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EchoStar T2200S settop DVR
EchoStar has introduced the T2200S, a cable version of its SlingLoaded DVR that was designed to work with Dish Network. The new device is compatible with any Tru2way cable system and provides standard DVR features in addition to integrated Slingbox functionality. The box features a 1TB hard drive, dual-tuner and Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) support, a built-in DOCSIS cable modem and a SlingGuide search engine.
TomTom and MS Settlement
Microsoft and TomTom today said they have reached a settlement regarding their patent dispute that will put an end to their mutual lawsuits over GPS technology. The agreement sees TomTom get "coverage" from Microsoft for 3 patents that reportedly still meet TomTom's requirements for its GPL v2 license. In exchange, TomTom must remove the features related to two FAT file system patents within the next two years.
NVIDIA Quadro Multi OS SLI
NVIDIA on Monday launched what it considers a sweeping change to its pro graphics with significant re-launches and updates to much of its Quadro line. The FX 3800, 4800 and 5800 now all support a new technique known as multi-OS SLI: in systems with multiple supporting cards, a card can be dedicated to an individual virtual OS in Parallels Workstation Extreme and give it nearly the same performance as if the graphics were native. It can also be used for CUDA or other general-purpose tasks that would normally be off-limits to a virtual machine.
Sony denies PS3 price drop
Sony has denied rumors regarding an imminent price drop for the PS3. The specific rumor that elicited the response had suggested the company was preparing for a Tuesday announcement which was believed to include a lower price for the gaming console or a new browser and online content. Analysts, such as Mike Hickey from Janco Partners, still expect Sony to eventually cut prices sometime between April and June.
DirecTV iPhone app
DirecTV has launched an app that allows customers to control their home DVR systems from an iPhone or iPod touch. A search function can be used to find shows up to 14 days in advance, or the content can be browsed by channel or date and time. The listings include additional information such as show descriptions, length and rating. Users can record single shows, an entire series or Pay Per View content.
HP intros Z Workstations
HP on Monday announced the upcoming release of three new Z-series workstation PCs. The flagship Z800, mid-range Z600 and entry-level Z400 are powered by Intel's Nehalem-era Xeon processors and require no tools to access and service all of their components, including their power supplies and motherboards. The modular interior design is cable-less, while the exteriors are designed by BMW Group Designworks USA and thought to add extra appeal to normally plain pro systems. The flagship Z800 Workstation is meant for highly-advanced applications such as 3D animation, broadcast video or medical imaging.
TimeTable, Safari 4 Buddy
VideoFlash Converter 2.4 ($40) allows the conversion of QuickTime compatible video files to either the Adobe Flash SWF or FLV format. The most popular formats are supported, including AVI, MOV, MPG, DivX and more. Version 2.4 includes a new Preview Pane that is displayed while flash movies are loaded from the web and a new rangebar style. [Download - 16.2MB]
MS Drops 99 Update Policy
Microsoft today said it would abandon a controversial plan for its upcoming Windows Mobile Marketplace that would charge $99 for each app update past the initial five handled by its year-long developer subscriptions. Speaking to CNET, a spokesperson said the company would now let developers submit any minor or major updates to any published app for free. Additional fees will now only come with entirely new apps beyond the initial limit.
DEVON apps reach beta 4
DEVOtechnologies has posted the fourth public betas of DEVONthink 2.0 and DEVONnote 2.0. The former is used to manage files, bookmarks, notes and other material, linking them together with shared ideas; DEVONnote uses a similar concept, but concentrates solely on storing notes. Both of the beta 4 releases include a new Clip to DEVONthink bookmarklet, and an option to convert webpages into PDF files.
Intel Nehalem Xeons
Intel this afternoon finally made its Nehalem-based Xeon processors available to a wider audience. First introduced in the Mac Pro, the single-socket Xeon 3500 (not used by Apple) and the dual-socket Xeon 5500 share the same roots as Core i7 and drop the old northbridge system controller and system bus in favor of a point-to-point architecture known as the QuickPath Interface that talks directly to memory and peripherals. The memory controller is now built-in and can talk to three memory channels, improving bandwidth even as it drops lag.
