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An unnamed former Google employee claimed Friday night that Apple and Google have been in an unofficial but potentially anti-competitive agreement not to poach each other's employees. Supposedly confirmed for TechCrunch by multiple previous workers at the search engine firm, the practice hasn't been codified in writing but has been widely understood and practiced at both companies. Neither would try to directly recruit from the other, according to the tip.
Rumors of a Nokia 3G tablet for T-Mobile gained credibility today through an FCC entry for what may be that device. The posting shows a product likely too large to be a phone that uses the 1,700MHz AWS (Advanced Wireless Spectrum) band for its 3G, leaving only T-Mobile USA as the candidate for the hardware. Little else is shown about the device other than that its working RX-51 codename differs from the usual RM prefix given to Nokia handsets.
Astak on Friday announced its new 5-inch Pocket PRO eBook reader is now available for pre-order. The device supports more than 20 formats thanks in part to Adobe's permission to install Adobe Digital Editions firmware on the reader. This means users can now read DRM-protected PDF files in addition to public domain titles and copy-protected PDFs. Any non-copyrighted eBook from the Internet can be viewed, including public domain titles.
ASUS will release an Eee PC netbook later this year with Intel's Moblin Linux operating system, according to a Friday report from German website NetbookNews. The news is not official, but the site says it has a reliable source for the netbook, which is expected to come out in October. Moblin will not be preloaded on a new Eee PC, but an existing one, with many expecting it to appear on the slim Seashell line of Eee PCs.
Stealth Computer has recently released a new addition to its Notebook Warrior series of rugged notebook tablets with the NW-2000. Meant for outdoor use, it meets MIL-810F specifications for resistance to submersion in water, shock, sun and other hazards. The magnesium alloy chassis has weather-protected doors for all inputs and outputs, and the 13.3-inch sunlight-legible screen sports a 1280x800 resolution. Hooking up compatible external monitors lets users reproduce resolutions up to 2048x1536.
Wireless provider Sprint announced on Friday that it has added the Motorola r765IS rugged handset to its lineup. The iDEN push-to-talk device is MIL Spec 810F rated, making it heavily resistant to submersion in water as well as exposure to dust, shock, solar radiation and temperature extremes. NextMail compatibility allows it to send voicemail as e-mail attachments, and it has built-in navigation capabilities thanks to integrated GPS. Emergency calling modes ensure callers can get through from nearly anywhere and at any time.
Sans Digital has announced it is adding new Xeon CPUs to its 1U 4-bay EN104L+XE servers. The EN104L line will get dual-core 1.86GHz CPUs with 2MB of cache and 2GB of DDR2 memory, allowing for over 100MBps of throughput over a single network connection. The improved processor will also allow for new features in the servers, like folder replication and snapshots.
Portable GPS device maker Garmin recently said its much-delayed nuvifone line, which was first announced in January of 2008, will be launched in the USA before year's end. A full advertising campaign will accompany the device. In a recent conference call with analysts, Garmin revealed the device is undergoing the final stages of testing with US carriers, though stopped short of naming the carriers.
Microsoft on Friday afternoon showed a construction photo of one of its first retail stores, simultaneously confirming its logo. Similar to the Apple stores the Windows developer hopes to replicate, the stores have art teasing the imminent opening and in this case show all of Microsoft's brands. Unusually, this includes the Bing search engine as well as the company's more tangible products, like Windows 7 and the Zune.
AgfaPhoto recently announced the upcoming release of three new digital cameras, the Optima 1, Optima 102 and Optima 100. The Optima 1 sports a 12-megapixel sensor and can capture 1080p in addition to its full resolutionn. Users can choose from 28 different program functions that include face, smile and blink recognition. There is a 5x wide angle zoom lens that translates to a 35mm equivalent focal length of 28-140mm. A 2.7-inch LCD is used to frame photos or review existing photos and videos.
Lenovo's frequently delayed Ophone should arrive next month on China Mobile, a company spokesperson said today. It should now be called the Ophone O1 and is now confirmed by PC World to use China's government-endorsed TD-SCDMA standard for 3G as well as the Open Mobile System, an equally officially supported variant of Android. In the China Mobile guise, OMS will have custom e-mail and instant messaging apps and will have certain visual similarities to OS X iPhone.
Dell today in a low-key move shrunk its Inspiron Mini netbook line by dropping the Mini 12. The Texas PC builder hasn't explained the decision but now just leaves the Mini 10 as its lone netbook. It follows shortly after Dell's cancellation of the Mini 9, its first netbook introduced late last year.
ASUS, Dell, HP and MSI will soon release a wave of new tablet netbooks, according to industry sources in a Friday DigiTimes report. The first is expected to come from MSI at the start of 2010 in the form of a 10-inch tablet, with an HP-branded and Inventec-built netbook due in April or May. They are both expected to run on Intel's upcoming Pine Trail-M platform. While no new details were unveiled about a Dell netbook tablet, a 5-inch device was rumored from the company recently.
