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News Archive for 08/08/06

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Nikon adds four consumer Coolpix cameras

08/06, 11:10pm

Nikon S560, S60, S610/c

Nikon on Friday unveiled several new consumer-level cameras, including the touch-aware Coolpix S60, feature-packed S560, the intuitive S610, and wireless S610c, all coming in September. The Coolpix S60 offers users a touchscreen LCD, with simplified access to all the cameras functions and capabilities. The camera has a 5x optical zoom NIKKOR lens, with a 10-Megapixel sensor, capable of using ISO 3200 sensitivity. It also features Nikon's EXPEED and Optical VR technologies, and the Scene Auto Selector mode. Nikon is selling the S60 for $350.

Toshiba reveals 32GB flash for phones, PMPs

08/06, 11:05pm

Toshiba 32GB Flash

Toshiba tonight upgraded its onboard flash memory with a new, 32GB module destined for smaller portable devices. The storage combines eight 4GB NAND flash chips built using a smaller 43 nanometer manufacturing process and makes a single package, fitting twice as much capacity into a similar space as before. The design also builds in its own controller to manage its data traffic and would let device makers drop the new package in without reengineering their hardware.

Asus officially announces Eee Stick game controller

08/06, 8:50pm

Asus Eee Stick official

Asus has officially announced the Eee Stick, a Wii-like wireless motion-sensing game controller. First shown at Computex in June, the controller package bears a strong resemblance to Nintendo's ubiquitous Wii Remote and Nunchuk controllers, but is designed for use with PCs. Using the advertising tagline "Get into the swing of Gaming," Asus is no doubt hoping gamers will choose one of their low-cost PC's instead of a Nintendo console. The Eee stick will be "bundled exclusively" with some Eee PC models including the Eee Box, along with a collection of games designed to use the controller's motion-sensing technology.

VyewMyPC: Flash-based desktop sharing

08/06, 8:30pm

VyewMyPC desktop sharing

Vyew is offering free cross-platform Adobe Flash-based desktop sharing. VyewMyPC provides "instant desktop sharing, whiteboarding and web conferencing for any desktop or laptop platform running any browser," the company said. The tool supports VoIP and provides a quick way to hold company meetings, presentations and brainstorming sessions. The ad-supported service is completely web-based so there is no software to install.

iPresentee offers new Keynote Themes 2.0 collection

08/06, 7:50pm

iPresentee adds new themes

iPresentee has announced Keynote Themes 2.0, an update to its theme collection, including ten new themes for Apple's Keynote presentation software. Each of the ten new themes coordinate backgrounds, fonts, colors and frames to create unique styles within each theme. Keynote Themes 2.0 include Autumn Colors, Starfish, Orange Bubble, Green Mile, Wallpaper, Time Graffiti, Brown Light, Eyesight, Built on Sand and Grey Line, and are available now for $25. The themes require Mac OS X 10.4.10 or higher with iWork '08 installed.

Online business simulation game for the iPhone

08/06, 7:25pm

Informatist for iPhone

Minieconomy has announced the launch of an official iPhone version of Informatist. Informatist is an online business simulation that has been designed to be as realistic as possible. The game is played through a web browser and is free to play. The game looks to prepare players with the skills needed to succeed in todays business world, including property development, stocks and shares, the manufacturing industry and more. By making players compete against each other they will also learn how all of these components work together in the marketplace.

Iomega's Screenplay TV Link plays HDD content on TV

08/06, 7:15pm

Iomega Screenplay TV Link

Iomega on Wednesday unveiled its newest product, the Screenplay TV Link, which allows users to play multimedia content stored on their USB hard disk or flash drives on their standard- or high-definition TVs. The small device connects to the storage media via a USB 2.0 connection, with video outputs that include HDMI, component and composite, as well as an SCART adapter for international applications. The device can also upscale video content to 720p and 1080i HD formats.

iRobot intros Negotiator 200 reconnaissance robot

08/06, 7:00pm

iRobot intros Negotiator

The iRobot Corporation on Wednesday announced the release of its most affordable tactical robot, the Negotiator 200. The 34lb, remote controlled robot can climb and descend stairs and lets emergency response personnel stay clear of any potential dangers thanks to its built-in high-resolution color video camera and available chemical detection system. The video is sent via a 2.4GHz band while data, or control of the robot, is sent via the 900MHz frequency band, with either travelling as far as 800 feet in the line of sight.

