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ezGear iPod video cable
iPod accessory manufacturer ezGear on Friday unveiled a new video cable for all current generation iPods and the iPhone, allowing users to display content on the device to a television or other video display. In addition to the standard yellow-white-red RCA connector configuration, the dock-connectable adapter cable also has a female USB connection for charging purposes. ezGear is selling the iPod video cable for $40, and will be available from the company's website at the end of June.
MacWireless PoE kit for AP
MacWireless.com on Friday unveiled a Power Over Ethernet kit for the Airport Extreme Base Station (802.11n version) that allows users to position the router 328 feet from a power outlet. The kit provides power over an Ethernet cable between a pair of adaptors: one that sits on the power outlet in question and one that resides by the Airport. MacWireless.com is selling the pair of adaptors for $60, and are available from the company's website.
MGS4 PS3 bundles revealed
As Metal Gear Solid 4 approaches release, Sony and Konami have released definitive details about two previously mentioned console bundles, with some apparent tradeoffs between them. Crave reports that the limited edition gunmetal grey 40GB model features the same downside as the standard version, in that it can not play Playstation 2 game titles. The special edition will, however, come with a soundtrack and a Blu-ray disc with a behind-the-scenes documentary.
Xtreme quad oore notebook
XtremeNotebooks on Thursday announced it's the first to offer a notebook with Intel's quad core chips for the United States, with its Xtreme 917-V mobile workstation and server. Offered with a choice of five Intel quad core CPUs borrowed from desktop PCs, the laptop can be optioned up with the latest hardware, including up to three 64GB SSD drives and a Blu-ray optical drive. The 17-inch display is capable of 1600x1050 resolution, but can be upgraded to a 1920x1200 display.
Apple wins black pencils
Apple's iPhone recently won two prestigious black pencil design awards at the D&AD Awards in the UK, bringing the company's total to six since first winning the award in 1999. According to The Guardian, this makes Apple the most successful participant in the awards ceremony's 45 year history, this time taking home recognition for the design of the iMac and iPhone. Apple was among five companies who won the black pencil, with 64 yellow pencils also being awarded across 30 categories.
Creative X-Fi PCIe cards
Creative Technology on Friday announced two additions to its PCI Express Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty sound cards with the Professional Series and Champion series. Creative claims the products are the first ever native PCI Express hardware accelerated sound cards. Both cards feature Dolby Digital encoding and single-cable connection for 5.1-channel home theater hook-ups, as well as EAX 5.0 effects and CMSS 3D positional audio support.
Apple UK drops return fee
Apple's UK division has dropped an extra fee it charged to people who bought from its online store, local magazine Computeractive writes. The fee was charged when shoppers decided to return an item, and was described by Apple as covering "collection and processing" relative to the initial cost of their purchase. According to Computeractive however, the problem was that this may have been illegal under the UK's Distance Selling Regulations.
ASUS P5Q motherboard
ASUS on Friday released details on its P5Q motherboard, which the company says sports five exclusive features. Key among them is Linux-based Express Gate technology that is basically a simplified OS and loads up only the programs that are needed to access the Internet. Instead of waiting for Windows to load up, users are able to access a web browser, IM programs, YouTube videos or email clients in as little as five seconds.
Kekus LensFix for Aperture
Kekus Digital says it is shipping a new version of its LensFix plug-in, now tailored for Aperture 2.1. The software is intended to correct lens distortion for a variety of cameras and lenses; over 500 combinations are supported, and users have access to "thousands" of presets. The software further supports 16-bit quality, and rendering on Core Image-compatible video cards.
AT&T resumes iPhone limit
AT&T is allegedly reversing its position on limiting iPhone sales to one per customer, and returning to the company's former three-per-customer rule after finding sufficient stock of the device to do so. InformationWeek writes that the announcement only comes after one day of restricted sales, but AT&T is supposedly restricting sales of the iPhone to credit and debit card purchases. AT&T would not comment on inventory levels of the device.
NHK shows Braille display
Friday reports have the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) coming out with a prototype of a haptic display with a touch panel function that would allow the visually impaired to control a device or browse the Internet using Braille. Unlike haptic interfaces in mobile devices, which simply mimic the feel of pressing a button with a vibration or other tactile method, the display would produce a series of protrusions and recesses formed by small pins integrated into the display.
Fujitsu is developing a graphics adapter that would give ultraportable or budget notebooks a visual upgrade, according to leaked images from a presentation. Not unlike the ASUS XG Station, the AMILO GraphicBooster would plug into a notebook and receive the performance of a faster video chipset without having to tote a larger system. It also saves energy by allowing users to drop back to integrated graphics just by removing the box, Fujitsu claims in its notes.
