Additional information has emerged surrounding Verizon's upcoming netbook offerings. Several leaked images posted on PhoneArena show an HP Mini 115NR with a 1.6 GHz CPU, 10.1-inch screen, 1GB of RAM and an 80GB hard drive. The system will come loaded with Windows XP Home Edition, and users can access the Internet from Wi-Fi or Ethernet in addition to the integrated mobile broadband modem with support for GlobalAccess. The keyboard on the 10.1-inch Mini is closer to the area of a full-size notebook.
At the FPD Expo that wrapped up in Tokyo on Friday, Sony showed off a prototype 21-inch OLED display that is nearly twice the size of the current 11-inch XEL-1 OLED TV. The new display has a greater 1366x758 resolution and a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1, like the XEL-1, in a package that is less than 0.4 inches thick. At the same time, Sony talked about distributing its 4K 3D digital projectors in more than 4,500 AMC theaters in North America.
LG Electronics on Friday announced it will begin shipping mobile digital television (DTV) receiver chips this June. The LG2160A chips will allow the mobile devices they are installed in to receive mobile DTV broadcasting in the United States. Supporting the ATSC Mobile DTV Standard approved late last year, the chips will bring local news, weather, traffic and emergency information to users on the go, and may also eventually include entertainment programming.
A joint venture led by Gordon Brothers Brands and Hilco Consumer Capital, along with private equity fund Knight's Bridge Capital Partners and other investors, was approved by a Minnesota Federal Bankruptcy court to acquire all assets of the Polaroid brand. In a Thursday announcement from the joint venture, which also recently purchased The Sharper Image, Linens 'N Things and Bombay, the companies promise to develop a full-scale global licensing and marketing strategy for wholesale, direct-to-retail and e-commerce business to make Polaroid competitive again.
The Palm Pre is already in mass production if a slip from a Chinese wholesaler proves true. Ludle International claims that the device is already in volume production and should be available in the near future. As evidence, the company has what appears to be an example unit and provides early impressions of the design: in addition to feeling smaller than an iPhone, the design's screen is less scratch-proof but is compensated for by a tougher (though fingerprint-prone) back.
Google's open-source Android operating system thus far used only in cellphones will soon expand and run a set-top box built by Motorola, according to a Thursday report. Japanese Internet service provider KDDI will market and sell the set-top, which will be capable of playing content on CDs and DVDs, transferring music and video to mobile devices and rip and store files on its integrated or connected hard drive. Previously, Motorola used a pure Linux interface for its au Box, though both it and Android are open-source.
NVIDIA's GeForce GT 300 video hardware won't show until October at the earliest, a leak of its talks with partners may hint. They tell the Inquirer that the first actual production models will be ready October 15th following a tape out, or a first submission for manufacturing, in June. The new technology would represent the first significant update to NVIDIA's line since the GTX 275, which itself is a minor upgrade of the older GTX 260.
At a trade show in Tokyo this week, Bridgestone showed off a color electronic paper display that has support for pen input. Comprised of Bridgestone's QR-LPD electronic powder and granular material along with a color filter and Wacom's electromagnetic induction-type pen input tablet, the display has a faster refresh speed to accommodate the pen input. It now takes 0.8 seconds to refresh the screen, a marked improvement over Bridgestone's previous A4-sized e-paper display that required between 10 to 15 seconds.
Forrester today issued a report on customer experience with computers that gave Apple a significant lead over competitors. The Mac producer received an 80 percent score, or "good," on a combination of ease of use, meeting needs and a pleasurable experience. Its next-closest rival, Gateway, scored just 66 percent, or "okay." Other competitors fared worse, with HP and its sub-label Compaq receiving 64 percent and 63 percent scores that are considered "poor;" Dell has dipped to 58 percent.
Panasonic UK on Thursday announced it is adding the 10.1-megapixel DMC-FS62 point and-shoot camera to its FS line-up, following up on the release of the FS25 in January. The new camera sports an Intelligent Auto mode that has an optical image stabilizer, auto ISO control, face detection and full auto scene selection. The new Intelligent Auto chooses between one of two optical stabilization modes depending on which of the two zoom ratios is being used. Advances in detection accuracy and correction effect come via a new Venus Engine IV image processing chip.
