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Mvix on Thursday launched an ultra-compact HDD-based, portable media player: the new high-definition Mvix MV-2500U media decoder supports the small 2.5-inch hard drive, while including key features of its predecessors like MX-780HD or MX-760. The black device, which can support HDDs as large as 250GB, measures under 5x3x0.5 inches; it uses a 2.5-inch PATA / IDE HDD and when connected to the PC, it works like a standard external USB 2.0 hard drive; however, it ships with an IR remote control to allow playback of standard or high definition digital video (480p, 720p, 1080i) in over a dozen file formats, including MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4, DVD (VOB, IFO), DivX (3/4/5/6), Xvid, BivX, VCD (DAT) for both PAL and NTSC systems.
On the heels of publicized supply shortages, Intel says it is ramping up prerelease production of its Atom mobile processors, which are designed for smaller notebooks (and ultra compact desktops). Code-named Diamondville, Intel's 45-nanometer chip won't be officially released until June, but reports are indicating that the company is filling less than 40 percent of requests for the new chip; however, the company says it is trying to cope with the demand. Company spokesman Bill Calder told Computerworld that several PC makers plan to announce in June that they're working on Diamondville-based products, but those products are not expected until the third or fourth quarters and some manufacturers such as ASUS have forsaken the Atom chip to be first to market with new micro-notebooks.
A new report shows the Blu-ray disc player sales are falling, despite Toshiba dropping its HD DVD format players back in February. The sales of Blu-ray disc players were expected to skyrocket but a NPD Group study found the opposite. US sales of standalone Blu-ray players fell 40 percent from January to February, still in the midst of the HD DVD fall, before increasing by just two percent in March. This leads many to believe the price of Blu-ray players and media still isn't low enough for mainstream adoption.
Microsoft will take action on Yahoo's ultimatum rejection soon, company chief Steve Ballmer has said at a presentation for his firm's employees attended by Silicon Alley Insider. He acknowledges that Microsoft has missed its deadline for altering its strategy but adds that a maneuver will come in "very short order." This could include both a hostile attempt and the previously mentioned willingness to walk away if pursuing Yahoo proves fruitless.
Fashion design firm Prada on Thursday said it would launch its LG Prada phone in Japan, signaling one of the few carrier-based releases for the touchscreen device outside of Europe. The phone will be paired up with dominant carrier NTT DoCoMo and will primarily be sold from Prada's own stores rather than cellular or electronics shops. Few details of the local phone are available, though the handset is likely to include some level of 3G support to handle Japan's networks and should keep the 2-megapixel camera of the original.
IronKey on Thursday revealed a higher-capacity version of what it calls the world's most secure flash drive. Like all IronKey USB drives, the 8GB version is tamper resistant and features military-grade encryption software. The newest IronKey comes pre-loaded with portable Firefox, IronKey Password Manager, RSA SecurID and a Secure Sessions service. The included software allows for secure web browsing that works like an instant and portable VPN (virtual private network), among other secure actions.
Research in Motion has likely already picked out the name for its touchscreen BlackBerry, say those investigating the company's web practices. The site address BlackBerryStorm.com has already been registered by a confidential party as of late 2007 and has since by followed by registrations of several international and mobile domains, suggesting an active attempt by RIM to secure the names before an official launch.
Samsung on Thursday has revamped its Blu-ray home theaters with the advent of the HT-BD2S. A close equivalent of the BD2T, the 7.1-channel S includes the same Blu-ray player as its predecessor but replaces the tall, floor-standing speakers of the original with compact satellites that are better-suited to wall mounts or shelves.
Creative is facing a class-action lawsuit that is alleging the consumer electronics maker misled customers with inaccurate capacity claims for its portable media players. The lawsuit seeks $900,000 for attorney fees and $5,000 for each plaintiff. Those who purchased a hard-drive based Creative player between May 5, 2001 and April 30, 2008 and can prove it are eligible to be part of the lawsuit.
T-Mobile's 3G cellular service has gone live and includes the data in at least some areas, according to some user reports from subscribers at HowardForums. Tests in New York City's Brooklyn borough using phones already capable of supporting the carrier's unique 1,700MHz UMTS Internet service show downloads at 300Kbps or more, pushing past the 200Kbps or less normally available on the EDGE (2G) network. Data can also pass through at the same time as calls -- a feat normally impossible with EDGE, which blocks phone service during heavy use.
