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Super Talent Technology says its PICO-C Gold 8GB USB flash drive is the "world's smallest," comes in a 24-carat gold shell and is water resistant to boot. The tiny drive is smaller than a standard SD card and weighs less than a nickel. The device ships with a gold chain, and "looks more like a fashion accessory than a high performance flash drive," the company said.
Worldwide computer sales grew 16 percent year-over-year in the second quarter, despite serious economic crises in the US and elsewhere, says Gartner. The research group comments that while the ASP (average selling price) of computers has been going down, which may eventually result in more corporate takeovers, people are nevertheless fueling market growth through increased notebook purchases. HP is presently dominating overall sales with an 18.1 percent marketshare, but is being hounded by Dell's 15.6 percent, driven by its second quarter in a row of 40+ percent year-over-year notebook growth.
Aircell, which will offer Wi-Fi access on airplanes while in flight via its Gogo service, today announced it would base its second generation of the service on the 4G Long Term Evolution data network. When the service goes live later on this year, it will use CDMA EVDO Rev A for data transfer during flights, topping out at more than 12 Mbps. By the end of 2009, Aircell plans to up that number to 22.7 Mbps with advances in its current technology. When the company incorporates the 4G LTE network in 2011, throughput speeds will jump to 300 Mbps, Aircell promises.
A new type of flash memory is being developed, according to today's reports, which not only takes up less space and uses less electricity than the current flash memory technology, but also lasts much longer as well. The ferroelectric chips under development by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology as well as the University of Tokyo will outlive current flash memory by a factor of about 10,000. Today's flash memory chips have a life of about 10 years, and can be re-written only an average of 10,000 times.
eMusic will try to improve its standing against iTunes and fellow web-based store Amazon MP3 soon by adding a social component to the music, the music service's chief David Pakman tells Fortune. Taking advantage of the need to buy music through the web portal, eMusic hopes to draw in buyers by providing deeper and constantly changing artist info through Web 2.0 sites. Musicians will frequently have Wikipedia pages for their biographies as well as relevant Flickr photo albums and YouTube videos.
Meizu's long-delayed M8 (MiniOne) touchscreen phone may be ready next month, according to posts by company chief J. Wong. The Chinese firm plans to release more images and details of the phone in August and hints that it may launch a basic version with 128MB of memory and an unspecified amount of permanent memory the same month. A second version, with 256MB of memory and 8GB of flash storage, would ship in October for a price equal to $320.
Panasonic on Tuesday became the next notebook maker to update its line for Intel's Centrino 2 platform with two new Toughbook models. The semi-rugged, 15.4-inch Toughbook 52 and its matching 13.3-inch Toughbook 74 both get the faster processors, 1,066MHz bus speeds, and faster Intel graphics of Centrino 2 as well as a boost to 802.11n Wi-Fi and 160GB of storage.
AOL's parent company Time Warner is more aggressively shopping the firm around to both Microsoft and Yahoo, says a source for Reuters. The negotiations appear to play Microsoft against its buyout target Yahoo and would vary the deal significantly depending on the company, either of which would potentially tip the balance in its favor with an agreement.
The European Commission has ordered music copyright organizations to allow pan-European licensing schemes, says the Associated Press. At present, companies looking to sell music throughout Europe must negotiate agreements with 24 separate collecting societies, scattered throughout the European Union. While this may protect national industries and culture, the Commission has ruled that it also breaks antitrust regulations, giving the societies monopolies in their respective homelands.
Ericsson and the Italian division of cell carrier 3 today said they have successfully tested the world's first 3G network based on enhanced High Speed Packet Access (HSPA). The trial of the new service gives uploads to the network at up to 5.8 megabits per second in peak conditions and is faster even than downloads on most existing services, which in ideal conditions would offer 3.6 megabits. The new technology also cuts back dramatically on the lag that hurts video calls, multiplayer games, and other time-sensitive features.
iRiver this morning made official its US release of the Lplayer. The portable media device is one of the company's smallest and manages to fit a two-inch LCD by using the same D-click control system as the Clix, which uses taps on the edges to navigate menus. It also promises broader format support than most players with FLAC and OGG audio as well as XviD video joining more typical MP3, WAV, WMA, MPG, and WMV support.
NVIDIA on Wednesday denied rumors that the majority of its GeForce 8M mobile graphics chips are flawed. The video hardware maker contradicts the earlier reports that all G84 and G86 video chipsets are more likely to fail and tells Ars Technica that only a subset of its graphics processing units (GPUs) are at increased risk, with just a "very small percentage" of that group likely to die early. When that happens depends entirely on the specific notebook and is more likely to happen with systems running intensive tasks or in warm climates, the company says.
Amazon's next edition of the Kindle could arrive as early as this fall, says a purported insider. Speaking to CrunchGear, the tipster contradicts Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' claims that there would be no update soon and instead says Amazon will take an approach like that taken by Apple with the iPod mini: the new core model will be smaller but with the same functionality as the earlier version and will ship in multiple colors, with goals being equally to reduce the price as well as to appeal to a younger audience.
Acer today announced its Aspire one ultraportable notebook has shipped to the US market. Meant to compete with ASUS' Eee PC, the Aspire one uses Intel's 1.6GHz Atom CPU in all of its variations, along with an 8.9-inch, 1024x600 (WSVGA) display with integrated webcam and Intel's Media Accelerator 950 graphics. While information and specs on the basic system were already known, Acer has revealed two other variations of its first mini laptop.
The European Commission is planning to file yet more antitrust charges against Intel for its alleged monopolistic behavior, the Wall Street Journal now says (registration required). The extra accusations would specifically focus on claims that Intel provided financial incentives to larger European resellers if they would drop any sales of AMD-based systems, all but pushing the smaller chipmaker out of the markets for most home computers and low-cost servers.
The iPhone 3G stands to deeply undermine leading smartphone maker Research in Motion, argue analysts with Needham & Co.. The firm contends that while RIM is firmly established in the enterprise world, and it has made dramatic gains in the consumer world with phones like the BlackBerry Pearl, this success has not been due to impressive new offerings so much as a lack of any substantial competition, including even the original iPhone. All this has changed with the 3G, says Needham.
The BlackBerry Thunder is now considered Research in Motion's top priority, if a claim sent to BGR proves true. The Canadian company is said to be putting even the imminent BlackBerry Bold lower on its priority list to ensure that the touchscreen Thunder is ready for a "huge" US marketing effort starting in September, with a release for the exclusive carrier Verizon in mid-October.
Samsung this morning formalized the launch of its new camera series with several US announcements. Following some earlier world introductions, the company now says the NV100HD will be released stateside as the TL34HD. The camera (pictured) is one of the sharpest point-and-shoots ever with a 14.7-megapixel sensor; it also shoots at up to an unusually high ISO 3,200 light sensitivity with the option of boosting to ISO 4,800 by dropping resolution to three megapixels.
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