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Palm tonight countered Apple's move to break iTunes syncing by releasing webOS 1.1. The previously promised update restores full syncing with iTunes 8.2.1 and lets both the Pre and future webOS phones once more transfer music, photos and videos directly from the jukebox software. It's not clear what was changed to restore access, though Apple explicitly mentioned that its iTunes patch checked the authenticity of devices, hinting that Palm has found a way to bypass or fool the check.
Maingear on Thursday introduced its latest high-end notebook, the eX-L 18, featuring dual 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280M GPUs and an 18.4-inch display with 1920x1080 resolution. CPU options include several Core 2 Duo components up to 2.8GHz, along with the quad-core Core 2 Extreme running at 2.53GHz.
Kensington has detailed its upcoming Nightstand Charging Dock for Apple's iPhone and iPod touch, which includes an application available to download for free via the App Store. The Rise & Shine Clock & Weather application will turn the iPhone or iPod touch into a bedside clock and provide users with weather information. Throughout the night, the screen will not turn off, staying on all night just as a regular clock would. It could be set to dim, however.
A solution to the problem of storing a Bluetooth headset when not in use has been put forth by a team effort between Hybra Advance Technology and AbsolutelyNew in the form of the Orb. The headset will twist into a ring a user can wear on his or her finger when not using the device for making calls or listening to music. It uses NXT technology to deliver bone conduction audio to a user's ear without requiring the user to jam it into their ear.
A listing on Taiwanese site PCADV has revealed that Gateway will soon release its QX2800 nettop PC, which is a near clone of Acer's Ion-powered nettop, the Acer AspireRevo. The main differences involve the Gateway's dual-core 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU rather than Acer's single-core Atom. Also, Gateway opted to use a larger capacity 500GB hard drive, doubling the Acer's 250GB drive.
Microsoft this afternoon reported a steep drop in its financial health for the spring triggered by its most important businesses. The Windows developer experienced its first-ever sequential drop in revenue and saw its revenue fall 17 percent year-over-year to $13.1 billion. The company's net income also declined by a sharp 29 percent compared to spring 2008, landing at $3.05 billion.
Comcast on Thursday said it will be the first to offer downloads of HBO programs and movies in high definition via its online On Demand service. To access the library, users need to be both Comcast On Demand customers and HBO subscribers. They will then have unlimited access to the HD content, including TV shows such as Entourage, The Sopranos and The Wire, among others. Movies in HD will also be available, including The Dark Knight, American Gangster and more.
Verizon indicated in a letter that it would make a compromise on roaming service agreements with smaller wireless providers by allowing them to use its network in areas where they lack network coverage but own wireless airwaves, according to a Wednesday report. While there is no current law requirement to this end, Verizon is pre-empting an upcoming regulatory change. Current roaming regulations put smaller providers at a disadvantage, which is why the government is eyeing a rule change.
Sony this afternoon aggressively bolstered its Blu-ray player lineup with three high-end models. The BDP-CX960 MegaChanger is built to address a whole movie collection and manages 400 titles whether they're Blu-ray, DVD or audio CD. It also has an Ethernet port that helps auto-tag movies and music for easier searching as well as BD-Live support for newer Blu-ray releases.
Disney chief Bob Iger late Wednesday explained at the Brainstorm Tech conference that his company is developing a subscription-based online video service. He provided few details, including release dates or monthly rates, but said it would include not only movies and TV shows but also games and extra entertainment. It's unofficially expected by Variety and others to have a partial social network component.
Razer on Thursday introduced its latest gaming mouse, the Orochi. One of the company's first real notebook mice, it communicates over Bluetooth 2.0 but sports a very high-sensitivity 4,000dpi optical sensor. The design is ambidextrous, and a 3-foot cord is included in case the two AA batteries lose their charge. There are seven programmable buttons, with their custom functions saved in built-in memory.
Several leaks today appear to all but confirm plans for Apple to introduce camera-equipped iPods with its next update. While small resellers have occasionally claimed to have cases before, multiple Chinese case manufacturers are now believed by Wired to have received concrete details for the dimensions of fifth-generation iPod nano and third-generation iPod touch units as early as May. Many are confident enough that they have already begun retooling their production lines to build the new cases.