LG outs GD900 specs
First spotted in mid-February at Mobile World Congress, LG's GD900 handset has received more specifications from its maker. The full touchscreen phone is expected to appear at this week's CTIA Wireless show in Las Vegas and will feature haptic feedback for its 3-inch touchscreen and signature and unique transparent touchpad. LG also claims the touchpad will support finger-writing recognition rather than needing a stylus.
Netflix ups Blu-ray prices
Rent-by-mail and online video rental company Netflix on Monday notified its subscribers that it would raise prices by nearly 20 percent for its Blu-ray library. Prices for standard-definition offerings on DVD will remain the same, with the new prices coming into effect on or after April 27th. Subscribers who do not wish to get their fees hiked need to disable the Blu-ray preference on their online accounts, Netflix says.
App Fiend, Basetent
ActivePrint Traveler ($4) allows users to print various files directly from their iPhone or iPod touch. Items that can be printed include photos from the Photo Library, contacts from the Address Book, web pages and plain text from a built in notepad screen. The application also allows users to select how many copies of a document they would like printed and in what orientation. The application works by connecting to a free desktop program that can be run on any Windows PC from a USB flash drive.
No low-cost iPhone?
In spite of continual suggestions to the contrary, a low-cost version of the iPhone appears unlikely to be announced this June, says RBC Capital analyst Mike Abramsky. Citing "build data and other checks" as evidence, Abramsky suggests that if a cheaper iPhone is in development, there is little chance of it shipping soon. For Apple this is said to offer the advantage of protecting profit margins, but at the possible risk of letting more affordable competitors steal marketshare.
LG Lotus in textured red
Sprint announced on Monday that its version of the LG Lotus handset will soon be offered in a textured red finish at the carrier. The flip-phone sports a full QWERTY keyboard in an unusual, wide design has a and single-click interface that provides users with a shortcut to often accessed features such as texting, e-mail, navigation, and Sprint's TV and music store services.
Macworld gets new schedule
IDG World Expo has announced that the upcoming Macworld Expo 2010 is scheduled to take place February 9th through the 13th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, marking a shift from the historical early-January timing. The company also chose to adjust the schedule to include Saturday, a move that could remove scheduling conflicts for the group of potential attendees that are busy working Monday through Friday.
Sony acTVila BD recorders
Sony Japan has recently announced the upcoming release of a pair of Blu-ray Disc recorders, the 500GB BDZ-A950 and 320GB BDZ-A750. Both support the acTVila video delivery service for digital TVs in Japan, and have the ability to export recorded or downloaded content onto Sony's portable multimedia devices, including the PSP gaming console and Walkman devices. As well, Sony says content recorded from analog broadcasts or other that does not contain copy protection signals can be sent to cellphones.
XpressMusic 5800 update
Nokia has launched a firmware update on Monday for its 5800 XpressMusic handset that increases the speed of the user interface and Internet downloads. The free update can be downloaded now and also adds an in-device search function and an automatic application updater that checks Nokia's online app store for updates and downloads them on its own.
Huawei Android on T-Mo Q3
Huawei's first Android phone (pictured is now set to become one of T-Mobile's first non-HTC Android devices, if a leak proves true. A claimed "trusted" source for TmoNews asserts that the touchscreen device is being tested for a summer launch and that it should be a high-end phone with a 5-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi and a 3.5mm headphone jack for music. However, it isn't yet known to include UMA support for VoIP over T-Mobile's HotSpot Calling service.
China Unicom deal delay?
A deal between Apple and China Unicom is unlikely to take place in the near future, says Wedge Partners. The research firm notes that while Unicom is now often seen as close to becoming the official Chinese iPhone carrier, a variety of factors suggest that a deal could be delayed for months more. Central among these is a new list of phones to be authorized for the company's 3G network, which include a number of other major manufacturers, but not Apple.
