News Archive for 08/08/01

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Apple locked into AT&T exclusivity until 2010?

08/01, 4:35pm

Apple Lock to ATT in 2010

Apple is bound to its exclusivity deal with AT&T until at least 2010, sources have allegedly told USA Today. The newspaper asserts that AT&T agreed to the large-scale subsidies on the iPhone 3G's pricing in exchange for a one-year extension on the provider's sole rights for the device line in the US, pushing it back from its original 2009 date. The extension is crucial for AT&T, which is the leader in an increasingly saturated market and sees the iPhone as a tool to convert customers from other networks.

Talk on Apple's FileVault security canceled

08/01, 3:55pm

Black Hat speech canned

A Georgia-born author, researcher and speaker who was due to deliver a speech about a new flaw in Apple's FileVault encryption system at the annual Black Hat hacker convention next week in Las Vegas will no longer be speaking at the event, according to a recent report. The encryption system is used in the Mac OS X v10.3 and newer operating systems. Charles Edge's scheduled presentation was pulled from the scheduled talks last week. Edge claims to have signed confidentiality agreements with Apple prevented him from delivering the address.

Hitachi preps 20% longer lasting li-ion batteries

08/01, 3:40pm

Hitachi Si Alloy Batteries

Hitachi is developing a new generation of lithium-ion battery packs that should significantly extend the running time of portable devices without requiring a radical breakthrough in technology, the company said when discussing its financial results. The Japanese electronics maker plans to swap the graphite used in the electrodes of today's batteries with a silicon alloy material that would increase the effective capacity of a battery by 20 percent without making additional changes.

BlackBerry pushed out at AT&T for iPhone?

08/01, 2:35pm

BBerry Squeezed Out at ATT

Research in Motion and its BlackBerry smartphones on the verge of falling out of favor at AT&T in exchange for the iPhone, says an investment note from Credit Suisse's Kulbinder Garcha. The analyst notes that RIM's share of smartphone sales at AT&T, which have crested at 70 percent in June, are unlikely to remain at such high levels and instead are more likely to drop as AT&T shifts the brunt of its promotion to the iPhone 3G. The touchscreen phone remains a strong seller three weeks after launch and has already seen AT&T agree to heavy subsidies to help push its sales where BlackBerry devices are strictly in line prices at other competitors.

Sony Pictures: Blu-ray discs to outsell DVDs by 2011

08/01, 1:40pm

Blu-ray to outsell DVDs

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment vice president for Asia-Pacific Tim Meade on Friday announced market reports that lead him to believe sales of Blu-ray movie discs will outnumber standard DVDs sometime in 2011. Meade went on to say global sales of movies on the two disc formats will be split around 60 percent in favor of the standard-definition DVD format by 2010, with the high-definition media eking out an advantage one year later.

LG firms up plans for LED-lit, ultra-thin HDTVs

08/01, 1:30pm

LG LG90 and LGX HDTVs

LG today finished its week by formally unveiling details of sets it has previously only hinted at earlier in the year. The LG90 will be the electronics firm's first LED-backlit LCD TV and uses the lighting to produce much deeper blacks than on fluorescent-lit TVs; similar to sets from Samsung and others, the screen dims individual portions of the screen to cut out on unintentional grays. LG also matches up to its fellow Korean rival by using a 120Hz panel that reduces motion artifacts.

FCC rules Comcast throttling illegal

08/01, 12:50pm

FCC Rules on Comcast

The Federal Communications Commission today formally ruled that Comcast's traffic throttling practices were illegal, setting a precedent for US Internet providers. The decision acts on a recent report of the FCC's plans and requires that the the cable company stop the filtering it has used so far, which uses a Sandvine program that automatically breaks the connection between Comcast users and others running BitTorrent clients and certain peer-to-peer software. The ruling also requires that Comcast disclose how it performs any future throttling, which the provider already plans to do but in a more general form.

NVIDIA to back out of mainboard chipsets? [U]

08/01, 12:15pm

NVIDIA May Exit Chipsets

(Updated with analyst commentary) NVIDIA may quit the mainboard chipset industry entirely just as it's rumored to be expanding into new areas, if a claim from companies producing the final mainboards themselves. The California-based creator of the nForce line has allegedly held a meeting this week to determine whether it should continue producing chipsets at all but has been met with "silence," hinting both that NVIDIA was already considering an exit but also that weak demand gives it little reason to continue.

Congress to vote on in-air cellphone ban

08/01, 12:00pm

House Decides In-Air Ban

The Congressional Transportation and Infrastructure committee voted yesterday to introduce a bill to the House of Representatives that will potentially outlaw nearly all use of active cellphones on any commercial aircraft. Nicknamed the Hang Up Act, the measure would ban placing or receiving voice calls for all but the crew as well as for any air marshals aboard a given flight. Democrat Peter DeFazio, who proposed the bill, describes the possibility of allowing voice calls an "annoyance" and that an attempt to profit from these calls to make up for a poor economy would be ill-advised.

Feds can seize travelers' electronics, more

08/01, 11:40am

Feds free to seize laptops

As of July 16, US federal agents have the power to seize travelers' laptops and other electronic devices at the border and hold them for however long they want, says a Friday report. The seizures do not require a suspicion of wrongdoing, and are aimed to counter terrorism, with the new policies passed by two Department of Homeland Security agencies. The contents of the confiscated laptops and electronics can then be shared with not only other agencies, but private entities in order to decrypt the data they contain.

Nokia to make Zune Marketplace phone?

08/01, 11:30am

Nokia Zune Phone Rumor

An alleged Microsoft source today claims that Nokia is developing phones that would be compatible with the Zune Marketplace. While the project isn't said to involve custom handset design, Nokia in the suggested plan would integrate its software with content from the Microsoft-run Zune store, which in protected format doesn't currently work outside of Zune portable media players. Whether this would involve direct access to the Zune Marketplace from the phones themselves or sync with PC-based Zune software is unknown.

Verizon gives Visual Voicemail to LG Voyager

08/01, 9:55am

LG Voyager Visu Voicemail

Verizon today inadvertedly revealed that it will give owners of its LG Voyager touchscreen phone an option that brings their devices closer to iPhone functionality. The Visual Voice Mail app would let users see who has called and play messages in any order, much like Apple's implementation. The new software would nonetheless have slightly more features, with the option of not just calling back but also of replying directly to voice mail or of sending a text, picture, or video message.

Win Mobile sales miss target, iPhone may play role

08/01, 9:00am

Win Mobile Sales Miss Goal

Microsoft has missed its much-vaunted yearly goal of selling 20 million licenses for Windows Mobile by a wide margin, the company has revealed. Initially certain that any shortfall would amount to a "rounding error," the company now acknowledges that it has only sold 18 million licenses over the course of its last fiscal year, which ended in June. Microsoft hasn't provided reasoning for the gap, which was unexpected as recently as a month ago.

Fujifilm slips S2000HD, new compacts

08/01, 8:10am

Fujifilm S2000HD Leak

Fujifilm today unofficially slipped out word of some of its camera upgrades ahead of next month's Photokina expo. The 10-megapixel FinePix S2000HD ultrazoom replaces the S1000fd and chiefly upgrades the lens, replacing the normal 12X lens with a 15X, hardware-stabilized unit. The HD in the camera's name also points to a new HD video recording feature that gives it a widescreen 720p capture mode. Amateur sports photographers can also drop the resolution in exchange for higher speed: a step down to five megapixels increases the continuous shooting rate to 6.8 frames per second, while a further step down to three megapixels shoots at a quicker-still 13.5 frames per second.

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