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News Archive for 08/04/30

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BlackBerry clamshell "Kickstart" due by end of year

04/30, 11:50pm

BlackBerry clamshell

Plans for a new BlackBerry clamshell phone were confirmed today with photos surfacing of the device. The BlackBerry flip phone is codenamed the Kickstart, according to the BGR report and uses the SureType keyboard. It features an external LCD as well as an internal LCD and also uses the TrackBall for navigation. RIM, which also included a new camera in the device, is expected to release it before the end of the year.

No decision yet on Microsoft-Yahoo deal

04/30, 11:50pm

No decision on Microhoo

Microsoft head Steve Ballmer has yet to come to a decision regarding the impending Yahoo takeover, as even his closest lieutenants are left wondering what he plans to do regarding Yahoo's silence. According to The Wall Street Journal, Ballmer's threats remain stagnant due to his unpredictable nature, leaving many in the industry questioning whether he plans to follow through with replacing Yahoo's board through its investors.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince coming to Mac

04/30, 11:25pm

More Harry Potter for Macs

Electronic Arts has announced that the famous boy wizard Harry Potter will again see the Macintosh, as the company rolls out Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in the Fall. Players resume the role of Harry in the sixth part of the series, where he must work with Professor Dumbledore to discover hidden dangers in the castle that will lead to Lord Voldemort's undoing. The game is set to coincide with the theatrical release of the movie, but pricing has not yet been announced.

Apple exclusive on PowerVR SGX chipset?

04/30, 8:30pm

PowerVR SGX-based iPhone

Apple could have exclusive rights to a new 3D chip for its next incarnation from Imagination Technologies - the company behind the current device's Samsung-constructed graphics platform. AppleInsider reveals that the processor manufacturer entered into a secret licensing deal with Apple last July to supply the latter with its new graphics chipset, the PowerVR SGX. Samsung is currently licensing the SGX design for manufacture.

Leaked iPhone template hints at new design?

04/30, 7:20pm

Leaked iPhone template

As the impending 3G iPhone release approaches, rumors of its potential design, specifications, and features are abound, but some theorize that people are confusing multiple devices which could indicate an "iPhone nano". iLounge writes that select launch partners have supposedly received design templates that point to a 3.5-inch screen on the new version, countering observations that put the screen size at 2.8-inches.

Zune to reach Canada in May, drop some models?

04/30, 5:05pm

Zune for Canada in May

Microsoft may be timing its first non-US Zune launch for as little as a few weeks away, if a Vancouver, Canada job posting proves legitimate. The company is using local press firm Consumer Impact Marketing to represent itself for the launch of the Zune in Canada and has issued a specific work window for any candidate, who must have time to commit to a full-time schedule between May 12th and June 20th. Details of what will be performed during the five-week period are unknown, though short contracts for such projects are often to supplement official staff during the hectic period of an actual launch.

eMusic digital service coming to Canada

04/30, 4:50pm

eMusic now in Canada

The subscription-based digital music retailer, eMusic, launches today in Canada online and in over 80 Best Buy stores and Avis car rental locations. This marks eMusic's first expansion into other markets, as the service has been in operation in the US since 2003 and recently surpassed 200 million downloads, making it the second biggest online music retailer next to iTunes. eMusic offers 3.5 million DRM-free MP3-format songs and audio books, allowing users to burn them to CDs, transfer them to personal MP3 players and make multiple copies for personal use.

Rogers to offer 200MB iPhone data limit?

04/30, 4:45pm

Rogers data plan limits

Rogers Communications recently unveiled plans for a Canadian iPhone release, and while official details are scarce, RBC analyst Jonathan Allan predicts the plan will include a "virtually unlimited" data portion of 100 to 200MB per month. According to the National Post, Rogers would offer consumers 250 to 500 anytime minutes, as well as unlimited evenings and weekends after 9PM. Allen suggested the data plan could run for $35 per month, while the phone plan itself would range between $80 and $100.

