Archive for March, 2009

FCC authorizes use of Kyocera’s 3.9G iBurst Mobile Broadband Wireless Access System

Posted on March 18, 2009. Filed under: Mobile World | Tags: , , , |

By Jeremy Kessel, Mobilecrunch


Not quite 4G, but better than 3G, Kyocera’s 3.9G iBurst Mobile Broadband Wireless Access System (MBWA) has received a Grant of Equipment Authorization from the FCC’s certification arm – the American Telecommunications Certification Body.

According to Kyocera’s press release:

Kyocera’s iBurst is classified as 3.9G equipment due to its high spectrum efficiency with single spectrum reuse factor, and provides three times more spectrum efficiency than the existing HSDPA system. The TDD-TDMA system which uses SDMA technology is capable of 32Mbps total throughput per base station (24Mbps downlink with 8Mbps uplink), within only 5MHz bandwidth, making it small enough to operate in the GSM frequency band.

So what does this mean to Joe the Wireless Net Surfer? Not terribly much, at this point; just another competing wireless broadband technology. But in the end, the more competition, the merrier (or at least we’d like to think so).

For more on the use of this MBWA technology, check out the iBurst Association.

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iPhone 3.0 wrap-up: Cut and paste, MMS, Push, and more

Posted on March 18, 2009. Filed under: iPhone | Tags: , , |

By Devin Coldewey, Mobilecrunch


We’ve just finished liveblogging the event, and the iPhone 3.0 press conference has definitely yielded some delicious morsels of functionality. Here is pretty much everything you need to know, though as things get more clear throughout the day, we’ll update this post. You guys will probably be seeing these features sometime this summer.

We’ll have pictures and a hands-on in just a few minutes so keep your eyes open.

iPhone 3.0 Features for you:

• Push
• Bluetooth will be used to auto-discover nearby people for games without any pairing. They then can communicate via Wi-Fi. Hopefully it’s secure, it could be nice.
• There will NOT be background processing, no matter how much you want it. Reduces battery life. As if battery life could get much worse, noted a commenter.
• Cut, Copy and Paste: This feature was seen riding a dinosaur into the auditorium. Anyway, it’s finally here and it even applies to image(s). Simply double tap a word and it gets highlighted with “cut, copy or paste” above. For a block of text you just tap a word and drag the edges. It works across all applications. It seems like anywhere the magnifier works, copy and paste will work. If you accidentally paste the wrong word or phrase then just shake the iPhone for an “Undo” prompt. To redo just shake again.
• Meebo coming as a native app for iPhone. That sounds nice.
• New “home” screen to the left of your current far-left one. It has a Spotlight search, looks for stuff all over your phone.
• Calendar supports CalDAV now, you can subscribe to other calendars online. Useful for syncing with your spouse or whatnot, even if they’re on Google or Yahoo.
• Many apps will now support internal search, including Mail. It’s incomplete (doesn’t search message contents) but it’ll search IMAP servers, so if you’ve got GMail for instance you’ll be good. A collective sigh of relief emanates from iPhone owners.
• Landscape keyboard all up in every app you can think of.
• Multimedia Messages! This feature flew in on a Pterodactyl.
• Stereo Bluetooth. I know how much you love that, honey, so I just went and got it for you.
• Hotspot auto-login. Because you love Starbucks but don’t want to waste time inputting passwords.
• Send and receive files between your iPhone and iPod Touch. That’s awesome.

3.0 features for App store and Developers:

• Apps can talk directly to accessories — FM transmitters, stereos, anything you like. Expect a lot of bundled apps with your iPhone bundled apps. How about an NES-like iPhone controller for those emulators?
• You can get subscription apps now, in case you weren’t paying enough already.
• Apps can now use voice communication. I foresee controversy.
• Embeddable maps for developers. Now they won’t have to launch Maps outside their application. Handy for shopping apps.
• Buy stuff in-app: I’m calling this the “Sims” feature. You could also use it to buy books for a reader, or new maps for a game, that sort of thing.
• Turn by turn directions in navigation apps now. First one probably from Telenav.
• Apps can access the user’s library of music and videos, so you could have the background music in a game be the user’s.
• Lots of new APIs, too many to list here but if you’re a dev you’re gonna check it out.
• Tethering support is in there, but “will depend on each carrier on supporting it.”

