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A forthcoming operating system update for the BlackBerry Bold handset on AT&T's wireless network will bring with it visual voicemail capabilities, according to a Monday BGR report. There is no set date for the release of the update, dubbed OS 22.214.171.124, or whether all Bold owners and AT&T subscribers will get it. BGR has captured some screenshots of the software, however.
Taiwanese computer hardware manufacturer Albatron on Tuesday announced the prototype multi-touch display it showed off some seven months ago is now nearly ready for shipment, and will be made available for sale in a couple of months. The unnamed 21.5-inch LCD places the touch sensors in the monitor's bezel rather than the screen itself, allowing for a brighter and stronger displays. It is one of the first monitors that will allow at least Windows 7 users to enjoy the operating system's native support for multi-touch applications.
The T-Mobile G1 handset will soon be offered in more European countries, the wireless carrier's Chief Executive, Hamid Akhavan, announced on Monday. Thus far the phone is only available in the US and Britain, but by January 30th, it will be made available in the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Austria, while Germany will get the Android OS-based handset on February 2nd, with Poland being added later on in February.
After Friday's one-day deal, Peek is now offering a different limited-time offer on account of Barack Obama's swearing in as President of the United States. The Peek Inauguration Day Special has the device selling for $44.44 for 44 hours, obviously meant to reflect that President Obama is the 44th President. As another incentive, buyers whose addresses have 1600 in them are eligible to receive the Peek device free of charge.
Wireless provider US Cellular is now offering a new LG clamshell, the UX280 Wine. The mid-range phone offers a 2.2-inch main display with 240x320 resolution along with a 1.3-inch external LCD. Users also get assisted GPS, Bluetooth and a 1.3-megapixel camera. Ease of use is another strong point, as there are four shortcut keys under the display for quick access to messaging, alarm clock, contacts and favorites menus.
A study commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs has just concluded that the net economic effects of file sharing for music, movies and games are positive. The resulting 142-page report, put together by research company TNO, doesn't narrow the results to strictly illegal content but argues that, as consumers save money on unnecessary purchases and spend it on more wanted content, they save much more in wasted spending than music production companies lose.
Coupons Inc. has announced on Tuesday that it has hired Steven Horowitz as its chief technology officer. Horowitz will leave his position as Google's Engineering Director, a position in which he oversaw the development of the Android operating system and related software. Horowitz will oversee Coupons' global engineering, product management and technology efforts for its creation and distribution of coupons to retailers.
Microsoft through a Securities and Exchange Commission filing today said it has sold its shares in Comcast. The move pulls about 150.9 million shares out of the cable provider and practically cuts Microsoft's influence in the firm. Reasons aren't given to the SEC for the quick exit, though the news comes just as Microsoft has curbed real estate expansion in an attempt to reduce costs without shedding employees.
Home theater PC builder S1Digital today stepped out in front to become the first computer builder to launch a free upgrade campaign for Windows 7. The deal gives buyers of all of the company's systems save for the Media Center Mini Edition a free upgrade to the next-generation operating system if they buy a PC between now and March 31st. Buyers will have to cover shipping but are otherwise covered for the entire process, which includes not only the copy but the installation and supporting drivers.
A pre-production version of an upcoming Nokia handset, the 5730 XpressMusic, has received a hands-on review recently, revealing many specs on the QWERTY handset. Very similar in design and layout to the Nokia E75, the 5730 will sport a horizontally sliding keyboard with backlit keys. Its display, however, will be smaller, at 2 inches and with a 240x320 resolution. As the name suggests, the handset will have an emphasis on music playback, with dedicated external controls, including a button to engage Nokia's Say and Play voice navigation.
Sony today revealed that the PlayStation 3's version 2.6 update will add a major new photo management feature. The simply-titled Photo Gallery will give the console much more advanced control that can sort images down to the specific time window and choice of camera hardware but also less tangible data such as the dominant colors in images or visible smiles. Slideshows are also more advanced and let users create specific playlists, including ones set to the user's choice of music.
