Samsung Electronics on Thursday reported its first-quarter financial information, with net income totaling $459 million, which is 72-percent below last year's quarter, according to the Wall Street Journal. The lackluster performance was blamed on operating losses that exceeded a slight improvement in the consumer divisions. Despite the year-over-year decline, the company appears to have recovered from its first-ever operating loss reported last quarter.
AMD on Thursday announced its latest processor in the Phenom II series, the quad-core X4 955 Black Edition that is geared for gaming or overclocking. The CPU is claimed to be the company's fastest yet, running at 3.2 GHz, with a 4,000MHz bus, 2MB of L2 cache and 6MB of L3 cache. The platform, codenamed "Dragon," consists of the Black Edition processor, AMD 7-Series chipsets and ATI Radeon HD 4890 graphics.
OPTi on Thursday won a patent infringement suit against Apple, including $19 million in damages. The patent involved "predictive snooping" of cache memory for transferring information between a CPU, memory and other components. The jury ruled that Apple willingly infringed on OPTi's patent. Apple attempted to bring doubt to the patent's validity, but the jury ruled the patent to be valid.
Gameloft has released Assassin's Creed - Altair's Chronicles for the iPhone and iPod touch. Gamers take the role of Altair, a master assassin, in his travels to Jerusalem in the year 1191. Amid the third crusade between the Crusaders and the Saracens, the player must find "The Chalice." Stealing the object from the Templars prevents them from selling it to the highest bidder.
An anonymous post on the imageboard 4chan.org has provided MobileMe login details for Hollywood actress Salma Hayek, according to Electronic Pulp. The account apparently was not incredibly difficult to hack, carrying the address of email@example.com. The intruders did not need her password, they simply used the "forgot password" option to access the contents.
Apple has publicly apologized for approving an iPhone app, "Baby Shaker," that was developed by a company called Sikalosoft, according to Yahoo. The game requires users to silence a crying infant, pictured on the screen, by violently shaking the iPhone until two red "X" marks appear over the baby's eyes. "See how long you can endure his or her adorable cries before you just have to find a way to quiet the baby down!," the description read.
In an attempt to save energy at the office, Japan's Eizo Nanao Corp has developed a pair of color LCD monitors that feature an infrared presence sensor that will switch the monitor to a power-saving standby mode when the user leaves the desk. Upon their return, the monitor powers up again thanks to the EcoView Sense function without any action on the part of the user. There are two products offered, including the 20-inch FlexScan EV2023W-H and the 23-inch FlexScan EV2303W-T. The former offers 1600x900 resolution, while the latter musters a native 1080p (1920x1080).
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Dell has recently given its Inspiron Mini 10 netbook new options via its US webstore. The latest upgrade being offered is a six-cell, 56Whr battery, priced at $30. Otherwise, Dell has added more color options to the netbook, including six solid colors and five artwork designs. The netbook is powered by a 1.33GHz Intel Atom processor in base guise, or a 1.6GHZ Atom as an option, and all versions get a 10.1-inch screen good for 1024x576 resolution.
Microsoft today provided a sharp contrast to Apple's performance and reported a rare drop in its revenue for its March quarter. Compared to the same period in 2008, Microsoft's revenue sank 6 percent to $13.65 billion. The news was also compounded by troubles with income, as it gained 3 percent in operating income but plunged 32 percent in net income to $2.98 billion.
The backdating scandal which threatened Apple from 2006 through to 2008 had its origins in a perceived lack of respect, claims Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Testimony from a March 2008 SEC deposition, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, reveals that according to the executive, he approached the board of directors in 2001 about a stock option grant. "It wasn't so much about the money," Jobs comments in his statement. "Everybody likes to be recognized by his peers...I felt that the board wasn't really doing the same with me."
Apple on Thursday surpassed 1 billion App Store downloads, bringing an end to the recent sweepstakes. The user that downloaded the billionth app, or submitted a non-purchase entry at after the 999,999,999th app, will receive a 17-inch MacBook Pro, a 32GB iPod touch, a Time Capsule and a $10,000 iTunes Gift Certificate. "Thanks a billion," Apple's main page reads. "Over 1 billion downloads in just nine months. Only on the App Store."
Last week's announcement by projector manufacturer InFocus that it is getting bought out by Image Holdings Corporation (IHC) for $39 million may have been premature, according to a Thursday Twice report. InFocus' board of directors said late on Wednesday that it received a last-minute take over proposal, but did not reveal the name of the new suitor. Little other information about the new deal was revealed, other than that the InFocus board will discuss the new offer, but still support the existing offer.
