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iRiver CES introductions
iRiver at CES unveiled its latest multimedia devices including the Wave-Home multimedia device and several portable media players. The Wave-Home interface is displayed on a 7-inch touchscreen that resembles a digital photo frame, but the device also integrates a phone and webcam. A wireless handset fits into the back of the housing for calls made while moving around, or the webcam can be used for video conferencing. Games, weather, news, radio and other widgets are supported.
DealNN: HD displays
DealNN deals for today include a range of items from notebook cases and routers to MacBooks. First up is the APC notebook carrying case priced at $14.99 at MacMall.com. For today only J&R.com is offering the refurbished Linksys wireless G broadband router for $29.99. The Lenovo 19-inch widescreen LCD monitor is available at mWave.com for $129.88. Apple's online store is offering refurbished white MacBooks starting at $849. The refurbished Sony 40-inch LCD HD display has been reduced from $999.99 to $599.99 at SecondAct.com.
Hitachi gesture remote TV
Hitachi was drawing crowds at the CES show with its gesture-controlled HDTV that uses infrared technology (IR) to see user's hand motions and respond accordingly. The display itself was Hitachi's existing 42X902 UltraThin HDTV, while a specially-designed IR sensor and interface were developed to control the TV's basic functions. Users were urged to wave to the TV to turn it on, while changing channels was performed by waving horizontally to bring up a channel menu, then moving an open or pointing hand in a clockwise circle to advance through the channels or counterclockwise to go down through them. Adjusting volume levels was done in similar fashion.
Apple refurbs: $1599, less
Apple's online store is currently offering seven refurbished Mac models for $1,599 or less. Starting at $949 is the white 2.4GHz MacBook with 2GB of memory and a 160GB hard drive. Four iMacs are featured, the first is the 20-inch, 2.4GHz model with 1GB of memory and a 250GB hard drive for $999. The second 20-inch model has a 2.66GHz processor, 2GB of memory and a 320GB hard drive for $1,299. Two 24-inch iMacs top off the list; the 2.8GHz model with 2GB of memory and 320GB hard drive priced at $1,549 and the 2.8GHz model with 2GB of memory and 500GB hard drive is $1,599. Two MacBook Airs also fit into this price range; the 1.6GHz model with 2GB of memory and 80GB hard drive for $999 as well as the 1.8GGHz model with 2GB of memory and 64GB solid state drive for $1,299.
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EVE Online: Apocrypha
CCP has announced the release date of EVE Online: Apocrypha, the tenth free expansion of its science fiction MMO game. EVE Online is a large virtual universe where users pilot their spaceships around as they trade, fight, complete missions, or converse with other players. For the update, users can expect to see unpredicted wormholes opening up that will connect the player to unexplored regions of the universe. Inside these new areas players will find equipment which can be used to create Tech 3 modular ships, large customizable ships that can fill various roles from skirmish muscle to industrial support.
Intel's new Classmate P
At the CES show on Friday, Intel officially released its second-generation Classmate PC, which is the first low-cost educational notebook to use a convertibe tablet design with a touchscreen. The 8.9-inch notebook will use a 1.6GHz Atom processor and be manufactured by local computer makers in the various countries it will be sold in. At the same time, the company announced the Intel Learning Series initiative that combines hardware, software and services designed for education, supporting companies that build products to enhance children's learning experiences.
First Look Numbers 09
As the last new application for iWork, Numbers introduced superior features, but lacked calculating firepower when put head-to-head with Microsoft's Excel. Numbers '09 attempts to remedy this problem, while building on the unique paradigm of a canvas where you place objects like tables, charts and shapes to create a visually-pleasing spreadsheet.
Samsung TwoStep at USC
US Cellular on Friday picked up the Samsung TwoStep. The new music flip phone recalls iPod design with a jogwheel on the outside for controlling volume and skipping tracks on the outside screen without opening the full device. Samsung also outfits the phone with stereo speakers, a dedicated music key on the inside and a microSDHC slot that holds cards up to 8GB.
Alpine intros receivers
Alpine took the opportunity at the CES show to introduce three new head units that will soon be available on the market, with the iXA-W404 and nearly identical iDA-X305 and iDA-X303. Neither has a traditional optical disk drive, relying instead on digital media as their soruce files. The W404 has a double DIN form factor in order to better fit into the dashboards of modern cars, while the latter uses a more traditional single-DIN layout. The Digital Media Station iXA-W404 has an iPhone-like interface, where users can glide their fingers over the 4.3-inch touchscreen to navigate their music libraries.
