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MySpace tonight kicked off the formal appearance of MySpace Music, its first commercial music service. The feature takes advantage of existing hooks for streaming music to offer on-demand, ad-subsidized playback of full tracks from the website but also lets members purchase unprotected MP3s of songs through an Amazon MP3-supported system with similar prices; the normal MySpace Flash player now includes links to buy songs or add them to a playlist.
Toshiba on Wednesday unveiled a new 250GB 1.8-inch format hard drive, something the company claims to be an industry first. Sitting off a Serial ATA connector, the MKxx29GSG series drives now offer the highest density of data storage currently available, at 378.8 Gb per square inch, with a 15ms seek time. The drives, which are also available in 120GB and 160GB capacities, run at 5400RPM, and offer a free fall sensor option to help prevent damage to the drive platter.
After a public outcry, T-Mobile is reconsidering its stance on the 1GB data cap for the upcoming Android-based G1, and will only focus on users who repeatedly abuse their data connections. Engadget reveals that the move comes in response to protests against the limitations which were published on Tuesday, which would limit users' download speeds to 50Kbps should they pass a 1GB data cap. T-Mobile hopes the decision will sate users' expectations for the new device.
Skyfire today announced the release of its Skyfire mobile browser into public beta. The browser touts its support of Flash, Ajax, Quicktime, Windows Media, and other rich media content compatibility. The company intends to add capabilities to Skyfire that are currently exclusive to desktop systems. Based on feedback from the private beta, the browser now includes a "Super Bar" that combines the URL and search entry into one place.
At the currently ongoing Photokina show, three professional medium format digital SLR camera manufacturers revealed newly released products that utilize current and new Kodak CCD image sensors. The newly-unveiled Leica S2 uses Kodak's KAF-37500 image sensor, which is good for 37.5-megapixel resolution. The sensor introduces a new format that is 50 percent larger than conventional 35mm film thanks to its imaging area of 45mm x 30mm. The KAF-37500 uses micro lenses to increase its light sensitivity, while a built-it infrared filter is integrated into the sensor, allowing the camera to be physically thinner.
Movea on Wednesday announced the addition of the Air Mouse to its Gyration line of products. Thanks to its motion sensors, the Air Mouse will work in users' hands in free air, or in tight spaces thanks to dedicated media controls and presentation effects. The controls are also comatible with iTunes and Slingbox, allowing music tracks and TV channels to be changed at will.
At the opening of the CEATEC show in Japan, Panasonic held demonstrations of its 3D HD system built around its 103-inch plasma display. The setup also relied on a standard Blu-ray disc player and battery-powered 3D glasses to produce three-dimensional moving images. Panasonic claims this is the first system using a plasma display and producing true-to-life 3D images, which, the company says, are on par in terms of image quality with Hollywood-produced 3D movies.
LG is following up the high-end KC910 smartphone and its 8-megapixel camera with a more affordable handset with the same high-count shooter, the KC780. The new handset has recently been approved by the FCC for the 1900MHz GSM band and Bluetooth, but also promises to offer quad-band GSM and GPRS and EDGE data network support. The 8MP camera will include autofocus, red eye reduction and face recognition software, as well as 30fps video recording.
Microsoft this afternoon confirmed that it would have a functional version of Windows 7 for developers at the company's Professional Developers Conference on October 28th. The build, referred to as a pre-beta build, will be handed out to attendees of the event keynote by company Windows Senior VP Steven Sinofsky. Specific details of what will be revealed aren't mentioned, though Microsoft says its public presentation will talk about the kernel, or operating system core, as well as Windows 7's interactions with hardware and networks and the user interface itself.
Sony Ericsson is considering the possibility of using Google's Android platform on its phones, company chief Dick Komiyama revealed today. The Walkman phone maker has stopped short of endorsing the open-source mobile software but adds that the company is interested in the option. Komiyama doesn't provide an exact reason for the company's indeterminate stance but implies that business rather than philosophy is defining the current official approach.
Dell on Wednesday introduced the M109S ultra-portable projector, meant for use with laptops during on-the-go presentations. The product weighs less than a pound and but can still produce a widescreen 858x600 resolution. Maximum projection distance is 8 feet. In exchange, the brightness and contrast are low compared to some larger, more mainstream projectors at 55 lumens and 800:1 respectively. The largest image the small projector can throw up is 60 inches.
Comcast on Wednesday told GigaOM that the company will adjust its Internet bandwidth caps if it becomes clear that overall use is increasing. Although not explaining any specific corporate policy, provider spokesman Charlie Douglas says the company's 250GB threshold isn't fixed and that the cap is liable to change over time either as the average use goes up. A large number of complaints is also likely to trigger changes.
Bell Canada may artificially attempt to drive customers to its own subscription GPS service, according to an alleged internal memo circulating online. The note would reportedly see the cellular provider deliberately slow down the GPS position lock and potentially reduce the accuracy of the position itself for built-in or otherwise non-Bell navigation apps, focusing first on BlackBerry Maps for the company's current BlackBerry roster.
