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The bookstore chain Borders has confirmed plans to enter the realm of digital distribution, with an e-book store expected to debut in the second quarter of 2010. The upcoming portal will integrate with the company's current website, Borders.com, and offer content for a wide range of devices such as standalone readers or smartphones.
McDonald's tonight revealed that its Wi-Fi hotspots will soon be free. The fast food chain is dropping its previous $3, two-hour rate as of mid-January as an effort to turn its stores into "destinations" where customers are encouraged to stay for longer periods and use their notebooks or smartphones.
Google was discovered today as having quietly filed for a trademark for its Nexus One phone. The application, submitted on December 10th, confirms that at least one variant of the Android device will be attached to the company's own name rather than badged by its creator HTC. HTC isn't known to have trademarked a device of its own.
The newcomer to the Canadian cellular business, WIND, today revealed that its first phone will be the BlackBerry Bold 9700. Besides giving the carrier a 3G smartphone for its debut, the WIND version of the Bold will be rare in its prepaid option: while a subscription option remains, the move will let users get voice, e-mail and other services as they need it. Either choice won't have a minimum monthly voice plan for those who rarely need voice service.
Researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, Purdue University and IBM have succeeded in growing silicon-germanium semiconducting nanowires that could result in the next generation of ever-smaller electronic devices. They measure between a few tens to a few hundreds of nanometers in diameter and can be as large as a few millimeters, and have taught researchers the physics involved in the growing of nanowires.
LG, Samsung, Sony Pictures and Valens Semiconductor have partnered to launch the HDBaseT Alliance in order to create a new standard that would allow users to send uncompressed HD videos throughout their homes using their Ethernet cables. The alliance hopes to create a worldwide standard that will eventually be used in TVs, projectors, AV and home theater equipment, as well as content providers and IT companies, among others. The companies feel this is necessary as current technologies are limited in bandwidth and don't support uncompressed video.
Swype, a Seattle-based company that has developed a new, faster way of texting on touchscreen devices, has just secured a second round of funding from Nokia, Samsung and an older investor, Benaroya Capital. The technology involves swiping a finger across a virtual keyboard rather than hitting each key individually, with software that will predict the indented word based on the finger's motion and any pauses or changes of direction. The technology has thus far only appeared on the Samsung Omnia II handset.
Palm this afternoon sent an invite to Electronista and other members of the press to attend a keynote on January 7th, the first official day of CES. The company has provided no clues as to what it's expected to release other than "new" developments. Last year was the company's first CES keynote in a long time and saw the introduction of webOS and the Pre, both of which were key to revitalizing the struggling phone maker's business.
LaCie recently and quietly outed its latest portable hard drive, the 2.5-inch Rikiki. It is said to be one of the smallest drives of its types on the market, with its name being slang for "tiny" in French. It is encased in a brushed aluminum case and the only connection for both power and file transfer is a USB 2.0 port.
Taiwan's Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT) showed off what it is calling the largest projected capacitive touch panel with its 21.5-inch display. The device is currently undergoing testing by clients and the company has already started shipping 10.1-inch projective capacitive touch panels and 3D panels.
Comcast today brought its TV Everywhere project out into the open by launching xfinity TV as an extension of its Fancast service. The former trial and now beta product lets those who subscribe to both Comcast's Internet service and its TV services have free access to a large amount of the content normally available only on cable, including HBO.
Verizon is benefiting more from recent struggles with AT&T than its opposition, a new YouGov marketing study claims. In a survey of over 5,000 US people aged 18 to 34, roughly 40 percent had heard something about Verizon at the beginning of November, while slightly more were familiar with AT&T. By December the figures for each were over 50 percent, and Verizon now has a 62.2 percent awareness, compared to AT&T's 54.5 percent.
Intel's first mainstream six-core processor should be fast across the board, a leak late Monday has given away. Built on the 32 nanometer Westmere process and part of the Gulftown architecture, the Core i7-980X will keep the Core i7 badge despite its two extra cores. At the same time, it will also maintain a high clock speed and should run at 3.33GHz, or the same speed as the current quad-core leader.
Apogee today promised an upcoming adapter that would give owners of the 27-inch iMac and LED Cinema Display the option of using the display for HDMI-based sources. The Kanex-branded HDMI to Mini DisplayPort adapter should work with any typical HDMI device and has been shown working with Blu-ray players, the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It should also pipe data from a Mac mini using its mini DVI output as the source.
ViewSonic on Monday entered into a new category for the company in North America with its VNB102 ViewBook. The 10.1-inch netbook uses a 1024x600 LED-backlit panel but is one of the relatively few netbooks so far to launch with Windows 7 Starter Edition. As with other netbooks, there is a 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU and 1GB of internal memory, along with a 160GB hard drive.
