News Archive for 08/05/20

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Microsoft pitches Zune-based ad service

05/21, 12:00am

Microsoft Zune ad service

Microsoft on Thursday revealed its plans for an advertising network built into its Zune media players, offering advertisers a direct line to consumers through the device. Yahoo writes that the company demonstrated the concept using a phony Doritos mockup. In the example, a user could befriend a musician through the Zune social page on a Doritos' sponsored concert to view news and updates on the artist's profile.

Nokia N95 8GB hands-on

05/20, 5:05pm

Nokia N95 8GB Hands-On

Although available for awhile in Europe and for a short span of time as an unlocked phone in North America, the Nokia N95 8GB is finally available officially from a carrier on the latter continent, courtesy of Rogers Wireless in Canada. Electronista has just received its review unit and is putting the smartphone through its first paces, but already has early opinions for those looking to buy the premium smartphone, whether on Rogers or not.

iRiver offers the D5 e-dictionary to the US

05/20, 4:20pm

iRiver D5 e-dictionary

iRiver is now selling its D5 pocket electronic dictionary in the US. The D5 Dicple will translate back and forth between Korean and English, as well as Korean to Japanese and Chinese. It also features a 3-inch, 480x272 resolution screen. Typing in text is accomplished via a 52-key QWERTY keyboard.

UK bill gives access to public phone, data logs

05/20, 4:00pm

UK looks to Comm Data Bill

A controversial bill may be passed in front of the UK legislature later on this year that would keep all text, e-mail, VoIP and phone messages as well as Internet history from cellular networks on file with the government for one year, alleges a report published on Tuesday. Unlike the current requirement outlined by the European Union, the bill would have cellular network providers surrender all information to the government, instead of keeping just phone and text logs themselves.

Art Lebedev plans new Optimus keyboard

05/20, 4:00pm

Optimus Popularis Keyboard

Art Lebedev Studio's namesake founder today provided first details of Optimus Popularis, a new model in the company's lineup of display keyboards. Presented only as a mockup so far, the Popularis is billed as a smaller alternative to the Maximus that will shrink the design by moving the programmable keys to the top and shrinking the overall size of the keys themselves.

Kensington video station supports MacBooks

05/20, 4:00pm

Kensington supports Mac

Kensington on Tuesday unveiled an update to its sd200v Notebook Docking Station with Video, announcing a new beta software which supports the various MacBook computers. The sd200v allows users to extend the machine's capabilities by offering an external VGA display connection, keyboard, mouse, or up to five USB device connections through a single USB port. The sd200v is available from Kensington for $140, while the updated beta driver is located on the company's website.

LG and Universal Display show flexible OLED display

05/20, 3:15pm

LG, Universal's new AMOLED

LG Display and Universal Display on Tuesday unveiled an updated prototype of a flexible AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode) display at the 2008 SID Conference. The companies' jointly developed prototypes feature brighter colors with better saturation and gamut, as well as a one-sided electrical connection that allows for more flexibility in the four-inch display.

Rural carriers grill FCC on cell exclusives [U]

05/20, 3:10pm

Rural Cellular Grills FCC

(Updated with official word) A coalition of extra-urban cellular service providers is today taking the Federal Communications Commission to task as early as today in an attempt to break incumbents' dominance of the cellphone industry, according to reports. The Rural Cellular Association is expected to petition the FCC to investigate the legality of carriers striking exclusive deals for the iPhone and other handsets that prevent any other carrier from offering a given phone over a certain period.

ESPN unveils Wi-Fi capable TV remote

05/20, 2:50pm

ESPN Ultimate Remote

Sports channel ESPN today hoped to capitalize on Father's Day with the launch of The Ultimate Remote. The controller is designed to keep up to date on sports without interrupting a show and builds in 802.11g Wi-Fi that lets it access ESPN's scores, fantasy leagues, and other components of the website directly from a 2.2-inch LCD and controls built into the controller itself. It also doubles as a programmable universal remote that both receives pre-made codes over Wi-Fi and can learn macros by hand.