Pennies tracks budgets on iPhone, iPod touch

08/06, 5:40pm

Budget-tracker for iPhone

Software developer design by a knife has announced Pennies, a budgeting application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Pennies offers a straight-forward user interface, with a fuel-guage indicator to track spending. A user's budget is always two taps away, with easy entering of new purchases due to built-in categories, and specific expense tracking is available by both category and date. Pennies allows users to put notes on a purchase and offers a history feature to search for a note or recall old expenses.

NewerTech upgrades miniStack v2.5 to SATA interface

08/06, 5:20pm

MiniStack v2.5 adds SATA

Newer Technology has announced its new miniStack v2.5, an upgrade to its Mac Mini form factor hard drive/powered hub. The miniStack offers three FireWire 400 ports (one in and two out) and four USB 2.0 ports (one in and three out) and now features a SATA interface with the latest Oxford 934 bridge chipset. It is available now at Other World Computing with up to 1TB of hard drive space. Prices range from an enclosure kit with no hard drive for $80 to a 1TB miniStack at $280.

Playfirst releases DinerTown spin-off game

08/06, 5:05pm

Cooking Dash released

PlayFirst today announced the release of Cooking Dash, a spin-off of the DinerTown story world. Players take on the role of Flo, a spunky and pragmatic waitress with hopes of becoming DinerTown's top restaurateur. Cooking Dash is the first game that is not a direct Diner Dash sequel, allowing the developers to introduce a new gameplay style to players. Cooking Dash is an assembly-management game that places Flo behind the grill learning a new skill, instead of being on the floor serving. Diner Dash was made to be a world expansion, not a replacement for the Diner Dash series. PlayFirst has said that it plans to release new episodic content as well as full-length sequel games.

VBotAttack coming to App Store

08/06, 4:50pm

VBotAttack for iPod/iPhone

Mobile gaming factory Artificial Life has announced a new title for the iPhone and iPod touch, VBotAttack. Players take control of a VBot and attempt to defeat an enemy ruler, while also working to rescue a kidnapped lover. This is accomplished by destroying opposing robots, and solving various puzzles, through making tools and reprogramming VBot swarms to survive traps.

Seiko Epson shows XGA 3D cell phone display

08/06, 4:25pm

Epson's 3D phone display

Seiko Epson developed a small, 2.57-inch display that is able to display 3D images without a projector of any kind and, at 1024x768 (XGA) or 550ppi resolution, it is also one of the world's highest resolution 3D displays. The display is meant for cell phone applications, and requires no special lenses to view the 3D effect. To achieve the 3D effect, the company used a lenticular or bi-convex lens so the same pixels can be seen from different angles.

New iPods, MacBooks to grace Apple Sept. event

08/06, 4:10pm

Piper on Apple Sept. plans

An upcoming September event should herald both new iPods and new MacBooks, argue analysts with Piper Jaffray. The firm notes that Apple has hosted similar events for the past three years, and the company has particular incentive to upgrade hardware this year. Because the iPhone has been reduced in price to as little $199, it is suggested that the iPod touch may follow suit, and could in fact be redesigned. Crucially, Apple has been giving away 8GB Touches to students buying Macs, and talk has circulated of the company ramping down current-generation production.

Lenovo readies 8.9-inch IdeaPad S9 netbook

08/06, 3:45pm

Lenovo IdeaPad S9 in Works

Lenovo is preparing a lower-cost version of its IdeaPad S10 netbook for at least some regions, the company said today. The S9 will have the same chassis as the 10-inch model but shrink the screen to 8.9 inches. It will also replace the 80GB hard drive with 8GB of flash storage and ship both with the S10's Windows XP and a special Linux variant. The 1.6GHz Atom processor and 1GB of memory carry over from the larger-screened model.

