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Scientists sent by Greenpeace to Ghana have recently found extreme cases of chemical contamination at two "e-waste" facilities. Soil and water tests were conducted at two electronics scrap yards where various items such as broken computers, monitors, and televisions are shipped from the United States and Europe for processing and extraction of scrap metals. Brands of these items included Philips, Sony, Microsoft, Nokia, Dell, Canon, and Siemens. The two scrap yards were located in two cities: one in the capital city Accra and another in the city of Korforidua.
Epson announced the release of its new multimedia photo viewers for professional photographers on the go, with the P-6000 and P-7000. Either gives photographers the ability to download and view their digital photos on 4-inch, 640x480 (VGA) resolution LCD screens that are capable of displaying over 16.7 million colors. The P-6000 sports an 80GB hard-disk drive, with the P-7000 upping it to 160GB and both feature a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 connection that allows download speeds up to one third faster than the models they sit atop in Epson's range, the P-3000 and P-5000.
Portable GPS device maker Garmin on Monday released the Road Tech zūmo it will offer as part of the Harley-Davidson Genuine Motor Accessories. The special edition unit will add all Harley-Davidson dealership locations preloaded on the unit, expanding on the more than six million points of interest previously available. The unit will come with a handlebar mount and support on Harley-Davidson.com that will allow users to create routes and upload them to the zūmo.
Delta Air Lines announced on Tuesday it will offer broadband Wi-Fi access on all domestic flights in 2009, equipping over 330 airplanes with the ability to access the Aircell-created Gogo network. The service will allow data transfer speeds of more than 12Mbps, and will be offered in both first and economy classes. It will give Delta the distinction of being the first and only US airline to offer in-flight Wi-Fi on all domestic flights.
The web browser at the heart of Meizu's still-unreleased M8 smartphone will borrow more than a few elements from its closest cousin at Apple, according to a post made by company chief J. Wong shows the Windows Mobile phone running a custom browser that shares a similar design to Safari on the iPhone, including its minimal address bar and buttons that mimic the navigation and new page features of Apple's interface.
Pioneer today revealed that it has already developed a major improvement on optical technology it created just last month. Having already established a 400GB disc, the company now says it has produced a disc read by blue lasers made up of 20 25GB layers, fitting exactly half a terabyte of data on a single-sided disc. The size and technology are described as technically compatible with Blu-ray and could be used in a future reader able to recognize that amount of data.
Sharp on Tuesday grew its AQUOS TV range slightly by launching a larger version of the SB series. Competing against VIZIO and other budget TV producers, all the sets push a true 1080p image but shed 120Hz panels and other extras that often inflate the price. Despite this, they still manage an average pixel response time between 6ms and 6.5ms and have between two and four HDMI inputs on each model. Dual component inputs and a lone VGA port are also present to attach other HD sources.
Apple has considered making a new dock for the iPhone and iPod touch that would let the device work for video without compromising its ability to be charged, according to a just-published US patent application. Though cosmetically similar to the translucent stand included with the iPod touch, the purely visual patent also shows a Dock Connector cable plugged into the stand, suggesting that it could be used to power and sync a given device while watching movies, rather than just holding the player on its side.
Apple's iPhone user base is likely to have surpassed Palm in earnest with the iPhone 3G launch but will face a serious threat by BlackBerry creator Research in Motion shortly afterwards, says a new ChangeWave study. A poll of over 3,500 home users in June showed Apple climbing to 11 percent of active users, up significantly from nine percent in March. The statistic is just three percent below Palm's 14 percent share of current users and on its current trend would have Apple edge out Palm by the researchers' next report.
A ruling in favor of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) may be overturned and set a precedent for file sharing, according to remarks made by the presiding judge in the case. District Judge Michael Davis now expresses doubts over a decision which fined defendant Jammie Thomas $222,000 for allegedly trading 24 songs through KaZaA, arguing that a closer review of the US Copyright Act used as the foundation of the case suggests that a retrial may be necessary. The Act requires actual proof of an illegal transfer rather than the simpler act of exposing the content through a public folder. Without the former evidence, the previous decision against Thomas may no longer hold weight, according to Judge Davis.
Motorola's future top-end phone and the company's purported last stand is a spiritual successor to the Q 9, according to leaks from BGR. Known in development as Alexander, the device appears to be a slider with a full QWERTY keyboard and will run Windows Mobile 6.1. The apparent slip also contradicts reports that Alexander would have a touchscreen to compete against the iPhone and instead shows a directional pad, which has been present for every existing Q series phone.
The Consumer Electronics Association is considering implementing technical standards for handhelds and other home electronics, according to an announcement late yesterday. The organization says it has formed a discussion group that would gauge interest in a cross-platform standard that would ensure digital cameras, GPS navigators, MP3 players, and video screens all obey a certain minimum standard for integrating with other devices in the home.
