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Additional information has emerged surrounding Verizon's upcoming netbook offerings. Several leaked images posted on PhoneArena show an HP Mini 115NR with a 1.6 GHz CPU, 10.1-inch screen, 1GB of RAM and an 80GB hard drive. The system will come loaded with Windows XP Home Edition, and users can access the Internet from Wi-Fi or Ethernet in addition to the integrated mobile broadband modem with support for GlobalAccess. The keyboard on the 10.1-inch Mini is closer to the area of a full-size notebook.
At the FPD Expo that wrapped up in Tokyo on Friday, Sony showed off a prototype 21-inch OLED display that is nearly twice the size of the current 11-inch XEL-1 OLED TV. The new display has a greater 1366x758 resolution and a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1, like the XEL-1, in a package that is less than 0.4 inches thick. At the same time, Sony talked about distributing its 4K 3D digital projectors in more than 4,500 AMC theaters in North America.
Chronic Logic has announced that the online, turn-based strategy game Zatikon is now available for the Mac for free. Zatikon focuses on multiplayer tactics, and features over 30 unique units including Mages, Scouts, Horsemen and Warriors, each with their own spells and abilities. During play users construct armies, develop strategies, and defeat human opponents online or AI opponents in the game's single-player mode. Multiplayer supports one-on-one and two-on-two matches.
LG Electronics on Friday announced it will begin shipping mobile digital television (DTV) receiver chips this June. The LG2160A chips will allow the mobile devices they are installed in to receive mobile DTV broadcasting in the United States. Supporting the ATSC Mobile DTV Standard approved late last year, the chips will bring local news, weather, traffic and emergency information to users on the go, and may also eventually include entertainment programming.
Rogue Amoeba on Friday launched Airfoil Speakers Touch, an application for the iPhone and iPod touch that streams audio from a computer to the mobile devices. The app works in conjunction with Airfoil software installed on a Mac or PC system and sends audio via Wi-Fi. Users can plug headphones into the iPhone or Touch and listen to the stream untethered from the computer, or connect the devices to a dock or speaker system to eliminate the need for dedicated wireless components.
A dedicated Hulu application is in development for the iPhone and iPod touch, claims an industry executive speaking with Silicon Alley Insider. Like the website, the app should let users watch movies and TV shows from studios such as Fox and NBC. Key differences will include the use of a native video format, and a revised interface, omitting the Flash an iPhone is incapable of rendering.
A joint venture led by Gordon Brothers Brands and Hilco Consumer Capital, along with private equity fund Knight's Bridge Capital Partners and other investors, was approved by a Minnesota Federal Bankruptcy court to acquire all assets of the Polaroid brand. In a Thursday announcement from the joint venture, which also recently purchased The Sharper Image, Linens 'N Things and Bombay, the companies promise to develop a full-scale global licensing and marketing strategy for wholesale, direct-to-retail and e-commerce business to make Polaroid competitive again.
Cell Minute Tracker ($1) helps AT&T customers keep track of their cell phone usage compared to what their plan allows. The application allows users to view the current minute balance, rollover minutes, data plan, SMS use, billing cycle and previous payments. It can also provide users with alerts when they reach 90% of their limit or a bill is due and can breakdown the information by family member.
The Palm Pre is already in mass production if a slip from a Chinese wholesaler proves true. Ludle International claims that the device is already in volume production and should be available in the near future. As evidence, the company has what appears to be an example unit and provides early impressions of the design: in addition to feeling smaller than an iPhone, the design's screen is less scratch-proof but is compensated for by a tougher (though fingerprint-prone) back.
M3X Media has launched a new web application, said to help turn an iPhone into a multimedia entertainment device. The launch is tied into the release of a limited public beta for GruvMe, a program which offers access to movies, videos and games. M3X provides the content delivery network for GruvMe.
Google's open-source Android operating system thus far used only in cellphones will soon expand and run a set-top box built by Motorola, according to a Thursday report. Japanese Internet service provider KDDI will market and sell the set-top, which will be capable of playing content on CDs and DVDs, transferring music and video to mobile devices and rip and store files on its integrated or connected hard drive. Previously, Motorola used a pure Linux interface for its au Box, though both it and Android are open-source.
NVIDIA's GeForce GT 300 video hardware won't show until October at the earliest, a leak of its talks with partners may hint. They tell the Inquirer that the first actual production models will be ready October 15th following a tape out, or a first submission for manufacturing, in June. The new technology would represent the first significant update to NVIDIA's line since the GTX 275, which itself is a minor upgrade of the older GTX 260.