BlackBerry Bold ships in Germany for 40 Euros

08/06, 3:15pm

BBerry Bold in Germany

Research in Motion today officially began shipping the BlackBerry Bold to Austria and Germany, putting the device in competition with the iPhone 3G and other devices for the first time. The devices are available through T-Mobile in each country and are the first true 3G Blackberries to be available in Europe; both follow the reference design closely with GPS, Wi-Fi, and a two-megapixel camera but support T-Mobile's NaviGate mapping service in addition to BlackBerry Maps

Plum Caddy tracks golf game on iPhone, iPod touch

08/06, 3:10pm

Plum Caddy aids golfers

Plum Amazing has announced its first application, Plum Caddy, for the iPhone and iPod touch. Plum Caddy is a mapping and scoring app for golfers. It tracks user-fed scores and locations for each hole, and on the iPhone 3G, can also track distances of shots via GPS. Records of past rounds are kept for historical reference, and a real-time scorecard in displayed in landscape mode.

iPods translate for US troops

08/06, 2:50pm

iPod as Army translator

The US military has found a new way for soldiers to use Apple's iPod. With the help of a new software product, VCommunicator Mobile, and a speaker that plugs into a headphone jack, soldiers are now able to use an iPod as a communication device. VCommunicator is filled with basic phrases in other languages that can help soldiers ask for "yes/no" answers, or directions. Soldiers are supplied with protective covers for the iPod and speaker, and velcro straps allowing both devices to be easily attached to an arm. Soldiers who spend long periods of times out in the field are also supplied with a solar charger.

Mozilla explores collaborative, 3D browsers

08/06, 2:35pm

Mozilla Aurora Concept

The Mozilla Foundation is investigating web browsers that would allow users to share websites and compare information in real time, Aurora, the concept would revolve around the notion of data and pages organized into cells, or clusters of relevant information. The approach would not only let individuals jump to similar pages covering a given subject but would also allow fellow users to compare information from their own cells in real time; an integrated messaging system would let users speak to each other without interrupting the primary view.

Rogers leak shows Kickstart with VoIP, ROKR E8

08/06, 2:05pm

Rogers Roadmap Leak

Canadian cell provider Rogers Wireless will put most of its emphasis in the next few weeks on the BlackBerry line and music phones, according to a roadmap slip from BGR. The details confirm the launch of the BlackBerry Kickstart and add that the device will work with Rogers' Home Calling Zone Wi-Fi phone service, which will be rechristened Talkspot. The EDGE-only flip smartphone hasn't been given pricing but has previously been slotted into a late September release that may arrive near that of T-Mobile USA's version.

Vermont to gain local iPhone 3G access

08/06, 1:20pm

Vermont gains iPhone 3G

Residents of Vermont should finally be able to gain direct access to the iPhone in the near future, a local television station reports. WCAX notes that all important divisions of the federal government have approved Verizon's acquisition of Rural Cellular Corporation, the operator of regional carrier Unicel. Aside from Vermont, Unicel sells service in several other states, such as Alabama, New York and Washington.

Apple prepping LED-lit Cinema Displays?

08/06, 12:35pm

New Cinema Display at MWSF

Apple may have a long-awaited update to its Cinema Display line in store for early next year, according to a new rumor. The company has largely left the displays alone since mid-2004 outside of minor panel upgrades but is now allegedly planning an upgrade as part of an environmentally friendly switch: at least some models in the plan will include LED backlighting, which would fulfill Apple chief Steve Jobs' plans to eliminate mercury from displays as soon as possible by dropping cold-cathode fluorescent (CCFL) backlights.

Turner: iPhone 3G to push mobile data globally

08/06, 12:15pm

Turner on iPhone 3G

The iPhone 3G will help to push mobile connectivity worldwide, claims the research group at Turner Investments. Turner's analysts argue that the phone's interface, features and lower base price, along with the amount of software available through the App Store, should help to boost Apple's presence in the smartphone world, possibly to the 28 percent figure suggested for 2009 by Piper Jaffray. This may in turn push companies like Nokia to follow suit, and make it simpler and cheaper for people to access programs and data regardless of where they are.

