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German company Ultrasone has released the smallest headphone in its HFI line, the HFI-15G. The open-back supra-aural design features a decentralized driver position that is claimed to widen the sound-stage by directing the waves to the outer ear, instead of straight into the ear canal. The company lists a frequency range of 20Hz to 20kHz, with a sound pressure level of 96dB. The 40mm Mylar drivers are configured with an impedance of 32 Ohms.
Chrysler is taking the next step in bringing the web into cars with a Web Edition option package due to be unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week. Along with an in-car router from Autonet Mobile, the automaker is calling uConnect Web, buyers who opt for the $1,999 package also get Dell's Mini 9 netbook, a Sony PSP, an 8GB iPod Touch and an unnamed digital camera with Eye-Fi wireless SD card. All these devices have Wi-Fi modules that can take advantage of the car's built-in router. One year of service is also included with the Web Edition package.
Alltel Wireless on Thursday announced the launch of Alltel Perks, a content delivery application that allows the carrier's customers to receive customized content that includes sports scores, weather information, discounts, trivia and more on their handsets. Once the application is downloaded from the Alltel store, it will deliver content to the phone's screen when the phone is idling. Coupons or discount offers from local merchants and restaurants will be sent to users' handsets, which can then be ignored or explored further by clicking a View button.
A merger between telecommunications companies Sprint and Clearwire announced back in May could be completed before year's end, as Clearwire's shareholders have approved the deal today, according to a Thursday report. Earlier this month, the FCC approved the merger as well, bringing the $14.6 billion venture one step closer to completion. The new company, also called Clearwire, will work on developing a mobile network based on WiMAX technology that promises wireless data transfer rates faster than any current network, approaching wired broadband speeds.
Okoro Media Systems on Thursday announced it will soon be shipping the more affordably priced OMS-LX100 Digital Entertainment System. Part of the company's low-profile home theater PC range, the OMS-LX100 features a single CableCARD tuner and a 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor along with NVIDIA's GeForce 9300 video card. The system also includes 4GB of RAM and a 7,200RPM SATA hard drive preloaded with Windows Vista Home Premium that has a 500GB capacity. The media center PC supports 7.1-channel high-definition audio via an HDMI port, and has a dual-layer DVD burner.
Wireless provider Alltel has recently added the HTC Touch Pro to its line-up of phones. The QWERTY smartphone is available now, priced at about $280 to new subscribers with a contract and after a $100 rebate. The 2.8-inch, 480x640 screen of the device will show the same Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional operating system though with a somewhat different TouchFLO 3D user interface than the Sprint version of the phone.
T-Mobile on Thursday announced the introduction of its web2go mobile Internet service for the provider's data-connected phones. Web2go is said to enhance web browsing and improve web searches via the use of Yahoo! oneSearch and a customizable home page that makes access to favorite locations on the web quicker. Online shopping and downloading are also said to be improved. The new interface is meant to improve the web browsing experience especially on non-smartphone devices. It will make viewing and navigating web pages easier.
A lawsuit filed against Sony over two years ago by Agere Systems has finally been settled, according to a Thursday report, with Sony ordered to pay $18.5 million for infringing on eight patents held by Agere. The jury ruled Sony willfully infringed on the patents, which dealt with wireless local area network apparatus that Sony uses in its PSP portable gaming system, Network Walkman and mylo portable Internet device.
Nokia has recently unveiled a limited edition version of its flagship smartphone, the N96, to commemorate martial arts legend Bruce Lee. The phone itself does not get any unique features, though fans of Bruce Lee should enjoy a likeness and signature of Bruce Lee on the back panel of the handset, along with preloaded rare photos of the fighter and actor. Other included accessories include an action figure of Bruce Lee made by Enterbay is likewise included with the handset.
Gadget4All is offering a roll-up mousepad that has an integrated speaker and USB hub. The device has four USB 1.1 ports and a 3.5mm stereo jack that allows users to connect compatible MP3 players and iPods via their headphone connection. An on-off button and volume knob gives users basic control of the device.
While already popular in the home space, the iPhone has now just outrun Palm for second place in the US corporate world, according to a new study from ChangeWave. Closing a gap that had already been narrowing in August, the Apple device now has a place in about 14 percent of companies in November versus Palm's 11 percent. The situation is a near-reversal of the situation three months earlier, when Palm held 15 percent and Apple just 9 percent. Research in Motion's BlackBerry line maintains a clear lead at 76 percent but has remained virtually flat in share since May.
Dell has quietly given its netbooks a visual upgrade by adding several new design options. Similar to its Mike Ming Edition full-size notebooks, both the Inspiron Mini 9 and the Mini 12 now have the option of five different stylized patterns on the back designed by artist Tristan Eaton, including three "Stickers" and two "Muse" pieces. The pink and red solid color options from Japan are also now available.