Samsung Electronics on Thursday announced it is planning on selling at least 2.5 times as many notebook computers worldwide in 2009 compared to last year. At a news conference in Seoul, South Korea, the hardware manufacturer said it aims to sell 5 million notebook PCs this year, a marked increase over the 2 million units it sold in 2008. At the same time, the electronics giant hopes to improve its number 10 standing in sales of notebooks to seventh.
The BlackBerry 9630 is likely to show up with a new name and slightly later than expected if a leak proves true. Originally codenamed the Niagra, the phone is now reported by BGR as poised to become the BlackBerry Tour and may be drawing its name from RIM's current sponsorship of the ongoing U2 tour. The same tip also points to an early summer release instead of the spring launch anticipated in the past.
Apple has received 11 nominations for a number of One Show awards, also known as the "Oscars of Advertising." Several spots for the "Get a Mac" campaign are included as finalists for The One Show, One Show Design and One Show Interactive awards, each honoring the year's best creative advertising, design and interactive achievements from companies across the globe.
MSI is planning on introducing an Android-based netbook at the Computex 2009 show in Taiwan at the start of June, according to a Thursday DigiTimes report. The Taiwanese hardware maker will take the opportunity offered by the show to secure orders from computer retailers. While MSI wouldn't comment on the report, the development of the netbook was done together with Taiwan's Institute for Information Industry (III).
Results for Apple's second fiscal quarter were better than expected, and promising for the future, say analysts. The company achieved nearly $8.2 billion in revenue, producing EPS of $1.33. iPod sales measured in at 11 million, beating expectations of just 9 to 10 million; some 3.8 million iPhones were sold, as compared to predictions of 3 to 3.2.
Alltel Wireless on Thursday announced it will soon be offering the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 smartphone on its network. The clamshell handset has a dual LCD display, with the larger, internal display's resolution set at 240x320 pixels. Once opened up, the familiar design remains with a SureType keyboard and access to driving directions and other mapping over GPS, which replaces the Wi-Fi from the Pearl Flip 8220 on T-Mobile.
The use of the iPhone online has accelerated to where it's now outranking Symbian in terms of sheer traffic, AdMob's March 2009 metrics report shows. Tracking access worldwide based on ad requests, the firm says OS X iPhone grew to represent 38 percent of smartphone traffic and just slightly edged out all Symbian phones, which have fallen to 37 percent. Both are sharp changes from February, when Symbian held a comfortable lead at 43 percent while the iPhone had just crossed the 33 percent mark.
At the Hack In The Box (HITB) Security Conference in Dubai on Thursday, security researchers demonstrated how software they developed can already take advantage of a design problem with the upcoming Windows 7 operating system, allowing them to hack into the system. VBootkit 2.0, created by researchers Vipin Kumar and Nitin Kumar, was used to demonstrate how hackers can take control of a Windows 7 computer while it's booting up. Unlike most exploits, though, the attack is said inherent to Windows 7 and may likely remain with the OS until it's replaced.
Samsung today confirmed the US launch of two of its new-wave netbooks. The N110 is styled like the company's full-size notebooks and has a 93 percent keyboard. While it has the standard 1.6GHz Atom, 1GB of RAM and 160GB of hard drive space of most 10-inch netbooks, it has a 6-cell battery that the company says provide an extra-long 9 hours of runtime.
Shuttle PC is shipping the X 5000TA touchscreen nettop in Europe, a close variant of the X50 all-in-one PC the company has announced for the North American market. It gets the same 15.6-inch, 1366x768 touchscreen monitor, a dual-core 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 1GB of RAM and a 1.4-inch thick profile. There is also the same 160GB hard drive, though the European model's is pre-loaded with Windows Vista Home Basic operating system versus the X50's Windows XP. The European pricing of the X 5000TA, set at the equivalent of $651, is also an indication of what the X50 should cost in North America. A version without an OS is also be available in Europe, priced at $547.
Some information has emerged on Samsung's new 9 Series TVs, a report claims. The sets (not pictured) are expected to replace current A950 LCDs, and use a B9000 designation. Distinguishing the models from other Samsung hardware is said to be LED backlighting with local dimming, as opposed to edge lighting. Local dimming provides better contrast, by removing light entirely from black sections of an image.
Indirect OLPC offshoot Pixel Qi is developing a new display that would fulfill three different roles at once, the company's chief Mary Lou Jepsen said today. The panel is characterized for CNET as more advanced than that on the XO-1, which can only switch between an efficient black-and-white mode and a color screen. The new model would have these two features but could also assume an e-paper mode suitable for reading. It's not clear whether this would let images remain on the display when power is shut off, as with most e-book readers.
Apple is considering integrating audio controls into the Safari web browser, a newly-published patent application shows. Although Windows and the Mac OS have dedicated volume controls, a recurring problem with websites is the tendency to impose unwanted audio, whether in the form of music, voices or sound effects. Many people are already listening to their own music while they browse, Apple notes.