New AMD chipset speeds up budget, gaming PCs

08/06, 11:55am

AMD 790GX Chipset

AMD on Wednesday sought to please two extremes of computer users at once through the unveiling of its 790GX mainboard chipset. The platform is focused on gamers and includes a new southbridge chip that allows overclocking Phenom Black Edition processors without entering the BIOS; it also supports CrossFire for up to two add-in Radeon HD video cards. However, even entry users are accomodated, AMD says: the chipset integrates the new Radeon HD 3300, which is billed as the fastest onboard graphics system available. Tests have it competing with some recent stand-alone cards, while AMD says it can support both modern 3D effects as well as hardware decoding of 1080p video.

HP unwraps Centrino 2-based 12-inch portable

08/06, 11:15am

HP Compaq 2230s

HP has quietly launched a second notebook this week and now caters towards higher-end but still ultramobile users. The HP Compaq 2230s has just a 12-inch screen and weighs just over four pounds but is based entirely on Intel's just-launched Centrino 2 platform, making faster GMA 4500MHD graphics and 802.11n Wi-Fi standard features on every model. Certain trim levels also get matching processors with the faster 1,066MHz bus and range from the lower-power 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo to a full-power 2.53GHz chip.

RAGE debuts WebCrusher code optimizer

08/06, 10:50am

RAGE WebCrusher 1.0 ships

RAGE has released the first version of WebCrusher, a code optimizer for web developers. The tool aims to improve load times for website visitors, who can sometimes become impatient and leave a site before a page has finished rendering. WebCrusher is said to be particularly concerned with iWeb sites, which can be burdened with slow-loading images and large files in general.

Average Mac price now 2X Windows PCs

08/06, 10:30am

Mac Prices 2X Windows PCs

The going price for a Mac notebook is now over twice that of a typical Windows model, according to data collected by The NPD Group. While the average selling price of a Windows notebook has dropped from $877 in June 2006 to $700 today, the average cost of an Apple system has remained consistently above $1,500 and has only dropped $59 in the past two years. Differences in desktop pricing are more extreme still and have Macs selling for approximately $1,000 more than a common Windows desktop, which sells for about $550.

iPhone to launch in more countries by September [u]

08/06, 10:05am

iPhone August launches

(Updated with additional countries)The iPhone 3G will be launched in five more countries on August 22nd, according to announcements. India's Bharti Airtel, the Czech Republic's Telefonica, Estonia's EMT, Romania's Orange and the Philippines' Globe Telecom have all revealed that the iPhone will ship domestically by the end of the month. Only GT has announced any official pricing plans, but details for the other carriers are expected later through their official websites.

Telus sets HTC Touch Diamond launch date

08/06, 9:40am

Telus Diamond on Aug 14

Telus today confirmed its position as the first in Norht America to launch the HTC Touch Diamond and gave the Windows Mobile 6.1 smartphone an official launch date of August 14th as well as extra pricing info. The touchscreen device is positioned as one of Telus' main rivals against the iPhone and will normally be priced at $150 with a three-year contract; a two year contract immediately boosts the price to $350, while a contract-free purchase sells for $450.

Apple accused of violating California labor laws

08/06, 9:30am

Apple breaking labor laws?

Apple has been violating California's labor laws for several years, a former employee charges. David Walsh has this week filed a lawsuit against the company, saying that in his work as a network engineer between 1995 and 2007, he was regularly made to work more than 40 hours a week without overtime pay. Walsh also complains of being forced to miss meals, and spend evenings and weekends on call without due compensation.

Memorex rolls two budget iPod clock radios

08/06, 9:20am

Memorex iPod Clock Radios

Memorex hopes to push down the cost of iPod-aware clock radios today with two relative budget models. The iWakeUp is the range leader with a relatively streamlined look and the most advanced features, including dual alarms for weekdays versus weekends and a sound enhancer for its more powerful speakers. Like many iPod-ready radios, it can also set the alarms to trigger either the iPod itself, an AM or FM radio station, or a buzzer. The device is compatible with most all dockable iPods up to the iPod touch, though the company shows an iPhone in the dock and hints at possible support for at least Airplane Mode. The iWakeUp sells today for $70 in black and white versions.

