News Archive for 08/05/08

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PSP Skype headset ships Stateside

05/08, 7:50pm

PSP Skype Headset in US

Resellers in the US today began stocking the PSP Headset Kit for Skype, the earpiece and remote combo designed to take advantage of the VoIP service on the handheld console. Sony's American release follows just days after the Japanese launch and mirrors its functionality, with both street-style earphones, an adjustable boom mic, and a remote control for managing volume without reaching for the PSP itself.

Microsoft completely withdraws proxy board

05/08, 6:25pm

Microsoft withdraws board

Microsoft has put the final nail in the coffin in terms of the Yahoo merger, as the proposed proxy board received notice from the software giant Thursday morning, dismissing any responsibilities the board would have had in the event of a hostile takeover. The Wall Street Journal writes that Microsoft's law firm Sullivan & Cromwell sent out the notice, indicating that company is firmly rooted in its decision to not make a hostile bid for Yahoo.

RIAA: DRM likely revived by subscriptions

05/08, 4:50pm

RIAA on DRM Revival

Regardless of the movement towards permanent unprotected downloads in online music, digital rights management (DRM) is likely to persist and may also thrive in the near future, the Recording Industry Association of America said today at a Los Angeles media conference. The music organization's technology head David Hughes observes that nearly all strategies for offering paid music still require some form of copy protection to enforce the license agreements, which are often dependent on set times or play counts.

MySpace effort to port data to Twitter, more

05/08, 4:05pm

MySpace Data Availability

MySpace today introduced a new initiative that will see its users' data shared outside of the social network. The Data Availability framework will let any member of the MySpace service opt in to share profile info, friend networks, photos and videos to sites that will support the approach on their networks: MySpace users will have the option of posting their biography and latest blog updates to their Twitter profiles, for example, or bring images to Photobucket. eBay and Yahoo will also allow portability, with Yahoo's new Open Strategy allowing users to automatically fill in a profile that is viewable across much of the site's network.

Sonoro exports Cubo radios to US

05/08, 3:50pm

Sonoro Cubo radios

German audio maker Sonoro says that it has begun exporting its Cubo line of luxury clock radios to the US. Aside from receiving AM/FM radio, the Cubos have a built-in CD player, and an auxiliary input for sources such as iPods and notebooks; output can in turn be redirected through a stereo output. Special features include wooden casing, 20 programming presets, and a 10-seconds-per-track intro option.

Virgin Mobile to buy Helio?

05/08, 3:30pm

Virgin Mobile Helio Rumor

SK Telecom may create a new, large carrier in the US by folding Virgin Mobile and Helio together, according to an alleged source for mocoNews. Earthlink's withdrawal from Helio is said to have pushed Helio's Korean parent, SK Telecom, towards a buyout of Helio's larger competitor Virgin Mobile to ensure it has a larger presence in the US. Such a takeover would give SK Telecom enough clout to merge both Helio and Virgin together.

Gear4 intros DUO convertible iPod dock

05/08, 2:50pm

Gear4 DUO

British gear maker Gear4 today unveiled the DUO iPod speaker dock. Its design is built uniquely to double both as a portable system and as a higher-quality bookshelf stereo. While normally a full 2.1-channel system with a 20-watt subwoofer, the front satellite panel (18 watts) detaches completely from the bass unit to operate independently as a thinner, portable speaker unit with swivel-out stand. Gear4 also does away with the typical reliance on disposable batteries in favor of a lithium-ion pack that recharges whenever the front is reattached. The iPod cradle itself also folds into the center for carrying in a bag.

Panasonic unveils all-in-one Blu-ray surround system

05/08, 2:45pm

Panasonic Blu-ray surround

Panasonic on Thursday unveiled its latest home-theatre-in-a-box, which features a built-in Blu-ray player. Gearlog writes that the SC-BT100 also features an iPod dock that allows users to play both video and audio content through to the system, while displaying menus on the TV screen, and the included remote can be used to control the iPod. Panasonic will ship the SC-BT100 in the spring for $1000.

Verizon ships Moto Q 9c

05/08, 2:30pm

Moto Q 9c at Verizon

Verizon has released a second phone today with the final launch of the Moto Q 9c. Like the version already making its way to Sprint and Telus, the 9c is more business-oriented than the Q 9m already in service at Verizon and uses the standard Windows Mobile 6 front end rather than a custom media layer. The switch gives the device DocumentsToGo for editing most Office documents on the road.

Microsoft offers phones as PCs for poor

05/08, 2:05pm

Microsoft Fone Plus

Microsoft today discussed some of the details of a project it estimates could help address a lack of computing in developing countries. A plan so far known as Fone+ would give users a basic or mid-range smartphone with a dock or similar connection to a TV, giving them a potentially higher-resolution screen and a more comfortable distance to use the device as a budget computer. Doing so not only provides a relatively low cost PC but also a cellphone at the same time; this gives even farmers a way to compute without taking away phones they often use, Microsoft says.