Accessory and peripheral maker FastMac has announced a new external battery charger for Mac notebooks, the U-Charge. The unit is a 45W adapter that bridges from an AC outlet directly to a battery's terminals, eliminating the need to have the notebook itself present. As a result the U-Charge also consumes less energy than some adapters, having no need to power the computer at the same time. Indicator LEDs mimic those of Apple's, and safeguards are installed against overcharging, overheating and power surges.
3D Magnetic Storage
A new discovery could dramatically improve the capacity of magnetic hard drives, according to a new discovery made by a Rennselaer Polytechnic doctoral graduate. Paul Morrow has developed a new, nanotechnology-based magnetic storage technique that alternates magnetic and non-magnetic layers and uses a non-magnetic microscope to read the data at the nanoscale level. The advancement would both allow hard drives to read a three-dimensional grid of data but would also permit more information to be packed into a given space.
Sidekick Slide Scarlet
T-Mobile today opted for a weekend launch of the Sidekick Slide Scarlet, its first special variant of the Motorola-created messaging phone. The new model conspicuously changes the phone's trim from its original purple to a deeper red while keeping all of the features of the original: the Slide is still one of T-Mobile's smallest Sidekicks but offers the full feature set, including its 1.3-megapixel camera, EDGE Internet access, microSD storage up to 4GB, and dedicated AAC and MP3 playback.
PhoneView 2.0 ships
Ecamm has announced the release of PhoneView 2.0, a new edition of a program formerly known as MegaPhone. The software lets iPhone and iPod touch owners manage the contents of their devices, beyond just music, videos and photos to include notes, contacts and SMS messages, as well as call histories. Notes can be automatically created from PDF and Word files as well as regular text documents. For backup or transport purposes, any collection of Mac files or folders can be copied over.
Munster on iPhone TAM
Analyst firm Piper Jaffray on Friday offered analysis of the recent additions of many new carriers and countries to the iPhone fold, pointing out that Apple could quadruple its total addressable market share from 153 million potential subscribers to 575 million in 42 countries. In a note to investors, senior analyst Gene Munster says the recent agreements with Orange, Vodafone, SingTel, American Movil, and Swisscom put Apple's international rollout of the iPhone eight months ahead of schedule.
Shinoda 125in Thin Plasma
Upping the stakes in displays, Shinoda Plasma on Friday showcased one of the thinnest and most unique yet. The example display measures 125 inches diagonally but is just 1mm (0.04in) thick at the actual display itself, or just a fraction of the depth of most plasma HDTVs. Shinoda's invention not only reduces the bulk of the screen but also allows the company to curve the screen and maintain a direct viewing angle even for the edges of the display.
BlackBerry Bold dates?
Research in Motion's anticipated BlackBerry Bold cellphone may already have prices and dates for all major US carriers, a report claims. According to a supplied chart, the AT&T version will ship first in July, at a cost of $300; the T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon versions are all scheduled for September at the same price level, with the exception of the T-Mobile device, which is $50 extra. This may be attributable to contract plans not revealed in the chart.
Treo 800w photo leaked
An early photo of Palm's upcoming Treo 800w smartphone has leaked online, accounts say. Posted by a Palm OS hacker, the image appears to resemble both renderings and Sprint's own press image, depicting a device which takes styling queues from its cheaper cousin the Centro. Unexpected however is the color, as the photo model is blue, and previous indications have pointed to a "charcoal" exterior. The hacker adds that the phone uses a micro-USB connector.
iPhone Canada June Leak
The Canadian iPhone is set to be launched in June and will potentially have the least expensive data plan of any carrier announced to date, Electronista has heard. Sources from inside Rogers claim that the device should be available the same month as an expected US release of an updated, 3G-capable model rather than as part of any possible staggered launch. Pricing is still unavailable, though currency values are likely to place the cost of the phone itself closer to the eventual US figure.
Apple fighting Swiss levy
Apple is resisting a blank media levy imposed by the Swiss government, according to local newspaper Basler Zeitung. The levy is managed by SUISA, the Swiss Society for the Rights of Authors of Musical Works, and is intended to compensate labels and musicians for the effect of piracy. It applies to all media players sold in the country, but Apple is said to be arguing for exemption, on the basis that Swiss iPods sold online are actually shipped out of Ireland.