Bell today heated up competition among cell carriers with a trio of Smartphone Combo plans aimed conspicuously at outpacing Rogers. The Smartphone Combo 45 plan gives users 250 minutes of calling, unlimited evenings and weekends, and 500MB of data for its namesake $45. It also provides choices of extras such as unlimited calling between five phone numbers, unlimited incoming calls, or an earlier 5PM start time for evenings.
ASUS on Wednesday introduced its newest and most powerful gaming PC, the ROG CG6190. The mid-tower runs Intel's newly released Core i7 Extreme Edition processor running at 3.2GHz and uses the X58 chipset; in a more unique twist, an ASUS-specific turbo mode lets users dial in up to 20 percent of overclocking from the factory. Compared to a model using Intel's previous generation quad-core chips, the Core i7 system is estimated to run 52 percent faster in 3D gaming tasks.
A company called FE Technologies has demonstrated a new type of display technology, called field emissions display (FED). Originally begun by Sony, the technology deploys some 10,000 electron emitters per pixel. Florescent material is passed in front of the electrons, which in turn emits light in a fashion similar to a cathode ray tube. This is said to produce a wider viewing angle than is possible with current LCDs, and and at the same time dramatically improve motion handling.
Veteran online music store eMusic today said it has registered its 250 millionth download since its subscription service began in 2003. The company is one of the few outside of Apple to reach the milestone and is owed partly to eMusic's business model, which offers unprotected MP3s compatible with Apple and Microsoft players but uses a subscription model which guarantees a certain number of songs at rates that typically fall well below the 99 cents per track found at iTunes and other stores. An entry $12 monthly plan gives users 30 downloads per month, or about 40 cents per song.
Bell Canada today won a largely clear victory in an anti-throttling lawsuit filed with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). The government body has issued a ruling dismissing claims by Internet providers using part of Bell's network that accused the carrier of unfairly throttling the connection speeds of their services while also constricting its own. These rivals, represented by the Canadian Association of Internet Providers (CAIP), had accused Bell of trying to hinder competition and violating the basic concepts of net neutrality by discouraging large transfers.
ASUS today officially launched the Eee Top in its home territory of Taiwan. The desktop is positioned as a budget alternative to an iMac or a similar media all-in-one with just a 15.6-inch, 1366x768 display and the components of a netbook but with features often left out of more expensive desktops. A built-in touchscreen supports both media playback through a special front-end (Eee Cinema), drawing notes and browsing the web using finger input. A stylus is also bundled with the Eee Top for more precise input or general use in Windows XP.
Apple has developed a technology that would let iPhones and iPods display basic warnings to users without invoking the full screen, a new US patent filing shows. The system would use a second, always-on but power-efficient backlight to illuminate a custom-shaped notification when the main backlight isn't switched on, such as an indication that an iPod is stopped or an SMS text message has reached an iPhone.
VIZIO in a pre-Thanksgiving move today upgraded its XVT sets to include a new 55-inch flagship model. The 1080p LCD set still has the 120Hz panel to compensate for motion blur and boosts the dynamic contrast ratio to 50,000:1, putting the budget set closer to those from more expensive labels. It also carries an unusually extensive five HDMI inputs and a signature Game Port layout that puts both video and sound inputs for consoles next to each other to avoid spreading cables across the back of the set.
The launch of Verizon's BlackBerry Storm on Friday may fall short of expectations due to a last-minute flaw, according to tips given to BGR. A security issue discovered at the last moment by RIM has reportedly forced both it and Verizon to update the firmware at the last minute and cut back on the supplies of phones for launch day. One Verizon store slated to receive 100 units will now get just 40, an individual example notes.
Microsoft on Thursday gave its Zune Pass feature an upgrade by letting owners keep ten of the songs they download each month as part of the unlimited subscription service. The plan includes music from all four major labels as well as independents such as Arts & Crafts or Ghostly International and doesn't require any alterations to the $15 monthly subscription rate or to the choice of format for music, which can include either unprotected MP3s or the proprietary, locked Zune format.
MSI has launched its latest series of notebooks, the VR220 YA Edition, available in black or pastel shades of blue, green, or pink. The devices feature Intel's Pentium dual-core processor and (integrated) GMA 4500M GPU. Memory options allow up to 2GB capacity with DDR2 667MHz modules, while the device also advanced Gigabit Ethernet or wireless 802.11b/g as well as N-networking. The magnesium-alloy case and a small 12.1 inch WXGA screen (1280x800 pixels, helps keep the overall weight under four pounds.
Sonic Solutions on Wednesday announced it would acquire CinemaNow, a digital video distribution service with over 6000 Hollywood Movies, moving one step further in growing its Qflix service. The move will reportedly blend CinemaNow into the Qflix business group, and adopting the title of Premium Content Group. Sonic is hoping the further concentration of the two services will boost placement of CinemaNow and Qflix drives.
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