News Archive for 09/12/10

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Plustek intros D428 MobileOffice scanner

12/10, 10:55pm

Supports document imaging apps

Plustek Technology has introduced a new product for its line of MobileOffice scanners, the D428. The compact 4 x 12 scanner handles everything from document imaging to working with content management apps, and is designed for small or large home offices, banks and pharmacies. It delivers a maximum 600dpi resolution and supports scanning speeds of up to 2.2 seconds-per-page or 28 pages-per-minute. It also supports a wide range of page and media sizes, enabling users to scan an item as thick as a credit card.

Enhance Tech upgrades storage units with 2TB 7200rpm options

12/10, 10:40pm

New drives offer faster speeds, lower power draw

Enhance Technology expanded its line of storage systems to include optional Hitachi Ultrastar 2TB 7200RPM hard disks. Storage capacities are now increased to 16TB for the Enhance 8-disk desktop & rackmount storage arrays and 32TB on the flagship 16-disk UltraStor Professional Storage Systems, allowing total storage of 160TB through SAS storage expansion.

Google and Apple competing to buy start-ups

12/10, 9:45pm

Both companies pursued La La, AdMob

Several Silicon Valley start-ups have been eyed by both Google and Apple, according to a Wall Street Journal report (subscription required). Although Apple recently sealed the deal to acquire La La Media, Google also had been negotiating to purchase the online music store. The competition also extended to AdMob, an advertising company that Google agreed to buy for $750 million.

Fitbit Tracker delays continue, shipments wait until January

12/10, 8:35pm

Orders first taken over a year ago

Many customers that placed pre-orders for the Fitbit Tracker may be forced to continue waiting for the devices until early next year, according to The New York Times. The fledgling company initially introduced the Tracker in September of 2008, while advance orders were taken shortly thereafter. Fitbit reportedly expected the devices to be ready to ship within a few months after previewing the prototype.

Intel pays up $1.25 billion to AMD

12/10, 6:55pm

Chip maker satisfies settlement terms

AMD on Thursday announced that it has received the $1.25 billion settlement payment from Intel. The payment satisfies the monetary terms of the agreement over various antitrust and patent disputes. Both companies have also decided to exchange patent rights as part of a five-year cross-license agreement.

WebGL 3D standard gets draft spec

12/10, 6:20pm

Khronos details in-browser OpenGL tech

The Khronos Group today published the draft specification for WebGL, its universal standard for accelerated 3D graphics inside web browsers. The initial format takes advantage of HTML5's canvas support to draw OpenGL ES 2.0-level graphics without having to use a plugin. Besides simplifying the use of modern 3D hardware, it lets 3D interact more closely with web pages themselves and supports tasks like scripting to automate events or even test graphics before they're put into finished code.

T-Mobile takes Android Market carrier billing live

12/10, 5:45pm

T-Mobile G1, myTouch go straight to phone bills

T-Mobile's US branch told its Android phone users late Wednesday that it has started updating Android Market to support carrier billing. The change lets users skip the usual Google Checkout process and instead pay for any purchased apps through their regular phone bill. It will also have a more elegant means of handling refunds as any apps deleted within 24 hours won't count against the bill.

Logitech pushes Squeezebox Touch to February

12/10, 5:10pm

New Squeezebox delayed for unknown cause

Logitech at mid-day said it has delayed its launch of the Squeezebox Touch until February. The company didn't provide an explanation for the delay, which comes after it had already pushed back the launch of the media streaming hub to December in its original September unveiling.

Google, others building 17Tbps underwater data line

12/10, 5:05pm

Consortium building 17Tbps data line in Asia

Google and a consortium of several other companies including Japanese telecoms giant KDDI Corp have announced on Thursday they will build an international undersea communications cable system. The project, which will cost about $400 million, will be the highest capacity communications system, at 17 Terabits per second, and be upgradeable to 23Tbps. Called Southeast Asia Japan Cable, it's due to come online in the spring of 2012.

Samsung outs 8-inch digital frame with LED backlighting

12/10, 4:50pm

Samsung shows LED-backlit frame with BT

In its home market of Korea, Samsung on Wednesday released an 8-inch digital picture frame, the SPF-800P. The display is LED-backlit and sports a resolution of 800x480. The frame has 2GB of integrated storage space, as well as a microSD memory card reader. The frame has built-in speakers and will play back MP3 audio files and video files in addition to displaying photos.

Rumors persist of Motorola Motus for AT&T

12/10, 4:35pm

More information of Motorola Motus revealed

New information reveals some of the expected features of the Motorola Motus that is rumored to be coming to AT&T as the provider's first Android-powered handset. Some of the features and functions were covered before but have reportedly bee nconfirmed by an unnamed source with access to the device. The unique keyboard flips backwards to face the outside when the phone is closed. In the open position, the trackpad located on the underside of the keyboard lets users scroll on the screen.

