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Verizon Wireless is ready to begin selling netbooks, possibly as soon as next quarter, an unnamed source told Bloomberg. The carrier is allegedly working with more than one PC maker, according to the person that is close to the project. If true, the company appears to be stepping up competition against other carriers that have seen an opportunity in low-priced computers paired with data contracts and subsidized for extra discounts.
Samsung has begun mass production of ultra-slim LCD panels for its upcoming large size TVs. Edge-lit LED backlighting is designed to reduce component weight while allowing a thinner overall profile. The company claims the new panels are just 10.8 mm thick, compared to conventional LCDs in the 40-inch, 46-inch and 55-inch sizes that are approximately four times thicker.
Microsoft has released a new series of ads that takes aim at Macs, specifically regarding features versus pricing compared to Windows machines. The company hired Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the ad agency behind the commercials featuring Gates and Seinfeld, to pose as a research firm that recruited unsuspecting people into a mock study, according to the Associated Press. If the volunteers could find a computer meeting certain criteria and within budgets ranging from $700 to $2000, they could keep the system.
Sling Media has submitted its application for the iPhone and iPod touch, SlingPlayer Mobile, to the App Store for approval. The app will allow users to access their television content including local or cable channels, video on demand, pay per view and more. The company currently offers similar software for Symbian, BlackBerry, Palm and Windows Mobile platform. The service streams video over Wi-Fi when available, or "acceptably well" over 3G if Apple approves the technology.
Filings with the FCC confirm that Samsung's upcoming A877 handset will support dual-band GSM, EDGE and WCDMA networks, while offering Bluetooth connectivity. The handset is said to feature a 3.2-inch AMOLED touchscreen and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard with a fourth row of keys. An internal accelerometer will allow the screen orientation to automatically switch from portrait to landscape mode when the phone is turned.
Samsung today inadvertently showed its hand by revealing details of the SWD-M100 Mondi, its first dedicated WiMAX device for the US, in its RSS feed [since pulled]. The hardware resembles a counterpart to Nokia's N810 and centers on a large, full touchscreen with a slide-out directional pad and QWERTY keypad. Little else is revealed by Samsung itself, though a conspicuous front camera points to video chat while a Windows key points to either Windows Mobile or a desktop Windows OS as standard.
Taiwan's Wistron has shown off its Firstbook, an ultraportable netbook about the size of Sony's VAIO P, powered by the same 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset used in the Toshiba TG01 smartphone. The Linux-based PC is the first such netbook with an integrated 3G mobile broadband module. Snapdragon is a chipset made for upcoming mobile devices, incorporating a 1GHz processor core, DSP and 3G radio.
Due to changing consumer demand and the weak economy, LG has relaxed its plans regarding notebook and smaller netbook PCs will, says a Wednesday MobileToday report. Instead, LG will focus on growing its successful smartphone market, including its QWERTY keyboard-equipped and touchscreen handsets. To this end, its future handsets due for a release later in 2009 will either be thinner, more advanced with higher quality cameras and more memory, or basic to meet lower price points. To appeal to a wider audience, they will also sell the handsets in a selection of colors.
A trio of Samsung smartphones that should be released to market sometime in 2009 have been leaked on the Internet on Thursday, revealing the near-identical S8000 and M8000 as well as the Windows Mobile-based B7300. The twins do not have a physical keyboard save for three buttons at their base and instead rely on touchscreen displays believed to offer 240x400 resolution. Apart from a 5-megapixel autofocus camera that is equipped with a dual-LED flash, no other specs are known about the S8000.
Sony officially abandoned plans to purchase a plant and equipment to develop its Field Emission Display (FED) technology in February because it couldn't locate funding for the equipment. Sony owned 37.8 percent of FE Technologies, a company that was devoted to developing and releasing a commercial 26-inch TV by the end of 2009. Sony has already began liquidating its remaining assets related to the technology.
Luxury mechanical timepiece maker Ulysse Nardin has partnered up with SCI Innovations to create its first cellphone, the Chairman. Like its watches, the phone is assembled by hand and has a winding rotor that provides auxiliary power for the device when its battery is nearly or fully depleted. More traditional specs include a fingerprint sensor for security, a 2.8-inch touchscreen and a 5-megapixel camera with video recording capabilities.
Blizzard executive VP Rob Pardo yesterday told guests of the Luminaries Lunch that his company and Microsoft were already discussing the latter's plans for a sequel to the Xbox 360. While not providing details on any of Microsoft's goals for the future game system, the developer mentioned to GI and others that his firm was in active talks and suggested he would advocate for a new controller method that would solve many of the roadblocks for porting over PC-like games that need more advanced input, such as real-time strategy games like Starcraft II.
