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Art Lebedev Studios on Tuesday unveiled a new addition to its custom-faced keyboards, the Optimus Pultius, offering users 15 user-programmable, LCD-laden keys to sit beside their keyboard. The Optimus products have made waves in the industry due to their customizable LCD screens, making them ideal for Final Cut Studio or gamers who require quick access to hotkey functions. Lebadev did not mention pricing, but noted it would see release late this year or early next.
CherryPal on Monday announced it will soon begin shipping its cloud PC, the CherryPal Desktop. The paperback-book sized box has just 256MB of DDR2 memory and a 4GB flash drive, and runs on Freescale's MPC5121e mobileGT processor, good for 400MHz. Included in the purchase price of the CherryPal is 50GB of Internet storage, all managed and protected by CherryPal staff. Accessing the web is via the PC's Ethernet jack or 802.11b/g Wi-Fi.
Acer today announced the release of its Veriton S461 desktop PC aimed at business users. The PC can be had with a choice of Intel processors, including the 3.0GHz Core 2 Duo E8400 or a 2.2GHz Pentium Dual-Core E2200 in the base model. All models get at least 2GB of DDR2 memory, which is expandable to 8GB via three more 2GB memory slots. Graphics performance is handled by the integrated Intel GMA X3100.
MOTU on Monday announced the release of its UltraLite-mk3 portable digital audio mixer and processor, which is powered and interfaces with computers entirely via a FireWire connection. The third generation of the company's UltraLite is now able to apply DSP effects and be used as a standalone mixer without a computer. The half-rack sized mixer offers 10 inputs and 14 outputs, the signals of which are processed via a 192kHz analog I/O and 32-bit floating point DSP.
Shuttle has switched its attention back to Intel-based barebones systems from AMD with the launch today of the SX48P2 Deluxe. This new version is built chiefly for gamers and is the first from Shuttle to support DDR3 memory. The change not only gives modern Core 2 Duo, Quad, and Extreme processors more memory headroom but also allows as much as 8GB of memory (with a 64-bit operating system) at the full 1.6GHz bus speed despite the small form factor case.
The deals Research in Motion is willing to make will help keep the BlackBerry out of harm's way and prevent it from clashing with the iPhone, says RBC analyst Mike Abramsky. The researcher dismisses Needham Research claims that the iPhone 3G is a direct threat to the BlackBerry and points out that Apple has artificially limited its deals in some countries, particularly in the US; while the iPhone is available only through AT&T, BlackBerries are available through both AT&T and T-Mobile and are also available through 13 other carriers in CDMA versions.
Lexmark on Monday geared up for the return to work by launching three new printer models each for the Home & Student and Small Office Pro series. For home users, the X4950 (pictured) serves as the flagship with built-in 802.11g Wi-Fi to share the printer over the local network; it also has a 2.4-inch OLED display for menus and previews, copies and scans at a native 4800x1200 resolution, and outputs pages at either 30 per minute in monochrome or 27 in full color. It will sell for $150 and ship along with the other printers in September.
Samsung announced on Monday changes to two of its smartphones, the BlackJack II for AT&T and SCH-i760 for Verizon. The former is now available in blue and pink while its price with new contracts has dropped. The i760 in the meantime gets a software update that includes Windows Mobile 6.1. The new OS brings with it threaded SMS, Domain Enrollment for office servers and an updated Vista 32-bit look that includes a more advanced home screen.
UK carrier O2 has disabled a web-based system for viewing MMS messages without an MMS-capable phone, according to a company spokesman. The move follows allegations that photos, messages and even phone numbers have leaked to the web through Google indexing, putting the privacy of its customers at risk. A person claiming to be a victim of the O2 technology says she is now receiving unwanted text messages.
Toshiba Matsushita Display is about to mass-produce OLED screens that could be used for a wide range of portable devices, according to a report from Japan's Nikkei BP. The joint venture between Toshiba and Matsushita (Panasonic) is claimed to be producing as many as one million 2.5-inch organic screens per month starting from Autumn of 2009 and would be the first Japanese company to do so.
Panasonic this morning got an early start to the run-up for the Photokina expo with a full range of new cameras. The Lumix FZ28 is close in capabilities to the earlier FZ18 with an 18X zoom factor but now shoots with a slightly wider-angled 27mm (previously 28mm) lens that lets it put more of a very long subject in the frame. It also adds a new autofocus tracking mode that keeps a subject in focus even in fast movement, ensuring that either basic focusing or face detection works properly without mastering shutter speeds and ISO settings.
Normally making just PCs and their displays, LG today expanded into external hard drives through the XD1. The notebook-sized disks are designed to be stylish with a unique, gradiated color scheme in black or red that mirrors the look of the company's Scarlet HDTVs. All the hard drives are completely bus-powered but are still thin enough to slip into bags or to an optional leather case.
Qik today said its live video streaming service has now entered a public beta and will let anyone sign up. The service allows users of supporting mobile phones to broadcast content directly from a 3G or Wi-Fi link either to the Qik website or to new places added with the public launch, including an embeddable player for any page or a Facebook app built into a user's profile. The new version also has lower lead times and has just 0.5 to three seconds' lead time, allowing show hosts a near-live connection that isn't always possible with other services.
Verizon this morning quietly introduced the Motorola Adventure V750, the carrier's first-ever phone based on Motorola's push-to-talk network. The handset uses EVDO Revision A-based cellular data to provide the same kind of instant talk as Sprint's iDEN service (which moves to the similar QChat format) but with the theoretically improved quality of the 3G network. The clamshell design is also ruggedized with US military-grade protection against dust, drops and other shocks, temperature, and water splashes.
Yahoo today said it has landed a deal with activist investor Carl Icahn that would help avert his proxy takeover of the search engine company's board of directors. The agreement ensures that eight board members, including company chief Jerry Yang and board chairman Roy Bostock, are allowed to stand for re-election with Icahn's support. In exchange, Icahn himself will be nominated to the board along with two of his previous choices, while board member and Activision Blizzard head Robert Kotick will turn down re-election.
LG on Monday revealed that it has sold about seven million touchscreen cellphones since the company first introduced a full touch device through the Prada Phone in early 2007. The company claims to have the "leadership" of the category and notes that two million of these are the KU990 Viewty cameraphone; the next most popular devices are the North America-focused Venus and Voyager at 1.6 million and 1.3 million examples each, according to the company. The remaining 2.1 million are split between the Vu as well as models that are largely only available in Europe or Korea.
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