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Research In Motion on Monday publicly accused Nortel of effectively blocking acquisition bids through technicalities placed on the terms. Nortel is in the process of offloading a number of its product divisions following financial troubles, while RIM is allegedly willing to pay approximately $1.1 billion for the CDMA and Long Term Evolution Access businesses, along with "certain other Nortel assets."
Barnes and Noble on Monday night formally launched its expected e-book store, a new cross-platform alternative to its retail shops. The store carries about 700,000 titles, including a large number of public domain books made available from Google. Universal access is a focus and lets both Mac and Windows PC owners read titles through an updated version of Fictionwise's eReader app. iPhone and iPod touch owners can use the free B&N eReader app (App Store) to read titles on the road; BlackBerry owners also have a companion app.
The New York Public Library on Monday opened its converted Edna Barnes Salomon Room into a reading room for online users, adding Wi-Fi accessible Internet access. Up until now, the Beaux-Arts room has been used for special occasions only, but can now seat 128 people at specially made black walnut tables and brown leather chairs that match the maple wood floor.
A list of upcoming handsets due out soon at Verizon Wireless has been outed by a Verizon insider, according to a weekend PhoneArena report. All are expected to be available later this year, and among them is the LG Chocolate Touch VX8575, which is expected to sport a full touchscreen interface and may turn out to be the previously leaked BL40. Rumors of the BlackBerry Storm 2, aka 9550, have also been well documented, with the device expected to arrive sometime around October or November.
Samson today hoped to bring quality to pocket video cameras and launched the Zoom Q3. It records video in standard VGA (640x480) but adds two large condenser microphones borrowed from the audio-only H4n, giving it 48kHz, 24-bit stereo sound. The enhanced audio can additionally focus on a particular point independently of the fixed-zoom lens to capture sound at a distance.
Playcast Media recently announced it has launched what it calls is the first gaming on demand service that offers Xbox 360- and PS3-level games. The pilot program is thus far restricted to Israel, being offered on its HOT cable network. This does not require gamers to have a console, but instead access the games library via a conventional cable set-top box. All they require is a game pad or other sort of controller, and the games' audio and video sources are delivered over cable telephone lines.
HP has recently made the highly-configurable 13.3-inch ProBook 4310s available for purchase via its webstore. The LED-backlit display itself can be had in a standard 1366x768 or ultra-bright 1366x768 resolution, and there are six processor choices, ranging from a 1.8GHz Intel Celeron dual-core CPU to a 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo.
Verizon Wireless has dropped the two-year contract price of its touchscreen BlackBerry Storm handset to just $100, down from $150, indicating the provider is likely clearing inventory for the Storm's successor. The existing handset is considered a rough equal to the iPhone with 3G, a 480x320 touchscreen and GPS. It's nonetheless been criticized for the absence of Wi-Fi, initial flaws in its software and a click-down screen meant to simulate physical button presses but which can slow down actual input.
Sony at the summer NAMM music event has previewed a new audio recorder intended to bridge the gap between high-end pro and mainstream capturing gear. The PCM-M10 is the company's lowest-cost recorder to use flash for storage but to still record at a high 96kHz, 24-bit sample rate for its audio. It's also the first to use a format other than an in-house Sony format for removable cards and takes microSD in addition to Memory Stick Micro, both of which help reduce the overall size of the recorder itself.
Toshiba, which once vehemently defended the HD DVD high-definition format that eventually lost to Sony's prevailing Blu-ray, will soon release a Blu-ray player of its own, according to the Japanese paper Yomiuri. Toshiba should bring out its first Blu-ray player, likely in its home market of Japan initially, before 2010 rolls around. A Blu-ray recorder is also being considered for Japan, though there are no other details on this device.
Shure has released a new line of professional headphones designed specifically for professional and amateur recording, consisting of the SRH840, SRH440 and SRH240. The line uses the same technology as Shure's in-ear buds but for an externaldesign suited to studio monitors or home theaters. The SRH840 features the highest quality sound in the line and a single-piece headband. The SRH840 and the SRH440 both have collapsible designs to render them portable.
The Japanese are turning to Apple's iPhone as a source of ideas for how to rescue their ailing cellphone business, the head of a local think tank said today. Professor Takeshi Natsuno of Keio University told the New York Times that companies like Hitachi, NEC and Sharp have generally been unable to sell phones outside of Japan due to difficult, often highly customized interfaces and that the iPhone is a key example of how to solve the problem. Its emphasis on ease of use over hardware is believed to have made it more palatable worldwide and encouraged third-party app development that isn't usually present in Japan.
Toshiba on Monday announced it has partnered up with FrameChannel, a web-based digital photo frame integration service, to bring weather, news and sports info, as well as uploaded photos to its new line of Digital Media Frames. There is an 8-inch frame and 10-inch frame offered. Videos and music uploaded to the FrameChannel servers will also get transferred to the frames.
