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Nokia gets into the Netbook game

August 25th, 2009 pooja No comments

Nokia gets into the Netbook game

ot a week goes by without another electronics giant deciding to hop on the overcrowded Netbook bandwagon. Still, it’s unusual when a phone manufacturer decides to cross over. Nokia, long rumored to be getting into 3G mini-laptops or “smartbooks,” has finally announced a very real 10-inch Netbook.

Called the Booklet 3G, it has a clear design relationship with its phone line, while still being an honest-to-goodness laptop (as opposed to some sort of smartphone hybrid). Running an Atom Z530 processor instead of the more common N270, it also has:

* An HDMI port
* Wi-Fi
* 3G (obviously)
* An SD card reader
* A-GPS and maps integration
* A Webcam
* Bluetooth
* And, according to Nokia, a 12-hour battery life

The Booklet 3G also runs Windows–as to whether it’s Windows 7, Nokia isn’t announcing yet, but that’s a pretty safe assumption with Microsoft’s OS just around the bend.

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T-Mobile MyTouch 3G vs. Palm Pre

August 22nd, 2009 pooja No comments

T-Mobile MyTouch 3G vs. Palm Pre

Recently, the Palm Pre battled the Apple iPhone in a CNET Prizefight. Though the Pre narrowly lost to the iPhone, we’re bringing it back to live another day. This time it’s going head to head with the T-Mobile MyTouch 3G. As T-Mobile’s second Android phone, the MyTouch offers a few improvements over its G1 predecessor, including a slimmer design and Outlook e-mail. It also proves that wisdom comes with experience. Yet, it goes without saying that the Pre offers plenty of attractions, like a snappy interface and real multitasking.

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Logitech Wireless Keyboard K350

August 22nd, 2009 pooja No comments

Logitech Wireless Keyboard K350 Logitech’s new Wireless K350 offers a solid keyboard design if you want a little more comfort in your day-to-day typing. A cleverly designed key layout gently angles your wrists toward a less stressful typing position, without requiring you to relearn how to type. The $60 price tag for the wireless keyboard is a fair deal as well. A few back steps in hot-key layout make us wish Logitech had taken a more all-around approach in its design, but for its stated purpose, we found that the Wireless Keyboard K350 is easy to adjust to and comfortable to use.

Logitech incorporates three design elements into its K350 keyboard that make it stand out from the competition. The first is the so-called “wave” design, which angles the edge keys, and the two rows in the middle up toward your fingers, and pushes the keys in the W, E, and R, and I, O, and P rows lower. The idea is to accommodate the different lengths of your fingers. The varying height of the keys is supposed to match up with each digit in a more natural fit.

Another unique twist is the keyboard’s curve. It’s similar in shape to Microsoft’s Wireless Comfort Desktop, although with one major difference. Unlike the Microsoft keyboards, the letter keys on the K350 are all the same size. That means there’s no stretched out G or H key in the middle row to get caught on. Such a simple design step actually makes a huge difference in how quickly you become comfortable with Logitech’s board. We were able to adjust to the Logitech’s natural curve within minutes, while Microsoft’s design takes a little longer to get used to–for touch typists, especially.

The third innovation is Logitech’s brand-new Unifying receiver. This new technology lets you connect a single USB plug to six compatible mice and keyboards. Each device comes with its own Unifying receiver as well, meaning that you can conceivably leave them all plugged into several different computers at home and at work. Keep in mind that buying into the Unifying connection means marrying into the Logitech family of peripherals. We can’t ding Logitech, though, since we have few complaints about its products in general, plus the Unifying design also frees up USB ports previously occupied by other keyboards and mice.

Those three features really form the bulk of what makes the Logitech Wireless Keyboard K350 special. A semicushioned, nondetachable wrist rest also helps keep your wrists supported, and two separate adjustable feet create a sloping effect for a more upright typing posture. Finally, the keyboard is powered by two regular AA batteries that, according to Logitech, last up to three years with moderate use.

The only thing we’d change about the Logitech K350 is its media control keys. Rather than emulate most current digital-media-oriented keyboards and put the play controls along the sides, Logitech went old-school on this model and runs the media keys along the top edge instead. We’ll grant that the focus on typing might make the K350 best suited to an office environment (and Windows Vista, by way of the oversize Flip 3D hot key), but since Logitech went so far as to make the keyboard wireless, it might as well have taken the extra step and made the media keys easier to use when you’re leaning back in front of your PC with the keyboard in your lap.

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Canon USA debuts feature-packed PIXMA printers, voice-guided SELPHY compact photo printer

August 20th, 2009 pooja No comments

Canon USA debuts feature-packed PIXMA printers, voice-guided SELPHY compact photo printer Canon USA Inc., a provider of digital imaging solutions, announced Wednesday two new PIXMA Wireless Photo All-In-One (AIO) printers, one new PIXMA Inkjet Business Printer with PgR technology and a SELPHY Compact Photo Printer with a new voice guidance system. The versatility of these machines provides users with various options, whether working in the home office to print business documents or putting together a photo album.

