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Technocel has announced the PowerPak, a new all-in-one portable battery and home charger. The PowerPak is designed to extend the run time of portable electronic devices when users are on-the-go and away from power outlets. It supports a wide range of devices including cellphones, PDA's, MP3 players, or Bluetooth headsets. A variety of interchangeable tips are included, enabling the charger to work with almost any USB-powered product.
Adding to details leaked in an earlier report, documents from the Canadian carrier Bell appear to show launch plans for the iPhone, BlackBerry Bold 9700 and Samsung Omnia 2, according to the Boy Genius Report. The latest source claims the iPhone 3G will be available for $150 with a three-year contract after rebates, while off-contract pricing is set at $600.
Satsports has announced it has released its Multi-sports GPS system in North America, which allows skiers and other high-impact athletes to get navigation data. Users interface via a 2.7-inch full color touchscreen, and it can playback photos, videos and MP3s stored on microSD cards. Along with the device, the company also released Windows Mobile and Android OS applications that bring the functionality of the device to existing smartphone owners.
A recent MobileRead forum post reveals that a German company called Wizpac has released an e-book reader called the txtr at the Book Fair in Frankfurt. The device uses a 6-inch, 800x600 resolution e-ink screen with 16 grayscale colors. Users will be able to download content from a dedicated txtr store accessible through the device, though it's so far only to be available in Germany.
Microsoft may owe T-Mobile millions of dollars for its just-concluding Sidekick outage, an inside tip may have revealed today. Like most carriers, T-Mobile is believed to have a service level agreement (SLA) with Microsoft and Danger to guarantee uptime but may have a particularly costly deal with Microsoft. The MobileCrunch source claims that Microsoft will likely pay a rate roughly equal to $700,000 per day for the period it couldn't guarantee 99.5 percent availability of Sidekick services.
Not normally known for capturing video itself, Memorex today upgraded its pocketable video cameras with two sleeker models. The 720p-capable MyVideo HD and standard definition MyVideo VGA emulate the same basic concept as Flip cameras but have the advantages of 2X digital zoom and longer battery life. The MyVideo HD's more demanding video gives it a still long 2.5 hours of recording time, while the VGA model can capture for up to five hours.
UK wireless carrier Vodafone is now offering the Vodafone 360 Samsung H1 smartphone on sale through its website. The device is the first to ship with the carrier's 360 social media platform preloaded. The H1 was especially developed for Vodafone, and sports a 3.5-inch OLED touchscreen.
UK movie theater chain Cineworld has introduced a new policy that does not allow patrons to bring in notebook PCs to the auditoriums, UK resident Jeremy Nicholas wrote on his blog. The policy was supposedly introduced to help fight piracy, where bootleggers go to see a movie and record it with an electronic device. Nicholas, however, was denied entry despite his Sony VAIO's lack of an integrated webcam, making it impossible to record the main attraction.
What appears to be a keyboard-free version of Nokia's as-yet-unreleased N900 smartphone has been spotted on the Internet recently. While the image is not official, it reveals the handset will have a larger, 4.13-inch capacitive touchscreen display and no hardware keyboard. The N900, in comparison, uses a 3.5-inch resistive (pressure-based) touchscreen with 800x480 resolution.
Sony in mid-afternoon revealed that it will launch a 250GB version of the PlayStation 3 in North America. Previously only due for Europe bundled with a game, the US and Canadian version will only include the higher-capacity hard disk, which more than doubles the existing slim PS3's capacity. The extra storage is pitched as a help for downloadable games as well as those who download movies from PSN in HD.
Korean wireless provider KT is planning on releasing a smartphone that supports the country's WiBro mobile broadband network, which is the equivalent of WiMAX in Korea. The smartphone will be made by Samsung and go by the SPH-M8400 model name. Other than WiBro, it will also have WCDMA (3G) network support and a Wi-Fi connection, which earns it the 3W designation from KT. The photo of the M8400 also reveals it will run on a Windows Mobile operating system.
A Southern District of New York federal court yesterday ruled (PDF) that ringtones don't constitute performances and so are exempt from separate royalties. The decision by Judge Denise Cote rejects beliefs by royalty group ASCAP that the carrier is responsible for royalties for any ringtone played in public and grants the complainant Verizon a summary judgment that the only valid royalty is the original for the music file itself.
