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The FCC is considering auctioning certain parts of the TV-broadcasting spectrum and selling it to wireless companies for broadband, according to the Wall Street Journal. The shift is designed to help avoid a situation FCC chairman Julius Genachowski recently described as an impending "spectrum crisis," as data usage rates continue to grow faster than the wireless providers can expand available bandwidth.
When it's unveiled, the HTC Droid Eris will be significantly less powerful than the Motorola Droid when it ships November 6th, a brief Tuesday leak says. Although cosmetically different, it should use the same 528MHz Qualcomm chip and Android 1.5 build as many of HTC's earlier Android phones, such as the Hero or T-Mobile myTouch 3G. A second HTC phone due later should address the speed gap, BGR adds.
Known more lately for its display technology, Bridgestone has just unveiled one of the most advanced e-paper displays yet. The 13-inch screen renders 4,096 colors and also supports touch input. A demo to Tech-On also shows both the display and circuitry to be flexible and capable of bending to a slight but noticeable curve without breaking.
Many Zune users, including Electronista, have discovered a fault with their Zune HD multimedia players, saying Zune software does not update song play counts from the Zune HD device. Another forum user who is also a Zune Device Product Team member was able to reproduce the problem, and the team is supposedly working on a fix for the issue. Only Zune HDs with firmware 4.1 are apparently affected, Microsoft says.
Samsung in a late afternoon update added two crossover computer LCDs to its mix. The 23-inch 2333HD and 19-inch 933HD+ both have built-in HDTV tuners and remotes to double as TVs in tight spaces. Appropriately, they both share 16:9 aspect ratios that avoid black bars for native HD video at either a 720p-friendly 1360x768 (for the 933HD+) or 1080p (for the 2333HD).
China's i.Tech has released a solar-powered Bluetooth headset, the SolarVoice 908. The built-in solar charger replenishes the battery while users are wearing or using the headset. On a full charge, the device is rated at five hours of talk time, while standby is rated at 140 hours. Other standout features of the handset include a noise-reduction feature and the ability to connect to two cellphones at the same time.
A new handset, the Sony Ericsson Kurara, is expected to be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress show early next year, according to a Tuesday LetsGoDigital report. The handset is promising to be a less featured version of the recently revealed Satio, with both sporting the Symbian S60 operating system. It should also feature a touchscreen interface but use a lower resolution 8-megapixel camera.
Hitachi and Toshiba's optical drive divisions have also been implicated in a US Department of Justice investigation regarding possible antitrust abuse, according to another Monday WSJ report. As with Sony, not many other details were revealed, and executives at both Hitachi and Toshiba say they will fully cooperate with the investigations. Hitachi's optical drive business is a joint venture with LG, with Hitachi owning 51 percent of the operation, while Toshiba has the same split with Samsung.
Some of Intel's Pine Trail Atoms will finally escape Intel's 1GB RAM cap for netbooks even as they drop prices, a series of leaks have indicated in the past day. While the chip maker will still officially limit certain Atoms to 1GB of memory, the 1.83GHz Atom N470 will reportedly allow running 2GB of RAM. The limit should provide a large jump in performance for small systems, particularly those with more demanding operating systems like Windows 7.
NEC Japan has introduced the world's smallest WiMAX router with Wi-Fi capability on Tuesday. The Aterm WM3300R is battery-powered but can still reach 40Mbps downstream and 10Mbps upstream when on a suitably fast 4G network. The pocketable device is meant to share access through Wi-Fi but can also be plugged into a PC using a USB adapter for mobile Internet access on a specific system.
The success of the iPhone 3GS could lead to Apple's device overtaking the BlackBerry, a ChangeWave study has found today. Since unveiling the phone in June, Apple has jumped five percent in its market share among those in the study, to 30 percent, and is within a "striking distance" of just 10 percent of RIM's BlackBerry, which fell a point to 40 percent. Palm is flat at 7 percent but successfully used the Pre to stave off the constant declines it has faced for the past three years.
Google today at last provided full details for Android 2.0, its first major update to its mobile OS. The platform brings a much improved approach to mail that allows both for multiple accounts and native Microsoft Exchange support. The web browser has similarly been upgraded and is only the second HTML5-capable mobile browser outside of Safari; it further brings some of the earliest multi-touch support and recognizes double-tap zooms.
