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XPERIA X1 delayed
While Sony is expected to ship its XPERIA X1 touchscreen phone in October, new information seen on the UK Sony Style website hints that the release could be pushed back to January 2009. The Register reveals that a menu selection graphic contains a "January" tag, with the product page itself claiming the launch date is undecided. The information comes after conflicting news that Sony Ericsson already mistakenly delayed the device, and retailer Expansys claiming it had receive demonstration units of the phone already.
SugarSync for iPhone
Sharpcast says it has released the "first ever" commercial app allowing over-the-air push synchronization with between iPhones, Macs and PC's. SugarSync stores data in the company's "secure online digital vault," (or cloud) where it can then be shared across platforms. A unique feature turns the iPhone into a remote control, allowing users to transfer files between other computers without downloading to the iPhone itself.
Comcast 250GB internet cap
Comcast on Thursday revealed it would enact a 250GB download cap on users' Internet connections on October 1st as part of an effort to combat illegal peer-to-peer exchanges of software and rich media. Ars Technica reveals that Comcast is offering the "extremely large amount of data" to users, and would actively warn top downloaders who exceed the limit to cut back. The move comes after the FCC reprimanded Comcast for manipulating bandwidth or service availability for users running P2P software.
Ultrasone Pro900 headphone
German headphone company Ultrasone has released its latest set, the PRO 900. This closed-back headphone features 40mm Titanium-plated drivers that incorporate magnetic shielding and "S-Logic Plus" technology claimed to enhance the listening experience. Two sets of velvet covered earpads are included, and a choice of spiral or straight cables. Regarding performance specs, the frequency range is 6Hz-42kHz, with 40 Ohm impedance, and sound pressure levels of 96 dB.
ProRes Final Cut update
Apple has released ProRes QuickTime Decoder 1.0 for Mac and Windows, in addition to an update for Final Cut Express 4.0.1. The new decoder allows ProRes files to be played through QuickTime. Apple's ProRes "visually lossless" format was developed last year to be used in high definition footage post production. Either 1080p or 720p resolutions can be edited without the equipment required for uncompressed video, the signal rates are compressed to standard definition levels. With the addition of QuickTime compatibility, projects can be reviewed and approved outside of Final Cut Studio.
Motorola Q Global updated
Motorola has announced the latest version of the Q Global, now including Windows Media 6.1. With the new capabilities of WM 6.1, Motorola is developing its Q line to compete with the variety of smartphones being released by companies like RIM, Apple, and HTC. The operating system was refined, adding capabilities, streamlining functions, and improving security.
Rogers iPhone data plans
After a great deal of public focus, Canada's Rogers Wireless has revealed that, despite the scrutiny the company's data plans see, 95-percent of iPhone customers have used less than 10-percent of their data plan. The news comes after Rogers was blasted for not including unlimited data like with AT&T in the US, according to The Globe and Mail. The figures surprise Rogers executives, who have said that the sold quantity of iPhones is "well into the six figures."
iPhone security fix coming
Confirming the forthcoming iPhone 2.0x software update, Apple on Thursday promised it would deliver an security update for the recently publicized iPhone security flaw that could allow users to access some password-locked iPhones. First noted earlier this week, a simple series of keystrokes -- first the emergency button and then double tapping the home button --- could allow users in some cases to access private information on the device despite the screen lock.
Dell dissappoints in Q2
Dell on Thursday posted a disappointing drop in quarterly earnings, citing slow IT spending in Asia and Western Europe, and increased spending to drive growth. The company's surprising 17 percent decline in quarterly profit sent the world's second largest PC maker's shares down more than 10 percent. Dell reported fiscal second quarter revenue of $16.4 billion, up 11 percent year-over-year and driven by a 19 percent increase in worldwide product shipments, but its $0.33 EPS, before one-time costs, was short of investors' expectations of $0.36 per share. After its one-time costs and amortization, Dell's profit fell to $616 million in the second quarter (ended August 1) or 31 cents per diluted share, from the restated year-ago net income of $746 million, or 33 cents per diluted share.
Samsung Blu-ray player
Samsung's previously leaked Blu-ray player, the BD-2500, has been officially announced on Thursday. What has changed since is the name, as the new player is called BD-2500 instead of BD-2550. Thanks to Hollywood Quality Video (HQV) processing, the new player will be able to upscale standard definition DVDs and deliver xvYCC Deep Color support in addition to 24fps film mode. It will come pre-loaded with BD Live Profile 2.0 software, as well as Bonus View Profile 1.1, making bonus content from the Internet accessible thanks also to an integrated Ethernet port.
