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Heralding the era of GPU-enhanced computing, the Khronos Group on Monday evening announced the ratification and public release of the Apple-proposed OpenCL 1.0 specification, the open, royalty-free standard for cross-platform, parallel programming in PCs. The OpenCL spec, proposed by Apple under six months ago, is designed to improve performance of software applications (ranging from gaming to scientific and medical software) and is supported by vendors such as Activision, Blizzard, AMD, Apple, ARM, Broadcom, Electronic Arts, IBM, Intel, Nokia, NVIDIA, and Samsung. The OpenCL standard was completed in nearly six months time by the working group in order to be ready for the release of Mac OS X Snow Leopard, the next version Apple's operating system that is expected to ship early next year.
A leaked Radio Shack holiday ad shows the Acer Aspire One priced at $100 when combined with a $60 or higher two-year AT&T data plan. The promotion represents a unique subsidization strategy for netbooks, drawing from a technique long-established in the mobile handset market. The Aspire One features an Intel Atom processor, Windows XP Home, 1GB memory, 160GB hard drive, 802.11b/g wireless and integrated 3G components for connection to cellular networks.
The UK's Logic3 has recently launched its i-Station25 portable speakers meant to work with Apple's iPhone and iPod touch. The i-Station 25 includes an accelerometer that will adjust the output of the speakers to output at the correct left and right separation when users turn it 90 degrees to better view photos or videos stored on their connected Apple device. The four built-in speakers deliver a total of 8W RMS of power, and each is sized at nearly 1.6 inches. The buzzing noise heard in speakers right before an incoming call is suppressed with the use of TDMA noise distortion circuitry.
iharmonix, a new brand launched by the California-based Paramount Wireless company, has introduced five new products encompassed in two lines along with its debut on Monday. In the company's flagship Platinum Series line are three new headphones, starting off with the i-Series headset meant for use with the iPhone 3G and BlackBerry handsets. It includes an in-line microphone to double as a headset for hands-free conversations. A multi-function button will answer or end calls and play and pause music.
Online video rental company Netflix announced over the weekend that it will be laying off 50 of its technical specialists after the holidays, according to a Monday CNET report. The jobs involve helping customers with setting up their Netflix set-top boxes or services for PCs and Macs. A spokesman for Netflix says Microsoft's Silverlight plugin made the jobs redundant, as the software made it easy enough for customers to install without having to call for help.
Danish computer maker Zepto, which recently grabbed headlines by announcing what it calls the world's fastest 14-inch notebook with its Nox A14, has now announced the addition of its 12.1-inch Notus A12 notebook. The screen offers a maximum resolution of 1280x800, while other hardware is made up of an 800MHz Intel CPU, 1GB of RAM and an 80GB, 4,200RPM hard disk drive. The Notus A12 includes a gigabit Ethernet connection and integrated Wi-Fi module, along with a waterproof keyboard.
i-mate, maker of the Ultimate brand of smartphones, has recently announced it is launching the i-mate Go interface for its Windows Mobile 6.1-powered offerings. Based on the VITO Winterface, i-mate Go brings Windows Mobile users with touch-screen devices an iPhone-like interface, with large, square virtual buttons acting as shortcuts to launch popular applications. Users can customize the icons, selecting the most-often used applications to pop up on the main screen.
Battery maker Energizer announced on Monday it will introduce a new type of battery at the International CES show in January that will power the next-generation of smaller and thinner personal electronics devices. Called Zinc Air Prismatic, the new type of battery will allow device manufacturers to build smaller devices. Energizer promises high energy density, as much as three times more than conventional alkaline or lithium ion batteries of the same size.
iRiver announced on Friday it has begun taking pre-orders for its new CaroNavi in-car navigation system. The Navigator has a 3.5-inch LCD touchscreen that sports 320x240 resolution. It has a built-in 2GB of flash memory that stores MAPLUS software from Edia and an SD card slot for expansion, allowing users to watch WMV videos or listen to MP3, WMA and OGG files. The CaroNavi can also be used as a navigator for motorcycles and in a pedestrian mode, though how exactly hasn't been specified.
Previously only available preloaded onto Dell notebooks, Microsoft's version of Windows Vista branded under the Product (RED) global charity in support of AIDS research, the software by itself will begin shipping via Amazon starting on December 15th. The operating system on Dell's notebooks included six unique wallpapers, a screensaver, two sidebar gadgets and a Dreamscene, some of which are expected to be included in this standalone version as well, although Microsoft's product page indicates that two new wallpapers are included in the software.
Broadcom has developed a new communications processor that should finally bring 802.11n Wi-Fi to cellphones without the extra power normally needed for the technology. Called the BCM4329, the chip allows the wireless link on the 2.4GHz or 5GHz bands up to 50Mbps in real-world conditions but actually uses less power than earlier parts limited to the older 802.11g standard. It also uses a technique known as space time block coding to more reliably hold a connection on the fringes of the network.
