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Haier tonight added two more players to the Rhapsody ibiza line that both share direct parallels to Apple players. The ibiza Touch (pictured above) appears a higher-end counterpart to the ibiza Theatre that adds a sharper, 2.8-inch 400x240 touchscreen and Wi-Fi, which lets it browse the web, download podcasts and Real Rhapsody subscriptions, and tune Internet radio. It shares the Theatre's Bluetooth for pairing wireless headphones. Battery life drops accordingly and sees the Touch run for just 15 hours of AAC, Audible, MP3, Rhapsody or WMA audio but a relatively long 6 hours of DivX, H.264, MPEG-4, VC-1 or WMA video.
Tripp Lite has released its latest connectivity products, The U224-1R4-R and U224-4R4-R extender hubs that send USB signals over Cat 5 cable. The 1R4 model offers three USB 2.0 ports to connect local peripherals, along with a single-port receiver for connecting an additional remote device. The 4R4 variant allows connection of up to four remote devices to a computer. Users plug the transmitter into the USB port of a computer, then run Cat 5e or Cat 6 cable to the hub at the destination, without the need to install drivers or software.
Yahoo has announced that Former Autodesk CEO Carol Bartz will serve as the new CEO, replacing the company founder Jerry Yang who acknowledged his departure several months ago. The transition could bolster fresh negotiations with Microsoft, given that Yang was heavily criticized for killing the original acquisition deal. Interestingly enough, Microsoft recently hired a Yahoo former executive, Qi Lu, to run its Online Services Group. Lu will direct the software giant's online search and advertising projects relating to Windows Live.
A chronic firmware problem is triggering failures in Seagate's current-generation Barracuda 7200.11 hard drives, according to owners in the company's forums, NewEgg buyers and elsewhere. The disk series, particularly the 1TB model, reportedly suffers from a bug triggered on boot that incorrectly locks up the drive as a protective measure and prevents the system from recognizing the storage from then onwards. The problem appears tied to firmware from drives issued in Thailand but isn't exclusive to models from those factories.
Amazon's lawsuit against a state of New York law that has online retailers having to collect taxes from residents of a state despite not having a physical office or base in the state has been thrown out of court by a judge on Monday. The law, passed in April and called the Commission-Agent Provision, names any affiliate linking to Amazon or any other online retailer that is responsible for more than $10,000 in sales as a part of Amazon or any online retailer in question and thereby entitles the state to collect taxes on the sales. Now, short of a successful trial in the Court of Appeals, Amazon and other online retailers will be forced to collect and pay taxes from every sale to a New York resident, which could set a likely damaging precedent to online sales.
The Gateway LT1004U netbook is now available at certain Office Depot locations in the US, without any sort of announcement from the PC maker itself, according to a Tuesday Engadget report. The netbook sports an 8.9-inch, 1024x800 LCD screen and weighs 2.2lbs. It is powered by Intel's 1.6GHz Atom CPU along with 1GB of RAM and offers 802.11g Wi-Fi.
At the 2009 CES in the HD Radio display, there was a demonstration of the smallest application of an HD Radio chip in the form of the KRI Armband Portable HD Radio Receiver. What is basically a portable HD Radio device with MP3 playback capabilities shows the evolution of HD Radio as it can be packaged into ever smaller devices.
Recently discovered FCC filings suggest a new Motorola handset will soon be shipping. The FCC documents reveal the unnamed clamshell will be offered in both a dual-band CDMA version as well as a tri-band CDMA handset with support for the 1,700MHz AWS band used by carriers MetroPCS and Cricket.
Western Digital is on the verge of launching a record-setting hard drive, according to a tip sent to Fudzilla. Corroborated by a store listing, the leak hints at a Caviar Green model, the WD20EADS, that should top 2TB using and double the capacity of the drive maker's current line. The Green label will be earned through a power-efficient design that winds down to 5,400RPM from the normal 7,200RPM under lower demand.
Kids will soon be able to play with LEGO-branded electronics, as the European blocks toymaker has recently entered into a licensing agreement with Digital Blue, which already makes Disney- and Batman-branded electronics. The LEGO line of portable electronics will include digital and video cameras, MP3 players and walkie talkies, with plans for home electronics such as boom boxes and alarm clock radios.
ioSafe has debuted the Solo, an external hard drive that offers up to 1.5TB of storage and features protection against fire or water damage. The company claims that the housing can withstand fire temperatures up to 1550 degrees Fahrenheit and flood protection down to a 10 foot depth for three days. Along with the drive, customers will also receive up to $1000 toward third-party forensic drive data recovery services that can be used if the devices sustain enough damage to prevent direct access to information by standard means.
Network hardware producer Cisco hopes to up-end the home Internet business with word that the company is developing a 320Mbps cable modem. The DPC3212 is one of the first cable modems using the DOCSIS 3.0 standard to crack the 300Mbps mark and does so through a new Broadcom chip that bonds eight cable channels together instead of four to reach the peak speed.
