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Cellphone maker enters computer market
Nokia showed off some of its latest high-end devices, including the Booklet 3G and the N900, at the San Diego CTIA conference. The Booklet 3G integrates the same 10-inch screen size as a variety of netbooks, although, after handling the device, it is clearly quite different from the competition.
Handset offers a slightly different case finish
Samsung previewed several upcoming handsets at CTIA in San Diego, including the Omnia II headed for Verizon later this month. Although the company representatives cautioned that the software is not yet finalized, the demo devices ran Windows Mobile 6.1 paired with the custom TouchWiz interface.
Insight monitoring software now works with Mac
Faronics has released an update to its classroom management software for teachers, Insight 7.4. The software provides tools for monitoring a studentís computer, and allows instructors to control what applications can be opened, where students can go on the web, or to remotely access their systems. In the latest version support has been added for instructors to use the software from a Mac, along with additional internet controls for Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox.
Kindle DX to have HSPA model like Kindle 2
Amazon today confirmed that it should have an international version of the Kindle DX. Company spokesman Drew Herdener explained that the larger e-book reader would follow the strategy of the Kindle 2 international model and switch to HSPA so that it too could be used to download books outside of the US. Little else was mentioned to TechFlash other than that the new hardware would come "sometime next year."
United Wi-Fi starts with 13 planes
United Airlines this week began deploying Wi-Fi on some of its flights. The rollout will at first cover longer flights between California and New York and should have 13 Boeing 757 planes in United's fleet offering Internet access by mid-November. Much as with similar approaches from Virgin and other airlines, the new approach is based on Aircell's Gogo technology and shares a 3G cellular connection (typically EVDO Revision A) with the entire cabin over a Wi-Fi hotspot in the plane itself.
Game features historically accurate works
Coladia says it has released a new adventure game, The Secrets of Da Vinci: The Forbidden Manuscript. The game centers around the life and works of Leonardo Da Vinci, as seen through an apprentice named Valdo, who is charged with finding missing codices and must search his master's estate for clues.
Barnes & Noble reader would have virtual keys
(Updated with Android rumor) Barnes & Noble is developing its own high-end e-book reader to help boost its online store, a source close to its plans purportedly revealed this afternoon. Most features are unknown, but it would have a touchscreen and use an iPhone-like on-screen keyboard for searches and similar tasks. A wireless link is also seen by the Wall Street Journal as a key ingredient, though whether this would involve 3G or simply Wi-Fi isn't immediately evident.
Developer lets players choose their own price
Charlie's Games has released Bullet Candy Perfect for the Mac. The title is a 3D space shooter, based on 2006's original Bullet Candy. It features 20 achievements to work toward, in addition to scoring ranked against a global board.
Netbooks forcing notebook revenue down
The rise of netbooks is having a corrosive effect on the financial health of the rest of the notebook business, a DisplaySearch study asserted on Thursday. The mini PCs represent 22.2 percent of all notebooks shipped but only account for 11.7 percent of revenue and are thought to ultimately be dragging revenue downwards for other categories as buyers skip more expensive systems they would have bought otherwise. Where netbook revenue has shot up from $845 million in spring 2008 to $3.07 billion in spring 2009, the rest of the notebook industry actually lost $3.74 billion of revenue in the same period, revealing that netbooks have actually cost the industry money.
Limited to touch input
After having earlier teased the title, EA Mobile is now sharing more details on the gameplay in Rock Band iPhone. The game's multiplayer mode allows sending out invitations through Facebook Connect, and as in the console series, players can assume responsibility for vocals, drums, bass or lead guitar. Vocals are not sung into a mic, but rather tapped out like any other instrument.
Motorola leaves LiMo Foundation board
Motorola has quit the LiMo Foundation, the mobile Linux group of which it was a founding member, according to a Thursday report. Christy Wyatt, the VP of software applications and ecosystems at Motorola, said on Tuesday she has given up the board of the foundation. The company will instead remain as an associate member and retain an active role as a contributing member.
