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Creative tonight launched a small but tangible update to its Vado HD pocket video camera aimed at making it more affordable. While its only conspicuous change on the outside is a two-tone color scheme, the company now has a 4GB model that makes the camera more competitive with the falling prices of cameras like the Kodak Zi8. For the first time, the Vado line also gets Mac support: a new app known as Vado Central will let the Vado HD and earlier Vados shuttle videos directly to iMovie.
Opera Software has introduced the latest version of its web browser, Opera 10. Three main features in the update include an enhanced browser interface, a new compression technology for dealing with slow network speeds, and improvements to the browser tabs. With the added network support the browser is capable of compressing pages to lower the amount of data transferred, and increase the users browsing speed. For the browser tabs users can now view full thumbnails of all their open tabs, as well as customize the size of the tab bar by pulling down or double clicking on the handle.
Becoming one of the few to cross the 500GB milestone, Toshiba late on Tuesday added a 640GB drive to its notebook-sized GSX hard drives. With two platters to make up its entire storage, the 5,400RPM disk is thin enough at 9.5mm tall to fit in thin-and-light notebooks and also gets incidental boosts from the increased density. Toshiba claims that it's faster, with "significant" speed-ups through the reduced amount of time finding data, and that it consumes 28 percent less power compared to earlier models.
Backblaze is in the business of providing online backup service and, by extension, wound up in the hardware business. Upset with the high cost of storage devices, the company designed and built it's own 67TB storage modules for about $7867 (materials alone) each. Now, CEO Gleb Budman says Backblaze is giving away the design, hoping the open approach will lead to improvements or inspire a separate company to build the boxes so Backblaze doesn't have to.
Lexmark on Tuesday introduced eight new all-in-one inkjet printers geared for small- to medium-size business. The Platinum Pro905 features a 4.3-inch touchscreen and a customizable interface for quicker access to frequent tasks. Users can also view web content from the display, such as news, weather, or photo sharing sites.
Prices and storage capacities have slipped for Archos' upcoming Android-based Internet tablet. B&H listed the entire series ahead of schedule, although the search listings were later removed, according to ArchosFans.com forum member Swordfish. The devices will be available in 16GB, 32GB, 160GB and 500GB capacities.
Panasonic has inadvertently spoiled its launch plans for the Lumix GF1 through at least one ad. Appearing on UK sites, the tower spot is short on details but confirms its position as Panasonic's rough equivalent to the Olympus E-P1 with a point-and-shoot style body but a Micro Four Thirds lens system. It also supports notions that the GF1 will ship in multiple colors, such as the red found on the G1/GH1 as well as black, silver and white.
A dug up line of code indicates Google's upcoming Chrome OS may have what is being called a Chrome OS login manager. While its significance can only be guessed at, it indicates that the Chrome web browser will be very closely integrated with the operating system. There is also speculation of the OS not allowing users to operate other web browsers on their machines. The login manager will be a single sign-on (SSO) cookie, eliminating the need for users to sign into their Google services, such as Gmail, Calendars, Docs, etc separately.
Vonage today said that Apple has approved its iPhone VoIP app. The company doesn't have details of when it expects the software to reach the App Store but says it's already conducting a beta test of the software. It's expected that Internet calling will only work over Wi-Fi, however, due to policies from AT&T and some other carriers that bar VoIP on 3G due to lag and other claimed quality issues.
Qualcomm can no longer sell products that carry the "smartbook" name in Germany, as Smartbook AG has filed a restraining order against Qualcomm, Digitimes said on Tuesday. If Qualcomm fails to comply, it faces an equivalent fine of nearly $358,000 or an arrest for contempt. Smartbook AG CEO Dirk Pick says Qualcomm's German website, which divert users to the US page, are blocked to Internet users with German IP addresses.
A pair of photos of the new Android Market have been revealed ahead of what is expected to be their official debut at Motorola's Android event on September 10th. The photos are not the final build of the app store and may therefore change and are also understood to have originated from the upcoming Motorola Sholes handset. Other than a cosmetic change, there is a new organization of the store, including a search button in the upper corner of the screen, as well as buttons for Top Paid, Top Free and Just In apps. Each tab has a preview of a few apps for each category as well.
