Friday, July 31, 2009

in South Korea M&Soft launches 7-inch Mappy AP1 PND

M&Soft's Mappy navigation software seems well established in Korea, and now the company has decided to offer its own hardware for it in the shape of a 7-inch SiRF-based touchscreen device. Of course, it wouldn't be a South Korean PND if it didn't include a DMB digital TV tuner, video and audio playback, and a photo / text viewer, but the company's gone one better by offering the elaborate, gimmicky GUI you see above. Pricing is pretty decent too, set at 349,000 KRW ($283) with a 4GB SDHC card, or 399,000 KRW ($323) for an 8GB unit. The AP in the model name stands for "Absolute Pride" -- sure, make your jokes, but maybe it's that wise-guy sense of humor keeping this sort of tech away from Western shores.

hackers park for free In San Francisco

In High School civics class we learned that besides voting, feeding the meter is one of the most important things we Americans can do. But just like e-voting, it looks like you can add parking to the list of things that hackers have spoiled for law and order-types everywhere. According to the kids at CNET, a group of nogoodniks were able to decode the smartcards used by Guardian XLE-series meters manufactured by J.J. MacKay Canada -- from which point it was a simple matter of boosting the card's value to $999.99. Its unclear how the city of San Francisco (one of several around the country that have dealt with the company) is going to address the problem, but one possibility is flagging accounts with suspicious activity and reprogramming parking meters to ignore the offending cards. Is nothing sacred, people?

New Loewe Individual Selection TVs

For millions of homes, a slight variation on the basic black TV theme fits into the decor just fine. People who suffer an allergic reaction to black gadgets can opt for silver, Samsung's Touch of Color, or stainless steel. If those options don't quiet your fashion faux pas alarms, Loewe has something for you. Rather than innovate on the actual display, the Individual Selection LCD TVs let you mix and match a glossy white or aluminum fascia with swappable inlay side panels in Ruby Red, Apple Green, High Gloss Black, or even console-fabulous Light Oak. We could go into the specs (pretty "meh") or the price (probably "gulp"), but those are beside the point; if you've read this far, you'll want one regardless of specs or price. Might we recommend looking into a truly custom colored set instead?

2009 Motorola Sholes Android phone headed for Verizon?

On the lookout for the Motorola / Android / Verizon trifecta, we dug up some handset renders over at that seem to fit the bill quite well, thank you. According to the site, "Sholes" is a 3.7-inch (480 x 854) touchscreen device that will make its debut in the U.S. in October, featuring: 512MB storage, 256MB RAM, support for microSD / microSDHC up to 16 GB (an 8GB microSD ships with the phone), a 5 megapixel camera with autofocus, GPS, and the expected connectivity (USB, Bluetooth 2.0, WiFi), audio, and video formats. And if the translation wasn't hopelessly garbled, the source is also saying that this bad boy will support both CDMA and EVDO Rev A . No word on a price yet, but if this phone does make it to the realm of the real it'll be nice to see a Moto / Android device that doesn't look like it belongs in the hands of a tweenage girl (yeah, we said it, Morrison). See for yourself after the break.

New Samsung YP-R0 outed, not exactly groundbreaking

In the vein of the previous yawnfest, the YP-R1, Samsung's apparently got this baby -- the YP-R0 -- on the decks as well. Maybe it's just the naming scheme that bores us -- after all, it's not a bad-looking slim little device, with a 2.6-inch touchscreen display, and this model will supposedly house 8GB of storage, an RDS FM tuner, a microphone, plus a microSD card slot. It'll support a host of formats, including MP3, OGG, WMA, ASF, FLAC, WAV, AAC, MPEG4, WMV, JPEG, PNG, BMP, and GIF -- just to name a few. The whole thing weighs in at about 60 grams, and is expected to run about €130 (about $183) when it is made available, though we don't know yet when that will be. There's one more shot after the break.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Onkyo HT-S7200 and HT-S6200 HTIBs

There's so many features (and components -- they even include an iPod dock) packed into Onkyo's HTIB systems that it takes a little digging to find the spec bumps in the new HT-S7200 and S6200 models. The top-line HT-S7200 received one extra HDMI input (for a total of five), and both new models also added Audyssey Dynamic Volume and Dolby ProLogic IIz to their processing palette. All in all, pretty consistent with the changes sweeping over the TX-SRx07 receiver lineup, and the $899 and $699 prices for the HT-S7200 and HT-S6200, respectively, are also in line with Onkyo's high value equation for its HTIBs. Finally, there's a $499 SKS-HT870 speaker-only package with the "tallboy" anchored speakers from the HT-S7200 system available for those who want to upgrade their HTIB without starting all over.