The upgrade will be free for iPhone users, but iPod Touch folks will have to shell out $10, like last time.

Well, we didn’t get fixes for a lot of our issues with the iPhone, but a lot of this stuff will be really handy. Search and push in particular will make this a lot more useful for business types. We’ll let you all know as soon as we know anything more, say about the release date for this big mother of an update.

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Calibre looks like the essential app for eBook fans

Posted on March 18, 2009. Filed under: Tech News | Tags: , |

By Jay Hathaway, Downloadsquad


If you’re starting to amass a large collection of eBooks, formatted for all kinds of different readers, Calibre might be just what you need to help organize them. It’s a cross-platform app that can read and tag eBooks from Kindle 1 and 2, iPhone, and readers from Sony and Cybook. It can also convert text from all kinds of sources into eBook format, and function as its own server of sorts, so you can access your library online.

Calibre also looks great, with a display mode similar to the Cover Flow in iTunes — can someone explain what’s up with Cover Flow being so hot right now? — and a more practical list mode that just shows cover images on the side. You can also edit or fill in information about your books from Calibre, to make sure your library is accurate and organized. Oh, and if you’re a fan of the Stanza reader on the iPhone, Calibre’s hosting feature makes your books accessible through that, too.

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LG Rumor 2 for Sprint

Posted on March 18, 2009. Filed under: Bangalore News | Tags: , , , |

By Peter Ha, Mobilecrunch


We just got a couple Rumor 2s into the CG office and in the short time we’ve had with the device, we can say that it picks up where the first one left off. The hardware feels sturdy and the keyboard is quite nice. The camera seems like it takes decent pictures (test shot: Canon lens box) when there’s enough light available as well, but we’ve only taken one test shot and it’s so-so. The menu system is pretty straightforward. There are a handful of included apps like, Loopt, Nascar, NFL Mobile and Social Zone. The queerest thing I saw was the “chat & dating” option under messages (the last two images). Anyway, we’ll have a full review soon.

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iPhone OS 3.0 Gallery and New Podcast Features

Posted on March 18, 2009. Filed under: iPhone | Tags: , |

By Greg Kumparak, Mobilecrunch

The more our guys play with the the new iPhone OS 3.0 firmware, the more little gems they’re finding. Tucked away within the Podcast playback screen are a few subtle changes that went unmentioned during today’s announcement. Apple did say there were some 100 new features in the new OS, so it’ll probably be awhile before we see them all.iphone

New Podcast Features:

•The Repeat and Shuffle buttons are gone (probably because they’re rarely used with podcasts, as they tend to be much longer than songs).
•The top left of the screen now features a mail icon, which currently just crashes the app. We’d assume this lets you send someone the iTunes link.
•In the center, directly below the scrubber, is a button that allows you to instantly rewind by 30 seconds.
•On the right is a Speed modifier, allowing you to playback podcasts at double or half their normal rate
•Variable speed scrubbing: We’re not sure if Apple has a name for this yet, but we like “Super Scrubbing”. Scrubbing is a fancy term for jumping to the right spot by grabbing the little marker in the timeline and dragging it around. Scrubbing to the perfect spot in a really long audio file is tough – but they’ve made it a whole lot easier. If you hold the marker dead-on, you scrub as normal. If you continue to hold but slide your finger up above the marker, the iPhone goes into “High Speed” scrubbing mode, lowering precision and moving the marker further relative to your finger. If you instead slide below the marker, it enters Half Speed scrubbing mode, which increases precision and allows you to jump around in smaller increments. Continue sliding downward and it enters Quarter speed – you can guess what that one does.

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2G iPod touch to have Bluetooth capability unlocked by iPhone OS 3.0

Posted on March 18, 2009. Filed under: iPhone | Tags: , , , , |

By Nilay Patel, Engadget


Looks like that Bluetooth chip in the iPod touch 2G we’ve always thought was for Nike+ suddenly got a lot more useful: Apple’s Greg Joswiak said that Bluetooth can be “unlocked” on the device during the iPhone OS 3.0 Q&A session. That’s two years of rumors put to rest, right there, and a solid move, seeing as three of the major 3.0 features are A2DP, wireless accessory control and peer-to-peer connections over Bluetooth. Any touch owners feeling more inclined to drop the $9.95 now?

