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Time Warner metered trials
Time Warner Cable on Monday announced it is going through with trials of its metered Internet services for new subscribers in Beaumont, Texas. Yahoo writes that only new, not existing, customers would be part of the test, but would initially be unsusceptible to the plans' extraneous fees. Under normal circumstances, users who surpass the bandwidth limit would be charged $1 per gigabyte in excess of up to a 40GB cap.
Fontainebleau resorts has announced that it is putting an iMac in every guest room "inspiring guests to share memories and encourages personal expression." Other resort features include Chef Alfred Portale at Gotham Bar and Grill, a Chinese restaurant featuring Michelin star-rated Cantonese cuisine a 5,000-square-foot "chocolate experience." Fontainebleau currently has locations in Miami Beach and Las Vegas. Room rates range from $200 to $900. Hotel chain City Inn previously announced that it was installing iMacs in every guest room, offering software that deletes any personal data from the machines before the guest leaves.
SanDisk has announced a line of flash memory-based solid-state drives (SSDs) that it says are specifically designed for Ultra Low-Cost PCs (ULCPC) or "netbooks" priced between $250 and $350. The pSSD is available in 4-, 8- and 16-GB capacities, all of which boast a streaming read speed of 39 megabytes per second (MB/s)2 and a streaming write performance of 17MB/s. The new models are being shown at Computex Taipei, where SanDisk is exhibiting at Booth M320 in the Nangang Exhibition Hall. The drives are built using both denser Multi-Level Cell (MLC) and faster Single-Level Cell (SLC) flash memory. Pricing has not been announced.
Red Rover Games has announced the release of Safari Sketch a new match-three puzzler that uses exotic locales to view endangered species from around the world. Red Rover Games also announced a donation of US$2 for each sold copy of Safari Sketch to the nonprofit Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). In Safari Sketch, adventurers can gather hand-rendered likenesses of more than 50 exotic and endangered species of plants, animals and insects, including the Giant Panda, the Sumatran Rhinoceros, and the world's rarest insect, the Lord Howe Island Stick Insect. Players enter jungles, reefs, snowy mountains, archipelagoes, and other locales as they are challenged to find matches and clear the puzzle board before the "daylight" fades. The game keeps a journal of the illustrations the player has collected along with an entry containing interesting facts about each creature presented in Safari Sketch.
Yahoo compensation plan
As a Delaware Judge unseals court documents regarding Yahoo, it came to light that the search engine and online advertising giant was attempting to form a comprehensive coverage plan for its employees in the event of a Microsoft takeover. CNN Money reports that the plan would have added anywhere between $462 million to $2.1 billion to the original $44.4 billion offered by the Windows maker, another sign that Yahoo was trying to "poison the well" to dissuade future takeover attempts.
Native Instruments has announced that Guitar Rig Session and Guitar Rig XE3 are are now available. Session is a new recording solution for guitarists, bass players and songwriters that provides studio-quality results at an entry-level price. Rig 3 XE software is the heart of the suite, which offers a selection of five true-to-life tube amplifier models and 12 cabinet types, as well as 21 stomp boxes and effect units. All components can be freely combined in the virtual Guitar Rig rack, allowing musicians to create sounds ranging from signature tones to unique sonic flavors. A library with over 150 instantly playable tones from different musical eras and genres is included, together with several tools including dual tape-decks, metronome, tuner, and a dedicated Live View.
3G iPhone design insight
As the suspected June introduction date for the third generation iPhone rolls closer, a developer claims to have accurate insight into the device's specifications. While Apple has not yet confirmed any specs, the insider reveals that the 3G iPhone would be thinner than the present model, with double the internal memory – 16GB and 32GB – as well as sporting a longer battery life. The tipster says that Apple CEO Steve Jobs will launch the device on June 9th at the WWDC.
Apple back to school deal
Apple on Tuesday is set to confirm reports from last week on its 2008 Back-to-School promotion, which will provide students with a $299 voucher to use towards an 8GB iPod touch when purchasing an applicable Mac. According to AppleInsider, the rebate will also apply to the higher capacity models, such as the $399 16GB Touch or the $499 32GB model. Students could also opt out of the Touch, and instead use the credit for a $199 iPod Nano.
SpiderOak, online storage
Everyone knows that you need to back up your data in case your hard disk fails, but despite this, too many people fail to do it regularly. Even worse, most people don’t realize that backing up your data won’t do you any good if you store your backups right next to your computer, and a fire or flood wipes out your entire house or office. A more reliable answer may be online backup, through a service such as SpiderOak.
JBL Control NOW Speakers
JBL today rolled out a unique set of speakers it says is an ideal match for unusual home audio setups. The Control NOW has an unusual curved shape that allows them to sit either horizontally or vertically against any surface: they can rest against the wall in the corner or on a shelf, rest flat on a table, or even hang in a circle from a special pole mount, the company says. The tweeter and dual 4-inch woofers are tuned to produce a similar sound regardless of where the speakers are facing.
