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Nikon on Friday unveiled several new consumer-level cameras, including the touch-aware Coolpix S60, feature-packed S560, the intuitive S610, and wireless S610c, all coming in September. The Coolpix S60 offers users a touchscreen LCD, with simplified access to all the cameras functions and capabilities. The camera has a 5x optical zoom NIKKOR lens, with a 10-Megapixel sensor, capable of using ISO 3200 sensitivity. It also features Nikon's EXPEED and Optical VR technologies, and the Scene Auto Selector mode. Nikon is selling the S60 for $350.
Toshiba tonight upgraded its onboard flash memory with a new, 32GB module destined for smaller portable devices. The storage combines eight 4GB NAND flash chips built using a smaller 43 nanometer manufacturing process and makes a single package, fitting twice as much capacity into a similar space as before. The design also builds in its own controller to manage its data traffic and would let device makers drop the new package in without reengineering their hardware.
Asus has officially announced the Eee Stick, a Wii-like wireless motion-sensing game controller. First shown at Computex in June, the controller package bears a strong resemblance to Nintendo's ubiquitous Wii Remote and Nunchuk controllers, but is designed for use with PCs. Using the advertising tagline "Get into the swing of Gaming," Asus is no doubt hoping gamers will choose one of their low-cost PC's instead of a Nintendo console. The Eee stick will be "bundled exclusively" with some Eee PC models including the Eee Box, along with a collection of games designed to use the controller's motion-sensing technology.
Iomega on Wednesday unveiled its newest product, the Screenplay TV Link, which allows users to play multimedia content stored on their USB hard disk or flash drives on their standard- or high-definition TVs. The small device connects to the storage media via a USB 2.0 connection, with video outputs that include HDMI, component and composite, as well as an SCART adapter for international applications. The device can also upscale video content to 720p and 1080i HD formats.
The iRobot Corporation on Wednesday announced the release of its most affordable tactical robot, the Negotiator 200. The 34lb, remote controlled robot can climb and descend stairs and lets emergency response personnel stay clear of any potential dangers thanks to its built-in high-resolution color video camera and available chemical detection system. The video is sent via a 2.4GHz band while data, or control of the robot, is sent via the 900MHz frequency band, with either travelling as far as 800 feet in the line of sight.
Newer Technology has announced its new miniStack v2.5, an upgrade to its Mac Mini form factor hard drive/powered hub. The miniStack offers three FireWire 400 ports (one in and two out) and four USB 2.0 ports (one in and three out) and now features a SATA interface with the latest Oxford 934 bridge chipset. It is available now at Other World Computing with up to 1TB of hard drive space. Prices range from an enclosure kit with no hard drive for $80 to a 1TB miniStack at $280.
Seiko Epson developed a small, 2.57-inch display that is able to display 3D images without a projector of any kind and, at 1024x768 (XGA) or 550ppi resolution, it is also one of the world's highest resolution 3D displays. The display is meant for cell phone applications, and requires no special lenses to view the 3D effect. To achieve the 3D effect, the company used a lenticular or bi-convex lens so the same pixels can be seen from different angles.
Lenovo is preparing a lower-cost version of its IdeaPad S10 netbook for at least some regions, the company said today. The S9 will have the same chassis as the 10-inch model but shrink the screen to 8.9 inches. It will also replace the 80GB hard drive with 8GB of flash storage and ship both with the S10's Windows XP and a special Linux variant. The 1.6GHz Atom processor and 1GB of memory carry over from the larger-screened model.
Research in Motion today officially began shipping the BlackBerry Bold to Austria and Germany, putting the device in competition with the iPhone 3G and other devices for the first time. The devices are available through T-Mobile in each country and are the first true 3G Blackberries to be available in Europe; both follow the reference design closely with GPS, Wi-Fi, and a two-megapixel camera but support T-Mobile's NaviGate mapping service in addition to BlackBerry Maps
The Mozilla Foundation is investigating web browsers that would allow users to share websites and compare information in real time, Aurora, the concept would revolve around the notion of data and pages organized into cells, or clusters of relevant information. The approach would not only let individuals jump to similar pages covering a given subject but would also allow fellow users to compare information from their own cells in real time; an integrated messaging system would let users speak to each other without interrupting the primary view.
Canadian cell provider Rogers Wireless will put most of its emphasis in the next few weeks on the BlackBerry line and music phones, according to a roadmap slip from BGR. The details confirm the launch of the BlackBerry Kickstart and add that the device will work with Rogers' Home Calling Zone Wi-Fi phone service, which will be rechristened Talkspot. The EDGE-only flip smartphone hasn't been given pricing but has previously been slotted into a late September release that may arrive near that of T-Mobile USA's version.
