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Internet provider Comcast is performing Wi-Fi hot spot trials near NJ Transit rail stations in the state to grant subscribers access to the Internet on their mobile devices, according to a Friday DSLReports post. The service in these Wi-Fi Hot Zones requires subscribers to sign in using their existing Comcast.net usernames and passwords. The company has confirmed the trials, saying it is gauging user interest and may offer it as an added-value service to its high-speed Internet customers.
The Service Pack 2 for Windows Vista is being released this week in a candidate escrow build after Microsoft has moved up its release schedule for the software, according to a recent TechArp report. The initial wave of the software is now expected to be released a little sooner than previously expected, now at sometime late in April or early in May in its Release to Manufacturing version if no further delays are incurred. In-between, the final release candidate build is now due to be distributed on February 16th.
Samsung is expected to bring out an entry-level sliding handset under its Anycall brand in Asian and European markets with the S3500. The quad-band GSM phone sports a 320x240 resolution screen and a couple of other basic features such as a 2-megapixel camera, built-in FM tuner and digital audio playback capabilities. Users will be able to transfer music files to the built-in 35MB of memory via a USB connection, but more can be added to the handset via a microSD memory card. The handset will also include a built-in browser and e-mail client.
Denon on Friday announced it will delay the release of its DVD-A1UD Blu-ray player by about two months, without giving any reasons for the delay. The company now claims the reader is now due out late in March as production is behind the original schedule. Denon's flagship is billed as the first universal disc player for its ability to play back Blu-ray, DVD video and audio, SACDs as well as standard CDs, in addition to having a slot for SDHC memory cards. It also handles pure DivX 6, JPEG, MP3 and WMA files.
Home entertainment electronics maker Marantz has recently unveiled its first Blu-ray player, the BD8002, which is capable of 1080p video playback at 24 frames per second and will upconvert standard DVDs to near high-definition quality. What Marantz is touting as a reference-grade video player, the BD8002 sports a 12-bit/297MHz video chipset along with a 10-bit Silicon Optix Realta processor with HQV system for upconverting standard DVDs.
Toshiba is said to be in negotiations with the semiconductor unit of NEC to merge part of its chip operations as it struggles with dropping demand, according to a Friday report for the International Herald Tribune. The source remains unnamed as the talks weren't made public by either company, and Toshiba wouldn't comment on the rumors. The majority, some 65 percent, of NEC is owned by Toshiba, and the parent company has gone on record to say Japanese chipmakers need to consolidate operations in order to be profitable worldwide.
GPS maker Garmin has recently introduced the FR60 fitness watch that can connect wirelessly to compatible ANT+ fitness sensors such as heart rate monitors and foot pods. Meant for hardcore fitness aficionados, the FR60 is also compatible with select fitness equipment at gyms or homes and allows users to upload data to their PCs or Macs to keep detailed track of their workouts and fitness progress. The computer sync is done with the help of a wireless ANT Stick that attaches to the PC over USB.
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe chief David Reeves in Eurogamer interview published today has defended the absence of PlayStation 3 price cuts during the holidays as a necessary measure to protect Sony's business. The executive acknowledges that price cuts will likely be needed to spur sales but that the goal has been to turn the PlayStation group profitable and that economic conditions will likely force Sony to be defensive with pricing in the future.
Verizon today preempted its own schedule by shipping its Hub to stores early. Originally slated for Sunday, the device is available today and is Verizon's attempt to revitalize the declining home field. The hardware uses an Ethernet VoIP connection to make calls and shares unified calendars, contacts and messaging with four cellphones along with Internet-based Verizon services like GPS mapping and V CAST news data. A touchscreen makes all the information visual, including voicemail, news widgets and a digital photo frame mode.
Apple is reducing shipments of iMacs in what's likely a move to clear inventory ahead of an update, alleged sources tell AppleInsider. The contacts claim that Apple has notified third parties that the bulk of the line will see "limited availability" in the next few weeks and that the 3.06GHz model is likely to be entirely unavailable, both characteristic signs Apple has given in the past that it's clearing inventory to make room for newer models.
