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Several founders and top executives at Sling Media are parting ways with the company, following plans originally established in 2007 when the company was acquired by EchoStar for $380 million, according to paidContent.org. Brothers Blake and Jason Krikorian will depart, leaving their positions as CEO and SVP of business development, respectively. Jason Hirschhorn and Ben White will leave vacancies for president and chief creative officer of the Sling Media Entertainment Group, while the VP of sales, Greg Wilkes, will also seek other opportunities.
Electronista at CES had a chance to try out Sennheiser's new HD 800, the company's latest flagship headphones geared for audiophiles. At first glance, the housing is clearly more modern and technologically-inspired than the relatively drab exterior of the predecessor products, the HD 600 and HD 650. More importantly, the company developed entirely new 56mm ring-shaped transducers that boast an incredible frequency response of 6 Hz to 51,000 Hz. The annular design is said to vibrate the entire air volume over the transducer to create a full-bodied sound with clarity at the low end, but without causing the high-frequency distortion found with large drivers.
Samsung at CES unveiled the latest addition to its series of UMPCs, the Q1EX, featuring a VIA Nano CPU instead of the Intel processors that were chosen for the rest of the Q1 line. The device provides a 7-inch touchscreen that presents the Windows Vista operating system, while users can take advantage of an integrated GPS receiver and a 1.3 megapixel webcam. The ultraportable supports HSPA and WiMAX, while the company claims the battery life extends to 4.5 hours.
Shuttle PC showed off its new X50 all-in-one PC. Users can interface with the X50 either via an attached keyboard or the 1366x768 resolution touchscreen. The pre-loaded OS on the 80GB hard disk is Windows XP Professional, while processing is done via a dual-core Atom CPU set into Intel's 945GC mainboard. Graphics are handled by the onboard GMA 950 processor. Virtual memory is set at 1GB.
Monsoon has announced upcoming iPhone support for its TV placeshifting hardware, HAVA. Designed to work through broadband Internet or a network-connected PC, HAVA allows users to watch and control live TV, including satellite and TiVo content. With the iPhone application, users will have access to an on-screen remote from which they can watch TV, pause, change channels, browse a program guide and launch recorded shows.
High-end customizable notebook and multimedia PC maker Velocity Micro announced at CES it will soon introduce its first netbook and portable tablet PC, with the 10.1-inch NoteMagix M10 and handheld 4.8-inch touchscreen NoteMagix M5. The former weighs just 2.6lbs, runs on Windows XP, and is powered by an Atom CPU. There is 1GB of RAM and 160GB of storage space. A Wi-Fi module is integrated, as is a 1.3-megapixel webcam. Connections on the netbook include three USB ports, a 3-in-1 card reader, VGA and audio outputs. The four-cell battery's life is rated at over five hours, which, along with the remaining specs, compares favorably to high-end netbooks from competitors.
MSI is planning on making a version of its 13.4-inch X-Slim notebook available with a faster Pentium chip than the current 1.33GHz Intel Atom CPU. The current X320 lightweight, sub-3lb laptop is meant to compete with the MacBook Air, and the faster chips would extend the range to make it more competitive with the Air, which is offered with Intel's 1.6GHz and 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo CPUs.
HDTV, digital camera and photo camera maker GiiNii introduced its Movit Mini Mobile Internet Device (MID) at last week's CES. The device comes with a 4.3-inch touchscreen that's good for 480x272 resolution. While it's not a cellphone and has no access to wireless data networks, the device ships with a Skype application that lets users make phone calls over the Internet. There is an option to connect to the web via a mobile phone's data access, though how exactly has not been defined.
At CES, HP introduced its dx9000 TouchSmart Business PC, based on the current HP TouchSmart PC for home users. While the hardware is identical to the existing TouchSmart PCs, HP is already working with DNA Digital Media Group, GuestMVP, Interactive Multimedia Artists and Uniguest to develop business-oriented applications for the new PC. In the future, the computer-maker hopes to expand upon this group.
Apple could be making its rumored iPhone nano primarily for non-US markets, checks by analyst Brian Marshal of AmTech indicate. Despite the absence of the smaller, lower-cost device at Macworld, Marshal believes the device is still on track for an early 2009 release based on investigations but warns that AT&T isn't yet known to be testing the hardware, suggesting that any early release would launch outside of the US.
CTL has recently announced its 2goPC convertible educational notebook, modeled after the second-generation Classmate PC Intel officially introduced on Friday at the CES in Las Vegas. As one of Intel's partners in its Intel Learning Series initiative to create software and hardware products to enhance children's learning experiences, CTL is one of the first manufacturers to launch the PC, offering a first look at the detailed specs. The 8.9-inch 2goPC sports a 1.6GHz Atom chip, has a resolution of 1024x600, and a VGA output.
Intel is developing a new Core 2-based processor that would bring ultraportable notebooks to non-premium prices, leaks from within the company at CES have revealed to CNET. The contacts say the processor will be faster than the Atom processors for netbooks but less expensive than the Core 2 Duo S or ultra-low voltage Core 2 Duo processors that currently inflate the prices of systems like Apple's MacBook Air and Lenovo's ThinkPad X301, which regularly start at prices of $1,800 or more.
