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HP 2133 to ship with XP
HP will offer the 2133 Mini-Note PC preconfigured with Windows XP in mid-May, something the company refers to as a "downgrade". Laptop Magazine observes that XP is more ideal for ultramobile PCs, given its lower power requirements, and better performance on lighter hardware. The revelation came after a chat with an HP Sales representative, who confirmed that XP would be an available feature in the future.
NYC schools freeze orders
A problem with Apple computers accessing the New York Department of Education's wireless networks is freezing the school board's orders for the computers. A technical liaison for one of the New York City public schools tells MacNN that the issue seems to revolve around the new iMacs shipping with Leopard, but could surface in other Leopard-imaged machines. The DOE is currently in discussion with Apple to resolve the problem.
Safari, Firefox patched
Rivet 1.0 has been released, enabling users to stream video, music, and photos from Mac OS X to an Xbox 360 over a home network. Rivet allows users to quickly browse and view their entire collection of digital media from from anywhere in the house on their Xbox 360. The Mac OS X folder structure and organization is completely reproduced to allow you to quickly find the appropriate media. Features include: Music streaming of your iTunes library; Photo streaming of your iPhoto library and user defined folders; Video streaming from user defines folders; Full organization support, your mac is recreated on the Xbox 360 and quick automatic updating on the Xbox 360 when files are added, deleted, or moved. The tool requires Mac OS X v10.5 or later, uses iTunes for music sharing and requires a networked Xbox 360. Rivet is priced at $19.
plasq has announced the release full screen children's drawing application -- dubbed Doozla -- featuring simple free-hand drawing and color tools, webcam and tablet support, entertaining color-in templates and background images. The tool has four creativity modes: drawing - free-hand drawing on a background, coloring in -- add color and lines to the character templates provided, draw on background -- draw characters and objects into the provided background scenes and Webcam Drawing - use your webcam to capture a picture and draw on top of it. Doozla contains a pro-level drawing 'vector' engine underneath a child-accessible interface.
NBC reconsiders iTunes
NBC is again considering distribution of its TV shows through the iTunes store, pending a more rigid anti-piracy stance. According to CNET, George Kliavkoff, chief digital officer for NBC Universal, says that digital piracy hurts the company to the point where it is not viable to distribute its content digitally. The statement comes after NBC Universal pulled shows such as Heroes and The Office from iTunes over a pricing dispute between itself and Apple.
Mac OS X on Samsung UMPC
Blogger Kevin Tofel is currently trying to demonstrate a proof of concept by installing Mac OS X on an ultramobile PC - in particular, the Samsung Q1 Ultra Premium - noting that most of the operating system's features map correctly to the corresponding controls on the device. While still in a very experimental stage, the Mac OS was able to recognize the touch screen as a tablet, the dual-function stick as a scroll mouse with two buttons, as well as the keyboard, and volume controls.
New research from Gartner says Worldwide PC Market Grew 12 percent in first quarter of 2008, with the U.S. recession effecting minimal disturbance on Global PC Shipments in the quarter. Worldwide PC shipments totaled 71.1 million units in the first quarter of 2008, a 12.3 percent increase from the first quarter of 2007. Apple saw the biggest gain among the top 5 vendors in the U.S. market, enjoying strong retail sales coupled with "decent growth" in the professional market. Meanwhile, Hewlett-Packard extended its lead, with marketshare increasing to 18.3 percent. Dell registered its second consecutive quarter of double-digit growth in the worldwide market.
Universal Drive Adapter
Transferring data from one computer to another can be cumbersome without special file transferring programs, especially if you're trying to move data from an old Windows hard disk to a Macintosh. For an easier solution, just yank a hard drive out of one computer and connect it to a second computer as an external hard disk. Of course, this requires buying an external hard disk case and making sure the external hard disk case works with the particular interface of your hard disk. In case you don't want to worry about learning different hard disk interfaces, Newer Technology offers the Universal Drive Adapter, a product that connects to any hard drive no matter what type of interface it uses.
Telus offers LG Venus
Telus announced on Wednesday that the LG Venus slider is coming to the Canadian provider. The phone features dual screens on its top portion, with the smaller one on the phone's lower half meant as a touch pad only, replacing up to 12 traditional keys, Telus says. The Venus will be able to play Telus' mobile radio and TV, as well as 50 channels of streaming satellite radio programming and offers the provider's audible and visual navigation service. The CDMA phone accesses the Internet via EVDO high-speed mobile broadband. Hailed as LG's first touch-screen phone in Canada, dialing numbers is accomplished via a traditional keypad revealed once the slider is opened.