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New social app Foursquare is Dodgeball Part Deux

Posted on March 18, 2009. Filed under: iPhone, Mobile World | Tags: , , |

By Jay Hathaway


Dodgeball was legend amongst Internet social junkies. This cool mobile app let you know where your friends and crushes were, and made meeting up easy. It was so beloved that there was a farewell party in San Francisco when the site shut down. Something with that much community support can’t stay dead for long, though, so now there’s Foursquare, a Dodgeball “sequel” from one of the guys behind Dodgeball.

So, what does Foursquare do? Like Dodgeball, it lets you check in from your phone when you go somewhere. Foursquare has several ways to do this, via iPhone, a mobile web interface, or good old text messaging. Foursquare also has Twitter integration, so you can get/send checkins through Twitter’s direct message interface. It’s launched in 12 cities so far, so go check if yours is supported. Dodgeball is dead, long live Dodgeball.

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Nokia 5800 XpressMusic NAM firmware update

Posted on March 18, 2009. Filed under: Mobile World | Tags: , , , |

By Chris Ziegler, Engadget


We’d initially been told that the first round of bunk Nokia 5800s for the North American market would have to be exchanged despite the fact that the 3G reception fix was a simple “configuration change,” but now… not so much. Firmware 20.2.014 has just gone live through Nokia’s Software Update application, bringing the same rich, buttery 3G quality to buyers of those first few devices. Other than that, changes are unknown and presumed to be minor, so if you’re still struggling with getting your 5800 to appreciate the finer things in life — like HSDPA, for example — give this one a shot.

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TweetDeck beats Twhirl to the punch, adds Facebook support

Posted on March 18, 2009. Filed under: Facebook News, Twitter News | Tags: , , |

By Lee Mathews


If you’ve been using TweetDeck without a dual-display setup, it’s just about time for you to make a purchase. With newly-announced support for Facebook, you’re going to need some more real estate. The release comes two short days after Twhirl frontman Loic Le Meur announced that Seesmic had released a standalone Facebook app which, like TweetDeck, is built on Adobe Air.

Setup involves logging in to Facebook and the usual two or three clicks afterwards. Once completed, you’ll have a new panel showing your Facebook friends’ updates and a checkbox next to the update field to enable posting to Facebook. Curiously, TweetDeck includes the ability to email or tweet Facebook updates, something which doesn’t necessarily jive with Facebook’s TOS.

For now, that’s about it for functionality. You can’t, for example, send replies. With TweetDeck’s history of Twitter kung-fu there will likely be plenty of enhancements in the coming months.

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Scosche unveils solar-powered solCHAT Bluetooth speakerphone

Posted on March 18, 2009. Filed under: Bangalore News | Tags: , , , , |

By Darren Murph, Engadget


If you happened to snag one of those Iqua Sun solar-powered Bluetooth headsets a few years back, you’ll probably have no need whatsoever for this. For everyone else, listen up. The Scosche solCHAT Bluetooth speakerphone boasts an integrated solar panel and rechargeable Li-ion, and when installed within one’s vehicle, it simply pairs up with BT-enabled handsets when in range in order to give drivers the ability to talk handsfree. The simply styled unit has just three visible buttons — volume up, volume down and the all-important answer / hang-up key — and it can be yours right now for $99.99. Oh, and just in case you live in some shadowy place like Seattle, a USB charging cable is also throw in — just don’t tell Mother Earth, alright?

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BlackBerry “Niagara” 9630 given yet another pre-release shakedown

Posted on March 18, 2009. Filed under: Mobile World | Tags: , , , , |

By Jacob Schulman, Engadget


RIM’s just full of leaks when it comes to the purported next CDMA BlackBerry, and as long as they’re not memory leaks, we don’t think we’ll be complaining. CrackBerry has somehow managed to secure yet another pre-release device, and this time it’s none other than the CDMA Bold / Curve 8900 / Storm hybrid. Like we saw with the latest Mr. Blurrycam video review (and all those other leaked pics) the keyboard sure looks to be a real winner and to quote CB, it’s “the optimal solution.” The form factor is also described as “awesome” and its narrower size made it even nicer to hold than the Bold. Unfortunately, this particular device was running — or trying to run — OS, which is basically a dummy phone equivalent at this point, while .17 is purportedly available somewhere in the Great White North. We’ve heard that the hardware has indeed been finalized, and that RIM is mass producing these like crazy — and if they can get the software to match what we’ve seen of the hardware, it looks like they’re going to have another winner on their hands.

