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News Archive for 09/10/09

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Barnes & Noble e-reader to allow lending books?

10/09, 10:35pm

Barnes & Noble reader may ship Oct. 20

Barnes & Noble's first e-book reader should launch soon and could introduce a watershed feature for any reader, a contacts claim this evening. The bookstore supposedly has a "major event" scheduled for October 20th where it's likely to introduce the e-book reader it promised for the end of the year. The device is likely to be a grayscale reader but to use AT&T 3G for downloading books online.

Avenir intros line of audio, networking accessories

10/09, 9:30pm

Dual Air Bluetooth Streamer works with iPhone

Avenir Telecom has introduced a new line of audio and networking accessories, along with mobile phone cases for UK retailers and resellers. Its audio devices center on the Bluetooth Stereo Headphone, which gives personal listening to an iPhone, iPod touch or any other A2DP-aware device, and the Dual Air Bluetooth Streamer, which plugs into any iPhone or iPod touch and simultaneously transmits music to two pairs of wireless headphones. Also available is the Bluetooth Pocket Hands-Free Car Kit, which is approximately the size of a credit card and sticks directly onto a windshield or dashboard for taking voice calls.

X3: Terran Contact sends gamers to Earth in 2938

10/09, 6:20pm

New X Universe game adds new ships, weapons

Virtual Programming has launched X3: Terran Contact, a space exploration game in the X Universe series. Players can choose from a number of unique characters and plotlines. The virtual world, set in the year 2938, features multiple races of beings, wealth accumulation, spaceship building and solar system exploration.

Kitty Spangles Sudoku puzzle game debuts for Mac

10/09, 6:15pm

Countless Sudoku puzzles to choose from

Swoop Software has announced Kitty Spangles Sudoku, a new game for Mac OS X that adds a unique style to the standard Sudoku puzzle game. It features a variety of animated themes that users can switch through, four different difficulty settings to try, and an endless amount of different Sudoku puzzles. The game comes with a built-in puzzle editor which enables players to design and create their own Sudoku board, or to copy a puzzle into the game from either a newspaper, book or website.

Ecamm Network intros BTX Bluetooth Range Extender

10/09, 6:00pm

Bluetooth extender adds range to BT-1 Webcam

Ecamm Network has launched a new accessory to go with its BT-1 Wireless Webcam, the BTX Bluetooth Range Extender. The device is claimed to improve the Mac's Bluetooth signal, extending BT-1's range by up to 100 feet. The BTX extender also enables Bluetooth connectivity on systems lacking integrated components. Users can attach and power the BTX accessory simply by plugging it into an open USB port.

iDFX app enhances audio playback on iPods

10/09, 5:55pm

iDFX enhances audio and stabilizes volume levels

Power Technology has launched iDFX, a new app claimed to improve playback quality of MP3 and AAC files on an iPod or other mobile device. The software works as an iTunes accessory and recodes the user's music files in an attempt to recover the same quality that existed in the original CD recordings. In order to do this, the software re-synthesizes damaged or missing harmonics while improving the low frequency range of the track.

Tweetie for iPhone updates to version 2

10/09, 5:55pm

Adds state caching, threaded conversations

atebits has released Tweetie 2, an update to the company's Twitter client for the iPhone and iPod touch. The app is said to have been completely rewritten, and now features state caching. Users can not only read and compose tweets offline, but return to their last known position in the interface after quitting or receiving a phone call.

AT&T data usage 'management' plans aimed at iPhone users?

10/09, 5:35pm

CTIA speech insinuates possible iPhone limits

AT&T's Wireless CEO Ralph de la Vega, speaking at a CTIA keynote this week, hinted about "managing" iPhone users' data accounts. The executive spoke broadly about a small portion of users that account for an extremely large percentage of overall bandwidth. Although Apple's device wasn't explicitly blamed as the core problem, iPhone owners are known to consume much more data than users of other platforms. Despite de la Vega's acknowledgment of the need for internal controls, he voiced opposition to government intervention.

