AMD on Wednesday announced details on utilizing new GDDR5 memory in upcoming next generation ATI Radeon graphics cards. Graphics Double Data Rate version 5 is expected to become the new industry standard, the company says, as it provides up to four times the data speed rates of GDDR4 memory.
Microsoft today broke from its tradition of primarily endorsing in-house formats by revealing that it will add support to Office for a number of universal standards outside of its own. Office 2007 Service Pack 2 will support the Open Document Format (ODF) touted by OpenOffice, Sun's StarOffice, and other third-party tools as well as similarly universal document types such as PDF 1.5 and PDF/A. The upgrade will let users both open and create files in the formats without requiring either a plugin or an outside utility to convert the formats.
Sony today gave the PSP a seasonal update with the introduction of the Madden NFL 09 PSP Entertainment Pack. The special-run version of the handheld console gives the PSP a metallic blue tint and ships the system with enough to get the user started on the game: in addition to the new Madden sequel, the Sony bundle comes with a 1GB Memory Stick to save games and an UMD video disc of the NFL's In One Play. A coupon also comes in the box good for a download of the game Beats that can be sideloaded to the PSP from a host PC.
Flip Video may not have officially revealed any new products yet, but a new simple video camcorder from the company has been spotted on Wednesday in a B&H print catalog. While not much is known about the new camera, its $180 retail price suggests it will be the company's flagship offering, and will be available in black or white.
Americans browse the web on their cellphones almost twice as often as their British counterparts even without the help of web-friendly devices like the iPhone, according to a new study by M:Metrics. Despite the reputation of Europeans as more openly embracing smartphones, Americans in March were known to spend an average of four hours and 38 minutes per month on websites using their phones versus almost exactly two and a half hours for British users. The difference is largely attributed to the prevalence of flat-rate data plans in the US, which give customers either a block of data or unlimited access instead of the metering that more often exists in Europe.
Microsoft today announced Live Search cashback, an online search program that rewards users with ad-funded cash rebates when they search for and purchase products from partnering online stores. Users will be able to collect their savings, accumulated by making purchases found via the new site. They will need to set up an account, and can cash out when the account reaches a minimum of $5.
AT&T will expand its phone insurance to include nearly every device it offers except for the iPhone, a leaked memo obtained by BGR says. An update reportedly scheduled for June 2nd will see the provider expand its coverage to include high-end devices and limit the deductible based on the value of the device; users of most devices will be liable to pay no more than $50 out of a claim, while owners of more expensive phones will at most pay $125.
Logitech has announced a new mouse for notebooks, the V450 Nano. The mouse uses a laser sensor to achieve greater precision than optical mice, and like other Nanos operates wirelessly, using a tiny 2.4GHz receiver that plugs into a notebook's USB 2.0 port. This receiver can also be stored inside the mouse, in order to prevent it from being knocked out of a notebook during travel. Controls include left and right buttons plus a scrollwheel.
Canon is working on its own answer to Nikon's low-end D40 cameras, a publication claims. PHOTO says it has obtained data on the "EOS-1000D" (not pictured), a model which would represent a new, cheaper entry point for Canon's DSLRs, and combine technology from its two most recent low-end models, the EOS-400D and 450D. The publication notes that it would further resurrect a designation used for old EOS film cameras, much as with the 1D and 300D. Nikon's D40 cameras were created for amateurs just entering serious hobby photography.
In addition to the 800w, Palm is designing a thinner, sleeker Treo for GSM networks, BGR confirms through a leak. The Treo 850 is likely to replace the 750 but should be thinner at roughly the same depth as a BlackBerry 8800 and will move the phone's design upscale with a chromed directional pad and an overall look that more closely reflects a new style introduced with the Centro.
AT&T will have a complete HSPA-based 3G cellular network by the end of June, the company has announced on Wednesday. The carrier plans to have added the faster, more upload-driven HSUPA component of the spec to six of its remaining 3G markets by the end of next month, giving those areas DSL-like access speeds over wireless: users can anticipate real-world speeds of as much as 1.4Mbps downstream and between 500Kbps to 800Kbps for uploads, AT&T claims.
Fashion house Christian Dior is today unveiling a new phone it says will help lift the company's profile. The Dior phone takes a different approach than the LG Prada or Samsung's P520 Armani and opts for flip design with both a keypad and a touchscreen. Additionally, the new phone includes a miniature handset known as the My Dior: the device is small enough to clip to a bag but pairs with the main phone to handle most call functions by itself.
Western Digital has introduced a new line of portable hard drives for Macs, the My Passport Studios. The drives are specifically journaled and HFS+-formatted for Macs, and are compatible with Apple's Time Machine utility in Mac OS X Leopard; they are likewise equipped with a FireWire 400 port, in addition to a more standard USB 2.0 connection. A rounded silver case is intended to blend in with other Mac hardware.
Acer this morning is boosting its previously low-key gaming efforts through the Aspire Predator, a new line of high-end gaming desktops. Every system comes with a uniquely angular case that provides a lifting front cover to shield the PC's front as well as similarly dramatic side doors for case expansion. Past the shell, the front also hides game-friendly expansion, including front-mounted ports and a multi-bay hard drive cage that lets users add or replace disks without having to open the computer itself.
Microsoft on Wednesday lost a lawsuit it had filed against Alcatel-Lucent over patents relating to telephone-to-Internet technologies. The US-based International Trade Commission has absolved Alcatel-Lucent of claims that it had infringed four patents for the bridging technology, further reversing an initial decision that had found the company culpable of infringing on at least one patent.
The Federal Communications Commission is exploring a deal that would cap early termination fees (ETFs) on cellphone contracts in exchange for leniency in ongoing lawsuits, according to information gleaned from alleged sources by the AP. FCC officials are reportedly discussing rules suggested by Verizon which would require that carriers pro-rate their ETFs based on the length of a customer's stay with the service, preventing charges that can run up to a typical $175 even if a customer leaves a service one month before the end of a given contract.
T-Mobile USA today said it would carry the Nokia 5310 XpressMusic. The candybar phone gives the American carrier a mid-range media phone with a 2-megapixel camera, dedicated music controls along the side of the display, and a full headphone jack for listening either to AAC/MP3/WMA songs stored on the phone or else to FM radio. The T-Mobile edition comes with a 1GB microSD card preloaded with a pair of songs and music videos, and comes with trim in any one of three colors, including Nokia's stock red as well as unique orange and purple hues.
Every MacBook released in 2009 will use an LED backlight, says the Taiwan-area newspaper Economic Daily News. Backlight manufacturer Kenmos Technology was Apple's chief supplier of the more color-accurate, efficient screen hardware for 2007 and is expected to have an even more dominant role next year as Apple switches its consumer models to LED lights. Kenmos is said to be shipping as many as five times more LEDs this year, at 1.5 million, though it's not known what number of these are destined for Apple or other customers.
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.
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