Inadvertently tipping off RIM's plans, T-Mobile Germany today put up a listing for the BlackBerry Bold 9700. Also known as the Bold 2, the phone matches earlier descriptions and has the optical trackpad, taller 480x360 screen and improved 3.2-megapixel camera seen in prototypes. T-Mobile's version also appears to bundle a 2GB microSD card.
A tentative rumor ad mid-day suggests that Apple's anticipated iMac redesign may draw on Intel's mobile Core i7 processors. Most other details aren't provided in the AppleInsider tip, but any release before early 2010 would require that Apple use some or all of the quad-core "Clarksfield" designs on the market and produce the first non-workstation quad-core Macs.
Samsung late Wednesday announced that its 3.5-inch STORY Station external hard drives will be upgraded with a more energy efficient power source that will consume less than 1W in standby mode. This is the industry's lowest power consumption level and should lead to the drives drawing just 0.09W when parked compared to the usual 2.5W. The power reduction comes through a new circuit structure that renders the drive non-operational when when it is connected to a power plug but not the USB port.
Google staffers have posted a video on YouTube (available below) that shows the delivery of a giant éclair to the company's California headquarters' front lawn, indicating the latest Android 2.0 update will be going live soon. The oversized éclair now sits beside other blown-up desserts, including a cupcake and donut that represent earlier updates to the open-source operating system, namely Android 1.5 and 1.6, respectively.
Microsoft's planned retail store openings will start just in time for Windows 7's appearance next week, a leak late yesterday may reveal. A single source for the WSJ says the first store, in Scottsdale, Arizona, should open either on Windows 7's October 22nd release date or within a few days afterwards. However, it would be the only store to launch near the OS as the Mission Viejo, California store would only open a few weeks later.
Acer made a partial return to Linux for netbooks on Thursday by confirming a version of the Aspire One D250 with Android. The 10-inch netbook can use Google's OS to start up almost immediately and browse the web, check e-mail or perform other common tasks much faster than would be possible with Windows XP. It also gives access to many apps on Android Market that would be off-limits to PCs.
Microsoft Premium Mobile Experiences VP Roz Ho on Thursday personally apologized for the Sidekick data outage from the past two weeks and now claims that the company has salvaged much of the data. In her letter, the executive claims that "most, if not all" of the contacts and other data has been recovered and that only a small number of users will actually risk losing data permanently. It and T-Mobile had previously warned that all users could face losing their data.
Logitech launched its latest gaming keyboard on Thursday, the Gaming Keyboard G110. The device has custom LED backlighting for all of its keys, and users can connect USB headsets or microphones through ports on the back for both. The LEDs illuminating the keys can be set to all-blue or all-red as well as mixed to create any shade of purple.
Google today set out official plans to launch its own paid e-book store. Known as Google Editions, the service will be one of the few truly universal stores and will work with any device that has a reasonably modern web browser, including most computers, smartphones and even normally locked-down devices like the Amazon Kindle. Unlike some web book services, Google's store will let users cache a book locally for reading when they're offline.
Samsung and Amazon recently announced that Amazon's Video on Demand online video delivery service will soon be offered directly through certain Samsung HDTVs. The Internet-connected TVs will require a free widget download to access the service. This will allow users to access more than 50,000 titles, including over 2,000 HD movies, without needing a separate box.
Nokia on Thursday suffered one of its larger blows in recent years with word of especially poor results during its summer quarter. The company posted a net loss equivalent to $1.36 billion between July and September and almost completely reversed a $1.58 billion profit from a year earlier. Much of the blame was placed directly on a deep, 19.6 percent plunge in its revenue from phone sales compared to a year earlier, even though the number was a slight 5 per cent gain versus the spring.
RIM today at last released the BlackBerry Storm2, its second touchscreen phone. The new model has a sleeker design that centers on a much-improved 480x360 touchscreen; rather than slow down users by actually moving the screen inwards, it uses a piezoelectric system that replicates physical feedback but still allows two-finger input. It's also the first Storm to have Wi-Fi and is much faster through carrying twice as much memory as the original.
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