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Amid the ongoing Yahoo financial drama, Edward Kozel, a member of Yahoo's board of directors, is stepping down from his position to spend more time with his family and the company has postponed its annual meeting until the end of July. MarketWatch reports that the news comes as billionaire Carl Icahn sets is sights on replacing Yahoo's board in a proxy war, and could be Kozel's way of dealing with not wanting to lose face in the eyes of other potential companies. Kozel announced he would be focusing on personal matters, including a move with his family to Europe in the summer.
Bell Canada is now shipping the LG Vantage - also known as LG Glimmer on the US carrier Alltel - offering Canadians their first glimpse of the touchscreen slider phone. The phone will feature EVDO connectivity and dual-band GSM, and sports a 2MP camera, Bluetooth, and a microSD card slot. The Vantage joins Bell's list of devices as competition to the LG Shine, which is currently in service with both Telus and Rogers Wireless.
Representing the latest effort to compete with iTunes in the burgeoning movie download space, CinemaNow is now offering a variety of paid content services through Windows Media Center. These include download-to-own movies, priced from $10 to $20; TV shows and music videos are priced at $2. The company claims that download-to-own movies are available day-and-date of retail DVD release, but doesn't mention the breadth of the upcoming library (right now there are about 3,400 feature-length movies in CinemaNow's collection). The service will also offer 24 hour movie rentals priced between $3 and $4. Select Pay-Per-View titles are available day-and-date of retail DVD release.
Just ahead of Memorial Day weekend (in the US), Pentax tonight released the Optio W60. Where other cameras need special shells underwater, the W60 is explicitly designed to be waterproof from the outset and includes watertight joints that extend to the lens: as the optics never protrude from the body, no room exists for water to seep in, the company boasts. The resulting adjustments lead to a camera that not only operates at up to 13 feet deep but is also dustproof and survives freezing temperatures as low as 14 Fahrenheit.
Iomega today unveiled its newest portable hard disk drive, the 250GB Brown Leather eGo Hi-Speed USB 2.0, aimed at fashion-conscious buyers. The drive combines a 2.5-inch disk that endows it with a 250GB storage capacity and a burnished brown leather body. Carrying the compact drive around is made easier thanks to its USB 2.0-powered connection; only one cable is needed to transfer files to and from computers.
Nokia today announced the newest update to its Nokia Maps 2.0 navigation software is now available for download. No longer in beta stages, the new Nokia Maps 2.0 include enhancements to its drive, walk and explore modes. The pedestrian navigation options, walk and discover, now feature multimedia city guides, satellite images and integrated compass support. The drive mode includes a subscription-based real-time traffic information update service and a choice of three views in the redesigned user interface.
Seiko Epson is making strides in its continued development of electronic paper, having unveiled a 13.4-inch (A4-size) prototype at SID 2008 on Wednesday, its biggest to date. The new e-paper nearly doubles the size and resolution of the company's last effort, unveiled last November, at 3104x4128 resolution, with 385ppi density. The company believes its latest represents the final stage in its efforts to replace traditional papers with electronic equivalents.
Microsoft is in for more bad news regarding its Zune personal music players, as GameStop on Thursday announced it decided to stop selling the flash-memory digital music player in its stores. The video-game retailer said lack of consumer demand and the device's ill fit with its existing offerings prompted the decision, which was made about a month ago. The retail chain is made up of hundreds of stores across the US, and will not order new stock, clearing out existing inventory exclusively on its web store.
Sprint today gave the Samsung Instinct its official ship date. The phone is now due to launch on June 20 and will represent Sprint's first attempt at a direct competitor to the iPhone, with a custom-designed interface that emphasizes media playback. Sprint also touts the device as its first non-business phone to support EVDO Rev. A Internet access and integrates GPS, on-demand voicemail, and access to Sprint's Internet video streaming services.
HTC is boosting its shipments for the Touch Diamond based on a sharp spike in the likely demand for the device, company chief Peter Chou has said at a Tokyo conference. The Taiwan-area phone creator now plans to increase shipments of the Windows Mobile phone from its earlier two million-unit forecast to about three million, or a full 50 percent higher than before. Where it took the original Touch 11 months to reach three million, the Diamond should only take the 7 months of June through December to reach that goal, according to Chou.
Griffin today unveiled the iTrip AutoPilot. The FM transmitter is the first from Griffin to support the iPhone, allowing it to plug in and work properly without interference and while supporting all the iTrip's features. For both the phone and all fourth-generation and later dockable iPods, the latest iTrip includes a distinguishing controller at the iTrip's connection to a car's 12-volt power port that lets users change volume, pause or skip tracks while stowing the Apple device in a safer location.
Dell's Alienware division has once again refreshed its top-of-the-line gaming PC, the Area-51 ALX. At the center is the option of a quad-core, 3.2GHz Core 2 Extreme processor, overclocked for even greater performance to 4GHz; to avoid corresponding overheating problems, Alienware has equipped all ALX computers with liquid cooling. Motherboards, meanwhile, can now be configured with up to 4GB of 1,600MHz Corsair DDR3 RAM.