Verizon on Tuesday held a quiet introduction for the LG VX8360. The flip phone sits in the carrier's lineup as an entry- to mid-range music phone and has music controls on its outer face for pausing and skipping tracks; it also comes with microSDHC support for cards up to 8GB and stereo speakers to play its AAC or MP3 music. Verizon expectedly gives the phone support for V CAST music downloads that include Rhapsody subscriptions.
Italian PC and TV maker Olidata has introduced a new line of ultra-thin notebooks at CES meant as an alternative to the MacBook Air. The U-Leader Design brand includes two notebooks, both of which were designed in partnership with Intel, and shares many design cues and hardware specs with the thin Apple notebook. The Olidata Conte weighs about 3.5lbs and measures less than 0.9 inches at its thickest point. Both versions of the new notebook will sport the same Intel Core 2 Duo S chip as the MacBook Air, though it's not clear whether the 1.6GHz, the 1.86GHz or both will be offered.
Storage builder Seagate has announced two new hard drives, the Cheetah 15K.7 and NS.2. The drives are intended explicitly for enterprise storage, but come in the more conventional 3.5-inch format instead of the 2.5-inch size used by many corporations. The 15K.7 is claimed to be the fastest 3.5-inch enterprise drive, rated at 15,000rpm with a seek time of 3.4ms. The drive can also be connectied through 6Gbps SAS 2.0 or 4Gbps Fibre Channel interfaces.
Lenovo on Tuesday introduced three new desktops, including its first-ever nettop. At the high end, the IdeaCentre K220 and K230 are both upgrades to the older K210 and add options for faster Core 2 Quad chips as well more storage headroom (up to 1TB), Blu-ray and GeForce 9300M GE integrated video capable of full HD decoding. The PC builder makes each model a trade-off with the K220 having an optional webcam with face recognition but a maximum 4GB of memory; the K230 drops the webcam choice but handles up to 8GB of memory.
Apple may occupy an extremely large portion of the global smartphone market if current trends continue, says Generator Research. The firm claims that by 2013 Apple may hold as much as 40 percent of the market, a figure which would necessarily come at the expense of other cellphone makers like Nokia. Although currently one of the largest smartphone producers, it is thought that Nokia may suffer most, dropping from 40 to 20 percent.
Sprint on Tuesday announced the release of the Samsung Instinct in pink, accompanying it with a $30 price drop to $100 for both this and the original black model. The price drop is offered for a limited but unspecified time with a two-year contract and with a $100 mail-in rebate.
The replacement for current FCC chairman Kevin Martin may be one of the most public advocates of net neutrality, according to separate tips sent to the Wall Street Journal as well as the Washington Post. Those near President-elect Obama's transition team and lawmakers in the US capital reportedly say Obama has chosen venture capitalist, former FCC worker and presidential campaign adviser Julius Genachowski to serve as chairman for the government regulator.
BlueAnt at CES introduced its newest Bluetooth headset, the Q1, or what it calls a mix between the existing Z9 and V1. This means users get dual microphones for noise reduction, and the company claims it can cancel out direct 10mph winds. Like the V1, users can control the headset with their voice using the BlueGenie Natural Voice Interface, capable of adjusting volume up and down just by saying "volume up" or "volume down."
Dell is getting closer to releasing its long-rumored first smartphone, according to a research note by Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu. Investigations within Dell's supply chain point reportedly indicate that a Dell smartphone is "closer to reality" after roughly two years of discussions with those companies that might offer parts for the device. No specific launch window has been set.
Display standards group VESA has revealed early details of DisplayPort 1.2, the next generation of its interface for computer screens. The technology doubles the amount of available bandwidth and lets the format produce images better than either the current 1.1 standard or dual-link DVI. At a minimum, the technology would allow a near-4K resolution of 3840x2160 at 60 frames per second and more advanced 30-bit color; the current specification is limited to 2560x1600 at the same quality.
Sony may be on the verge of recording its first practical loss in 14 years, sources for CNN say. The company is believed to be recording an annual loss equal to about $1.1 billion attributed directly to the poor world economy and its effect on the Japanese Yen, which has strengthened at the expense of Sony's primarily international business. As sales have dropped, the company and others have been pushed to discount electronics and thus reduced Sony's practical income.
Taiwan-area newspaper Economic Daily News today claims that Apple is lining up chip suppliers for its heavily rumored iPhone nano. The report believes that both the well-known chip contracting firm Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company as well as United Microelectronics Corporation are "likely" to get the nod for manufacturing unspecified chips for the cellphone in March with the aim of an actual product launch in June or later.
Fujitsu has announced the HandyDrive MMH2 UB series of 5400 RPM external hard drives with USB 2.0 connections. Available capacities will include 500GB, 400GB, 320GB, and 250GB, with each 2.5-inch HDD protected by a lightweight housing that measures 137.5mm by 83.5mm by 15mm. Included support software can be used to manage partitions or password lock the drives for protection against data theft if the device is lost or stolen.
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