Movie studios join attack on Pirate Bay

05/08, 1:30pm

Film studios v. Pirate Bay

Movie studios are the latest group to launch a legal assault on Swedish BitTorrent site The Pirate Bay, filings indicate. The Motion Picture Association, an international extension of the MPAA, has filed a 93kr million ($15.4 million) lawsuit against Pirate Bay, which it accuses of hosting illegal torrent trackers for movies such as The Pink Panther and Syriana, as well as 13 episodes of the TV show Prison Break. Damages are said to amount to between 222 and 261kr ($37 and $43) per movie, and 415kr ($68) for each Prison Break episode.

Report: 65nm Xbox 360s expected in August

05/08, 12:50pm

65nm Xbox 360s in August

An improved Xbox 360 platform should arrive late this year, according to a Taiwanese publication. Industry news source CENS says that Microsoft has already begun contracting out the production of 65nm chips, which should form a part of the console's Jasper revision, said to be due in August. The timing is also said to be related to the depletion of chips for the current 360 design, dubbed Falcon. The Falcon's main processor uses 65nm technology, but most other components -- notably the graphics processor -- are built using 90nm manufacturing. A still superior design called the Valhalla is expected in fall of 2009.

Dell Inspirons leaked, promise slick design

05/08, 12:10pm

Dell Inspiron 1x35 Leak

Dell's next design change for its Inspiron lineup will involve a radical overhaul meant to lure customers from fashion-conscious brands, according to a leak published today by Engadget. The 14-inch Inspiron 1435, 15.4-inch 1535, and 17-inch 1735 will all take their visual cues from the tapered, more upscale XPS line and will be the first to have a unique, edge-to-edge LCD that eliminates the thick side bezels that often surround notebooks. The computers will also be the mainstream notebooks from Dell to use slot-load optical drives.

Sprint to launch Curve 8330 on Friday

05/08, 12:05pm

Sprint Curve 8330

Sprint is ready to deploy the BlackBerry Curve 8330 on Friday, May 9th, a flyer reveals, setting the no-contract price for the device at $600. BGR notes that the advertisement also reveals that the versatile handset is also available for $180, pending a two-year contract, $170 instant rebate, with a $100 mail-in rebate, discounting the unit by $420. The page also lists several accessories for the device, such as a swivel belt clip kit, headsets, and more.

MSI intros sub-$500 micro desktop, minus OS

05/08, 11:45am

MSI Titan

Offering its own take on low-cost desktops, MSI has released the Titan, its early answer to ASUS' E-DT system. At 9.4 by 7.3 inches, the system is larger than some of its planned rivals but also includes a 250GB hard drive in its frame; size is kept down by using a 2GHz Via C7-M mobile processor at the Titan's heart and by using a notebook-sized DVD burner and hard disk. These also keep it quiet and greener than full desktops, MSI says. The system is also software-indepedent: rather than ship with Linux or Windows, the Titan comes as-is for users comfortable installing their own choice of operating system.

T-Mobile US cracks 30m, mum on Sprint rumor

05/08, 11:00am

T-Mobile US Q1 Results

T-Mobile's US division today reported a milestone first quarter of 2008. The communications company says that its first results of the new year added 981,000 wireless subscribers to its overall pool, giving the company more than 30 million subscribers for the first time. Churn, or the number of customers lost during the period, was flat year-over-year and dropped slightly for customers on contracts from 1.9 percent in early 2007 to 1.7 percent in the same time span this year.

Verizon: Google trying to "change the rules"

05/08, 10:10am

Verizon follows rules

Verizon on Thursday responded to Google's filing, allegedly spinning the situation that Google - not Verizon - is trying to "change the rules" of the now-closed auction. The response comes to a filing with the FCC, where Google claims Verizon is not going to live up to the terms of a truly open network. It fears that, if left unchecked, open devices such as Google's Android platform would be deadlocked with Verizon, despite the open nature of the portion of the 700MHz spectrum Verizon won.

Vista sales "rapid" at 140m copies

05/08, 10:05am

Vista Sales at 140m

Microsoft chair Bill Gates today noted at a European news conference that sales of Windows Vista have reached 140 million copies worldwide. The update is the first since the company crossed the 100 million mark at the start of the new year, although Gates doesn't clarify when the company reached the newer threshold. This demonstrates that Vista continues to sell at a "very rapid" rate, according to the Microsoft co-founder.

Best Buy, Carphone Warehouse to join

05/08, 9:10am

Best Buy and Carphone WH

Best Buy and Carphone Warehouse on Thursday announced that they would create a new, jointly-run company to exploit each other's strengths. The total investment will equate to $4.2 billion and will see both the American electronics retailer and the British phone reseller take 50 percent stakes in the new venture, including both a financial stake as well as equal share in the 2,400 stores that make up the combined effort. Carphone Warehouse will continue to keep its landline businesses, while Best Buy will continue to own just under a three percent direct stake in its European counterpart.

Verizon takes new shot at iPhone with Glyde

05/08, 8:15am

Samsung Glyde at Verizon

Verizon this morning unveiled its anticipated release of the Samsung Glyde. The carrier's CDMA adaptation of the European, GSM-based F700 scales the camera down to 2 megapixels (with autofocus and flash) but otherwise aims at providing an iPhone-like experience while also mending some perceived gaps from its US rival; like the LG Voyager, the Glyde includes 3G Internet over EVDO, a full HTML browser and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Samsung, however, drops the digital over-the-air TV tuner in favor of built-in GPS navigation.

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