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Perfect PDF is a solid Adobe Reader alternative

Posted on March 18, 2009. Filed under: Adobe | Tags: , , |

By Lee Mathews, Downloadsquad


Though Adobe Reader has come a long way in the past couple versions, there are other good options available for displaying PDF files. For Windows users, Perfect PDF Reader may be an enticing alternative.

Apart from the obvious addition of a ribbon interface, Perfect PDF adds a number of useful features. There are three views to choose from – standard, reading view, and a full-screen reading. Perfect PDF also makes it easy to extract images and text from files. Either type of element can be selected, copied, and pasted elsewhere, and you can also save the entire file as text export it to a variety of image formats. As with FoxIt PDF, Perfect PDF can also edit form fields and save your input in the document.

There are areas of the interface that look unfinished, or at least a little plain – like the save as images dialog. While it doesn’t hinder any functionality, it doesn’t fit in with the more up-to-date look of the ribbon.

Perfect PDF Reader is a free download and runs on both 32- and 64-bit Windows platforms. The Visual C++ 2008 runtimes are required, and can be downloaded during installation if you need them.

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Verizon readying subsidized HP laptops, Hub 2

Posted on March 18, 2009. Filed under: Notebook | Tags: , , , |

By Nilay Patel, Engadget


We just got a pair of small-but-juicy Verizon rumors from a very reliable tipster: first, we hear that HP and Big Red are working together on subsidized WWAN-enabled laptops for launch in Q2. Exactly what machines will be involved can’t be confirmed, but if we had our guess we’d say Big Red’s got a cheap Mini 1000 on a two-year contract in the works, since these so-called “netbooks” are all the rage these days. Second, a updated version of the charming-but-questionably-useful Hub “landline killer” home phone is due out in the second half of the year, and VZW’s apparently retargeting it a little: we’re told it’ll be more upscale and boast even more features. And here we thought that internet radio widget was gettin’ all crazy. No word on pricing for any of this stuff, but we’d bet we’ll find out more soon.

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Discovery Communications Sues Amazon Over Kindle

Posted on March 18, 2009. Filed under: Tech News | Tags: , , , |

By Alex Weprin, Broadcastingcable


Discovery Communications is suing e-retailer, saying that its popular e-book reader the Kindle infringes upon a patent held by the company.

Most patent suits are between technology companies. Interestingly cable programming giant Discovery says it has valuable intellectual property that is being infringed by Amazon’s popular Kindle and Kindle 2 electronic book products.

The lawsuit is focusing specifically on Amazon’s delivery and distribution system for the books. Specifically, the company claims its patent covers a “secure, encrypted system for the selection, transmission, and sale of electronic books.”

Discovery referenced development work by founder John Hendricks in patent 7,298, 851, which the company was issued Nov. 20, 2007. The first edition of the Kindle launched in the U.S. Nov. 19, 2007

Discovery did not reference any other electronic reader devices, such as the Sony Reader in the infringement suit.

“The Kindle and Kindle 2 are important and popular content delivery systems,” said Joseph A. LaSala, Jr., General Counsel of Discovery Communications, in a statement. “We believe they infringe our intellectual property rights, and that we are entitled to fair compensation. Legal action is not something Discovery takes lightly. Our tradition as an inventive company has produced considerable intellectual property assets for our shareholders, and today’s infringement litigation is part of our effort to protect and defend those assets.”

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Carbonite launches online backup for Mac

Posted on March 18, 2009. Filed under: Internet, Tech News | Tags: , , , |

By Brad Linder, Downloadsquad


Carbonite has been providing online backup services for PC users for years. This week the company launched a Mac client.

Here’s how it works. For $54.95 a year, Carbonite provides you with unlimited online storage space to backup all the important files on your computer. At regular intervals, the program will scan the folders you designate and copy any new or changed files to the server. If you’re using your internet connection to download files, watch online videos, or do other things, Carbonite will adjust its upload speeds so it doesn’t interfere with your other activities.

In the event that your computer crashes, or if you need to recover some files you accidentally deleted, you can use Carbonite’s tools to restore the data to your Mac.

