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Calls and data hit ATT users in SF
(Update with official response) AT&T subscribers in San Francisco and the Bay Area have been reporting major service issues affecting their phones on Friday. The outages have triggered an above-average number of failed calls but appear to have rendered data completely inoperable for most customers. While the errors depend on the device, some have encountered errors trying to "activate" the data network in the region.
Sprint Android phones get 2.0 next year
Sprint today in a brief Twitter update confirmed that its versions of the HTC Hero and Samsung Moment will both be updated to Android 2.0. While the company doesn't have an exact release window, it plans for both to be upgraded within the first half of 2010. Both currently run Android 1.5.
Five bags launch in the initial lineup
Danish design company Threads has launched its first line of designer notebook bags, with designs focused on simplicity and a maintaining a positive economic impact. The bags are produced in small-scale factories located in South Korea, with hand-stitching completed in Vietnam. The new products include the Journalcase, Shouldercase, Grannybag and Natural.
T-Mobile sees @Home router as unprofitable
T-Mobile is considering the possibility of dropping part of its special HotSpot@Home calling service, a source said today. The carrier is supposedly disappointed with its fixed service, which uses two SIM cards to create a local network for phones, and may drop the feature "soon." T-Mobile's reversal is said by the BGR contact to be the result of T-Mobile's new chief operational officer determining that the plan isn't profitable.
Software brings new USB storage options
Fire Core has released an update to its Apple TV enhancement software, aTV Flash. Version 4.0.3 integrates an improved Couch Surfer Pro interface, featuring a new layout and additional navigation options, along with full support for Apple's Remote app for the iPhone and iPod touch. Users can navigate the Internet from Apple TV using the mobile device as a touchpad and keyboard.
Fusion Garage sees 3G, subsidized models too
Fusion Garage chief Chandrasekhar Rathakrishnan in an interview published today has provided details of how the Joojoo tablet's performance as well as its future plans. The company lead confirms that the Atom-based tablet carries 1GB of RAM but also has a dedicated graphics processor instrumental to its 1080p Flash playback as well as better 3D. Rathakrishnan claims to Engadget that the Joojoo has enough 3D performance to support 'at least iPhone level' games.
Verizon disspels rumors of buying DirecTV
Verizon's chief executive on Friday dispelled rumors about the telecommunications company's interest in buying satellite TV provider DirecTV. Ivan Seidenberg believes his company has no need for DirecTV as Verizon already offers its own HDTV service, FiOS TV.
Waterproof Apple in-line earphones also available
SwimMan has launched a new waterproofed iPod shuffle, and is offering a combo deal for the holidays. The Shuffle is a 2GB, third-generation model waterproofed from the inside out, and so does not require special external casing. It can be submerged to 25 feet, although the waterproofing process does disable the on-off and shuffle buttons, which can be substituted for with the headset and the center-wheel button. The other buttons remain functional, but tend to be stiffer.
WD Advanced Format expands capacity
Western Digital says it has developed a technique that provides more usable space out of a given hard drive capacity. Known as Advanced Format, it reduces the amount of overhead for each data sector by pooling together information. Instead of requiring a single Sync/DAM header and ECC (error correction) block for each sector, it would create much larger 4KB sectors that use one set of each header.
ScreenBeat USB, Sonar Speaker
Logic3 and USBfever have each launched new speaker systems for notebooks and MP3 players: the ScreenBeat USB and the Sonar Speaker. The aluminum, cylinder-shaped ScreenBeat speaker produces 3W of RMS output. While specifically designed for notebooks, the speaker is capable of working with any media device with a USB port, and is powered by the device it is plugged into. A compact design is meant to sit close to the front or sides of a computer.
ODRIOD now available to international developers
The ODROID gaming console is now shipping in a worldwide developer edition. The device has a touchscreen and an HDMI output and can indeed support HD resolutions on TV sets, as seen in the video, below. The Korean device uses an 833MHz Samsung ARM Cortex processor and 512MB of RAM. There is also an accelerometer for certain motion-control games.
HarperCollins joins others in delaying e-books
HarperCollins is the latest publishing house to announce it will delay the release of new electronic books in order to give their hardcover counterparts more time on the shelves and to ensure the longevity of the book industry in general. The chief executive of HarperCollins, Brian Murray, said the delays will start in January or February and involve the delay of five to 10 new hardcover titles each month. Depending on the book, the delay could range from four weeks to six months.
