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Microsoft on Tuesday resumed the availability of Windows XP SP3 at its website. Last week, the company pulled the update from its public servers due to some compatibility issues; it delayed the general release of Windows XP SP3 and Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1), due to a last-minute discovered incompatibility. The update, released to manufacturing two weeks ago, was expected to be generally available on April 29th and later in early Summer as an automatic update. Microsoft said it is now offering "hotfix" for the compatibility issues with its Dynamics Retail Management System, which it says should be installed first.
Sprint is nearing closure on a $12 billion joint venture with Clearwire, backed by industry giants such as Intel, Google, Time Warner, and Comcast, among others. The Wall Street Journal reveals that Sprint would merge its wireless broadband services with Clearwire, after raising a total of $3.2 billion from the aforementioned technology and wireless firms, of which the final approval was given Tuesday. The announcement could come as soon as Wednesday, according to insiders.
Musician Neil Young today said he would take the unusual step of releasing his entire music catalog on Blu-ray discs, making him one of the few artists to make the jump to the standard so far. The extra space on each disc will let the rock musician both boost the sound quality above CDs and downloads but will also give room for extra material such as videos and previously unpublished material. The discs will also be some of the first music-focused Blu-ray titles to use BD-Live and will let users download extra tracks and photos to PlayStation 3s and other players that support Internet access and storage for Blu-ray titles.
Sun Microsystems on Tuesday announced it will soon be releasing JavaFX Rich Client Technology, a family of products for creating Rich Internet Applications without resorting to complex programming associated with Java. The announcement took place at the 13th annual JavaOne Conference. JavaFX programs will allow easier access and therefore appeal to more people who wish to create Java applications, the according to Sun's executives.
HP on Tuesday announced a partnership with YouTube that will enable users of the company's HP MediaSmart connected entertainment products to view YouTube videos on their TVs, using nothing but a remote control. The company's MediaSmart products already make accessing digital media content from networked home PCs simple with one menu. In a similar fashion as Apple TV, the new alliance will bring full-screen YouTube videos to users' living rooms, requiring them only to log in to their YouTube accounts via the keyboard-less MediaSmart interface.
Panasonic on Tuesday came closer to launching its anticipated DMP-BD50 Blu-ray player by setting its price and reaffirming its launch window. The BD50 will stand as Panasonic's flagship with a $700 price tag and is still on track to launch before the end of the spring as an eventual replacement for the current BD30. Panasonic hasn't yet revealed a phase-out plan for the older device.
Nokia's anticipated E71 smartphone could be ready as early as this week, according to tips handed to GSMHelpdesk. The Dutch site says the phone could be announced this Thursday and points to multiple online stores in its own country that already list the phone. The entries all point to the device being a major upgrade over the aging E61i with 3G Internet over HSDPA, Wi-Fi, and true GPS being its most prominent upgrades.
Dell this afternoon introduced a rare variant on its home notebooks. The Inspiron 1525 Mike Ming Editions each get graffiti-influenced artwork by their Brooklyn-based namesake on the outer lid, personalizing the systems beyond the solid colors and stock prints that are normally available for the 15.4-inch notebooks. Regardless of the trim level, users can either pick from the monochrome-effect "Bunch O Surfers" or the multicolored "Sea Sky."
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe on Tuesday announced release dates for its long-awaited PlayTV add-on for the PS3 and Go!View video service for the PSP. PlayTV will enable the PS3's hard drive to record TV shows thanks to its dual TV tuners. The included software has a 7-day programming guide, and the recorded programs can be viewed remotely over Wi-Fi or transferred to the PSP as well.
Fan site Crackberry today landed review an early form of the BlackBerry 9000 has already surfaced today courtesy of a prototype sold without approval online, providing confirmation of most of its features. The handset is now known to be capable of 3G on providers such as AT&T and Rogers, and appears to include both the sharper 480x320 display as well as the updated BlackBerry OS that provides a smoother, more natural interface.
AT&T has sectioned off nearly a month between June and July in order to coordinate employees for an "exciting Special Promotional Launch," says an internal memo reportedly leaked to Engadget. The message notes that staff will be unable to book vacations between June 15th and July 12th due to the resource demands of the unnamed event, which is already believed to relate to the launch of an updated iPhone in the same timeframe. AT&T employees were allegedly asked to stay available for work during the same period last year, during the iPhone's official debut.
TomTom, maker of GPS devices like the ONE and the ONE XL, has no plans to build its own cellphones, according to a report out of Taiwan. DigiTimes cites a "top executive" from TomTom Asia, who says that the company will continue to focus on in-car navigation units, and accompanying content and services. TomTom has been collaborating with ASUS and HTC on navigation features for their own handsets, using parts from still more companies.
Sprint has set a date for the release of Palm's Treo 800w, according to WMExperts. The smartphone is said to be going on sale with the carrier on July 22nd, echoing an earlier leaked slide presentation which pointed only to that month in general. No pricing has been indicated, but it should be available in a "charcoal" black color, distinguishing itself from typically brightly-hued Treos.
