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HighPoint Technologies announced today it is releasing the RocketRAID 2644x4 SAS RAID controller card that will deliver throughput speeds as high as 1000MBps and is capable of supporting as many as 128 SAS and SATA hard drives (via SAS expanders from LSI and Vitesse). The controller can connect with up to four PCI-Express busses capable of tranferring data at 1000MBps speeds in both directions at the same time.
Images of what is believed to be Motorola's upcoming version of the PEBL-U8 have appeared on the web. The clamshell phone sports a 2.2-inch display with 320x240 (QVGA) resolution, and support for 262,000 colors. A hidden CLI display on the outside panel displays less detailed information. The phone supports VOD and MOD download services, and can store MP3 tracks. Access to 3G data networks allows for download speeds up to 7.2Mbps.
At its annual meeting for financial analysts on Thursday, Microsoft announced it will start offering its search service on the social networking site Facebook. The agreement should further the working relationship of the two entities, as Microsoft owns 1.6 percent of Facebook's shares, allowing it to be an exclusive banner-ad provider. Under the new agreement, a part of Facebook's 90 million members will also have access to Microsoft's search engine.
ASUS may soon officially release accessories for its Eee PC range of UMPCs, as images of three new accessories have been leaked on the Internet. The images originate from a German Eee PC enthusiast site, and show an external hard drive, an external optical drive and a 3G wireless data network connection card. All seem to connect to the Eee PC via an integrated USB port.
The British music and film industries finally received the cooperation they have been seeking from Internet Service Providers in helping them fight illegal file downloading. A report on Thursday has six of the country's largest Internet providers sending warning letters to subscribers suspected of illegal file downloading and sharing. The decision to do so is commonly believed to be spurred by the British government, which announced earlier this year that it would impose its own laws forcing them to police how their services are used had they failed to cooperate voluntarily.
Canadian cell services Bell and Telus are both near announcing that they will switch to the same cellular network format as Rogers in a bid to regain their competitive strength, a new UBS investment note says. The two carriers use the same CDMA phone technology as Sprint, Verizon, and numerous smaller providers in the US but are now looking to switch to 3G that would most likely use the High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) technology that underpins Rogers' network as well as most modernized GSM carriers.
Microsoft will demonstrate its previously only hinted-at spherical Surface display next week, the company has inadvertently revealed through its own floor map for its Research group's DemoFest event. Booth 110 at the show is listed as offering a "multi-touch spherical display" that resembles a previously described variant on the company's Surface touch computer, which for now is only available as a table-sized device for businesses such as AT&T stores and casinos.
Research in Motion hoped to gain ground among media smartphones today with the official launch of BlackBerry Media Sync. Announced alongside the Bold, the software gives owners of current-generation BlackBerries the option to sync some or all of their iTunes libraries for playback on the phone, including playlists. Phone owners can also block out part of the phone's storage space to set it aside for work, photos, and other content.
All ability to copy or transfer tracks bought through Yahoo Music will end with the month of September, an announcement indicates. Beginning on October 1st the company is shutting off the delivery of DRM keys for tracks, a move which should leave the music playable locally, but difficult if not impossible to copy to a portable player, second hard drive, or compact disc. The deadline follows months after the closure of Yahoo Music sales, which have since been replaced by a partnership with Real's DRM-free Rhapsody service.
Prices on the flash memory used in portable devices have plummeted in the past month, according to a report by DRAMeXchange. The Taiwan-area research firm says that a combination of economic inflation, the Sichuan earthquake in mainland China, and a seasonal lack of orders in spring have forced companies producing NAND flash to drop their prices by about 20 percent between June and July in order to clear overstock and is only expected to get worse. As the usual recovery isn't expected to be as strong, the problem could last until at least the end of the summer, the researchers say.
Intel today introduced what it says is a new class of processor for itself and the wider industry. The EP80579 Integrated Processor is a system-on-a-chip that builds in a main Pentium M processor as well as the necessary interface and memory controllers, communications, graphics, and security all into one part. The technology is efficient that it can shrink the total size of the board and its components by as much as 45 percent compared to what they would require separately, Intel says. It also reduces power by about 34 percent.
National carrier Sprint has signed a deal to sell a massive number of cellular towers, according to an announcement. The company says it is selling approximately 3,300 towers to TowerCo, a deal that should gain Sprint about $670 million in cash. Because the company still needs the towers to maintain coverage, it has arranged a licensing deal with TowerCo that will see it provide CDMA, iDEN and WiMAX support in exchange for a regular leasing fee.
