Super Talent on Tuesday announced the upcoming release of two lines of enterprise-class solid-state drives (SSDs), with the UltraDrive LE and ME. Super Talent promises the new SSDs are twice as fast as the fastest rotating SATA II hard drives currently on the market, and top out at 256GB capacities in the ME range. The ME range contains the fastest 2.5-inch flash-based storage for SATA-II notebooks, with maximum sequential read/write speeds rated at 200/160MBps. The ME SSDs use the company's third-generation multi-level cell (MLC) NAND-based flash chips and are available in 16GB to 256GB capacities.
Blurred images of an 8-megapixel Samsung handset that is expected to be offered at wireless provider T-Mobile have surfaced on Monday, all but confirming an earlier report. The touchscreen handset is expected to be called Memoir and feature the same TouchWiz interface as the current Samsung Behold handset. The handset is on course to be the first subsidized cameraphone in the US with an 8-megapixel shooter, which also has autofocus, a built-in flash and optical zoom, as well as video recording capabilities.
On Monday, Google announced it has launched a developer site for its Native Client open-source research technology for running x86 native code in web applications. This decision to share the technology with research and security communities is meant to help Google perfect and troubleshoot the technology, making it secure enough for public use. The idea is to let users take advantage of the fast processing speeds of their own PCs while performing tasks in web-based programs and applications.
Desktop and portable PC maker Lenovo on Tuesday reduced prices for its IdeaPad S-series range of netbooks by between $50 and $80, depending on model. The basic black or white IdeaPad S10s now cost $349 and sport 10.2-inch LED-backlit LCD screens along with Intel's 1.6GHz Atom CPU. The custom-colored S10s have dropped from $439 to $359.
Bluetooth headset maker Jabra on Tuesday announced the launch of a pair of multi-use headsets with the M5390 USB and BT530 USB. Either can pair up with up to eight devices including cell phones and Internet-connected PCs for VoIP or soft-phone use. Additionally, both can pair up to two devices simultaneously, allowing users to answer the device that is ringing. Users can answer either their cellphone or a PC-based VoIP call thanks to the included USB dongle.
Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) has confirmed rumors on Monday that the long-awaited and much-delayed PlayStation Home online social service will launch later this month, albeit in a limited open beta form. While SCEA execs aren't specific about dates or exactly how users will get Home onto their systems, it has been believed a downloadable firmware upgrade and a download of the software itself will represent the delivery method.
A new US House Committee on Energy and Commerce report (PDF) published today accuses current FCC chairman Kevin Martin of unfairly biasing policy against the cable industry. The government body head is specifically accused of overriding others' views and is said to have reversed a finding that exempted cable providers from offering à la carte rules as well as attempting to force through a report that would have accused the cable industry of greater than 70 percent control of the market, allowing Martin and the FCC to regulate the field.
Despite the usual attention given to the Black Friday shopping rush, sales of home electronics actually dropped for the first time, the NPD Group says. Where sales during Thanksgiving week have typically grown significantly year over year and topped out at $2.2 billion in 2007, these sales actually dropped about 8.4 percent in 2008 to just over $2 billion for this year. The softened sales numbers are believed to stem both from less aggressive overall discounts as well as the failures of high-profile retailers, such as Circuit City and home theater-oriented outlet Tweeter.
In spite of their higher prices, netbooks are currently outselling Apple's iPhone lineup by a significant margin, according to a comparison from jkOnTheRun. The report expands on both new DisplaySearch netbook figures and elaborates on recent Gartner smartphone figures to reveal that the combined netbook market shipped about 5.7 million computers versus an estimate 4.7 million iPhones that ultimately reached users' hands in the same period. Apple is believed to have kept just over 2 million iPhones for inventory.
Nokia's N85 smartphone, which has already been spotted at the FCC, is now officially shipping in a North America Model. The feature adds a three-band 3G data network radio for HSPA that supports the 850MHz band used by both AT&T in the US and Rogers in Canada. As of yesterday, Nokia confirmed the handset is now available, with both Nokia's web store and Amazon listing the N85, priced at $589 and $556, respectively. Either is unlocked and supports any local GSM or HSPA carrier.