Carbonite isn’t the first service to offer online backup for Mac users. Mozy also has a Mac client which offers up to 2GB of storage space for free, or unlimited storage for $4.95 per month (or $59.40 per year).

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Google’s got a new Chrome beta

Posted on March 18, 2009. Filed under: Google, Internet, Windows | Tags: , , |

By Lee Mathews, Downloadsquad

On the official Google Chrome blog a few hours ago, Google announced the release of a new beta version that falls somewhere in between the stable and developer branches.

Apart from the speed improvements in Google’s V8 javascript engine, several new features have been added. In addition to the drag-to-split side-by-side browsing feature demoed in the clip above, the new Webkit core includes autoscrolling, full page zoom, and form filling.

If you’re trying to get your hands on it, you may need to be patient. A number of Twitterers are having the same problem I encountered: The downloader application looks like it’s working, but the actual setup process never begins. The announcement only came a few hours ago and Chrome devotees are likely hammering the download servers, which may be partly responsible.

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iPhone OS 3.0 hands-on!

Posted on March 18, 2009. Filed under: iPhone | Tags: , |

By Nilay Patel, Engadget


We’re not saying how, but we got hooked up with the beta of iPhone OS 3.0. Overall, things feel about the same until you flick left that extra time and hit the Spotlight screen, which works just as advertised. It’s definitely a beta, though: it’s laggy all around and some things don’t work, like taking a photo directly in the MMS app. We took some quick snaps, check ’em out below and let us know what you want to see in the video!

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Amazanian makes searching Amazon easier

Posted on March 17, 2009. Filed under: Tech News | Tags: , |

By Brad Linder, Downloadsquad

amazanian is a storehouse of useful information whether you’re looking to buy something or just find information about it. But generally you have to first enter your search term and then click through to a product page to find items like customer reviews or sales rank.

Amazanian is a web site that uses the Amazon API to provides mode detailed information on the search results page. For each item, you’ll find a price, release date, availability information, customer rating, category, and sales rank. You can also click on tabs to read editorial or customer reviews and see similar products. And you add items to a shopping list with the click of a button. When you’re ready to check out from Amazon, you can click a button on the shopping list to add everything to your Amazon cart.

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Dell Adamo to arrive tomorrow: $1,999

Posted on March 17, 2009. Filed under: Notebook | Tags: , , |

By Nilay Patel, Engadget


Not a ton of details to work with here, but Dell’s confirmed to the hometown Austin American Statesman that the 13-inch Adamo we saw at CES will indeed launch tomorrow and be priced at $1,999. As expected, the machine will be just the first in an entire line of high-end Adamo-branded machines, but we don’t know if Dell has anything else in store right away — hopefully we’ll find out more soon, as the 13-inch version is due out in 24 countries including the states on March 26th. Ballsy move launching a premium line in the shadow of Apple’s iPhone 3.0 event, but you know we’ll bring you all the details as soon as we have ’em.

Update: Well, that was fast — the Adamo is apparently already floating around SXSW in Austin. No specs yet, but that’s a picture of the box up there. Yeah, it’s hot. Check out a bunch more pics by Brian Solis here.

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Dell Adamo announced: 1.2GHz Core 2 Duo, $1,999

Posted on March 17, 2009. Filed under: Notebook | Tags: , , |

By Nilay Patel, Engadget


After months of drawn-out buildup, the Adamo endgame has played out pretty damn fast: we had pricing and box pictures leak just about an hour ago, and now Dell’s officially announced the first machine in the Adamo line, the 13.4-inch model we saw at CES. Sadly, it sounds like beauty is only aluminum-skin deep here: that hot little case holds a 1.2GHz Core 2 Duo U9300 with integrated Intel X4500 graphics, 2GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD, and it all weighs four pounds — a pound more than the MacBook Air. Not exactly a barnstormer, especially for $1,999 — it looks like you’re spending the majority of that cash on high-end design flourishes like a magnetic cover that hides the Microsoft-required Windows authenticity sticker. Hopefully this thing will be joined by some higher-powered siblings when it arrives on March 26th, keep your fingers crossed. Two videos and the full release after the break.

Update: Looks like CNET scored one early — check out their hands-on here, and a pic of that magnetic cover here.

