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T-Mobile USA is reportedly examining an iTunes App Store-like service for its entire product line, rather than simply shipping the phones as-is, with few custom apps, and leaving the user to explore unofficial app loading solutions. One developer observed that Apple's method has translated into a great success for the company, and infers that T-Mobile hopes to benefit from translating that success to a carrier's entire product line. T-Mobile currently reaches 31.5 million customers, versus Apple's hope to sell 10 million iPhones by the year's end.
Samsung Mobile announced on Friday its Messager R450 horizontal sliding handset can now be purchased via MetroPCS dealers. The phone hides a QWERTY keyboard behind the 2.1-inch display to cater to messaging-focused users. As expected, it has SMS, MMS as well as email and IM messaging capabilities.
A collaboration between software developer Joikusoft and FON was announced by the two companies on Friday that will involve using 3G-enabled phones to act as Wi-Fi hotspots. The two will release a version of JoikuSpot -- called FonSpot -- that will allow 3G data network-enabled cellular phones to connect with multiple laptops, Internet tablets and other Wi-Fi capable devices and provide them with Internet access.
Dell today quietly expanded the list of its notebook PCs affected by NVIDIA's mobile GPU failures to include several extra systems. The chart now includes the Latitude D620, D820, and D830 business notebooks as well as the Precision M4300 and M65 portable workstations. All of these run either a GeForce 8400M, 8600M, or its Quadro equivalent.
Open-source cellular phone maker Openmoko today announced that it will supply the schematics for its 1973 phone and the recently unveiled Neo FreeRunner. Before this release, the CAD files were available under a Creative Commons Share-Alike license that allowed product designers to change the look and feel of the device. Now, engineers can freely customize FreeRunners on the outside while programmers can write any applications and programs for the devices.
The long-awaited ASUS Eee Box mini desktop PC is now in stores, popping up on J&R's webstore. Asus is so confident in the ease of use for its design that it does not include a user's manual for what it calls the world's smallest PC. A VESA mount is included to allow the PC to be affixed to the back of an LCD monitor for a clean installation. Thanks to ASUS' Express Gate instant-boot shell, accessing popular programs or applications such as Internet browsers, IM programs, email and media takes as little as five seconds.
The ruling Conservative Party government in Canada has "no intention" of banning fees carriers want to charge for incoming SMS messages, the country's Minister of Industry Jim Prentice said today. While Bell Canada and Telus have both drawn criticism for plans that would see each carrier charge 15 cents for each incoming message outside of bundles, potentially forcing subscribers to pay for spam, Prentice argues that forcing these companies to allow incoming text for free would interfere with their businesses.
Fujitsu today used Singapore as the venue for its next most recent update to the LifeBook U series. Already previewed in basic form, the 5.6-inch convertible tablet switches from the A110 processor to a faster and more efficient 1.6GHz Atom that gives it as much as eight hours of battery life with an optional extended battery and 64GB solid-state drive. In an unusual addition, the ultra-mobile PC also has its own FM transmitter to pipe sound to a nearby radio and save the trouble of porting external speakers.
Verizon already has a formal name and a release date for the BlackBerry Thunder in its system, a leak of an inventory screen at BGR shows. The touchscreen rival to the iPhone is now formally referred to as the BlackBerry 9530 and is listed as on schedule for an October 13th release. The entry would coincide with multiple rumors of an October launch and would be set just five days later than a previous leak.
Griffin Technology on Friday announced the release of its iTrip Universal FM transmitter for MP3 and CD players. As the name suggests, all that's necessary to hook up the iTrip to any portable audio device is connecting the 3.5mm headphone cable to the iTrip. The Universal version is the first iTrip device to use a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery via a USB connection.
Nikon's frequently rumored D90 has been spotted in a photo with supporting claims that it's legitimate, according to various reports. A shot posted today at a Nikon enthusiast rumor site appears to show the new mid-range digital SLR and, if accurate, confirms the existence of a live video recording feature; a small microphone array (top center) not present on the D80 would be used to capture sound and make the D90 the first DSLR to capture full audio and video.
