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Amazon has expanded its Video on Demand service with new HD content, including movies and TV shows. TV shows are available on compatible HDTVs, set-top boxes or on a computer as a stream or download. The HD movies are not yet available for computers, however. The company already has 500 TV shows and movies available, with more to be added in the future.
Mophie ready to ship its thinnest external battery for the iPhone 3G, the Juice Pack Air. Doubling as both an external battery and hard-shell case, the device features a rechargeable 1200mAh lithium-polymer battery that is claimed to provide up to 270 additional standby hours, an extra 4.5 hours of talk and internet time, up to 20 hours of audio playback and roughly 6 hours of video playback. The hard shell is designed to help protect the iPhone from everyday use, with three available colors including black, white and purple.
A leaked roadmap of upcoming Toshiba products contains several touchscreen devices, the TG02 and TG03, according to Techblog. The TG02 features a 4.1-inch display, integrated GPS and a 3.2-megapixel camera. The handset runs on Windows Mobile 6.5 and is powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon processor. The thin-profile case offers waterproof protection, while the interface includes a slider control located between the return key and home key.
Roku on Tuesday announced that its Roku player supports new HD content from Amazon's Video on Demand service. Customers initially will have a choice between 500 TV shows and movies from studios and networks such as Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, Paramount, Universal and Showtime. Top movie titles include "Frost/Nixon," "Twilight" and "Yes Man," along with TV shows such as "Californication," "The Tudors," "Smallville" and "Gossip Girl."
AMD tonight showed slight improvement in its performance by reporting reduced losses for its first quarter of the year. The chip designer managed a net loss of $416 million; while worse than a net loss of $351 million for the first quarter of 2008, the figure is less than a third of the $1.4 billion loss reported just in the fall. It also notes that revenue was "flat" versus the fall and thus that its losses are under better control.
Sprint Mobile recently announced it has added the Sierra Wireless AirCard 402 for PC and Mac notebooks, endowing them with EV-DO Rev. A wireless access. The AirCard 402 ships with an adapter that allows for the card's use in a PC's card slot or its ExpressCard slot. Half of the AirCard 402's 64MB of memory can be used to store files, and the antenna is built-in, making for a totally contained form factor.
NetGear on Tuesday announced the release of its MoCA Coax-Ethernet Adapter Kit (MCAB1001), made to speed up home networking and streaming of high-definition videos and online gaming. NetGear claims the kit allows speeds as fast as 270Mbps and uses a home's coaxial cable to bridge two devices and connect them to a home network. It is compatible with major cable TV services and homes wired for cable, and lets devices with Ethernet connections, including HDTVs, Blu-ray players, DVRs and gaming consoles join the home network.
China's Cube is readying to release the H100 personal media player, which has a 5-inch, 800x480 display like the Cube52 model it replaces. Unlike the older model, though, the new PMP has a newfound 1080i resolution TV output capability, in addition to the 720p output shared with the Cube52. Supported video files include RMVB, RM, AVI, FLV, DAT and MPEG.
The magicJack, a VoIP telephony device first introduced in 2007, is about to get a number of upgrades, according to a Tuesday Laptopmag report. The timeliest of these, number porting, is expected to arrive within the next 60 days, according to magicJack inventor Dan Borislow. The most requested feature from customers, it will allow users to transfer existing numbers to current and future devices.
MSI on Tuesday announced the first notebook PC using Intel's CULV platform, the X-Slim X340, will become available in the US later this month. Introduced early this month, the notebook features a 13-inch LED-backlit LCD display, weighs 2.9lbs and is just under 0.8 inches thick. The 1.4GHz Intel CULV CPU consumes just 5.5W of power, according to MSI, but performs more like a traditional notebook than a netbook. The notebook also has the option of a WiMAX mobile broadband module but doesn't include an optical drive to reach its slim profile.
Research at Cornell University could lead to low-power, high-efficiency memory chips. It takes strontium titanate oxide and squeezes it on silicon in a fashion that would make the two organic compounds ferroelectric. Ferroelectric materials are already used as memory for storing data on subway passes, for example, but could find a use in transistors as well. Headed by Cornell materials scientist Darrell Schlom, the research could translate into faster, low-power transistors that can be turned on instantly.
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group on Tuesday confirmed its third-generation Bluetooth specification. Officially labeled Bluetooth 3.0 + HS (High Speed), the standard takes advantage of the presence of Wi-Fi on many Bluetooth-equipped devices to offload high-demand transfers to Wi-Fi. The speed theoretically boosts transfers up to 24Mbps on a typical 802.11g link and saves power versus using Bluetooth alone. The SIG anticipates the format being used to beam HD video from a camcorder or send large files from cellphones.
Confirming an earlier April report, US Cellular is now offering the HTC Touch Pro smartphone handset on its network. The Touch Pro, equipped with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional operating system and HTC's TouchFLO 3D interface for the 2.8-inch VGA display, costs $250 through the provider with a two-year contract and mail-in rebate. Contract-free pricing is set at nearly $600.
Despite a common perception that pirating music decreases sales, a new study published by Norway's Aftenposten this week suggests an opposite effect. Conducted by the BI Norwegian School of Management, the research finds that those between who frequently download music through file sharing services are 10 times more likely to buy music than those that cling only to legal purchases. It also notes that those between the ages of 15 and 20 are more likely to buy songs through download stores like iTunes than CDs.
The rumored new Pentax digital SLR may ultimately be a new high-end model that sits at the top of the line. An Austrian forum leak corroborated separately suggests that a new camera known as the K7D will be unveiled in the third week of May and that it won't be a sequel to the K20D but instead its own, unique model. The single-digit naming scheme implies Pentax is pursuing the quality of a camera like Canon's EOS-5D Mark II.
