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One of the most prominent phone interface designers is now working for Palm for its next operating system, Engadget confirms in a hunt for new information. Matias Duarte, who designed much of the interface behind the Danger Sidekick and later moved on to Helio's custom interface, is now known through checks with sources and Palm itself to be a Senior Director in Palm's Human Interface and User Experience design group. The new executive quietly left his former post at Helio for the new position nearly two years ago in September 2007.
After hitting a steep wall of customer resistance, Telia Sweden is buckling to pressure and is offering an unlimited data plan for the iPhone, as well as allowing customers to choose between its existing voice plans. iLounge reveals that the company received an overwhelming amount of complaints after initially offering customers 100, 250, and 1000 minutes, SMS, and data on plans that ranged as high as 859 SEK per month, in addition to handsets costing as much as 3295 SEK.
At a press conference in Japan today, Willcom unveiled its new Willcom 9 handset, earning the distinction of being the company's first phone that integrates Internet and email applications accessible via dedicated shortcut buttons that jump to Google search and Gmail respectively. The flip-phone features a 2-inch, 320x240-pixel resolution LCD screen with 262K colors, and uses Willcom's proprietary W-SIM card.
Google on Wednesday revealed that users of selected BlackBerry Pearl phones can find businesses via Google Maps by speaking into them. The new feature is made possible thanks to the same speech recognition software Google uses in its phone-accessible GOOG-411 directory assistance service. The BlackBerry voice search is still in experimental stages, but Google promises it will fine-tune its software's speech recognition capabilities over time.
HP today became one of the first companies known to be shipping systems based on AMD's new Turion X2 Ultra processors and platform. The 14-inch Compaq 6535b and 15.4-inch Compaq 6735b are HP's flagships for workstations and pros and use the new architecture to support up to 8GB of DDR2 memory (with 64-bit operating systems) as well as give faster integrated graphics through the Mobility Radeon HD 3200.
Telus today made a surprise announcement that it will be the first North American provider to carry the Touch Diamond, HTC's new flagship touchscreen phone. The news jumps Telus ahead of expected announcements from Sprint and Verizon and makes the Canadian firm the first known to get the CDMA version of the Diamond, which should have advanced 3G access through EVDO Revision A while keeping nearly all other features.
NVIDIA will soon cut prices for its GeForce GTX cards despite releasing the hardware less than three weeks ago, the company confirmed today. Although unwilling to provide specific details, company spokesmen Bryan Del Rizzo and Ken Brown say the company is "adjusting the prices" for the GTX 260 and 280 downwards from their respective $400 and $650 markers and should be more affordable by next week. The costs will vary by card manufacturer, many of whom produce overclocked or otherwise non-reference versions.
Apple on Friday has quietly cut the price on the MacBook Air's solid-state drive by $500, bringing the price of the pre-built 1.8GHz model with the 64GB flash drive to $2,598 from its previous $3,098. The cut also sees Apple drop the price of adding the solid-state drive to a 1.6GHz model to $599 from its original $999 and reduces the price of adding the faster 1.8GHz processor to $200 from its previous $300.
Intel gained momentum in the first quarter of 2008, but rival AMD continued to increase marketshare year-over-year, figures from iSuppli show. Intel gained 1.2 percent to reach 79.7 percent of global microprocessor revenue in the first quarter, but was down 0.7 percent from the first quarter of 2007. AMD lost share in between Q4 2007 and Q1 2008, moving from 14.1 percent to 13 percent, but this was still a 2.2 percent increase from the Q1 2007 period.
The European Composer and Songwriter Alliance has come out against proposed changes to how online music royalties are collected, writes the Associated Press. The conflict stems from an ongoing investigation by the European Commission, aimed at addressing antitrust concerns relating to the lack of Europe-wide royalty schemes. The Commission notes that currently, national copyright agencies have effective monopolies in their respective regions; there is also a need to negotiate as many as 27 separate royalty schemes for an album, something which may be hampering the spread of European music.
Electronista has just received Dell's new Studio 15 notebook for testing, and it's clear from the outset that the system will be a decided step up from not just the Inspiron line but also the XPS M1530 reviewed just a few months ago while offering features and performance that simply haven't been an option for much of the gaming-oriented XPS system's lifespan.
