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Several major publishers have begun delaying e-book releases to combat the competitive price slashing of best sellers, according to The Wall Street Journal. Simon & Schuster is putting a four month hold on 35 titles scheduled for release next year, while Lagerdere SCA's Hachette Book Group is planning to take similar actions.
Apple's buyout of Lala is part of a potential strategy for granting access to iTunes directly through the web, sources said Wednesday night (subscription required). The deal, now said by the WSJ to be valued at $85 million, was originally thought to be a pure acquisition of talent but is now being used to reduce the dependency on the iTunes jukebox software for content and could permit listening to and managing purchases from a web browser. Apple could not only reach those who don't have access to their home collections but could put iTunes directly into search engine results, social networks and other areas.
Meizu executive Hailiang Hua has M8 initially followed Apple's iPhone design closely, the unnamed shop will initially follow a similar model that gives M8 owners software designed for the originally Windows CE-based Chinese smartphone. It should go so far as to replicate the 70/30 split in revenue as an incentive to developers.
Nokia today confirmed that it would shutter its two US stores in addition to its previously disclosed plans to close its London shop. The Chicago and New York City locations will cease running in early 2010 and are closing as the company believes it can better invest its money into sales through carriers or online sales. It has also tried to positively spin the closures by arguing that they've helped achieve the goal of improving Nokia's brand awareness in the US market.
Scientists at the Stanford University have found a way to create electricity using little else than regular paper coated in special ink that contains nanotubes and silver nanowires, the school's paper reported on Monday. Even when the paper is crumpled, it retains its newfound properties and acts as a battery or supercapacitor.
Computer maker MSI has began shipping its Wind Top AE2020 all-in-one PC to the UK. The PC has a 20-inch, multi-input touchscreen and is the first from MSI to combine this feature with Windows 7 Home Premium. A 2.1GHz Pentium dual-core forms the heart of its performance, but it also uses NVIDIA's Ion graphics to smoothly play back HD videos on the 1600x900 display.
Citi Investment Research sparked a reaction in the market today by predicting that Sprint and T-Mobile will merge before the end of 2010. Company analyst Michael Rollins in a note increased the odds of a deal to 55 percent as Sprint may not consider its job cuts and cellphone business improvements enough to offset widening losses. It could change its mind in the first half of the year if any service changes in the winter don't bear fruit, Rollins explained.
Targus has announced a new product in its line of notebook gear, the USB 2.0 Docking Station with Video. The dock supports a range of devices, from mobile phones to peripherals including mice, keyboards and printers. Features include two USB ports capable of powering devices, and a DVI output that supports a maximum resolution of 2048x1152.
Samsung on Wednesday introduced its new line of rugged memory cards for the UK market. The CF plus and SD plus cards are waterproof, capable of withstanding 24 hours of submersion in sea water. The cards are also shock-proof and are impervious to magnets 13 times more powerful than a magnet found in a typical home theater speaker.
Several users on the Verizon forums are reporting an issue with their Motorola Droid phones that sees their e-mail accounts and all contained messages being deleted. This happens again when users set up their accounts again, and they can't seem to find a fix for it. Corporate e-mail accounts are mainly affected, though calendars and contacts remain on the phone.
Sales of consumer electronics during Black Friday were lower than in 2008, according to point-of-sale numbers compiled by market research company, the NPD Group. The total revenue for the day of just over $2.7 billion represents a 1.2 percent drop compared to the revenue from 2008, but the drop compares favorably to the 3.4 percent decline suffered from 2007 to 2008.
iBuyPower this afternoon claimed to be the first to use Thermaltake's BMW-designed case in a production PC. Simply called the Level 10 based on the case's own name, the PC takes advantage of the modular, sectioned-off design to make upgrades easier and simply to provide a very unique look. It's still considered a performance PC and has uncommon touches in stock trim, such as a GeForce GTX 285 with 2GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD as its boot drive alongside a 1TB content drive.