The Federal Communications Commission today fined satellite radio providers Sirius and XM in a step already recognized as a precursor to approving their long-anticipated merger. The ruling requires Sirius and XM to pay $2.2 million and $17.5 million respectively for allegedly violating FCC rules by continuing to run receivers and land-based repeaters that could potentially create interference while the FCC has decided on whether it will approve the union of the two companies.
Microsoft has held its first concrete meetings to design a Zune-branded cellphone, according to an unconfirmed but allegedly credible leak from jkOnTheRun. The device is well away from completion but is intended to use multi-touch input and would use a variant of Windows Mobile 7, Microsoft's first major overhaul to its smartphone platform since 2005. Windows Live services will be a major focus along with the Zune's emphasis on media playback.
Microsoft on Thursday said it was undertaking a major restructuring of the company that will help it return focus to its core Windows software. The company's broader Platforms & Services division will now be split into a dedicated Windows & Windows Live division and a separate Online Services division, both of which will report directly to company chief Steve Ballmer. The effort is publicly described as making Microsoft more nimble and should help the company move more quickly fight off rivals in the "very competitive arenas" of operating systems and the web, according to Ballmer.
Intel's long-rumored dual-core Atom processor now has a fixed launch date and price, according to a late leak. The Atom 330 is now purportedly due on September 21st and will be one of Intel's most economical dual-core chips, costing $43 for a 1.6GHz chip with both the extra core as well as a larger 1MB of Level 2 cache and the same Hyperthreading support as single-core chips, effectively simulating four cores with optimized apps.
(Updated with launch info) Samsung on Wednesday night showcased its rumored i8510 smartphone. Offering an extremely high-resolution 8-megapixel camera, the new slim Samsung slider phone -- now called the INNOV8 -- features a 2.8-inch QVGA TFT display and also offers QVGA video resolution at up 120 frames per second (fps) or VGA quality recording at up to 30fps along with advance camera features such as find smile, face, and blink detection, image stabilization, and support for panoramic photos as well as a full editing suite on the device itself (including features for cutting video, dubbing audio, and adding subtitles).
Sony today said that its Reader Digital Book will be the first e-book reader ever to support the new EPUB format. The standard is one of the first to be accepted by multiple major publishers and permits both locked-down and unprotected books that automatically reflow to fit the screen or particular fonts. The software update also adds support for protected Adobe e-books and now reflows basic PDFs on the fly.
Hitachi today launched a second update to its Blu-ray equipped camcorders to render it more portable as well as more flexible. The DZ-BD10H uses miniaturization of both the 30GB hard drive and the CMOS image sensor to shrink the camera by about 20 percent, fitting it more easily to hand. It also adds an SDHC card slot that adds about four hours and 45 minutes of full-quality 1920x1080 AVCHD video as well as a new way of offloading data beyond a direct USB connection or a miniature, one-hour Blu-ray disc.
Creative Technology on Thursday introduced the Creative ZEN Mozaic portable media player. The "boldly designed" player is available in black, pink, and silver colors for what the company says is a "statement that reflects the user's sense of fashion and individual style." It features a built-in speaker like the ZEN Wav, 1.8-inch LCD color screen, FM radio with 32 presets, and a microphone for voice recording. The compact Mozaic also runs unusually long with up to 32 hours of audio playback on a single charge of the battery.
Hours before going to trial, both Nokia and Qualcomm have reached an all-encompassing settlement over a year-old patent feud between the two companies, which could save them hundreds of millions in legal fees and help Nokia focus its development efforts in an increasingly competitive landscape. While the details were not disclosed, the settlement includes an up-front payment by Finish handset maker Nokia and on-going royalties payable to US-based Qualcomm. In addition, Nokia has agreed to assign ownership of a number of patents to Qualcomm, including patents declared as essential to WCDMA, GSM and OFDMA.
Western Digital on Thursday announced its enterprise-class 10,000RPM 2.5-inch drive designed for rack-mounted servers. The 10K VelociRaptor is designed for blade servers and 1U and 2U rack servers, and offers up to 300GB of capacity, while consuming 35 percent less power than the previous-generation WD Raptor drive, the company claims. WD said that the drive will be manufactured for high reliability in high duty cycle environments, resulting in the highest available reliability rating of any SATA drive at 1.4 million hours MTBF. It features a 3Gb/sec SATA interface and 16MB for maximum performance.
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