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Resellers in the US today began stocking the PSP Headset Kit for Skype, the earpiece and remote combo designed to take advantage of the VoIP service on the handheld console. Sony's American release follows just days after the Japanese launch and mirrors its functionality, with both street-style earphones, an adjustable boom mic, and a remote control for managing volume without reaching for the PSP itself.
Microsoft has put the final nail in the coffin in terms of the Yahoo merger, as the proposed proxy board received notice from the software giant Thursday morning, dismissing any responsibilities the board would have had in the event of a hostile takeover. The Wall Street Journal writes that Microsoft's law firm Sullivan & Cromwell sent out the notice, indicating that company is firmly rooted in its decision to not make a hostile bid for Yahoo.
Sonnet Technologies on Thursday debuted the Fusion RAID Expander, which provides a simple solution for connecting up to seven Sonnet Fusion SATA RAID desktop or rackmount storage systems to a single computer for faster performance as well as access to up to 56 terabytes (TB) of protected storage. The Fusion RAID Expander extends a computer's PCI Express (PCIe) bus outside of the box and provides seven slots for installing PCIe cards. The Sonnet expansion system delivers plug-and-play installation and is transparent to the computer's operating system for zero-configuration use.
Sonnet has released three new Gigabit networking products for both older and new Macs: Presto Gigabit Pro PCI network adapter card, the Presto Gigabit PCIe Pro PCI Express network adapter card, and the Presto Gigabit Ethernet Pro ExpressCard/34 network adapter card. These Sonnet Gigabit Ethernet cards expand or add Gigabit Ethernet connectivity in any compatible computer, and offer enhanced performance through support for link aggregation with onboard Ethernet ports, and jumbo packet data transfers. Sonnet says the Presto Gigabit Pro network adapter cards deliver enhanced networking support as well as offer gigabit speeds over common CAT-5 cabling; they also support 1000/100/10BaseT auto-negotiation and full/half duplex communication.
plasq has released Comic Life Magiq 1.0 for Mac OS X, its photo-comic desktop publishing software designed for all ages and skill levels. Built from the ground up to leverage the power of Mac OS X 10.5 core technologies, the software utilizes Image and Core Animation for unique visual effects and elegant layouts. The included Image Editor offers tools for smart cut-out, warping and smudging, painting, skinning, green-screening and more, while the comic page layout engine can handle complex and creatively-curved comic panels, speech balloons and captions. Users can also easily drag pictures, captions, lettering text ('ka-blam!') and speech balloons to quickly develop stories.
Regardless of the movement towards permanent unprotected downloads in online music, digital rights management (DRM) is likely to persist and may also thrive in the near future, the Recording Industry Association of America said today at a Los Angeles media conference. The music organization's technology head David Hughes observes that nearly all strategies for offering paid music still require some form of copy protection to enforce the license agreements, which are often dependent on set times or play counts.
Users of Apple's .Mac service will be able to get their e-mail pushed to their iPhone or iPod touch, an anonymous source claims. The person writes that in the latest version of the iPhone 2.0 firmware, the Settings page now has a "Fetch New Data" submenu, which lets users toggle the "fetch" or "push" status of various e-mail clients, including standard ones such as Gmail. Within this list is .Mac, giving subscribers the option of having their mail sent as soon as possible, or kept back so it appears as new when on a desktop or notebook Mac.
MySpace today introduced a new initiative that will see its users' data shared outside of the social network. The Data Availability framework will let any member of the MySpace service opt in to share profile info, friend networks, photos and videos to sites that will support the approach on their networks: MySpace users will have the option of posting their biography and latest blog updates to their Twitter profiles, for example, or bring images to Photobucket. eBay and Yahoo will also allow portability, with Yahoo's new Open Strategy allowing users to automatically fill in a profile that is viewable across much of the site's network.
Reports are circulating that Apple would launch the iPhone in Switzerland this summer under the mobile provider Swisscom, presumably with the heavily-rumored 3G iPhone. French-language news site Le Matin Online reports that Swisscom nor Apple have confirmed any details, but the recent alliance with Vodafone – which is affiliated with Swisscom – could potentially indicate that it's just a matter of time until the device is officially unveiled.
German audio maker Sonoro says that it has begun exporting its Cubo line of luxury clock radios to the US. Aside from receiving AM/FM radio, the Cubos have a built-in CD player, and an auxiliary input for sources such as iPods and notebooks; output can in turn be redirected through a stereo output. Special features include wooden casing, 20 programming presets, and a 10-seconds-per-track intro option.
