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Refurb MacBooks, MBPs
Apple's stock of refurbished MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks has changed slightly since the company slashed MacBook Pro prices in late October. The Cupertino-based company is offering its refurbished 15-inch 2.0GHz MacBook Pro with 512MB of memory, an 80GB hard drive, and an ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 graphics card with 128MB of video memory for $1,449 in both standard and glossy finishes; and its 17-inch 2.16GHz MacBook Pro with 1GB of memory, a 100GB 7,200rpm or 120GB 5,400rpm hard drive, and an ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 graphics card with 256MB of video memory in both glossy as well as standard finishes for $2,199. The company's refurbished $1,399 15-inch 1.83GHz MacBook Pro is no longer in stock. Refurbished MacBooks include the 1.83GHz White model with 512MB of memory and a 60GB hard drive for $849; the 2.0GHz White unit with 512MB of memory and a 60GB hard drive for $899; and the 2.0GHz Black model with 512MB of memory and an 80GB hard drive for $999.
ARC Freedom Antenna
ARC Wireless has launched the Freedom Antenna, an "all-in-one" add-on for cellphones and other wireless devices. It's currently compatible with 210 phones sold in the United States, and will support more products with future adapters. The device is meant to boost wireless signals, expanding their range and reducing the number of dropped cellphone calls. It's described as compatible with "all major" wireless carriers and technologies. The Freedom comes bundled with a stand, suction cups, and a host of adapter cables for compatible phones. It can be bought for $25 at DiscountCell, or $35-40 at retailers such as RadioShack.
Forums December 5
Forums roundup: Members are discussing the future of the MacBook Pro, speculating as to when the next revision will be released and what new technologies it will include..... One Mac owner is looking to replace an aging Mac with either an iMac or a Mac Pro and is looking to other users for help in making that decision.... Another user has inquired as to the upgradability of the iMac, sparking a debate among users over the choice by Apple to make the GPU impossible to upgrade.... Another member is looking for suggestions as to what hard drive enclosure is best while shopping on a tight budget.... Meanwhile, several posters are discussing how a MacBook user should go about fixing two broken keys and whether or not they should send the device back to Apple for a replacement keyboard.
ftpd exploit surfaces
A vulernability has surfaced in ftpd -- a file transfer server that comes bundled with Mac OS X -- that could allow an attacker to gain complete control of the affected Mac. The vulnerability is caused by a boundary error in ftpd when handling commands with globbing characters such as '*,' and is exploitable to produce a buffer overflow which could lead to arbitrary code execution. The vulnerability is reported in Mac OS X 10.3.9 and Mac OS X 10.4.8, but Secunia notes that other versions of Apple's operating system may also be vulnerable. Users running ftpd under Mac OS X can prevent exploitation by granting only trusted users access to the server, which is disabled by default. Note that users who have enabled ftpd are immune to this hole until they enable the service.
LG Windows Chocolate phone
Presenting at the ITU Telecom World show in Hong Kong, LG has unveiled a Chocolate PDA phone running Windows Mobile 5.0, Cetizen writes. The KC1 will debut in South Korea and play WMA audio and WMV video. It should rely on the WiMAX mobile network for calls, and use EVDO broadband for data transmission. The candybar design features a 2.8-inch, QVGA touchscreen, as well as a two megapixel camera and a microSD slot for extra storage. As with many LG phones, Bluetooth will come standard. Pricing and (expanded) distribution information is presently unknown, but some past LG phones have left Asia for Western shores, so an American version is not out of the question.
TiVo shows on Mac
In brief: Tickets are on sale for the annual FCPUG Network Macworld 'SuperMeet' scheduled for January 10th, 2007 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Mezzanine Club in downtown San Francisco.... One avid Mac user has put together a guide on how to move TiVo shows to a Mac and decrypt them, along with some suggestions on software to use for playback or conversion for iPods.... Monotype Imaging has added international currency and payment options to Fonts.com, allowing customers overseas to make purchases in any one of 14 currencies and 11 payment types.... Psychic Software's Darkwind development team is inviting Mac users to participate in an open beta test of War on Wheels, its cross-platform multiplayer turn-based game with strategic and tactical plots.... Advanced Micro Devices will begin producing CPUs using 65-nanometer technology to produce more powerful and energy efficient chips leading up to its quad-core product.
