News Archive for 08/11/07

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Keith McMillen unveils string instrument interfaces

11/07, 6:00pm

McMillen string interfaces

Keith McMillen Instruments has unveiled two computer interface products designed for string instrument musicians, the K-Bow for bowed instruments, and the StringPort for a wide range of bowed or picked string instruments. The Kevlar and carbon-fiber K-Bow uses Bluetooth communication to transfer live information to a computer for further sound processing. The information can be used as input for a synthesizer, audio processor, or exported to other applications.

Walmart deals include 15.4-inch $298 Compaq notebook

11/07, 5:20pm

Walmart drops prices

As part of a price drop campaign it is calling Operation Main Street, Walmart on Thursday announced it will cut back prices of many popular products over the next seven weeks, in time for the holidays. The more noteworthy items include a Magnavox Blu-ray player, the NB500MG9, priced at $198, down from its regular price of $229. It is capable of upconverting standard DVD movies and will support Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound formats. A 2GB Sony Walkman MP3 player will be priced at $49.

Lorex introduces Easy Connect Network IP Camera

11/07, 5:00pm

Easy Connect IP Camera

Lorex Technology has introduced the LNE3003, a network IP surveillance camera that can be accessed from any Internet connection, including 3G mobile devices such as the iPhone or iPod touch. The camera transmits a 640 by 480 (VGA) resolution feed at 30 frames per second, compressed to MPEG4 format for viewing the stream from mobile devices. The camera can be plugged directly into a router, or connect via 802.11b/g WiFi, with wireless range claimed to extend 250 feet in open space.

Samsung Techwin to create separate camera division

11/07, 4:55pm

Samsung Techwin spin-off

Korean manufacturer Samsung Techwin is planning on separating its camera business into a separate division but keep it under the same ownership, says a Friday report. The new company, due to be called Samsung Digital Imaging, will have a separate listing starting on February 1st of next year. The move is believed to differentiate the existing company from the Samsung Group's machinery and heavy industry division and allow the newly formed company's management to focus on the quickly growing consumer camera market.

Rambus files complaint against NVIDIA with ITC

11/07, 4:55pm

Rambus files ITC complaint

In addition to filing a lawsuit against graphics hardware maker NVIDIA back in July, technology licensing company Rambus has filed a formal complaint against the company on Thursday with the US International Trade Commission. Rambus has requested an investigation of NVIDIA products that it hopes would lead to the barring of importation, sale for importation and sale after importation of the latter's products that Rambus believes infringe on nine of its patents.

Pioneer intros 5.1 Blu-ray home theater system

11/07, 4:35pm

Pioneer 5.1 BD system

Pioneer on Friday has announced the launch of its previously announced high-definition home theater system, the LX01BD. Comprised of a Profile 1.1 Blu-ray disc player and a 5.1-channel speaker and 400W amplifier combination, the set-up won't be able to connect to BD-Live and access movies' Bonus View content from the Internet. What the player does offer, however, is 1080p resolution via its pair of HDMI 1.3a Deep Color connections.

Blu-ray player prices to drop for holidays: ABI

11/07, 4:25pm

Blu-ray prices dropping

Holiday prices for older Blu-ray players may fall in the $150-200 range over the holiday season, representing a price drop in spite of the industry's forecasts and expectations, according to ABI Research. The analyst group believes Blu-ray manufacturers need to drop their prices in order to fend off competitive pressure from high-definition movie download services and the need for strong sales during the holiday season after the recent market troubles.

Directed announces split with Sirius satellite radio

11/07, 4:10pm

Directed quits sat radio

Directed Electronics announced earlier this week that it will leave the satellite radio market, ending its agreement to act as Sirius satellite radio's exclusive retail distributor as of January 31st, 2009. The company says this is due to the softening market for the subscription-based service and, along with Sirius XM's more than $1 billion in debt, is calling the agreement an unfavorable "risk-reward tradeoff."

Solo adds plans, Samsung CLEO and Pearl 8130

11/07, 3:50pm

Solo Mobile adds choices

Canadian wireless provider Solo Mobile on Thursday announced it is introducing four new voice plans and two new handsets to its line-up. The Bell sub-brand enhanced its Unbeatable and Solo in the City plans, giving users what it says is better value. It now waives the controversial System Access Fees and emergency 911 charges to new subscribers who sign up for a two-year contract. This represents a savings of about $8 CAD (about $6.75) per month.

AT&T on Android absence, no iPhone price cut

11/07, 3:35pm

ATT on No Android

AT&T is investigating Google's Android platform but ironically won't adopt it as it isn't sufficiently open, company wireless chief Ralph de la Vega tells the San Francisco Chronicle. He acknowledges that the carrier has considered adopting an Android-based phone but that the mobile operating system needs more third-party software to be open enough for it to be an option. Although open-source, too much of the current software feature set is limited to what Google offers, the executive says.

ASUS rolls N20A high-speed ultraportable

11/07, 2:40pm

ASUS N20A Notebook

ASUS in a low-profile release has outed the N20A, one of the company's newest full-feature ultraportables. The 12-inch system uses the latest Centrino 2-era processors and manages to fit up to a 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo into its small-profile chassis. It also incorporates an internal DVD burner and still finds room for more advanced expansion like an ExpressCard slot, external SATA and an HDMI video output.

