News Archive for 08/12/05

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Holiday pricing on electronics from across the net

12/05, 7:10pm

Holiday pricing

Online retailers have begun to drop prices on a variety of electronics with the holiday season upon us. Buy.com has cut prices on everything from MP3 players and digital photo frames to GPS units and notebook computers. Prices are slashed on everything from wireless routers and printers to wireless mice and Bluetooth stereo headphones at HP.com.

Acer and DisplayLink release 22-inch USB monitor

12/05, 5:00pm

Acer 22-inch USB monitor

Acer, in conjunction with DisplayLink, announced on Friday the availability of a new USB computer LCD monitor which, despite the dependence on the CPU rather than a graphics chipset, still supports Windows Vista's Aero Glass interface as well as other 3D functions. The 22-inch B223 display features a 1680x1050 resolution and DisplayLink's DL-160 network display chip that lest users connect up to six of the monitors to a single PC or notebook via their standard USB 2.0 ports.

Sprint to carry hybrid CDMA, WiMAX handsets

12/05, 4:45pm

Sprint CDMA, WiMAX phones

Wireless provider Sprint Nextel will offer handsets that can switch from the existing CDMA network to the WiMAX mobile broadband network currently being built up across the United States by Sprint's recent partner, Clearwire. Apart from the handsets, Sprint will carry other WiMAX products and services, including the first hybrid CDMA/mobile WiMAX modem. All will be branded as Sprint 4G, replacing the existing Xohm brand name for the existing high-speed mobile broadband gear.

Mitsubishi intros Blu-ray DVR

12/05, 4:40pm

Mitsubishi Blu-ray DVR

Mitsubishi has recently released the DVR-BF2000 digital video recorder in Japan that includes a 500GB hard disk drive and the ability to write to blank Blu-ray discs (BD-R/RE). Users can record two programs at the same time, or record one while watching another, thanks to a dual digital tuner that supports Japan's BS/110CS digital and analog broadcast systems. For smaller files, users will be able to burn DVD-R/RW discs, with AVC recording to DVD supported as well.

Logitech launches customizable ID Grip for gamers

12/05, 4:30pm

Logitech launches ID Grip

Logitech on Friday announced the availability of its new ID Grip for the company's G9 Laser Mouse meant for gamers. The ID Grip can be customized by buyers via a custom printing process. Logitech offers a choice of artwork it created in-house, or designs from various video games. Buyers can also create and send in their own images or photos that Logitech will then transfer onto the palm grip for the G9 mouse. The printing process ensures the image is resistant to rubbing off, as the image is printed into the surface of the grip and not simply on top of it.

AMTek shows T10L Touch UMPC with 10.2-inch LCD

12/05, 4:20pm

AMTek T10L Touch UMPC

Taiwan's AMTek has revealed specs on its new UMPC, the T10L Touch, which is equipped with a 10.2-inch, 1024x600 touchscreen fixed in an exposed position, like a non-convertible Internet tablet. The T10L Touch gets Intel's 1.6GHz Atom mobile CPU along with a 512MB of RAM and space for a maximum of 2GB. An 80GB hard drive is the sole storage option, with no indication of the type of operating system pre-loaded onto it.

Sharp bringing HDTVs with built-in Blu-ray to US

12/05, 4:15pm

Sharp LCDs with Blu-ray

Sharp will bring two world-first LCD HDTVs to the North American market in January, sporting built-in Blu-ray disc burners and another slot drive for DVDs and CDs, says Sharp Electronics Marketing Company of America president, Mike Troetti, according to a Thursday report. First introduced along with different-sized models in mid-October in Japan, the 32-inch set features 720p resolution and a 7,000:1 contrast ratio, while the 42-inch set has a 120Hz panel with 1080p resolution and 15,000:1 contrast ratio. The new AQUOS DX-series HDTVs are meant to appeal to people who want or need a clutter-free appearance, minimizing the amount of hardware, or want a clean-looking, wall-mount installation, Troetti says.

Verizon releases BlackBerry Storm firmware update

12/05, 4:00pm

Verizon Storm update

Verizon has officially released the 4.7.0.75 firmware update today for the BlackBerry Storm handset made by Research In Motion (RIM). The update addresses the newly released handset's numerous issues, including a large amount of lag, voice-dialing problems and need to perform reboots. While the update was leaked to a select few Storm users last week, this release will cover all Storm owners.

Ballmer: Yahoo deal better "sooner than later"

12/05, 3:50pm

MS Yahoo Deal Sooner

Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer today rekindled talk of a possible deal between his company and Yahoo in an interview today with the Wall Street Journal (membership required). While Microsoft has repeatedly downplayed any possibility of deals since breaking off talks with Yahoo in the spring, Ballmer now says it would be beneficial for both companies if a deal for a search ad union was struck "sooner than later" and says the main requirement is receptiveness to such a deal from Yahoo, which has lately insisted on either a full takeover or no deal at all.

Dell now charging $150 to use XP on new PCs

12/05, 3:00pm

Dell Charging XP Premium

Dell has returned a Windows XP option to some of its home systems but is now charging as much as $150 for the privilege. The company's Inspiron 1525 notebooks and Inspiron 530 regular and slimline desktops now all have an option to configure a system with Windows XP that uses a surcharge to take advantage of Microsoft's "downgrade" loophole intended for business PCs. Dell gives users a pre-installed copy of Windows XP Professional in exchange for paying to upgrade to Vista Ultimate.