TomTom GO 740 LIVE in US
TomTom at CES brought out an Americanized version of the GO 740 LIVE, its first real-time aware GPS navigator. It earns its name from a constantly updated GPRS data link that automatically determines the best route based on short- and long-term traffic information. Updates on drive times and accidents are delivered every few minutes and give an immediate option to reroute if conditions delay the optimal route; route histories are also collected over the long term to predict the quickest route based on traffic on particular days or at different times.
FileWave 3.7 ships
FileWave says it has begun selling v3.7 of its namesake software. The program is mainly used to install and configure operating system upgrades across large networks, saving the time of manual installation on each computer. Mac, Windows and Linux systems can be updated, and additional support allows installing third-party apps such as Adobe's Creative Suite.
Ballmer on iPhone and Zune
Relatively new competitors now have the advantage in the smartphone business, Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer said late yesterday to the Financial Times (registration required). Although the executive was well-known for believing in early 2007 that the iPhone wouldn't get market share, he now says that both Apple and BlackBerry creator RIM have "clear market momentum" and that the two are part of an industry likely to survive the poor world economy.
TRENDnet 802.11n routers
Networking company TRENDnet has announced two new Wi-Fi routers (not pictured), beginning with the TEW-673GR. The unit is a dual-band 802.11n model, capable of broadcasting in both the conventional 2.4GHz band and in the 5GHz range, which avoids interference from other wireless hardware such as microwaves and Bluetooth transmitters. Like many 802.11n devices the 673GR has a theoretical peak of 300Mbps, though practical speeds are closer to 200Mbps; as an alternative, gigabit Ethernet connections can be used. Pricing and availability are currently unpublished.
Gateway MD and UC
Gateway's appearance at CES has been accompanied by two new notebook models, each of which is hope to bring upscale features to the mainstream. Starting the launches, the UC series is Gateway's first system with a 13.3-inch screen and borrows design cues from its sibling brand Packard Bell, including the unusually circular trackpad and aluminum trim. The system is relatively light for Gateway's lineup at 5.3 pounds and has extras sometimes omitted from the class such as a 1.3-megapixel webcam, 802.11n Wi-Fi and HDMI video out.
Freeverse iPhone Apps
Freeverse is showcasing four upcoming iPhone and iPod touch games at Macworld Expo: Flick Baseball, SlotZ Racer, Roads of Ruin, and Days of Thunder. Flick Baseball is an arcade baseball game where users can customize their characters and play against other teams. The will include several modes, including full season, exhibition and championship as well as an added feature: home-run competition. Controls for the game have yet to be fully developed.
Apple coming to CES?
Apple may be looking to exhibit at next year's Consumer Electronics Show, a report claims. Citing second-hand sources within Apple, the story suggests that while the company has decided to pull out of future Macworlds, it is already laying plans for CES, which is hosted in Las Vegas every January and populated by over 2,700 hardware and software companies, including a number of PC builders and key rivals, such as Microsoft. CES 2009 is currently ongoing.
Asus CES introductions
At CES this week, Asus introduced two new tablet netbooks, the Eee PC T91 and T101H, and several full-size notebooks including the M90GF and W90Vp. The Eee PC T91 features an 8.9-inch touchscreen with LED backlighting. The system runs on Windows XP Home and uses an Intel Atom Z520 processor, while customers can add an optional GPS receiver or TV tuner. The T101H offers a 10-inch screen and an Atom N270 CPU running the same version of XP as the smaller model but with a keyboard size closer to an average notebook.
Memopal for the iPhone
Memopal has launched an iPhone version of its online data storage and remote access application. The program enables users to browse, search, preview and share files that have been backed up from their Mac or PC, even if the computer is offline. All files are viewed on a web browser in real-time, accessed from the company's website. When running Memopal on a main computer, the program performs automatic backups of all information, starting with applications it believes are higher priority based on the amount of times used. All data is stored using 448-bit encryption for protection and privacy, the company notes.
iFlicks.app 0.7 ($20) can import a users video collection into iTunes. This allows users to view all of their videos in iTunes or transfer them to an iPod or iPhone. iFlicks also downloads Metadata for all videos and has options for manually configuring the data at a later time. The update has added support for Elgato Turbo.264 and also has options for editing details of multiple videos at once. [Download - 0.93MB]
Windows 7 Beta Now Live
As promised during Microsoft's keynote at CES, the company today released the public beta of Windows 7. The ISO image gives users a largely feature-complete version of the next-generation operating system but sets the software to expire on August 1st. Microsoft warns that the software isn't officially supported and that downloads will be limited to the first 2.5 million who start the download.