Yamaha outs three wireless iPod systems
Yamaha has recently introduced three new audio products in its home market of Japan, all of which can charge and playback the content of docked iPods and iPhones. The MCR-140 mini system has a USB port, and a CD player, as well as an AirWired Cradle that plugs into iPhones or iPods and wirelessly connects it to the system. The range is 33 feet, and the dock and connected Apple device can be charged simultaneously by plugging them into the top of the system. The stereo puts out 30W of total power and plays both MP3 and WMA files from CDs and USB drives.
Includes external hooks
Norbert Doerner has released MP3-Info 2.0, a major upgrade to his plug-in for Finder and iTunes that organizes music collections. The new version turns the software into a stand alone application for Snow Leopard, and includes integration with Twitter, which allows users to display what song they are currently listening to. The app also displays its own track info.
Spotify-branded, INQ-made phone coming to Telia
Online streaming music service Spotify will soon begin offering a self-branded handset in its home country of Sweden, says a Thursday TechCrunch report. Spotify has reportedly teamed up with the country's telecommunications and cable provider, Telia, which will bring the handset and new Spotify-branded services for TV and computers.
Panasonic shows 2.35:1 capabale projector
Panasonic recently introduced its latest home theater projector, the PT-AE4000U. The 1080p LCD projector has a 1,600 lumens brightness ratio and a 100,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. To help integrate it into user's existing home theater systems, there is a programmable 12V trigger for a drop-down screen and Panasonic's VIERA Link compatibility for control of all compatible system components with one remote. The lens produces up to a 120-inch picture at 11 feet away.
Super Charger extends iPhone battery life
USBfever has released two new products for the iPhone 3G and 3GS, the Super Charger battery extender and the 360-degree Swivel Stand. The Super Charger is a lithium-powered rechargeable battery, capable of extending a phone's talk or online time up to 8.5 hours, and audio playback up to 40 hours. Video and Wi-Fi ratings are listed at 11 and 10 hours, respectively.
FCC would check Google Voice fairness
Multiple Democrats and Republicans yesterday sent a letter to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski asking for a formal investigation into the legality of restrictions on Google Voice. The request follows a similarly worded AT&T letter and claims that Google is unfairly refusing to connect calls made over its service to some rural addresses and should be scrutinized to determine the actual nature of its service and potentially force a change in behavior.
Mitsubishi modular OLED TV teach for outdoors
At the CEATEC show currently ongoing in Japan, Mitsubishi Electric showed off a 155-inch prototype OLED TV that is modular and can be upsized at will. It is composed of 720 OLED blocks, each sized at 1.5 square inches, but can be made bigger or smaller as necessary. This could be used in outdoor displays, like in ballpark stadiums and on buildings for advertising.
Also fits iPhone 3G
eNcipient has launched a new protective case for the iPhone 3G and 3GS, the VOi! Lorem. Designed as a hard-shell snap-fit case, the VOi! Lorem guards the back and sides of an iPhone from bumps and scratches, while still providing access to all ports and controls. Built into the back of the case is a small tether that wraps around a person's wrist, stopping an iPhone from falling if it slips out of hand.
Minor release targets bugfixes
Distributing through iTunes, Apple has released a new iPhone firmware update, v3.1.2. The code adds no new features, and instead fixes bugs, such as one preventing sleeping iPhones from waking. Also targeted are crashes during video streaming, and a bug which interrupts cellular connections until a phone is rebooted.
NVIDIA says suit prevents nForce sales
NVIDIA late Wednesday said it would "postpone" any future nForce mainboard chipsets until an end is reached in the countering lawsuits between itself and Intel. As Intel alleges that NVIDIA's license doesn't cover chipsets for processors with an integrated memory controller, such as all Core i5/i7 and some newer Atom processors, NVIDIA claims that it has no choice but to freeze development of future nForce chipsets until Intel's "unfair business tactics" are either halted or cleared in court.
Samsung XL2370 gives US 5m:1 contrast
As part of a pair of US updates, Samsung at mid-day brought its XL2370 computer display to the US. The 23-inch, 1080p LCD uses Samsung's newest-generation LED backlighting to push the dynamic contrast ratio up to 5,000,000:1, or better than virtually all Samsung's TVs. Dropping fluorescent backlighting also lowers power consumption to about 26W.
Also makes under-the-hood improvements
The independently-developed Cheetah3D modeling and animation suite has been updated to v5.0, bringing a series of major changes. Among these is a new node-based material system, which allows for drag-and-drop creation of material effects using various procedural textures and shaders. The raytracing engine has been improved to support 16 cores, and a new collection of preset materials has been added.