Elecom Fingerprint Drives
Japanese device builder Elecom took advantage of the compact size of flash memory today by releasing two new USB flash drives with biometric readers. Both the CR-FP2 and CR-FP3 models can require a fingerprint swipe before they allow access to the stored data, preventing password cracks or other brute force attempts to steal sensitive information. To ensure that this works safely, the system is extremely accurate and secure, according to Elecom. Each drive uses a reader that has an error rate of 1/1,000,000 and which erases the scan from memory.
The two variants are separated by capacity and protection. The 256MB FP2 edition is protected by a clear, removable plastic cap that covers both the USB port and the reader. In turn, the higher-end FP3 doubles the available storage to 512MB and uses a more advanced sliding cover that shelters the entire drive. Both should be available this week at prices of $77 for the FP2 and $107 for the FP3.
Bluetooth headset watch
Recently imported from Europe, Chronotech's Bluevoice watch contains a detachable Bluetooth headset, giving you not only a convenient unit but a place to store it other than your pocket. When a call comes in, users simply remove the headset from the strap and put it to their ear. The watch can pair with any Bluetooth-enabled cellphone within a six-foot radius -- holding a button down begins the pairing process. The Bluevoice has four hours of talk time and 120 hours of standby, and can be charged with either an AC adapter or a USB cable (both are included). Several different colors are available, depending on whether you choose digital or analog; these include black, white, gray, green, pink and more. DHS Marketing is selling the digital watch for $120, and the analog version for $128.
EVDO and HSDPA Upgrades
Both the CDMA-based EVDO mobile broadband technology and its GSM equivalent HSDPA are set to see significant increases in speed, according to announcements made today by organizations involved with both standards. The first to arrive will be HSUPA, Nortel and Samsung jointly revealed today at the ITU Telecom conference in Hong Kong. Although its theoretical download speed of 5.6Mbps is a modest upgrade relative to the 3.6Mbps of the HSDPA original, the newer technology achieves much improved real-world speeds. Samsung demonstrated an example connection that achieved not only a true 3.6Mbps download rate but also a much improved 2Mbps upload rate, far outclassing the respective 800Kbps and 300Kbps rates often seen in practicewith the earlier format. The new speeds will allow higher-quality television and Internet-based tools previously thought impossible for cellular Internet access. Actual deployments of HSUPA are expected in 2007, with Europe's Orange scheduled to be the first carrier.
Read through for etails of the EVDO enhancements.
MS releases WPF/E Mac beta
setteB.IT reports that Microsoft has quietly released a Mac beta of WPF/E, its Windows Presentation Foundation Everywere plug-in. The software is designed to enhance Web browsers -- Safari and Firefox 188.8.131.52 -- by enabling them to render rich content in addition to HTML. The December 2006 Community Technology Preview will expire on February 18th, 2007, but is available now as a digital download from Microsoft's website. The plug-in requires Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later running on a PowerPC G3 500MHz or faster system with 128MB of memory. The new beta release works with Intel-based Macs and will function normally until the expiration date, according to Microsoft, after which it will prompt users to update to the latest version upon any attempt to render a page that requires the plug-in.
Three Apple patents
The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office today published four Apple patents titled 'Hot unpluggable media storage device,' 'Computer controlled display device,' 'Computing Device,' and 'Dynamic selection of field/frame-based MPEG video encoding.' The 'Hot unpluggable media storage device' relates to computer systems, or more particularly to peripheral devices for computer systems. Apple's 'Computer controlled display device' relates in part to the company's former swing-arm styled iMac. The 'Computing Device' depicts the design of Apple's Mac mini or potentially a variant of its forthcoming iTV device. 'Dynamic selection of field/frame-based MPEG video encoding' relates to video encoding, specifically having to do with dynamic selection between field-based encoding and frame-based encoding for Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG) video encoding.
