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TomTom has decided to fight back against Microsoft with a countersuit claiming infringement on several of its own patents, according to PC World. The company accuses Microsoft of infringing on four patents relating to Microsoft Streets and Trips, a mapping software that can be used in conjunction with a GPS receiver attached to a laptop. Triple damages are sought due to willful infringement, as TomTom claims to have previously alerted Microsoft to the issues.
iLuv has launched its latest media player accessory, the iEP505 earphones featuring a sound-isolating design. The earphones provide an in-line volume control, which the company plans to upgrade with support for navigation controls on the latest iPod shuffle. The company claims the drivers are engineered for improved audio reproduction and frequency range.
Palm on Thursday reported its third-quarter financial results, indicating smartphone shipments of just 482,000 units, down 42 percent year-over-year. Smartphone revenue was also hit hard, down 72 percent and contributing to the company's net loss of $98 million. "We're proceeding through a challenging transitional period, however our current results shouldn't overshadow the tremendous progress we've made against our strategic goals," said Ed Colligan, CEO and president. "We're poised to usher in a new era at Palm."
Added specifications and approximate release dates of three new handsets due to ship to Verizon have been leaked, PhoneArena reported on Thursday. The Nokia Intrigue 7205 will be an Energy Star compliant device that will urge users to unplug it from the wall socket once the phone is fully charged to avoid phantom power draw. It will also be packaged in a small, environmentally-friendly box and the menus and screensavers on the 2.2-inch, 240x320 internal display and external 176x32 PMOLED screen will also have a green theme.
Sony Europe on Thursday unveiled its RHT-G series of TV stands that feature integrated surround sound speaker systems. All share three HDMI inputs and are compatible with BRAVIA Sync for one-remote control of both the TV and the stand. The three models in the range accommodate Sony or third-party TVs of various sizes, with the entry-level RHT-G550 meant for TVs sized at between 32 and 40 inches. This 3.1-channel model contains three midrange speakers and a subwoofer which combine to produce 330W of power.
Bang & Olufsen has announced on Thursday it will release its giant 103-inch plasma HDTV this summer. The set is called the BeoVision 4-103 and together with its motorized stand, weighs in at 1,100lbs. The stand will motor up to reveal a center channel speaker that is also motorized and comes out to sit flush with the screen. Users can also adjust the angle and rotate the display to face them squarely via the remote control. The plasma panel comes from a same-size Panasonic display.
Elgato on Thursday announced it has added 1080p compatibility to its original Turbo.264 USB video conversion dongle, resulting in the Turbo.264 HD. The new product is now much faster than its predecessor, and still allows users to convert videos into the H.264 format that is compatible with portable electronics such as iPods, iPhones, the Apple TV and Sony's PSP and similar devices. Besides resolution, it also adds support for HD camcorder formats such as AVCHD as well as MPEG-2- and MPEG-4-encoded HD content. The Turbo.264 HD automatically detects AVCHD camcorders and moves the recordings in standard- or high-definition to selected source devices.
RIM's BlackBerry 9630, nicknamed the Niagara, could be ready for Verizon soon, according to a rumor. Citing unnamed analysts, TheStreet claims the CDMA carrier will get the phone as early as May and should use it to replace the Curve 8330 that has handled mainstream QWERTY BlackBerry duties on Verizon for about a year. Pricing and other details remain vague, though the existing 8330 sells for $170 before special discounts.
The state of New Jersey's Division of Consumer Affairs has filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against Verizon for allegedly using "deceptive and misleading" marketing practices for its high-performance fiber-optic FiOS television, telephone and Internet services. The lawsuit states Verizon broke the state's Consumer Fraud Act by misrepresenting and omitting material facts in its promotion of the FiOS service.
A cross-party bill has been submitted in the US Congress this week that would at least temporarily ban additional taxes on cellphones or their service. The Cellphone Tax Fairness Act, sponsored by California Democrat representative Zoe Lofgren and Arizona Republican Trent Franks, would prevent any form of "discriminatory" state tax being applied to the technology for five years after the bill is passed. It wouldn't affect existing state taxes or new federal taxes.
What is believed to be the very first device with support for the 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) data standard has been approved by the FCC for use in North America on Tuesday, according to the US regulator's documents. No photos were included in the FCC documents, as LG requested them to be kept confidential, at least for the short-term. Other information is scarce as well, with the only real hard piece of specifications being that the device, which is not guaranteed to be a phone but perhaps a data device only, will operate using only on the 1,700MHz AWS frequency.
Joanna Rutkowska of Invisible Things Lab today posted details of a security exploit that could compromise many systems using Intel processors. The techinque involves "poisoning" a given chip's cache memory and forcing access to System Management Mode (SMM), which addresses errors, power management and other features outside of normal processor use. A successful attack would let the attacker either dump the contents of RAM used for SMM so that it can be more easily compromised or else to run arbitrary code from the memory.
Following the beta release of the iPhone OS 3.0, an observer has noted that Apple included code for several new product designations, according to the Boy Genius Report. In addition to the iPhone2,1 hardware ID that was noticed in January, the upcoming OS allegedly includes a second model, iPhone 3,1, which could indicate yet another handset in the product pipeline.
Samsung established a record today by becoming the first to ship 16GB registered DDR3 memory. The feat was accomplished by combining its recent 2-gigabit (512MB) memory chips and would let servers hold very large amounts of total memory. The 1,066Mbps of bandwidth alotted by the combined memory would let as much as 192GB of memory fit in a single computer with 12 memory slots.