Microsoft to try free, ad-based Office

10/09, 5:35pm

Microsoft unveils free Office Starter 2010

Microsoft this week said that it would venture into free productivity apps with a Starter Edition of Office 2010 for Windows. The special version will be free to use but will have feature-reduced versions of Excel and Word as well as ads that run in a sidebar with the app window. It will only come with a new PC rather than come as a download, but it will have an option to download a more complete version such as Home & Student Edition.

HP shows, details Envy 15 Beats edition notebook

10/09, 5:10pm

Envy 15 Beats touts headphones, Traktor

HP this afternoon provided fuller details of its special-run Envy 15 Beats (link active soon) notebook. It expands on the reference version by bundling a pair of Beats over-ear headphones as well as bundling Traktor LE for live DJing. Cosmetically, the model comes in the same glossy black and red as most Beats earphones.

Verizon's third Android device to be Open Dev certified?

10/09, 4:55pm

Verizon to get Open Dev-certified Android phone?

A third Android device, likely due out early next year, will be the first with the Google operating system that will be certified for Verizon's Open Development program, according to a Friday Unstrung report. This new device is unnamed but will join more than 30 wireless devices sold by independent vendors that can run on Verizon's CDMA network. Verizon's upcoming Android-based phones Desire and Droid, aren't part of that program and are locked to Verizon's network.

Sirius XM debuts companion iPhone app for XM SkyDock

10/09, 4:55pm

Foreshadows actual hardware

Although its companion hardware has yet to be released, Sirius XM has released a dedicated XM SkyDock app for the iPhone and iPod touch. Users are able to tune into various XM satellite radio stations, including artist-specific stations for the likes of Elvis Presley and the Metropolitan Opera. While listening, stock and sports tickers provide visual feedback.

FCC will investigate Google Voice over rural calls

10/09, 4:50pm

FCC to question Google Voice call policy

The FCC today told Google that it will investigate the company's policies regarding its Google Voice calling service (registration required). Acting on requests by AT&T and politicians, the agency hopes to determine whether or not the company is violating must-connect rules by refusing to complete Google Voice calls made to certain numbers, particularly those in some rural areas as well as to 900 numbers and other lines that have expensive access rates.

INQ Mini 3G ships for 3 UK

10/09, 4:40pm

UK provider 3 adds INQ Mini 3G phone to lineup

The Mini 3G handset introduced by INQ earlier this summer is now being offered by wireless provider 3. The candybar handset is meant for younger owners heavily involved in social networking, as it can be customized with body covers in eight different colors and has shortcuts for access to Facebook, IM programs, Skype and Twitter.

Sony Ericsson plans return to US smartphones

10/09, 4:25pm

Sony Ericcson to bring smartphones back to the US

Sony Ericsson announced it will return to the North American market with cellphone sales at the CTIA show which wraps up today. Sony Ericsson's head of developer and partner content and services, William Maggs, said in a Friday Gearlog report that the company is planning on coming back to the US market with its smartphone sales, and the XPERIA X2 is likely to lead that return. The new-gen Windows Mobile handset is being shown off at CTIA.

Kingston outs MobileLiteG2 card reader

10/09, 4:15pm

Kingston releases second-gen MobileLite reader

Kingston on Friday announced the release of its MobileLiteG2 flash card reader. The second generation of the ultra-portable USB 2.0 device supports SDHC, microSDHC, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo and Memory Stick Micro (M2) memory cards. It has retractable covers over its USB connection and the memory card slot.

Adobe launches free Mobile for iPhone

10/09, 4:15pm

New app crops, adjusts exposure, adds effects

Adobe has launched Mobile for iPhone, bringing a simplified version of its flagship software to the iPhone and iPod touch. The new app can crop, flip and rotate photos, or adjust exposure, saturation and tint, with option of converting to black-and-white. Two filters are included: Sketch renders a photo as a drawing, while Soft Focus simulates its namesake lens effect. Exposure and filter adjustments are generally made with swipe commands.