Samsung is undergoing some dramatic changes in its corporate structure, the Wall Street Journal reports. Following the exposure of a massive corruption scandal, the company has appointed external relations chief Lee Yoon-Woo as its new CEO, replacing Yun Jong-Yong. It has also sent Jay Lee, the son of ex-chairman Kun-Hee Lee, outside the country to develop business in new markets, a move analysts say may be intended to groom him as a future CEO, following the resignation of himself and his father from their earlier positions. It may also see more Samsung goods sold in China, India and Russia.
European Union officials will be watching Microsoft's open format support to ensure the developer's move remains honest, the European Commission said on Thursday. The regulatory body says it will specifically monitor the newly added support for the universal Open Document Format (ODF) to determine if it delivers on Microsoft's promises of interoperability with other programs, many of which already support ODF but until now have been unable to send those files to users of Microsoft's software, forcing them to choose a more restrictive format such as Microsoft's DOC format for Word files.
Rogers Wireless today became the first North American carrier to pick up the HTC Shift, the company's first crossover ultra-mobile PC. The 7-inch touchscreen system is a close match to its reference design and is notable for carrying Windows Vista but behaving more like a smartphone, including access to "push" e-mail as well as a 3G cellular connection over HSPA that supplies high-speed Internet when not within range of Wi-Fi. A front camera provides video chats (though not on Rogers' VISION service) while a 40GB hard drive handles storage.
Sharp on Wednesday announced it will soon ship the thinnest auto-focus, 5-megapixel CMOS camera module ever made. Despite its ultra-small size, the camera features a signal-to-noise ratio that is 1.6 times greater than the best current model, which results in higher-quality images. At just over a quarter-inch thick, the module utilizes a flat-screen lens and high-density design for its auto-focusing CMOS sensor.
Samsung expects to refresh its ultra-mobile PC (UMPC) lineup by the start of next year, the company's chief research engineer Jeongseon Euh has said in an interview published today. The developer offers few details but expects both a design refresh and a performance upgrade to be ready sometime in early 2009. The update is close enough that it could come towards the very start of the year.
Sony executive Yoshito Shiraishi has revealed at the SID display expo that his company is confident enough in the development of OLED technology that it plans to make a major investment in the technology for the second half of this year. The TV producer will invest the equivalent of $210 million to help it produce larger OLED displays and expects medium-sized and larger versions of the ultra-thin screens to enter production in the same second-half 2008 timeframe. The company expects a larger-still range of OLED panels between 2009 and 2010, Shiraishi says.
Fujifilm on Thursday launched a pair of compact point-and-shoots, including one that promises more intelligent shot-taking. The 10-megapixel FinePix Z200fd is pitched as the first camera to include a timer based on its face detection feature: the Couple Timer and Group Timer features watch the number of identifiable faces in a scene and will refuse to take a photo until as many as four people are in the shot. The Couple Timer can additionally recognize the proximity of couples' faces and can be switched to take photos when the faces are at arm's length or as close as cheek-to-cheek.
Notebooks with a 16:9 movie aspect ratio will be introduced by several major PC makers this year and should become increasingly common by the end of the year in smaller systems, says a report detailing their reported expansion. Although Acer is currently the only PC maker selling notebooks in the ultra-wide format with its large Gemstone Blue 16- and 18.4-inch notebooks, both Acer and several other PC makers are all said to be introducing extra-wide notebooks based on newer and generally smaller screen sizes than for Acer's desktop replacement models.
HD Communications Corp has introduced a wireless network extender system that allows users to bridge a WiFi up to five miles. The $318 HD26200 system, which requires direct line of sight, is a complete outdoor wireless network bridge in the 802.11 b/g 2.4GHz band that uses two high performance Ubiquiti network radios with integrated 17dbi dual polarity antennas. The HD26200 bridge is powered over ethernet, allowing a single outdoor CAT5 cable to bring both data and power to the radios.
NVIDIA plans on refreshing its GPU line-up next month with two new graphics card that will feature its next-generation CUDA-enabled graphics core, codenamed D10U. The company is expected to deliver both the GeForce GTX 260 (D10U-20) and GeForce GTX 280 (D10U-30) on June 18th as part of its summer refresh, according to DailyTech. The report claims that the GTX 260 will be a "significantly" scaled down version of the GTX 280, which will enable all 240 unified stream processors designed into the processor. These second-generation unified shaders perform 50 percent better than the shaders than its previous-generation offering, the company claims in its documentation; however, the new NVIDIA cards will only support GDDR3 memory and DirectX 10, while AMD focuses on faster GDDR5-based cards due early this summer.
(Updated with accuracy challenge) A video from an alleged insider shows sample images from the as-of-yet unannounced Nikon D3H, which illustrate the overall scale of precision the camera could provide. With an advertised boosted ISO rating of 51,200 (25 to 12,800 native), it would indicate that Nikon is making great strides in reducing sensor noise. The video claims that the photographs were shot with a second generation prototype under various lighting conditions.
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