Walmart on Thursday announced it will offer a notebook for less than $300 on Sunday, with the 15.6-inch Compaq Presario CQ60-419WM. Part of Walmart's early back to school sale, the notebook is powered by a 2.1GHz AMD Sempron processor and otherwise offers 3GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive preloaded with Windows Vista and a DVD burner. There is Wi-Fi capability, and an NVIDIA GeForce 8200M chipset providers graphics processing. A six-cell battery is standard fare with the CQ60.
Normally known for its monitors in North America, ViewSonic has announced two new netbooks, initially slated for Asia and Europe. The VNB100 uses a 10.2-inch display, capable of resolutions up to 1024x600. Inside is an Atom N270 processor with 1GB of RAM, supplemented by a 160GB hard drive. Other features include Wi-Fi, a memory card reader, a 1.3-megapixel webcam and three USB ports. Unusual is the presence of an ExpressCard 34 slot, typically reserved for full-sized notebooks.
Apple has virtually complete control of the high-end notebook market in the US, the NPD Group says. In June, MacBooks represented 91 percent of all US portables sold priced over $1,000. The figure is an increase on an already high 88 percent in May and even higher than in early 2008, when Apple held just 66 percent of the same audience. The jump has already been credited to a 25 percent jump in MacBook sales following the launch of new MacBook Pro models, suggesting the sheer popularity of the new models as the main factor.
US Airways on Thursday announced it has partnered with AirCell to bring that company's Gogo in-flight hotspot service into its airplanes by early in 2010. Via Gogo, fliers will be able to browse the Internet, chat via instant messaging programs and download e-mail on their Wi-Fi notebooks, smartphones and other portable hardware. The Airbus A321 will be the first aircraft to get the feature and will carry Wi-Fi on some of its domestic flights.
The Wi-Fi Alliance on Thursday said that the final version of the 802.11n Wi-Fi standard should effectively remain the same as it is in the Draft 2.0 spec. The organization says that the test program for the finished version will only have some "optional additions" to support some minor new features. Choosing the conservative approach will result in most Draft 2.0 devices already supporting the final 802.11n format without any changes or even having to change logos.
Despite announcing a launch of its unlimited wireless voice and data service on July 1st, Zer01 has yet to deliver either to customers. The company is in fact reversing course and has quietly removed information from its website, which happened in the past few days, following a recent ComputerWorld report that questioned the validity of Zer01's claims. Zer01's offer was to have included unlimited talk and data as well as text messaging for just $70 per month, all of which would be contract-free.
Apple has successfully sold over 25 million devices running some form of iPhone OS since it started selling them two years ago, new AdMob data shows. The advertisers and researchers estimate that, of the 45 million iPhone OS devices shipped worldwide since June 2007, about 13 million were American iPhones while 12 million were iPod touch units have been sold in the country. Although the mix skews towards the iPhone, the difference was helped by the three-month lead for that device first entering stores.
Sony plans to launch VAIO portables with touchscreens as early as the fall, company senior VP Mike Abary said in an interview today. The electronics giant fully anticipates shipping "some" computers with touch features in the fall to coincide with the launch of Windows 7, which is due October 22nd and has much better hooks for touch interfaces than Vista. Specifics weren't mentioned to Laptop, but Abary explained these were more likely to draw on Windows 7's existing touch features rather than to have a customized interface.
AT&T today posted one of its best-ever spring quarter results credited mostly to the iPhone 3GS launch. The company says it added 1.2 million cellphone subscribers, an all-time high for spring. It adds that it activated 2.4 million iPhones between April and the end of June. The number ties that of the iPhone 3G launch quarter but is considered a record as the iPhone 3GS and $99 iPhone 3G were only available for less than two weeks in the period covered by the results.
Samsung is producing a new notebook display that could offer a balance smaller, thinner notebooks and mid-size models, according to tips from inside the notebook business. The company is reportedly building a 14.5-inch, LED-backlit panel that shouldn't cost any more than same-size or larger displays using older, less efficient fluorescent backlights. Its resolution and other traits aren't clarified by the DigiTimes sources, though most new LCDs use a 16:9 aspect ratio and have a 1366x768 resolution or higher.
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