Maingear on Thursday hoped to add a unique feature to small-but-fast notebooks by launching the mX-L. The 13.3-inch platform is rare among factory-built notebooks in its option for a custom laser engraving on the back that personalizes its look. The system is also still rare for its size in having the choice of up to a 2.93GHz Core 2 Duo for its processor and storage that scales up to either Intel's 160GB X25-M solid-state drive or a traditional 500GB Western Digital rotating disk. Custom orders can similarly outfit it with up to 8GB of RAM.
The Samsung Alias, also known as the U740, is due to be replaced with this dual-band CDMA handset, the U750, which sports the first dynamic keypad in the industry. The dual-hinged phone will display numbers on its keys when opened up in a portrait orientation or a full QWERTY keyboard when flipped in the landscape view. Rumors have it that the feat is accomplished thanks to e-ink technology on each key, though this is not confirmed.
A lawsuit accusing Microsoft of misleading over its Vista Capable logo program may have renewed life based on the results of a hearing held yesterday. Having previously denied class action status for the original lawsuit because its scope was too broad, US District Judge Marsha Pechman now says she will issue a ruling next week on whether the case can go forward using a narrower class of plaintiffs. The case would now include just those who either qualified for an upgrade from Windows Vista to XP separately or else who bought Vista Capable PCs whose graphics weren't capable of Aero Glass and thus couldn't handle the full feature set.
Acer on Thursday announced that the Veriton X270 series of business desktop PCs is now available in North America. The small form factor PCs can be had with a choice of Intel processors, including the Intel Core 2 Duo, as well as SATA hard drives as large as 500GB and up to 4GB of DDR2 RAM. NVIDIA's integrated GeForce 7100 chipset gives all the systems support for hardware HD video decoding.
Japanese manufacturer PhotoFast has produced the G-Monster PCIe SSD, a new solid-state drive designed around extreme specifications. Whereas most SSDs are limited to 256GB or less, the G-Monster starts at that level, and additionally comes in 512GB and 1TB capacities, rivaling some hard drives. The G-Monster is substantially longer however, closer in size to a high-end video card.
A recent report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is naming Graphene, a form of pure carbon founded in 2004 that could be applied to microchips to make for faster processing speeds than is possible with current silicon chips. Researchers outside of MIT have created prototype transistors and similar simple devices using one-atom thick Graphene, but the newer MIT findings could make for more advanced applications. The researchers built an experimental Graphene chip that acts as a frequency multiplier, capable of doubling the frequency of an electromagnetic signal, or effectively doubling a CPU's clock speed.
Microsoft has outlined plans to standardize Windows 7's multi-touch support across PCs. Called the Windows Touch logo program, the approach will test displays for their accuracy and responsiveness to ensure that users can perform the same finger-based commands on any system, including tapping some smaller on-screen buttons, pinching to zoom, or rotating. The program would reward PC makers for providing truly accurate touch input.
Sony Ericsson took advantage of the pre-CTIA run-up today and launched the T707. The clamshell stands as the company's new signature fashion phone and has a unique outer shell that both hides an OLED for call and message notifications and lights up in different patterns depending on the caller. Basic gesture input also lets users finish a call or silence an alarm by waving a hand near the phone surface. Time-sensitive themes on the inner 2.2-inch display also keep the design fresh.
Research in Motion may be preparing to further compete against Apple and others as leaks on Thursday point to the company offering its own TV service. Multiple contacts for NewTeeVee say RIM will have an unlimited, subscription-based plan that gives BlackBerries access to full episodes from several TV networks' catalogs. Rather than stream shows like most carrier-specific TV, the service would let users pick shows themselves and download them individually.
Hoping to bring some of the improvements of the 1000HE to other models, ASUS today quietly put out a second and likely lower-cost model in its new wave of netbooks. The Eee PC 1002H has the same 10-inch screen, 1.66GHz Atom and Chiclet-style keyboard of its counterpart but has a more conventional 5-hour battery instead of a 9.5-hour pack. The trade lets ASUS drop the weight from 3.2 to 2.6 pounds and slim the design down to just under 1.1 inches.
Sony is likely to be launching a significant update to its VAIO P mini notebook based on a leak of new model numbers. Six system IDs obtained by Sony Insider point to the model numbering jumping from the 500 series of today to the 700 series while keeping the same black, green, red and white colors. While four of the models share the same P710 naming scheme, two P730 models hint at higher-spec versions.
Systems based on Intel's CULV budget ultraportable platform may be used for systems with displays as large as 15.6 inches, sources in the industry have reportedly told DigiTimes. Intel is officially defining the typical size for one of the budget ultraportables as between 11 and 13 inches, but "several first-tier" notebook makers that include Acer, Dell and HP are all believed building ultra-thin 15.6-inch systems using the very low-power processors.
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