New Samsung Solstice for AT&T spotted on official site, coming in at $99.99 next week?

Remember that midrange full-touch Samsung Infinity that was rumored for AT&T a while back? It looks like the stars are aligning for a model called the Solstice to be launching on the carrier in the next few days -- and it looks (and sounds) suspiciously like what we'd all expected out of the Infinity. Basically, this looks to be Sammy's mainstream touch offering for AT&T, with a relatively meager 2 megapixel cam, QVGA display, dual-band 3G, and not a whole heck of a lot else. The good news is that you should be getting a good deal in exchange for the light spec sheet -- Boy Genius Report has the Solstice launching this coming Sunday, August 2 for $99.99 on contract. Coincidentally, Samsung's official product directory conspicuously shows a Solstice off in the distance of its page banner, so yeah, this thing is definitely happening one way or another -- only question is whether we've got the specs, pricing, and launch date all nailed.

New VUDU ditches the box, integrates into LG's LH50 NetCast HDTVs

After a quick test run on Entone's IPTV boxes, VUDU has now done the deed with a big time player. In a joint announcement today with LG, the outfit is announcing its first major foray into STB-less movie streaming. LG's Netflix-friendly LH50 line of connected HDTVs will act as the hosts, with VUDU's tried and true high-def streaming service acting as the highly anticipated guest. The outfit's next generation movie platform will enable owners of the 47LH50, 50PS80, 60PS80 and 42LH50 to buy or rent HD and HDX (1080p) films on demand through a refreshed user interface that promises no stutters or buffering waits. The new VUDU also brings along instant fast forward and rewind as well as instant start for all movie qualities, and as before, there's no monthly fee associated with the service. Eager to dive on in? It'll be made available for everyone (existing owners included) starting next month, and just so you know, we definitely don't envision LG being the last TV maker to slip under VUDU's covers. The full release is after the break.

Hot update : AESIR's UFO-like UAV spotted above Wales

Unmanned autonomous vehicles come in all shapes and sizes, but we still haven't lost the sense of wonderment of watching the things go about their business while hapless humans watch from afar. AESIR's Embler is the latest we've seen, sporting a UFO-like design and a top-mounted fan that's completely protected should the thing bump into any buildings or insurgents whilst gliding to its next waypoint. Vanes counteract the torque generated by the spinning blades, while flaps open and close to shove it this way or that. Right now AESIR has no military buyers for the device, perhaps because it doesn't look to be entirely autonomous just yet, but after watching the video below we're reaching for our collective checkbooks.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New BlackBerry Curve 8520 gets a hands-on, photo shoot

Hot on the heels of the word that RIM's BlackBerry Curve 8520 would be heading for Vodaphone in the UK, Pocket Lint's gotten a hold of one. The optical trackball-boasting, entry-level, non-3G darling looks pretty brilliant in the photos, despite its stripped down form factor. Pocket Lint is also reporting that it'll be Vodaphone-bound in August, and it'll also be available through Orange for pre-paid deals and from Carphone Warehouse where it'll be offered in violet. Now that, we'll admit, we're kind of interested in. The 8520 (or Gemini, as it's also known) is T-Mobile-bound in the US of A, most likely on August 5th. There's another shot after the break -- hit the read link for the full set.

Monday, July 27, 2009

with the SNE-50K, Samsung jumps into e-book reader game

Samsung's announced it's jumping into the best game in town -- the paperless book trade -- with its SNE-50K e-book reader. With 512MB of onboard storage, a five-inch touchscreen and stylus, and a complete lack of wireless or internet capabilities, it's not the most advanced reader we've ever seen, but it's slim and light, at nine millimeters thick and weighing about 6.5 ounces. In South Korea, where the reader will be launched first, Samsung has partnered with Kyobo Bookstore, one of the largest booksellers in the country. There's no word on launches outside of South Korea at this time, but Samsung does plan on showing a prototypes for other countries at a trade show in January (most likely CES).