Motorola S305 headphones
Motorola has recently introduced its latest set of headphones, the wireless stereoMOTOROKR S305. Like others, they use Bluetooth's A2DP standard for connecting with compatible devices and receiving a stereo signal with controls. The 30mm (nearly 1.2-inch) drivers in each earpod are relatively large and said to deliver a wider music range, with the outside of one of the pod's housing the audio track navigation, volume and call controls.
Dell Inspiron Desktop 2009
Dell on mid-Monday launcheed a major update to the look of its Inspiron desktops. The new models have sleeker redesigns and come in 8 solid colors for both slimline and regular mini-tower versions. The Texas PC creator also promises a wide spread between low-cost and mid-range systems ranging from either an AMD Sempron or Intel Celeron starter up to quad-core Phenom X4 and Core 2 Quad chips.
Toshiba buys Pnsnc. stake
Toshiba is in negotiations to buy out Panasonic's stake of a joint LCD venture, claims the Financial Times. Panasonic currently controls 40 percent of Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology, which produces smaller LCDs used in products like cellphones. The venture has been hit by falling product prices however, and is predicting an operating loss of approximately 30 billion yen ($309.6 million) in the fiscal year ending March 2009.
Epson 410W projector
Epson on Monday announced it will soon add the PowerLite 410W projector to its line-up of classroom projectors, which is due to replace the current 400W (pictured) when it launches. Both short throw, widescreen 3LCD projectors share the same 1280x800 native resolution, filling out the 16:10 aspect ratio of most modern notebooks. Changes from the older model center on a shorter-throw lens that lets the 410W create a 60-inch, 16:10 image from just two feet away. To improve its usefuleness in small classrooms, the projector also gets a wall-mounting option.
AKVIS Sketch 8.6 update
AKVIS has released an update to Sketch, its photo conversion utility for Mac and Windows systems. The software operates either as a standalone or a plug-in, and uses filters to render photos as pencil, charcoal or watercolor images. Finished conversions can be blended with untouched photos or blurred to simulate motion or depth-of-field.
Britain vs. gun apps
Anti-gun organizations in the UK are expressing "outrage" over a collection of gun-based iPhone applications at the App Store, according to regional newspapers. Leading these is an advisory group for the Operation Trident program at the London Metropolitan Police, which is aiming to suppress gun crime. "This [gun app collection] is hugely irresponsible in a climate when we are trying to get guns off the streets," says the advisory group's chair, Claudia Webbe.
Google offers free songs
report maintains that compared to Baidu, Google has not offered high quality legal music downloads, which hurt its popularity. Google will share its advertising revenue with the music labels to make downloads legal and keep artists happy. The brand-new service so far offers 350,000 tracks from Chinese and foreign artists, although this is expected to jump to 1.1 million songs over the next few months.
WD Buys SiliconSystems
Western Digital this morning grabbed an edge against rival Seagate by acquiring flash storage maker SiliconSystems for $65 million. The deal takes effect almost immediately and will set the new division towards producing solid-state drives (SSDs) for its parent. No immediate product plans have been announced, but SiliconSystems currently makes SSDs for notebook-friendly 2.5-inch sizes and smaller, including 1.8-inch and memory card-sized drives.
Sony Big PS3 News Rumor
Sony is purportedly on the verge of a major PlayStation 3 announcement for Tuesday, a new rumor suggests. Without directly citing a source, Smarthouse claims a "global" announcement is set for Tuesday. Actual details are equally unclear, though the site infers that it may include a significant price cut on the PS3 or else a cross-platform firmware update with important interface or feature changes.
MobileRiser iPod stand
NewPCgadgets.com has announced a new iPhone and iPod stand, the MobileRiser. The device comes with a thin support bracket that attaches to the back of a device using double-sided adhesive, and raises screens to a 75-degree angle to help view media such as videos. Each stand measures 1 by 5/8 inches, and is supplied only in black. When closing the stand, the clip that holds it up folds into a locking position against a handheld.