Nikon D3x coming?
Nikon recently released a firmware update for its flagship D3 DSLR, version 1.10, that will enhance its usability as well as resolve some bugs with the old programming. What Nikon didn't account for was someone to go snooping through the code and finding mention of a 6048x4032-pixel, 24.4-megapixel resolution, something the current D3 is not capable of, topping out at 12.1 megapixels. This could only mean a D3x variant, which would effectively feature the second highest megapixel count of the current crop of popular pro-consumer DSLR cameras, falling just short of the rumored 24.8-megapixel Sony Alpha A900 and outdoing Canon's 21.1-megapixel 1Ds-MkIII.
Virgin Mobile in Trouble
Virgin's cellphone service in the US may face a dramatic setback after continued plunges in the company's stock, according to sources in touch with VentureBeat. Having seen its share value drop 85 percent from October to April, the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) is now understood to be cutting as much as 300 of the 400 staffers that run the US branch, significantly scaling back its ability to run in the country amid doubts for its future. Executives have received pay raises but only to compensate for poor stock options; the Chief Information Officer role has remained empty for months after two quick departures, the investigation notes.
Nintendo denies DS rumors
Nintendo on Tuesday denied the possibility of a new DS portable gaming system making a debut at E3 in July, as suggested by Famitsu magazine publisher Hirokazu Hamamura. Last Friday at a seminar, Hamamura mentioned that historically, a new Nintendo handheld gaming system is launched every two years, with the DS Lite launching in 2006. At the time, Nintendo's PR department responded by saying they cannot say anything at the time, but Japan's head of PR had a more definitive answer yesterday.
BenQ Joybook R45
BenQ announced its newest laptop, the Joybook R45, on Tuesday. The R45 sits near the top of the R-series and is aimed at style-conscious users with its soft-touch, leather-like surfaces, complemented by high-spec multimedia and connectivity hardware. The 14.1-inch LCD features a 1280x800-pixel resolution and displays videos thanks to NVIDIA's GeForce 8400M G graphics card with HDMI output. Bluetooth connectivity is integrated, and the R45 was designed with VoIP communication in mind thanks to noise-cancelling software.
IDC on PCs Q1 2008
PC shipments in the first quarter of 2008 reveal a changing landscape both in the US and in the world at large, according to preliminary results released today by IDC. While positions remain largely the same, shifts in growth percentages reveal that some companies are gaining at the expense of others. Dell in particular has recovered from its long slump in 2007 and has had a second consecutive quarter of strong shipments, leading US charts with 30.9 percent of the country's computer market (4.9 million units) and a 15.6 percent boost to shipments over the same period a year before.
PluggedIn music video site
A new website has been launched by the music industry, dubbed PluggedIn. The site focuses on hosting over 10,000 high-resolution music videos, by the likes of The Roots, Nine Inch Nails and Rufus Wainwright; in addition to watching in a window, the quality is said to be high enough that people can comfortably watch in a fullscreen mode. Other features of the site include news, blogs and photos, the ability to create and share playlists, and the option of giving or receiving recommendations.
Hitachi 450GB business HDD
Hitachi Global Storage Technologies announced on Wednesday the release of what it says is the world's highest-capacity 15,000RPM enterprise-class hard drive. The drive can hold 450GB of information, and Hitachi says its tests show it is 30 percent faster in sequential throughput than the drive it replaces. The drive is made for use in server or storage applications where high-volumes and multiple users access information, such as online transaction processing and intensive database queries.
Psystar Mac clone phantom
Just over 10 years ago, Motorola, Umax, and Power Computing were active members of the official Apple clone community, and the recently popular Psystar is looking to offer the same sort of service, but it could be too good to be true. The Psystar Corporation seems to have materialized out of thin air, and that investigation reveals that the company could be little more than a potential fly-by-night operation.
UK MP3 player tax?
The British government should tax the sale of media players, a body of the UK music industry is advocating. The Music Business Group is said to have rejected a recent government proposal, which would see people legally able to transfer music from CDs to media players for free; while the practice is widespread and taken for granted by the public and companies like Apple, in the UK it is technically a violation of copyright. The MBG is said to have taken the same position as America's RIAA however, and called for a levy on sale of devices such as iPods.