SanDisk rolls out fast Mobile Ultra phone memory

05/20, 2:20pm

SanDisk Mobile Ultra Cards

Normally reserving the Ultra name for its larger camera-focused cards, SanDisk today launched its Mobile Ultra lines of memory cards. The microSDHC and Memory Stick Micro cards are built for high-speed transfers and are intended for media phones, SanDisk's own Sansa players, and nearly any handheld that depends on fast transfers to load up on music, GPS map data, and other large files. SanDisk doesn't list transfer speeds but claims that the maximum 8GB of storage is enough to hold 1,000 songs, 1,200 images, and 21 hours of cellphone-quality video at the same time.

OLPC 2 to use dual touch LCDs, ship in 2010

05/20, 1:45pm

OLPC 2 Early Details

The One Laptop Per Child project plans a radical revision of its notebook that will make it at least as advanced as other PCs, organization head Nicholas Negroponte has revealed today at the OLPC Global Country Workshop. Superficially resembling Nintendo's DS Lite, version 2.0 of the XO will use two touchscreens that adapt to a given context; the design will change keyboard sizes to accommodated older children and adults, and both screens can combine to form a single display used for games and other activities that involve two users at the same time.

NBC: Vista TV restrictions were accidental

05/20, 1:15pm

NBC on Vista TV recording

Recent interference with Vista Media Center recording was accidental, NBC says. TV viewers last week reported being unable to record episodes of American Gladiators and Medium, and instead receiving messages saying that DRM restrictions had been enabled. This triggered a number of of online complaints, including concerns that NBC was attempting to deter the use of DVRs, which allow people to skip unwanted advertising and other distractions.

Panasonic readies YouTube-, Picasa-ready plasmas

05/20, 12:35pm

Panasonic PZ850 plasmas

First announced in January, Panasonic's PZ850-series Viera plasmas have at last been given final details, prices and release dates. The sets are luxury models sized in 46, 50, 58 and 65-inch formats, and feature built-in Internet access, allowing users to view YouTube clips or Picasa photos without a separate player or interface. Support for more websites should be added automatically as Panasonic announces them.

Notebook hard drives face summer shortage?

05/20, 11:10am

Notebook HDD Shortage Soon

Computer makers could soon find themselves without enough supply of notebook hard drives to meet demand, according to reports from those inside the storage business in the Taiwan area. The spiking popularity of micro notebooks with 1.8-inch drives, such as the Eee PC 900, is said to be having a ripple effect on stocks larger 2.5-inch disks. As these major producers haven't increased their production to match, they may be unable to supply system builders with enough drives to meet typically high demand during the summer quarter, the reputed sources say.

3G iPhone at WWDC, near-immediate launch?

05/20, 10:25am

3G iPhone at WWDC

Apple will not only introduce a 3G-capable iPhone at the Worldwide Developer Conference on June 9th but will make it available almost immediately, according to a rumor circulating from Gizmodo. If accurate, the report confirms that phones may be available well ahead of anticipated schedules and launch in at least some countries right away. Some launches may be staggered; one report has Telefonica launching the phone in Spain through a flagship Madrid store on June 18th with wider availability on or near the same day. Other European launches may follow suit, says the new claim.

AT&T gives PC card users free Wi-Fi; phones soon

05/20, 10:00am

ATT PC Cards Free Wi-Fi

AT&T on Tuesday announced that it would provide free Wi-Fi to all users of its LaptopConnect service. The plan lets owners go online at any of 17,000 hotspots, including almost 7,000 Starbucks locations. Those who install AT&T's connection software for compatible cellular data cards also get an intelligent hotspot finder, the carrier says: the manager will automatically recognize any AT&T-backed Wi-Fi points and give users the option of switching to cut down on their cell network transfers.

