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CalDigit has announced that its CalDigit VR two drive RAID storage system is now shipping. Designed with a quadruple interface, the storage system supports USB 2, FireWire400, FireWire 800, and eSATA drives. CalDigit VR comes complete with two swappable drive modules for simpler replacement and expansion, along with the ability to replace the fan if necessary. The storage device offers speeds of up to 220MB/sec in RAID, and over 110MB/sec with RAID 1 protection.
Alesis has released the TapeLink USB, a dual-cassette deck designed to digitally archive audio. The device allows users to transfer cassette recordings onto a hard disk, flash memory, CD or iPod. Connection to a computer is provided via USB, with support for 16-bit, 44.1 kHz CD-quality recordings. Two different dubbing modes are available for either normal or high-speed dubbing. To protect tapes from damage, the deck also features full auto-stop capability. Users can extract audio from either metal or CrO2 tapes, while LEDs offer a visual reference to the sound levels.
BenQ plans to expand its range of electronics offerings to include all-in-one PCs sometime early this year, according to the Taiwan-area Economic Daily News. The company has set the PC launch as a high priority in 2009, possibly bringing its nScreen-series devices to the market sometime this month at the earliest. The manufacturer will continue to produce digital cameras, LCDs and netbooks, although there are no plans to release a new handset this year.
Rumor has it that Samsung will officially release a 16GB version of its i900 Omnia smartphone at the Mobile World Congress in Spain in a couple of weeks. The pictured handset will double the current version's onboard storage space, though other specs and features sound identical. As such, the quad-band GSM phone will run on Windows Mobile 6.1 and connect to HSDPA networks for a maximum data transfer speed of 7.2Mbps. The same 3.2-inch, 240x400 pixel touchscreen remains, along with the familiar 5-megapixel camera with an integrated flash.
Intel will release its Nehalem-based Xeons at the very end of the quarter, a late leak reveals. The semiconductor firm is believed to be readying the new Xeons for an unusual late March release that would see the first wave of processors announced on the 29th and available a day later. Pricing has also been corroborated for some chips and tops out at $1,557 for a 3.2GHz quad-core Xeon W5580, with a 2.93GHz parallel costing $1,349.
A few photos and specifics on a couple of Motorola handsets unveiled last week have surfaced recently, specifically the ZN300 candybar cell phone. Apart from a leaked official image, the ZN300 is also believed to ship with a 3-megapixel camera and an LCD of unspecified size that has a 240x320-pixel resolution. Opera's mobile browser is expected to ship with the phone.
Taking user authentication to the next level, Sony on Monday has introduced a new type of technology with its finger vein authentication called mofiria. Sony claims the new tech offers greater accuracy and resistance to forgery as it relies on finger vein patterns that are inside a user's body. Mofiria relies on a CMOS sensor that reads scattered light through the finger that originates from a near-infrared LED light. The mofiria sensor can be made small enough to fit on notebook computers and mobile devices.
The high-end Clevo D900F notebook first mentioned late last year and expected to launch early this year has been delayed until May, but specs for the Intel Core i7-powered notebook are now available. Clevo importer Eurocom has posted the specs on the high-performance 17-inch notebook, which is expected to be the world's first to offer the combination of a choice of the new chips, RAID 0/1/5 hard drive arrays and the as yet unannounced NVIDIA G280 graphics processor. The GPU will reportedly be released this summer.
Amex Digital has recently unveiled a pair of its newest products, the SR-7 and SW-7. Both sport 7-inch, 800x480 resolution displays and can display digital photos and play back digital music or video files, with the former offering a radio-controlled clock and indoor thermometer. Both frames have an on-screen calendar that shows the day of the week and a dual-snooze alarm. The SW-7 is also a weather forecast station with barometric pressure trend indicator, humidity sensor, hygrometer and thermometer. It has five connections for wireless RF 433MHz remote sensors with auto scroll.
LaCie at midday has launched a new version of its d2 Blu-ray Drive. The updated version now records write-once versions of the HD disc format at 8X and can theoretically burn a two hour movie in 15 minutes. It also burns fully copy-protected, studio-grade movies at 2X and performs more like a traditional DVD burner with single-layer burning at 16X and dual-layer at 8X.
A slip to BGR today hints that Canadian phone carrier Rogers is about to alter its smartphone plans with an emphasis on lowering the entry price. The company is poised to upgrade its core Smartphone Plans with a new $45 monthly plan that includes 250 minutes of call time per month, unlimited calling on evenings and weekends, and 500MB of data; the plan is both a better deal than the existing $50 plan's 150 minutes and potentially improved for starter iPhone owners that don't require Visual Voicemail or text messages.
Google on Monday announced the immediate release of Google Earth 5.0, bumping it up from the previous 4.3 build. Among the biggest changes are the inclusion of a detailed 3D ocean floor, the ability to go up to 50 years back in time when looking at a particular location, record a virtual tour of locations, and a 3D rendition of Mars. The ocean feature was developed together with many partners, including National Geographic, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the US Navy, among others. The approximate two-thirds of the planet can now be viewed under water and includes videos and images of ocean life, along with details on surf spots, expedition logs and more.