Microsoft has identified May 11th as the official release date for Windows Mobile 6.5, according to a corporate blog. The date coincides with the opening of Microsoft's TechEd 2009 conference, where developers and IT specialists will be given a demonstration of the OS accompanied by a list of planned changes. TechEd visitors will also have the option of attending separate sessions on v6.5 topics, such as touch and gesture commands.
Garmin-ASUS' long-delayed nüvifone G60 is now expected to show in June, a direct source claims. Talking to Reuters, the insider says the first LiMo-based (Linux Mobile) phones will ship in June and, by extension, that the G60 will be one of the early models. The GPS-centric handset has been repeatedly delayed since its January 2008 unveiling and has been given a first-half 2009 release timeframe that would support the latest claim.
Samsung is developing a very thin but color-accurate 15.6-inch display for notebooks, a rumor today suggests. Unspecified "market sources" for DigiTimes claim the screen will have an RGB LED backlight that will both contribute to the thin dimensions of future notebooks but also improve the color saturation versus other LED backlights, which are often dominated by blue and so reduce the improvement in green and red colors. RGB treats all three colors equally and can change color temperatures to create a much more vivid image.
A court in Stockholm, Sweden has ruled against the four founders of file-sharing site The Pirate Bay on Friday. Accused of "assisting in making copyright content available," Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm and Carl Lundström were each sentenced to serve one year in jail and ordered to pay a fine equivalent to about $905,000 each for a total of some $3.62 million by the court. The sum was short of what the prosecution representing recording studios were seeking, though it remains unknown.
Sony Ericsson today reported first quarter results that warned of a steep drop in phone shipments and increasing losses that will push the company to further scale back its operations. The company says it shipped only 14.5 million phones between January and March, or about 35 percent less than it did during the same span a year ago and 40 percent less than the holiday season in late 2008. The sharp decline has also widened Sony Ericsson's net losses to the equivalent of $382.4 million (versus a $173.6 million income for early 2008).
Verizon on Friday gave its Open Development program a boost by publishing an early set of technical specifications for its upcoming 4G network. The addition lets hardware builders create devices known to work with the carrier's eventual 700MHz Long Term Evolution (LTE) network and which can take advantage of the extra speed. Verizon hopes that the early availability will lead to companies producing LTE-ready hardware in time for the wider launch of the 4G network in early 2010.
IBM announced on Thursday that it, along with partners Chartered Semiconductor, GlobalFoundries, Infineon, Samsung and STMicroelectronics, are jointly developing a 28-nanometer low-power, high-k metal gate (HKMG) bulk complementary metal oxide (CMOS) semiconductor for use in future processors. The technology would be used in mobile and consumer electronics devices such as Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs), where it would extend battery life. The 28nm chips would reportedly provide a 40 percent performance gain and more than a 20 percent power decrease compared to 45nm technology in a chip that's about half the size.
If accurate, a rumor floated today will see Best Buy leap into its own online movie store. Entertainment magazine Variety claims to have heard from movie studio executives that the retailer is talking to CinemaNow and "other online movie services" to establish a link between itself and one of these services. While what's involved is uncertain, Best Buy is likely to arrange for a cut of the revenues for each movie viewed and may promote hardware with that movie service's features built-in.
Nokia may give the 5800 XpressMusic and more of its phones an upgrade to a capacitive touchscreen, tips from Taiwan's phone part makers would claim. Although Nokia built the 5800 around a resistive touchscreen, which requires pressure and is sometimes better-suited to a stylus than finger input, the company has supposedly ordered a switch to capacitive screens with the explicit goal of rivaling the responsiveness of Apple's iPhone and newer Korean phones like the LG Arena or Samsung's i8910 (Omnia HD). About 2 million of the upgraded phones would be shipped between May and June based on these plans.
T-Mobile this morning finally confirmed the existence of its 2009 update to the Sidekick LX. The new model is the first ever to support 3G and draws on HSPA to allow both faster web browsing as well as to enable video streaming directly through the browser as well as Internet radio and video uploading. GPS is also new and exploits Danger's connection to Microsoft to let users search for nearby locations (including fuel and movies) using Live Search.
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