BenQ recently announced the launch of two notebooks powered by Intel's Consumer Ultra Low Voltage (CULV) processors. This includes the 13.3-inch Joybook S35 and 14-inch Joybook S43. Processor choices include a 1.4GHz single core Core 2 Solo, 1.3GHz Core 2 Duo SU7300, 1.2GHz Celeron 723 or 1.3GHz Celeron 743 chips. Both sport a 1366x768 resolution along with high brightness and contrast levels thanks to LED backlit screens. Graphics processing is thanks to an ATI Mobility Radeon HD4330 GPU on the S43 or Intel's integrated GMA4500M GPU on the S35.
HTC's version of the Hero for US CDMA carriers could involve a major redesign if a slip from Chinese site 080 bears fruit. The prototype is described as the Hero200, or the second version of the phone that switches to the network standard and recently passed FCC testing. It has HTC's familiar Android buttons but, in contrast to the original angled design, loses the characteristic "kink" common to HTC Android phones in favor of a flat metal front with gold-like trim.
Samsung has launched the Corby S3650, its first touchscreen phone aimed towards young mobile users. As such, there is support for Facebook, Twitter and MySpace online social networks. The color scheme of the device also reflects its target audience, with bright yellow, pink, white and orange as color choices for most of the outer shell.
Verizon today added a new USB-based 3G modem intended for world travelers. The PCD-made UWM190 supports EVDO Revision A for its data in most of North America but also has tri-band HSPA for 3G in the Americas, Europe and much of Asia. Its unique trick is a sliding cover that protects the swiveling USB connector when it's not in use.
Sony's PC arm and Google have entered into a partnership that will have the latter's Chrome web browser preloaded onto the former's VAIO netbook PCs. Google is also apparently in talks with other PC makers to make its browser the default in new PCs, in similar fashion to competitor Microsoft and its Internet Explorer browser. Sony PCs with Chrome are already shipping, though Google is saying the deal is thus far experimental. Google is also promoting the browser through TV advertising, a first for the company, and making it available when they download RealPlayer software.
Mozilla's Firefox browser cut significantly into Microsoft's market share of web browsers in August, data from Net Applications shows. Its increase to 22.98 percent of the market wasn't an absolute high but resulted in Internet Explorer reaching an all-time low of 66.97 percent, a sharp fall from 67.68 percent just a month earlier. Other browsers also made inroads, as Google Chrome climbed to 2.84 percent (fourth place) and Opera rose slightly to 2.04 percent (fifth place).
NetGear on Tuesday announced it is now shipping its RangeMax dual band 802.11 Wi-Fi router, the WNDR3700. The device earns its title through eight internal antennas that provide increased range and potentially better speeds: it supposedly handles as much as 350Mbps in real-world conditions. It's also the first NetGear product with its own broadband usage meter to track consumption across the entire network when using providers with low bandwidth caps, like Rogers or Time Warner Cable.
iRiver dipped into dedicated e-book readers for the first time today with word of its own device. The Story shares its aesthetics with the Amazon Kindle and has a 6-inch display with a QWERTY keyboard underneath for searches and other tasks; the system is extra-thin and has a 3.5mm headphone jack for listening to audio. A comic book-specific reader is a new addition optimized for the graphics-heavy format.
Napster's streaming and download music service will not be coming to the iPhone via a downloable app in the App Store after all, according to a recent MocoNews report. A rep from Napster said the service, which would be offered at Best Buy stores, is not being sent out for Apple approval because of the high licensing fees involved.
Auction site eBay has completed a deal to sell off its Skype VoIP division, according to an announcement. The deal is said to be worth $2.9 billion, granting a 65 percent stake to an investor group including Silver Lake, Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. eBay is holding on to a 35 percent equity investment, and gaining $1.9 billion in cash, plus a note in the principal amount of $125 million.
Wireless provider Alltel on Tuesday announced it is now offering the HTC Snap handset. The four-band GSM device uses EVDO Rev. A networks for 3G data access as well as its built-in Wi-Fi connection. Users interface through Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard and a four-row QWERTY keyboard. Microsoft Outlook Mobile is preloaded onto the device, and an Inner Circle feature highlights and prioritizes messages from favorite contacts from any of their saved contact info that includes e-mail accounts.
Nintendo today treated buyers of the Wii and DSi with a mix of new hardware and software. The former's web browser, also known as the Internet Channel, is now free to use instead of paying the 500 Wii Points ($5) necessary from July 2007 onwards. On top of eliminating the price, the console maker has upgraded to a newer version of Adobe's Flash for better support of video and other web features.