Computer builder Dell has begun selling the UltraSharp 1909W, its latest LCD monitor. Measuring 19 inches in a 16:10 ratio, the screen supports resolutions up to 1440x900, with a a 5ms response time and brightness rated at 300cd/m2. Contrast is measured at only 1,000:1, and the viewing angle is limited to 160 degrees; a number of ports are provided however, including four for USB devices, one for VGA input, and another for DVI video. The last is HDCP-enabled for protected HD content.
The Open Handset Alliance today said it has added 14 new members to its group in a move that will bolster support for Google's new Android operating system. The new roster includes phone manufacturers such as ASUS, Sony Ericsson and Toshiba as well as prominent chipmakers like ARM and Atheros as well as carriers Softbank and Vodafone. GPS device maker Garmin is also included in the list.
TiVo today implemented the potentially controversial step of introducing ads to its Pause Menu interface. The move lets advertisers buy text spots that will appear whenever the user either pauses a live or timeshifted show. The ads can appear either cued to a particular show or can be automatically flagged for when certain keywords appear or even for entire genres. Fox and Mercedes-Benz are among the early companies planning to advertise.
Computer memory maker OCZ late on Monday introduced the Slate Series ExpressCard, which offers up to 32GB of storage for modern notebooks with EC/34 slots. Compared to more conventional memory expansion or backup methods such as flash or external drives, the ExpressCards are said not only to be physically safer by sitting inside the slot but also more power-efficient at the same time. Available in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB capacities, the Slate Series of ExpressCards can be connected to computers like an external drive thanks to an integrated mini-USB port.
Apple's latest-generation MacBook Pro systems may face the same material defect in their dedicated graphics hardware as encountered by earlier models, according to an investigation by the Inquirer. A dissection of the GeForce 9600M chip shows the part using the same non-eutectic (higher melting point) soldered contact bumps as the GeForce 8600M, suggesting the graphics hardware is prone to the same long-term heat damage risk as the GeForce 8400M and 8600M series chips, producing the blank screens and other video errors that have triggered recalls of previous MacBook Pro revisions as well as wider-still recalls by Dell, HP and others.
Novatel Wireless on Tuesday announced it will soon release the MiFi range of portable wireless routers, or what it also calls Intelligent Mobile Hotspots, which promise to deliver wireless 3G data network access to multiple users within a small area. The MiFi, which is about the size of a credit card, allows users to pick from access to EVDO Rev. A or HSPA high-speed data networks. The MiFi products are also open platform, and therefore capable of running flexible applications depending on particular needs.
LG this morning said it has developed the world's first practical chip for 4G-grade cellular access using Long Term Evolution (LTE) as its standard. The 13mm square (0.51in) modem is small enough to fit in a cellphone but is capable of the theoretical peak speeds of LTE, which LG says tops out at 100Mbps downstream and at 50Mbps for uploads. A testbed Windows Mobile device has successfully reached bandwidth of 60Mbps down and 20Mbps up in a real-world example and should lead to slim cellphones with fast data performance, according to LG.
Sony on Tuesday revealed that it would cut a total of about 16,000 employees from its workforce to guard itself against the "acute downturn" in the world economy. The company is officially eliminating about 8,000 positions worldwide in its core electronics business but is also known to be dropping a similar amount from its part-time and temporary ranks. The cuts to permanent employees represent about 5 percent of Sony's total regular workforce of about 160,000.
NVIDIA is in the process of porting the technology behind the GeForce 9400M to mainboards meant for Intel's Atom processors, alleged sources from PC builders claim. The MCP79 chipset, which sits at the heart of both the 9400M in newer MacBooks and the lower-powered 9300M, is said to be in conversion for the mini PC platform with the aim of improving graphics over Intel's existing but relatively limited GMA video. NVIDIA would first focus on hardware for nettops but would potentially expand to netbooks later on.
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