NewerTech has announced an update to its Guardian MAXimus RAID 1 Mirror storage device which provides support for quad-interface connection choices. The device now works with eSATA, FireWire 400, FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 interface ports, and offers a new improved energy efficient design that lowers power usage a maximum of 40 percent for high-performance live backup at speeds up to 300MB per second. The MAXimus writes all information in real-time in two separate drives, each with up to 2TB storage capacity, to provide a mirrored copy.
Sony's repeatedly rumored PSP slider redesign is now said to be a much more conventional design that still has some important changes. While keeping its sources close, PlayStation LifeStyle maintains the PSP won't necessarily be a slider and that the design changes are more aesthetic, resembling a more substantial change than Nintendo made between the original DS and the thinner, more advanced DS Lite. Among the features that are reportedly now false are rumors of a touchscreen, which some had thought would be added to give the PSP a better stance against the iPod touch.
The Tagger 1.3 ($30) is an MP3 and AAC tag editor for Mac. The software allows users to batch edit audio files, and claims to support a wider range of ID3 tags than iTunes. The softwares interface has been updated in version 1.3 and now includes a new toolbar, a simplified Tags menu, and new navigation buttons. The update also features the ability to edit tags from within the file browser and new commands for buying, opening and showing licenses. [Download - 1.7MB]
Mozilla has posted the v3.0.9 update to Firefox, its multi-platform web browser. The patch is mainly said to address "several" security and stability problems. Also fixed though is a recurring problem with database corruption, which would previously prevent Firefox from accessing stored cookies.
Photos of a branded HTC Touch Pro2 have surfaced that all but confirm the handset will be coming to provider T-Mobile, as previously reported in separate leaks. Also known by the codename Rhodium, the handset may be formally titled as the T-Mobile Wing II when it arrives at the carrier. Little is known about the changes that would come to the provider-specific version of the smartphone.
T-Mobile has quietly revealed in its latest results that it has sold 1 million of its Android-based G1 phone in the US since the phone launched 6 months earlier, in October. The number is a relative strong point for the carrier, which is fourth among US carriers behind Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, but trails significantly behind sales of the iPhone 3G at AT&T; about 1.6 million iPhones sold through AT&T in just the most recent quarter, indicating a disproportionately larger demand for the iPhone.
Intego has released a new edition of ContentBarrier DP (Dual Protection), bringing its version up to X5. The software is used by parents to censor Internet content, blocking material such as pornography and more serious concerns such as lurid e-mail and potentially predatory instant messages. Users can choose to filter particular categories of content, or otherwise prevent access to entire applications.
Verizon announced on Thursday that the Samsung Trance slider handset will be available at the carrier this Friday. The mid-range, dual-band CDMA cellphone offers a 2.1-inch display with 176x220 resolution and has Bang & Olufsen ICEpower speakers for better-than-usual quality sound reproduction in a phone. There is also a 3.5mm headphone jack and 1GB of built-in memory that can be expanded by up to a 16GB microSDHC memory card.
The judge that ruled against the Pirate Bay has today been accused by one of the site's attorneys of an unfair bias that invalidates the case. Lawyer Peter Althin in his motion to the Court of Appeal alleges that Judge Tomas Norström is or has been a member of the same copyright support groups as the media companies involved in the lawsuits, giving him an incentive to rule in their favor. Althin plans to demand a retrial and notes that one judge was already excluded from the case in the fall for similar reasons.
Apple continues to seed developer versions of Mac OS X 10.5.7, in spite of recent signs that the update may be nearing completion. A new build, 9J56, is now available and said to fix problems with Bluetooth compatibility and stability. A number of Mac users have complained about inconsistent Bluetooth connections, on systems such as the new Mac mini; the problem may, however, extend as far back as the original MacBook.
Pentax may have confirmed rumors of its K7D flagship through a new Japanese teaser ad. The spot advertises a "new K" camera that will be unveiled on May 21st, falling in line with claims of a third-week introduction that month, and appears to provide a partial shot of the camera itself. No immediate clues have been given as to the feature set other than the presence of the expected flash hot shoe.
Nokia early on Thursday revealed one of its first phones built explicitly to use near-field communications (NFC) for close-up data. The 6216 classic uses special SIM cards from carriers to let the phone make a payment or get access, such as at a subway station or at a store, just by bringing the phone near the right device. The NFC link can also serve as very short-range networking and can let two similarly ready devices exchange info or media clips without a more complicated setup.
Taiwan-area integrated circuit maker WPG is said today to be shipping power management chips for Apple's next-generation iPhone. The United Daily News says the part production will ramp up to where WPG will be producing "several million" chips per month. While not necessarily connected to the supposed contract, the firm is expected to boost its revenue between 5 and 10 percent in the spring and may be helped by such a deal.