Bell on Tuesday announced it will offer the U998 HSPA+ Turbo Stick and the MiFi 2372 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot from Novatel Wireless November 5th, to coincide with the launch of its HSPA network in November. Either of the two new products will allow notebook users to connect to the 21Mbps network from virtually anywhere a signal is present. The HSPA+ Turbo Stick will be exclusive to Bell in Canada and plugs into a USB port of notebook or netbook PCs, with a microSDHC card slot for as much as 32GB of storage.
Leaked images from Verizon confirm that the very recently slipped BlackBerry Curve 8530 will be known as the Curve2 at the wireless provider. The handset is a CDMA version of the Curve 8520 already offered by T-Mobile in the US and Rogers in Canada. The brochures have a decidedly holiday-oriented theme to them, which, together with a private sale slated for late in November, hint that the Curve2 will be out in time for the holiday season.
Google at a user group meeting in London late Monday revealed that Google Wave will have its own app store. The real-time communication and sharing tool already has a programming kit for add-in features but will eventually have a central location to buy apps that extend its feature. As Wave is primarily web-based, many apps will live there, but its support for non-web use would allow native apps for specific platforms.
Plastic Logic and Barnes & Noble announced a partnership on Tuesday that will see Plastic Logic's QUE proReader e-book reader sold at the latter's stores and on its website. As part of the deal, the QUE proReader will be displayed near Barnes & Noble's own nook e-book reader, on its own free-standing display. Compared to the nook, the QUE is more business-oriented.
Of a recent wave of computer builders entering the smartphone space, only Apple is likely to have more than a small stake the market, Gartner research estimates today. The analyst group believes that "all" major PC firms will have signaled their intentions to build smartphones by the end of 2009 but that none of these will have more than two percent outside of the iPhone maker, even by 2012. Instead, most of the non-Apple growth will be left to traditional phone designers.
Nokia on Tuesday showed off its first handset to support China's native 3G standard, TD-SCDMA. The Nokia 6788 was developed in conjunction with China Mobile, the country's biggest wireless provider, and sports a 2.8-inch display with 320x240 resolution and is considered smartphone-grade through its use of Symbian S60. There is also a 5-megapixel camera with a dual-LED flash.
After only a brief tease, Dell today formally unveiled the Latitude XT2 XFR. It's characterized as the first rugged convertible tablet to use capacitive multi-touch and is seen as ideal for use outdoors or at work where natural gestures, such as pinching to zoom into a map or flicking to scroll through a page, are more preferable to a pen. It nonetheless still works with a stylus and has a more outdoor-ready display that's more readily viewable in broad daylight.
OmniVision may have given signs of a large jump in iPhone 3GS production today through a leak of its production demands. Best known for making the 3.2-megapixel camera inside the Apple handset, the mini-camera designer is warning its other customers that supply will be tight until at least late November as Apple is consuming much of its stock. Other sources for DigiTimes add that iPhone 3GS orders for the holidays may have increased by as much as 17 to 20 percent.
Roku this morning swelled its media hub ranks with two models aimed at the high and low ends. The previously leaked Roku HD-XR adds to the original network video streamer with 802.11n Wi-Fi on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, giving it much more bandwidth for streaming HD sources as well as a frequency pick less prone to interference from cordless home phones. It continues to also support Ethernet for wired networks and uses HDMI and component for HD video playback from Amazon VOD or Netflix; RCA and S-Video output provide analog video, and a USB port allows room for unnamed future expansion.
MSI is developing an e-book reader that would use NVIDIA's Tegra processor at its core, the company's chairman Joseph Hsu says today. Confirming an earlier rumor, the executive admits that a device with the fast graphics and ARM chip combo is in progress but has "some problems" that have pushed a formal unveiling back until sometime in the first half of 2010. Other details will likely only be supplied closer to the actual release.
Apple has been actively recruiting media producers in Australia for its rumored upcoming tablet, a claim today maintains. The American company has supposedly been giving publishers of various forms some specifications to gauge their interest in developing content formatted and sold for the device. Little is actually mentioned about the tablet itself by the Sydney Morning Herald sources, though it's described again as larger than an iPhone but meant for the web, e-books and movies.
Google on Tuesday rolled out a new version of Google Voice for those that don't want to change their phone numbers. Rather than route calls through a central number, the new tier uses Google Voice solely to provide visual voicemail for existing phone service. As before, messages are saved as files online and also converted into text so they can be heard or read online.
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