Showtime theme collection
Divine Fiat has released Show Time, its latest theme set for Apple’s Keynote presentation software. Show Time consists of two themes, "One More Thing..." and "Lights...Camera..." The Show Time theme set marks the release of the company's first set of "Pro" themes, featuring the HD aspect ratios (800 x 600, 1024 x 768, 1280 x 720, 1680 x 1050 & 1920 x 1080). "One More Thing..." features a red curtain which has been animated to bring life to the theme (the curtain both opens and closes). "Lights...Camera..." uses animated search lights to provide a sense of thrill. Both themes feature 4:3 and 16:9 photo cutouts. The themes can be purchased in standard format for $20 or in professional format for $30 each. The Show Time collection can be purchased in standard format for $32 or in professional format for $52.
Yoto V200 Media Player
Aiming at the same market as the Clix, Yoto today previewed its V200 media player. The Chinese model is yet more streamlined than its iRiver challenger and shifts all controls to the sides of the player, shrinking its form beyond the Clix despite its larger 2.4-inch screen. Its dimensions are not a limiting factor in its features, Yoto claims. The V200 is capable of playing DivX and H.264 content at a full 30 frames per second and will also read eBooks as well as JPEG photos. Internal memory is limited to 1GB of flash storage; however, the player contains a miniSD card slot that can enlarge its total capacity by an extra 2GB. Crucially, Yoto says its new player will ship for only 399 yuan ($51) when it debuts in February, making it one of the least expensive full-function media players available worldwide.
iTunes, Apple store for NZ
Apple today launched the iTunes Store in New Zealand, giving New Zealanders access to local music and the same "innovative features, breakthrough pricing and seamless integration with iPod that have made iTunes the most popular music jukebox and online music store in the world." Apple today also opened the online Apple Store New Zealand, where customers can quickly and conveniently purchase Apple’s complete lineup of products.
Pantech Flexus 03 Phone
Korean cellphone designer Pantech today revealed its new Flexus 03 prototype, which has been nominated for the IF Design 2007 award. The slider phone earns its distinction through an exceptionally minimalist design, according to the company: instead of the plethora of buttons common to many of these devices, the Flexus relies only on a trackball and two hidden buttons for controls on its top shell, while a Motorola RAZR-style number pad is the extent of its control on the bottom. The display in turn is also flush and maintains the phone's smooth shape. Though little else is known regarding its technical features, the design is known to be music-capable. Click through for photos courtesy of Akihabara.
Prudential on iPhone
Apple has reportedly begun iPhone production, and has already begun the production ramp on a small scale which should be ready for a full launch late in the first quarter of 2007 or early in the second. A music phone is likely to mark the launch with a more full-featured smartphone following one or two quarters later, according to Prudential analyst Jesse Tortora, who further anticipates the release of a widescreen iPod in the same time frame and claims evidence that Apple is hiring game designers. "Apple may have interest in entering the video game market longer-term," Tortora said, who raised his valuation of Apple stock from $74 to $87 based on sales estimates for the iPhone. The new phone could sell between 7 to 8 million units in 2007, according to predictions, and the introduction is also likely to benefit Broadcom as well as Intel, both of which have been singled out as potential part suppliers for Apple's cellular device, according to Electronista.
Iomega 500GB Mini drive
Iomega has doubled the size of its MiniMax Desktop Hard Drive -- which was originally limited to 250GB -- to offer a 500GB version. The new model features with three FireWire and three USB 2.0 ports like its predecessor, and stacks with the Apple Mac mini system. A smart power switch turns the drive on at the same time as a mini -- notably, however, the MiniMax is also compatible with iMac and G-series computers, so long as they have built-in USB connections and Mac OS X 10.2 or later. Drive performance is rated at 7200rpm with an 8MB cache, and Iomega estimates that the product could hold as much as 2,000,000 photos, 9,250 hours of music, or 750 hours of video. Dantz/EMC's Retrospect backup software is also included. and the 500GB MiniMax is shipping for $280.
LG Chocolate U830
LG today began shipping the U830, an enhanced version of the company's recently launched VX8600 (also known as the KG810). Its primary addition is enhanced 3G wireless, according to LG: the U830 can connect through HSDPA, achieving a theoretical 3.6Mbps download rate. The company has suitably added internal storage, providing 185MB of memory alongside removable cards.