In addition to new software, Sonos today overhauled its ZonePlayer music streaming hubs with two new models that should both be more useful across more areas. Both the high-end ZP120 and simpler ZP90 are the first to use the company's in-house SonosNet 2.0 network. The standard uses the same multiple-in, multiple-out (MIMO) antenna technology as 802.11n Wi-Fi to roughly double the range of the device's mesh network and thus let users tap into music from the Internet and local network from a greater distance in a given home. The network is also encrypted in AES and is backwards-compatible with earlier ZonePlayers.
Elpida on Tuesday claims to have broken a record by becoming the first memory manufacturer to develop 16-gigabyte fully buffered DIMM (FB-DIMM) RAM sticks, significantly expanding the memory ceiling for pro workstations and servers. The DDR2-based creation is twice as capacious as still-rare 8GB sticks and relies on a unique integrated packaging to fit the memory without creating excess. Although 16GB, the RAM is unusually thin at 0.3in deep and has the same power needs as a simpler 8GB stick.
JVC on Tuesday announced the release of its all-new XA-M10, XA-M20, and XA-M40 digital audio players. Available with 1GB, 2GB or 4GB of on-board memory, respectively, the three Alneo XA-series digital audio players feature a 6-line black and white OLED display. Either XA-series DAP will store up to 100 songs in a folder, making up a user's favorite playlist, by pressing the Favourites button when a track is playing. The players will replace the XA-MP line, which topped out at 1GB of memory and were smaller, but also had less features and a shorter battery life.
Motorola today made a more aggresive leap into music phones with three mid-range ROKR phones, all of which are based on Motorola's more recent Linux-based operating system. The EM30 is based closely on the same dynamic interface as the ROKR E8 and illuminates different buttons depending on the context, swapping in media controls to make navigation easier but without the expense of a touchscreen. It also has a 3.5mm headphone jack, native integration with Windows Media Player 11 for those not using other operating systems, and microSDHC card support for storage of 8GB or more.
Information has surfaced for Intel's future Calpella notebook platform, according to an alleged leak from companies that will produce mainboards based on the technology. The design will be the first mobile design to drop the need for separate northbridge and southbridge chipsets by moving the DDR3 memory controller and other typical northbridge components to the processor itself, which uses the new Nehalem architecture; a new bridge chip, nicknamed Ibex Peak-M, will handle all the remaining duties.
Sony today announced that it has bought out Bertelsmann's 50 percent stake in Sony BMG and will now completely own its music label. The new label, named Sony Music Entertainment Inc. (SMEI), ends the short four-year run of Sony BMG and will let Sony create a "total entertainment experience" where the electronics giant can more closely integrate its music with its devices, according to company chief Sir Howard Stringer.
Addressing complaints from amateur photographers hoping to graduate to digital SLRs, Olympus and Panasonic today teamed up to develop a much smaller version of the Four Thirds lens system. The new approach is simply titled Micro Four Thirds and aims to significantly shrink the dimensions needed for an interchangeable lens system while making relatively mild sacrifices. While not a true SLR system in that it drops the use of a mirror, the system will purportedly generate the same image quality as the full-size offering and allow for compact, light cameras that would be more familiar to point-and-shoot owners.
Micron today made a concerted effort to bolster its RealSSD solid-state drives with extremely high-speed but potentially low-priced notebook models. The C200 line is one of Micron's first aimed at home notebook owners and uses the newest generation of multi-level cell (MLC) flash storage to supply speed without sacrificing capacity: every drive can read data as quickly as 250MB per second and write it at 100MB per second, while the conventionally notebook-sized 2.5-inch disk can hold as much as 256GB of data. A 1.8-inch drive for ultraportables holds up to 128GB.
IOGear has introduced several new DVI and HDMI accessories for home theaters and game consoles. New DVI and HDMI MiniExtender Kits allow users to expand their A/V network up to "hundreds of feet." IOGear has also released two HDMI switches including a three-port model that automatically switches to the port currently in use. A new four-port model switches HDMI via a remote control.
AMD's upcoming CPU/GPU chip will extend its portfolio of products as its rivals continue to search for new markets. On the heels of the Intel's Larrabee GPU unveiling on Monday and news of NVIDIA's upcoming integrated chip potentially finding its way into Apple's notebooks, leaks have revealed more details on AMD's Fusion "half-node" CPU/GPU combo chip -- which was in large part, one of the largest justification in AMD's acquisition of ATI. Citing industry sources, the TGDaily report indicates that AMD's half-node chip, due in Q1 of next year, will be manufactured by contract chip manufacturer TSMC, whose manufacturing headquarters on the main island of Taiwan (called Formosa). As the successor to the Puma platform, the first chip based on Fusion technology, code-named "Shrike," will integrate a dual-core Phenom CPU and an ATI RV800 GPU core, rather than the previously rumored dual-core Kuma CPU and a RV710-based graphics unit.
Following closely on dissent towards Comcast and AT&T - two firms that supply internet service, but lack a stance of network data neutrality - the Electronic Frontier Foundation has unveiled Switzerland, a new ISP testing tool that detects blocked communications. Comcast is accused of blocking peer-to-peer networking software, such as BitTorrent, without citing the practice in its license agreement or making any other mention of it whatsoever. The action counters the neutral stance put forth by the FCC in its 2005 "Internet Policy Statement."
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