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Microsoft today confirmed more of its retail opening plans with sites for its first two stores. In addition to confirming the Scottsdale opening this Thursday, the Windows creator now says the Mission Viejo, California store is due to open a week later, on October 29th. It should partly mirror the Arizona opening with Justin Bieber performing a concert at the second location for the first 1,000 to ask for free tickets.
Daring Fireball blogger John Gruber and "Fake Steve Jobs" blogger Dan Lyons both suggest Apple is ready to launch new products tomorrow. Lyons claims there is "something brewing" for a news announcement tomorrow, although he declined to provide specific details on the products.
The Hong Kong-based computer maker ii-View has introduced its latest device, the A2 netbook. Like many similar devices, the A2 is based on Intel's 945 chipset and 1.6GHz Atom CPU. The basic configuration integrates a 320GB hard drive and 2GB of RAM, along with components for 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi.
Barnes and Noble's rumored dual-screen e-book reader gained credibility Monday night with the leak of a paper ad in advance (subscription required). A full-page placement due for the New York Times' Book Review next Sunday labels the reader as the Nook and says it will ship for $259, reaching the same price as the US Kindle. It also makes a direct reference to the previously leaked e-book lending feature, which would let users temporarily give rights to a book to someone else.
Apple during the conference call discussing its record quarterly results this summer provided multiple hints of price drops on its products in the near future. When asked during a Q&A session about its prediction of lower gross margins for the fall, the company warned that products in the future will have lower margins and repeatedly emphasized cost as an issue. It stressed that it would provide "ever-increasing value" in its products and reiterated its beliefs that it will continue to make products at prices others "can't match."
Dell has quietly upgraded the Adamo 13 to better compete against other ultra-thin notebooks like the MacBook Air. The high-end Desire model reviewed here has had its ultra-low voltage 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo replaced with a much faster 2.1GHz Core 2 Duo S like that found in Apple's faster notebook. It has also had its solid-state drive double in capacity to 256GB and Windows 7 replace Vista as the stock OS.
BlackBerry Storm 9530 users can get some of the functionality of the handset that replaced it, the Storm2 9550, via a software update from provider Verizon, an unnamed Verizon representative tells PhoneArena. Users will be able to perform the same flick scrolling, tabbed browsing and threaded texting on the Storms, however. The 9550 also has an improved SurePress typing system with four sensors and a freeze-out feature when the device is off.
Pre-paid wireless provider MetroPCS on Monday announced it has added the Samsung Code to its lineup. The handset is the carrier's first with the Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system. With the OS, users can access contacts, a calendar, tasks, notes, a voice recorder and Windows Live. The WizPro interface is optional and lets users customize home screens by making shortcuts to the most frequently accessed features.
UK-based digital camera maker Vicon said it will soon release a digital camera that hangs from a user's neck and is meant to document the wearer's life. The ViconRevue can be set to capture an image every 30 seconds, and the included 1GB memory card can store up to 30,000 still images. There is also a built-in accelerometer and light sensors that will trigger the shutter when the wearer changes locations, while an infrared sensor will also capture an image when the body heat of another person is detected.
Roku will soon update its multimedia box that can stream and download Netflix content with a new product, the Roku XR, according to a Monday Engadget report. The new model will replace the aging original, which debuted about 18 months ago. The Roku XR will look identical to the original, but add 802.11n Wi-Fi support, a USB socket for local media playback from thumb drives and a 2.5A power input, in comparison to the current model's 1.5A power connection.
Sprint on Monday said it would buy out one of its affiliate carriers, iPCS, for $831 million. The deal puts the smaller company's push-to-talk iDEN phone service directly under Sprint's control and settles a legal battle between the two that had blocked Sprint from advertising its network and might have prevented Sprint from selling service in those areas. Under the new agreement, Sprint would no longer need to sell off parts of its network in iPCS areas.
Texas Instruments will showcase an ultra low-power coin cell demo using the upcoming Bluetooth low energy open standard on Tuesday at a Bluetooth conference in Munich. The device will use TI's future CC2540 single-mode system-on-chip, which TI says will consume so little power that it will allow wireless to run on devices for very long periods of time. Among other examples, it would allow for a small button cell battery to power such a device without recharging for more than a year.
The Samsung Behold II and T-Mobile Tap have been dated for a release at T-Mobile on Monday thanks to leaved images from the carrier's brochures. The former, and the first with Google's Android operating system at T-Mobile and from Samsung, is due for a November 18th debut, while the Tap will be out a week earlier, on the 11th of November.
Canon's long rumored replacement for its EOS 1D Mark III pro DSLR could show as early as tomorrow but with multiple surprises in store, more than one source said today. A post from pro photographer Philip Bloom as well as an unnamed source for Canon Rumors both say Canon will use events celebrating the 50th anniversary of its DSLRs to unveil the EOS 1D Mark V, skipping IV due to Japanese viewing it as an unlucky number. Controversially, it would also opt for a crop-frame sensor instead of full-frame, opting for a 16-megapixel image so it can reach a maximum shooting rate of 11 or possibly 12 frames per second.