LG intros 3G X110 netbook
LG made everyone wait until Thursday to release its rumored X110 10-inch notebook that would compete with the likes of the ASUS EeePC and the MSI Wind at the IFA 2008 consumer electronics expo. The portable computer uses HSPA 3G for mobile access to data, in addition to a 802.11b/g wireless LAN connection and dedicated Ethernet port. The processor will be an unspecified one from Intel's Atom line-up, working with 1GB of RAM.
Toshiba intros REGZA lines
At the IFA 2008 show in Berlin, Toshiba unveiled two new REGZA-branded LCD HDTV lines, including the ZF series which is capable of up-converting standard definition video files into high-definition ones all by itself. The TV line does this by way of what Toshiba is calling Resolution+ technology that uses the same type of Cell processors as the ones used in Sony's PlayStation 3 gaming console to enhance edges and details in images. The ZF-series displays will be available in a 40-inch size with the 40ZF575D and the 46-inch 46ZF575D.
Core Cases iPhone 3G case
Accessory maker Core Cases has announced its first self-titled case for the iPhone 3G. The case wraps only around the back and edges of an iPhone, allowing access to the touchscreen; special openings are also cut out for components like buttons, the camera, speakers, and the dock connector. The touchscreen opening extends to expose the Home button.
Philips HDTV, sound system
Philips introduced a suite of new electronics at the IFA 2008 consumer electronics show headlined by a new extremely thin HDTV thus far known only as the Essence. At less than 1.5 inches thick, the Essence features a 120Hz 42-inch LCD display with a response time of 2 milliseconds. Philips even includes a self-leveling mounting kit with the Essence, which moves the speakers, tuner and video and power connections to a separate hub in order to make the slim size possible.
Panasonic next-gen plasmas
Panasonic on Thursday announced it will show off five prototype plasma display panels that are significantly thinner, more efficient and / or larger than current models at the IFA 2008 show in Berlin, which kicks off Friday. The prototypes will include a 42-inch display that is twice as efficient and therefore uses half the energy of Panasonic's existing panels of the same size that maintains the same brightness settings.
Google Android Market
Google today revealed fuller details of Android Market, its previously hinted at store for software for phones based on the Android mobile operating system. Similar to the iPhone's App Store, the portal is hosted by Google itself and is created to give third-party developers a common, easily accessible location to give away or sell their apps. Unlike Apple's screened content, however, the company plans an "open and unobstructed" environment where apps aren't banned for legal content or functions.
Daylite 3.7.6 update
Marketcircle has released Daylite 3.7.6, an update to its productivity suite. The software claims to ease Windows-to-Mac transitions, particularly for small businesses, and in this latest version fixes a bug that caused the application to restart when a sync failed. The software has also seen a new feature added, one which schedules automatic database backups through Daylite Maintenance Preferences.
See2 Xtreme, video card
Monitors keep getting bigger and bigger, but it seems that the more display space you have, the more you may want. While Leopard provides Spaces so you can flip through multiple virtual desktops, you may prefer connecting multiple monitors to your Mac instead. For a simple solution to plugging in additional monitors to any Mac, take a look at Tritton's See2 Xtreme external video card.
BBEdit 9.0 released
Bare Bones has released v9.0 of BBEdit, its text and code editing software. The key addition to the software is said to be the addition of Projects, which replace file groups, and allow users to directly create, delete and rename files and folders. The contents of Projects can be searched, as well as processed through text factories.
Sony HW10 and IT1000
Sony's home theater introductions at Europe's IFA show have been rounded off through the launch of a BRAVIA projector and a matching BRAVIA Theatre Blu-ray home theater. The HW10 front projector is part of Sony's latest SXRD-based lineup and is designed for relatively high-end home theater setups with native 1080p, 24 frames per second output and a contrast ratio as good as modern HDTVs at 30,000:1. It further supports x.v.Color (Deep Color) video and is matched by a more recent BRAVIA image processing engine that allegedly maintains detail without the screen door or moire effects that often result from a sharper digital picture.
ComChart Medical Software is attempting to promote the use of Apple computers within the medical community by offering a free license to use ComChart EMR for the remainder of 2008. ComChart EMR was designed in the office of a practicing physician and has been designed to be intuitive for other physicians. It allows the user to preform various tasks such as schedule appointments and keep medical records. It has been made in a way that allows users to customize almost every feature meaning a user can adapt the program to help with their specific needs. The application has most recently been updated to work with the iPhone, adding specific support for iPhone users accessing EMR's web interface.
Sonar Bookend XTensions
XChange International has released an upgrade to its Sonar Bookends line of XTensions. Xref, Sequence, Fnote and QkLink have all been updated to work with QuarkXPress 8. Xref is a cross-reference generator that embeds reference items such as tables, appendices, chapters and figures. It utilizes a tagging system, which allows cross-references to be inserted whether a document is active or complete. The plug-in is also capable of updating cross-references across multiple files by opening all of the related files in advance.