T-Mobile launches $1-per-day prepaid plan

04/30, 4:40pm

T-Mobile $1-per-day plan

T-Mobile on Wednesday revealed a new Pay By The Day prepaid plan to bring more pre-paid customers to the provider. The plan will cost users $1 per day that they use their phone and 10 cents per minute on calls outside the network and made during the day. The plan includes unlimited free nationwide calling to any T-Mobile number or other networks only between 7:00PM and 7:00AM.

Sirius and XM delay meetings, awaiting FCC approval

04/30, 4:30pm

Sirius, XM await FCC OK

Both Sirius and XM satellite radio providers decided to postpone their respective shareholder meetings as they await the FCC's approval of their merger. XM had a shareholder meeting scheduled for May 23, with Sirius execs assembling on May 20, suggesting the two don't expect the matter to be resolved at least until the end of next month. The FCC is reviewing concerns that analysts believe include "public interest" issues such as pricing of the service, which would effectively have no competition on the satellite radio market.

Hercules intros wireless mixing mini-controller

04/30, 4:30pm

Hercules Mobile DJ MP3

Hercules has released the Mobile DJ MP3, a device it calls the world's "first wireless digital mixing mini-controller." Intended for novice DJs, the Mobile lets people pick tracks while away from their computer, and has controls for pitch, crossfading, effects, loops and over 25 other options. There are two jogwheels for scrolling and scratching, which are matched by two independent volume sliders. Should a DJ fail to pick tracks in time, the Mobile can be set to automatically pick a follow-up of its own.

Adobe Lightroom worker to mend Windows UI

04/30, 4:25pm

Adobe Staff on Windows

An influential Adobe programmer has been tapped to help develop the interface for the next version of Windows, according to an observer at Photoshop News. Lightroom and former Photoshop programmer Mark Hamburg has been recruited by Microsoft to work on the "user experience" of the operating system and has reportedly been given an exceptional offer that persuaded him to switch to the Redmond-based company. The move is also said to have been spurred on by a desire to change fields and comes out of a desire to potentially resolve Windows design decisions.

Sirius, XM continue merger agreement indefinitely

04/30, 3:55pm

Sirius XM Merger Agree

Sirius and XM today said they would continue their merger agreement indefinitely. The two satellite radio operators say they will continue to extend their agreement on a recurring two-week basis until the US government completes its decision on the proposed merger or else one of the companies decides to back out of the deal. Neither company can back out until the May 15th date set with an earlier agreement struck in February.

Macminicolo moves Time Capsule backup offsite

04/30, 3:55pm

Offsite T. Capsule hosting

Las Vegas-based hosting company Macminicolo is offering an unusual new service, intended to provide extra redundancy for Mac users. Called Transport, it involves hosting a user's Time Capsule drive in the company's data center, where it is protected from disasters that might otherwise affect a customer's home or office. While a Capsule can be used for remote Time Machine backup, it can also be used for more traditional backup, or alternately as a file server.

HyperEdit 1.6 adds Safari 3.1 Web Inspector

04/30, 3:15pm

HyperEdit 1.6 update

Tumult has posted an update to HyperEdit, its central piece of software. The program is described as a "lightweight" editor of HTML and PHP code, with a particular emphasis on live preview; instead of having to manually refresh a browser, users can watch code change in a side panel as they continue to type. The app uses the same rendering engine as Safari, and any lines violating W3C standards are underlined in red.

iLuv dips into HD Radio with iPod dock, more

04/30, 3:10pm

iLuv HD Radios

iLuv today branched out of its comfortable field of iPod-focused stereos with its first HD Radio-capable systems. The i169 represents the flagship and includes both a top-mounted iPod dock as well as the newer digital radio feature, which improves on the quality of AM and FM stations, adds multiple stations to the same frequency, and allows for basic data such as weather. The i169 also serves as a dual alarm clock and will wake up either to an attached iPod, a radio station, or a simple buzzer. An aux-in jack for non-iPod devices will also be standard when iLuv ships the radio at the start of May for $170.