Codeweavers has published an initial public beta for CrossOver 8.0.0, an upcoming release of its virtualization software. Users are able to install and run a number of Windows applications from within Mac OS X, eliminating the need to dual-boot a system or confine Windows software to a single window. Selecting a Windows-only file in Finder triggers the appropriate program automatically.
At a trade show in Tokyo this week, Bridgestone showed off a color electronic paper display that has support for pen input. Comprised of Bridgestone's QR-LPD electronic powder and granular material along with a color filter and Wacom's electromagnetic induction-type pen input tablet, the display has a faster refresh speed to accommodate the pen input. It now takes 0.8 seconds to refresh the screen, a marked improvement over Bridgestone's previous A4-sized e-paper display that required between 10 to 15 seconds.
Forrester today issued a report on customer experience with computers that gave Apple a significant lead over competitors. The Mac producer received an 80 percent score, or "good," on a combination of ease of use, meeting needs and a pleasurable experience. Its next-closest rival, Gateway, scored just 66 percent, or "okay." Other competitors fared worse, with HP and its sub-label Compaq receiving 64 percent and 63 percent scores that are considered "poor;" Dell has dipped to 58 percent.
Renkara Media Group has announced AccelaStudy 1.4, an update do its language study apps for the iPhone and iPod touch. The release adds spaced repetition which allows users to focus on new or unfamiliar words, while spending less time on familiar content. Students can create custom study sets of particular vocabulary words, or take audio quizzes that match spoken words with written translations.
Panasonic UK on Thursday announced it is adding the 10.1-megapixel DMC-FS62 point and-shoot camera to its FS line-up, following up on the release of the FS25 in January. The new camera sports an Intelligent Auto mode that has an optical image stabilizer, auto ISO control, face detection and full auto scene selection. The new Intelligent Auto chooses between one of two optical stabilization modes depending on which of the two zoom ratios is being used. Advances in detection accuracy and correction effect come via a new Venus Engine IV image processing chip.
Microsoft has identified May 11th as the official release date for Windows Mobile 6.5, according to a corporate blog. The date coincides with the opening of Microsoft's TechEd 2009 conference, where developers and IT specialists will be given a demonstration of the OS accompanied by a list of planned changes. TechEd visitors will also have the option of attending separate sessions on v6.5 topics, such as touch and gesture commands.
Minor but significant interface changes have been discovered in the latest builds of the iPhone 3.0 beta, say developers. Among these are new data detectors in several applications, used to automatically convert text into workable links. In Notes for example, text identified as a phone number can now be tapped to dial out. An e-mail address can likewise be tapped to send a message through Mail.
Garmin-ASUS' long-delayed nüvifone G60 is now expected to show in June, a direct source claims. Talking to Reuters, the insider says the first LiMo-based (Linux Mobile) phones will ship in June and, by extension, that the G60 will be one of the early models. The GPS-centric handset has been repeatedly delayed since its January 2008 unveiling and has been given a first-half 2009 release timeframe that would support the latest claim.
Samsung is developing a very thin but color-accurate 15.6-inch display for notebooks, a rumor today suggests. Unspecified "market sources" for DigiTimes claim the screen will have an RGB LED backlight that will both contribute to the thin dimensions of future notebooks but also improve the color saturation versus other LED backlights, which are often dominated by blue and so reduce the improvement in green and red colors. RGB treats all three colors equally and can change color temperatures to create a much more vivid image.
Noise Industries has announced updates for three FxFactory-based plug-ins, intended for use in After Effects CS3 and CS4 along with Final Cut Studio and Express. EasyLooks 2.5 simplifies color grading, with options including diffusion and brightness adjustments. The update implements a faster rendering pipeline, as well as a vignette effect, new overlay controls and a three-way color corrector.
A court in Stockholm, Sweden has ruled against the four founders of file-sharing site The Pirate Bay on Friday. Accused of "assisting in making copyright content available," Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm and Carl Lundström were each sentenced to serve one year in jail and ordered to pay a fine equivalent to about $905,000 each for a total of some $3.62 million by the court. The sum was short of what the prosecution representing recording studios were seeking, though it remains unknown.