Early details have already surfaced for the production versions of AMD's Phenom II processors. Already known to be based on the same Shanghai architecture, which brings denser and cooler 45 nanometer chips as well as minor changes to the design itself, the new quad-core parts should carry 8MB of Level 2 cache (up from 6MB on equivalent Opterons) and will also support either DDR2 or DD3 memory running at 1.33GHz. The final lineup is estimated to run about 20 percent faster than earlier Phenom models.
HP Labs and Arizona State University today revealed that it has built the first example of a working flexible plastic display. A process known as self-aligned imprint lithography (SAIL) lets the PC maker build a thin film transistor screen that can be rolled up without snapping or otherwise easily breaking. Although it uses an active matrix and can show moving content, it also uses Vizplex's E Ink technology borrowed from e-books to render an image stable even when the display's power is shut off, making it ideal for reading.
iRiver, maker of the SPINN digital audio player with a 3.2-inch OLED screen, will be launching two entry-level players, according to a weekend report. The simpler and smaller of the new players, the T5, is a strictly audio-only player with a simple display that supports MP3, WMA and OGG formats and has a USB port for charging the device and loading tracks. It should be available in black or white and 2GB or 4GB capacities, while its battery life is rated at 13 hours.
Americans should not expect to Sony Ericsson's Xperia X1 smartphone anytime soon, according to indications. Best Buy is said to have changed the online status of the phone from "Pre-Order" to "Coming Soon," and Sony's own Sony Style website has moved the release date to January 12th of next year. Those who have already pre-ordered through Best Buy are reportedly being sent multiple e-mails, warning of stock delays. The phone has been on sale in Europe since the end of September.
Greenpeace may be unfairly singling out Apple in its latest technology rankings, research by BusinessWeek shows. The magazine notes that Apple's score on the eco-friendly chart has barely moved despite its green initiative that eliminated toxins and many non-recyclable materials from most of notebooks, which itself followed similar moves to purge many of the materials from iPhones and iPods.
Tivoli on Monday announced the release of its NetWorks radios that connect to the Internet via their built-in Wi-Fito deliver streaming radio. The NetWorksalso allows users to access their networked PCs via an Ethernet connection or the wireless link. The NetWorks radios sport a hand-crafted wood frame that houses one 3.5-inch speaker, but users can expand them with a separate stereo speaker, CD player and subwoofer offered by Tivoli.
HP on Monday quietly dropped the price of its Mini 1000 netbook down to $360 from its original $400 price tag. The update puts the system into closer competition with same-size models and is accompanied by a new offer that doubles the RAM to 1GB for free. The deal effectively removes the most common upgrade option from the system and further discounts the final shipping price.
As promised, Creative this morning marked the US in-store date for its Vado HD pocket camera. The 720p-capable recorder aims to beat the Flip Mino HD on features with HDMI video output, twice as much storage at 8GB and a larger two-inch preview LCD. Creative uses H.264 encoding that should give it four hours with Flip-level encoding or two hours in a claimed better HD+ capture mode.
Dell has unwittingly revealed a major revision to its Inspiron notebooks courtesy of a company-hosted technology guide discovered late yesterday. The Inspiron 1545 will be one of Dell's first truly mainstream notebooks with a 16:9 aspect ratio display and should switch from today's 15.4-inch LCD to a more movie-friendly 15.6-inch, 1366x768 (WXGA) screen with the option of an LED backlight. It should also mark a jump to Centrino 2 that carries anything from a 2GHz Celeron to a 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo and will bring GMA 4500MHD integrated video as a result.
After a low-key launch over a week ago, Rogers today officially posted the BlackBerry Curve 8900 online. The third-generation Curve is designed to more closely resemble the BlackBerry Bold and gets the higher-end model's very high-resolution 480x360 display, GPS and Wi-Fi while dropping 3G and adding a sharper 3.2-megapixel camera. In Rogers trim, it supports the carrier's Talkspot service for Wi-Fi calling and comes preloaded with a portal to download certain third-party apps.
Intel's Atom processor lineup may receive a significant graphics boost in the near future and a more efficient process in less than two years, according to a roadmap leaked by the Register. Intel's next-generation Poulsbo architecture for handhelds, headlined by the Lincroft version of the Atom processor, will reportedly drop Intel's in-house graphics hardware in favor of a PowerVR core integrated with the Atom processor itself. The claimed move would reduce power consumption without sacrificing too much performance and would specifically compete against ARM-based smartphones.
Logitech today acknowledged some of the most common uses of notebooks today by launching its Comfort Lapdesk for Notebooks. The platform uses a hard base but a curved, cushioned surface ideal for knees; laying the stand out this way both keeps the notebook itself cool when used on the bed or couch and also angles the system upwards for a more natural angle. A curved design on the base with heat shielding both prevents the stand from blocking airflow and from transferring the heat through to the user's legs.
TiVo on Monday said that its recently promised Netflix for TiVo should now be active. The service lets owners of Series 3, TiVo HD and TiVo HD XL DVRs that also maintain active Netflix subscriptions stream movies and TV shows from their Instant Queues. Titles can play in HD whenever the content is available, and the TiVo's own remote can be used both for navigating the movie as well as rating movies or checking descriptions before starting.
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