May set stage for larger conflict
The iPhone is effectively stealing control of subscribers away from AT&T, says iSuppli. The research group notes that as cellphone carriers have grown, they have been able to depend less and less on money from voice. As a result they have increasingly turned towards data, selling not only bandwidth but services such as games, ringtones and video.
T-Mobile to out WM 6.5 for Touch Pro2, Dash 3G?
A recent TMoNews article maintains that two T-Mobile handsets, the Touch Pro2 and Dash 3G, will soon get a software update to Windows Mobile 6.5. The two T-Mobile handsets currently use Windows Mobile 6.1, and the update is expected to bring easier navigating through the menus, with tasks and checking information done much quicker and easier than before. The web browsing experience is also much improved.
International Droid sees record sales
UK retailer eXpansys today revealed that the Motorola Milestone's UK debut sold out in less than three hours. The exclusive sales outlet for the phone in the country said it listed the phone at 10AM on Thursday but had to label it as out of stock just 2.5 hours later. The rate is an all-time company record and even outpaced Apple's iPhone.
ASUS creates new company to be more competitive
ASUS earlier this week said it plans to contract out its manufacturing operations by spinning off a new company, tentatively called Pegatron Investment Holdings Company, in order to reduce its capital by 85 percent. The new company will sell new shares, with 25 percent retained by ASUS while the other 75 percent will be offered to shareholders, according to an ASUS filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
Part delays hampering Dell holidays
Dell may be having trouble fulfilling orders due to inherent problems with its delivery system, according to multiple anecdotal reports. Those who've ordered say their orders have been delayed as many as four times and in many cases have been pushed back to January. When asked, Dell regularly claims that it's waiting on one or more parts before it can finish building the system and claims that there are a lot of orders due to the holidays.
Seagate Momentus Thin to have reduced capacity
Seagate's promised 7mm notebook hard drive will be relatively limited in capacity if leaked details prove accurate. To be called the Momentus Thin, the line will purportedly top out at 250GB and have just one step down, a 160GB model, for those concerned about cost. The disks should nonetheless still spin at the same 5,400RPM as typical notebook drives measuring 9.5mm or 12mm tall.
Deal estimated to be worth $50 to $60 million
Apple may be ready to buy VoIP business iCall, claims a source in contact with Silicon Alley Insider. In addition to featuring a Windows client, iCall also provides VoIP services through an iPhone app and a limited web client. Apple and iCall are allegedly already in talks, working on a deal estimated to be worth $50 to $60 million.
Palm Pixi with AT&T carrier branding spotted
An unnamed source claims to have seen someone using an AT&T-branded Palm Pixi handset on San Francisco's mass transit system. The early look is just an indication and there is no official word from neither AT&T nor Palm about whether the Pixi is actually coming to the provider. Thus far, the Pixi is only available with a Sprint connection.
Acer Aspire One 532 netbook shows up early
A driver download page on Acer's website reveals a new, as-yet-unreleased netbook model, the Aspire One 532. Available in a couple of models, the AO532H-xx, will be Acer's first netbook based on Intel's Pine Trail platform. That means the AO532H will be powered by the 1.66GHz N450 Intel Atom CPU, which is confirmed by several retailer sites that are already listing the netbook for sale.
Blames media accounts on Munich representative
Microsoft is not banning Apple products from its press events, a company spokesperson says. At a recent Windows Mobile 6.5 event in Munich, Germany, one Microsoft representative is alleged to have criticized journalists for talking about owning an iPhone. The one incident led to reports that Microsoft had banned the use or mention of Apple products at official events.
MS not seen getting the non-work space
Microsoft ought to cut its losses and drop Windows Mobile and Zune, Strategic News Service analyst and founder Mark Anderson said late Friday. He argues that, apart from the Xbox 360, the Windows developer's consumer electronics businesses have largely flopped and that it lacks a fundamental understanding of how these work. Apple, Google and most Asian companies have a far better understanding and are likely to still dominate the field.
FCC files show Acer Liquid A1 coming to AT&T?