News : Acer's Aspire Timeline 1810T gets a price, release window

If you're in Europe and you love Acer laptops, today is your lucky day. The company has gotten totally official with its Aspire Timeline 1810T notebook, at least according to ComputerBase in Germany. If you'll recall, the laptop boasts an 11.6-inch, 1366 x 768 display, a 1.4GHz ULV CPU, can support up to 4GB of RAM, and sports a GMA 4500MHD graphics chipset. The base model includes a 250GB hard drive, and all the systems come with an HDMI out, Bluetooth 2.1, a 3G option, and are preloaded with Vista -- just in case you were worried. For the low-ish starting price of €499 (or about $708) you can take one of these puppies back to your flat soonish (they're on preorder now and should be available in two or three weeks)

New Panasonic's TC-P54V10 plasma crowned king, so sayeth the HD Guru

Panasonic's run of critical acclaim for its NeoPDP panels, and the V10 series in particular, just keeps rolling along. Given the positive reception the HD Guru gave Panny's G10-series set, it should come as no surprise that the higher-spec TC-P54V10 model came through its review with flying colors. The Guru blew right past the "sheet of glass" aesthetic and added color spaces that will largely go unused and got right into the good stuff. Sure, the 96Hz mode delivered on its promise of judder-free 4:4 pulldown, but most surprising was the V10's black level performance, which fell below the test equipment's ability to measure -- the review guessed it to be about half as bright as the G10's black level. That's in spitting distance of the Kuro performance, and the V10 managed to pull a little more dark detail as well. Yeah, it's a winner -- so much so that the Guru had to break out a fifth heart in its rating. The Kuro is dead, long live the Kuro.

Update : Samsung announces world's fastest Cortex A8 core

Some of the most advanced mobile devices on the market today are built around cores based on ARM's Cortex A8 architecture, including a couple you may be familiar with: the Palm Pre and the iPhone 3GS. The 3GS, for example, runs a Samsung S5PC100 system-on-chip clipping along at a healthy 600MHz, enough to make it noticeably snappier than the 3G it replaces -- but time marches relentlessly forward, as always, and that S5PC100 is suddenly starting to look a little long in the tooth with today's news. Sammy has partnered up with silicon design firm Intrinsity to develop what it's billing as the world's fastest Cortex A8 core, a 1GHz unit codenamed "Hummingbird" that's based on 45nm manufacturing techniques and can deliver peak performance at a single volt with power consumption characteristics favorable for mobile use. Translation: this thing should be nipping at the heels of Snapdragon once Samsung finishes up work turning this core into a system-on-chip that can be sourced by manufacturers, and it should do so without causing batteries to beg for mercy. Unfortunately, there's no word just yet on exactly when we'll see phones running this setup in the market, so Pre, 3GS, you're safe for now -- but the clock's ticking.

New Sony Ericsson's XPERIA X2 demoed on video

You know what frustrates us? Someone with their hands on a totally sweet piece of gadgetry who clearly doesn't know what to do with it. Such is the case in the video below, which seems to depict a gentlemen fondling Sony Ericsson's next XPERIA installment, the X2. While there's not much to see of the device itself, the phone is apparently running a fairly recent version of Windows Mobile 6.5, and the company has clearly taken its skinning team to parts of the OS, as the user in the video manages to stumble past some pretty magnificent looking UI trickery. It doesn't seem as dressed up as the X1's Panel interface does, though this likely isn't the final product. Truck on after the break to see the X2 in action, and try to quell your anger as the phone is repeatedly put to sleep during the demo.

Now even easier, Installing Pre homebrew apps

While Palm is busily engaged in a game of domination with Apple to see which one can keep iTunes sync working or broken the longest, the Pre homebrew community hasn't been sitting idle, introducing two new and painless ways to get homemade software up in your handset. The first is a desktop app called WebOS Quick Install that works on Mac, PC, and Linux, allowing installation with just a drag, a drop, and a click. The other is called fileCoaster, enabling users to download and install IPKs right on the phone itself, plus other files too. Two great apps for fans of unofficial softwares and good tidings for a warm future of basement innovation -- only a month after the first custom apps came to light.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

ASUS Eee PC 1004DN lands in Taiwan

An optical drive isn't going to explode the definition of netbooks as we know it -- we'll have to wait for Windows 7 to do that -- but perhaps we can all learn to live lives of greater peace and harmony now that you can spin up a plastic circle of ones and zeros inside an Eee PC. The new 1004DN is now available in Taiwan for NT$19,988, about $609 US.

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