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Comcast Cable Communications has released an application enabling users to access their Comcast services such as Digital Voice, Digital Cable, and high-speed Internet from their iPhone or iPod touch. Users can sync their iPhone contacts with their Comcast Universal Address Book and utilize Digital Voice features to view who has called their home, listen to voice mail messages or forward calls from home to the iPhone. The application also includes SmartZone inbox features including a combined email and voice mail inbox, sorting and searching features, and voice mail forwarding.
Boxee, the self-proclaimed social media centre application, has been updated to version 0.9.14. The update includes Geo-based app filtering that enables developers to specify which countries their application is accessible. Boxee 0.9.14 additionally allows developers to mark their applications and RSS feeds as "adult" which will assist users in filtering unwanted content. Below the browsing menu there is now an option to view unresolved videos Boxee has found on the users home network. The unresolved videos can then be categorized using the "recognize" feature.
Bose this evening launched one of its first dedicated network streaming devices, known as the SoundLink. Intending it to be simpler than wholly independent systems like a Sonos unit or even networking devices like the AirPort Express, Bose's solution involves only a single-piece stereo speaker and a USB-based wireless adapter. Plugging the stick into any computer automatically routes the computer's sound to the SoundLink without needing specific drivers or other software.
Microsoft today updated the Xbox 360 to add several of the updates mentioned at E3. The console's Netflix player now includes a browser to let users pick and manage their Netflix queue, saving the trouble of using a computer's web browser. Those viewers with Gold accounts also get the often delayed party system for movies that lets them watch titles in Netflix with others at the same, including with live chat.
Worldwide PC shipments have declined by five percent in the second quarter of the year, according to preliminary data gathered by the research firm Gartner. The market did perform better than the previous forecast of a 9.8-percent decline, however. The research company also believes re-stocking has slowed, after playing a major role in shipment growth for the first quarter. According to the results, Apple was able to maintain its fourth-place ranking in U.S. shipments, with an 8.7-percent market share, while growing 2.5-percent compared to the second quarter of last year. Apple's market share also showed a significant increase from last quarter.
To avoid ruining its relatively good reputation, or perhaps to shake off legal action, Amazon on Thursday said it would replace its Kindle 2 e-book readers with cracked screens free of charge, instead of asking $200 for a replacement. Just yesterday it was reported the $5 million class action lawsuit was filed in Seattle against Amazon because an official screen protector that mounts onto the Kindle 2 damages the device over time, leading to a cracked body and screen, making the device unusable.
Verizon announced on Thursday that it will soon update its subscribers' BlackBerry Storm handsets with the Slacker Radio application. The over-the-air push update will happen during the next few days, and give Storm users access to Slacker's free, limited-control service. When users hear a song they like, they can purchase it without disrupting their listening session, provided the track exists in Verizon's V CAST Music service.
Some information and unofficial photos of the LG Chocolate BL40 handset were unveiled via a German blog recently, which coincides with the earlier reports. The news corroborates stories that the Black Label series device will sport a 21:9 cinema format display with an 800x345 resolution on its 4-inch display. Navigation will be done via LG's S-Class user interface.
After delaying its FlyWire wireless HDMI system, Belkin has now announced it will no longer bring the device to market. According to a company representative, the FlyWire's demise is due to its high $1,499 price tag in the current economy. The FlyWire allowed users to send and receive audio and video sources that included HDMI and analog sources. A small receiver can be hidden behind a wall-mounted TV, for example, eliminating the need for any wires.
Sony Ericsson warned of worsening trouble at the company as it recorded a steep drop in the number of phones shipped this quarter as well as in its financial well being. The company shipped just 13.8 million phones this quarter, dropping 43 percent compared to one year earlier; the number was also a 5 percent shrink from already weak performance in the winter. Accordingly, the company swung from a roughly $8.5 million profit in spring 2008 to a $300.5 million loss in 2009.
Google may be considering bringing a version of its upcoming, web-based Chrome OS or another variant of a web-based platform to cellphones, if a speech by the company's VP of engineering, Vic Gundotra, is any indication. Gundotra, speaking at the Mobilebeat 2009 Conference on July 16th, said web applications will be closely linked to successful cellphone operating systems.
In a rare move, Argus Research analyst Jackson Turner today reversed his recommendations and urged investors to sell Microsoft stock. He cautions that the market has "shrugged off" real threats to its operating system business and that neither investors nor Microsoft have fully realized that the iPhone, as well as Google platforms like Android and Chrome OS, are shrinking Microsoft's influence. Some effects may not be felt until later in 2010, when Chrome OS is released, but Microsoft now faces a slow "ebbing tide" over the next few years as it loses share.
Dell today signaled that further revamps of its Inspiron notebooks were coming through the low-key Singapore launch of a new Inspiron 13. Borrowing design cues from the just-launched Inspiron 17, it also has a rounded design and a 16:9, LED-backlit display but a more modest 1366x768 picture. Besides the switch to a wider ratio, though, it also strips out the optical drive and drops nearly a full pound to reach 4lb. in standard trim.