Acer's first smartphone powered by the Android operating system, the Liquid A1, has recently gone through testing at the FCC, with the documents revealing that it will support AT&T's 850/1,900MHz 3G network. Despite this, there is still no official indication from either from AT&T or Acer about when the Liquid A1 is expected to ship for North American consumption. The FCC filing also reveals the phone will carry the S100 designation as part of its full name.
Issue affects Classics, Nanos
Apple has finally announced an effort towards fixing problems with iTunes 9 sync, a British website reports. "We are aware of the issue and are investigating," an Apple spokesman is quoted as saying. The company has otherwise had no comment on the matter since early September, when iTunes 9 was released.
Globalive cleared to rival Bell, Rogers, Telus
The Canadian government today cleared Globalive to run what should be the country's fourth national carrier. After initially letting the CRTC reject Globalive's WIND service due to concerns about foreign ownership, Industry Minister Tony Clement now says the results have been overturned as it's been decided that the foreign investment in the company doesn't constitute "in fact" control that would violate Canadian ownership laws. The decision takes effect immediately and clears WIND to run as soon as it's ready.
Apple offers temporary amnesty for private API
Apple may be adopting a more tolerant approach to flaws in submitted iPhone apps, one developer's experience suggests. Vimov notes that it recently submitted an update for iSimulate, an app which makes multi-touch and accelerometer commands possible within the Mac iPhone simulator. Despite the fact that the update makes a call to a private API, Apple has temporarily approved it, only asking that the next update remove the offending code.
Apple claims Nokia stealing tech
(Updated with details inside the suit) Apple today responded to Nokia's lawsuit by filing a countersuit of its own. The new complaint accuses Nokia of violating 13 Apple-held patents. Apple General Counsel Bruce Sewell also alleges that Nokia is exploiting work on products like the iPhone to maintain its status in the industry.
Analyst sees Palm better than expected
Palm may have fared better than expected in its crucial fall quarter, according to an investment note from Kaufman Brothers. Senior analyst Shaw Wu points to checks in the industry that suggest the company should have shipped about 670,000 Pre and Pixi phones between September and November. Although down from the summer peak of 823,000 phones, the tally is higher than expected and should skew towards the more lucrative Pre.
Game expands on original Pac-Man levels
Namco has released an iPhone port of Pac-Man Championship Edition, originally developed for the Xbox Live Arcade. The title replicates the original Pac-Man gameplay, but expands on it with multiple modes. The signature Championship Mode asks players to get the highest possible score within three to five minutes, while Mission Mode has gamers try for a series of tasks, each completed in roughly a minute.
Nokia intros 5235 CWM handset for Europe
Nokia on Friday introduced a new handset, the 5235 Comes With Music, which serves as an effective upgrade to the existing 5230 phone. The new model brings Comes With Music ready to go and can take unlimited downloads for as long as 1.5 years, all of which can be kept after the subscription ends. The 5235 has a 3.2-inch touchscreen and the battery life to play back 33 hours of music, which can be stored on a 16GB microSDHC memory card.
Promotional album exploits iTunes LP format
Apple has published the iTunes Holiday Sampler, a free album available through the iTunes Store. The compilation includes a number of traditional and non-traditional Christmas songs, from artists like Toby Keith, Weezer, Stephen Colbert and Aretha Franklin. It primarily directs listeners to albums the tracks are taken from, which come at a cost. The album also serves to promote Apple's iTunes LP format, which offers DVD-like extras such as lyrics and photos.
Lawsuit says Fusion committed fraud
As promised early last week, TechCrunch today revealed a lawsuit against its one-time collaborator Fusion Garage in a Northern District of California court. The complaint accuses the CrunchPad (now JooJoo) developer of fraud, misappropriation of business ideas and other claims for allegedly "stealing" the project away from the tech website without consent.
Nokia plans Ovi Store revamp next year
Nokia's Ovi Store for mobile apps has been trounced by Apple's App Store, the former's media group product lead George Linardos admitted on Thursday. Created as rival to the iPhone's portal, Ovi is now acknowledged as having been 'outpaced' by the App Store as its tendency to crash, its slow speed and its lack of features to match Apple's have left it behind. The executive noted that the current Ovi incarnation was primarily meant to integrate Nokia's disparate services and wasn't ready for the iPhone's approach.
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