FCC told to tighten cellphone industry safeguards

12/10, 4:35pm

GAO says not enough FCC wireless oversight

The US' Government Accountability Office (GAO) today told the FCC in a report that it needed to more actively monitor complaints from cellphone users. It complimented the FCC for promoting competition but chastised the same regulatory body for doing so at the expense of addressing actual customer complaints. Even as 84 percent of customers in a sample group were very or somewhat satisfied with their service, many have longstanding disagreements that either stem from service problems or more systemic flaws. Among the 1,100 respondents, it was common to encounter disagreements with billing practices like hidden fees or the issues associated with ending a contract.

Twitter intros new interface optimized for mobile phones

12/10, 3:45pm

Website supports iPhone, Android browsers

Twitter has introduced a mobile interface optimized for Android, iPhone, webOS and Nokia S60 browsers. mobile.twitter.comhas been built from scratch using only the Twitter API, and still contains many of the features found on the regular website. The new interface includes Reply, Retweet and Favourite buttons, as well as the ability to see Mentions and Direct Messages. It displays updates, followers and popular trending topics, with supplemental functions such as a search box and an option to remove images.

PlayStation 3's 3.15 firmware update goes live

12/10, 3:35pm

PS3 3.15 update live, brings mini games, LAN link

The latest firmware update for Sony's PlayStation 3 gaming console, version 3.15 previewed earlier this week, is now live. The upgrade brings the ability to play mini games like the PSP can currently play, which are downloadable from the PlayStation Network. There is also a LAN data transfer utility that lets users transfer content between two PS3s with a standard Ethernet cable.

Vodafone dropping HD2 for iPhone?

12/10, 3:20pm

UK Vodafone may favor Apple over HTC

Vodafone UK today revealed that it already plans to phase out the HTC HD2. Despite only just recently launching the Windows Mobile 6.5 phone, a spokesman told Electricpig that it won't look to restock the phone after its current supplies run out. The British carrier had "massive" demand and has had to catch up on orders but, unusually, has decided to cut sales short.

LG IQ with 1GHz chip, Win Mobile 6.5 live at Telus

12/10, 2:25pm

LG IQ now Telus' new Win Mobile flagship

Telus today countered Bell's releases by adding its own new smartphone. LG's IQ is the carrier's first Windows Mobile 6.5 device but should also be the fastest carrier-linked phone in North America: it runs on a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and should get a boost both in overall responsiveness as well as in demanding tasks like web browsing.

OPTi claims NVIDIA skipping royalty payments

12/10, 1:55pm

OPTi tries to eke more cash from GPU maker

Patent holder OPTi this afternoon launched arbitration against NVIDIA in an attempt to garner more royalty payments. It claims that the GeForce creator is breaching a licensing deal struck in 2006 for "pre-snoop" memory technology by declining to pay five quarterly payments worth $3.75 million. It's also allegedly continuing to use the predictive technique and could owe as many 12 total payments.

Onkyo second with dual-screen netbook

12/10, 1:30pm

Onkyo outs higher-spec dual-screen netbook

Japanese PC maker Onkyo has released the second dual-screen netbook PC on the market, the DX1007. It appears to be a near identical copy of the first dual-screen netbook, the Kohjinsha DZ6HKE16E, but improves on the formula. The differentiators include 2GB of RAM instead of 1GB, as well as 1366x768 resolution 10.1-inch screens for Onkyo's DX1007 as opposed to 1024x600 in the Kohjinsha version. There is also twice as much hard drive space, at 320GB instead of 160GB.

Panasonic moves ahead with purchase of Sanyo

12/10, 1:10pm

Panasonic buys majority stake in Sanyo for $4.6B

Panasonic on Thursday said it will take majority stake of Sanyo, in a deal first announced back at the start of November. The deal is worth $4.6 billion and will see Panasonic own 50.2 percent of all Sanyo shares. Once complete, the company will be one of the largest electronics manufacturers worldwide.

Microsoft licenses out exFAT file system

12/10, 12:40pm

exFAT to be used on many more devices

Microsoft today said it would license its exFAT file system to third parties to spread its use in computers and portable devices. The technology is already found in the SDXC card format but will now be available in a flexible system that depends on the device. Simple devices like cameras and photo frames will involve a pay-once $300,000 fee, while more advanced devices like computers and smartphones will pay a royalty for every unit sold.

Fon launches PeekFon with free European roaming

12/10, 12:05pm

PeekFon offers free European roaming for e-mail

UK-based Wi-Fi provider Fon has recently teamed up with US-based e-mail and text messaging device maker Peek to create the PeekFon brand in Europe. Under the partnership, PeekFon will offer users no roaming charges in any European country, letting users send and receive e-mails and texts over GPRS data networks. Fon works on the principle of sharing Wi-Fi access, with subscribers to a home service that open it to other Fon users receiving access in return wherever they are in their travels across Europe. The PeekFon will get rid of the need to find one of the claimed 800,000 hotspots throughout Europe.