Media functions have also been improved, LG says: a 2-megapixel camera replaces the 1.3-megapixel model of before, while a second forward-facing camera has been integrated for self-portraits. The U830 still retains external music controls and support for AAC, MP3, and WMA music. The phone is already available in the UK for free when connected to a £30 ($59) per month plan from Three; a North American launch has not yet been announced.
doPi Karaoke ships
doPikaraoke.com has launched the doPi Karaoke, a portable device enabling users to turn a video iPod or other video player into a fully functional karaoke machine. Users can download karaoke songs from doPikaraoke.com in both video formats supported by Apple's video iPod, according to the company, and load the downloaded files onto the portable device. Users can connect iPods loaded with karaoke tracks to the doPi Karaoki system, which in turn connects to a TV or stereo to complete the karaoke setup. The doPi Karaoke is available for $100 from Future Shop.
Sony-Ericsson PC Headset
In addition to its HBV-100 Bluetooth headset combination for computers. The package unites the company's existing PV705 Bluetooth earpiece with a special USB adapter that connects the earpiece with a PC for hands-free Internet telephone calls and other voice functions on a PC. The headset and USB adapter are already paired out of the box, Sony-Ericsson says; this eases the setup process for newcomers by limiting the installation to a simple driver installation.
The headset is not limited to computers, however, and can be linked to a cellphone for as much as 12 hours of continuous talk time or 300 when on standby. It includes its own rechargeable internal battery and a dedicated charger to recover power regardless of where the headset may be used. The HBV-100 is set to launch later this month, though pricing remains unlisted.
Zune drops to fifth place
After a strong initial showing Microsoft's share of the digital audio player market has decreased, putting the Redmond-based company in fifth place. Research firm NPD Group reports that in the week ending November 25th, the Zune consumed 2.1 percent of sales, versus 39.4 percent for Apple's iPod and 39.3 percent for SanDisk products. At third and fourth place were players by Creative and Memorex; Microsoft's figures were also tied by a player from the Walt Disney Company, according to Electronista. NPD analyst Stephen Baker noted, however, that the week of Thanksgiving is traditionally difficult for new products, and that Microsoft's unit volume was unusually consistent between the first and second weeks. Microsoft admitted after the Zune launch in mid-November that its strategy is a long-term entry into the portable audio player market, and that it expects to see very little -- if any -- progress during the first year as a contender.
Markzware 7 released
Markzware today released MarkzTools 7 for the Macintosh, which is described as a “miracle” utility that serves as “document insurance” as well as salvaging corrupted QuarkXPress project files. MarkzTools is used as an active XTension that verifies the integrity of QuarkxPress documents before the original master file is over-written, preventing unwanted disasters from occurring, for instance a bad file that cannot be opened for editing. In addition, MarkzTools provides users the ability t to save QuarkXPress 7 Projects directly to a Quark 4.1 document format and can convert all of the image previews in the document to “gray” drastically reducing the file size of projects. MarkzTools 7 may be purchased through an authorized Markzware reseller such as CDW, MacMall, MacConnection, SHI, Software Spectrum, Programmers Paradise and through Markzware Direct Sales. It is available now for $200. [site not updated]
Ampeg SVX, DropWaterMark
Ampeg SVX 1.1 ($400) adds compatibility for IK users with Intel core Duo-based Mac systems to the bass amp plug-in. the update is free for Ampeg SVX users, and no longer requires a USB iKey or dongle to function. Version 1.1 also adds native support for Pro Tools 7, and improved CPU efficiency.