Samsung prepping high-capacity notebook batteries?

04/30, 2:45pm

Samsung Battery Tech

Samsung SDI on Thursday revealed that it has developed a new lithium-ion battery that should result in significantly longer use times without compromising on size. Generating 2,800 milliamps per hour (mAh) of energy, the new technology provides as much as 10 percent more actual runtime than a typical 2,600 mAH unit. The refinements made to the battery cell also let it charge faster than earlier cells.

BenQ introduces C36 music phone

04/30, 2:15pm

BenQ's new C36 music phone

BenQ on Wednesday announced its newest handset, the C36 music phone, which replaces the company's C30. Like its predecessor, the C36 uses top-mount controls for its integrated FM tuner, MP3 library and 1.3-megapixel camera shortcut. The camera is capable of recording AVI format movies and can be utilized as a webcam when connected to a PC via the C36's miniUSB port. The dual-band GSM phone features a 2-inch screen with a 176x220-pixel resolution.

Briefly: PowerPhones Pro review

04/30, 2:10pm

New iMac RAM upgrades

In brief: We have a review of PowerPhones Pro headphones, RAM upgrades for the new iMacs are available, a guide to FileMaker-driven Web sits debuts, and an iPod cord wrap for tangle-less headphones has been released... We have posted a review of the PowerPhones Pro headphones, which ship in a simple easily recyclable cardboard box, but inside the earphones are tucked in a stylish silver case. A velvet storage bag and an extra set of flanged silicone ear buds for smaller ears are carefully packed under foam in the case. For the price, I expected a second set of each size in a zip-lock bag, as are found in many other comparably priced earphones. The unique PowerPhones Pro design makes them easier to use when moving. An around-the-neck lanyard doubles as a headphone wire and the weight of the headphone wires reduced the possibility of the ear buds accidentally popping out of the ears.

HP "memristors" promise memory revolution

04/30, 2:00pm

HP Memristors

HP's Quantum Systems Labs today said it has proved the existence of a technology that could permanently alter the design approach of computers. Called a memory resistor, or a "memristor," the technology discovered by R. Stanley Williams differs from traditional resistors and other circuits by inherently storing the history of the information it receives. The unique property would let a computer effectively avoid a start-up process: as memory would always store its most recent state, computers could be instantly ready for use.

GSmart debuts new touch interface

04/30, 1:35pm

GSmart touch interface

Smartphone maker GSmart has revealed the creation of a new touchscreen interface, designed to compete with that of the Apple iPhone. GSmart's Smart Touch technology likewise relies on figure gestures, and similar tropes, such as placing shortcuts for up to 16 applications on the Standby screen; to add, delete or reposition shortcuts, users can simply drag icons around. Launching requires only a quick tap. Widgets are meanwhile present in the form of analog and digital clocks, which can toggled on or off with a flick.

Sony Ericsson aims to merge Java, Flash

04/30, 12:45pm

Sony Ericsson Java/Flash

Swedish cellphone maker Sony Ericsson is hoping to encourage new kinds of applications through a new set of APIs, writes IDG News. The company has announced that it intends to allow developers to merge Flash Lite and Java ME into a single Java application, bypassing technical shortcomings. Specifically this refers to an absence of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and secure payment hooks in Flash, and conversely, a lack of interface capabilities in Java. A game, for example, could be written mostly in Java, but use a Flash-based menu.

ComputerWorld: Value of SSD drives overrated

04/30, 12:10pm

CW: SSD drives overrated

People contemplating SSD versions of computers like the MacBook Air -- which costs approximately $1,300 more than the HDD edition -- may not find the performance difference worthwhile, writes Computerworld. The magazine has conducted a test of 32GB SSDs by Crucial and Ridata, in comparison to two 7200rpm hard drives by Seagate. All four drives used cloned copies of Vista Home Premium, and were benchmarked by software called HD Tach.