The European Commission on Tuesday announced a planned law that would limit how much network providers can charge for text messages and downloads when users are roaming outside of their home country in Europe, according to a WSJ report (registration required). Under the proposed law, a single text message sent within the European Union will cost the equivalent of 16 US cents, down from about 42. Charges for passing on text messages between mobile operators will be limited to just under 6 cents.
A alleged AT&T sales guide, leaked to the public, suggests concern by the carrier over Research in Motion's latest BlackBerry phone. The guide is said to be a memo circulating inside of AT&T, trumpeting the benefits of the iPhone 3G over the BlackBerry Storm, which AT&T claims will ship through Verizon sometime in October or November. The guide states that the Storm will lack Apple's proprietary multi-touch technology, as well as Wi-Fi and tri-band HSDPA, the latter allowing 3G data in more areas outside of North America.
Automaker Nissan, wireless network provider NTT DoCoMo and electronics maker Sharp on Wednesday announced they have developed a prototype cellphone that doubles as an intelligent ignition key for automobiles. Like the system used in Nissan's Japanese cars since 2002, the intelligent key uses two-way wireless communications capable of triggering the doors or engine but without requiring a separate device.
The rapid surge in popularity of netbooks is affecting the bottom line for Apple and its chipmaking partner Intel, ThinkEquity researcher Vijay Rakesh claims in a recent study of the market. The analyst's checks with both Amazon and physical retail show Apple as having to face increasing competition from Acer, ASUS, and MSI. Of the top ten portables at Amazon at the time of the report's creation, two Apple MacBooks were the only systems not to fit into the new category of mini-notebooks, according to Rakesh.
A new LG media phone has been spotted, and will be out on the market by the end of the year, according to a BGR report. The LG Xenon handset sports a 2.8-inch, 240x480 LCD screen, which slides over to unveil a full QWERTY keyboard. It is apparently going through testing at AT&T, which will be the exclusive provider of the handset. The quad-band phone features 3G UMTS and HSDPA data support as well as assisted GPS and Wi-Fi.
Wireless carrier Alltel has launched a new music service for its network based on iTunes, an announcement reveals. The service, called nuTsie, lets users listen to music from their iTunes playlists on a variety of phones sold by Alltel. Unlike existing intermediary sync programs, the service additionally gives people the option of listening to music based on recommendations, and viewing playlists created by other users and members of the nuTsie development team.
Dell is preparing to update its display line with a second model that hints at a wider revamp of its line, a Taiwan-area leak of a prototype shows. The S2209W would be unique among 22-inch displays in its use of a 16:9 ratio, 1920x1080 resolution. The image is both much sharper than the 16:10, 1680x1050 displays that dictate most 22-inch LCDs and also better-suited to HD movies, which would output at full resolution and without the black bars that come from a non-native aspect ratio.
Sony Ericsson on Wednesday announced it will supplement its men's line of MBW-150 Bluetooth watches with a women's line called the MBW-200. Made in conjunction with watchmaker Fossil, the timepieces use Bluetooth to connect with compatible handsets and display caller ID and vibrate when the phone is ringing or a text message is received. Users can then mute or reject the call via the watch. Either of the three distinctly styled timepieces will also act as a remote control for the music playing from the handset.
Nokia's first true touchscreen phone has been spotted today in a leak of an official press image for the device. The image matches earlier but much less distinct images and shows a significantly different interface for the Symbian operating system's music player with onscreen music controls and larger album art. Other interface changes are known to be coming and include an iPhone-like photo browser with swipe and rotate features as well as as a new control panel.
Sony Ericsson this morning launched into more aggressive competition in mobile music with the advent of PlayNow plus. The feature is one of the few carrier-independent unlimited music services that works entirely from the device itself but is also tailored to overcome resistance to subscription services: in an improvement on Nokia's Comes With Music service, Sony Ericsson says it will not only let users keep their most frequently-played music at the end of their subscriptions but that permanent copies will come in MP3 format; listeners can offload the music to another phone, a PC, or a dedicated media player without copy restrictions.
Dell on Wednesday acted on its early tease and launched the Precision M6400, the company's new flagship notebook for professionals. The 17-inch notebook is Dell's fastest ever by using both the Centrino 2 platform and the size to its advantage: the system is Dell's first to use Intel's quad-core 2.53GHz Core 2 Extreme processor and carries four DDR3 memory slots that can each support 4GB of memory, pushing the system up to a desktop-like 16GB in the most extreme configurations.
LG today said that it has sold one million Prada phones worldwide, making it one of the Korean company's best-selling individual touchscreen devices. The device was one of the earliest direct competitors to the iPhone and was developed at roughly the same time with a launch a few months earlier. Individually, the device has fared relatively poorly compared to its Apple rival's over six million but forms part of a larger touchscreen lineup that LG said slightly edged Apple in July.
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