Hitachi has announced that its UltraThin LCDs, first announced at January's CES expo, are now beginning to ship in American versions. Their name derives from their thickness, which measures only 1.5 inches at the deepest point; this may come at a cost of screen size however, as only 32, 37, 43 and 47-inch models are planned. The sets are further divided into regular V (UltraVision) and high-end X (Director's Series) models, though aside from an extended warranty, Hitachi has not specified what makes the Director's Series special.
A Chinese website claims to have obtained some of the first detailed images of Motorola's ZN5, a collaboration with Kodak. The focus of this is the phone's five-megapixel camera, which KeySJ says it can confirm has a xenon flash for better power. Also in place is an unusually large lens cover, which offers protection against dust and impact damage that most cameraphones currently lack. The phone may even be capable of capturing RAW files, something typically reserved for professional-grade cameras.
Hoping to solve many problems with modern TV at once, Sezmi today unveiled a self-titled set-top box that it says accommodates new and old media alike. The hub will offer streaming and downloadable Internet content but also serve as a receiver and recorder that expands on conventional TV. Viewers can watch traditional cable or satellite signals but will also have the option of picking up digital over-the-air shows; a unique service will ideally see some otherwise cable-only shows appear on unused wireless space for a subscription that will cost half as much as for conventional services.
Verizon will launch two of its more anticipated high-end phones within a week, according to separate leaks. Reported sources for Engadget say the company's silver adaptation of the BlackBerry Curve 8330 is now set to appear on May 9th, more than a month after the company first revealed the phone with an unspecified launch date. The originally suggested $270 price will be intact after obtaining a contract and rebate. Subscribers will also have the option of picking up the device for $440 without an agreement.
Vodafone UK on Thursday announced it would add 'unlimited' access to the Internet and email to its monthly cell phone plans as it tries to garner a larger share of the country's highly competitive cellular market. The world's largest mobile telecommunications network company does in fact limit the plan to 500MB per month, as per its fair usage policy. The provider noted use of its Vodafone Mobile Internet service has grown rapidly since its launch last summer, with users accessing popular networking sites, news sites and search engines most often.
Startup firm ZeeVee today offered up an unusual take on media streaming hubs with the ZvBox (link active soon). Rather than operate on a traditional home network, the device draws on the raw VGA (or adapted DVI) video output from a computer as well as a user's existing cable TV wiring; linking the two with a ZvBox automatically creates a new 1080i HD station in an unoccupied cable channel that can then be accessed by any HDTV in the home.
Garmin's highly touted nuvifone may cost $100 more than its Apple rival at AT&T, according to a survey passed along to Engadget. The navigation device maker is gauging customer responses to its price strategy and is currently suggesting that its GPS-enabled cellphone should sell for $500 with a two-year contract, or $100 above the price of a standard iPhone.
Dell on Thursday refreshed its very highest-end gaming desktop with the launch of the XPS 730 H2C. Like the 720 H2C it replaces, the new model earns its name through a custom watercooling arrangement that allows for factory-overclocked, quad-core Core 2 Extreme processors. The new design is more efficient than the last and includes both dynamic speed that throttles cooling down in less demanding conditions and extra fan cooling for the CPU voltage components. A new coldplate both helps cool all four CPU cores and also helps ramp up the front side bus beyond stock levels.
Adobe this morning announced the Open Screen Project, an initiative that will derestrict some of the formatting behind Flash (and ultimately AIR) animation with mobile devices. The change will eventually remove limits on using normal SWF files as well as videos in F4V or FLV, and will see Adobe publish both the porting layer for Flash and the Flash Cast protocol. The move is aimed at helping developers scale the format down to handhelds, including cellphones and larger Mobile Internet Devices; it also establishes a more consistent web experience beyond the computer, according to Adobe.
T-Mobile's impending unveiling of its 3G network will reportedly be voice only initially, with data communications to follow later. The news comes in a note received by Engadget, which goes contrary to most competing providers. Cellular companies such as Cingular, Verizon, and Sprint all have their own 3G network segments that either went up as data card-only, or as a simultaneous release of both data and voice services.
AT&T and Qualcomm's MediaFLO on Thursday announced that its new AT&T Mobile TV with FLO service is expected to available on the May 4 along with two exclusive handsets: the Vu from LG and the Access from Samsung. First announced in late March, AT&T will offer TV-quality programming with exclusive channels (PIX and CNN Mobile Live) as well as content from from leading news and entertainment brands: CBS Mobile, ESPN Mobile TV, FOX Mobile, NBC 2Go, NBC News 2Go, MTV Networks' COMEDY CENTRAL, MTV and Nickelodeon.
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