Argentinian company offers OpeniMac clones

12/05, 2:20pm

OpeniMac clones

An Argentinian company is the latest computer maker to defy Apple and release Mac clones. Customers can choose from two models, OpeniMac and OpeniMacPRO. The standard version features a 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of DDR2 RAM, and a 320GB 7200RPM hard drive. The Pro clone integrates a 3.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB of DDR2 RAM, 500GB 7200RPM hard drive, NVIDIA GeForce GS 1GB GPU, and a 20-inch LG widescreen monitor.

Acer set for own smartphone in early 2009

12/05, 2:05pm

Acer Smartphone in 2009

Acer is on track to release its first smartphones in the early part of next year, the company says. Following up on its buyout of cellphone company E-TEN in the spring, the PC builder now says it hopes to have the first phones under its own name to ship before the end of March and hopes to launch them first within Western Europe and Russia, with other areas following later.

Nokia teases handset with gesture-driven UI

12/05, 1:20pm

Nokia Direct UI handset

Nokia reportedly unveiled this advertisement for an unnamed, next-generation handset at a Capital Markets Day presentation in Brooklyn on Thursday. Little is known about the cellphone other than what the photo reveals, which is a touchscreen that covers nearly the entire face of the handset with no hard buttons visible. The cellphone breaks from Nokia tradition as it forgoes the use of any form of a conventional keypad or keyboard and instead relies nearly entirely on what the phone maker calls a Direct UI interface.

Microsoft brings in ex-Yahoo exec for ads, search

12/05, 1:10pm

MS hires ex-Yahoo exec

Microsoft has hired an ex-Yahoo executive to run its Online Services Group, the company has announced. Qi Lu -- who until recently was the executive VP of engineering for the Search and Advertising Technology Group at Yahoo -- will assume his new role on January 5th, where he will report directly to CEO Steve Ballmer. His responsibilities should involve directing Microsoft's efforts in online search and advertising, which are centered around Windows Live.

YouTube rolling out first HD videos

12/05, 12:15pm

YouTube HD Videos

YouTube has quietly started regularly putting up content in HD. Searching for videos marked "HD" turns up content that plays natively at 720p, well above the sub-SD resolution clips that make up most YouTube clips. Many of these are also available in the basic resolution but can be upgraded at the YouTube website with a "watch in HD" link that enables the sharper footage, though embedded clips continue to play at the original resolution.

UK sets guideline for minimum Internet speeds

12/05, 11:30am

Ofcom UK Internet Rules

British telecom regulator Ofcom today put into effect a new set of guidelines meant to improve the state of Internet access in the UK. The voluntary system requires Internet providers who agree to the terms to give users a better idea of the real-world maximum speeds of the Internet connections and also guarantees that customers can step down their service plans without suffering a penalty fee.

Customizable Nokia 2605 Mirage hits Verizon

12/05, 10:40am

Nokia 2605 at Verizon

Verizon today prepped a last-minute addition to its phone lineup before the holidays with the advent of the Nokia 2605 Mirage. Pitched as a phone for younger and often more fashion-conscious users, the phone comes with snap-on faceplates that let owners change from the stock blue to different colors or patterns. It also draws on the same "seamless" clamshell design as the 3555 and 6555 to make for a smoother grip when open than on other phones.

Verizon FIOS to top 100Mbps in 2009

12/05, 10:20am

Verizon FIOS 100Mbps

The speeds of Verizon's FIOS fiber-optic Internet access should double in less than a year, the company's technology head Vincent O'Byrne has said at a media event on Thursday. Although the telco has already boosted its service to 50Mbps US-wide just this past June, its plans now have a trial 100Mbps service expanding to an official service sometime in 2009. The increase will be necessary as many services beyond ordinary computer-borne Internet access, such as HDTVs with direct video downloads and network-attached storage drives, will demand a large amount of bandwidth on their own.

World's first HSPA+ network goes live

12/05, 9:30am

Telstra HSPA Plus Now Live

Telstra today said it has switched on the world's first HSPA+ network. Also known as HSPA Evolution, the early 3.5G network promises to be about three times faster in downloads than the best regular HSPA networks, which top out at 7.2Mbps in peak conditions. The Australian carrier's service should theoretically allow downloads as quick as 21Mbps and should also help with uploads; the speed is enough to rival many landline Internet connections, the company and its launch partner Ericsson boast.

AT&T may use Symbian as main smartphone OS

12/05, 8:50am

ATT on Symbian Use

AT&T may focus almost exclusively on Symbian for its smartphones in the future, company director of next generation services Roger Smith said in a presentation later on Thursday. The executive says AT&T has grown frustrated with the splintering of most of the smartphone market and that the carrier is likely to settle on a single, very flexible operating system like the soon to be open-sourced Symbian platform rather than attempt to code for multiple platforms.

OCZ outs unique eSATA flash drive

12/05, 7:50am

OCZ Throttle eSATA Drive

OCZ has opted for a unique alternative to traditional USB jump drives and launched the Throttle eSATA Drive. Although it includes a mini USB fallback option, the flash stick can use the extra bandwidth of eSATA through either a native port or add-in card to transfer at speeds more closely resembling hard drives: it can read at 90MB per second and write at 30MB per second. Users can store HD videos or other very speed-dependent content and play it back directly from the drive, OCZ says.

Samsung announces HD CMOS video sensor for computers

12/05, 3:00am

Samsung HD CMOS sensor

Electronics company Samsung has announced the latest addition to its line of CMOS image sensors, the S5K4AW, a 1/4-inch 1.2-Megapixel HD system-on-chip (SoC) unit. The embedded component is designed for notebook or desktop computers, with a focus on video capture for conferencing, web-based video sharing, or biometrics and security functions. The company claims that the sensor supports 720P HD video at 30 frames per second, and captures VGA-resolution streams at 60 frames per second.

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