Palm could push as many as 1.5 million units of its Pre smartphone in a year, according to an investment note by Citi analyst Jim Suva. The researcher has upgraded the company's stock rating from "sell" to "hold" based on the technical abilities of the device, which has a more modern operating system than existing Palm phones and is also the company's first large touchscreen phone. The phone is seen as a direct factor in soften Palm's mounting losses and bringing its sales back up.
Mio introduced four new Moov portable navigation devices in its booth at the recently-concluded CES, each sporting new Spirit software interface that is meant to be both simpler and more intuitive to use. Hinted at near the start of this year, the interface borrowed from the Navman line will offer more POIs, at 12 million, along with faster access, less cluttered map views and text-to-speech functionality. A 3D Junction View feature is added in the new flagship model, the S556, which has a 4.7-inch touchscreen display and Bluetooth support that allows for hands-free calling.
The timing of Microsoft's Windows 7 beta and its expiry dates provides a clue as to the actual ship date of the final product, according to info gathered by Microsoft observer Ed Bott. The software officially expires on August 1st but does so just a month after the believed July 1st start of a Windows 7 upgrade program for new PCs, effectively marking off July as the release month. Anonymous sources of Bott's have also suggested a similar launch window.
Among other product debuts at CES, Samsung has unveiled four new digital point-and-shoot digital cameras, including the 10.2-megapixel HZ10W which can capture 720p HD video at 30fps and in H.264 compression. The camera has a 24mm Schneider lens with a 10x optical zoom along with both optical and digital image stabilization and gives users full control over its settings, including shutter speed, aperture opening, exposure and focus. The HZ10W's Successive Recording mode lets users pause video recordings without breaking them up into separate clips.
HTC's upcoming phone list for 2009 has been leaked online, reports claim. Some 25 different devices are present on the list; prominent ones begin with the Topaz, a touchscreen-based phone branded for AT&T; it additionally appears to have basic music or calling buttons, as well as front- and rear-mounted cameras. The Willow W, meanwhile, is focused around a QWERTY keyboard, and may be slated to become known as the Excalibur or a 3G sequel to the T-Mobile Dash. Initial images, however, show a Sprint logo.
Senior officials from Australian carrier Telstra claims on Monday that HTC is developing a smartphone that would trump devices from Apple and Palm. The executives, who observed some of the competition at CES this past week, say HTC has a touchscreen device in the works which is "better and more functional" than either the iPhone or the just-unveiled Pre and should have both a larger display than existing HTC phones as well as custom software written by the phone maker itself; the inaugural T-Mobile G1 currently uses only Google's stock software.
Motorola could slash as much as half of the workforce in its mobile devices group very shortly, an apparent tip to Phone Scoop suggests. The company is reportedly set to start major layoffs this week that would drop 50 percent of the staff and is said to be dramatically scaling back its phone development as a whole. Most if not all development for smartphones is already believed to be switching exclusively to Android while Motorola's own phone introductions may scale back to as few as 12 devices per year.
Israeli touchscreen maker N-Trig today revealed that it has received a total of $24 million in funding from a group of investors led by Microsoft. The American developer is the largest contributor and says its undisclosed amount is there to encourage the use of multi-touch technology with Windows 7, which is the first desktop Windows platform to be built with touchscreens in mind.
Rogers' sub-label Fido may carry BlackBerries after all, a new leak to BGR indicates. Multiple Fido staffers now say the provider is about to start training for sales and support this week and thus that a formal launch is a matter of weeks away. The tips also suggest the carrier will just begin service with now two years old, original Pearl 8100 and will likely omit the Pearl Flip 8220 for the initial debut, though this first model is discontinued and might both sell out quickly and require an OS upgrade.
Haier in a low-key introduction has revealed its second and third major players in the ibiza line. The ibiza Theatre is the company's first real touchscreen player and serves as a lower-cost alternative to players from Apple and Samsung; while it has a 2.4-inch, 320x240 screen and doesn't appear to include Wi-Fi, the device includes Bluetooth for wireless headphones, an FM radio tuner and a microSD slot to add more space. It also supports Real's Rhapsody to Go for loading the device with music from the unlimited subscription service.
LG Display on Monday said it has landed a deal with Apple to supply the company with displays for the next five years. The Korean firm has declined to provide the full financial terms of the deal but in a securities filing admitted that it will receive a $500 million up-front payment from Apple later in January, revealing a more substantial deal over the long term. The company has acknowledged the payment and refers to the new deal as a deepening of its agreements with the American company.
Palm is allegedly preparing a second webOS-based smartphone that would take up the Centro name, an alleged leak to PalmInfoCenter says. The claimed first-hand contact says the next model after the Pre would be a sequel to the current Centro that would occupy roughly the same size but would omit the hardware QWERTY keyboard in favor of a larger touchscreen that Palm's new OS depends upon. Whether the 3-megapixel camera, GPS or Wi-Fi would also be stripped from the device is unknown.
Canon launched its 2009 VIXIA line this year at CES with several storage options that range from pure flash to hard drives to MiniDV. The line-up includes the HF S10, a 32GB internal flash memory camcorder with an external SDHC slot, the HF S100, the HF S10's cousin which lacks the internal flash memory, using only an SDHC slot for storage, the HF20, offering 32GB internal flash memory and an SDHC slot, and the HF200 is similar to the 20 without the external SDHC slot. All four flash-based models get built-in face detection, which alerts the auto-focus mechanism to track people's faces and they all record at 24Mbps, the fastest bitrate possible for the AVCHD format.
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