The next revision of Apple's iMac should bring at least a pair of much sought-after features, a teaser rumor puts forward. A veteran source for AppleInsider claims that at least two often-requested features should make it into the next revision. One vague claim says the all-in-one will address a 'wish-list' feature, but another is purported to address the semi-pro audio and visual editing segment.
New information has is reported to have leaked on three HTC phones: the Whitestone, the Mega and the Tachi. The Whitestone is believed to be a Verizon version of the Touch Diamond 2, but significantly altered. Specifications are said to include a larger 3.6-inch WVGA touchscreen, as well as "world phone" support through GSM and CDMA receivers. Driving the device is a 528MHz processor, paired with 256MB of RAM and 512MB of ROM; GPS and a five-megapixel autofocus camera should carry over from other Diamond 2s.
The HTC Fiesta handset, which has already been billed as coming with Google's Android operating system, was unofficially confirmed recently as a user agent profile for the device has been spotted on HTC's website. Other specs of the handset remain unknown, but the leak indicates the device will be offered by AT&T and may represent the carrier's first Android handset.
A new leak Friday afternoon suggests that Motorola's Android phones will ship with a radically different user interface. Nicknamed "Blur," it would borrow conceptually from Palm's webOS and merge both personal contacts and social networking into a unified front end. It would also have a unique device ID system that would streamline pushing data by allowing both social network updates and individual Android components to be updated quickly and over the air.
Radio Shack is planning to kick off its rebranding to The Shack with the first planned price drop for the Palm Pre. Unlike Best Buy's accidental price cut last weekend, an internal memo shows the smartphone temporarily dropping to $150 for new Sprint subscribers beginning today and ending on Sunday. The deal needs at least a $70 Everything Data plan or higher.
Bell on Thursday said it had signed its first-ever roaming deal with AT&T and may have dropped further clues of an early launch for its HSPA-based 3G network. The agreement will let the Canadian provider's customers use AT&T's network when traveling to the US and, reciprocally, will let Americans use Bell's upcoming network. AT&T has until now been limited to roaming deals with Rogers due to the absence of any other compatible networks in the country.
A North American release date, albeit unofficial, has been outed for Nokia's high-end N86 8MP handset. The device was confirmed for sale in the US last month, and a new TheNokiaBlog claim says the black N86 will be available on August 22nd with a $499 price point. The price is some $59 less than the pre-order pricing Nokia has posted on its own website.
Optoma has claimed to raise the stakes for front projectors in releasing the HD20. The DLP-based unit is one of the first ever to produce a 1080p image at just below $1,000 ($999) and gives a way for both computer users and home theaters to view a much larger image, up to 120 inches across, without losing detail. Image quality isn't believed to take a blow as the HD20 still musters a 4,000:1 contrast ratio and 1,700 lumens of brightness.
Advances in TDK's hard drive technology could lead to another large boost in the capacity of hard drives within a few months, a roadmap presented this week shows. The storage firm is currently going through qualification tests of 640GB drive platters that would fit into a typical 3.5-inch drive and so would allow significantly more storage than existing 2TB drives from Hitachi, Seagate and Western Digital. A premium but commonplace four-platter drive could hold just over 2.5TB of data.
Samsung on Thursday hinted that the company will compete on price with its future Android smartphones. While discussing the Reclaim for Sprint, Samsung product manager Casey Ryan mentioned to the New York Times that touchscreen Android phones due next year should be available for "well under" $100, or less than half the asking price for a myTouch 3G. He didn't say what features these phones would have and how much if at all they would be scaled back compared to current Android phones.
Sharp Japan on Friday announced it has added five new HDTVs as part of its AQUOS DX2 lineup, with all sporting built-in Blu-ray disc recorders that are claimed to fit seven times more recorded content on them than a traditional Blu-ray disc without sacrificing picture quality. The new LCD HDTVs are available in 26-, 32-, 40-, 46- and 52-inch sizes, with the top three models sporting 1080p, 15,000:1 contrast ratios and 3 HDMI inputs, while the 26- and 32-inch models make do with 720p resolution, 7,000:1 contrast ratios and 2 HDMI inputs each.
As promised, Orange France today began selling the GD910 watch phone. Still the first phone of its type to use 3G calling and data, the device still functions as a world clock and stopwatch but, through a touchscreen, can perform both the usual calling and messaging as well as handle music playback and take VGA-sized photos. Bluetooth is instrumental to the GD910; it comes with a designer headset for calls and supports optional Bluetooth stereo headphones.
Samsung on Friday bowed a new high-end touchscreen media player aimed at the same high-end audience as the iPod touch. Although Internet access doesn't appear to be a feature, the YP-M1 is the first dedicated player to use NVIDIA's Tegra processor. The chipset both provides hardware decoding for playing back videos and also speeds up the unique widget-driven interface that lets users see settings at a glance.
Dell today has quietly put out three desktop LCDs aimed mostly at the entry level, two of which are known to be ready for the US. Heading the range, the ST2310 is meant most for the home with Dell's newer, rounded design, a 23-inch 1080p panel and HDMI in addition to both DVI and VGA. A 50,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio also helps its relative image quality. The LCD ships from Dell for $229.
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