[Download - [form]]
World Clock Deluxe 4.4 ($16) displays multiple clocks in a horizontal or vertical palette either in the menu bar or the dock. The update associates time zone abbreviations to cities as well as a type (standard or daylight) to time zones. Version 4.4 also offers a 'Calculate Time Zone' button to replace the 'Standard Time Zone' and 'Daylight Time Zone' buttons that allowed users to automatically calculate longitudes when adding or editing time zones. [Download - 1.7MB]
DropWaterMark 3.7 ($17) updates the cross-platform watermarking application, adding the ability to tile watermarks across images. DropWaterMark enables users to set up two different one-line text marks, an image, or set borders for photos. The update also offers numerous interface improvements and various bug fixes. [Download - 4.4MB]
BeerAlchemy 1.4 ($30) is a major update to the beer recipe creation and archiving tool for Macs. The latest revision introduces greater flexibility for recipe adjustment on a batch-by-batch basis, includes three new user-selectable hop bitterness formulas, and incorporates ingredient descriptions with support for batch 'sparging.' [Download - 4MB]
DVDpedia 3.3 ($18), Bookpedia 3.3 ($18), and Gamepedia 2.3 ($18) are media inventory applications for Mac OS X with internet search and iSight scanning capability. All three updated versions add new print features, allow users to update .Mac sites, offer new FTP export functionality, and offer updated iSight Barcode scanning code. The updates also offer an improved, cleaner interface alongside numerous bug fixes. [Download - DVDpedia 6.4MB, Bookpedia 6.8MB, and Gamepedia 5.7MB]
ChangeUnits 3.1 (free) is an Excel 'add-in' for units conversion that performs all conversions directly within Excel, eliminating the need for a separate unit conversion application. ChangeUnits works with combinations of common units just as users would write them, performing multiple conversions in a single step. [Download - 190KB]
Zune drops from 2nd place
Though the Zune initially made a healthy debut as the second-best selling digital audio player, it fell to fifth place in its second week, says Dow Jones. Citing an analyst with the marketing firm NPD Group, Jones notes that Zune sales dropped to 2.1 percent in the week ending November 25th, ranking alongside a player sold by Disney. The Apple iPod, conversely, continued to dominate at 39.4 percent, while SanDisk's market share followed in close pursuit at 39.3. Creative Labs and Memorex occupied the third and fourth places. However dire these results may seem for Microsoft, NPD analyst Stephen Baker cautions that the second week was the difficult Thanksgiving period, and that unit production was kept up where most companies would falter.
Prudential on Apple iPhone
Apple has reportedly begun production of the iPhone, according to a research note provided to Barron's by Prudential analyst Jesse Tortora. The researcher notes that "the production ramp has already begun" on a small scale and should be ready for a full launch late in the first quarter of 2007 or early in the second. A music phone is likely to mark the launch with a more full-featured smartphone following one or two quarters later, Tortora said. The analyst further anticipates the release of a widescreen iPod in the same time frame and claims evidence that the company is hiring game designers. "Apple may have interest in entering the video game market longer-term," he said.
Accordingly, Tortora has raised his valuation of Apple stock from $74 to $87 based on sales estimates for the iPhone, which could sell between 7 to 8 million units in 2007, according to predictions. The introduction is also likely to benefit Broadcom and Intel, both of whom have been singled out as potential part suppliers for Apple's cellular device.
Herman Miller Leaf Light
Rather than use a single bulb, Herman Miller's new Leaf Light uses a series of 20 LED lights that can vary in color temperature, from a warm "mood" setting to a cool "work" level. The choice of lighting also enables considerable power savings, using between 8 to 9W of power versus the 13W of a comparable compact flourescent bulb. The unusual arched shape of the lamp was created by Yves Béhar, whose fuseproject studio has designed award-winning products for the likes of Birkenstock, BMW, Swarovski and more. The unit's vertical blade swivels and extends to reposition the horizontal one. The Leaf is on sale now for $450 from retailers such as highbrowfurniture.com and Home Office Solutions.
Cellphone partnership Sony-Ericsson on Tuesday launched the Z310, a new budget cellphone meant to be stylish without the accompanying high cost. Much like the earlier Z610, the Z310 uses the mirror-finished shell from Sony's Walkman music players to conceal its external display until needed. The effect creates a solid, unbroken surface until caller information or a notification icon must be lit, the cellphone maker says. Lights on the phone can also flash in different colors depending on the caller, helping to identify important calls without first looking at the external display.
Inside, the phone is built precisely for its relatively low-cost audience and sports Bluetooth, EDGE Internet access, and a VGA camera. The phone will ship in black, bronze, and pink shells beginning early next year but has not revealed a price. Profile photos of the handset are available after the jump.