Silicon Mountain this afternoon extended its home theater TV PC line downwards with the Allio Lite. The set continues to build in a computer behind a full HDTV but differs from normal models by a switch to a dual-core 1.6GHz Atom in place of desktop processors. The difference lets the company drop the price of the TV while still keeping enough performance for HD video and running Vista Home Premium.
Helio today formalized the launch of the Ocean 2. The handset closely fits its description from an early hands-on and adds 2GB of built-in storage, an optical navigation pad and improved messaging that involves Google Talk and threaded SMS. It continues to offer a 2-megapixel camera and built-in GPS for navigation and location-based social features. It can also serve as a media player with a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Bell announced on Monday it has added the Palm Centro smartphone to the range of phones on its network. Bell's edition of the PalmOS smartphone will be available in black and carry 128MB of onboard storage. The Centro will include Facebook for Palm and Google Maps with My Location feature that will approximate user's locations in areas with enough cellular coverage. Users will be able to access personal and work e-mail with Exchange support. Documents such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF files can all be opened and edited on the Centro.
San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) service should soon see the addition of permanent mobile Wi-Fi access, according to the technology's provider. WiFi Rail says it has a signed a 20-year deal to provide hotspots throughout BART's terminal network, and particularly on all commuter trains, where the only alternative has so far been cellular access. Routers and switches are being provided by Cisco, while servers are slated to run Mac OS X.
A new leak indicates that Intel may be abandoning at least early plans for its first mainstream processors to include built-in graphics. Versions of the company's Auburndale and Havendale desktop and notebook processors with graphics cores on the chips themselves have reportedly been shelved due to economic concerns. As Intel can less afford to keep plants making 45 nanometer processors, the company allegedly hopes to shut down sooner by focusing only on 45nm Core 2 and Pentium parts for the low end and Core i7 for the high end.
Macs achieved their highest-ever online representation in January, figures from Net Applications reveal. Browser access from Mac OS systems reached 9.93 percent last month, a slight increase over December's 9.63 percent. The numbers reflect a continuing upward trend since at least March of last year, when Mac share was only 7.48 percent. Occasional drops -- experienced in April, July and October -- are noted to have been marginal.
Motorola today said it has started up one of the first Long Term Evolution (LTE) phone networks in the UK with a trial setup in Swindon. The test network runs on the 2.6GHz frequency and is capable of providing voice while providing live high-speed data at 4G speeds. Motorola estimates between 29Mbps and 226Mbps for downloads depending on the amount of bandwidth available and the number of antennas the device can use.
Korea will have infrastructure in place and offer wired Internet services with speeds reaching 1Gbps by 2012, the country's communications commission said in a statement over the weekend, according to a Monday report. This, along with wireless broadband jumping to 10Mbps (or 4G speeds), will be a 10-fold increase on the respective services' current speeds. The project will involve an investment of the equivalent of $24.6 billion over the next five years, with the government chipping in $935 million and the remainder coming from private telecommunications operators. The undertaking will create 120,000 jobs.
Samsung will try to garner attention at this month's Mobile World Congress by launching the world's first cellphone with a 12-megapixel camera, according to claims (registration required) picked up by the Korean newspaper Money Today. While few details are available of the phone itself, the sensor would be about 50 percent denser than the 8-megapixel sensors on the company's best cameraphones, such as the Pixon (shown) and INNOV8. Samsung historically gives these phones autofocusing as well as flash.
Motorola has made an early start to its Mobile World Congress unveilings by launching the Stature i9 for both Sprint and its sub-brand Boost Mobile. The clamshell is said the thinnest to use iDEN push-to-talk networks at 0.59 inches thick and is also the most advanced media phone of the kind. A 3.1-megaxpixel camera is the sharpest available on Sprint's PTT network, while a ring of touch-sensitive buttons around the external display provide access both to music but also to GPS, video capture and other functions that normally need an open phone; they dynamically illuminate to indicate contextual choices.
ASUS on Monday hoped to claim supremacy in netbooks with the Eee PC 1000HE. The variant of ASUS' familiar 10-inch netbook is the company's first to use the new 1.66GHz Atom processor that gets both a faster 667MHz system bus and faster integrated graphics that ASUS claims is HD-capable. The new chip combined with an equally new high-density battery gives the system as much as 9.5 hours of runtime without using a bulky add-on.
Rambus today will demo a new RAM technology that it believes could be needed for more advanced visuals on smartphones. Labeled the Mobile Memory Initiative, the approach uses a variant of the separate, flexible clock speeds used in XDR memory (found in the PlayStation 3) but with very low-power, low variance signaling that creates very high bandwidth without ramping up the power draw. MMI would allow 4.3 gigabits per second from a single chip but a typical voltage of just 100mV, providing about five times the headroom of the 800-megabit mobile memory available today
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