T-Mobile's Project Black a rapid 3G expansion plan? [U]

10/09, 4:00pm

Project Black involves new phones, HSPA+

(Updated with talk of $50 unlimited plan) T-Mobile's mysterious Project Black may be a combination of the company's phones and a rapid expansion of its fastest 3G service, a quick follow-up source said Friday. Rather than center on a specific device or a plan, Black would on pushing T-Mobile's upcoming high-end phones, including the Behold II, Bold 2 and Cliq, and matching them with the quick deployment of its 21Mbps HSPA+ network throughout the US. The timetable and the specific plans are still unknown by BGR and others.

AT&T needs 17 months to break even on iPhone contract

10/09, 3:50pm

Carrier's profits thin, group says

North American phone carriers are far too dependent on subsidies, argues the Yankee Group. The research firm uses the particular example of the iPhone, which is said to turn only a small profit for AT&T. The carrier is able to lock customers into two-year contracts, but only after knocking several hundred dollars off the price of each phone. After also taking into account the impact of high data usage, the company is only breaking even on iPhones roughly 17 months into each contract. Yankee suggests that if AT&T were to eliminate subsidies, it could break even in eight months, and generate a 33 percent return over the course of two years.

Archos 5 with Android now available

10/09, 3:35pm

Android-powered Archos 5 now shipping in the US

The Android-powered Archos 5 portable multimedia player is now being offered online through Amazon (links below). The device is equipped with a 5-inch screen that sports an 800x480 pixel resolution. Thanks to its ARM Cortex-A8 processor, the Archos 5 is capable of decoding 720p HD video smoothly and has an optional HDMI dock lets users output the video at its full resolution.

Clearwire must use WiMAX until 2011

10/09, 3:20pm

Intel deal forces Clearwire to stay WiMAX

National 4G provider Clearwire is bound to keep using WiMAX for its network until at least 2011, an SEC filing discovered this week has found. The carrier is now known to have struck a deal with Intel that requires it use WiMAX for at least the next two years in exchange for marketing help from the chipmaker. Clearwire also has to share revenue whenever the subscriber's device is Intel-based as well as pay a limited number of activation fees.

HTC HD2 to ship to UK Oct. 19?

10/09, 2:20pm

O2 UK to carry HD2 in under two weeks

O2 UK has reportedly begun telling customers to expect the HTC HD2 in just over a week. The carrier expects the phone to be available on October 19th, or significantly ahead of HTC's official end-of-month target for the phone. Other carriers have yet to describe their own plans, though T-Mobile is also believed to be picking up the Windows Mobile 6.5 phone in the near future.

Full specifications of iRiver N20 revealed

10/09, 1:45pm

iRiver outs specs of upcoming N20 media player

Information on the iRiver N20 portable media player has been scarce until now, as the company has released nearly all details for the device. First teased this summer, the N20 is unique in using a four-line, 128x56-pixel grayscale passive matrix OLED (PMOLED) display for track info rather than an LCD. It's further now known to be available in either 2GB or 4GB capacities and will play back MP3, WMA, APE, FLAC, OGG, and WAV files.

Apple, news websites sued for 'iTunes distribution'

10/09, 1:25pm

Apple accusation involves iTunes

Apple and several news organizations have been named as defendants in a new patent infringement lawsuit, brought by a California business called Online News Link. The company accuses the other parties in the suit of violating US patent 7,508,789, awarded in March of this year, which describes a system for the fast search and retrieval of broadcast information over the Internet. "The amount of information delivered is preferably sufficient to satisfy the needs of a large number of subscribers so they do not have to obtain additional information using the bi-directional channel," the patent reads, adding that "the broadcast information is stored on fast storage media located at subscriber sites."

Telus HSPA to launch Nov. 3, HTC Hero coming too?

10/09, 12:55pm

Telus' HSPA date, phone lineup leaked

Telus' imminent HSPA 3G network has received what should be a more definitive launch date as well as its initial phone lineup. Multiple reports from insiders in HowardForums have staffers training to be ready on or before November 3rd for the new network. The preparation window would have the HSPA deploy at its earliest opportunity and may give a specific timeframe for the announced November iPhone launch on the Canadian network.

