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Philips has announced the latest GoGear line-up for its digital audio players, the Raga, Spark, and LUXE. Features for the Raga include a 2GB or 4GB flash storage, a tiny multi-line display, and roughly 27 hours of battery life. The spark offers a 1.5-inch OLED color screen capable of displaying album art or photos, and navigation style similar to a clix media player. For the LUXE, Bluetooth 2.1 functionality and FM stereo are offered, along with up to 10-hours of playback time and 100 hours in standby. If a BT-enabled phone is nearby and paired up with the LUXE, calls can now be answered without having to swap out headphones.
Several retailers are now offering the Lenovo IdeaPad S9 in the United States. The manufacturer had previously shipped the model only to other countries, while offering the slightly larger IdeaPad S10 in the domestic market. The netbook runs on the Linpus Linux Lite operating system and features a 1.6GHz Atom N270 processor, GMA 950 graphics processor, 4GB solid-state drive and 512MB of DDR2 memory. The 8.9-inch display offers a resolution of 1024 by 600 pixels. The device also provides built-in 802.11b/g support, an ExpressCard slot, media card reader and web camera.
Hercules on Tuesday announced the upcoming availability of its DJ Control Steel digital dual mixing deck. The portable deck is powered by a computer's USB port and supports AIFF, MP3, WAV, WMA, OGG and audio CD formats. The included Virtual DJ 5 DJC edition software allows direct access to iTunes playlists. The deck has MIDI control capabilities, and two mixing decks with equalizer and volume knobs. A pair of jog wheels has adjustable resistance, and there are 13 rotary switches and six faders with one general volume fader. Of the 46 pushbuttons, five serve to introduce effects while six are kill buttons.
Some basic specifications have emerged on the still-unnamed Lenovo handset and is due to use Google's Android operating system. The touchscreen handset is now known to sport a five-megapixel camera with autofocus, flash and video-recording capabilities. While it's not yet clear if or how much onboard memory is present, the handset will have a microSD memory card slot for expansion. The previously guessed at input method will consist of an English/Chinese virtual keyboard. Bluetooth 2.0 will be integrated as well.
Toshiba and manufacturing partner SanDisk on Tuesday announced they will cut production of NAND flash memory by 30 percent starting in January due to the global economic slowdown. With more production than there is demand, prices for the semiconductors have shrunk, with Toshiba's earnings suffering in the first half of the fiscal year. Before prices go back up, however, inventories need to be cleared out, investors say; the process is expected to prove difficult as demand is weak. Toshiba is not clear on how long the production cuts will last, or how they will affect its workforce.
BlackJack II tops Consumer Reports rankings Consumer Reports has published ratings of new smartphones, cellphones and US wireless carriers in their January 2009 issue, giving the highest honors in the smarthphone category to the Samsung BlackJack II. The second highest rated phone was the T-Mobile Wing, followed by the Motorola Q9C, T-Mobile Shadow and BlackBerry Pearl Flip. Just two point behind the Flip, at 61, was the iPhone 3G and T-Mobile G1, tied at 61. The latest round of Consumer Reports ratings did not include the BlackBerry Bold or Storm, however, nor the Samsung Omnia or any version of the HTC Pro handset.
Computer chipmaker Intel announced on Monday that it will show devices at the CES show that will bring Internet-connected applications to users' TVs, according to a Monday report. The prototypes may come in the form of digital set-top boxes and will allow users to chat with friends or buy advertised products. The gadgets will work in conjunction with the previously announced Widget Channel software Intel is developing together with Yahoo.
Epson has unveiled a new addition to its desktop PC Endeavor line with the ST120 on Tuesday. It uses the same compact footprint of nearly 7.7 by 7.3 by 3 inches of the other ST100-series nettops, or slightly larger than a Mac mini. Unlike the Apple product, the ST120 sports a Blu-ray disc recorder and is powered by a 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor along with 1GB of RAM, an 80GB hard drive and an integrated Intel GM45 Express graphics processor. It sports an HDMI output and has a digital HD tuner in the form of the MonsterTV HDUS.
Dell on Tuesday quietly expanded its options for the Inspiron Mini 12 with Linux and XP options. The new trim levels let the PC maker provide both an open-source alternative as well as offer a significantly better-performing alternative to the original, which was previously forced to use Windows Vista. The Linux version also lasts longer and runs for up to six hours despite using the same three-cell battery as the XP system.
Motorola on Monday revealed official photos of the previously spotted i9 handset at the FCC. The CDMA/iDEN handset allows Sprint subscribers to use the provider's push-to-talk service but is separated from other Motorola PTT-capable phones by its 3.1-megapixel camera instead of a 1.3MP shooter. It has similar controls to the cell phone maker's ROKR E8 device that switch functions depending on if the phone is in music or talk modes and its orientation.
A new and previously undiscovered vulnerability in Internet Explorer 7 has triggered warnings to at least temporarily avoid the browser until it can be fixed. The exploit, which takes advantage of the browser's data binding feature to create a memory hole, is unique to Microsoft's code and potentially dangerous due to its usability over the web. A maliciously formed website can use the exploit to steal private data or otherwise compromise the system; some benign websites have been turned hostile using the exploit and other vulnerabilities, the company says.
