To coincide with CES, Parrot has announced two new products: the Photo Viewer 7, and the Conference speakerphone. The Photo Viewer is a new, seven-inch LCD picture frame, an upgrade to their 3.5-inch model released in 2006. Images are displayed at 720x480 with 262,144 colors, and stored in 128MB of internal memory, which Parrot claims can hold over 500 JPEG images versus their earlier frame's 120. The main catch to the device is that photos must be transferred via Bluetooth, as there are no card slots or USB ports. The Photo Viewer 7 will be available in Q2 2007 for $249. The Conference uses Bluetooth as well, but is not dependent on it. Instead users can transfer up to 6,000 contacts to the phone via any Bluetooth device, such as a PDA, a laptop, or a cellphone. The Conference also has integrated Skype support for VoIP calls, and can pair with as many as 50 Bluetooth units at the same time. Three microphones ensure a 360-degree coverage area and have reduced echo thanks to Parrot's onboard DSP technology. When the Conference ships in Q2 2007, the base price of the product will be $299; adding a USB dongle will raise the price to $339 however, and including the Phone Base will bring the tally to $489.
As part of its pre-CES introductions, Clarion this morning unveiled devices tailored to music and navigation on the road. The N.I.C.E. 430 (pictured, above) is a new upgrade to the company's GPS mapping units and serves as an all-in-one replacement for drivers and pedestrians alike. The 4.3-inch touchscreen system is rare for its inclusion of 1GB of internal memory rather than depending solely on its SD card slot; the 430 has room for maps, music, and photos at the same time, Clarion says. Beyond media playback, the handheld integrates Bluetooth for hands-free calling and supports RDS data for real-time traffic warnings. The refreshed N.I.C.E. should be ready sometime this year for $500. Read through for information about the company's VRX series in-car players.
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Lunch with Cook auction nets $515K
The Charitybuzz auction that offered lunch with Apple CEO Tim Cook at Apple HQ and a pair of passes to a future Apple event (winner's pick) has ended with a high bid of $515,000, the highest amount the annual auction has fetched since 2013. Proceeds of the auction will benefit Cook's preferred charity, the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization, where Cook was recently named to the board of directors. The winner, who was unnamed, will be responsible for their own transportation and accommodation, and Cook has up to a year to schedule the meeting -- making it possible that the winner will be among the first to dine with Cook in the new Campus 2 cafeteria, which is set to open along with the rest of the new facility early next year. http://bit.ly/236Wf9N
Free Windows 10 upgrade program ends July 29
Ending speculation, Microsoft has officially announced that it will end free Windows 10 upgrades on July 29, the one-year anniversary of the rollout of the OS. Following the 29th, Microsoft's ubiquitous OS will retail for $119 and up. http://bit.ly/1O0a7kA
US tech giants to candidates: support TPP
Tech giants including Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Uber are among thirteen major US corporations who have written an open letter to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton urging them to support the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, reports Reuters. Although not yet made public, the letter also asks the candidates to make it easier for the companies to hire tech workers from overseas. Both are not happy with the TPP deal, although Trump is sterner in his opposition to any kind of trade deals between countries. Trump has not rejected outright the idea of importing high-tech talent from overseas, while Clinton has already voiced her support for the idea. http://reut.rs/1Wb0Zwq
Apple mandates June 1 app IPv6 support
Apple has set the deadline for IPv6 support for App Store-supplied software. On June 1, apps thast use a custom networking stack and that are submitted to the app store must support IPv6-only networks. The rule, announced last year as coming soon, will only affect a small portion of submitted applications that do not use the NSURLSession and CFNetwork APIs. http://apple.co/24yBTIY
YouTube Unplugged OTT service coming 2017?
As part of the continuing YouTube evolution, the video streaming service is reportedly considering a paid subscription service that would provide users "over the top" cable TV service. According to sources familiar with the matter, the service has been in the works since 2012, has already made changes to accommodate the live video feeds, and could debut the offering as soon as 2017. http://bloom.bg/1rvx8BW
Kohls Apple Pay integration with loyalty program
Kohl's customers are now able to pay for their purchases with Kohl's Charge and simultaneously earn loyalty program Yes2You Rewards in conjunction with Apple Pay. The service is currently available in approximately 250 Kohl's stores and is expected to be in all Kohl's stores nationwide later this month, making Kohl's the first retailer to deliver a one-tap checkout that integrates both its private credit card as a form of payment and a loyalty program with Apple Pay. http://yhoo.it/21wEUI6
AirMap iOS app for drone operators
Provider of airspace information and services for unmanned aircraft AirMap announced today the release of the AirMap app for iOS and Apple Watch. Operators can now access low-altitude airspace advisories, create flights, file digital flight notices to over 80 airports, and manage unmanned aircraft. Building on the success of AirMap's Digital Notice and Awareness System (D-NAS), the AirMap app brings to iOS devices a fully integrated airspace management solution for recreational and commercial drone operators. The app is free. http://apple.co/21wCadD