Mac version of Chrome due before 2010

10/09, 12:20pm

Timeframe suggests accelerated development

The Mac version of Chrome should be released before Christmas this year, suggests Google CEO Eric Schmidt. The executive made the revelation at a New York press conference, in the middle of answering a question about the browser's overall marketshare. Chrome's share has been disparaged by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who recently called the browser "a rounding error." Microsoft's Internet Explorer remains the dominant web browser worldwide.

Nikon holding press events Oct. 14

10/09, 12:05pm

Nikon D3s likely to show next week

Nikon in the past day has all but confirmed plans to launch the D3s, or a similar high-profile camera, through multiple reports of press events. Formal gatherings in Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden are all slated to take place on October 14th and provide information on an unnamed product presumed to be the pro camera. The news suggests Nikon will formally unveil that day or the day before and give the media hands-on time later on.

Nokia's Maemo 6 to support multi-touch

10/09, 11:40am

Nokia ports Qt to Maemo 5, outs some Maemo 6 info

Nokia on Friday revealed early details of Maemo 6, its next-generation smartphone platform. The OS will be the first to natively support multi-touch and capacitive touchscreens and should finally put the Linux-based OS on par with modern platforms like iPhone or webOS. Until now, the software has depended on single-touch resistive (pressure-dependent) screens incapable of gestures or other more precise movements.

Artlantis 3 intros new geometry layers, animation effects

10/09, 11:35am

Divided into Render, Studio editions

The Abvent Group has released Artlantis 3, a major update to the company's rendering software for architects, designers and planners. The suite uses a new layer structure, with scene, object, plant, lamp, animated object and billboard layers, as well as support for custom ones. Other new options include importing layers from ArchiCAD, or designating a layer as an automatic destination for a particular type of media.

Samsung launches Armani touchscreen smartphone

10/09, 11:25am

Samsung's Armani touch runs Windows Mobile

Samsung on Friday revealed that its flagship Windows Mobile 6.5 smartphone will be part of its Armani-themed fashion line. The device has a bronze-trimmed theme meant to appeal both to executives and other more style conscious users, but it's also one of the company's more functionally advanced devices. It centers on a 3.5-inch AMOLED display more vibrant than LCDs and has a sliding QWERTY design that, like the HTC Touch Pro2 or Nokia N97, tilts the screen at an angle for a more natural viewpoint when typing.

ASUS UL series notebooks priced, dated for UK

10/09, 10:55am

ASUS prices, dates UL notebooks for the UK

ASUS has recently announced pricing and a release date for its previously announced UnLimited (UL) series of notebooks for the UK. Two of the three models will ship to the country's retail electronics stores on October 22nd. This includes the 13.3-inch UL30 and two variations of the 15.6-inch UL50, the UL50AG and UL50VG. There is no word on the 14-inch UL80, however. All three use Intel's CULV processors and some are claimed to provide up to 12 hours of battery life.

Microsoft's "Pink" phones in danger of collapse?

10/09, 10:45am

MS Pink and Danger team at risk

Microsoft's Pink phone project may be on the verge of falling apart even before its first product ships, according to a controversial set of leaks supposedly confirmed today. Backing a scoop from earlier in the week, a source for AppleInsider says Microsoft has poorly managed the project and squandered the acquisition of Sidekick creator Danger from 2008. Rather than implement Danger's advice, the larger company has watched the majority of the team either fired or leave in frustration as the majority of their advice is ignored.

MapQuest intros iPhone GPS app, matching service

10/09, 10:35am

Company adopts unusual pricing scheme

MapQuest has introduced a new iPhone application, which goes beyond the company's web service to provide narrated, turn-by-turn car navigation. Unlike most such apps, the MapQuest software itself is priced at only $1. The rest of the cost is in monthly and annual subscription fees, which cover updated maps and points of interest, as well route optimization based on traffic, accident and construction updates.

Greenpeace, US Secretary of Energy back Apple

10/09, 9:20am

Groups take sides in row over environmental laws

Both Greenpeace and the US Secretary of Energy are welcoming an Apple decision to abandon the US Chamber of Commerce. The former's toxics campaigner, Casey Harrell, on Thursday issued a statement which applauded Apple for confronting the Chamber over its opposition to mandatory limits on greenhouse gases. Apple is the first technology company to have removed itself from the Chamber over the issue, though it was preceded by shoe maker Nike, and several energy companies including Exelon, PNM Resources and Pacific Gas & Electric.