MS Zune Video Store Rumor
Microsoft is developing a unified media store for the Zune that would draw on lessons from the Xbox 360, according to information relayed to long-time Microsoft observer Mary-Jo Foley. A service so far codenamed Zune Video X (Experience) is said by a source to address a gap in the Zune's online purchasing options by offering movies, TV shows, and "more" content in addition to the music already available through the Zune Marketplace. The service would be more than just an expansion of the existing store, says the report.
Quark has announced Quark Publishing System 7.4, the second maintenance release of its industry leading collaborative workflow system. Based on Java, this release of QPS adds as support for Mac OS 10.5 Leopard, full text search and LDAP support. In addition, the new QPS Web Hub now runs with Apple's Safari browser as well as Firefox. QPS user names and passwords can now be managed through a company's active directory to consolidate user management. Full Text Search allows users to search document content within any assets that are stored in QPS. There is also the added ability for users to check in multiple assets at the same, and Russian and Polish interfaces are now available in QPS.
PS3 video, XMB changes
Updating through an official mouthpiece blog, a Sony executive has confirmed several upcoming features for the PlayStation 3 game console. Peter Dille, the senior VP for marketing with the PlayStation Network, says that while he cannot comment on rumors of a download store for movies and TV shows, some form of new video service is definitely in the works, different from "others you've seen or used." PSN currently only lets users download videos such as game trailers; by contrast, Microsoft's Xbox Live service has let users rent movies and buy TV shows for some time.
Panasonic LUMIX TZ50
Panasonic topped off its LUMIX cameras today via the new TZ50. The 9.1-megapixel camera is Panasonic's first Wi-Fi model in the country and draws on its wireless linkup to share photos without the memory card leaving the camera: Internet access allows the camera to send individual or batch photos to a Picasa Web Gallery and provide a link to the gallery through e-mail. Every TZ50 will also have a year of free T-Mobile hotspot access to let photographers upload photos from normally pay-only connections.
IBM Mac Switch
In an apparent attempt to lessen its reliance on Microsoft Windows, IBM has launched an internal pilot program designed to support employees who decide to switch to the Mac platform, according to Roughly Drafted. The pilot program ran from October 2007 through January 2008 and distributed 24 MacBook Pros to researchers at different sites within IBM Research. Of the sample group, 18 users said that the Mac offered a "better or best experience" compared to their existing Windows computer. 19 of the 22 users asked to keep their Macs after the pilot program had expired.
Russian Wi-Fi register?
Russians may soon be forced to register each and every device they own that has Wi-Fi capabilities, a local news publication reports. Fontanka writes that the policy has been adopted by the government agency responsible for regulating communications and cultural protection, and may only allow people to use a Wi-Fi device so long as they have special permission. The registration of items like smartphones and notebooks could take up to 10 days, while routers may require extra documentation, as well as a proper license. In locations such as Moscow and St. Petersburg, people may need the approval of the FSB, the successors to the KGB.
Verizon XV6900 Available
Verizon today began fulfilling promises made at the CTIA phone expo by launching the XV6900 at its online store. A rebadged version of the HTC Touch, the touchscreen-dominated phone appears modified from the reference design not just by its white color but by an uprated camera: the 2-megapixel unit now reportedly adds autofocusing to properly frame shots around the right subject. The US carrier also supports tethering the phone to a computer for use as an impromptu 3G modem.
Piper on Europe and iPhone
Changes in the European iPhone market may have a dual significance, argue analysts with Piper Jaffray. Following a 75 percent price cut in Germany earlier this month, the UK has also slashed the price of the 8GB iPhone by 37 percent, to reach £169 ($335). Piper argues once again that this is a sign European carriers are attempting to clear out stock in advance of a 3G iPhone, anticipated for June; it may also however be emblematic of sales below expectations, a factor typically attributed to the iPhone's unusually high price in Europe, and a widespread acceptance of 3G that Apple cannot currently deliver on.
ViewSonic PJ513DB DLP
ViewSonic addressed a price-conscious audience on Wednesday and shipped the PJ513DB, its latest DLP front projector. The all-black unit is a rare nod to improving the base quality for budget projectors and uses more recent Texas Instruments hardware to generate 2,200 lumens of brightness and a 2,000:1 contrast ratio. Both are vivid enough to be used clearly in ambient light, the company argues. Although capped at an 800x600 native resolution, the new projector can recognize larger resolutions through VGA and accepts 720p or 1080i widescreen video through relevant adapters, such as a bundled component adapter or third-party DVI attachments.