Sanyo PLV Z60 projector
Sanyo has introduced a new home theater projector also built with PCs in mind. The projector's 3LCD system is unusually sharp among mainstream projectors with a 720p resolution and produces output closer to HDTVs, with a 10,000:1 contrast ratio and 1,200 lumens of brightness. An optical zoom out to 2x allows the unit to present a 100" picture from 9.8 feet to 20 feet away. The exact position of the image can be adjusted horizontally or vertically. When the unit is not being used, a servo-controlled shutter covers the lens.
A new application for tracking nutritional intake has been released for the Mac, BeFit. The software helps users track several different factors, such as calories, fat and sugar. Users can define explicitly what they want to track, and in turn access graphs and other analyses based on the food they record. The software has a food list with over 7,000 items from the USDA database, and additionally supports custom food lists and recipes. Spotlight support allows faster searches for food items.
Amazon Dismisses Rumors
Amazon has no plans to revamp the Kindle e-book reader before the end of the year, the online retailer's key spokesman Craig Berman told the New York Times on Thursday. The official doesn't deny the potential for a refresh but can say "for sure" that there will be no new versions of the device before the end of the year. He also declines to say when an update is likely but alludes to an update launching sometime during 2009 "at the earliest," pointing to a sequel still in mid-development.
Samsung X360 Notebook
Samsung used IFA to claim the limelight with its X360 notebook. The system is consciously pitted against the MacBook Air and is described as "lighter than air," carrying the same 13.3-inch screen as its Apple counterpart but weighing a slightly lighter 2.8 pounds. Samsung reaches the goal by using a slower, ultra-low voltage Core 2 Duo processor which sacrifices performance in return for smaller, cooler components and battery life between six to 10 hours.
Sony intros BRAVIA LCDs
Japanese electronics giant Sony today introduced four new lines of BRAVIA LCDs, including the XR1 series, which sports a new LED backlight to endow the sets with a 1,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio; the ZX1 series, featuring a sub-0.4-inch LCD thickness at the thinnest point; the W1 line, with Sony's Motion Flow 240Hz display panel, and the X1 collection, which relies on existing CCFL backlighting technology to deliver 3,000:1 contrast. All are capable of 1080p resolution.
Telestream acquires Vara
Telestream, known for Flip4Mac, Episode, and FlipFactory, announced its acquisition of Vara Software, a company specialized in live production and streaming content products. Telestream has previously retained a focus on encoding-based solutions for media businesses. This acquisition will allow expansion of its services to include real-time content, while appealing to a broader customer base.
250GB Comcast cap in Oct.?
Cable Internet provider Comcast may be implementing a 250GB transfer cap as soon as October 1st, anonymous sources claim. The company has been moving towards more neutral bandwidth-limiting techniques, following an FCC ruling that sabotaging BitTorrent traffic violates net neutrality policies. Although BitTorrent seeds are frequently used to share pirated material, they are also used for legitimate peer-to-peer distribution, and the FCC has noted that blocking BitTorrent unnecessarily favors some forms of Internet traffic over others.
Squeezebox Boom and Z-500
Logitech on Thursday turned its attention to wireless audio courtesy of both a wholly independent Internet radio and speakers built just for notebooks. One of the first fruits of Logitech's buyout of Squeezebox, the Squeezebox Boom can pull and play unprotected music from any recent Mac or Windows PC on a local 802.11g Wi-Fi network but also picks up Internet streaming radio services entirely on its own, including largely free services such as Last.FM, Pandora or Slacker as well as a user's memberships to primarily for-pay services such as Rhapsody and Sirius' Internet streams.
False Steve Jobs obituary
An obituary for Apple CEO Steve Jobs was recently published accidentally through Bloomberg's financial newswire, reports say. The article, though several pages long, is incomplete, with gaps for Jobs' age and means of death. It also suggests a number of important people to interview for quotes, including Steve Wozniak, the other founder of Apple; Heidi Roizen, an ex-girlfriend of Jobs; and Jon Rubinstein, former head of Apple's iPod division. The obituary was quickly retracted, but not before a copy began to circulate online.
Apple Mac Tablet Patent
Apple has been developing interface technology that would allow for a multi-touch handheld with full Mac OS X rather than a streamlined interface, the company has revealed through a US patent filing published today. Showing an example device which is clearly portable, the patent for a gesture system would adapt many of the basic control scheme elements familiar to Mac OS X to an environment where touch input is assumed but which is larger than an iPhone or iPod touch-class device.
True source of 3G issues?
