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Thanks to a newly announced partnership between chipmaker ARM and commercial Ubuntu sponsor Canonical, Ubuntu Desktop, a Linux-based operating system, will come to low-power ARMv7-based System-on-Chip (SoC) processors commonly used in portable electronic devices. ARM announced the co-operative effort on Thursday, which will enable small computer devices to bring with them integrated graphics processing while using up as little power as possible. The operating system will be optimized by Canonical for specific applications and OEM requirements put forth by device manufacturers.
A tiny speaker system in the form of Xpod Active Sound for portable audio devices was spotted on Friday, measuring in at just over 3 inches long by 1.3 inches wide and 0.33 inches thick. The pair of piezoelectric drivers reproduces sound thanks to a two-channel 770mW amplifier, and power comes from a built-in battery that can be recharged via an included USB cable.
Sony Style on Friday announced the launch of its Green Glove Service meant to encourage people to recycle their old Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) TVs instead of just throwing them into the landfill. The service is available only to those who buy a Sony BRAVIA LCD TV via SonyStyle.com or in Sony stores that is 32 inches or larger and opt for premier home delivery. While dropping off the new TV, the delivery crew will take the old CRT TV from buyers' homes and recycle them.
LG Electronics of Japan on Friday announced it will soon release the W2442PA-BF 24-inch computer monitor with 1920x1080 resolution. The monitor's other specifications include a 300cd/m2 brightness rating and 1000:1 contrast ratio that can be boosted in some scenes to as high as 10,000:1 thanks to LG's dynamic contrast feature. Mid-range tone, or grey-to-grey response time is rated at 2ms, while the black to white transition is specified as 5ms. LG offers users to set the LCD to a 4:3 aspect ratio from its native 16:9.
Japan's Keian on Friday announced the release of its P71-A2-JP product that combines a 7-inch LCD screen with 480x234 resolution with a color photo printer, digital audio player and a USB port that allows users to connect external and flash-based hard drives. The printer can produce images viewers can see on the 7-inch screen at a 300dpi sharpness.
Lenovo on Thursday announced the upcoming availability of two versions of its new ThinkPad USB Portable Secure external hard drive. The portable drives are sized at about three by five inches and are less than one inch thick. Available in 160GB and 320GB capacities, they use a numeric keypad to lock out unauthorized users from accessing their contents.
Additional e-mail messages have been published through court filings in the investigation of the Vista Capable logo lawsuit that suggest Intel was applying the highest levels of pressure to lower the system requirements ahead of Vista's launch. Intel chief Paul Otellini reportedly contacted Microsoft head Steve Ballmer ahead of the release to petition the inclusion of Intel's GMA 915 chipset in the logo program, increasing pressure on Microsoft to allow the chipset even though it knew the hardware's video performance would be inadequate for Windows Vista's full Aero Glass interface
Matrox has introduced a unique camera that aims to resolve many of the problems of image recognition. Normally known for its graphics cards, the company's Iris GT includes a near netbook-class system with a 1.6GHz Atom processor, 256MB of memory, and Windows CE 6 that let it run apps designed to recognize different content. Users can have it perform simple barcode scanning or more complex tasks like measuring objects and recognizing patterns, including text. It can also compensate for visual artifacts generated by the lens.
Japan's Eizo recently introduced the ColorEdge CG242W LCD monitor that offers a 24.1-inch display and offers 1920x1200 resolution. The monitor's colors cover 97 percent of the Adobe RGB spectrum, and is meant to be used with video editing applications that include 3D-look-up table (3D LUT) support. New MacBook Pros use a mini Display Port connection and nothing else, so once an adapter is released, users will be able to add EIZO's LCD as a secondary, external display to the notebooks. Apart from the DisplayPort, there is a DVI connection, and both are HDCP compatible.
Netflix recently informed its subscribers that, starting on December 15th, it would stop shipping movies on the HD DVD high-definition format. This is the final move in the company's backing of the winning HD format, Blu-ray, after Netflix announced back in February that it would stop purchasing movies recorded on the HD DVD format. In the letter to its subscribers, Netflix told them any current HD DVD title will be substituted with the same movie on standard DVD as of December 15th, making the transition seamless and not requiring them to take any actions.
American Airlines on Thursday announced it will soon introduce digital Mobile Boarding Passes to make the process of getting on their flights less of a hassle and eliminating the need of printing out their passes, saving paper and time. The system uses QR codes accessed from fliers' mobile phones or PDA devices and took effect on Thursday at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. On Monday, November 17th, the system will be offered as an option to customers on domestic flights from Los Angeles International and Santa Ana John Wayne/Orange County airports as well.