Mvix has recently and quietly introduced a new multi-functional device to complement home theater set-ups, the MvixPVR. It combines personal video recorder capabilities with media server functionality and has a dock for iPods. The MvicPVR can play back 1080p high-definition video, will upconvert standard-def signals and supports 5.1-channel digital surround sound set-ups. It has an HDMI input and output, in addition to standard RCAs and components as well as USB 2.0 port that allows users to connect external drives or digital cameras to play back their content. The device itself can be connected to PCs like an external drive.
AT&T this afternoon made a late addition to its phone roster and launched its version of the BlackBerry Curve 8320. The handset replaces the GPS of the 8310 with Wi-Fi to provide faster Internet access than the phone's EDGE cellular link can offer. The American provider's version doesn't provide support for Wi-Fi calls as with Rogers or T-Mobile but is instead pushed as a way of getting free Internet access at AT&T's local and international hotspots.
PINE announced on Tuesday that its graphics division, XFX, is partnering with AMD to offer ATI Radeon-powered graphics cards, including the company's HD 4000-series GPUs. Up until now, XFX only offered NVIDIA-based graphics cards, but it's believed NVIDIA's recent GPU quality issues and the price cuts on its GTX line of cards are what's causing many graphics card makers to turn elsewhere to restore their margins.
Sony is working to develop two more updates to its PSP gaming handheld, according to anonymous sources at game publishers. Following the launch of the PSP-3000, a minor update which introduced a microphone and a better LCD, Sony is said to have turned towards making the PSP-4000, expected to ship in late 2009. Any changes scheduled for the hardware are unknown, and Sony has so far refused to confirm or deny any plans.
Dell today fought to regain a reputation as one of the most eco-friendly PC builders by launching a new effort to reduce the impact of its packaging. The company hopes to reduce the total amount of boxing and other material it uses by about 20 million pounds, or the financial equivalent of $8 million, from now through 2012. Computers in particular should drop about 10 percent of their packing material and will have as much as three quarters of their packaging made recyclable over the same four-year period.
The latest MacBooks, MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs equipped with Apple's proprietary Mini DisplayPort connection as the sole video output to connect to HDTVs and computer monitors with HDMI ports with one adapter, courtesy of MonoPrice.com. The adapter is expected to become available late next month at the earliest. Thus far, the only way to hook up the MDP-equipped Apple notebooks to any external displays is via adapters offered by Apple, but those are limited to VGA or DVI connections rather than full-size DisplayPort or
Hard drive manufacturers are in the midst of developing 2.5-inch hard drives inexpensive enough to easily be used with netbooks and other budget notebooks, say unnamed storagy industry contacts. Hitachi, Seagate and Western Digital at a minimum are all said to be developing drives that would cost between 40 and 50 percent less than many existing netbook drives, which cost up to $45 and take up a disproportionately large percentage of the final cost of systems that themselves often cost approximately $400.
VUDU today staked out a potential edge in networked media hubs on Tuesday by launching a new platform specifically tailored to normally web-oriented services. The RIA (Rich Internet Application) standard lets developers write and users download add-ons that convert web games, photo and video services into a native program for the VUDU Box rather than have to use a special web browser or make special arrangements for app development. The implementation will make it relatively straightforward to integrate web content while still having a "lean-back" interface with remote control, the company explains.
Apple is preparing an update to the Mac mini that would launch at Macworld Expo, says a rumor floated by Wired late Monday. The magazine claims to have been contacted by a non-retail Apple employee who says the miniature desktop will be unveiled at the start of the event but allegedly declines to mention more for fear of being identified as a source. Apple itself hasn't commented on the subject and has only said that there would be no new hardware in 2008.
NVIDIA's launch of the GTX 285 and 295 next month will be quickly followed up by a new generation card just weeks later, claim video card makers. The GTX 300 series will reportedly be launched sometime in the first quarter of 2009, or before the end of March. Most details of the first cards are unknown, though they will allegedly share the same 55 nanometer manufacturing process that will let the chipsets run faster and potentially cooler.
Palm late yesterday signaled the surprise launch of the Palm Software Store, its own take on OS-native stores such as Apple's App Store and Google's Android Market. The store is divided into familiar categories for entertainment and productivity apps but is uniquely cross-platform; a similar interface is available both for Palm OS devices such as the Centro as well as the company's Windows Mobile-based Treo models. Free apps are given their own section independent of category.
Owners of the latest generation of MacBook Pros may not face the same defects in the NVIDIA GeForce 9600M chip that were prevalent in past models. The Tech Report has found that the Inquirer missed a small but important detail. The high-lead bumps used in the GPU silicon and substrate are present in the new MacBook Pros; however, NVIDIA claims there is nothing inherently wrong with the bumps themselves, and that they are used throughout the industry without problems. NVIDIA claims the problems with recent chip failures were due to a combination of errors, not specifically the lead bumps.
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