UIQ Technology employees on chopping block

11/07, 2:10pm

UIQ employees on dismissal

Cell phone makers Motorola's and Sony Ericsson's recent decision to drop the UIQ-developed platform from its future products has left the software-development company in an uncertain position. On Thursday, UIQ Technology's 270 employees were put on notice of dismissal, according to a Friday report. Sony Ericsson will continue to fund the company on a monthly basis to allow it to consider its future options during this transitional period. It is not known how long Sony Ericsson's funding will remain in place, and Motorola, UIQ's other shareholder, is not involved in the plan.

OpenMoko's Android phone an altered FreeRunner

11/07, 1:50pm

OpenMoko GTA02

OpenMoko's recently mentioned Android phone is effectively the company's Neo FreeRunner with a different operating system, the company has confirmed. Instead of a custom-built but basic Linux distribution, the GTA02 uses Google's Android to both give it a native touchscreen interface and access to all the features of the phone, including its 3D-capable ARM processor, assisted GPS, Bluetooth 2.0 and GPRS data.

NVIDIA intros entry Quadro mainboard, PCIe video

11/07, 1:00pm

NVIDIA Quadro FX 370 470

NVIDIA on Thursday announced the release of two new entry-level graphics processing solutions for workstations with its first Quadro FX 470 integrated mainboard GPU and the Quadro FX 370 Low Profile standalone PCIe card meant for use in small form factor desktop PCs. Either GPU is certified for CAD and digital media apps by software makers that include Autodesk and Adobe. Both new NVIDIA products feature 128-bit precision graphics processing and 32-bit floating point precision, filtering and blending, along with advanced color compression and early z-culling. They have full-scene antialiasing capabilities as well and support OpenGL 2.1 and DirectX 10 for 3D work.

Ballmer confirms work on Windows Mobile 6.5

11/07, 12:40pm

Windows Mobile 6.5 a go

Cellphone buyers and owners should expect to see another major update to Windows Mobile 6 before a complete overhaul, Microsoft's CEO has confirmed. Steve Ballmer disclosed the information recently during the 2008 investor briefing for Australian carrier Telstra, which supports a variety of Windows Mobile phones. "With releases we'll make this year," he began, "releases we'll make with 6.5 next year, Windows Mobile 7, I think we have a pretty interesting roadmap." Prior to this, Windows Mobile 6.5 had not been announced by Microsoft.

Ericsson: cellphones to record 1080p by 2012

11/07, 11:45am

Ericsson on Cellphone Cams

Ericsson late yesterday outlined its plans for future cellphones that will make HD video a crucial part of the future. The Swedish company says its current projections will result in cellphones by 2012 with cameras as sharp as 12 to 20 megapixels that will also have the processing power behind them to record full HD video, or 1080p. This target phone should also have a roughly 1024x768 display resolution and could thus play its own footage much closer to its native resolution than would be possible today.

Panasonic confirms buying Sanyo

11/07, 10:30am

Panasonic Buys Sanyo

Panasonic today said it would buy fellow Japanese electronics maker Sanyo. The deal, which is unofficially estimated at a worth of $8.8 billion, will make Panasonic the single largest company of its type in Japan and is described as a move to secure Sanyo's well-known battery business, which includes lithium-ion batteries for cellphones, notebooks, portable media players and other devices as well as its automotive, eneloop, and solar power technology.

Honda intros experimental walking assist device

11/07, 10:05am

Honda walking assist gizmo

Honda Motor on Friday announced it will begin real-world testing of its second experimental walking assist device designed to reduce the strain on a user's leg muscles and joints such as hips, knees and ankles. The device will supporting a portion of user's body weight whether they're crouching, walking or climbing stairs and is meant to help both those physically weakened with age or injury as well as workers who would need to reduce the stress on their bodies from heavy work or unusual positions.

Samsung #1 in US phones; Apple now 5th

11/07, 10:00am

Samsung Tops in US Phones

Samsung today surprised the cellphone business by claiming the lead in US phone sales for the summer based on a Strategy Analytics report [membership required]. The company edged out Motorola, the long-time holder of the position, by earning 22.4 percent of the American market versus US-native Motorola's 21.1 percent. LG followed close behind and now threatens to overtake either of the two leaders with 20.5 percent of sales following steady increases in recent months.

MySpace toying with portable media player

11/07, 9:05am

MySpace Mulls Making PMP

MySpace is considering the possibility of producing its own portable media device to match its Music service, the social network's co-founder Chris DeWolfe has noted at the Web 2.0 conference. While non-committal, DeWolfe says hardware from MySpace is "possible" and that the company's focus "right now" is on its just-launched commercial music format, which is available either as a free, ad-subsidized stream through the web or through paid MP3 downloads.

Sprint posts $322m loss, loses 1.3m users

11/07, 8:30am

Sprint Q3 2008 Results

Sprint on Friday reported a damaging summer quarter, revealing mounting struggles at the company. The American carrier swung from a $64 million net profit in summer of 2007 to a $322 million net loss for the same season this year and saw itself continue to lose cellphone customers, shedding a net 1.3 million subscribers and dropping to 50.5 million users from exactly 54 million a year ago.

MS confirms Windows 7 sped up for 2009 launch

11/07, 7:45am

MS Targets Win 7 for 2009

Microsoft late Thursday admitted that it was ultimately targeting the public release of Windows 7 for 2009, confirming suspicions of an early release. In a presentation for its Vista Velocity program, which speeds up and improves the user experience of upcoming PCs, the company largely confirmed that its attention for Velocity would be on Windows 7 for later in 2009. The focus is "definitely" on having 7 ready for holiday 2009, according to Microsoft director Doug Howe.

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