T-Mobile makes Las Vegas second with 3G

08/06, 8:45am

T-Mobile 3G in Las Vegas

T-Mobile this morning revealed Las Vegas as the second city to receive its fledgling 3G service following New York City. The upgrade mirrors that of the inaugural launch and sees the desert city get 1,700MHz UMTS access both for clearer calls and for faster data when used with a phone that supports the extra performance, such as the Nokia 6263. Moving to 3G also increases the number of customers the network can handle at once, T-Mobile says.

Sprint loses 901K subscribers in spring

08/06, 8:10am

Sprint Q2 2008 Results

Sprint on Wednesday continued a succession of negative quarterly results by reporting that it has lost 901,000 subscribers in the spring quarter, dropping its subscriber base to 51.4 million from 52.8 million in the winter. The losses are less than the one million lost in the winter and are said to be helped by two percent churn, or subscriber turnover; the amount is the lowest the company has experienced since it merged with Nextel in 2004. The company primarily attributes the softer fall to more easily understood plans and also claims to have a better customer mix, with more of its customers spending extra money on service for unlimited data options like the Simply Everything plan.

HP plans touchscreen notebook in 18 months

08/06, 7:25am

HP Touch Notebook in 18 Mo

HP intends to have a notebook with a touchscreen display on the market within the next 18 months, the company has told the Wall Street Journal. The company was one of the first to introduce a mainstream, touchscreen desktop in the TouchSmart series but now says that it sees enough interest in the format to be one of the first with a portable PC offering a heavily touch-driven interface. The company has already introduced a tablet PC for the mainstream through the tx series but still depends on a stylus inside a conventional interface and would like to change the interface to a more natural one for future devices.

Global release of PuzzLoop for the iPhone announced

08/06, 7:10am

PuzzLoop ported to iPhone

Hudson has announced that today it will be releasing PuzzLoop worldwide for the iPhone and iPod touch. PuzzLoop began as an arcade game in 1998 and has since seen releases for several different platforms. To play players must match up three or more balls of the same color to clear them. The balls are moving in on a rail towards the center of the screen and if they reach they center then the game is over. The new iPhone version features a new control scheme that takes advantage of the iPhone and iPod touch's unique touch screen interface. The controls require a player to simply touch the screen were they want to send a ball.

Nikon D90 to feature video/audio capture, GPS, more

08/06, 1:20am

Nikon D90 details leaked

Specs have leaked for the impending Nikon D90 digital SLR, with the camera allegedly sporting a 12-Megapixel sensor, which is capable of 4.5 frames per second, and live video/audio capture. According to Photography Bay, the new DSLR will also feature built-in HDMI and GPS connections, as well as a kit lens option of a 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G DX VR lens. Nikon is allegedly positioning the D90 as next-generation competitor to current generation camera models.

US sees most of first iPhone run, Japan follows

08/06, 12:50am

US sees most iPhones

The first million iPhones to be sold have seen the most distribution in the United States, capturing over 600,000 units sold, with Japan, Germany, and France following closely behind, making up for 81-percent of the million. Medialets reveals that, while the device saw excellent market penetration in all markets (between 0.33-percent and 0.45-percent, with the US at 1.07-percent), Canadian wireless provider Rogers Wireless saw a mere 0.27-percent, most likely due to activation issues across the entire country at launch.

First Look: Logitech diNovo Edge Keyboard

08/06, 12:10am

Logitech diNovo Edge

Every Mac needs a keyboard, but many people may not realize they have a choice. Most people settle with the keyboard that comes with their iMac while laptop users have no choice but to use their built-in keyboard. However, if you have a Mac mini or Mac Pro, or simply want a more flexible, full-size keyboard to control your iMac or laptop, then take a close look at Logitech's diNovo Edge Keyboard.

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