Motherboard and graphics card maker EVGA on Thursday announced the upcoming release of its first LCD display, the InterView 1770, which mates two 17-inch LCD panels onto a single stand. Either can be rotated 180 degrees, so the displays face in different directions. Each sports a 1440x900 resolution and can also fold together like a clamshell for stowing away. The spine stand houses a 1.3-megapixel camera, and there are three USB ports in its base. Each monitor has its own keyboard and mouse connections, though each controls what's on both screens.
Symbian Foundation, the originator of the Symbian OS, has announced a new developer program meant to foster the popularity of Symbian apps. Called Horizon, it is slated to aid in the distribution and marketing of titles, as well as limited troubleshooting in terms of production. Companies should also have access to language translation services, making it more practical to sell an app across several markets.
The Digital Entertainment Group today trumpeted a surge in newer video formats for the first half of the year. Although spending as a whole between January and June dropped 3.9 percent versus the early part of 2008, the industry agency says the amount of money spent buying Blu-ray movies jumped 91 percent to $407 million. Direct-download movies also helped offset problems with DVDs and climbed 21 percent to $968 million.
Nikon on Thursday announced it would fix for free a power-up problem with its recent D5000 DSLR camera for owners. The issue is with an electronic component that powers up the DSLR but which reportedly doesn't meet Nikon's specifications. As a result, under some circumstances, the camera doesn't power up at all until a subsequent try. The non-powering issue is present regardless of whether or not the camera is running on battery or the state of charge.
iLuv catered to owners of Apple's latest handhelds today with two in-ear headphone sets. Both the higher-end iEP515 and basic iEP315 are primarily treated as upgrades for the iPhone 3GS with an in-line remote and microphone in addition to passive noise reduction through its design. Their controls are also supported on the third-generation iPod shuffle, second-generation iPod classic and fourth-generation iPod nano as well as the iPod touch, where the microphone also works.
Dell via its blog on Wednesday announced it will evaluate the cloud-based Chrome OS for use in its products, possibly tying it in with the Android OS, also from Google. At the same time, the company said it is also likely to integrate the Linux-based Moblin operating system into its ultra portable computing devices, or netbooks. Either OS has its advantages, Dell claims, with the former not only offering what Dell calls an experience-targeted platform, but is also cost effective compared to the traditional Windows operating systems.
Palm this morning acted on vows to expand webOS development and opened the Mojo SDK to any developer with a working e-mail address. The gesture gives anyone free access to writing apps for the Pre or future webOS smartphones and significantly expands the reach of the platform, which was previously limited to a closed beta with at most a few thousand developers.
Quickly following official previews of the multi-touch LG BL40 come some unofficial images of a smaller, less advanced Chocolate-series handset, the LG BL42, courtesy of a Danish leak. The new LG handset is a slider, with the top panel home to a 240x320 resolution screen and a few backlit touch-sensitive buttons; it slides open to reveal a conventional number pad.
Corsair on Thursday added a second line to its solid-state drives tailored to performance users. The Extreme series uses a fast controler from Indilinx and multi-level cell storage from Samsung to put its speed near the top of the field. Its reading speed crests at 240MB per second and is paired with a maximum write speed of 170MB per second.
The upcoming and previously discussed BlackBerry OS 5.0 is now known to be getting a new tabbed browsing feature, which RIM has reportedly been working on for quite some time. A new beta build including the feature has been leaked to BGR, which claims mixed reactions to the current version. While opening new tabs is fairly easy, switching between multiple windows is considered unnecessarily difficult as there is no shortcut for the operation.
Turning its attention to the work side of its PCs, Dell today launched its first integrated desktop in the Vostro line. The simply named Vostro All In One is the company's first for business and is meant to get back space on the desk. Aside from having a more serious all-black design, the 19-inch system has features sometimes needed at work, such as parallel and serial ports, as well as options for a built-in webcam, backup software and VESA mounting for a display arm (shown) or a wall.
Microsoft has quietly filed for a trademark that may allude to a unified app store for both Zunes and Windows Mobile phones. The filing for the name "OneApp" would cover not just an app download store for cellphones and media players but would also address a developer kit for the same platform. Among the apps suggested possible through the service would include games, media playback, messaging and mobile payments.
Dell today filled out its mainstream notebooks with the Inspiron 17. The desktop notebook switches to the same 16:9 aspect ratio display and thinner, more efficent LED backlighting as newer Inspirons but, matching its 17.3-inch size, has a much higher 1600x900 resolution as standard. Processors are also generally faster in standard trim and scale up to a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo.
Nokia today reported a severe blow from the world economic collapse both in market share and in its financial health. The company shipped 15.2 percent less phones in its spring quarter than it did a year ago, down to 103.2 million. The amount is a 10.7 percent jump compared to the winter, at the height of the crisis, but was still enough for Nokia's market share to remain almost flat compared to the winter and to have dropped from 40 to 38 percent from year to year, according to its estimates.
Microsoft's Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Turner, claimed at the company's Worldwide Partner Conference that Apple lawyers have asked Microsoft to stop its Laptop Hunter ad campaign. Turner said he received a phone call from Apple lawyers who argued that the ads were no longer accurate as it had reduced its computer pricing, particularly for the MacBook Pro. Rather than comply, however, he expressed enthusiasm at the result.
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