Dell has inadvertently posted a reference on its Canadian site to a new display that promises to overcome the weaknesses of most other LCDs its size. The UltraSharp 2209WA (2009W pictured) has the same 1680x1050 resolution, 300cd/m2 brightness and 1,000:1 contrast ratio as many similar 22-inch screens but has a feature nicknamed TrueColor that the company argues provides more accurate images; this and a particularly wide 178-degree viewing angle suggests the screen is using a rare, more color-rich PVA or IPS panel for the display instead of a more common TN panel that often has both fewer colors and narrower 170-degree views.
After demand began to slow its website and interfere with other services, Microsoft on Friday pulled the Windows 7 beta and postponed it indefinitely. Citing "very heavy traffic," it removed the download, but did not offer a new schedule for delivering the beta of its newest operating system, according to Macworld UK. The company on Wednesday announced it would provide a public beta of the next-generation Windows operating system, but said that it would cap the number of Windows 7 beta activation keys at 2.5 million; other users will be able to download the beta, but only run the software as a 30-day trial (though many have figured out how to extend the trial to 120 days using the "slmgr -rearm" command that was used for Windows Vista). Update: The official (direct) download links are available (32-bit, 64-bit) and the website is available (but very slow).
Ford this week introduced a new set of SYNC 3.0 services that leverage voice-recognition software, integrated GPS technology and Bluetooth-capable mobile phones to deliver personalized traffic reports, turn-by-turn driving directions and up-to-date information (business listings, news, sports and weather) -- without the need for a built-in navigation system. Due this spring, SYNC 3.0 with Traffic, Directions and Information will deliver hands-free access to personalized traffic reports, turn-by-turn driving directions and up-to-date information including business listings, news, sports and weather using a customer's cell phone.
pureSilicon this week showed its 1TB 2.5-inch SSD drive (pictured below). Featuring standard SATA II drive interface, the device, is "the most compact SSD per gigabyte: 15.40GB per cubic centimeter in a 2.5-inch form-factor" -- at least three times greater than any other SSD on the market, the company claims. The company says the high density has been achieved through innovative engineering techniques and its "exceptionally" thin enclosure and that four of the devices can fit into the same form factor as a typical 3.5-inch drive. Currently, the company say the SSD line is built for server, networking, datacenter, supercomputing, and professional media, but the technology lays the groundwork for high-capacity SSD for consumers.
One of the final components of Sony's CES 2009 launches includes sweeping changes to its digital audio offerings, starting with its headphones. The MDR-XB series is the company's first to stress bass and contain drivers skewed towards dance and urban music. Three earcup models, the XB300, XB500 and XB700, have drivers between 30mm and 50mm in size and are cushioned for long listening sessions. The XB20EX and XB40EX are in-ear models and contain drivers between 9mm and 13.5mm.
Besides its first computers, ViewSonic has also used CES to introduce its first 3D-capable displays and a round of photo frames. Heading up the line is the VX2265wm FuHzion. The 22-inch panel can output a stereoscopic 3D image viewable with NVIDIA's GeForce 3D Vision and uses its extra refresh to generate a 120Hz 2D picture that restores some of the detail lost in fast-moving images.
Sharp's CES introductions have continued with a major expansion of its iPod speaker dock line as well as two new 2.1-channel sound bars for home theaters. The DK-AP7N (not yet shown) is a folding yet subwoofer-equipped dock tailored both to listening to iPods and home as well as travel use; battery power lets it play sound for up to five hours before returning to an AC adapter. The stereo has DSP hardware that theoretically improves the quality of compressed audio as well as video out for supporting iPods.
Tech startup Tricklestar has introduced two new devices aimed at energy wasting home electronics. By one estimate, idle game consoles and other devices cost US consumers $1 billion each year. Inserted between the wall outlet and a power strip, the PC TrickleSaver senses when a computer is powered down, and shuts off peripheral devices like printers and scanners. The Universal TrickleSaver works the same way with high-power devices like televisions.
As part of its larger CES campaign, Sony has upgraded its iPhone and iPod audio line with several new audio systems. The LBT-ZX99i and LBT-ZX66i (shown) Muteki systems upgrade older models and are geared to playing iPhone or iPod music loud and for gaming thanks to higher-powered speakers and a new Game Sync Mixing mode. As the starter model, the ZX66i still outputs 560W with four hybrid mid-range/subwoofer units and dual tweeters; the ZX99i expands to 720W with larger woofers and tweeters.
Sharp at CES launched aggressively into its third wave of AQUOS Blu-ray readers with two stand-alone players and a pair of home theaters that also carry the new storage. The BD-HP22U (not yet pictured) is the company's first Blu-ray Profile 2.0 player and uses an Ethernet connection to use Internet-specific special features on newer movies; it also bundles a 2GB USB drive to cache Internet features. Both this and the Profile 1.1-only BD-HP16U also have a slimmer design than past models, full 7.1-channel Dolby TrueHD and HD DTS Master Audio sound, and lower power consumption that drops to 19W.
Long-awaited fuel cell technology is about to reach consumers, and two companies are showing off competing technologies at CES. Medis Technologies is using alkaline technology in its squeeze-to-activate power packs, while Horizon Fuel Cell Tehnology is using compact hydrogen-based cylinders about the size of conventional flashlight batteries.
Designers at Zagg audio think they've found a niche in the crowded market for iPhone earbuds: eliminating tangles. Z.buds are equipped with stiffer, yet sturdier nylon cables that are not likely to bunch together into a tangled mess, the company says. A quick hands-on demo at CES shows the technology does appear to work -- the Z.buds were hard to tangle even when wadded up.
Developers at Citrix have been doing some guerilla marketing at Macworld Expo, holding impromptu demonstrations of forthcoming app allowing iPhone users to run Windows. The app is actually an iphone version of the company's XenDesktop thin client software. The virtualization software supports most Windows XP and Vista applications.
First look: Sony at CES announced the VAIO P, which was on display and garnering interest from huge crowds milling around the Central Hall of the 2009 CES show. The notebook features an 8-inch LED-backlit screen and weighs in at 1.4-lbs, with an Atom 1.33 GHz processor and 2GB of RAM. The notebook size is comparable to a letter-sized envelope, just 9.6-inches wide by 4.7-inches deep and measuring only .78-inches high, with four color choices including black, white, red and green. The device runs on the Vista platform and offers an integrated GPS receiver with voice navigation. Wireless connectivity options include Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 802.11 B, G and N, along with wireless EVDO technology for Verizon's network.
At CES on Thursday, Polaroid officially introduced the PoGo instant digital camera that prints its own images. The camera effectively integrates the PoGo printer out in stores since the summer and introduced at last yearís CES to produce the images. Interestingly, Polaroid did not release the megapixel count of the camera, nor is it visible anywhere on the body Ė a definitive break from the norm. Otherwise, users get a 3-inch LCD screen and a 4x digital zoom. Onboard storage is limited to 16MB, but is expandable via SD cards.
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Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl