to require methanol in place of water.
It appears Samsung is trying to leapfrog the iPhone's touch display and go straight to a touch-free interface in its future mobile phones. The company has reportedly filed a patent for an interface based on hand signals. The phone's integrated camera will recognize users' hand gestures as commands and execute them.
NVIDIA is developing a new speed grade of its GeForce 9-series to fight an upcoming challenger from AMD, video card designers said on Friday. The GeForce 9600 GSO would be a parallel to the still unreleased Radeon HD 3830 and will likely sit between the current 9600 GT and an unreleased but slower 9600 GS. It will share the same architecture but cost significantly less; the main processor will allegedly cost as little as $50 to $55 for companies making their own boards.
Four European countries are offering DVD movies on a format called DVD-D that is unique in that the content is erased 8 hours after the disposable disc makes its first rotation in a player. The format is also applied to software, with a 48-hour life span, either of which can be kept indefinitely until its first use, at which point the timer starts. Such DVD-Ds are available in Italy, France, Germany and Scandinavia at bookstores, gas stations and kiosks for about a third of the price of a traditional multi-play DVD.
Only a day after its landmark deployment of Surface computing, AT&T on Friday said in an SEC filing and public comments that it would cut 4,600 positions from its workforce. The cuts, which account for roughly 1.5 percent of the company's 309,000 employees, are characterized as necessary to "streamline" its business and that the effect should be minimal for end users. Most of the positions cut are managerial and in areas customers aren't likely to notice, the carrier says. Company spokesman Walt Sharp also says that it's continuing to hire in other areas.
A Hong Kong company called Sunlink, using technology from iView, claims to have produced the first portable commercial product in the world with a built-in pico-projector. The Sunview PMPP is a portable media player that normally relies on a 3.5-inch touchscreen, but can also display images on a wall using the integrated pico technology. Companies such as MicroVision have been working to produce such projectors, but have not so far got them into any commercial devices.
France-based Carrefour Group will launch a movie download service, the world's second biggest retailer announced at the PEVE Digital Entertainment conference in Paris on Friday. The service will allow customers to buy movies or rent movies and rent TV programs. The Group already operates supermarkets, grocery stores and convenience stores that carry DVDs in Europe, and wants to expand its focus on entertainment, bringing it closer to customers.
The French-based telecom Alcatel is releasing its first official phone for the US, the E206a. The phone is being carried by the GSM-based MVNO O2 Wireless -- not to be confused with Europe's O2 -- and uses an extremely basic candybar design, having only a dual-band receiver, and virtually no other features. Aside from foregoing technologies such as 3G, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi, the 206a lacks even EDGE or GPRS data support, and does not have a USB port.
Much of Motorola's cellphone launch roadmap for 2008 has been revealed courtesy of a leak on the Chinese-language site it168 and picked up by JAMP. Seemingly confirmed by the existence of phones launched earlier in the year, such as the ROKR E8, the escaped details validate reports of unannounced devices. New in the slip are the A810 and L800T: both will serve as mid-range phones with 2-megapixel cameras in either slider (A810) or candybar (L800T) forms. The A810 will serve as a music phone with a native 3.5mm headphone jack and a navigation wheel, while the L800T will be the company's first phone to support China's developing TD-SCDMA 3G network and is meant primarily for that country.
LG Display promises to break open the micro notebook business with a series of new LCDs, according to observations by purported industry insiders. Seeking to up-end the market, the company hopes to develop a 10.1-inch LCD with a 16:9 ratio similar to many HDTVs. At 1024x576, the screen would have a lower vertical resolution than the 600 pixels of sharper ultra-small displays but would cut down on the vertical size of budget notebooks and more properly fit movie ratios. The screen is due in October.
NBC's Hulu TV streaming service is likely to expand beyond its web-only presence of today, the service's CEO Jason Kilar said this week at the NAB video production expo. While not committing to any one format, the company head explains that cellphones and "anything connected to the Internet" would be an ideal platform for the feature, which allows users to stream (but not download) episodes of NBC and Fox shows.
Sanyo on Friday unveiled the newest addition to its Xacti underwater digital camera line with the CA8. The camera is rated for underwater use at a maximum depth of nearly five feet and one hour safely and will shoot 60fps MPEG-4 video at 640x480-pixel resolution or 3264x2448-pixel photos via its 8-megapixel CMOS sensor. Sanyo's pixel-interpolation technology allows bumping up the photos to an equivalent 12 megapixels. Two dedicated buttons -- one for video record, the other for still image capture -- make it easier for the CA8 to capture images, although at a reduced 2MP size, while filming.
Motorola has finished its week by revealing (reg. required) an overhaul of its Mobile Devices division ahead of its expected spin-off into a separate company. The move sees new executives take over roles focused on targeting Motorola's phones at the right audiences. Company senior VP Rob Shaddock will now take over management of the division's consumer products and will watch over new sub-sections that tackle different classes of devices: a group headed by corporate VP Steve Lalla will handle mainstream products, while John Cipolla will take care of higher-end, media capable devices.
Microsoft has let slip details of some of the first special edition, second-generation Zune players. A team up with Reebok will see the electronics giant produce a custom Zune to match its partner's Allen Iverson Answer XI sneakers. The variant on the Zune 8 will include a large engraving of the Denver Nuggets basketball player and also pack related content on the jukebox itself, such as TV spots, interviews, and Iverson-chosen music. Teaser shots hide any custom coloring on the player, though Microsoft adds a special carrying bag. Like most limited Zune runs, the Reebok set will ship in small numbers (60 pairs) when it arrives in June for $300.
Google today posted its first quarter profits, thoroughly outpacing Wall Street analyst estimates, which were based on the effects a slowing economy would have on sales and earnings. According to CNN Money, the news follows a weak fourth quarter last year, with earnings coming in under analyst estimates. The report shows Google's income rising 30 percent to $1.31 billion - $4.12 a share - with $1.54 billion before one-time charges.
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