Diner Dash, Terracotta
In brief: PlayFirst has officially released Diner Dash - Flo On The Go via Macgamestore.com, and announced that it has attained one million Diner Dash customers.... One blogger claims that Mac OS X is good for developing and testing Terracotta DSO clustered applications, despite the lack of any official support.... California-Inclue! has released its Media Inbox RSS reader with built-in support for searching Google Videos and YouTube.... Speck Products is offering free shipping to customers who purchase one or more cases at $25 or more until December 18th via the coupon code "HolidayFS2006".... PNY has released its first SD card to support the new SDHC standard that boasts 4GB of storage capacity with a minimum write speed of 4MB per second.... GridIron Software has lowered the price of its Nucleo Pro productivity enhancement tool designed to optimize workflow for visual effects artists working in Adobe After Effects on multi-processor and multi-core systems from $500 to $400.
Sony Blu-Ray Player Ready
Sony has announced that its first dedicated Blu-Ray player, the BDP-S1, is now available. The flagship for the company's championed disc format, the BDP-S1 is aimed at high-end movie enthusiasts and is capable of not only displaying the full 1080p resolution of Blu-Ray movies when attached through HDMI, but also of upscaling existing DVD movies to the same resolution. Playback of MP3 music and JPEG photos from DVDs is also supported. Pricing is set at $1,000.
Sony's launch comes after a series of publicized delays as the electronics maker suffered from part shortages and other technical problems, especially with the advent of the company's newly launched PlayStation 3 and its use of Blu-Ray for removable storage.
iPod ShuffleBud ships
Incipio has unveiled its iPod ShuffleBud USB adapter for Apple's second-generation iPod shuffle. The accessory is a tiny USB to 3.5mm adapter measuring 47 x 16mm and weighing just 5.6 grams, allowing users to connect the iPod to any USB port without the need to use the larger iPod shuffle dock included with the portable player. The ShuffleBud supports full speed USB transfer rates, and ships with a lanyard loop on the side to attach a Shuffle to a backpack or laptop case. The iPod ShuffleBud USB adapter is priced at $6.
PS1 games on PS Network
Sony has made available the first five downloadable Playstation 1 games on the Playstation Network. Using a Playstation Portable (PSP) handheld, gamers can now download "Cool Boarders," "Crash Bandicoot," "Hot Shots Golf 2," "Syphon Filter," and "Tekken 2." Each game costs $6 at the Playstation Store and requires a dedicated portion of a PSP's Memory Stick for storage. Sony has been preparing the re-launch of PS1 games for some time, with the recent firmware update the only indication that plans were about to come to fruition. Sony expects a second batch of games to be available later this month, with more to follow over the life of the PSP and the Playstation Network.
Projecting Apple's future
Industry watchers are likely to shift their focus to potential new product announcements at Macworld during the final stretch of the busy holiday shopping season. Senior analyst Gene Munster of research firm Piper Jaffray believes these new announcements could include Apple's pre-announced iTV, a new iPod, and the iPhone. "With growing expectations for new and upgraded products at the Macworld Expo on January 9th 2007, there is an upward bias to our valuation," Munster said. "The iTV and iPhone represent significant additional potential drivers to Apple's growth engine in 1H07. And these new offerings could be strengthened by the release of a widescreen iPod at Macworld." Apple is entering the music-enabled mobile phone market at the correct time as well, according to the analyst, by waiting for early music-enabled handsets to test the waters. "Apple will differentiate itself by offering iTunes integration on Macs and PCs, and by leveraging its expertise in software engineering for media playing devices," the analyst said.
Nokia 6086 for T-Mobile
Nokia's recently announced 6086 phone is destined for the US, according to an FCC filing (PDF) that has been made public. The certification approves the Nokia handset for the US and signals a likely launch in the near future. An indication of its likely carrier stems from its previously revealed features: as the 6086 is one of the first phones to be equipped with Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA), a technology that switches between cellular networks and WiFi, the phone is likely to see service with T-Mobile USA early next year. The carrier recently launched a trial of its HotSpot@Home service, which takes advantage of UMA to cut roaming charges and to improve reception indoors. T-Mobile has said that it would expand the service in 2007 and would thus coincide with the launch of the Nokia device.