Audio-Technica on Tuesday revealed its new ATH-ANC1 QuietPoint active noise-cancelling on-ear headphones. The headphones use the company's active noise-cancelling technology to block out 85 percent of ambient noise and produce clear sound. For less weight on the user's head, the noise-canceling technology is on an external module inline with the signal cord.
Cherrypal today sought to bend the limits of notebooks by formally releasing the Africa, what it bills as the world's first $99 portable. The system is intended both for the developed and developing worlds and achieves its price by using a 7-inch screen, a normally phone-oriented 400MHz processor and the choice of either Linux or Windows CE. By virtue of its roots, the Africa only needs 256MB of RAM and 2GB of permanent storage.
Sony Ericsson today said it would delay the launch of the XPERIA X2 to the first week of January. It blames the setback on problems integrating the customized Windows Mobile 6.5 platform with carrier-specific apps. Most of these resulted in lower battery life or slowdowns that Sony Ericsson wants to polish out of the final release.
Wireless provider Sprint is now offering a 4G desktop modem, the CPEi25150 from Motorola. The device uses the WiMAX network to deliver Internet speeds that can be up to ten times faster than current 3G networks, or just under two times as fast in the worst case scenario; as a fixed modem it's meant for those who may use 4G as their primary connection at home. Sprint offers the 4G service in 27 cities and lets users port the modem around.
Nintendo raised speculation late Monday by quietly filing for a trademark on the name "Zii" in Japan. The name rights would cover both video games as well as other electronic devices and appears intended to block Creative from using the Zii name on devices in the country, such as the Zii Egg developer media player or the ZiiSound speaker line.
Google's Android Market has passed the 20,000 app mark after just over a year, according to stats tracking the mobile store for AndroLib. Having just passed the 10,000-app mark in September, the portal has already doubled that number in the past three months as the number of new apps each month has grown steadily. A sharp spike in November saw 3,544 apps published on the Market, a jump of more than 34 percent over just the month before.
Addonics recently introduced two products meant to speed up transfer speeds of content from memory cards, with its Pocket eSATA/USB DigiDrive and Internal SATA/USB DigiDrive. Either can read 15 different memory card formats with an optional adapter, with transfer speeds topping out at 1.5Gbps when connected using the eSATA interface. A traditional USB connection is also possible and peaks at the spec's 480Mbps.
Apple was one of the top 10 US brands on the Internet in November, says ratings firm Nielsen. The company was precisely 10th in terms of parent company rankings, with just under 62.1 million people visiting at least one website owned by Apple, or launching an Apple-owned application. People spent an average of an hour and 18 minutes looking at Apple content.
BenQ today took the wraps from its first 27-inch computer display. Considered a crossover display, the M2700HD has the usual computer inputs but also has twin HDMI 1.3 connectors plus component and RCA to take in traditional TV sources, such as cable boxes or game consoles. A native 1080p resolution, a 10W stereo speaker system and a remote further stress the hybrid nature of the LCD.
Verizon today pushed back against AT&T's command of free US Wi-Fi by offering its own Wi-Fi service. The service is considered an extension of the carrier's mobile broadband and gives free Wi-Fi to those who already use a data-only 3G devices such as a modem, a netbook or a MiFi hotspot. Verizon counts "thousands" of hotspots both in the US as well as in Canada and Mexico and considers it a more economical alternative to a roaming plan.
Broadcom on Tuesday morning launched its most advanced mobile media chip to date, the BCM2763. Based on the company's next-gen VideoCore IV architecture, it's the first from the company to not only play back 1080p on a handheld media player or smartphone but also to record it. The full HD experience includes 3D, as Broadcom claims the processor can render games at the same resolution.
RED early today made clear its efforts to persuade videographers by promising to hold a "RED Day" February 13th. At the Los Angeles gathering, the company plans to show prototypes of its long-delayed EPIC and Scarlet cameras along with some of their accessories. It additionally plans to show the current RED ONE camera outfitted with the new generation's Mysterium-X sensor and to show 4K footage at its native resolution using a Sony 4K projector.
LG today set out plans to greatly expand the use of 3D in TVs within two years. The Korean firm has partnered with satellite broadcaster SkyLife both to set standards for how 3D broadcasts behave, including both delivery and in minimizing the side effects, as well as to roll out trials for 3D TV. The two will start in Korea but plan to expand to Europe and North America in 2010; the rest of the Americas and Asia will get the experience in 2011.
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