Sony ships Rolly dancing MP3 player in the US

05/20, 9:30am

Sony Rolly in US stores

Sony's dancing portable MP3 player, the Rolly, is now available in Sony Style retail stores across the US, the company announced on Tuesday. As its name suggests, the portable MP3 player "dances" to music by spinning, rolling and flashing its lights. Music can be uploaded to the Rolly via a USB 2.0 connection or streamed through Bluetooth.

iRiver debuts touch-driven P10 player

05/20, 9:25am

iRiver P.ple P10

iRiver today expanded its media player lineup and launched the P.ple P10. The device is one of iRiver's rare touchscreen devices and uses its 4.3-inch, 800x480 display as both a home for photo and video playback as well as for editing. For entertainment, owners can watch Flash, MPEG 1/2/4, WMV, and XviD videos stored on the 33GB of free hard drive space as well as watch live digital TV broadcasts in Korea through an optional version with a DMB tuner. Workers can use a stylus to edit and navigate both Excel and Word files as well as PDFs and common e-books.

Microsoft 'deal' to break up Yahoo?

05/20, 8:40am

MS Yahoo May See Breakup

Microsoft's proposed new transaction with Yahoo is likely to involve a breakup of the latter company, say sources allegedly close to the Wall Street Journal. The claim would have Microsoft buy Yahoo's search ad business and also divest itself of its Asian interests; in return, Microsoft would make a minority investment in the smaller Yahoo that results from the deal. A reason isn't given for selling off the Eastern assets, represented by AliBaba, though the China-based company voiced opposition to Microsoft in part due to fears of a management takeover following the abortive attempt to buy Yahoo as a whole.

Logitech intros Bluetooth wireless speakers

05/20, 7:30am

Logitech Pure-Fi Mobile

Logitech today quietly rounded out its Pure-Fi speaker line with the Pure-Fi Mobile. The system is targeted chiefly at cellphone users and relies on its Bluetooth 2.0 to provide stereo audio pulled from any device that supports A2DP, including recent Macs and Windows PCs as well as most music-capable cellphones. Any cellphone with basic Bluetooth audio, including the iPhone, can also use the Pure-Fi as an ad hoc speakerphone thanks to a built-in microphone that cancels out unwanted noise.

Roku intros $100 Netflix rival to Apple TV

05/20, 7:05am

Roku Netflix Player

Roku on Tuesday is seeking to up-end the traditional approach to media hubs with the Netflix Player. The small, five-inch-square hub sheds the local storage common to many media hubs and is designed solely to hook into Netflix' Watch Instantly feature: customers of nearly all of the video rental company's subscription plans can stream an unlimited number of movies from the Internet while still receiving DVD movie rentals in the mail, including for movies that aren't yet available in streaming form. The company's existing business gives it more than 10,000 movies online, or roughly ten times the size of Apple's iTunes rental catalog.

Napster intros MP3 store with 6m songs

05/20, 6:25am

Napster MP3 Store

Napster today launched what it says is the world's largest MP3-based music store. Effectively turning away from its reliance on protected Windows Media files, the company is offering about 6 million unguarded MP3 songs through a web-based store accessible from any computer and playable through virtually any device -- including the iPhone and iPod, Napster is keen to note. Users with iTunes can auto-sync their Napster downloads to the jukebox software. Prices for tracks remain unchanged at 99 cents each, with most full albums selling for $10.

Sprint to impose 5GB limit on data cards, PAM

05/20, 12:10am

Sprint 5GB data limit

A Sprint employee has allegedly posted an internal memo on SprintUsers citing that the telecommunications giant is imposing a 5GB bandwidth limit on transfer, or 300MB per month in off-network roaming. According to the employee, the limits would see service on July 13th, and would apply to both PAM and data card plans. The note seems to indicate that Vision and PowerVision packages would still retain their respective limits, unsusceptible to the 5GB limit.

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