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With the highly anticipated 3G iPhone release expected next month, a test from ComputerWorld shows AT&T's 3G data network is faster than Sprint's and Verizon's. The magazine test, published on Tuesday, summarized the 3G data networks from each cellular network provider that currently offers the high-speed data service in the US, which can be up to three times faster than the EDGE network. The author used a Lenovo ThinkPad X300 and outfitted it with a cellular data network cards from AT&T (LaptopConnect), Sprint (Mobile Broadband) and Verizon (BroadBandAccess). Each was timed for establishing a connection, peak and average download speeds, average upload speeds, the time required to load each vendor's web page and the effect each had on the X300's battery life. All testing took place in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Unfortunately, T-Mobile's 3G network could not yet be included in the test.
Microsoft may be readying a new slimmer version of its popular Xbox 360 gaming console. According to a report, Microsoft is bringing a skinnier, faster and less-costly Xbox 360 to market by the fall of 2009. In its quest to make the console quieter, cooler and faster, Microsoft has already begun updating its components, with an interim update due by this August. If true, the thorough redesign would likely involve an "all-in-one" Valhalla chip and manufacturing of the necessary components would begin early next year, the report said. The updated machine would not only be slimmer, but may be also re-branded with a newer, unique name.
On Monday, Swedish designer and manufacturer of digital media accessories, Jays, announced the release of its m-Jays Music Adapter to allow its earphone range to be used with Apple's iPhone. The 3.5mm mini-plug is skinny enough to allow connection to the iPhone's recessed headphone port at one end, and any standard set of headphones with a similar jack on the other. Both are gold-plated.
Activist investor Carl Icahn may use his clout to instigate a proxy battle that pushes Yahoo towards accepting a Microsoft takeover, CNBC says. Those talking to Icahn allegedly say he will push for the nomination of three or four candidates to Yahoo's board of directors that would favor a Microsoft buyout, giving just enough influence on the ten-person board to have it vote in favor of the acquisition that it has resisted in the past. Dissatisfaction with Yahoo's rejection of Microsoft offers could make this simple, the sources explain.
Despite its reputation as a web-focused device, the iPhone is still clearly in the minority on the web, according to a tracking study by advertising startup AdMob. Using April ad requests as a means of gauging phone web use, the company finds that the iPhone accounted for just 1.1 percent of cellphone traffic in the US and 0.8 percent worldwide. Both results are dominated by Motorola and Research in Motion phones, with the four-year-old RAZR V3 leading the ranks at 5.3 percent worldwide and 9.1 in its home country; the BlackBerry Pearl (2.6 percent and 5.1 percent) and BlackBerry Curve (1.5 percent and 2.9 percent) were fourth and fifth, the study notes.
LG on Tuesday announced its LG-HB620T flip phone, which is capable of delivering streaming TV to users thanks to its Digital Video Broadcasting - Handheld (DVB-H) support. Thus far, only select countries in the European Union widely stream DVB-H content, which has become the European mobile TV standard.
MSI today has firmed up specs for its Wind mini-notebook, including its launch timeframe. The 10-inch system will closely follow ASUS' practices with the Eee PC and ship in both a low-cost Linux version (based on Novell's distribution) as well as a more expensive Windows XP edition. The basic Wind will ship with just 512MB of RAM and a three-cell battery good for 2.5 hours of battery life; in exchange for the higher price and demands of the Windows portable, the premium model will come with 1GB of RAM, Bluetooth, and a six-cell battery that runs for 5.5 hours.
Sony on mid-Tuesday launched a spring update to its Xplod CD head-end units. Both the high-end GT920U and its lower-cost GT620U alternative are designed as much for purely digital media in mind and include both a USB port at the front and a navigation interface dubbed Quick BrowZer. The new interface lets users quickly browse unprotected AAC, MP3, and WMA songs by playlists rather than a raw file view. The two decks also recognize these same formats burned to CDs, Sony adds.
