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FCC considers auction
After the recent auctioning of the 700MHz wireless band, the FCC has revealed that it is considering another auction for the 2155 to 2180MHz band, which would require the winning party to offer free wireless broadband services as part of an aggressive build-out schedule. RCR Wireless News writes that the band – which is referred to as AWS III – would require free access, and the capacity to reach 50-percent of the US population in four years, and 95-percent by the end of the license term.
MacCase Classic Case
MacCase on Friday re-introduced the Classic Case, a brand new reincarnation of the company’s original product, offering users a retro look that fits the clamshell iBook, 12” iBooks and 13” MacBooks. Resembling the clamshell iBook, the case comes in graphite, blueberry, orange, lime, and indigo finishes, with a clear cutout for the portable’s logo. MacCase is selling the Classic Case for $50, with all five colors available from the company directly and through select retailers.
Moto EM30 appears at FCC
Motorola sent a new phone to the FCC patent office, giving us a first look at the new bar-style handset, called the EM30. The new phone bears a striking resemblance to the company's ROKR E8, with a touch-sensitive, application-specific keypad, but without that phone's Omega wheel for navigation, opting to use a standard D-pad instead.
ASUS Eee PC Tablet Leak
ASUS may have a tablet version of the Eee PC ready as early as June, says Australia's Current. Regional retail manager Emmanuele Silanesu says that the company is looking into a touchscreen device in a form other than "just a clamshell" and might make its debut at the industry benchmark Computex show, which starts June 3rd. Specifications aren't revealed, though ASUS has made a point of introducing past Eee PCs with low-power CPUs like the Intel Atom, built-in flash storage, and at least the option of Linux as its operating system.
Alesis 320USB Speakers
Notebook and all-in-one computers, such as the iMac, include built-in speakers that provide modest audio quality. Sometimes however, that quality muffles the true sound of your music or movies. For those who demand higher-quality audio without paying the price for high-end speakers, the $199 Alesis M1Active 320USB speakers may do the trick.
Hypersonic PC unveils UMPC
Hypersonic PC, which started selling pre-assembled laptop computers late last year, has announced the launch of its Avenger AG2 notebook on Friday. The 12.1-inch display sports a 1280x800 resolution and the sub-notebook is available with Intel's new 45nm Penryn-era Core 2 Duo processor at up to 2.5GHz. The basic version of the Avenger uses a more modest but still quick 2.1GHz chip.
Espy 1.0 released
GoGoalSoft Limited today announced the immediate release and availability of Espy, an Address Book application for Mac OS X that provides quick access to contacts' information. Espy emphasizes the ability to browse pictures of contacts, and features a unique iPhoto-like SnapFind interface. Espy is compatible with most software that makes use of Address Book data, as well as industry-standard VCards.
Videocon to buy Motorola
Indian electronics and appliances maker Videocon is making good on its earlier offer to purchase Motorola's hurting Mobile Devices business. According to Friday's reports, the talks between the two companies are at initial stages, says Videocon chairman and managing director Venugopal Dhoot. Videocon stands to benefit from the deal, as it plans on launching telecom services through its Datacom subsidiary in Indian markets this August.
FCC on Sirius XM in June
The Federal Communications Commission's chairman Kevin Martin today said he still considers it possible to approve the proposed Sirius/XM merger by the end of the spring, according to Orbitcast. The agency chief hints at progress and says that a report has been completed that outlines likely fairness limits on the merger between the two satellite radio providers. The other FCC commissioners will need to view the the report before a deal can move further, Martin says.
BUILT sleeves, backpacks
Online vendor Koyono has introduced two notebook cases by BUILT to its lineup, the Cargo Laptop Sleeve and the Laptop BackPack. The sleeve uses a thick neoprene layer, which stretches to accommodate the shape of different notebooks; there are additionally three external pockets, sized to fit gear such as iPods, power adapters and cellphones. Zig-zagging stitches are used to improved durability and protection against water. The sleeve comes in black, brown, green and orange colors, and 13-, 15- and 17-inch sizes; prices range from $40 to $50.
AMEX USB remote
AMEX Digital recently announced a multi-featured device, the RM-mp1, capable of acting as a computer's remote control, laser pointer and mouse touchpad. The ultra-wideband Wireless USB device is meant to act as an all-in-one presentation aid, allowing users to control slide shows originating from a PC, then pointing out any specifics with the integrated laser pointer. Its dedicated media buttons allow it to be used for personal, home-entertainment purposes as well.