Samsung's first Blu-ray drive writes to CDs, DVDs
Samsung late yesterday introduced the first internal combo Blu-ray player, the SH-B083 (not pictured). It can read Blu-ray discs at up to 8x speeds, both in single-layer 25GB capacities and dual-layer 50GB capacities. The combo drive can also read CDs at as fast as 40x and DVDs as fast as 16x. It can also record onto blank CD and DVD media thanks to a second lens.
Apps handle genre-based music production
IK Multimedia has posted two new iPhone applications, GrooveMaker Techno and Trance. The programs are genre-oriented twists on the basic GrooveMaker app, which is used to produce original electronic music. Each one supports over eight stereo loop tracks, which can be adjusted in real-time in terms of pan, volume, grouping and tempo. Completed tracks can be listened to on a handheld, or exported as WAV files via Wi-Fi.
Mossberg says Windows 7 closes gap
Microsoft's release of Windows 7 will be enough to eliminate most of Apple's advantage in recent years, Walt Mossberg said today in his review of the new operating system. Normally an outspoken proponent of Apple's platform, the columnist now believes that Mac OS X Snow Leopard only has a "slight edge" over Windows thanks to 7 running faster and sporting multiple interface improvements.
New apple store opens, extended iPhone warranty
In brief: Residents of Brazil can now purchase Apple merchandise directly from Apple through a local online store. To celebrate the grand opening of the Brazilian store, Apple is currently offering a free gift bag to any customer who purchases an iPod or Mac before October 20th. Meanwhile, GadgetGuard has announced that it is now offering an extended iPhone warranty. The warranty has two tiers, and covers things left out from Apple's own terms, such as water damage and cracked screens.
Nikon D3 stock not being replenished, D3s likely
The Nikon D3 digital SLR camera is disappearing from virtual store shelves, and the story is likely true at electronics retailers as well. The non-existing or super-low inventory levels could only be attributed to the discontinuation of the model, as they are not being replenished. This could indicate that the camera will soon be replaced with a new model, widely expected to be the D3s.
Blames delay on network improvements
American iPhone owners will not be able to officially tether their devices for some time, AT&T has acknowledged. "Whenever we offer new features, we want to offer the best possible customer experience," a carrier spokesman claims. "For tethering, we need to do some additional fine tuning to our systems and networks so that we do deliver a great experience."
Bold 2 to reach AT&T and T-Mobile same day
The BlackBerry Bold 9700 could be ready to launch on not one but two US carriers before the end of the month based on a key leak today. Possibly rebadged as just the Bold 2, the smartphone would be unveiled for both AT&T and T-Mobile on October 21st if the tip to Engadget is authentic. It would represent T-Mobile's first 3G BlackBerry and an end to AT&T's exclusive for the Bold line.
JD Power says iPhone tops, hurts normal phones
The iPhone today claimed an even larger edge in satisfaction versus its rivals in JD Power's second phone satisfaction study of 2009. Apple's smartphone climbed ten points from an earlier score to 811 out of 1,000 while its closest rival, LG, managed just a four-point increase to 776. The two were the only smartphone designers to score above the industry average.
Preventing maximum app exposure
Developer Cramzy claims that although its Celebrity Birthday Match app was approved for the App Store on October 4th, it never appeared in the list of recently-released apps. The program was more importantly submitted on September 24th, which is said to be around the same time a number of developers were reporting difficulty with iTunes Connect. Due to Connect being used for everything from app delivery to software management, developers experienced severe problems when submitting new apps or updates.
Funai Eco Projector recognizes touch inputs
Funai and Nippon Signal have developed a small color laser projector that is capable of recognizing finger movements on the image it creates on a wall or screen. The device is currently on display at the CEATEC show in Japan, where users can rotate, enlarge and replace a projected image just by manipulating their finger on it. Funai used Nippon's Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) scanner to make the prototype.