Archos Gen 6 to Have GPS
An addition to Archos' media players will include a form of GPS navigation, the company has revealed today in an announcement sent to the press. While short on details, the announcement refers to driving directions and suggests worldwide mapping support, with China, Europe, and the US all receiving the option. There will also be "new uses and services at home and on the road" that follow the introduction, the company hints in its update.
TranslateIt! 9.2 update
The developers of TranslateIt! have released a new update, v9.2. The software is a multilingual dictionary that operates by hovering over any word in a Cocoa application; more complex translations can be handled by copying from the clipboard, dragging-and-dropping, or running them manually. English, German and Russian morphology support is present, and audible pronunciations are available for over 23,000 English words and 5,000 German ones.
Sony ultra-thin OLED TVs
Sony on Wednesday showed off its newest thin organic LED TVs at the Display 2008 expo trade show in Japan. The company demonstrated even thinner displays than its already industry-leading OLEDs, showing a new version of its 11-inch XEL-1, the world's first mass-produced OLED TV. The new display panel itself, not the 'packaged' TV, measures just 0.3mm thick (0.01in), a huge improvement over the current model's 1.4mm (0.06in) thickness. Despite being near paper-thin, the display is good for the same resolution of 960x540 pixels, as the thicker panel.
Creative ZEN Xi-Fi Rumor
Creative's answer to the iPod touch and Zune has had details firmed up in its development, says a new, purported leak to epiZENter. The player once known as the ZEN Share is now said to have been changed to ZEN X-Fi to turn attention to the player's sound quality. While Wi-Fi is still a defining feature, the future jukebox now appears likely to include the Crystalizer used in other Creative devices to auto-enhance sound quality by filling in audio detail lost to compression.
Apple wins red dot awards
Apple is one of the winners of this year's red dot awards, given to the designers of a number of products from around the world. Some 50 awards were given out this year, from a pool of 3,203 submissions submitted by 1,253 companies; Apple secured two awards, for the iMac in the computer category, and the iPhone as best mobile device. Apple has also received red dot quality markings for several other products, namely the iPod touch and nano, the iPhone's Bluetooth headset, and both the cabled and wireless aluminum keyboards.
ASUS Eee PC 900 Official
ASUS has officially released the Eee PC 900, the larger, 8.9-inch version of its popular micro notebook. The larger-screened system not only ups the screen resolution from 800x480 to 1024x600 but represents ASUS' fastest and most feature-laden version. Onboard memory is doubled to 1GB of RAM, while storage is also significantly increased: while all editions ship with 4GB of flash storage soldered inside the system, a Windows XP model adds 8GB more (for a total of 12GB) while a Linux version uses its less expensive OS to allow for 16GB more, or 20GB. A sharper 1.3-megapixel webcam is also part of the 900 series.
WWDC award plans
Apple has laid out some of the Design Awards that will be given out at this June's WWDC conference. For the first time, two iPhone categories have been created: the "iPhone Developer Showcase" will highlight programs in ongoing development with the beta SDK, while "Best iPhone Web Application" will focus on the only commercially-sanctioned iPhone applications at the moment, those built for Safari. Winners in these categories will receive two 15-inch MacBook Pros, two 30-inch Cinema Displays, an 8GB iPhone and a 16GB iPod touch, plus developer bonuses such as an ADC Premier Membership.
UMC Making 3G iPhone Chip
The Taiwan-area Economic Daily News paper today appeared to confirm claims of a specific 3G chipset being used for the iPhone by naming the company assigned to manufacture it. Factories for United Microelectronics Corporation have reportedly been contracted to produce the PMB8878 Infineon chipset (incorrectly labeled as PMB878 in the article) at one of the former's more advanced, 65 nanometer process facilities. The move is described as a switch from Taiwan Semiconductor, which is known to manufacture an Infineon chip for the current model, according to the report.
Yahoo and AOL finalizing
Yahoo and AOL are reportedly examining the potential combination of their respective internet operations, which would involve a 20-percent stake of the former company. According to Forbes Techland, the deal would fold AOL into Yahoo, who would then repurchase several billions of its shares at a mid $30 figure. Time Warner will make a large cash investment into Yahoo for this deal to occur.
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