Microsoft drew embarrassment this weekend when it revealed that the winner of its app development contest was an iPhone app. Although 14 out of the 15 young companies at the Startup Weekend event wrote for a Microsoft platform, it was an iPhone contact memorization app, Learn That Name, which won the most votes from those at the competition. The victory came despite having just 48 hours to build and test the app and should lead to a $3 download when it reaches the App Store.
NEC Display recently announced the upcoming release of its MultiSync EA190M 19-inch desktop monitor meant for workers. It has environmentally conscious features that include an ECO Mode, and is said to be twice as energy efficient and contain half as much mercury in its build compared to traditional LCD displays.
(Updated with US info) Samsung today added a ultra-zoom to its compact cameras. The semi-pro WB5000 (HZ25W in the US) centers on a 24X, 26-624mm equivalent stabilized lens that can compose super telephoto shots while still having wide-angle coverage for much closer distances. Unlike some of its peers, the 12.5-megapixel camera skews more towards veteran photographers with RAW shooting in Adobe's DNG format as well as manual controls up to and including the choice of the color temperature for white balance.
Microsoft today committed to a ship date for Windows Mobile 6.5, its last significant update to the current generation of its smartphone OS. The first devices to use the new platform should reach shops on October 6th. It's not said which evices will be the first, but HP, HTC, LG, Samsung and unusually Toshiba will be the first to have 6.5-equipped smartphones in North America. AT&T, Sprint and Verizon will be the first in the US, while Bell and Telus should do the same in Canada.
Parrot today previewed the Frankfurt Auto Show by launching the RKi8400. A rare in-dash car stereo meant specifically for the iPhone, the system lets users browse the Apple smartphone's music by album cover on an LCD and automatically invokes hands-free mode when a call comes in. Stereo Bluetooth is onboard as well and provides hands-free calling to any cellphone in addition to music playback for any device that recognizes A2DP, including iPhones and second-generation iPod touch models with 3.0 firmware.
Western Digital this morning at last unveiled its first 2TB hard drives intended for performance. The 2TB Caviar Black and the business-oriented RE4 spin at a full 7,200RPM but also have features rarely seen even at this end of hard disk technology: both have 64MB of cache, dual processors and dual actuators to move the drive head into position faster. It's hoped the extra features offset the potential slowdown from having to seek across four 500GB platters.
Garmin on Tuesday brought the price of its cycling GPS downwards through the Edge 500. The blue-and-white unit is pitched as the best of both worlds and tracks all the core features, including actual positional and speed data as well as the estimated calories burned and amount of climb or descent. It can similarly pair with wireless sensors either specific to Garmin or which support the ANT+ format, such as cadence or heart rate monitors, and will use that information to improve the calorie rate and other data already being tracked.
Nokia late yesterday revealed through a spokeswoman that the company will delay the launch of its Comes With Music unlimited subscription service in the US. Once on tap for 2009, the launch has now been postponed until sometime in 2010. No reason has been given for the delay, which comes almost a year after the initial promise of a later release.
Hitachi has expanded its Travelstar line of 2.5-inch hard drives with the 7K500 series, available in capacities up to 500GB. The new drives represents the company's highest capacity notebook storage without sacrificing the 7200RPM speed and 16MB cache. Media transfer rates have been increased to 1245Mb/s, approximately 16 percent faster than the 7K320-series drives.
Epson has unveiled its latest 17-inch printer, the Stylus Pro 3880. The device builds upon the features of the Stylus Pro 3800, adding new technology such as UltraChrome K3 with Vivid Magenta Ink. The eight-color ink set is claimed to provide more intense blues and violets for a wider color gamut.
As promised, Canon tonight launched the EOS-7D, its most advanced crop-frame digital SLR camera to date. The camera not only shoots at 18 megapixels, one of the highest resolutions for a camera that isn't full-frame, but also gives it two DIGIC 4 processors that help it shoot more quickly than other cameras in its class. It can shoot bursts of 8 frames per second for up to 15 shots in RAW or 126 shots in JPEG. The advanced processing also gives it video advantages over even the EOS-5D Mark II: it can record 720p at up to 60FPS or 1080p at 24, 25 or 30 frames per second, letting filmmakers capture at native speed without having to convert later.
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