Texas Instruments' DLP Products announced on Tuesday it produced the first Wide UXGA DLP chip for data projectors. The chip offers a 1920 by 1200 pixel resolution, resulting in a 16:10 aspect ratio. Norway-based Projectiondesign will be the first to utilize the WUXGA chip in its Professional-series F10 line and flagship F30 range, either of which is capable of 1080p (1920 x 1080) resolution, among others. The DLP chip, called .95, allows two full pages of text to be viewed side-by-side and matches the native resolution of many normal computer displays.
Swedish telecom company Ericsson is collaborating with Dell, in a bid to put HSPA modems into the latter's notebooks, the companies have announced. HSPA is one of the most widely-used forms of 3G cellular broadband, and typically supports download speeds of up to 3.6 or 7.2Mbps; in the United States, AT&T runs a national 3.6Mbps network, and T-Mobile is expected to offer a rival service of some sort later this year. In buying a notebook with HSPA built in, users can connect to the Internet without using Wi-Fi or an add-on external modem.
The creator of the BlackBerry, Research in Motion, has announced plans for its first-ever BlackBerry Developer Conference, scheduled for two-and-a-half days in Santa Clara, California, beginning on October 20th. The event will have a variety of sessions, discussions, workshops and exhibits, and is meant to encourage the development of both native and web-based applications for RIM phones. Topics will include Java, AJAX, streaming video and many other technologies.
The first Mobile Internet Device based on Intel's new Atom architecture has been put up for pre-order today and reveals the feature set of the device itself and others to come. A listing by electronics shop Tegatech Australia reveals that the GigaByte M528 will be based on Intel's base 800MHz Atom chip and is being targeted at mobile data users: the QWERTY keyboard slider design will have both Wi-Fi and a 3G cellular module, and will have similarly have both back and front video cameras for snapping photos and making video calls.
Canon on Tuesday refreshed its photo printers with two additions to the SELPHY line. Just recently launched in Europe, the CP770 is designed to look accessible with a basket-like shape and a handle for owners to tote the printer around and make prints on vacations. A battery pack is available to run the printer for "hours," Canon says. The printer itself builds in a 2.5-inch preview LCD and outputs 300DPI, 4-by-6 inch prints in 52 seconds.
The first early details have surfaced regarding Research in Motion's first touchscreen device and position it as a direct answer to the iPhone, according to a rumor launched by BGR. Tentatively labeled as the BlackBerry Thunder for the public and the 9500 with its model number, the device bucks earlier expectations by dropping any signs of a physical keyboard in place of an almost entirely touch-driven interface. Only the call, answer, BlackBerry, and escape keys survive the transition, according to the claim.
Microsoft on Tuesday upgraded its LifeCams with the VX-5000. An unusual approach to webcams, the new add-on is unique in its use of a bendable stand; users can curve the stand to sit the camera on a desk or straighten out to varying degrees to clip to the back of different surfaces, including desktop LCDs and notebook lids. Although capped at 640x480 resolution, the camera supports panning, zooming, and tilting as well as simulated 1.3-megapixel still photos through interpolation.
Microsoft today kicked off the public beta of WorldWide Telescope, a downloadable app built for browsing the viewable universe. The software uses an Internet database to provide high-detail images of nebulas and other astronomical objects without requiring a large download; a unique approach stitches together images to create a seemingly unified view that uses terabytes' worth of data. The system is also unique in providing the views from specific telescopes, such as the Hubble Space Telescope, and allowing users to switch between viewing X-rays and observable light.
Creative today took a cue from the unusually successful Flip camera and launched the Vado. The company promises an improvement on the concept of an ultra-simple, YouTube-oriented video recorder with a design it says is both thinner and lighter than its rival and gives the camera 2GB of built-in flash memory. This gives the Vado up to two hours of recording time at its native 640x480 resolution, Creative says. Built-in software can help streamline uploads either to YouTube or Photobucket, though the use of MPEG-4 allows common video editing software to edit captured footage.
Olympus early this morning updated its E-series cameras with the E-520. Replacing the E-510, the new 10-megapixel digital SLR mirrors changes brought to the earlier E-420 with a larger 2.7-inch LCD and a much more advanced live preview feature: photographers can not only use autofocusing but also see the effects of changes to exposure and white balance before taking the shot. The camera also shoots faster, at up to 3.5 frames per second, and includes both face detection and shadow compensation to bring out detail in darker areas.
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