Microsoft this morning at last confirmed the launch information for the Zune in Canada, the first launch of its music players outside of the US. The devices will be available as of June 13th and will include a slightly different lineup than in the Zune's home country: while keeping the new red Zune 80, the Canadian catalog will drop the less popular green Zune 4 and 8 models. Microsoft also has no immediate plans to launch the Zune Marketplace in the region but has not provided an explanation.
RIM's BlackBerry Niagra is actually representative of two different phones, according to a further scoop from BGR. The Niagra itself will reportedly be a data-focused version for CDMA networks such as Sprint in the US or Telus in Canada and will still support 3G access over EVDO, including RIM's first-ever EVDO Revision A support for faster connections. In return, Wi-Fi will be dropped while navigation is likely to be limited to assisted GPS.
Parrot on Tuesday announced the latest addition to its range of digital photo frames with one designed by French artist Andrée Putman. The near six-inch screen is framed with contrasting black and white tones with subtle transparency. Transferring photos, in typical Parrot fashion, can be done wirelessly thanks to the frame's integrated Bluetooth connectivity. The frame also kicks off the wireless mobile telephony device maker's Designer Collection of products.
Acer today made sweeping changes to its LCD lineup with two whole new display lines. The Business line is tailored to both workers and home users who want an essentialist design with flexibility: the built-in arm tilts up 15 degres or down by 5 and also allows 35 degree pivoting in either direction without adjusting the stand. Despite the name, contrast ratios are also vivid enough at 2,000:1 or 3,000:1 for most models, with a 5ms average pixel response time eliminating most ghosting.
NVIDIA is shifting its emphasis from speed to energy today with the official launch of Hybrid SLI, its unique power-saving graphics technology. Rather than run two chips at once for greater performance, as with normal SLI, the new approach dynamically switches between video hardware depending on the need. In casual use, the technology can run on basic integrated video to save power and reduce heat; games and other demanding tasks will automatically invoke a dedicated graphics card if present.
Super Talent on Tuesday introduced its MasterDrive MX series, a new set of solid-state drives that it hopes will make notebook flash storage more affordable without sacrificing speed. The new 2.5-inch line is built on less expensive multi-level cell (MLC) technology that packs more storage into a given space, reducing the cost; unlike most MLC storage, the company uses new technology that should be both longer-lasting and faster and compare more closely with single-level cell drives. Every model can read sequential data at the same 120MB per second as SLC storage and write at 40MB per second, outpacing many conventional hard drives.
Microsoft Auto software will find its way into Hyundai and Kia vehicles in North America, the South Korea-based automaker announced on Tuesday. The news came during Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates' trip to meet South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and will involve the two companies develop and integrate infotainment systems for the vehicles. The deal was two years in the making, and would result in a system similar to the one Microsoft developed for Ford, where it is dubbed Sync.
Gateway this morning revamped the core of its desktop line to take advantage of newer processors. The FX7026 and the higher-end FX541 series replace earlier models in Gateway's gaming line and all focus on quad-core as well as fast 3D. The base FX7026 starts off with a 2.5GHz Core 2 Quad, 4GB of RAM, and a factory-overclocked GeForce 8800 GT for video. It also includes Western Digital's new 640GB Caviar drive at its $1,100 price point. The FX541 series adds an SLI-capable mainboard with two GPU slots; a stock $1,200 model is similar to its lower-end sibling, while the FX541XT at the very high end includes an overclocked but unnamed CPU as well as dual GeForce 8800 GT cards and other features for $3,500.
HTC this morning at a London press event unveiled its anticipated Touch Diamond, the company's first major update to the core Touch model since its unveiling a year ago. The phone is the first to incorporate HTC's new TouchFLO 3D interface and uses it to access messaging, media, and other features without reverting to a stylus or the directional pad; common operations such as calling should be usable with just one finger, the company claims. To support the new interface, the Diamond uses Windows Mobile 6.1 and includes a 640x480, 2.8-inch touchscreen that offers four times the crispness of the original, 320x240 Touch.
Microsoft this morning gave the Zune its first true video service. The version 2.5 update to the Zune software now lets users buy TV shows from the Zune Marketplace and allows them to choose from over 800 episodes from various shows and TV networks, including former iTunes supporter NBC Universal. Shows are sorted not only by network but also by genre, allowing users to browse animation or dramas regardless of the provider. Each show is priced equally to shows from its Apple rival at 160 Microsoft points ($1.99 in the US) but doesn't qualify for the unlimited-access Zune Pass.
Vodafone today made the revelation that it will be an official carrier for the iPhone in ten countries around the world. The telecoms firm will offer the handset to Europeans in the Czech Republic, Italy, and Portugal; Greece, India, and Turkey will be covered by Vodafone in Asia, while Australia, Egypt, New Zealand, and South Africa will also be served by the company. Vodafone doesn't say when it will offer the iPhone other than later this year and avoids other details, including pricing.
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