Western Digital has launched its My DVR Expander for the TiVo DVR, now with 1TB of hard drive storage capacity. Designed for storing HDTV shows beyond the stock storage, the upgraded DVR Expander uses a eSATA connection and can hold up to an additional 140 hours of HD television or a maximum of 600 hours standard definition, simply by attaching the device to any TiVo DVR, including those that normally restrict regular eSATA drives. The add-on is tailored to quiet and dark home theaters with both a no-fan passive cooling system and a low-intensity LED light.
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Comixology fires up $6 all-you-can-read service
Amazon-owned Comixology has launched an all-you-can-read comic subscription service. After a 30-day free trial, for $6 a month, subscribers can draw from a large selection of the Comixology library, minus Marvel and DC comics. For now, the service is US-only. http://bit.ly/1WMAOft
QuarkXPress 2016 now shipping
Quark is now shipping QuarkXPress 2016, the newest version of Quark's graphic design and desktop publishing software that now features near-WYSIWYG fixe HTML5 publishing as well as improved operability with InDesign and Illustrator and support for multi-Color Gradient Blends, OpenType Stylistic Sets, a Color Picker (Eyedropper tool), Touchpads for Pinch and Zoom (Mac only) and more. Users on any previous version of QuarkXPress (versions 3-10) can upgrade to version 2016 for $350, while QuarkXPress 2015 users can upgrade to 2016 for $180; new licenses are available for $850 (education licenses are available for $90). http://bit.ly/1OL23Pu
Kanex debuts GoPower USB-C for MacBooks
Kanex today introduced its GoPower USB-C, a portable power solution designed to charge a USB-C MacBook on the go along with an iPhone or iPad simultaneously. Featuring 15,000 mAh of power--capable of charging an iPhone 6s seven times or the USB-C MacBook one full time--the GoPower USB-C Portable Battery features one 3A USB-C port and one 2.4A port for other devices, priority charging detection technology and a pass-thru charging to your devices when the battery is plugged into a power source. http://bit.ly/1TKaf8z
i.am+ EPs earphones are Apple Store exclusive
Musician turned consumer electronics entrepreneur Will.i.am has launched a new pair of Bluetooth wireless earphones, dubbed the i.am+ EPs. The new earphones are an Apple Store exclusive, and feature large 14mm drivers and aptX support for high-quality wireless streaming. The i.am+ EPs support A2DP controls, have a 30-foot range and can last up to six hours on a charge. The design is said to be inspired by the "iconic shape of vinyl records," and are made from spun metal and paired with a woven fabric cord. When not in use, the EPs magnetically click into place around the neck. The iam+ EPs are available now at select Apple Store and Apple.com for $230, are available in gold-on-black or black-on-black. http://bit.ly/1OKVlt2
Ultimate Ears debuts UE Roll 2 speaker
On Tuesday, audio accessory maker Ultimate Ears unveiled a new version of the UE Roll Bluetooth speaker. The new UE Roll 2, which sells for $100, looks identical to the previous version, but gets about 15 percent louder. In addition, the unit now supports a Bluetooth source signal up to 100 feet away, an improvement on the original's 65-foot limit. While both the old and new versions of the UE Roll offer an IPX7 waterproof rating, the company now includes a blow-up "floaty" with the speaker to avoid the risk of prolonged exposure. The new unit will begin general shipping next month. http://bit.ly/1TJWE0Z
Philips launches Hue White Ambiance bulbs
Philips latest HomeKit-compatible Hue light bulbs have hit the market. The new Hue White Ambiance bulbs are designed to allow users to control their color temperature to enhance either focus, or create a more relaxing tone. Combined with the latest update to the Philips Hue app, the new bulbs can be set according to user "routines." The "wake-up" mode gently turns up the brightness of the bulb, while conversely, the "go to sleep" mode gradually reduces the color temperature and brightness. The Philips Hue White Ambiance starter kit retails for $130, while single bulbs sell for $30. http://bit.ly/1TJT3Qn
Pluggable Technologies three-display USB-C dock
Peripheral company Plugable Technologies today launched the industry's first wave of USB-C docking stations with both Power Delivery and DisplayPort Alternate Mode support. The Plugable UD-CA1 Docking Station integrates support for both of these new capabilities, along with the full set of standard USB docking features like wired network, audio, and extra USB ports. Model UD-ULTCDL builds on this, adding support for three total displays using DisplayLink USB virtual graphics technology. The UD-CA1 retails for $129, with the UD-ULTCDL selling for $179, and available soon. http://bit.ly/1TrVVTJ