Long-standing graphics errors in MacBook Pros may be directly attributable to faulty hardware from NVIDIA, reports say. Although NVIDIA has denied accounts of problems in its G84- and G86-based mobile graphics cards, other sources say they have learned that all cards with the chips -- including the GeForce 8600M GT used in MacBook Pros -- may be prone to failure, likely due to ineffective material causing overheating.
In spite of promises to the contrary earlier this year, Sprint is indeed looking to sell its iDEN push-to-talk network, according to CNBC. Although no sources have been cited by the TV network, Sprint is already said to be negotiating with NII Holdings for a deal, as well as with separate private equity investors. NII operates primarily in Latin American countries, and is one of the few companies outside of Sprint to rely on iDEN.
Many of the security measures Microsoft has implemented and touted for Windows Vista have been compromised through a single exploit, a presentation made at this week's Black Hat hacking conference claims. IBM Information Security Systems' Mark Dowd and VMware's Alexander Sotirov have found a method that uses scripting systems such as Java and elements of the .NET framework in Windows-based web browsers to arbitrarily run code on Vista systems. Internet Explorer is particularly vulnerable due to its use of ActiveX.
Verizon has joined T-Mobile's announcements earlier in the week with news of its own special colors for its BlackBerry smartphones. Both the Curve 8330 and the Pearl 8130 now come in pink versus the conservative silver that was the only previous choice. The extra hue is pitched at girls going to college in the fall who may want a fashion-savvy device but also a smartphone they can use to keep track of classwork.
HTC on Friday denied claims of an Android phone delay that would push back to early 2009 the release of the cellphone maker's first phone using the Google mobile operating system. The company rejects assertions by Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry that both technical and minimum payment issues are affecting the release and insists that the phone is on track for a fall 2008 launch. The researcher's belief "does not match the facts," the firm says.
Intel's Nehalem processor architecture will still hold to the Core naming scheme when it appears late this year, if an apparent leak of company logos proves authentic. Although the platform will make fundamental changes, Nehalem will reportedly be known as Core i7 for at least all its desktop variants, which will include dual- and quad-core mainstream processors as well as a 3.2GHz Extreme processor for high-end gaming desktops.
NVIDIA today licensed a collection of technologies from Transmeta for $25 million that will potentially improve the power use of the former's graphics and mainboard hardware. The license primarily grants NVIDIA access to LongRun2, a technique to reduce the amount of waste power for processors and similar chips. The approach uses a combination of circuitry and advanced math to reduce the effect of leaking power as processors are made on smaller and smaller manufacturing processes. This lets companies shrink components to make them more complex without having to throttle back clock speed or other elements to avoid creating too much waste power and heat.
Japanese wireless carrier KDDI has seen its growth stifled in July primarily by the iPhone 3G launch the same month, according to a report from the company itself. The company's subscriber growth was near flat at just 17,000 new users for the month and saw the first month KDDI has known where the amount of cancellations with phone number portability, or the number of customers switching to rivals, overtook new subscriptions of the same kind. The sudden downturn comes just as the iPhone's official carrier, SoftBank, saw an immediate spike and added 52,000 new users.
BenQ is concluding its week with the launch of two displays it believes will match two hotter trends. The designer E900HD and the simpler G900HD both have 18.5-inch, 1366x768 displays that match the same 16:9 ratio and resolution of a 720p-capable HDTV and are better-suited to watching HD content without black bars. Through a unique backlighting system, however, the company says it can produce the same 300-nit brightness as most displays by using a two-lamp backlight versus the four that would otherwise be necessary. That reduces the power use to just 30W and cuts the amount of toxic mercury in the panel by half, BenQ says.
After several repeated, and failed, attempts to debunk iTunes as the coveted top music retailer, rumblings in the industry allegedly indicate that four members behind the former MusicNow project are collaborating on reviving the quashed TotalMusic. Tech Crunch reveals that Ted Ferguson, Troy Denkinger, Robert Broome, and Derek Reeve are investigating a way to complete Universal's vision, but more immediately, how to get the project past the US Justice Department. TotalMusic was originally contrived to allow all four major music labels to maintain total control over its own music retail system.
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