Ongoing 3G connection problems with the iPhone are actually a mix of software and networking issues, a new account indicates. The report from Roughly Drafted cites "an inside source from AT&T," who explains that the trouble originates with how UMTS-based cellular networks function. All devices tapping into a UMTS node demand a certain amount of power, and once a certain threshold is reached, the node can run out of power to share. At this stage a node will begin dropping calls, and graphs are said to demonstrate this exact event coinciding with the release of the iPhone 3G.
Sharp XS1 and IFA 2008
Sharp today opened up its launches for IFA with updates targeted at HD video. The AQUOS XS1 is both the company's thinnest-ever TV at 0.9 inches -- half as much as before -- but is also its most vivid, using LED backlighting to boost the contrast ratio up to 1,000,000:1, besting plasma TVs and rivaling CRTs. The lighting also helps the set reach an extreme color accuracy of 150 percent of the NTSC color gamut, preventing the color banding that has sometimes affected past HDTVs.
iPhone battery & SIM tray
USBfever has announced two new products for the iPhone 3G: an external battery, and a replacement SIM tray. The Portable Power Station attaches to an iPhone through the dock connector, and wraps around the back of the device. It features LED lights to indicate power levels, as well as a built-in speaker to compensate for covering the iPhone's own. The battery casing also has a slot for the camera, allowing its full use even when the battery is attached. The replacement SIM tray fits seamlessly into the iPhone 3G's SIM slot, and is available in both black and white.
TomTom GO x40 LIVE
TomTom used the prelude to the IFA expo to introduce an update to its GO GPS units. While cosmetically similar to earlier models, the GO x40 LIVE series is billed as the first to have an extremely detailed history of the travel times for roads in its coverage area, letting its IQ Routes feature automatically pick the best route to avoid traffic congestion at rush hour regardless of the actual street. The upgrade also adds HD Traffic support for European maps that TomTom claims is the most accurate of its type and which can catch unusual spikes in traffic that IQ Routes may miss.
Belfast, San Mateo stores
Apple is nearing the launch of its first retail store in Northern Ireland, according to multiple accounts. The company's Belfast store, as hinted at in March, is said by The Irish News to be "on the verge of opening" in Victoria Square, although the paper claims that Apple is keeping even the store's existence under wraps. The store is definitely known to exist however, as photos (see below) clearly show the construction of Apple's typical glass facade, complete with a hollowed-out space for an Apple logo.
Sony Walkman Aug 2008
Sony today followed through on recent leaks with a significant overhaul of its Walkman music players. Apart from a new design that slims the device down to under 0.3 inches and harmonizes the look among all video-capable Sony players, the S730 series are the first to simplify smart playlists with a fully automatic feature known as SensMe. The addition gauges the tempo, rhythm, and other factors of songs and creates as many as 11 playlists of its own to match a given mood.
VimpelCom Gets iPhone
Russian telecoms firm VimpelCom today said it has struck an agreement with Apple to carry the iPhone 3G, making it the first carrier in the country officially set to offer the device. The telecoms firm follows the practices of earlier carrier announcements and doesn't commit to a particular release date, saying only that it would have the device "later this year."
Sony Cyber-shot T500
Not content with earlier announcements, Sony on Thursday added another entry into its touchscreen Cyber-shots with a second high-end model. The T500 is dominated by the same 3.5-inch touchscreen interface and 10 megapixel sensor as the T700 but exchanges the 4GB of internal storage with Memory Stick cards and high-performance video capture; as the first Sony camera capable of recording in HD, the T500 records in widescreen 720p in H.264 with stereo audio, making clips easy to either edit in common HD editing tools such as iMovie or to downscale for uploading to most online video sites.
iPhone antennas work fine
Thorough testing of the iPhone 3G's various antennas have revealed that they are not the cause of users' 3G woes, after three of the devices were run through trials in a $100,000 test chamber similar to ones used by Motorola. When placed in the chamber, the iPhone demonstrated no irregularities when sending or receiving 3G data, showing only a 2 dB variance from a Sony Ericsson P1 and Nokia N73. Göteborgs-Posten reveals [1|2] that a 4 to 6 dB variance would be cause for alarm.
Microsoft Nikon agreement
Microsoft and Nikon on Thursday announced that they have signed a cross-licensing patent agreement on Nikon's digital camera patents as well as consumer electronics patents from each company. The details of the agreement, which covers a "broad range" of consumer products from each company, does include some (undisclosed) compensation by Nikon. Looking to innovate on each other's technologies, the companies have previously collaborated on bringing wireless cameras and RAW processing and said that that the new patent cross-licensing agreement will "substantially benefit customers of consumer products including digital cameras."
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