NVIDIA Ion 2 still on track for late 2009?

10/09, 9:10am

Ion 2 to run twice as fast, support CULV

NVIDIA's Ion 2 chipset is still due to ship before the end of year and could provide a significant boost not just to netbooks but to notebooks using Intel's CULV (Consumer Ultra Low Voltage) processors as well, an update from the company has shown. In addition to supporting the timeframe, an executive heading chipset development has reportedly confirmed rumors that the next-generation Ion will support processors other than the Atom, including the Celeron, Core 2 and Pentium processors that make up CULV as well as VIA's competing Nano design.

T-Mobile's BlackBerry Bold 2 may ship Nov. 11

10/09, 8:30am

Leak has BBerry 9700 shipping in a month

The BlackBerry Bold 2 (known as the 9700) could ship for T-Mobile three weeks after it's unveiled, based on a new rumor. So far pegged for an October 21st unveiling alongside the AT&T model, the smartphone is described by a BGR tipster as actually shipping the device on November 11th, or exactly three weeks after it becomes public. It's still unknown whether or not the AT&T version will ship at the same time.

Plastic Logic color e-reader on track for spring?

10/09, 8:00am

Barnes & Noble may be 1st with color e-books

Barnes & Noble spokesman Daniel Joresson at CTIA appears to have confirmed a timeframe in a video (available below) for what's likely the first color e-book reader available in the US. The Plastic Logic device would be smaller than the 8.5x11-inch large model proposed early on and would have just a paperback-sized display. However, it would have its own direct access to Barnes & Noble's bookstore and would be ready by spring 2010, or considerably earlier than an Amazon Kindle with color or most other rivals.

Wilson readying low-cost universal cellular amp for vehicles

10/09, 6:25am

Budget entry to company's quality accessories

Although Wilson Electronics has yet to formally announce its latest cellular amplifier, the company at CTIA previewed an upcoming device designed for vehicles, the U-Booster Sleek. Wilson's focus on quality and performance was highlighted in a recent review, although the high-end equipment typically carries a hefty price tag. The upcoming device retains the core functionality, but with a smaller form factor and a fraction of the cost.

Palm Pre headed for Mexico's Telcel with memory slot?

10/09, 4:00am

Video hints at unique hardware

Several videos have surfaced that claim a revised Palm Pre may be heading to Mexico's Telcel carrier, allegedly with the addition of a MicroSD card slot. The videos, originating from the Mexican site Matuk, contain a preview of the Pre sporting a Telcel icon. The person in the video makes a reference to a memory card slot.

STM releases new Sonic and Convoy laptop bags

10/09, 3:50am

Sonic, Convoy bags support up to 15-inch laptops

STM has released two new laptop bags, the Sonic and Convoy, designed to handle most 15-inch screen sizes. Sonic is made from PVC-free vinyl fabric, with a padded section designed to help protect against shock. The bag offers a large internal space for storing books or folders, along with a built-in organizer pocket for holding accessories. Additional features include water resistant lining and an adjustable/removable shoulder strap.

Vantec Thermal announces two new memory card readers

10/09, 3:45am

Culore Multi-Card Reader supports 66 memory cards

Vantec Thermal Technologies has announced two new card-readers for its line of computer accessories, the Culore Multi-Card Reader and Multi-Card Reader & Hub. Both devices support 66 different types of memory cards including SD, Memory Stick, or Compact Flash, and include a built-in two-in-one USB 2.0 carrying-strap/cable. The Culore Multi-Card Reader features five dedicated slots, transfer rates of up to 480Mbps, and support for high speed cards. The device comes in three different colors including pink, blue or green.

Hands-on with Nokia's N900 Maemo-based smartphone

10/09, 2:35am

Device sports an impressive UI and features list

Along with Nokia's Booklet 3G, Electronista at CTIA also had a chance to fondle the upcoming N900 smartphone. Despite criticisms of the predecessor, the N97, the N900 represents a fresh attempt for the company to edge ahead against its competitors in the smartphone arena.


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