BlackBerry 9000 carriers, specs firmed up

04/30, 12:10pm

BBerry 9000 Final Specs

Final information about the BlackBerry 9000's features and its initial launch partners has been confirmed, BGR says. The full QWERTY phone will boast its expected 3G access with tri-band HSDPA for both the Americas and elsewhere; it will also be the first BlackBerry to go beyond a basic QVGA (320x240) screen and move up to 480x320. Wi-Fi is onboard; GPS mapping is assisted, however, rather than completely independent. A 2-megapixel camera and a microSD slot will also be part of the design.

Verizon LG Prada sequel to launch near iPhone

04/30, 11:40am

Verizon LG Phone Info

Three LG-made media phones will launch on Verizon soon, with a new touchscreen model set to appear near the anticipated launch of a next-generation iPhone, according to leaks and accompanying shots from Phone Arena. The LG Dare (also known as the VX9700) is now believed to take its cue from the normally Europe-only Prada and should represent an upgrade to the earlier device as well as a switch to Verizon's CDMA network: an enhanced 3.2-megapixel camera with a Schneider-Kreuznach lens should improve on the earlier model's photography.

Marketcircle posts Daylite 3.7.3, Delivery 1.1

04/30, 11:05am

Daylite 3.7.3/Delivery 1.1

Marketcircle has updated two of its key business applications, including the Daylite suite, and one of its add-on components, Delivery. Daylite 3.7.3 is said to improve the speed of online and offline database syncs by as much as five to 10 times, particularly in the case of some offline syncs. The software can additionally archive or strip attachments for e-mail, letters and notes, and schedule multi-day appointments in its calendar, as opposed to just multi-day events. Licenses for Daylite start at approximately $187 per user, with discounts in bulk.

Nokia refutes claims of one-sided music deal

04/30, 10:40am

Nokia Refutes CWM Bias

Nokia today rebuffed claims that its Comes With Music service will damage the company financially. The Finnish cellphone maker denies that the deal will force it to accept losses on music downloads and says instead that the service was created from the outset for profit rather than the unfair deal biased in favor of music labels, as suggested by earlier reports.

Sans Digital ships five-drive HDDRACK5

04/30, 10:25am

Sans Digital HDDRACK5

Sans Digital has released a new storage rack for hard drives, the HDDRACK5. The tower holds up to five 3.5-inch SATA hard drives, locked into place with turnbuckle screws; when attached to a 20- or 24-pin ATX supply, an on/off switch controls the power of all drives simultaneously. For dissipating heat the tower uses a 4.7-inch fan, and a hollow aluminum frame.

Sharp prepping wireless HDMI add-on for TVs

04/30, 10:00am

Sharp Wireless HDMI

Sharp has revealed itself as one of the first TV makers to officially embrace wireless video linkups for its TVs, according to news from DVICE. Upcoming versions of the company's AQUOS X-series HDTVs will include a slot for an Amimon-made WHDI (Wireless High Definition Interface) adapter that accepts both audio and video wirelessly from a matching transmitter; any HDMI devices plugged into the transmitter can broadcast at up to 100 feet away without a sacrifice in quality, including the native 1080p resolution and surround sound.

Sony launches Bravia DAV-F200 home theater system

04/30, 10:00am

Sony Bravia DAV-F200

Sony on Tuesday launched the Bravia DAV-F200 home theater system as an alternative to multi-speaker set-ups. The cleanly styled receiver features 2.1-channel virtual surround sound programming and comes with an HDMI output for 1080p video up-converting. The Bravia Sync system allows for integration with Sony's Bravia line of TVs, and controlling both components with just one remote. The DAV-F200 is powered by Sony's 405W and 32-bit S-Master digital amplifier.

AKVIS Sketch 7.0 adds post-effects

04/30, 9:45am

AKVIS Sketch 7.0 released

AKVIS has released the seventh version of Sketch, one of its foremost rendering tools. Operating either as a stand-alone or a plug-in, the software converts photos into either sketches or watercolors, in color or black-and-white; results can be tweaked for more precise effects. Version 7.0 adds a variety of new post-effects, such as rotational blur, or blending of the final illustration with the original photo.