Novatel unveils Ovation MC998D
Novatel chose CTIA to launch its fastest Ovation USB modem so far. The MC998D (not yet shown) supports the current HSPA+ spec for 3G and will connect at up to 21Mbps downstream (5.76Mbps upstream) on supporting networks. It's also explicitly designed for North America's 850MHz and 1,900MHz HSPA frequiencies and will support the HSPA+ networks of Bell, Rogers and Telus in Canada as well as 7.2Mbps HSPA on AT&T in the US. The 2,100MHz band also gives it some support in Europe.
Apple may have to change mouse name
Years after having taken both Apple and CBS to court, Man & Machine has announced that it has at last been awarded registration of the "Mighty Mouse" trademark. The small accessory maker previously filed a 14-page complaint, claiming it had developed a desktop waterproof mouse under the same name over a year prior to the debut of Apple's product. The company also accused Apple of intentionally buying up search keywords for the phrase "Mighty Mouse," which further diverted people from finding their Mighty Mouse model or its website.
On display at CTIA
A new iteration of Harmonix's Rock Band series is coming to the iPhone and iPod touch, EA Mobile has confirmed. The title is mentioned in a looping video presentation at this week's CTIA expo, which offers virtually no gameplay details. It does appear to be based on the regular Rock Band games, rather than the recently-released The Beatles: Rock Band.
PSP sales triple, PSN downloads double
The launch of the PSP Go last week shot Sony's total PSP hardware sales up 300 percent in the US, according to the company's local communications director Patrick Seybold. He wouldn't break down the ratio of the new PSPs versus the old, UMD-supporting PSP-3000 but told Gamasutra that it was evidence of "strong" interest in the handheld system as a whole, not just the new model, over the first few days. The PSP-3000 is normally $200 in a bundle with one or more games and is widely assumed to be the backup choice for those who consider the $250 PSP Go too expensive or limited by its download-only catalog.
Intel Light Peak cabling may come early
Intel's fiber optic Light Peak interconnect standard could be ready sooner than commonly expected, based on plans from one of the company's key suppliers. Foci Fiber Optic Communication said to CNET on Thursday that it will start mass producing both the internal cables as well as Light Peak-based, USB-like cables at the start of 2010. Production on such a level is frequently, though not always, an indicator that companion hardware will arrive in a similar timeframe.
Rogers Curve 8520 official with UMA calls
Rogers on Thursday morning became the second carrier after T-Mobile to offer the BlackBerry Curve 8520. Its version retains the same optical trackpad, 2-megapixel camera, and 320x240 screen but comes in black or violet and supports Rogers' UMA-based TalkSpot feature for using Wi-Fi to make calls indoors without affecting usual plan minutes. The only software customization is a urMusic app for the carrier's own music store.
ViewSonic projectors offer increased brightness
ViewSonic has released the PJD6251 and PJL9371, two new projectors that are intended to provide better-than-usual brightness. The PJD6251 is a 3D-ready projector designed for conference rooms or classroom settings and carries a 1024x768 native resolution along with a 2,800:1 contrast ratio and 3,700 lumens of brightness. The projector includes HDMI, composite, S-Video and VGA inputs, and touts Ethernet for remote control over a local network.
HTC's latest multimedia-focused smartphone
Electronista at CTIA had a chance to handle HTC's Imagio, the company's upcoming Windows Mobile 6.5 smartphone. The device is focused on multimedia features, while retaining the business capabilities of Microsoft's mobile software. The system also integrates HTC's own TouchFLO 3D interface, which utilizes the touch-based features available in the latest Windows Mobile OS.
Chargers work with car, wall or both
Mophie has launched three new charging devices, geared towards charging iPhones, iPods and other USB-charge compatible devices. The first product is a $15 Low-Profile USB Car Charger, which plugs into a vehicle's power socket and provides a single USB outlet.
Latest smartphones powered by Android and WinMo
While swinging by Samsung's booth at CTIA, Electronista took a closer look at several of the company's latest handsets. The new Moment was on display, along with the previously announced Intrepid. Samsung also placed a single Behold II handset under a glass case to tease visitors, although it was off-limits for handling or demos.
Adds 1-touch backup, user replaceable drives
Iomega tonight launched a sweeping update to its StorCenter network-attached storage (NAS) hub. The company has added a host of new features both in hardware and software, including support for Bluetooth, Windows' Active Directory, improved energy savings, user replaceable drives, remote access and a one-button backup.
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