Samsung AMOLED Notebook
Samsung's SDI division today unveiled a demonstration computer it says represents the future of notebooks. The system uses a newly-developed 12-inch AMOLED (active matrix organic light-emitting diode) display that would match the resolution of a same-size LCD at 1280x768 but produce a much better picture: the inherent nature of the technology produces a contrast ratio about "20 times" higher than that of an LCD, Samsung claims.
iPhones in use worldwide
Gray-market use of the iPhone is extremely widespread, according to cellphone advertiser AdMob. The company collects statistics on the devices and locations associated with ad requests and impressions, normally for the purposes of targeting its marketing; in a recent study however it observed that while only 25 percent of worldwide AdMob requests are from smartphones, the iPhone has moved into the top 20 devices. Most requests are served to two countries with official iPhone support -- Germany and the US -- but many requests are being directed to nations where Apple has no official iPhone presence, such as Canada, Mexico, Brazil and the Netherlands. The Chinese city of Hong Kong also ranks unusually high in terms of iPhone advertising.
ForeSee Online Store Poll
The top-ranking online electronics stores continue to be dominated by Apple and other specialized sites, according to a new study by ForeSee Results. Both Apple and hobbyist computer store Newegg have tied each other for the highest satisfiaction scores in an examination of the top 100 shops in the US, each reaching the 80-point threshold ForeSee says is necessary to be considered "superior." The company doesn't provide specifics as to why these two topped the charts but notes that its rankings are based on both the actual ease of use of the site as well as the ability to find stock and get it at the right price.
Apple sues over iPod gear
More frequently a target in legal disputes, Apple has filed a lawsuit of its own against general manufacturer Atico International. Atico is accused of a variety of patent infringements related to iPods, including ones for remote controls, the Universal Dock and three dock adapters; it is additionally accused of trademark infringements, involving the iPod mark and image, and perhaps most importantly the Made for iPod trademark, as Atico is said to be operating outside of the official Made for iPod program.
Yahoo Rushing Google Deal
Yahoo is accelerating the process of launching an expanded Google deal to stave off investor Carl Icahn's board takeover attempt and a resulting Microsoft buyout, say alleged sources for the New York Post. The renewed threat of a Microsoft acquisition has supposedly led Yahoo to step up plans that would let any company make bids for ad placements on Yahoo's search system, effectively rewarding Google by handing the bulk of sales to the most dominant ad provider.
Native Google iPhone apps
Google intends to be early with the development of native iPhone 2.0 applications, according to the company's vice president of engineering. "We expect to have applications at Day One," says Vic Gundotra, in reference to June's expected launch of the App Store and the iPhone 2.0 firmware. Although Gundotra refuses to comment on the details of particular software, he notes that development of web applications will continue in parallel, because these can be continually updated and improved without requiring a new download. "It's the best of both worlds," commments Gundotra.
Eee PC Atom for June 3
ASUS's version of the Eee PC built on the Atom processor will have a few functional changes beyond just the faster chip, according to new reports. Known as the Eee PC 901, the update will add Bluetooth to pair up with cellphones and wireless controllers while also improving the perceived quality: metal is being added to the hinge, keyboard area, and the borders of the trackpad. The notebook will also be the first to drop the ASUS logo and market the Eee PC under its own brand.
New MacBook LCDs
Two panel makers are evenly splitting orders for new LCDs to be used in upcoming consumer MacBooks, according to a story in Taiwan's Commercial Times. The newspaper claims that two of the island's more prominent display makers, AU Optronics and Chi Mei Optoelectronics, are being tapped by Apple to produce the screens for mainstream systems that will be launched sometime during the summer. The Times doesn't mention screen sizes or other characteristics of the LCDs.
Orange Worldwide iPhone
Orange today announced plans to bring the iPhone to many more areas than its original French launch. The telecoms firm says it will launch the iPhone in areas that haven't yet been covered by previous carrier deals, including Belgium, Poland, Romania and Slovakia in Europe. The company will also bring the iPhone to the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean, Jordan in the Middle East, and the company's "Africa markets," according to the announcement.
OLPC XO to get XP by fall
Microsoft tonight revealed that the highly talked-about OLPC XO - a laptop initially designed for students in developing countries - will ship with Windows XP as an option in August or September, with some countries to get the low-cost ultraportable sooner. Engadget expects that in the future, the operating system will most likely replace the current Sugar front-end offered in the XO, but OLPC has not explicitly said anything to support the theory. The build is allegedly the same as that of the Eee PC, with custom drivers for the XO hardware.
Vista MC halts recordings
Users of Microsoft Vista's Media Center were unable to record prime-time NBC TV shows on Monday night. Reports maintain the problem was caused by a broadcast flag which activated Media Center's DRM copy protection measures, stopping recordings of over-the-air and cable broadcasts. Neither NBC nor Microsoft have an explanation for the issue, but are looking into it. No other reports of such problems came from users of either DirecTV or TiVo DVR services.
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