VIA Technologies has announced the NSD7800, a home server capable of storing large quantities of information from multiple computers. Designed for small or home offices, the NSD7800 supports up to eight 3.5-inch SATA II hard drives. The storage device is powered by a 1.5GHz VIA C7-D processor, and comes equipped with a mini-PCI port for security related add-in cards, a bootable CompactFlash type 1 slot, and four USB 2 ports. It also offers automatic data monitoring and allows users to access their personal information while away from home.
PulpMotion 2 for Mac
Aquafadas has unveiled PulpMotion 2 at Macworld Expo, the latest update to its slideshow animation application. Using the program, people can make custom slideshows from photos, videos, and music files on their computer. Version 2 gives users an improved interface made to simplify the creation process, over 80 themes and presets to choose from, and the ability to create custom themes. Video options were added to enable freezing a movie on the first or last image, after it has played. The update also enables multiple documents to be opened simultaneously, and theme support for transparent backgrounds.
Rochambeau (RPS) (free) is a version of the classic hand game, Rock, Paper, Scissors, for the iPhone and iPod touch. The game can be played locally or online against friends on a users AIM buddy list. Users can choose between multiple characters and also between shake or touch based game play.
Verizon swallows Alltel
Verizon has announced the completion of its move to acquire Alltel Wireless, cleared by the Federal Trade Commission early last month. Verizon is paying approximately $5.9 billion for Alltel's equity, though it will still have to deal with the latter's $22.2 billion in debt. The purchase should make Verizon the largest cellular carrier in the US, bringing in 12.9 million customers for a total of over 83.7 million; by contrast, AT&T has only 74.9 million. Potential coverage is said to be 290 million people.
Dell Notebooks CES 2009
Dell today at a press conference at CES revealed the Inspiron Mini 10 (not yet pictured), its third netbook. While only slightly larger than the Mini 9, the new portable is more advanced than either the smaller model or the Mini 12, including through its display. The namesake 10-inch screen is sharper than on other netbooks and produces a 720p (1280x720) resolution closer to full-size notebooks. The system also incorporates a multi-touch trackpad that not only helps with scrolling and zooming but also the ability to jump to a home screen or automatically scroll the contents of a page.
Protect Files 1.0 released
Apimac has it has released the first verison of Protect Files, a new encryption utility. The software is used to encrypt various items on a Mac, but operates on the concept of Encrypted Spaces, instead of straight file and folder selection. A wizard guides users through the creation of a special volume on a drive, where anything placed inside will be automatically encrypted. The volume must then be unlocked with a password before anything can be added or altered.
Circuit City in Sale Talks
Circuit City on Friday morning made public that it's currently in talks with an unnamed company to potentially sell off its assets following its bankruptcy. The retailer declines to provide any more details than required by a hearing pushing the details into the open but confirms that two "highly motivated" companies are discussing the possibility of deals that would either give the company enough money to continue on and restructure itself or else to effectively buy out the resources of the entire store chain.
Palm Pre GSM and Price
The Palm Pre is already poised to run on more widespread GSM networks but may be more costly regardless of network, according to separate reports. Company European sales VP Paul Ghent tells site Pocket-lint that while the initial version of the Pre is limited to CDMA, a version with at least GSM is enroute to the region for the second half of the year. No mention is made of UMTS or HSPA, though all new Palm GSM phones above the Centro have shipped with both 3G technologies in the past year.
IPod touch use rises
Mobile advertiser AdMob is reporting explosive growth for the iPod touch in its December report, with an unusual demand after Christmas. The Touch is said to have become the #2 device in the AdMob Network, achieving a 4.7 percent share. The US lead the way with 70 percent of purchase requests, though Canada, the UK, Mexico, Germany and France are all said to have shown strong growth.