Acer CULV Plans
Internal sources at Acer have reportedly claimed today that the company is planning four systems based on Intel's CULV platform and could pose a significant threat to Apple. CENS hears that systems will launch as soon as April with 11.6-inch, 13-inch, 14-inch and 15-inch models appearing as part of the early lineup. Their technical details aren't known, though the 13-inch versions would use magnesium alloys to give them strength without impacting weight.
Opcoders has debuted GraphicDesignerToolbox 1.0, a new Mac image editor. The program handles a number of the tasks common to graphic design, such as logo creation, text insertion, photo alteration and texture generation. A particular emphasis is placed on art for web design, as components are provided for making buttons and icons.
Lib. of Cong. on iTunes
The United States Library of Congress has begun the process of uploading its audio collection to the iTunes Store, reports say. The content of the first upload is limited to 39 podcasts, but should expand in coming weeks as the Library adds content such as first-person slavery accounts, and interviews with a number of book writers. All of the current podcasts fall into the latter category.
Moto QA4 Evoke
Motorola today ended speculation by launching the QA4 Evoke, one of its very few full-touchscreen phones not originally designed for the Asian market and its closest current rival to the iPhone. Pitched as a social networking device, the phone's 2.8-inch display is used as a large view for a full HTML browser, RSS feeds and shortcuts to MySpace and YouTube but becomes a landscape QWERTY keyboard when the phone is tilted on its side. A slide-out number pad streamlines calling.
ASUS Eee PC 1004DN
ASUS today quickly added to its new wave of netbooks by launching its long-expected Eee PC 1004DN. The 10-inch system is one of the very few netbooks to have its own, built-in DVD burner and is no longer dependent on either external storage or networks to install software. Despite the addition, the system is only slightly heavier than an average netbook at 3.2 pounds and is 1.3 inches thick at its thickest point.
Skype for iPhone Official
Skype today formally launched both iPhone and future BlackBerry versions of its VoIP calling app. The two editions will both support free calls and chat between fellow Skype users as well as calls to or from real-world numbers at Skype's normal paid rates. The service requires Wi-Fi for its voice functions but will consequently let second-generation or later iPod touch owners make calls using an in-line microphone.
LG Xenon and Neon for ATT
Rounding out AT&T's phone launches for CTIA are a pair of expected LG touchscreen devices. The Xenon is LG's take on a mainstream touch device with a full QWERTY slider and gets a 2.8-inch, 240x480 LCD for most input in addition to its keyboard. It stands above some mid-range phones with a 2-megapixel camera, 3G over HSPA and assisted GPS defining the rest of its feature set. AT&T delivers the Xenon on the 8th for $100 after linking it to a 2-year plan.
ATT E71x and Propel Pro
AT&T tonight launched a pair of new smartphones to headline its CTIA phone show efforts. The Nokia E71x is one of the first modern Nokia smartphones to reach the carrier subsidized and comes both in a one-off, all-black color scheme and with support for AT&T's own services, including the option of using AT&T Navigator with the GPS instead of Nokia Maps. It continues to sport the 3.2-megapixel camera, 3G and Wi-Fi of the reference version reviewed here but will be significantly less expensive, selling for $100 on a two-year plan with a rebate.
AT&T tonight supported its phone launches with twomid-range Samsung offerings, including what it says is the first-ever US phone to use an AMOLED display. The Impression's 3.2-inch touchscreen uses the organic technology to improve its color accuracy and brightness compared to an LCD; it also adds haptic feedback to simulate physical button presses. A full, slide-out QWERTY keyboard makes it one of the few non-smartphone devices in the US to get such advanced controls. Samsung further gives the phone a 3-megapixel camera, 3G and a microSDHC slot that handles up to 16GB cards. The Impression is the first to ship of AT&T's CTIA launches and will be ready on April 7th for $200 on contract.
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