Griffin WindowSeat holder
Accessory maker Griffin has begun shipping the WindowSeat, a new dock for iPhones and iPod touches. The unit is meant to mount in a car, holding devices in a position more conveniently accessible to drivers; for this reason it can grip a windshield using a suction cup, or a self-adhesive pad that sticks to vinyl and other dashboard surfaces. A rotating bracket lets owners position a display at different angles.
ASUS UF735 photo frame
Late last week, ASUS unveiled its newest digital photo frame, the UFOTO UF735, which is unique in doubling as a secondary monitor for computers. The 7-inch, 720x480 display sports stereo speakers and an earphone jack that allow it to play MP3-format audio files, stored either on its integrated 128MB of memory or a variety of popular memory card formats as well as USB flash drives.
Storyist novel/script app
Storyist has released the first version of its self-titled writing software, designed solely for Macs. The program is meant to aid in the creation of novels and screenplays, and in addition to a standard word processor, it includes a component called the Storyboard. This maps out a story using virtual index cards, which are in turn posted on a digital corkboard. Through the latter, writers can pick scenes to edit and rearrange them at will.
TDK's micro SATA SSDs
TDK will debut its HS1-series solid-state disk drives at the Computex Taipei 2008 show due to start tomorrow in Taiwan. At 1.8 inches, the drives are the smallest on the market to use a Micro SATA interface, and are meant for notebook computers and industrial devices. The drives are available in 16, 32 and 64GB capacities, and use single-level cell NAND flash memory. Prototype versions of the HS1 drives were first shown at CEATEC in 2007, and TDK says are now ready for use in industrial devices.
ASUS Eee PC 1000 Spec Leak
ASUS' Eee PC 1000 will have more than just a larger display when it launches on Tuesday, Hexus has found while touring the PC builder's stand in advance. At least one model, the 1000H, will not only support up to 2GB of memory but will also carry an 80GB hard drive in Windows XP form, abandoning the flash used in smaller models and providing four times the space of the 8.9-inch model's 20GB of flash storage. Added support for 802.11n Wi-Fi and a relatively long 3.2 to 5 hours of battery life also separate this new model from earlier versions.
Gigabyte has already revealed information about its upcoming entry into micro notebooks ahead of tomorrow's Computex show. The M912 separates itself from a slew of competitors from ASUS and others by switching to convertible tablet form. The 8.9-inch LCD can be left in a traditional notebook mode or spun around to be used as a touchscreen. The system itself will share the same 1.6GHz Atom CPU and 1GB of memory as many upcoming mini-PCs but will carry an unusually large hard drive, ranging between 120GB and 250GB depending on the exact model.
Qualcomm Mini Notebook
Qualcomm has collaborated on a miniature notebook with Linux and plans similar efforts for Windows Mobile 7, the company has revealed today. Designed largely by Inventec, the Linux system will cost $300 but should have a Qualcomm 3G chipset to give it wide-area wireless access without buying extra hardware. the latter's senior VP Luis Pineda acknowledges that the PC hasn't been made official but promises a launch sometime before the end of 2008.
Google phone in 2009?
Google is not only developing a smartphone, but it is experiencing delays, according to The Street. The financial publication cites a "source familiar with the situation," who says that large teams are working on both the company's Android software platform, and the so-called Gphone hardware. Despite this the latter is said to be encountering unexpected setbacks, and will not be ready until some point in 2009.
HP/Voodoo crossover plans
HP and its gaming acquisition, Voodoo PC, are planning to make a major announcement on June 10th, Forbes writes. Though the companies are refusing to detail any specifics in their early publicity efforts, they will say that the product(s) are intended to bring Voodoo's emphasis on aesthetics and performance to HP's mainstream audience. With few exceptions, most HP computers are designed for a budget or mid-range level, and do not use unique case or monitor shapes.
Acrobat 9, Acrobat.com
Adobe has announced Acrobat 9, a forthcoming version of its PDF creation and distribution tool. The update concentrates on Flash support, and will let users insert Flash videos and applications directly into PDF documents; Adobe's dedicated Flash Player may be required to view the results. Adobe is also introducing its PDF Portfolios feature, which will let users gather multiple filetypes -- including audio, video and 3D objects -- together into one compressed PDF file, with custom or preset layouts.
China phone market changes
Monday's reports have three of China's six telecommunications companies undergoing government-mandated mergers and acquisitions. A share swap totaling an equivalent of $56.3 billion will see cellular network provider China Unicom acquire land-line provider China Netcom. Under the agreement, each Netcom share will be traded for 1.5 new China Unicom shares, with the companies expecting to seal the deal by year's end. At the same time, China Unicom companies will sell their CDMA network and associated business to China Telecom, the world's biggest land line and broadband provider, for an equivalent of $15.9 billion.
Starbucks Cardholder Wi-Fi
Starbucks will launch some of its first universal free Wi-Fi starting from tomorrow, according to a conversation held by former Sling Media official Dave Zatz as well as a company page. Stores from June 3rd onward will give two hours of free Wi-Fi access per day to any Starbucks Card owner who uses the card for other store purchases at least once a month. Unlike efforts that limit access to PC data cards or Apple's iTunes-only usage, the free link will be available to any 802.11 device, the coffee merchant says.
MS on Safari vulnerability
Owners of Windows XP and Vista should avoid using Apple's Safari browser for the foreseeable future, Microsoft has warned. The company notes that while there is a vulnerability in how XP and Vista handle executables on the desktop, this may not be an immediate issue except that browsers like Safari do not ask permission to download a number of files. An independent analyst, Nilesh Dhanjani, suggests that this could be used to litter websites with automatic malware downloads, effectively "carpet-bombing" PCs.
WD Scorpio Black Ships
Western Digital started the week by shipping the 320GB Scorpio Black, its largest-capacity high-speed drive. The 2.5-inch Serial ATA drive enters the increasingly competitive arena of performance notebook drives and includes specs that are normally reserved for desktop drives, including a 7,200RPM spin rate and 16MB of cache to reduce the need for disk access. It also touts measures to protect against damage from the read head; a safe parking technique avoids damage when the drive is switched off, while the more common addition of a free-fall sensor keeps the head away from the magnetic surface in the event of a drop.
Verizon Leaks Treo 800w
A set of slides leaked today via Engadget Mobile has detailed many of Verizon's phone plans for the next few months, including new smartphones. One image confirms that the US carrier will pick up the Palm Treo 800w and verifies virtually every detail of the device, including its being Palm's first phone with EVDO Revision A for faster 3G access as well as Wi-Fi, a 1.3-megapixel camera, and 256MB of permanent storage in addition to a microSD slot. The new Treo is due in the summer and may launch near the Sprint version.
Apple foregoes Apple Expo
Despite having its name attached, Apple itself will not be participating in the 2008 Apple Expo in Paris, France, people organizing the event are said to have learned. Apple would normally have clearly designated spaces at the Expo, say the sources, identified as "Apple" and "Apple Store;" in plans for the 2008 event, these names are nowhere to be found. Organizing company Reed Expositions is expected to make some form of announcement one way or another later this week, with the event itself being scheduled for September 17th to the 20th.
Final ASUS Eee Box Specs
Full details of ASUS' Eee Box have been made available a day ahead of the official release, says HotHardware. Known as the B202, the inaugural model will have the already-confirmed 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor but will have several choices for memory, storage, and the operating system. Versions will have as little as 512MB of memory and an 80GB hard drive, but scale up to 2GB of memory and 250GB of storage; different models will have the option of Linux or Windows XP, while some will also have Bluetooth onboard for wireless peripherals and cellphones.
Times: 3G iPhone for £100
The price of the UK iPhone could drop to as little as £100 with the release of a new model by next month, say analysts quoted by The Times. The analysts agree with others who say that Apple is likely to allow a multitude of cellphone companies to subsidize the device, as its policy of revenue sharing under exclusive carrier deals is said to have proven ineffective outside of the United States. The Times notes that Britain, Germany and France sold a combined total of 330,000 iPhones by the end of December, when sources say predictions were somewhere between 500,000 and 600,000.
Sony Micro Notebook Leak
Sony could be the next major PC builder to leap into the micro notebook field, an inadvertent leak at the WiMAX Expo has shown. An 8.9-inch notebook made by Quanta and based on VIA's OpenBook reference platform reportedly lists Sony as the manufacturer, suggesting the PC is a prototype of a future production model for the Japanese company. A Quanta official asked about the computer declines to confirm the Sony origins.
NVIDIA this morning took a headstart on the Computex show with the launch of Tegra, its new lineup of mobile processors. Unlike the video-oriented GeForce line, Tegras are considered full systems in a single chip and include both an ARM processor as well as nearly every other component necessary for a mobile device: every model includes a graphics engine based on GeForce hardware as well as camera image processing and controllers for peripherals and flash memory.
iPhone for Spain
Movistar today said that it will carry the iPhone for Spain. The company follows in the pattern of earlier announcements and doesn't say when the device will be available or which model; customers can sign up for notifications as to when launch information will be available, according to a company posting. The official announcement follows a confirmation of plans from a Movistar executive last month that also suggested the carrier would have a short run of exclusivity before rivals can carry the device.
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