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RED this evening provided an update on the progress of its greater-than-HD EPIC and Scarlet cameras with a beta program for the EPIC-X and a feature boost for the Scarlet. The 5K resolution EPIC-X should now be available as a "beta" test camera before the end of 2009 and, in a first stage, will give those buyers a pre-production core body and all the equipment needed to use it outside of the lens, such as CompactFlash storage, an electronic viewfinder, a mount and power. This initial run should be available only in very limited numbers for $28,000 and will get special support up to and including CEO Jim Jannard's personal cellphone number.
Microsoft's second-ever official retail store opened to lines resembling those of Apple's, an early estimate says. More than 1,000 are believed by the OC Register to have queued up for the Mission Viejo, California opening, some of whom had entered the line as early as the previous afternoon. It's not known how long lines remained in front of the store or how floor traffic has proceeded since the debut at 10AM local time.
Norway's Consumer Council, Forbrukerrådet, has spoken out against Amazon's terms-of-service regarding e-books purchased on the Kindle, as detailed in a post on the Council's website. The group's director, Hans Marius Graasvold, claims several points in the e-book agreement violate Norwegian consumer-rights laws.
The Internet has turned 40 years old this week, with its beginnings occurring at 9pm on October 29th, 1969. On that day, engineers at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and Stanford Research Institute (SRI) nearly 400 miles away sent data over the first two nodes. Back then, the Internet was known as Arpanet, after the US Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), which commissioned its creation.
Sony Ericsson is offering a look at a new white version of its XPERIA X3 smartphone thanks to an official video (viewable below) released on Friday. The device will be the first from Sony Ericsson to run on Google's Android operating system. The November 3rd release date for the device is once again touted as part of the clip.
China's Soyea has recently released a new Mobile Internet Device (MID), the Z5, which sports a 5-inch touchscreen with 800x480 resolution. Processing power comes courtesy of a 1.2GHz Intel Atom processor, and there is 1GB of RAM onboard. Internet access comes from either a Wi-Fi connection or 3G module with access from China Telecom. Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR is also present.
Plantronics today launched a rare Bluetooth headset aimed primarily at the desktop. The Voyager Pro UC bundles a USB Bluetooth adapter with the familiar Voyager Pro and lets any Mac or Windows PC handle calls over the wireless earpiece if they don't already have built-in Bluetooth. Its functions can work natively with many VoIP apps, including Skype and business-class apps from Cisco.
HTC is updating its own user interface for its touchscreen smartphones, as evidenced by the company's recent patent filing. The handset maker's design appears to be a spiritual successor to TouchFLO and Sense UI. While still unnamed, it would mimic the layout and organization of a virtual book, according to images and the description in the patent application.
Nokia today closed a chapter in its online history today with news that it would close its N-Gage gaming service. The company plans to shutter the game download and community in September 2010 and is moving all its users over to the Ovi Store. Games on devices and in the store will remain, but Nokia warns that community features like high scores will come to an end as part of the switchover.
Nintendo's next-generation portable game machine could have free 3G access built in, company president Satoru Iwata commented on Friday. While not a definite plan, the executive tells those he is at least considering an echo of the Amazon Kindle's business model, which charges extra up front in return for lifetime 3G access. The model would be dictated by Nintendo's younger user base and the primary gaming focus of its devices.
Olympus' success to its first Micro Four Thirds camera should make its debut in as little as a week based on both official and unofficial news. A teaser page from the company is counting down to a "new PEN" launch on November 6th and has been accompanied by a leak showing the new camera. Still believed to be called the E-P2, the camera now appears to be virtually identical to the E-P1 on the outside but will come in black and have the option of a stereo mic attachment in addition to an add-on electronic viewfinder.
Taiwan's AU Optronics at the FPD International show has been demonstrating a rare 14-inch OLED display panel capable of displaying 1080p (1920x1080). AUO claims a high 100,000:1 contrast ratio despite the size and an all-white brightness of 200cd/m2 for the panel, which is also smooth at 120Hz.
Bell on Friday said it will soon add the Samsung Omnia II to its lineup in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics. The announcement is significant as the first HSPA version of the handset for North America and for its use of Bell's upcoming HSPA network, scheduled for a November 5th launch. Reflecting Samsung's sponsorship of the event, Bell Omnia II owners will have access to a free Olympics app to keep track of events and a decal for the phone back.
Verizon's launch of the Droid next week may involve a carefully orchestrated store opening, a source said late yesterday. Carrier stores will reportedly open at 6AM, or four hours early, to accommodate an expected rush of early buyers on November 6th. The Motorola Android phone is said by BGR be accompanied by the budget-minded Droid Eris at the same time.
At the FPD International show in Japan, LG has revealed its future plans for OLED TVs and confirmed that its 15-inch OLED HDTV will ship before year's end, as promised earlier. LG's OLED sales and marketing VP, Won Kim says 20-inch and larger OLED panels will be built in 2010, 30-inch and larger models in 2011 and 40-inch displays in 2012. Kim points out OLED TVs will be more expensive than their LCD counterparts in 2012, but expects this will flip by 2016.
A pair of leaks have revealed NVIDIA's Fermi hardware should both be a dramatic visual upgrade and have a quick release of mobile parts. A post today on a Chinese forum shows samples of the graphics chipset that include 3D rendered faces with both extremely high detail as well as particularly complex visual effects, such as natural-looking facial hair or skin glare. One also shows the level of detail possible with relatively fast raytraced lighting.
A Sprint executive revealed the carrier's plans to release software updates for its smartphones and other news via a web chat on Thursday. David Owens revealed the Android-powered HTC Hero and Samsung Moment will get an update to the OS, though hasn't specified whether it will be version 1.6 or 2.0. Android phones are expected to also go down in price thanks to higher volumes, and Sprint is considering adding an Android handset with an integrated MiFi-style router.
Apple in two years has pushed the iPhone up to 2.5 percent of the entire cellphone market, Strategy Analytics estimates. The company has roughly doubled its share from a year ago and now has half the share of established firms Motorola and Sony Ericsson, which have remained flat at five percent. Some of the gain is likely to have come at Nokia's expense, as it shrank to 37 percent share, its lowest since the start of 2007.
ASUS chief Jerry Shen at an investor conference late yesterday said his company should have an Android-based smartbook on shelves by early 2010. Reversing earlier doubts about a market for such a system, Shen says a portable based on Qualcomm's Snapdragon chip and the Google mobile OS should be the first "secret weapon" for the company and will likely cost just $185. The price is roughly half what most builders charge for an Atom-running netbook.
Verizon this morning became the first provider to offer EpixHD streaming video as part of its service. Those who have both a FiOS Internet connection and a FiOS TV subscription with the Epix TV channel can watch an unlimited amount of movies on the web at up to 720p. About 150 titles will be in rotation online, but the service will emphasize major, recent movies from MGM, Lionsgate and Parmaount; it should scale to include about 15,000 titles both old and new.
Scosche has released a new line of home and car USB chargers, the powerFUZE and powerFUZE Pro. The products have both USB charging ports and AC/DC in-car converter ports. As a result, owners can either plug car accessories into any wall outlet or charge electronic accessories in a vehicle's 12V power socket. They can charge two mobile devices at once, with each of the USB ports providing 1A output for a faster charging speed.
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