The Indian government is indeed laying plans for the sale of a $10 notebook, according to a regional newspaper. Although the government is at one point said to have retracted the pricetag, adding a zero to the end, DNA writes that a prototype of a $10 (500 rupee) notebook will go on display in Tirupati on February 3rd. The computer was jointly developed by the Indian Institute of Science and Indian Institute of Technology, and is a part of a plan dubbed the National Mission on Education.
Only about a tenth of computer buyers would consider using netbooks as their main systems, ABI Research says in a new study. About 11 percent of Americans asked about the devices say they would use one of the small but low-cost portables as their only or primary computer while majority at 79 percent only consider a netbook a companion device to either a main desktop or regular notebook. The more difficult controls and lower performance are seen as sufficiently high-enough barriers that they preclude many from considering netbooks as more than occasional PCs.
The Apple iPhone and RIM BlackBerry Curve have taken the place of cheaper devices as the most popular mediums for downloading cellphone games, according to a new comScore study. The iPhone in particular is said to have accounted for 14 percent of all game downloads in November, helping to displace Motorola's RAZR -- and other low- to mid-range devices -- as a primary platform. Some 32.4 percent of iPhone users are said to have downloaded a game in the month, compared to an industry average of just 3.8 percent.
A Friday leak seems to confirm earlier rumors that Nintendo's DSi handheld gaming console is coming by the spring or summer of this year to both Europe and North America. The confirmation comes by way of a supposed company document from a product briefing document on the video game maker's website. The DSi was already launched in its home market of Japan in November.
T-Mobile USA in a new interview has revealed that it will expand its Android phone line to include more than just the G1. Senior engineering VP Neville Ray tells FierceWireless that there will be "more G series phones" in the year and thus backs HTC's claims of a second model in April and potentially the known plans for a third phone as well.
Dell's increasingly rumored first smartphone may hinge on borrowing the philosophy behind its computers if a new, alleged leak to Alley Insider late Thursday proves accurate. The tip alludes to the device tentatively being called the MePhone in a clear attempt to play on the iPhone name and would appropriately center on customization, though whether this would simply include shell colors and other cosmetic touches or else would focus on more open software isn't known.
Just days after Congress rejected a bill that would delay the switch to digital over-the-air TV from analog, the US Senate on Thursday has passed a slightly revised bill to delay the transition. Like the original bill, the new one aims to move the switchover date into June, as there is concern from President Obama and his supporters that some 20 million poor, elderly citizens as well as those in rural households are not technically ready for the changeover.
Fujitsu has revealed that it plans to push Google's Android platform deep into home electronics with a new initiative known as Services Built for Android. The program will see the Japanese company offer its consulting, engineering and other expertise to help run the open-source mobile OS on embedded hardware. This could include media devices like portable media players as well as cellphones, GPS devices, set-top boxes and even thin-client PCs, according to Fujitsu.
Microsoft on Friday hoped to jumpstart Xbox 360 sales in Europe with a special edition console pack timed for the release of Halo Wars. The Best of Halo edition will include a stock 60GB Pro console but also a copy of Halo Wars as well as Halo 3, letting gamers interested in the newer real-time strategy game also improve their knowledge of the game's history with last year's title. It also gives buyers a month's worth of Xbox Live Gold to try either game in multiplayer as an incentive to subscribe later.
Hitachi is joining KDDI's spring phone launches with the Wooo H001. The swiveling clamshell has the same 854x480 resolution as most other phones in the lineup but adds a unique toggle that lets owners switch to a 3D parallax view. The effect not only pops in automatically for 1Seg digital TV and other video that includes 3D but can convert existing 2D images and photos to 3D, customize the perceived depth, and works either in portrait or the phone's notebook-like landscape mode.
Aerielle has released a new audio accessory, the i2i Folding Portable Speakers. The device consists of two speakers and a base station in the middle, which allows the speakers to either be leaned up or folded beside the base station when being transported. A 3.5mm headphone jack comes in the back of one speaker that can be used to plug into any iPod, MP3 player, i2i Stream, or other portable audio device. The portable speakers manage roughly five hours of play time and require four AAA batteries.
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