Confirming earlier reports, Qwest has introduced 40Mbps Internet service, nominally doubling the company's peak download speeds using VDSL2. Plans are designed around residences and small businesses, and come in two tiers. For the first 12 months, and only in tandem with a phone package, customers can pay $100 a month for an option with 5Mbps uploads. A $110 tier boosts uploads to as high as 20Mbps.
Long-time proponent of digital rights management (DRM) protection for music files, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has finally acknowledged that DRM has become obsolete, according to a recent report from TorrentFreak. DRM prevents buyers of digital music tracks from copying them to other devices in an attempt to curb illegal copying. But now, with major music retailers abandoning the format to appease the wishes of the paying public, RIAA chief spokesman Jonathan Lamy says the protection's death is now a matter of fact.
AT&T on Monday grew its netbook lineup to include two 3G versions of common netbooks. Its version of Acer's Aspire One, Dell's Inspiron Mini 10 and Lenovo's IdeaPad S10 will all have built-in 3G modems for online use anywhere in a coverage area as well as free access to AT&T's Wi-Fi hotspots. The three have similar 10-inch displays, 1GB of memory, 160GB hard drives, Windows XP and multi-touch trackpads.
Nokia is registering a number of trademarks that suggest a major effort to expand and relabel its phone lineup, as well as to introduce new types of devices. The company has filed for trademarks on the names Cseries and Xseries that imply two new phone lines. At present, its phones are divided into the Nseries media and Eseries work smartphones as well as its four-digit numerical devices like the 5800 XpressMusic.
America's Apple and Canada's Research in Motion now account for a disproportionate amount of global cellphone profits, says Deutsche Bank analyst Brian Modoff. Although together the companies produced only 3 percent of phones sold worldwide in 2008, profitwise, the companies accumulated 35 percent of all operating profits. The largest player in the market reamins Finland's Nokia, which produced 46 percent of phones and 55 percent of profits in 2008.
Leaked specs for HTC's custom Manilla 2.5 platform reveal the company may be getting ready to release a new advanced clamshell smartphone thus far called the Leo. The details revealed to WMPowerUser suggest it will sport two screens, one with an 800x480 internal screen and an external 320x240 resolution screen. Support for OpenGL 2.0 graphics indicates it may be powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor, like the one used in the Toshiba TG01.
Kingston today quietly set a record in the storage world by launching the DataTraveler 300, the world's first stick-sized 256GB USB drive. It holds twice the storage of recent record setters from Super Talent and others, and in some cases allows holding as much content as a notebook hard drive; about 10 single-layer Blu-ray movies should fit, Kingston says. It's also relatively quick with 20MB per second peak read speeds and 10MB write speeds.
The launch of the touchscreen 10-inch Eee PC T101 notebook tablet from ASUS will be delayed until September, according to a Monday DigiTimes report. The new tentative date is much later than the originally scheduled June release. The netbook tablet may not see the light of day at all, however, if sales of the recently released T91 tablet netbook don't meet sales goals. The T91 is slightly smaller than the T101, at 8.9 inches, but retains many of the same features and specs.
Universal Studios today revealed the first movie to support direct control by an iPhone or iPod touch. The Blu-ray Special Edition version of Fast & Furious will be accompanied by an app that lets either of Apple's devices remotely control special features on a Blu-ray player over the local network using Wi-Fi. In a virtual garage feature, viewers can use the touchscreen to pan around cars and tap on specific hot spots to bring up the information on the TV. It's not specified if this is the only direct feature.
Crucial this morning acted on its promise and shipped its M225 solid-state drives. They make up only the second line of SSDs at the memory producer and target the high-end notebook or server space with maximum read and write speeds of 250MB and 200MB per second. All of the drives attach through SATA and SATA II interfaces and support the company's own SK01 drive kit, which carries both a 3.5-inch bay adapter to use the SSDs with desktops and a USB external enclosure.
Palm has provided a clue as to its long-term plans for native apps through a job listing unearthed today. The smartphone developer is looking for a Game Frameworks Engineer for webOS that would be familiar with hardware 3D acceleration, including modern graphics technology like programmable pixel shaders for advanced effects. Currently, webOS only supports its namesake web code and, while it has certain direct access to the hardware, has been limited to visually simple apps as a result.
Gateway this morning extended its LT series to include its first Intel-based netbook. The LT2000 opts for familiar specifications with a 10-inch display, 1.6GHz Atom, 1GB of RAM and a 160GB hard drive, most of which help bring down the price significantly from the faster, larger LT3100. It does inherit the more expensive system's multi-touch trackpad to scroll using circular motions or to swipe through documents using two fingers.
Apple could dictate its own terms should it switch to Verizon Wireless, says TechCrunch . The website suggests that AT&T has numerous shortcomings, such as recent problems with the carriers visual voicemail service, that could cost it the iPhone when its contract expires next year. AT&T is currently attempting to press Apple for a contract extension, but TechCrunch points out that a contract renewal could be an unwise decision that would cause users to drop AT&T and the iPhone associated with it.
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