Violet, maker of the Nabaztag Wi-Fi Rabbit, has released the Mir:ror RFID tag reader, which can trigger pre-set functions on a connected PC or Mac. The product ships with three Ztamps -- basically RFID stickers -- that users can then attach to objects around their house. Scanning said Ztamp attached to a representative object can then trigger an action on the computer, such as unlock it from a password-protected screen, get weather information, play music or send out e-mails.
The Japanese division of Sharp has announced the Mebius NJ70A, its newest netbook. While designed in a standard 10.1-inch format, the system is said to be the first netbook in the world with an LCD trackpad. The pad measures a separate four inches, and is equipped with LED backlighting and resolutions scaling up to 854x480. Users can run several apps directly from the screen, such as games and a paint program. It additionally recognizes multi-touch gestures similar to those on the Apple MacBook, such as pinching and expanding fingers to scale content.
Ugobe, maker of the Pleo robotic dinosaur, has closed its doors, let its workers go and filed under Chapter 7 of the federal bankruptcy code in hopes to liquidate its assets on Friday, a Monday report says. The company, based in Eagle, Idaho, had sold 100,000 units at $200 each but had been unable to generate enough money to keep the company afloat without help from an outside source.
China Mobile on Tuesday confirmed rumors and said it will launch a cellphone app store of its own before the end of 2009. The simply-titled Mobile Market will let third parties publish apps regardless of operating system through a single store on the carrier. Most details aren't known, though the store is being timed to launch with the government-backed TD-SCDMA standard for 3G, which should produce speeds fast enough to encourage downloading more apps.
MSI today unveiled a last real update to its starter netbooks in the Wind U100 Plus. The new version trades up to the 1.66GHz Atom N280 and its faster, 533MHz system bus. It also brings two new colors, midnight blue and rose champagne (light pink) alongside the existing black, red and white. MSI claims 7 hours of battery life for the system on a 6-cell pack.
Microsoft and Yahoo are now deeper into talks about possible ad and search deals, new tips show. All Things D understands that the initial exploratory talks are now "hot and heavy" and that an agreement could be struck "sooner than some expect." Most of the eagerness is said to be on Microsoft's side, where the company is most interested in a deal; Yahoo is receptive but more cautious.
Dell today slipped out a quiet but significant update to its Studio 15 notebook. The new version switches from a standard 16:10 ratio screen to a 15.6-inch, 16:9 display with a minimum 1366x768 resolution capable of playing 720p video without losing screen real estate. LED backlighting is also now standard even on the base model and both lengthens the battery life and improves the screen's color performance.
OCZ has dipped into the very high end of solid-state drives this week by launching the Vertex EX series. The line is one of OCZ's first recent storage options based on single-level cell (SLC) flash storage and is aimed at servers, workstations and other computers where longevity and performance matter more than a low price: in addition to taking longer to wear out than multi-level cell (MLC) drives, speeds peak at a high 260MB per second for reads and 210MB per second for writes.
Sony on Tuesday updated its range of USB Walkman E-series personal music players with a slight redesign and a new model with a higher capacity, at 8GB, the NW-E044. There is also the 2GB NW-E042 and the 4GB NW-E043; each new Walkman includes one extra interchangeable skin, or what Sony calls a Style-UP Panel, with more available for purchase separately. There will be five bundles available at launch, each with two skins of different color and style.
LG on Tuesday reported results for the first quarter of 2009 that reflected a phone business that have at least temporarily dropped year over year. The Korean firm's cellphone division generated a profit of $187 million between January and March but sold 7 percent fewer phones than it did a year earlier, sinking to 22.6 million units. The reduction is an unusual drop for the company and is blamed on both the typical post-holiday drop as well as the world economic crunch.
At a recession-dampened NAB show, Adobe's demo of Flash for the Digital Home was one of few exhibits to draw large crowds on Monday. The company set up a mock living room, complete with an easy chair to demonstrate the ground-breaking technology, which could finally bring IPTV into the mainstream.
Adobe is previewing a new scriptwriting application at NAB this week and has announced an update to Premiere Pro CS4. The new application, called Story, is being designed for collaborative scriptwriting for film and broadcast.
Samsung on Tuesday unveiled a new mobile hard drive that it believes will add a level of ruggedization to ordinary notebooks without losing storage. The 500GB Spinpoint M7 has the same footprint as a typical 2.5-inch drive but has a shock tolerance of 400G/2ms and a hardened shell that reduces the likelihood of the drive skipping or otherwise taking damage. Simultaneously, a new drive controller at once lowers active power consumption by about 25 percent while speeding up access by about 18 percent versus normal notebook hard drives.
A leak hints Intel's first use of its Nehalem architecture in a notebook processor, on the Calpella platform, may only include three processors all targeted at the high end of the market. Where most notebook processor launches often cover most of the range, DigiTimes hears the earliest chips will only be quad-core models (codenamed Clarksfield) and should include the Core 2 Quad P1, Core 2 Quad P2 and the Core 2 Extreme XE. Bulk prices would start at $364 for the P1 and scale up to $546 and $1,054 for the P2 and XE respectively.
Blackmagic Design is adding two new Videohub routers, and has updated software for the line. Announced at NAB, the Enterprise VideoHub has a 144x288 SDI capacity, while the new Studio Videohub is a 16x32 model. Blackmagic has also released VideoHub 4.0 software for Mac OS X and Windows featuring a new interface.
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