Residents of Vermont should finally be able to gain direct access to the iPhone in the near future, a local television station reports. WCAX notes that all important divisions of the federal government have approved Verizon's acquisition of Rural Cellular Corporation, the operator of regional carrier Unicel. Aside from Vermont, Unicel sells service in several other states, such as Alabama, New York and Washington.
Apple may have a long-awaited update to its Cinema Display line in store for early next year, according to a new rumor. The company has largely left the displays alone since mid-2004 outside of minor panel upgrades but is now allegedly planning an upgrade as part of an environmentally friendly switch: at least some models in the plan will include LED backlighting, which would fulfill Apple chief Steve Jobs' plans to eliminate mercury from displays as soon as possible by dropping cold-cathode fluorescent (CCFL) backlights.
AMD on Wednesday sought to please two extremes of computer users at once through the unveiling of its 790GX mainboard chipset. The platform is focused on gamers and includes a new southbridge chip that allows overclocking Phenom Black Edition processors without entering the BIOS; it also supports CrossFire for up to two add-in Radeon HD video cards. However, even entry users are accomodated, AMD says: the chipset integrates the new Radeon HD 3300, which is billed as the fastest onboard graphics system available. Tests have it competing with some recent stand-alone cards, while AMD says it can support both modern 3D effects as well as hardware decoding of 1080p video.
HP has quietly launched a second notebook this week and now caters towards higher-end but still ultramobile users. The HP Compaq 2230s has just a 12-inch screen and weighs just over four pounds but is based entirely on Intel's just-launched Centrino 2 platform, making faster GMA 4500MHD graphics and 802.11n Wi-Fi standard features on every model. Certain trim levels also get matching processors with the faster 1,066MHz bus and range from the lower-power 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo to a full-power 2.53GHz chip.
The going price for a Mac notebook is now over twice that of a typical Windows model, according to data collected by The NPD Group. While the average selling price of a Windows notebook has dropped from $877 in June 2006 to $700 today, the average cost of an Apple system has remained consistently above $1,500 and has only dropped $59 in the past two years. Differences in desktop pricing are more extreme still and have Macs selling for approximately $1,000 more than a common Windows desktop, which sells for about $550.
Telus today confirmed its position as the first in Norht America to launch the HTC Touch Diamond and gave the Windows Mobile 6.1 smartphone an official launch date of August 14th as well as extra pricing info. The touchscreen device is positioned as one of Telus' main rivals against the iPhone and will normally be priced at $150 with a three-year contract; a two year contract immediately boosts the price to $350, while a contract-free purchase sells for $450.
Memorex hopes to push down the cost of iPod-aware clock radios today with two relative budget models. The iWakeUp is the range leader with a relatively streamlined look and the most advanced features, including dual alarms for weekdays versus weekends and a sound enhancer for its more powerful speakers. Like many iPod-ready radios, it can also set the alarms to trigger either the iPod itself, an AM or FM radio station, or a buzzer. The device is compatible with most all dockable iPods up to the iPod touch, though the company shows an iPhone in the dock and hints at possible support for at least Airplane Mode. The iWakeUp sells today for $70 in black and white versions.
T-Mobile this morning revealed Las Vegas as the second city to receive its fledgling 3G service following New York City. The upgrade mirrors that of the inaugural launch and sees the desert city get 1,700MHz UMTS access both for clearer calls and for faster data when used with a phone that supports the extra performance, such as the Nokia 6263. Moving to 3G also increases the number of customers the network can handle at once, T-Mobile says.
Sprint on Wednesday continued a succession of negative quarterly results by reporting that it has lost 901,000 subscribers in the spring quarter, dropping its subscriber base to 51.4 million from 52.8 million in the winter. The losses are less than the one million lost in the winter and are said to be helped by two percent churn, or subscriber turnover; the amount is the lowest the company has experienced since it merged with Nextel in 2004. The company primarily attributes the softer fall to more easily understood plans and also claims to have a better customer mix, with more of its customers spending extra money on service for unlimited data options like the Simply Everything plan.
HP intends to have a notebook with a touchscreen display on the market within the next 18 months, the company has told the Wall Street Journal. The company was one of the first to introduce a mainstream, touchscreen desktop in the TouchSmart series but now says that it sees enough interest in the format to be one of the first with a portable PC offering a heavily touch-driven interface. The company has already introduced a tablet PC for the mainstream through the tx series but still depends on a stylus inside a conventional interface and would like to change the interface to a more natural one for future devices.
Specs have leaked for the impending Nikon D90 digital SLR, with the camera allegedly sporting a 12-Megapixel sensor, which is capable of 4.5 frames per second, and live video/audio capture. According to Photography Bay, the new DSLR will also feature built-in HDMI and GPS connections, as well as a kit lens option of a 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G DX VR lens. Nikon is allegedly positioning the D90 as next-generation competitor to current generation camera models.
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