Aequitas Technologies is said to be shipping the iGala Wireless Digital Picture Frame, an eight-inch touchscreen viewer with built-in Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi allows access to Microsoft's FrameIt service, which lets people browse news, traffic and weather information. Users can also browse photos on Flickr, but a focus of the device is on receiving Gmail, as the frame can be associated with an account and have photos e-mailed to it from any supporting Internet connection.
A study of October console sales in the US by the NPD Group released today suggests Sony has improved its long-term sales of of the PS3. While Nintendo continues to enjoy a clear lead, the PlayStation 3 saw one of its greatest year-over-year results and saw sales grow 57 percent versus October of last year to 232,400 consoles. The difference wasn't enough to eclipse the Xbox 360's 371,000 systems but represents a tangible improvement for Sony, which has regularly struggled to sell the PS3 due to its high price and a lack of system-selling exclusives.
Canadian big-box retailer Future Shop has launched an unusual campaign that sees it drop the price of the Zune 8GB by $50 to just $100. The deal lasts until November 20th for all colors and significantly undercuts both the American and Canadian prices for a device which is still considered current-generation, with the Zune 8GB having received a software upgrade and a more permanent cut to $150 in September.
AT&T today grew both its full-touchscreen phone lineup and its small roster of mobile TV phones by adding the Samsung Eternity. A close cousin of the Instinct, the phone carries a 3.2-inch touchscreen with haptic (vibration) feedback and an accelerometer that both auto-rotates the display and lets it play iPhone-like motion-sensitive games. A MediaFLO tuner is built-in to play live digital TV through AT&T's subscription broadcast service.
Cellphone manufacturer Motorola on Friday announced the new MOTO VE240 handset will soon be available to Cricket Communications and Metro PCS customers. The candy-bar phone promises to bring with it stereo Bluetooth support and MP3 capability with dedicated music keys. The VE240 has a microSD slot, enabling users to add up to 4GB of memory to the handset. Other than via wireless or wired headphones, the built-in speakerphone can playback music, which users transfer to the handset via a USB 2.0 connection.
Verizon on Friday launched a pair of heavily leaked Samsung phones that each target very different users. The Saga was previously known under its i770 name and is Verizon's closest parallel to the AT&T Epix. It carries Windows Mobile 6.1 and uses both a touchscreen and an optical joystick to theoretically provide the best possible control scheme in a given situation; it also has the still-rare addition of quad-band GSM for calling and basic data roaming outside of CDMA networks.
Nokia today updated its guidance for the fall and for 2009 to predict a significant downturn across much of the mobile space. The Finnish company continues to expect its cellphone shipments to go up along with the rest of the industry but that both its own growth and world-level business will be slower than expected. Nokia itself now expects its volume in the fall to go up a relatively modest 20 million to a total of 330 million despite the traditional end-of-year spike. The world as a whole is thus likely to move a slightly lower 1.24 billion phones versus the 1.26 billion Nokia says it has estimated earlier.
Addressing a gap in its site versus Apple and others, Microsoft has opened up the simply-titled Microsoft Store. The site marks the first online location for the company to sell Office and individual apps, Windows, peripherals such as mice, and all Xbox 360 hardware and software in one place; it also brings in factory-stock Zunes that would normally be left to the company's Zune Originals page. Every app or device gets the same level of support as if it were bought elsewhere, Microsoft says.
Fulfilling an earlier promise, Dell has quietly made the Vostro A860 available for the US. The system is one of Dell's only 16:9 aspect ratio notebooks but, unlike other extra-wide notebooks, is targeted at the entry level that might otherwise consider a netbook; its 15.6-inch, 1366x768 screen is its stand-out feature, while most components skew towards the low end.
NVIDIA is on the verge of launching even more aggressive price cuts on its graphics hardware in a bid to remain competitive with AMD, companies making third party boards reportedly claim. Following a Jon Peddie Research study showing AMD's ATI Radeon HD lineup increasing marketshare to 40 percent (obtained by Electronista), NVIDIA is said to be expanding on earlier cuts with price for the most competitive cards, including the GeForce GTX 200 series, the 9800 GT and the 9600 GT.
M-Audio has announced an update to its Luna microphone line, the Luna II professional cardioid studio condenser microphone. The new microphone will feature class-A, solid-state electronics and a 1.1-inch, 3-micron, evaporated-gold diaphragm with a brass capsule, and is geared towards capturing vocals, guitar, piano and other musical instruments. It will also include a -10dB pad that allows recording up to 140dB, handling high-intensity sources like kick drums and guitar amplifiers. The Luna II has a switchable low-frequency roll-off filter and each microphone can be matched to a second Luna II for stereo recording.
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