NVIDIA announced on Thursday that it will provide its PhysX software development kit (SDK) for registered Nintendo Wii software developers. The announcement comes just two days after a similar release that has the graphics software and chipmaker also making an SDK available for Sony PlayStation 3 developers. Using NVIDIA's PhysX engine, developers can bring more realistic game environments to the game consoles, the company says, especially taking advantage of the PS3's powerful Cell processor that will allow for animating realistic persistent debris such as shattered glass and weapons ammunition, trees that bend in the wind and flowing water.
GM-owned car maker Cadillac has announced an April introduction for its first in-car Internet service. Dubbed Cadillac WiFi, the service is actually based around a device from Autonet Mobile, which is portable between vehicles and should allow computers and similar devices to access the Internet via a local network connection. The first car to come with the option will be the CTS sport sedan; the Autonet device will sell for $499, while maintaining service should cost $29 per month.
Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer in an interview Thursday revealed the company's current approach to competing with rivals, particularly Apple. The executive noted he believes that Apple may have difficulties as smartphones gain market share as the iPhone is relatively expensive to make. Where Ballmer estimated that an iPhone costs about $500 before factoring in carrier subsidies, he saw the "sweet spot" as being phones that have a pure cost between $150 and $200, which are more likely to include Windows Mobile.
Hoping to compete against iTunes and other multi-device movie services, Samsung on Thursday opened a beta version of Samsung Movies. The store lets owners of supporting devices buy or rent movies as well as buy TV shows. Any title comes both in a full, DVD-resolution version for the desktop in Windows Media format as well as in a separate mobile format. About 500 titles are available immediately from major studios but should double by the end of March and top 2,000 by July.
For the first time in company history, Sony will freeze the wages of its workers in Japan in an effort to cut operating losses and keep a lid on costs, according to a Financial Times report on Thursday. At the same time, the company will cut average bonuses, with factory workers getting a 53 percent smaller bonuses, down from the equivalent of about $23,400, that in itself is expected to save Sony about $105 million in 2009 compared to last year. The move would let Sony take active steps to keep costs in check without cutting more permanent jobs in its home country.
Bell should be the first Canadian provider to pick up the Samsung Omnia if a leak today from BGR comes to fruition. The touchscreen, Windows Mobile smartphone has been available for months through Verizon in the US but should arrive on its northern counterpart between April 9th and April 12th depending on timing. Whether or not features will change isn't known, though Bell may incorporate its custom interface with more touch-ready shortcuts and features. It's not certain how this would merge with Samsung's TouchWiz, however.
Earlier this week, Freecom released its new 2.5-inch ToughDrive Sport external hard drive that is claimed to be capable of withstanding adverse conditions. Available in 250GB, 320GB and 500GB capacities, the drive can withstand a drop onto a flat surface from up to 6.6 feet and can soak up to 300G of force when in operation or 1,000G when turned off. Data is also protected against more human threats through 256-bit encryption.
A new roadmap of upcoming Intel chip upgrades has Intel ramping up clock speeds for its range-topping Core i7 chip as well as adding newer speed grades for its Core 2 line, including the Core 2 Quad S. On May 31st, the chip designer is understood to be introducing a 3.33GHz Core i7 quad-core part, tbe i7-975, that will effectively replace the 3.2GHz model. A 3.06GHz version (i7-950) will also supplant the 2.93GHz model at the same time. The two should be priced at $999 and $562 respectively in large batches.
Cisco on Thursday said it would buy Pure Digital for $590 million in stock. The deal puts the camera maker into the same Consumer Business division as Linksys and gives the larger company control over Pure's lineup, which includes the Flip Mino HD and other Flip devices. Cisco describes the buyout as a way of branching into "visual networking" and that it will "quickly expand" the Flip line as a result.
Cricket today claimed a US first by adding the Nokia 3606 to its stable. The phone has the same "seamless" clamshell design as some more recent flip phones and is distinctly music focused with external, touch-sensitive music controls, the requisite media player, and a microSDHC slot that supports cards up to 8GB. It also has a 1.3-megapixel camera and Bluetooth with stereo audio support.
Sony today launched an aggressive move with its readers by noting its eBook Store would get access to Google's free book library and by cutting the price of its third-generation Sony Reader. The Google catalog of 500,000 titles centers on public domain books such as those from Kate Chopin or Mark Twain and is formatted with both the current Reader and its earlier, non-touch equivalent in mind. The addition immediately boosts the total number of books in Sony's store to 600,000.
Samsung's first Android phone could be ready to launch as early as the summer if tips from within the mobile industry are accurate. DigiTimes both claims the handset will release during the period and also appears to confirm details that had slipped out earlier this week, including a design that resembles the HTC Magic and advanced 3G. Little else is mentioned, though recent leaks point to a finger-friendly capacitive touchscreen and at least a 3.2-megapixel camera.
Microsoft on Thursday said it would launch Internet Explorer 8 at 12PM Eastern. The app is the company's first significant web browser release since 2006 and is partly meant to address gaps in its feature set compared to other, newer browsers: a new rendering engine makes it more compatible with true W3C web standards while still having support for IE-specific pages. It also has shortcuts to perform context-sensitive tasks through specific websites (such as a Facebook search), visual search suggestions, and a WebClip-like feature known as Web Slices that lets users bookmark specific sections of websites and see them at a glance.
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