Adobe CS4 GPU Use
(Update with corrections) The version of Photoshop included with Adobe's future Creative Suite 4 will include fuller acceleration both for dedicated video hardware as well as the first support for physics processing, TGDaily has been told as part of an early demonstration. While CS3 has already had limited support for graphics processing units (GPUs) for certain filters, the new version will use video hardware to improve performance across much of the image editor's pipeline. It will also enable new editing techniques: users can bring in a 3D image and paint it with changes applied immediately.
Emotion FX engine on Mac
Despite Steve Jobs infamous distaste for the gaming industry, Apple appears to be actively seeking relationships with gaming companies, such as the recent unveiling of MysticGD’s Emotion FX animation software for Mac. PC Advisor writes that the software is currently used by several in the industry, such as Warhammer Online, and Vangard: Saga of Heroes. Developers of the middleware software say the move comes in response to increasing popularity of the Macintosh platform.
Sanyo turns to Sharp LCDs
Sanyo is switching to Sharp LCD panels for its HDTV sets, the former company has announced. While Sanyo is well-known as a brand in general, its TVs have not been able to compete against the likes of those from Samsung and Sony. The Japanese electronics market has been consolidating as whole, and has forced the adoption of strategies similar to Sanyo's on the part of companies like Pioneer. In Sanyo's case its consumer electronics division has done poorly, and Reuters notes that on Thursday, the corporation announced its first profits in four years.
HTC Touch DUAL Ships in US
HTC on Friday announced that it has begun shipping the HTC Touch DUAL to Best Buy, the official home of the unlocked device in the US. The combo touchscreen and slider phone is the first device Stateside to run Windows Mobile 6.1 and is the first to natively handle 3G access over HSDPA on the 850MHz band used by AT&T; without the carrier restriction, however, DUAL buyers can also use EDGE and all other features on T-Mobile's network.
Nokia E66 passes FCC
A sequel to Nokia's E65 smartphone should be headed to the United States, FCC filings show. A device called the E66 has been approved for use in the country, in two different versions: one using Europe's 2100MHz 3G band, and another geared for the crucial 850 and 1900MHz bands tapped for domestic networks. Little else is known about the device, but rumors suggest it will have a 3.2-megapixel camera, and 128MB of memory. It may also use more durable manufacturing than some other Nokia phones.
Sidekick Gekko Manual Leak
A handful of leaked manual pages today has all but confirmed the existence of the Sidekick Gekko for T-Mobile. The discovery validates reports of basic details about the device, which includes an extra-wide LCD like that of the Sidekick LX, removable faceplates like the Sidekick iD, and a camera; the new details point to a two-megapixel camera instead of the 1.3-megapixel unit from some past versions of the messaging phone.
Piper on WWDC predictions
The 3G iPhone will be the focus of the WWDC keynote on June 9th, but it will not dominate completely, say analysts with Piper Jaffray. The new phone is expected to be the highlight of a speech by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, but predictions also say he will spend a portion of time reintroducing the App Store, and the iPhone 2.0 firmware, which should contain a number of features that have yet to be announced. Some developer accounts have pointed to GPS functions, Safari YouTube support, and contact search.
Sony Walkman E020 for US
Sony has already confirmed a US launch and set pricing for the E020 series Walkman lineup, says the Asian branch of Crave. In announcing an Asian launch, Sony says the flash-based music player will sell for $69 in a 1GB edition and $79 for 2GB of storage. The E020's signature swappable faceplates will make the overseas trip and should sell separately for $12. beyond those that come with a given device.
Goldman: AAPL a 'buy'
Financial firm Goldman Sachs has added Apple stock to its "conviction buy" list, Reuters writes. This is based largely on expectations for the 3G iPhone, which the firm agrees will launch next month, and contribute substantially to Apple's profits. Sachs analyst David Bailey has correspondingly raised the stock target for Apple from $185 to $220, and suggests that Apple will be able to increase the number of iPhone users by 80 percent this year, due to expansion to a larger number of countries through carriers such as Vodafone and Orange.
Apple Canada Prep
Apple Canada is gearing up some of its representatives in advance of an upcoming event, Electronista has learned. Key staff are being asked to travel to the company's Markham, Ontario regional headquarters for discussions that are taking place today. The discussions are considered secret, and staff contacted regarding the nature of the meetings have declined comment on any specifics. However, they allude to preparations for upcoming Apple developments rather than a regularly scheduled meeting.