HP today quietly signaled availability of the Mini 2140 on its site and has confirmed the specifications of the netbook in the process. The stock $499 entry model is now known to be a relatively high-end offering with 1GB of memory, a 160GB 5,400RPM hard drive, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Windows XP Home. More advanced ready-model models add Vista Home Basic or Business, as much as 2GB of memory and a 7,200RPM disk.
LG has just introduced two highly advanced plasma HDTVs for its home market of Korea, with the Xcanvas bobos 42PQ60D and 50PQ60D. The 42-inch model reportedly has an unprecedented 600Hz refresh rate that eliminates nearly all motion artifacts while the 50-inch model has a particularly high one billion to one (1,000,000,000:1) contrast ratio. Both TVs also sport a USB port that lets users plug in external flash or hard drive storage and directly play back compatible files that include WMV and DivX videos.
BlackBerry maker Research in Motion has set out timing related to its forthcoming Application Center, reports say. Speaking at a music business conference in Cannes, co-CEO Jim Balsillie has announced that the company is currently accepting app submissions from developers, and will officially open the App Center in March as planned. It is unclear if submissions actually began in December, as first scheduled.
Toshiba has expanded its early footprint in netbooks with updates to its fledgling NB100. A new model of the 8.9-inch mini portable, the NB100HF, adds a rare 64GB solid-state drive in place of the usual rotating disk. Besides potentially improving speed, the SSD gives the computer battery life normally off-limits to these systems. Toshiba estimates about 5 hours of run time for the system, which also comes in a champagne gold and comes with Windows Vista Home Basic instead of XP.
Elpida this morning set what it believes is a new benchmark for memory with the launch of the first 1-gigabit XDR RAM with 32-bit bandwidth. The storage not only makes large amounts of fast memory possible but is also billed as some of the fastest memory of any kind. A 7.2GHz clock speed along with the extra bandwidth gives the memory much more headroom: the new XDR chip has up to 28.8GB per second, or about nine times more than the fastest stock DDR3 memory and twice as much as Elpida's previous best.
Multiple sources for Orbitcast and others claim today that Sirius XM is planning to charge for its Internet radio service on top of general hikes for its regular satellite network. Normally free for subscribers to the regular service, the online component is said by an alleged employee to be picking up a $3 monthly fee for individuals and $9 for families.
Microsoft will shave at least some costs during the economic downturn by scaling back its building plans, according to both the company and slips by internal sources to Seattle's Post-Intelligencer. The company is known to have delayed construction both at its own Redmond, Washington headquarters as well as at space bought from Nintendo until 2013 and 2014 respectively; it also plans to avoid renewing multiple non-essential leases, though some of these were already slated to drop before the financial crash.
Korean electronics giant LG has overtaken Motorola for the third-place spot in world phone shipments this past year, tips reportedly passed on from within the company suggest. While no public tally is available, LG is said to have internally estimated that it has shipped about 100 million phones throughout the course of 2008, putting it just ahead of an estimated 99.9 million from its American rival. The number would also edge out Sony Ericsson's 96.6 million.
AMD on Tuesday said it has sold the core of its Imageon mobile graphics business to Qualcomm. The roughly $65 million deal gives the chip design company the intellectual property rights, the option of hiring related AMD workers, and other resources. It effectively puts AMD out of the handheld video category, leaving the company to focus on desktop and notebook graphics for its Radeon line.
Intel's next-generation Atom chip, nicknamed Pineview, will be less expensive than the current generation even as it improves performance, according to new leaks well ahead of the launch. The switch to a smaller 45 nanometer chipmaking process that lets Intel put the graphics core directly in the processor will reportedly cut the amount of necessary mainboard space by 60 percent, shrinking the overall footprint. The platform will also require a less complex circuitboard that can cut down to four layers from six and further drop prices for at least the manufacturers.
BenQ has quietly added to its G series LCDs with several new 16:9 aspect ratio computer displays that are said to lower prices and complement the 16:10 models that form the bulk of the line. The refresh starts off with the G2410HD and G2411HD/HDA, a round of 23.6- and 24-inch 1080p displays that tout an Advanced Motion Accelerator feature which the company claims improves both response time as well as brightness. Their input also ranges from just VGA on the G2411HDA to the addition of DVI on the G2410HD; these plus HDMI and stereo speakers are included on the G2411HD.
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