News Archive for 08/10/27

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Microsoft intros cloud-based Azure Services Platform

10/27, 8:00pm

Microsoft Azure platform

Microsoft has introduced Windows Azure, the foundation to its cloud-computing architecture that will allow companies to create software and services that can be accessed from centralized data centers. The platform will directly compete with similar ventures from competitors, including Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Google's library of internet tools. Developers can create applications that exist "in the cloud," accessible from anywhere in the world. The release marks a transition for Microsoft from the reliance on desktop software and further into the realm of Web-based technologies.

Casio intros handset with 8.1MP camera, 3.1-inch OLED

10/27, 4:50pm

Casio intros 8.1MP handset

Casio, in conjunction with KDDI AU, on Monday announced the upcoming release of the EXIFILM-series W63CA flip phone that features one of the most advanced cameras in the industry, with an 8.1-megapixel camera carrying a nine-point autofocus and a wide-angle mode. The CDMA handset also sports a 3.1-inch, 480x800 OLED screen that rotates in the same fashion as a tablet PC's screen and can be left facing outside so users can enjoy streaming video provided by the phone's 1Seg support in Japan.

NAVist III brings near-PC functionality into cars

10/27, 4:35pm

NAVist III car computer

Seoul-based HS Networks is showing off a car navigation and entertainment system at tradeshows that can play movies and audio tracks on CDs and DVDs, and perform functions usually associated only with entertainment PCs. The NAVist III is a double-DIN receiver that houses a removable hard disk drive and has a DVD optical drive. Users interface via a 7-inch screen that will show the contents of a DVD or an optional rear-view camera, or photos stored on the HDD or an SD card. DivX-encoded video files are also supported.

Cowon O2 touch player comes to US

10/27, 4:30pm

Cowon O2 Comes to US

Cowon today has quietly launched an Americanized version of the O2, its most recent video-oriented touchscreen player. The device is a close cousin of its Korean original and carries a 4.3-inch, 480x272 display as well as the processing power to decode 720p video in some formats. Although it denies the use of the T-DMB TV tuner that would only work in Korea, the O2 continues to support relatively exotic formats that include Monkey Audio and OGG as well as video formats like Matroska and MTV. Several common formats are likewise supported and include both AAC and H.264.

Dell website leak shows two Pharos smartphones

10/27, 4:15pm

Dell intros Pharos phones?

A false start on Dell's website revealed the computer and monitor maker may soon get into the smartphone game as well with a pair of Pharos-branded smartphones, the Traveller 117 and 127. While the phones have disappeared since making their short-lived online debut, their specifications were revealed so we know what to expect if and when they do come to market. Manufactured by Inventec, the devices feature access to 7.2Mbps HSDPA networks, assisted GPS capabilities and Windows Mobile 6.1 with the Microsoft Office Mobile suite.

UK's Orange to get HTC Touch HD exclusively

10/27, 4:05pm

Orange gets HTC Touch HD

One of the UK's wireless service providers, Orange, announced on Monday it will carry the upcoming HTC Touch HD exclusively in the country until 2009. The news follows on the footsteps of Germany's O2, which announced earlier it would offer the Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional-based smartphone starting in early November, the same time period announced by Orange. Apart from the Orange handset's support of the carrier's mobile TV service, the specs are similar to the reference Touch HD model, including the capability of accessing the Internet over the carrier's high-speed HSDPA data network.

Wal-Mart may carry T-Mobile's G1 for $149

10/27, 4:05pm

Wal-Mart May Get T-Mo G1

Wal-Mart may soon carry T-Mobile's G1 at a significantly lower price than T-Mobile itself, a slip to Engadget shows. The Android-powered smartphone is reportedly set to ship to the retailer about a month after its official debut and would cost just under $149 on a two-year contract, or at least $30 below the official $179 price point. It's not clear whether Wal-Mart would carry all colors, though the existing black and brown are likely candidates.

T-Mobile G1 illegally being sold in China for $550

10/27, 3:40pm

G1 sold in China for $550

The T-Mobile G1, released in the US just last week is reportedly already being illegally brought into and sold in China for RMB 3,999 (about $550), a marked increase from the $180 it is selling for through T-Mobile in the US with a two-year contract. The handsets are making their way over from the US, and have been doing so since October 26, and are being sold in Beijing's Zhongguancun, or what is known as China's Silicon Valley. The report originally came from China's DoNews daily, which added that the handsets can be unlocked for another RMB 500 ($73), allowing buyers to use them on a network other than T-Mobile's.

Bell, Solo Mobile holiday line-up revealed

10/27, 3:30pm

Bell, Solo holiday line-up

A Monday report from BGR lists upcoming handsets Canadian wireless provider Bell and Solo Mobile will launch in time for the Christmas shopping season. The same report alleges Bell will sell a Motorola handset in 2009 running the Android OS that debuted in the T-Mobile G1. Apart from Bell getting a slew of handsets that include such high-tech smartphones like the BlackBerry Storm plus HTC's Diamond and Touch Pro, the provider will also introduce new plans.

Gates making plea to FCC on white space?

10/27, 3:20pm

Gates Plea to FCC

Bill Gates is petitioning the Federal Communications Commission directly to bring a quicker end to the debate over white space mobile Internet access, Microsoft revealed today. The executive is making a personal call directly to FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell to dissuade him and others from delaying a decision on permission to use the special white space frequencies, which sit in between regular licensed airwaves and promise to supply open and potentially free long-range wireless data.

Verizon-brand Samsung femtocells spotted at FCC

10/27, 2:20pm

Verizon Ubicell at FCC

Verizon will soon join Sprint in offering a femtocell option for its cellphone owners, an FCC filing shows. A Samsung Ubicell branded with the carrier's logo has turned up at the American regulator and performs a similar function as Sprint's AIRAVE by creating a local CDMA hotspot that uses the Internet connection for . The Verizon edition, however, appears to include an optional GPS receiver to find the Ubicell's position.