SK Telecom may create a new, large carrier in the US by folding Virgin Mobile and Helio together, according to an alleged source for mocoNews. Earthlink's withdrawal from Helio is said to have pushed Helio's Korean parent, SK Telecom, towards a buyout of Helio's larger competitor Virgin Mobile to ensure it has a larger presence in the US. Such a takeover would give SK Telecom enough clout to merge both Helio and Virgin together.
Elgato has released the v3.0.2 update to EyeTV, its TV streaming and recording software. The patch makes significant changes, most crucially support for broadcasts with H.264 compression, which are said to be increasingly popular; in Europe, for example, a number of DVB-T channels offer only H.264 streaming. Elgato has also introduced the export of closed captions to QuickTime videos, in particular text broadcast over ATSC and NTSC. As a result, users can now toggle captions on and off in software ranging from iTunes to the iPhone OS.
British gear maker Gear4 today unveiled the DUO iPod speaker dock. Its design is built uniquely to double both as a portable system and as a higher-quality bookshelf stereo. While normally a full 2.1-channel system with a 20-watt subwoofer, the front satellite panel (18 watts) detaches completely from the bass unit to operate independently as a thinner, portable speaker unit with swivel-out stand. Gear4 also does away with the typical reliance on disposable batteries in favor of a lithium-ion pack that recharges whenever the front is reattached. The iPod cradle itself also folds into the center for carrying in a bag.
Panasonic on Thursday unveiled its latest home-theatre-in-a-box, which features a built-in Blu-ray player. Gearlog writes that the SC-BT100 also features an iPod dock that allows users to play both video and audio content through to the system, while displaying menus on the TV screen, and the included remote can be used to control the iPod. Panasonic will ship the SC-BT100 in the spring for $1000.
Verizon has released a second phone today with the final launch of the Moto Q 9c. Like the version already making its way to Sprint and Telus, the 9c is more business-oriented than the Q 9m already in service at Verizon and uses the standard Windows Mobile 6 front end rather than a custom media layer. The switch gives the device DocumentsToGo for editing most Office documents on the road.
Microsoft today discussed some of the details of a project it estimates could help address a lack of computing in developing countries. A plan so far known as Fone+ would give users a basic or mid-range smartphone with a dock or similar connection to a TV, giving them a potentially higher-resolution screen and a more comfortable distance to use the device as a budget computer. Doing so not only provides a relatively low cost PC but also a cellphone at the same time; this gives even farmers a way to compute without taking away phones they often use, Microsoft says.
Movie studios are the latest group to launch a legal assault on Swedish BitTorrent site The Pirate Bay, filings indicate. The Motion Picture Association, an international extension of the MPAA, has filed a 93kr million ($15.4 million) lawsuit against Pirate Bay, which it accuses of hosting illegal torrent trackers for movies such as The Pink Panther and Syriana, as well as 13 episodes of the TV show Prison Break. Damages are said to amount to between 222 and 261kr ($37 and $43) per movie, and 415kr ($68) for each Prison Break episode.
An improved Xbox 360 platform should arrive late this year, according to a Taiwanese publication. Industry news source CENS says that Microsoft has already begun contracting out the production of 65nm chips, which should form a part of the console's Jasper revision, said to be due in August. The timing is also said to be related to the depletion of chips for the current 360 design, dubbed Falcon. The Falcon's main processor uses 65nm technology, but most other components -- notably the graphics processor -- are built using 90nm manufacturing. A still superior design called the Valhalla is expected in fall of 2009.
Dell's next design change for its Inspiron lineup will involve a radical overhaul meant to lure customers from fashion-conscious brands, according to a leak published today by Engadget. The 14-inch Inspiron 1435, 15.4-inch 1535, and 17-inch 1735 will all take their visual cues from the tapered, more upscale XPS line and will be the first to have a unique, edge-to-edge LCD that eliminates the thick side bezels that often surround notebooks. The computers will also be the mainstream notebooks from Dell to use slot-load optical drives.
An Apple patent application, just published by the US Patent and Trademark Office, depicts a new 3D remote technology. Similar in basic concept to the controller for Nintendo's Wii console, the remote would have a photosensor, accelerometer or gyroscope, and detect absolute and/or relative position to an image. Distinguishing it would be the ability to zoom in on part of an image at will by pushing a button.