Samsung launches charging hubs at two US airports

04/30, 9:20am

New Samsung airport hubs

Samsung on Wednesday announced the launch of charging stations for mobile devices in terminals at LaGuardia and Orlando International Airports. The Samsung Mobile Charging Stations allow travelers to plug in their phones, laptops and other electronic gadgets without any associated fees. The company's latest move expands on similar charging stations already in use at the Los Angeles, JFK and Dallas / Forth Worth International airports.

Microsoft to move on Yahoo today, use proxy?

04/30, 9:05am

MS to Move on Yahoo Today

Microsoft could be ready to take action on its ultimatum to Yahoo as early as today, say alleged sources in touch with the Wall Street Journal. With Microsoft having remained silent since the passing of its deadline for Yahoo to accept a takeover offer, the Windows developer is now reportedly set to announce its next plan of action and has been considering multiple strategies.

Apple extends early WWDC registration

04/30, 8:50am

Apple extends WWDC reg.

Apple has announced that it is extending its early registration program for people attending this year's WWDC conference. The offer is now valid until May 9th, and may be extremely important to developers from smaller houses, as Apple notes that registering in time may cut $300 off the price of a ticket. WWDC is scheduled from June 9th to the 13th in the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and includes a heavy focus on iPhone development alongside traditional Mac concerns; it is widely anticipated that Apple will officially announce a 3G iPhone at the event.

Samsung P960 first mobile TV slider for Europe

04/30, 8:15am

Samsung P960 TV Phone

Samsung has unveiled what it says is the first slider phone to offer real digital broadcast TV in Europe. The P960 shares some of its roots with the G800 but is the first in the category to include a DVB-H tuner that picks up over-the-air TV shows for the newly established standard. Alongside the ability to watch live shows, the P960 brings a pseudo-DVR memory buffer that pauses a live show for an incoming call, giving the user an uninterrupted show. An electronic guide also helps pick out a channel in advance.

AMD touts 100 Puma laptops, new CPU architecture

04/30, 2:00am

AMD's 100 Puma laptops

Hoping to garner a greater mobile marketshare, AMD says that around 100 laptop designs will be based around the Puma laptop chip platform, which is scheduled to launch in June. A company spokesman told PC World that the launch will feature twice as many designs as the launch of its last mobile platform. With plans to launch Puma during the Computex trade show, the platform will offer greater power efficiency, improved graphics, and AMD's upcoming Turion X2 Ultra "Griffin" processor. The report notes that Puma also includes a chipset with integrated graphics (an ATI Radeon HD3400) and integrated wireless connectivity (via a third-party chipset) supporting 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n Wi-Fi networking.

Last minute bug delays Windows XP SP3, Vista SP1

04/30, 1:05am

WinXP SP3 delayed

Microsoft on Tuesday announced a delay in the expected general release of Windows XP SP3 and Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1), due to a newly found discovered incompatibility. The company said that it had uncovered a compatibility issue between its retail chain management solution for small and midsize customers, Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System (RMS), and the updates (both Windows XP SP3 and Windows Vista SP1). The update was released to manufacturing last week and was expected to be generally available on April 29th and later in early Summer as an automatic update; however, Microsoft did not provide any details on revised public release date (which had been released to volume customers last week), but said that update would be available after appropriate filter to prevent update from being applied to some systems).

Alienware m17x laptop boasts SLI graphics, more

04/30, 12:50am

Alienware m17x laptop

Alienware today unveiled the m17x, a gaming behemoth stuffed into the confines of a 17-inch wide screen laptop, featuring an option of Intel Core 2 Duo Extreme processors and dual Nvidia graphics cards. The hefty, sleek laptop uses a high-definition screen, featuring a resolution of 1920 by 1200 pixels, with up to 4GB of dual channel DDR2 memory, and up to two hard drives in a RAID 0 configuration for up to 1TB of storage. The m17x also has space for a third modular hard drive or DVD burner.

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