Creative is starting the year with a a new video-capable ZEN V, an unintentional leak shows. The company's US download page reveals the existence of a device nicknamed the ZEN V Video, complete with available firmware updates. No technical information is listed for the player, though a video-capable ZEN V is expected to require a larger screen and a higher capacity than the current model, which tops out at a 1.5-inch display and 8GB of storage. Larger-size ZEN players already reach 32GB of flash memory.
LG USA's efforts at CES are signaled by two new 60-inch TVs. The LCD-based LG60 and plasma PG60 are both claimed to set new design records as well as improve on video quality; the PG60 in particular achieves a uniquely 'frameless' look by using a single panel instead of multiple layers, eliminating the need for a border. It appears as though the set is a window rather than a portrait, LG boasts. While it goes without this advantage, the LCD model takes advantage of newer technology to slim down to less than 1.8 inches thick, cutting back on some of the bulk from the rear of the design.
Logitech tonight followed up earlier announcements with updates to both its Squeezebox wireless music hubs and Harmony universal remotes. The Squeezebox Duet is the first new Squeezebox since Logitech acquired the device's parent company and gives much more control than previous models: the remote (pictured) builds in a 2.4-inch color LCD and gives both more precise control as well as the option of viewing album art, RSS feeds, and other information without turning to a computer or the main hub. A new scroll wheel and simplified interface also helps find content more quickly.
(Updated with Palm Wanda) Both HP and Palm are set to launch new phones this year that will escalate the competition in the smartphone business, according a series of BGR leaks from European carrier Vodafone's 2008 roadmap for the UK. Codenamed the Silver, HP's device will be styled after Research in Motion's BlackBerry Pearl and even include the latter's SureType keyboard, suggesting support either for RIM's own "push" mail or a close emulation of it through Office Mobile. However, the Silver will allegedly outperform the Pearl with a far faster 7.2Mbps HSDPA connection and both GPS as well as Wi-Fi in a single device. It should sell for ₤250 ($368) and ship roughly in July, though whether it will support US cell frequencies is unknown.
Nokia's rumored E71 smartphone may already have been confirmed, courtesy of a live shot circulated on the web. The image appears to confirm beliefs that the device would be considerably smaller than the E61i it is expected to replace, reducing the width without significantly affecting the QWERTY keyboard at its heart. It also validates beliefs that the keypad will change slightly from the earlier device. New is a chromed, rounded edge that suggests Nokia will promote the device to more style-conscious home users in an attempt to compete with RIM's newer BlackBerry models.
Three new models recently joined Erectorís Spykee Skype-capable robot: Spykee Cell, Spykee Vox, and Spykee Miss. Like the original Spykee, the three new robots feature a video camera, MP3 player, loudspeaker, and VoIP capabilities, while the latest versions include an iPod dock in their front. Using a computer, users can control Spykeeís movements remotely to patrol about their houses. As with the first model, users design and build their own custom robot according to their tastes or needs. Pricing for Vox, Cell, and Miss has not been released; the original Spykee goes for $370.
NiXPS has quietly released new versions of its key software, which is geared toward supporting Microsoft's XPS document format. View 2.0 allows users to browse XPS files, flipping through pages at will using either a table of contents or the thumbnail view. A Quick Search function highlights all results on a page when searching for keywords or phrases. Edit 2.0 lets users both edit and view XPS files, and offers functions such as merging and extraction, conversion to the PDF format, and the creation of personalized mail and other documents from previous XPS files.
Efiko Software recently unveiled iClueless for iPhone and iPod touch users, a web-based software suite that enables users to find near anything on the internet. iClueless can find both the standard and mobile versions of a web page, enabling it to customize the browsing experience for either WiFi or the 2G network. The application can search Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia, ESPN, Amazon, and many other service listings. iClueless is available free of charge, and works through the embedded Safari browser on either device.
Hitachi's presence at CES will be dictated by a new series in its Director's and UltraVision HDTV catalog. Dubbed the Ultra Thin 1.5 line, the new LCD screens stress a thinness that lets them fit into exceptionally tight home theater environments. Regardless of display size, each earns its namesake through a cabinet which is just 1.5-inch deep. Every set is also quiet and stylish, even at the back where many companies neglect their sets, Hitachi says. All models include support for HDMI 1.3 with Deep Color, while all 1080p models also have 120Hz panels that eliminate most traces of motion blur.
Accessory maker Logitech will have two products available at the CES show floor geared towards home theater PCs, according to information released ahead of the show. The diNovo mini (pictured at top) scales back the full-size diNovo Edge to a compact form. In addition to smaller keys, it switches from a general trackpad to a directional pad and includes specialized media controls; in home theater environments such as Windows Media Center, the controls let users adjust sound and steer media playback without needing a separate remote. The smaller diNovo is officially intended for Windows XP and Vista systems and should be available later in January. Pricing is expected to reach $100.
The HD DVD Promotional Group tonight reacted to Warner's abandonment of HD DVD for movies by canceling its Consumer Electronics Show keynote on short notice. The organization does not say the keynote is being removed permanently from its scheduled but says it has "postponed" the event without a new date, according to the announcement. Discussions are said to be underway with the group's partners and are widely expected to determine how Toshiba and other HD DVD backers approach the format at the show. A statement from the organization says it remains committed to the "quality and affordability" of the disc format.
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Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl