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Motorola is suing former executive Michael Fenger - currently vice president of Apple's global iPhone sales - for allegedly divulging corporate secrets to further the success of Apple's relatively new cellular platform, such as margins, operating strategies, marketing information, and customer initiatives, among other things. According to Bloomberg, Fenger formerly oversaw Motorola's mobile business as vice president in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Apple was not named in the suit.
Apple has quietly slipped a MobileMe preference pane into Windows Vista, and allegedly on some versions of XP, for users who have the latest version of iTunes installed on their computers. Blogger Steve Clayton notes that while exploring Vista's Control Panel, a MobileMe preference pane was found at the very bottom, even though he is not an existing MobileMe customer. Users who wish to use the latest versions of Nike+ gear or iPhone/iPod touch 2.0 are required to have iTunes 7.7.
Yamaha has launched the YDS-11SL iPod dock, which allows users to play the digital music stored on their iPods via their home theater system. The dock is made to connect to Yamaha's receivers as well as the company's YSP-3050 speaker bar, providing full control via the home theater electronics maker's remote. The iPod screen comes up on users' video displays via Yamaha's On-Screen Display visual interface.
Intel will go back to the old days of pricing its flagship chips at $999 apiece when ordered in bulk, thousand-piece quantities, says a Friday report that cites mainboard manufacturers as its sources. The move is believed to have been made in order to speed up the adoption of quad-core CPUs, and pertains specifically to the chipmaker's upcoming 3.2GHz Extreme-series desktop Nehalem processors nicknamed Bloomfield.
Radio Shack is experimenting with stores that will closely follow the designer look of Apple's locations, according to an investment note by Deutsche Bank analyst Mike Baker. While not describing the stores visually, the researcher says the electronics shop will try out three stores that mirror the "look and feel" of Apple's stores and will focus more closely on cellphones, carrying touchscreen devices from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. The stores would appear in non-mall, upscale locations.
The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and BusinessWeek magazine on Thursday announced the winners of the 2008 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA). IDSA has been recognizing design excellence in products from around the globe, including environmental frendliness, packaging, and strategy, among others, since 1980. This year, 17 categories were included, and designs from student took the most trophies ever, taking 16 percent of all the awards and 6 of the 35 gold prizes.
Shuttle has switched its attention back to AMD with the launch of one of its first small form factor barebones systems designed with AMD's Phenom processor in mind. The SN78H7 can handle at least some versions of the tri-core and quad-core AMD chips and comes with a 300W power supply to handle both the processor as well as peripherals attached to the system. The mainboard also comes with GeForce 8200 video built-in that can take on most of the workload for processing Blu-ray movies in home theater systems as well as providing enough 3D power for Vista Home Premium.
Research information from The NPD Group today confirmed the Wii as having surpassed the Xbox 360 for lifetime sales in North America. The motion-based Nintendo console sold about 666,100 units to North American in June and has now reached a total of 10.9 million units, just edging out Microsoft's Xbox with a lifetime total of 10.5 million. Nintendo has routinely fought to catch up with demand and is believed to have tipped the balance in June with Wii Fit and its matching Balance Board, which were available for their first full month.
T-Mobile has planned a number of changes to its service towards the end of 2008, according to unconfirmed reports. Among these is a second indication that the company will launch its 3G broadband network on October 1st, finally introducing competition for AT&T's HSPA network. It is rumored that on the same date T-Mobile will introduce its first Android phone, a 3G-ready HTC Dream. Android is an open-source platform that will be shared across phones from a number of companies.
NVIDIA today quietly published details for its two highest-end GeForce 9M series notebook graphics chips following leaks by PC makers. The 9800M line is now NVIDIA's flagship and is much closer to desktop-class graphics than the earlier 9600M; the top-end 9800M GTX has 112 effects processors that compares closely to the 128 of the desktop 9800, suiting it to desktop replacement portables and very compact desktops. It runs at 500MHz at its core with a 1.9GHz effective memory speed.
One of Yahoo's largest shareholders has declared its support for existing management, according to an announcement. Legg Mason Capital Management, which owns 60.7 million shares (4.4 percent) of Yahoo stock, has declared its intentions to vote in favor of Yahoo's current bosses at next month's critical shareholder meeting. "We believe the current Board acted with care and diligence when evaluating Microsoft's [acquisition] offers," reads a statement from Legg Mason chairman Bill Miller.
Sony Ericsson on Friday reported spring quarterly results that confirm a continued drop in the company's influence. The cellphone designer today said it has largely met its lowered predictions and shipped 24.4 million phones between April and June, or a two percent drop from the same season a year earlier. Net income for the company was also near-flat at the equivalent of $9.5 million, while the firm also warned that the average selling price for one of its phones dropped from approximately $198 to $184.
Panasonic is working on a wall-mounted surface computer with an enormous touchscreen. What the company aptly calls the Digital Wall is reportedly twice the size of a normal 110-inch display, and allows users to drag folders and windows across it. Unlike the similar Microsoft TouchWall currently under development, which is based on its Surface computing technology, the Digital Wall does not yet support multi-touch inputs, although Panasonic is said to be working on it.
AMD intends to make a serious push into the realm of ultra-low-cost notebooks, according to the company's new CEO. Only promoted to the role on Thursday, Dirk Meyer says that AMD intends to provide serious hardware competition in the realm of "netbooks," computers that typically cost less than $400, and embody UMPC traits such as small size and weight. Perhaps the best-known example is ASUS' Eee PC.
Google is reportedly placing a percentage of its AdWords ads on parked and error sites, which carries no benefit for paying consumers. This practice has landed the search engine giant in hot water, with a federal class action lawsuit filed on Thursday in a US District Court in San Jose, California. Lawyer and Google advertiser Hal Levitte noticed the practice back in 2007, then filed a complaint late last week claiming Google is unjustly enriching its promises. The lawsuit was filed by Kabateck Brown Kellner, and, if approved by the judge, could involve a large numbers of litigants who advertised with Google in the last four years.
Sony today established a final release date for its PlayTV tuner for the PlayStation 3. The add-on, once set for the end of June, is now set to launch on September 10th and is poised to gain additional functionality on its release: the shipping version will support recording TV shows even during gameplay. The device already supports dual DVB-T tuners and will capture one over-the-air digital channel while playing another live.
A rush in component orders hints at a major increase in Apple's notebook production during the summer, says the Taiwan-area newspaper Commercial Times. The company is reportedly ordering 20 percent more of the circuit boards it needs for notebooks than it has in the spring, pointing to an according increase in production for the MacBooks themselves. Four companies in Taiwan alone are seeing the benefit, the report claims.
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