REAL World 2007
REAL Software today announced that the REALbasic User Conference -- REAL World 2007 -- will be held May 9th, 2007 for three days at the Omni Hotel Downtown in Austin, Texas. Noted REALbasic authors, experts, and REAL Software engineers will be presenting at the conference alongside a keynote presentation by Geoff Perlman, founder and CEO of REAL Software. The conference boasts more than 30 sessions covering REALbasic topics at all skill levels, including introductory sessions for beginners and in-depth sessions for advanced users. Presentations by REAL Software technical staff as well as respected industry experts are planned alongside social activities to serve as a venue for attendees.
AMD 65-nm Athlon 64 Chips
The Athlon 64 X2 processor is now being made on a 65-nanometer process, AMD said today. Codenamed "Brisbane," the updated version of the chip uses a combination of a higher-density manufacturing method and the use of strained silicon, both of which improve the efficiency of the processor and reduce the heat it generates. The newer Athlon 64 X2 consumes an average of 65 watts of power -- a full 30% less than current 90nm chips use, AMD says. The improvement places AMD back in direct contention with Intel, which has had 65nm Core and Pentium 4 CPUs since October of last year.
Four speed grades of the processor are being introduced today: 4000+ (2.1GHz), 4400+ (2.3GHz), 4800+ (2.5GHz), and 5000+ (2.6GHz). All four include 512K of level 2 cache per core and are otherwise unchanged from their 90nm counterparts. The new chips are available to system builders beginning today between prices of $169 and $301 in batches of 1000, though AMD is only expecting large-scale availability early next year.
Apple notebook contract
Apple has partnered with Foxconn Electronics, the registered trade name of Hon Hai Precision Industry, to produce Mac notebooks, according to a new report. Following rumors that the the company has already landed a contract to produce 12 million iPhones, Foxconn is expected to ship a total of 3.2 million notebooks in 2007, after landing new deals with both Lenova and Apple, according to the Taiwan-based Topology Research Institute (TRI). The company also ready makes notebooks for Sony and is expected to ship the Sony the same number of units as in 2006, or about 1.2 million. TRI said Foxconn will start shipping notebooks to Apple in 2007, with the total volume expected at 1.5 million units--about three times the 500,000 units Foxconn is expected to ship to Lenovo (up 40 percent from 2006). Foxconn earlier this year accused of unfair labor practices in its iPod manufacturing facilities, but Apple found no major labor violations, but said that its manufacturing partner had violated its Supplier Code of Conduct and received promises from its manufacturing partner that it would improve conditions.
LG CU400 at Cingular
Cingular on Tuesday began offering LG's CU400 clamshell phone. The device is the first 3G Internet phone from Cingular to support a push-to-talk function, giving EDGE broadband while still providing the ability to speak instantly to as many as 30 people at once. Cingular similarly emphasizes the phone's world travel abilities: in addition to a quad-band GSM transmitter, the CU400 is equipped with UMTS for Internet access when roaming in Europe. Bluetooth and a VGA camera are standard.
LG's phone in Cingular trim adds software such as Music ID, which lets owners identify songs, as well as access to music and news videos. Ms. Pac-Man and Tetris are preloaded, the cellular provider says. The CU400 is readily available from Cingular today for $230 at retail or $30 when bought with a two-year agreement.
100GB 1.8-inch iPod drive
Toshiba's storage division today said that it has produced the world's highest-capacity, 1.8-inch hard drive, delivering nearly 100GB of storage. The new drive uses perpendicular magnetic recording, where bits are aligned vertically on the platter, to achieve the record-setting density, according to Electronista. The small disk mechanism also spins at a relatively quick 4200RPM and consumes less power per gigabyte than earlier models, ensuring that it remains efficient enough to be used in iPods and other handheld devices without sacrificing speed. Toshiba plans to start manufacturing the 100GB model in January with devices using its extra storage soon afterwards.
Toshiba 100GB Hard Drive
Toshiba's storage division today said that it has produced the world's highest-capacity, 1.8-inch hard drive with 100GB of storage. The new drive uses perpendicular magnetic recording, where bits are aligned vertically on the platter, to achieve the new record-setting density. Simultaneously, the disk is also said to spin at a relatively quick 4200 RPM and consume less power per gigabyte than earlier models, ensuring that it remains efficient enough to be used in iPods and other handheld devices without sacrificing speed. Toshiba plans to start manufacturing the 100GB model in January with devices using its extra storage soon afterwards.
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