Bell Canada today said it would be the first carrier outside of Sprint to carry the Samsung Instinct. The touchscreen cellphone will keep the same custom interface designed by the US carrier and will be Bell Canada's most direct answer to the iPhone 3G's appearance on Rogers with similar features. Bell's version of the phone should have the same EVDO Revision A-based 3G Internet access, true GPS, and full HTML web browser as the American model.
BenQ may shift much of its handheld business from cellphones to Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs), according to unofficial reports from within the company. The contacts claim that the launch of an Intel Atom-based MID in the summer (pictured) will signal the start a transition to where most every mobile device from BenQ will fulfill similar roles, which include basic web browsing and e-mail access as well as media playback and video conferencing. Cellphones will only be made as customers request them, according to the claims.
Hitachi expects to offer a hard disk with five terabytes of storage by 2010, the company tells Japan's Nikkei BP (registration required). While some recent developments are nearing one terabit per inch, Hitachi says its CPP-GMR (Current Perpendicular to the Plane Giant Magnetoresistance) technology has improved to where the company will push past 1TB per inch in two years and allow a 5TB, 3.5-inch desktop hard drive in two years.
Yahoo is still entertaining the prospect of a full deal with AOL even in the wake of ending talks with Microsoft, alleged sources tell the Wall Street Journal. Those claimed to be aware of negotiations say AOL's parent company Time Warner is still interested in handing AOL to Yahoo in exchange for a minority stake in the search engine company. The talks aren't said to be as in-depth as when Yahoo still faced the threat of a hostile Microsoft takeover.
AMD is preparing a dual-chip version of its Radeon HD 4870 card within a matter of weeks, say board designers. The 4870 X2 would be a direct sequel to the 3870 X2 and would once again graft two high-end graphics processors on to one card with a similarly doubled amount of memory; the 4870 edition would be the first home card to carry 2GB of total memory. Past cards have also been underclocked slightly from the single-chip version to avoid overheating.
PC maker ASUS on Thursday saw fit to introduce one of its first semi-ruggedized notebooks. The B51E's magnesium-alloy chassis is sturdy enough to survive potentially crushing pressures and is braced by rubber edges that both soften shocks and drops (up to almost 2.5 feet) and guard against dents; the keyboard itself is both spill-resistant on its own and includes a drainage path underneath to prevent liquids from seeping into core components. The system is one of ASUS' first to meet US military-grade standards for durability, the company says.
Only a few days after its D700 announcement (pictured at right), Nikon has released v2.0 firmware for its D3 digital SLR (Windows/Mac), bringing improved autofocus performance, improved Auto White Balance, and an issue that caused the battery indicator to blink, regardless of actual battery charge (which the company claims happened in "rare circumstances"). Nikon says that the firmware update incorporates a number of other fixes, including (1) allowing the aperture setting to be adjusted from the computer when shooting LiveView mode using Camera Control Pro 2 (ver. 2.2.0) or later with a PC-E lens. Other fixes include more "Vignette control" settings and fixes, more world-time options, new options for "Choose image area," and a new "Copyright information" item that has been added to the setup menu.
Microsoft is attempting to convince Australian users to use its Live search engine by offering products from industry competitor Apple as bait through a local venture with the Nine Network, Ninemsn. The Brisbane Times reveals that the software giant is offering the iPod nano, Shuffle, and Touch to users who perform searches through Ninemsn. Ninemsn head Alex Parsons said that it would have run the contest using the Zune, but the Microsoft-made player does not currently sell in Australia.
Just days after announcing Mac OS X-specific support, Linksys has announced its WRT610N Wi-Fi router, which offers wireless connectivity for 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11n devices on two separate spectrum bands simultaneously -- effectively doubling available wireless bandwidth. Designed so all types of wireless devices can achieve maximum bandwidth, the "Simultaneous Dual-N Band Wireless Router" is packaged in Linksys' new, low-profile glossy black housing and offers Draft N performance on both the 5GHz and 2.4GHz spectrums. Users can connect high-bandwidth 802.11n devices (such as video hubs, media extenders, etc.) to the higher-performance, 20-channel 5GHz band, which coincidently also has less interference from devices such as microwaves, other 802.11g networks, etc. The more crowded 2.4GHz band can be used to connect both devices that don't require as much bandwidth and older 802.11b devices.
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