Luxury home theater firm Bang & Olufsen today updated its BeoVision TVs with a new flagship, the BeoVision 10. The 40-inch set echoes the same 'seamless' TV and speaker combo of earlier sets but now adds a 240Hz panel to eliminate motion artifacts and measures about 2.1 inches deep with a thinner bezel than the BeoVision 9. The 10's creator sees it as being subtle and thin enough to sit alongside paintings without commanding too much attention until it's switched on.
Talk of a watch peripheral for the BlackBerry gained credibility on Monday through a slip of new information. Probably to be called the inPulse, the RIM add-on would resemble some Bluetooth watches but have an OLED display that shows much more detailed information. Shots and a description from CrackBerry indicate the watch would show previews of calls, e-mail and RSS feeds from a paired BlackBerry and give owners an easy way of deciding whether or not to reply without having to take the phone out of a pocket.
At the upcoming Digital Content Expo in Japan scheduled for October 22-25, Sony will demonstrate a prototype 3D display that will project images viewable from all around the device without requiring that viewers wear 3D glasses. The 360-degree display uses an LED light source to emit the images, which have a 96x128 pixel resolution and can show in a full 24-bit color range.
UK wireless provider 3 said it will soon offer its first Android-powered phone, the HTC Hero with the unique addition of unlimited music. The Android smartphone will include a free Spotify Premium account, allowing users to access the online music service both on the phone and on a computer. While Spotify is available for iPhones and Android devices thanks to an app, and a monthly subscription, this is the first time it is bundled into an existing device, with the equivalent $16 monthly subscription fee waived as well. Also included with the 3 Hero is Skype access to VoIP calls.
Gateway today entered the market for Intel CULV portables in earnest by launching its EC series in the US. Previously seen in Canada, the line is a rebadge and re-spec of Acer's Timeline and is highlighted by the EC14. The 11.6-inch system weighs just under 3.8 pounds and uses either single-core Celeron, dual-core Celeron or dual-core Pentium CULV chips to outrun netbooks while still getting as much as eight hours of battery life.
Verizon is poised to kick off the launch of Windows 7 this week with two netbooks as a leaked document has shown its plans. Both the HP Mini 311 and the Mini 110 are due to reach the provider along with Windows 7 on Thursday and will be partly subsidized, with Engadget showing the higher-end Mini 311 dropping to $250 after agreeing to a contract and a $100 mail-in rebate while the Mini 110 will cost $200 on similar terms.
O2's British division today said that the UK launch of the Palm Pre was successful. A spokesperson declined to say how many had been sold but told TechRadar that the carrier sold more Pres on Friday than it normally does all other phones. Many of these were also often buying one or sometimes two of Palm's Touchstone inductive charging dock.
Google on Monday pushed its belief in widespread Internet access with a free Wi-Fi deal with Virgin America. The team-up will give no-cost Internet access to passengers on any of the airline's current flights between November 15th and January 15th. The search engine creator sees it as a way of easing stress during the holidays by keeping up on news from the ground, though it also encourages use of Google's services in the air.
At a small press conference held in Taiwan renectly, ASUS chairman and president revealed an Android-powered smarpthone from the company is due later in 2009. A Monday Digitimes article maintains chairman Jonney Shih and ASUS president and CEO Jerry Shen had a discussion with the local media and revealed this information, along with a positive outlook on the notebook market and some plans for environmentally-friendly products in the future.
Plastic Logic today took the wraps off of its long in development e-book reader. Now known as the QUE proReader, the e-ink device is under a third of an inch thick but has a full 8.5-by-11-inch display that can show many documents at their full size. It also has a unique plastic touchscreen that the company claims is shatterproof and uses both Wi-Fi as well as AT&T-based 3G for downloading content from Barnes & Noble.
Livescribe on Monday added two new capacities to its Pulse smartpen lineup. Customers can now opt for a 2GB or 4GB model, in addition to the original 1GB smartpen. The devices can also now be had in titanium and sport an ARM9 processor and the ability to save audio and handwritten notes through sync. The 4GB model can hold 400 hours of recorded audio or a combination of audio recording or even applications that will soon be available through a Livescribe Application Store.
The Motorola Droid may have been designed by Google itself in what could be its best attempt to rival the iPhone, an early hands-on with the phone reveals. While Google has been known to provide input on Android devices like the T-Mobile G1, BGR now says the company had a "direct hand" in the Droid and virtually told Motorola what to build. The move suggests Google now wants a "halo" Android phone and is interested in competing more closely with Apple rather than relying on the platform alone.
Microsoft has confirmed plans to open its first Microsoft store on Windows 7's launch for Thursday. The Arizona Republic ad promises the Scottsdale store will open at 10AM and is providing multiple incentives to spur early traffic: the first 1,000 visitors get gift bags and tickets to an Ashley Tisdale concert at 5PM. Every PC buyer on launch day gets a free HP printer and a copy of Office 2007 Home & Student.
Spring Design today unveiled Alex, its own take on e-book reading. Beating Barnes & Noble to a dual-screen reader, the design has both a 6-inch e-paper screen for reading as well as a 3.5-inch color touchscreen for navigation and viewing related content. The entire platform is based on Android and is customized to integrate both displays, such as caching a web article to read it on the e-paper screen.
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