Sony Ericsson today reported first quarter results that warned of a steep drop in phone shipments and increasing losses that will push the company to further scale back its operations. The company says it shipped only 14.5 million phones between January and March, or about 35 percent less than it did during the same span a year ago and 40 percent less than the holiday season in late 2008. The sharp decline has also widened Sony Ericsson's net losses to the equivalent of $382.4 million (versus a $173.6 million income for early 2008).
QlikTech has brought its QlikView business analysis software to the iPhone. The app makes use of built-in GPS to provide site-specific business data. An executive touring a company warehouse, for example, can get sales data specifically related to that facility. The data is formatted specifically for the iPhone, unlike some apps which may simply shrink full-sized reports to fit the smaller screen.
Currently Apple's online store has a large selection of discounted refurbished Mac models including Mac minis, unibody MacBooks and iMacs. Two Mac minis are being offered: the first is priced at $419 and has a 1.83GHz processor with 1GB of memory and 80GB hard drive the second is $469 and has a 2.0GHz processor 1GB of RAM and 120GB hard drive. Unibody MacBooks start at $1099 for 2GB of memory, 160GB hard drive and 2.0GHz processor top off at $1899 for the 2.4GHz model with 2GB of memory and 128GB solid state drive. Low cost iMacs are available starting at $849 for the 20-inch model with 2.4GHz processor, 1GB of memory and 250GB hard drive. Mac Pro models are being offered for as low as $2399 with dual 2.8GHz processors, 2GB of memory and 320GB hard drive. Also available is the refurb. 24-inch LED cinema display for $799.
iPresentee has launched Keynote Themes 4.0 in tandem with a free collection of Keynote themes for Apple's presentation software. The former extends the company’s total number of Keynote themes up to 72, with 10 additional designs: Movie, Metallic, Plasma, Chinese Symbols, Paper Flower, Paint Drops, Black and Red, Golden Ornament, Reflection and Bamboo. The four free Keynote themes include Chocolate, Autumn Colors, Red Cloud and Movie.
Verizon on Friday gave its Open Development program a boost by publishing an early set of technical specifications for its upcoming 4G network. The addition lets hardware builders create devices known to work with the carrier's eventual 700MHz Long Term Evolution (LTE) network and which can take advantage of the extra speed. Verizon hopes that the early availability will lead to companies producing LTE-ready hardware in time for the wider launch of the 4G network in early 2010.
The first known botnet to exploit Mac OS X has been activated, security researchers claim. The network is believed to have been put in place by iServices, a Trojan infection accompanying some pirated versions of iWork '09 and Photoshop CS4. Although downloaded at least 20,000 times by the end of January, the Trojan's payload has remained dormant for some time, in the same manner as many Windows botnets.
IBM announced on Thursday that it, along with partners Chartered Semiconductor, GlobalFoundries, Infineon, Samsung and STMicroelectronics, are jointly developing a 28-nanometer low-power, high-k metal gate (HKMG) bulk complementary metal oxide (CMOS) semiconductor for use in future processors. The technology would be used in mobile and consumer electronics devices such as Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs), where it would extend battery life. The 28nm chips would reportedly provide a 40 percent performance gain and more than a 20 percent power decrease compared to 45nm technology in a chip that's about half the size.
If accurate, a rumor floated today will see Best Buy leap into its own online movie store. Entertainment magazine Variety claims to have heard from movie studio executives that the retailer is talking to CinemaNow and "other online movie services" to establish a link between itself and one of these services. While what's involved is uncertain, Best Buy is likely to arrange for a cut of the revenues for each movie viewed and may promote hardware with that movie service's features built-in.
Nokia may give the 5800 XpressMusic and more of its phones an upgrade to a capacitive touchscreen, tips from Taiwan's phone part makers would claim. Although Nokia built the 5800 around a resistive touchscreen, which requires pressure and is sometimes better-suited to a stylus than finger input, the company has supposedly ordered a switch to capacitive screens with the explicit goal of rivaling the responsiveness of Apple's iPhone and newer Korean phones like the LG Arena or Samsung's i8910 (Omnia HD). About 2 million of the upgraded phones would be shipped between May and June based on these plans.
T-Mobile this morning finally confirmed the existence of its 2009 update to the Sidekick LX. The new model is the first ever to support 3G and draws on HSPA to allow both faster web browsing as well as to enable video streaming directly through the browser as well as Internet radio and video uploading. GPS is also new and exploits Danger's connection to Microsoft to let users search for nearby locations (including fuel and movies) using Live Search.
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Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k