Needham on Palm Pre
Palm's new Pre smartphone borrows heavily from the Apple iPhone, but shows a lot of promise, writes Needham analyst Charlie Wolf. Palm announced the Pre at a major CES event on Thursday, revealing a device with features signature to the iPhone, such as an accelerometer and multi-touch controls. Wolf argues that the phone may in fact be better in some regards, particularly in terms of its ability to sync contacts and calendars across numerous devices.
Wireless N Travel Router
TRENDnet has announced two of its latest devices, the 300Mbps Wireless N Travel Router, and the 300Mbps Wireless N Gaming Adapter. Standing only 2.5 inches wide by 3.25 inches long by 0.75 inches high, the Wireless N Travel Router is claimed by the company to be the smallest of its type in the world. The compact size nonetheless allows MIMO antennas to improve reception. Feature support is likewise the same as for larger routers, including up to WPA2 encryption.
First Look Pages 09
Pages has always been a decent word processor, but it's never been powerful enough to replace Microsoft Word. Apple has, fortunately, boosted Pages '09 with more features in order to make it a better word processor, and an easier desktop publishing program. It may still not match Word feature-for-feature, but that could be a good thing, as what it does offer may be what you really need.
PowerVR SGX543 and iPhone
Imagination Technologies has quietly introduced a new PowerVR SGX chipset at CES that may point to the future of the iPhone and other graphics-intensive smartphones. The PowerVR SGX543 is the first to use a new platform which its creator estimates is much faster than older SGX and MBX chips. Its new, more vector-friendly graphics engine is about 40 percent faster than the previous SGX series in very effects-heavy graphics, the company claims, and is much faster in floating point math, geometry setup, and culling unneeded parts of the scene than the previous generation.
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4K
AMD entered the second day of CES with a formal unveiling for the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4000 series of notebook graphics chips. The new wave of hardware is based on the same core architecture as the desktop 4000 series and in many cases are much faster for the power used than earlier generations; AMD estimates that performance is as much as twice as fast on a given part versus its 3000 series ancestor. Much of the gain comes from both a cooler 55 nanometer proccess as well an increased number of stream (graphics) units, with the top-end Mobility Radeon HD 4870 and 4850 carrying 800 of the effects generators versus just 320 on the 3870.
JVC touchscreen head unit
JVC Mobile at CES introduced a unique car audio head unit known as the KD-AVX77. The 5.4-inch wide touchscreen unit forgoes nearly all buttons for its control interface. Instead, the device also has a proximity sensor that can register a user's moving hand in front of it to exit its screen saving mode. As the controls are virtual, users can switch the positioning of commonly used functions such as the volume controls. The head unit can play back DVDs as well as CDs, displaying movie content on its display, which is nearly ideally suitable for widescreen movie playback, where the black lines on top or bottom of the image are removed.
Pioneer receivers, Blu-ray
At the CES show, Pioneer showed off a number of new products for the home theater crowd. Made up of four new A/V receivers and three new Blu-ray players, the products bring new features at a lower price level than before. Among the new Blu-ray players is the flagship DBP-09FD with DVD upscaling to 1080p resolutions and 24fps. It is BD Live ready and support Bonus View. Apart from 48-bit deep color support, there are dual HDMI 1.3a outputs and a Pioneer 16-bit video processor.
Memorex at CES launched several new audio products including three iPod docks and a touchscreen MP3 player. The Mi9490P offers a 30-watt speaker system, slot-load CD player and an FM radio, with an integrated dock for the iPod or iPhone. The all-black housing is designed with slightly rounded edges and a white-on-black LCD. The Mi4290P provides clock-radio functions in addition to the dock capabilities. Users can control the system with a remote or set the alarm to play an iPod track.
Compositor at CES unveiled several MeeSeries products including the MeeBox media storage device, MeeFrame digital photo frames, MeeTV LCD and a MeeCeiver attachment for other televisions. The MeeBox includes two hard drives with capacities up to 2TB, although half of the space is used for automatic backup of any data. The device serves as the central unit for the system, controlling the wireless distribution of media to the digital frames or TV.
Electronista got a first-hand look at several new Griffin accessories featured at CES and Macworld, including the Navigate controller and upcoming IFM app for the iPhone and iPod touch. The Navigate controller features an integrated FM tuner and a white-on-black LCD screen. The track information was easy to view but subtle, while the control buttons allowed easy browsing through the songs, playlists or FM channels.
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