Sprint is ready to deploy the BlackBerry Curve 8330 on Friday, May 9th, a flyer reveals, setting the no-contract price for the device at $600. BGR notes that the advertisement also reveals that the versatile handset is also available for $180, pending a two-year contract, $170 instant rebate, with a $100 mail-in rebate, discounting the unit by $420. The page also lists several accessories for the device, such as a swivel belt clip kit, headsets, and more.
Offering its own take on low-cost desktops, MSI has released the Titan, its early answer to ASUS' E-DT system. At 9.4 by 7.3 inches, the system is larger than some of its planned rivals but also includes a 250GB hard drive in its frame; size is kept down by using a 2GHz Via C7-M mobile processor at the Titan's heart and by using a notebook-sized DVD burner and hard disk. These also keep it quiet and greener than full desktops, MSI says. The system is also software-indepedent: rather than ship with Linux or Windows, the Titan comes as-is for users comfortable installing their own choice of operating system.
T-Mobile's US division today reported a milestone first quarter of 2008. The communications company says that its first results of the new year added 981,000 wireless subscribers to its overall pool, giving the company more than 30 million subscribers for the first time. Churn, or the number of customers lost during the period, was flat year-over-year and dropped slightly for customers on contracts from 1.9 percent in early 2007 to 1.7 percent in the same time span this year.
UK residents worried that they may no longer be able to get a 2.5G iPhone are safe, reports say. Although Carphone Warehouse sold out last week, and the O2 website presently states that neither the 8GB or 16GB iPhones are available, representatives from both retailers say that more stocks are inbound or already present for some of their sales venues. O2 notes that more 16GB iPhones have been ordered for web sales, while its high street retail stores should still have some in stock.
Verizon on Thursday responded to Google's filing, allegedly spinning the situation that Google – not Verizon – is trying to "change the rules" of the now-closed auction. The response comes to a filing with the FCC, where Google claims Verizon is not going to live up to the terms of a truly open network. It fears that, if left unchecked, open devices such as Google's Android platform would be deadlocked with Verizon, despite the open nature of the portion of the 700MHz spectrum Verizon won.
Microsoft chair Bill Gates today noted at a European news conference that sales of Windows Vista have reached 140 million copies worldwide. The update is the first since the company crossed the 100 million mark at the start of the new year, although Gates doesn't clarify when the company reached the newer threshold. This demonstrates that Vista continues to sell at a "very rapid" rate, according to the Microsoft co-founder.
Owners of an iPhone or iPod touch can now stream episodes of select NBC TV shows, observers note. By visiting nbc.com, users can gain access to complete episodes of 30 Rock or The Office, presented free of advertising and in an unprotected QuickTime format. The video quality is extremely rough, however, and at least one publication has reported iPhone lockups.
The latest version of the iPhone 2.0 firmware -- bundled with the beta 5 SDK -- adds limited support for YouTube within the Safari web browser, experimenting has revealed. Users of the current public iPhone firmware can only browse videos through the dedicated app; under v2.0 though, videos embedded in websites now present a link, which opens clips under the dedicated app, but then lets users quickly return to the page they were viewing.
Best Buy and Carphone Warehouse on Thursday announced that they would create a new, jointly-run company to exploit each other's strengths. The total investment will equate to $4.2 billion and will see both the American electronics retailer and the British phone reseller take 50 percent stakes in the new venture, including both a financial stake as well as equal share in the 2,400 stores that make up the combined effort. Carphone Warehouse will continue to keep its landline businesses, while Best Buy will continue to own just under a three percent direct stake in its European counterpart.
Verizon this morning unveiled its anticipated release of the Samsung Glyde. The carrier's CDMA adaptation of the European, GSM-based F700 scales the camera down to 2 megapixels (with autofocus and flash) but otherwise aims at providing an iPhone-like experience while also mending some perceived gaps from its US rival; like the LG Voyager, the Glyde includes 3G Internet over EVDO, a full HTML browser and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Samsung, however, drops the digital over-the-air TV tuner in favor of built-in GPS navigation.
British carrier O2 today issued a statement on its website (not available outside of the UK) that the company has stopped selling the current-generation iPhone. Both the 8GB and 16GB models are listed as "no longer available" and have not been given a restocking date by the provider. Apple itself continues to list both versions as shipping within 24 hours, though independent phone retailer Carphone Warehouse has also reported selling out all its supply without expectations of new shipments.
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Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k