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Google Chrome on Linux progressing, screenshots inside

Posted on March 17, 2009. Filed under: Internet, Tech News | Tags: , |

By Lee Mathews, Downloadsquad


Ubuntu users (or users of a Ubuntu-based distro) who have been waiting patiently for the chance to play with Google Chrome, there’s now a dead simple way for you to do it. Thanks to the PPA (personal package archive) for Chromium daily builds team, getting the pre-alpha Chromium browser running on your system is about as painless as it can be at this stage.

You’ll need to add repositories, of course. They are (substitute jaunty or hardy if needed):

deb intrepid main
deb-src intrepid main

Once they’ve been added, running sudo apt-get install chromium-browser in a terminal window will take care of the rest. After the package has finished installing, just type chromium-browser [enter] to fire it up.

While it’s still in its early stages, Chromium on Linux runs as it does on Windows – fast and smooth. Some important features aren’t working yet, like the tab and bookmarks bars and options menu, but nearly everything else is. Incognito, history, download manager, and the new tab view are all functional, and every web page I tested rendered beautifully – and fast.

Check the gallery after the break for screenshots from my CrunchBang install.

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BlackBerry Gemini 8325 in the wild

Posted on March 17, 2009. Filed under: Mobile World | Tags: , , , |

By Chris Ziegler, Engadget


Something tells us this isn’t the most anticipated yet-to-be-announced BlackBerry at the moment, but RIM’s all about choice — and, yeah, it remains to be seen who’s going to choose the Gemini 8325 when it ends up shipping. The supposed Curve 8300 successor (we thought that was the 8900, silly us) will mope along with the same EDGE data that powers the old model, suggesting that it’ll hang out on the low end of the BlackBerry stable — especially by the time it’s actually released, whenever that happens to be. It’s rumored to run BlackBerry OS 5.0 and feature a QVGA display, 802.11b / g / n (yes, n), and a meager 2 megapixel camera, so needless to say, the Bolds of the world can rest easy for a while longer that their dominance in the QWERTY GSM BlackBerry game isn’t in question just yet.

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Dell lets Adamo 9 and Studio One 22 slip

Posted on March 17, 2009. Filed under: Notebook | Tags: , , |

By Thomas Ricker, Engadget


In another of those extra-special slip-ups peculiar to Dell, we get the unofficial announcement of a pair of new computers courtesy of Dell’s own support documents. This time, it’s the Dell Adamo 9 and Studio One 22. From that bit of info we can deduce a 9-inch, ultra-glam, ultra-portable laptop carrying Dell’s luxury Adamo brand as well as a 22-inch version of Dell’s sexy Studio One all-in-one PC. Pretty sweet by comparison to the relative heft of the just announced 13-inch Adamo laptop and the tiny display on Dell’s 19-inch Studio One. Good times.

Update: spotted the Adamo 9 on the compatibility list for the Dell Wireless 5530 card. In other words, the Adamo 9 will offer both internal HSPA data and GPS lock as an optional update.

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MSI Wind U110 Eco doesn’t have ATI graphics

Posted on March 17, 2009. Filed under: Notebook | Tags: , , |

By Nilay Patel, Engadget


Well, so much for that: our friends at Laptop have discovered that the ATI Mobility Radeon HD3200 listed on the Wind U110’s spec sheet was a typo, and that the machine’s 1.6GHz Atom Z530 is actually paired with the dramatically more boring Intel GMA 500 graphic chipset. That makes the claimed nine-hour battery life slightly easier to believe, even if it is super-disappointing — looks like we’re still waiting on that dream netbook.

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Sony Ericsson’s MS500 Bluetooth speaker makes old people cranky

Posted on March 17, 2009. Filed under: Gadget News | Tags: , , |

By Thomas Ricker, Engadget


Annoyed by urban youth and their desire to fill the world with “music” from the tin-can speakers on their cellphones? Yeah? Then prepare yourself old man ’cause your curmudgeon knob is about to get a twist from this new Bluetooth 2.1+EDR speaker from Sony Ericsson. The MS500 2-watt speaker is designed for mobility with a durable splash-proof shell, wrist-strap, and hook allowing it to be tethered to any messenger bag for up to 5-hours (off AA batteries) of optimal annoyance. Although pictured in the wide-open spaces favored by the beautiful, expect to see the MS500 riding the subway seat next to you when it ships on an unspecified date for an undisclosed price. One more product shot after the break.

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