The European Commission today negotiated a deal with Rambus to avert a possible legal penalty for the American memory designer. Terms in the new agreement will require it to drop its royalty rates for its more recent RAM from 3.5 percent to 1.5 percent and to let those using some of its older memory technologies obtain it for free. In return, the company won't face charges filed against it in 2007 that accused it of abusing its position within the JEDEC memory standards group to develop a standard while hiding the truth that it held patents those standards would use.
Ultra-thin notebooks are the future but are being hampered by Dell, HP and even Intel itself, Acer chairman JT Wang said on Wednesday. He fully expects these systems, combined with longer battery life, to become a major trend but believes Dell and HP have 'spoiled' the segment by dropping the prices of regular notebooks to $399, discouraging shoppers from picking up the more portable systems. They also do little to promote the slimmer notebooks themselves.
Japan's Buffalo on Wednesday introduced its Express Card USB 3.0 adapter, the IFC-EC2U3/UC, that will bring the 5Gbps transfer speeds of the new standard to notebook users. The 34mm card has two external USB 3.0 ports that will also be backwards compatible with USB 2.0 devices.
Graphics card maker NVIDIA has recently demonstrated a 3D movie using its 3D shutter glasses and an Acer G245 monitor that can be synchronized with them. While the name of the blockbuster cannot be revealed, the movie playback is said to be on par with other 3D movies shown by the company. It's even being compared to theater 3D movies, but is delivered on Blu-ray discs that are backwards compatible with regular Blu-ray players.
Relative e-book newcomer Interead today said its next-generation COOL-ER reader would come with AT&T-supplied 3G in the US. The company hasn't provided full features but says that models will also come equipped with Wi-Fi; whether or not both will be found in the same model isn't evident. At least the 3G models should be available sometime in mid-2010.
A leaked document from HP has confirmed some roadmap details for both Intel and AMD. As part of a plan to update its all-in-one PCs with a new Pavilion model in April, the company says it expects to use dual-core Core i3 and i5 desktop processors and reiterates their key features. The Core i5 will have Turbo Boost to shut down some cores and overclock others and will also have hardware acceleration of AES encryption; Core i3 goes without but is based on the same architecture.
Acer on Wednesday announced it is now shipping its 11.6-inch Ferrari One notebook to US customers. Considered a crossover between netbooks and full-size notebooks, its rocessing power comes from a relatively strong 1.2GHz AMD Athlon 64 X2 dual-core processor, along with up to 4GB of RAM. The 250GB, 5,400rpm hard drive is preloaded with Windows 7 Home Premium.
Without fanfare, Olympus today began quietly shipping the E-P2. The Micro Four Thirds camera is considered a premium improvement on the E-P1 and brings continuous autofocus, aperture and shutter control in 720p movie recording, new software filters and improved attachments such as a more detailed electronic viewfinder for the hotshoe (the VF-2) and a stereo microphone adapter (the EMA-1).
AT&T will be careful if and when it changes its mobile data services to curb heavy use, the company's wireless chief Ralph de la Vega said today at a UBS conference. The executive reiterated his company's hesitation to commit to a plan but stressed that the carrier would respect net neutrality if it scales back from its current 'unlimited' strategy.
Nokia on Wednesday introduced a special edition of one of its best-selling handsets, the 6700 classic. The new Gold Edition candybar has stainless steel covers that feature 18-carat gold plating, while other unique touches include a full metal keymat and animated wallpapers.
Apple's often-rumored tablet device has been narrowed down to a specific production timeframe and could land a deadly blow against Amazon's Kindle reader through a revenue deal, according to an unusually detailed research note from Oppenheimer analyst Yair Reiner. Investigations into Apple's supply network claim the widely reported 10-inch, multi-touch device will be put into mass production in February with a likely launch target of March or April. As many as 1 million will be made every month, according to the sources.
YouTube late Tuesday unveiled a long-in-development project meant to drive music videos. VEVO provides a larger, streamlined approach to artists' videos than YouTube and organizes their content by more logical categories, such as by the genre or by channels. It still supports common features like embedding but stresses music-friendly features like synchronized text lyrics and direct links to songs when they're available in iTunes.
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