Nisus Writer Pro 1.1 ships
Somewhat over a month after the release of the preview version, Nisus is shipping the final edition of Writer Pro 1.1, its signature word processor. Features of the app include multilingual text, non-contiguous selection, and a special fullscreen mode. Character sets include Latin, Cyrillic, Greek, Chinese, Japanese and Korean; documents are saved in the RTF format, but the program can read Word, WordPerfect, Open Document and AbiWord files.
Barron's on AAPL slide
A recent slip in Apple's stock value over the course of a day -- to as low as $175.41 on Thursday -- was attributable to iPhone rumors, writes Barron's. The financial publication notes that even though Apple has not technically announced the 3G iPhone, "rumors of a rumor" began circulating on Thursday that the product would be delayed, causing mild investor panic. As of press time, Apple stock has since recovered some of its value. Apple is expected to reveal the existence of the 3G iPhone on June 9th, the beginning of the company's WWDC conference in San Francisco.
Nokia to Allow N-Gage Move
Nokia will allow users to transfer their N-Gage games from phone to phone after all, the company confirmed on Friday. The company has caused controversy by tying each game purchase to a specific phone, forcing customers to repurchase each game if they upgrade, but now says it has a means for users to port their game libraries without raising piracy concerns. The solution will at first involve contacting Nokia's support service but will ultimately include an unspecified "long-term" solution that allows users to make the switch much more easily.
XO Sugar for 4 PC Makers
Early talks are underway to bring the Sugar interface from the One Laptop Per Child project's XO notebook to different PC builders, according to news from former OLPC executive and now Sugar Labs Foundation head Walter Bender. The spin-off company is now said to be discussing the use of Sugar with four "ultra low-cost" notebook makers who would use the front-end on top of the underlying operating system for computers targeted at children.
Sony TV on UK iTunes Store
Apple is continuing to expand on its newfound variable pricing policy for TV shows, an announcement for the UK reveals. The region's iTunes Store has added a variety of shows under the Sony Pictures label (iTunes link), including episodes of Damages, NewsRadio and The Larry Sanders Show, as well as the kids' programs Spiderman and Jackie Chan Adventures. Pricing is staggered at three different levels, with NewsRadio, Spiderman and Jackie Chan being priced at £1.19, Larry Sanders at £1.49, and Damages at £1.89.
Intel 80GB SSD in Q3
Intel has narrowed down the launch of its self-branded solid-state drives to before the end of the summer, computer builders reportedly say. Now referred to as the High Performance SSD line, the drives are said to be shipping by the end of the third quarter as both the Client X18-M, for the 1.8-inch hard drive format used by ultraportable notebooks, as well as the Client X25-M, a 2.5-inch version for conventional notebooks and some enterprise-class servers. Both will be considered essential to the launch of the Centrino 2 notebook platform, which starts in late June and will finish in September with the release of low-power Core 2 Duo chips.
3G iPhone 42Mbps
The next-generation iPhone will allegedly support a 42-megabit advanced 3G connection when it becomes available in Australia, a senior official at Telstra claims. Having also claimed to have seen the device itself, the anonymous official tells ChannelNews that the phone will "by Xmas" support a planned upgrade to the advanced HSPA+ wireless standard on Telstra's 3G network. This will help drive sales, as the connection will actually be faster than many fixed-line broadband services and potentially the fastest iPhone data service anywhere, the executive asserts.
Beta of NY Times Reader
As noted earlier this month, The New York Times today released a beta version of its Times Reader for the Mac, which is free for all registered members of NYTimes.com to download and try. The reader uses Microsoft's Silverlight technology, a Flash-like alternative released last year: "In building Times Reader for the Mac we’ve focused on providing the core set of features that have made the PC version popular," the company said. "These include the easy-to-read paginated format, the ability to view the paper offline, a seven-day archive, text search, the ability to adjust the font size and access to Premium Crosswords." The software requires Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.11 or Mac OS X Leopard 10.5 and a Mac with a PowerPC G4 800MHz or Intel Core Duo 1.83GHz.
Amazon tops InfoTech 100
BusinessWeek on Thursday unveiled its InfoTech 100 ranked list of the world’s top performing companies, with Amazon again claiming first place ahead of Apple and BlackBerry maker RIM. Amazon’s reign continues from last year, as it vaulted from 23rd place to first, putting it ahead of wireless giant Nokia, Google, and Microsoft. Apple climbed four spaces from sixth place, based on its financial performance and revenue growth.
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