Nokia's entry-level 2600 candybar now at AT&T

10/27, 1:55pm

Nokia 2600 ships at AT&T

Nokia's basic candybar handset, the 2600, is now available for purchase at wireless provider AT&T. The GSM/EDGE device has a 1.8-inch display with a 128x128 resolution and can browse the Internet thanks to a Media Net interface, as well as launch into IM chat with support for mobile versions of AOL, Windows Live and Yahoo Messenger. The handset also has MP3 ringtone support, a VGA camera, Bluetooth 2.0 and a built-in speakerphone.

ASUS' upscale Eee PC 1002HA spotted

10/27, 1:40pm

ASUS Eee PC 1002HA Seen

ASUS is planning yet another 10-inch netbook that takes the Eee PC further up the ranks, according to a German leak. The 1002HA appears to be a restyling of ASUS' one-time flagship the 1001HA that borrows design cues from the S101: the curved and pseudo-brushed metal external shell, front-mounted speakers and more compact shape recall the higher-end system. A switch from a six-cell to a two-cell battery is also said to drop the weight from 3.2 pounds to 2.6 while contributing to a smaller overall size.

Motorola intros pair of MOTONAV GPS systems

10/27, 1:05pm

Motorola intros MOTONAV

Motorola on Monday announced the release of two new portable navigation systems, the MOTONAV TN20 and MOTONAV TN30. The entry-level MOTONAV TN20 provides turn-by-turn directions via its 3.5-inch touchscreen and speaks street names out loud. It includes over one million points of interest and maps for the continental US from NAVTEQ, which can be searched and displayed in either two- or three-dimensional views. A built-in sensor will adjust the display's colors to make it suitable for nighttime operation.

GeForce 9400M to dominate notebook graphics?

10/27, 12:55pm

GeForce 9400M prospects

Apple's latest MacBooks are poised to lose their graphics advantage in short order, a new report suggests. Acer, ASUS, Dell and HP have confirmed plans to launch notebooks with NVIDIA's GeForce 9400M integrated graphics chip, which has been described as substantially faster than many other integrated chips currently in use. Some of these companies claim that the 9400M could spread to as many as 20 percent of Intel-based notebooks, branching out from MacBooks, which were the first with the technology.

AUO shows 15-inch multi-touch panel, more

10/27, 11:55am

AUO 15in Multi Touch Panel

AU Optronics today revealed a handful of new displays that it hopes will bolster portable devices. Although the company has already developed multi-touch displays, the Taiwan-area firm says it has developed a new 15-inch LCD with the technology built into the cells of the panel itself. The screen uses image sensing to recognize input and so is both responsive to not just fingers but light pens. AUO says this and new 12-inch and 4.3-inch panels with similar features could be used to add multi-touch input to notebooks and larger handhelds.

Cox plans cellular service for 2009

10/27, 11:15am

Cox Cell Service in 2009

Cox Communications on Monday said it would launch its own cellular service in 2009 that would make it one of the first new national providers in the US in years. The format of the expansion hasn't been made public but will see Cox offer both voice and data service on its network that includes tight integration between phones and the company's cable service.

Aliph Jawbones in blue, pink hit Best Buy

10/27, 10:40am

Jawbone Blue and Pink

Aliph today launched a pair of new color variants for its second-generation Jawbone headset. The Babbling Blue and Rambling Rosť (light pink) hues are meant to fit in with the fashions of men and women and support the existing black, gold and silver colors of the Bluetooth headset.

RED preps "incredible" Epic, Scarlet updates

10/27, 10:25am

RED Epic Scarlet Updates

Greater-than-HD camera maker RED will unveil a major new direction for its upcoming Epic and Scarlet cameras on November 13th, company chief Jim Jannard says in a new update on the company's strategy. While not detailing the changes, the executive describes the new programs for the video cameras as "incredible" and believes many will call the changes a "scam" based on the capabilities of the new models.

iPhone could hit $99, rule smartphones

10/27, 9:40am

Needham on 99 iPhone

Apple has the room to cut the price of the iPhone to where it could take command of the smartphone market, analyst Charlie Wolf of Needham Research says today in a research note. The financial expert estimates that the average, unsubsidized price of an iPhone 3G in the summer was $666 and so would give Apple a nearly 50 percent gross margin on each sale as well as a heavy subsidy from AT&T of $450. Both give Apple a large amount of space to adjust its price and could see the phone maker drop the price of an 8GB iPhone to $99 while still supplying a comfortable 42.3 percent margin.

Verizon growth slower than AT&T in summer

10/27, 8:55am

Verizon Q3 2008 Results

Verizon today reported quarterly results that reveal the company's wireless business growing at a slower rate than AT&T. The carrier claims to have added 2.1 million net new customers but notes that about 630,000 of these came from the buyout of Rural Cellular earlier in the year, giving the company an actual growth rate of 1.5 million new customers versus AT&T's net 2.0 million without similar deals; about 120,000 of the Rural Cellular customers will have to leave due to an exchange deal.

Windows 7 to get device hub, animation API

10/27, 8:15am

Windows 7 Pre-Beta Leak

Microsoft's formal unveiling of Windows 7 at the Professional Developer Conference on Tuesday will show several key infrastructure changes, journalist Mary Jo Foley has revealed ahead of the event. The replacement for Vista aims to solve a common Windows problem of integrating with peripherals through Device Stage, a central repository for external devices; users will have a central location to manage and sync cameras, cellphones, media players and other hardware supported by the platform.

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