PS3 motion controller to be called the Gem?

12/10, 11:50am

EA exec may have slipped final name

Sony's PS3 motion controller may have already received a final name if a slip by EA chief John Riccitiello is a clue. Speaking at UBS' annual conference about the future influence of motion controllers like Microsoft's Project Natal, he was heard by IGN referring to the Sony controller as the Gem as a matter-of-fact statement. While the CEO is likely to have inside knowledge of plans, it's not known if the name reflects his knowledge or simply reflects the colored ball that defines the Sony controller.

MSI intros audio-focused AIO PC, new CULV notebook

12/10, 11:20am

MSI intros AIO with high-end audio tech, X600 Pro

PC maker MSI on Wednesday introduced its new Wind Top AE2220 along with the Windows 7-equipped X-Slim X600 Pro 15.6-inch notebook. The desktop PC is purportedly the first all-in-one to bring premium audio with it, including MSI's own Premium Sound Technology and a pair of full-range, 5W speakers with magnesium-aluminum alloy cones. SRS virtual surround is also a factor in the design.

Dell Optiplex 780 the smallest PC with desktop chips

12/10, 11:00am

New Dell Optiplex USFF uses full Core 2 Duo

Dell on Thursday touted a rare approach to pro desktops with one of the smallest ever. The Optiplex 780 USFF (Ultra Small Form Factor) at 9.4 by 9.4 inches is championed as the smallest system to use primarily desktop components and only uses a 2.5-inch hard drive as its concession to size: it uses desktop processors up to a 3.33GHz Core 2 Duo and even builds in the power brick where many other systems this size would move it to the outside.

Samsung Galaxy, Nokia N97 launch on Bell

12/10, 10:20am

Bell gets 1st Android, Symbian HSPA phones

As expected, Bell this morning added two major smartphones to its fledgling line of HSPA-capable devices. The Samsung Galaxy is not just Bell's first Android phone but also the first North America-ready version of the handset, with 850MHz and 1,900MHz 3G both onboard. It remains a Google-branded device with a stock Android 1.5 and the full suite of apps, including Android Market.

WiGig provides early details of 7Gbps wireless spec

12/10, 9:55am

WiGig uses 60GHz for 1-7Gbps

The WiGig Alliance on Thursday said it had completed the first specifcation for its 60GHz wireless technology. The self-titled WiGig format will use the ultra-dense format to transmit data at speeds well above Wi-Fi and beyond even the initial proposal, ranging between 1Gbps and 7Gbps. Consequently, it's 10-70 times faster than Wi-Fi and should permit features that aren't practical with current technology, such as providing DisplayPort, HDMI or even PCI Express data over the wireless link.

Amazon offers instant downloads of purchased DVDs

12/10, 9:25am

Amazon launches Disc+ On Demand service

Amazon recently started a new service it calls Disc+ On Demand that will let users access digital copies of the movies they bought on DVD or Blu-ray instantly. A standard-definition copy of the purchased title will be automatically added to a user's Amazon Video On Demand library, where they can watch it on their PC, Mac or TiVo box before their DVD or Blu-ray disc ships. The digital copies can also be streamed through Amazon's website. Thus far, Amazon only offers just over 300 movie titles under the new scheme.

Dell Streak tablet due at CES?

12/10, 9:00am

Dell Android tablet may debut

Dell's Streak tablet could appear as early as CES, a leak maintains today. While it was already expected early in the year, the 5-inch Android device could find its public debut at the early January trade show and should have an international release that includes the UK in addition to the US.

Nikon outs new 300mm telephoto, teleconverter

12/10, 8:30am

Nikon 300mm VR II and TC-20E III

Nikon this morning upgraded one of its more important super telephoto offerings and added a new teleconverter. The AF-S 300mm f2.8G ED VR II upgrades to Nikon's second-generation image stabilization and can provide a blur-free image four shutter stops lower than would be possible without any compensation. The camera maker considers it ideal for sports and wildlife photographers who may need a fast, bright lens but still have to stay well away from their subjects.

ASUS prepping Eee Pad inspired by Apple tablet?

12/10, 7:50am

ASUS hoping to preempt a rumored device

ASUS is in the early stages of developing a tablet device partly in response to Apple's rumored tablet, a supposed leak claimed Thursday. To be called the Eee Pad, it would actually be significantly smaller than the as yet unconfirmed Apple device and would have a screen between just 4 inches and 7 inches and fit into the MID category. However, it would have some full tablet computing functions and would be "inspired" by its Apple counterpart, DigiTimes claims.

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