The SELPHY ES40 Compact Photo Printer includes a voice guidance system which provides step-by-step instructions for printing and adding graphics to images without having to rely on a manual. The PIXMA MP990 and PIXMA MP640 Wireless Photo AIO printers utilize the Auto Photo Fix II feature to help users get the most out of photos and help to correct many common photo errors, such as underexposed images.

To enhance memorable photos from either a sunny beach wedding or a child’s graduation taking place in a dark auditorium, Auto Photo Fix II can assist with features such as Multi-Zone Exposure Correction, improvements in overall face detection, scene analysis, plus brightness and saturation correction.

With PgR technology on the Canon PIXMA iX7000 Inkjet Business Printer, business owners will be able to produce professional-looking documents in-house while also reducing overall printing costs by printing documents on plain paper. Small businesses will be able to print high-quality color business and marketing documents on low-cost plain paper as large as 11-inch x 17-inch or 13-inch x 19-inch without having to leave the office. Using a clear ink working in tandem with five LUCIA pigment inks when printing on plain paper, consumers will no longer need to worry about oversaturated and wrinkled documents.

“In today’s economy, consumers are searching for versatile and easy-to-use products at a reasonable price without sacrificing overall quality,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, senior vice president and general manager, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon USA. “The addition of these new PIXMA and SELPHY printers will provide consumers and businesses with many different choices when making a decision and can be confident that they will receive a high-quality, durable product.”

For business owners seeking an in-house solution for their overall printing needs, Canon’s PIXMA iX7000 Inkjet Business Printer offers features that help streamline productivity. With advanced paper handling, such as Auto Duplex Printing, a three-way paper feed, an extra large paper cassette and the use of PgR technology, business materials can be produced on plain paper to help reduce overall production costs. Added features of this printer include built-in Ethernet connectivity making this the perfect shared device for a small office.

The new Canon PIXMA MP990 and MP640 Wireless Photo AIO printers, with built-in Wi-Fi capabilities, are designed for use almost anywhere. To print high-quality photos, both printers use the ChromaLife 100 + ink system and have a maximum color resolution of 9600 x 2400 dpi.

For the advanced amateur ready to take their hobby to the next level, the inclusion of a gray ink tank on the PIXMA MP990 helps produce superb black-and-white prints in addition to vibrant color prints. The PIXMA MP990 can also scan both film and slides, allowing users to reproduce and preserve memorable moments from the past. The integrated Easy-Scroll Wheel, for easy navigation through menus and images, is further enhanced by a large 3.8-inch LCD screen on the PIXMA MP990 and a 3.0- inch LCD screen on the PIXMA MP640.

In order to improve the users overall printing experience, both printers feature advanced paper handling, Auto Scan Mode5, and the Easy-WebPrint EX6 software. The Auto Scan Mode helps to simplify the scanning process by identifying, scanning and saving an original in the correct format with the touch of one button. Advanced paper handling features include Auto Duplex printing, to help consumers save their paper supply by up-to-50 percent, and a two-way paper feed which makes it fast and easy to change paper types and sizes.

The Easy-WebPrint EX software can help make printing documents from the Web a simple operation. The software comes with an Auto Clip feature where users can select a specific part of a Web page to print rather than having to print the whole page, helping to conserve paper supply. The PIXMA MP990 will create a 4-inch x 6-inch photo in approximately 21 seconds, and has an estimated retail price of $299.99, while the PIXMA MP640 will create a 4-inch x 6-inch photo in approximately 20 seconds, with an estimated retail price of $219.99.

The Canon SELPHY ES40 Compact Photo Printer is the latest addition to the SELPHY line which produces high-quality photos, apart from being portable and easy-to-use.

The SELPHY ES40 provides voice guidance system, large 3.5-inch LCD screen and Easy Scroll Wheel allows for printing and navigating through menus and images to be more intuitive than in previous models. Users have more opportunities to personalize their photos with new frames and clip art available under the Creative Print function as well. The estimated retail price of the SELPHY ES40 Compact Photo Printer is $149.99.

Canon also announced that the PIXMA inkjet printer products will be compatible with Microsoft’s new Windows 7 operating system. According to Microsoft, this operating system has new features to make everyday tasks easier and faster.

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Breathe New Life into Your Old PC — with Windows 7

August 20th, 2009 pooja No comments

Breathe New Life into Your Old PC – with Windows 7

Linux has long been the preferred operating system for rejuvenating older PCs for three reasons: It’s lighter weight than Windows, it’s secure enough to let you sidestep CPU-hogging anti-virus programs, and it’s free.

Windows 7 may shake up that thinking, being the first version of Windows that, judging from widespread reviews from beta testers, runs faster than the prior one. While the minimum specs Microsoft outlined for Vista were lower than Windows 7’s (see breakout box), Vista was so bloated that it ran poorly on many PCs. Think of Windows 7 as Vista after an extended stay at the weight-loss spa — trim, buffed and Botoxed. Even netbooks can run it.

In the past it usually made little economic sense to reinstall Windows on an older PC, as buying a new retail copy of Windows would often cost more than the PC was worth. But with Windows 7, Microsoft plans to offer a 3-upgrade-license ‘family pack’ of the Home Premium edition for $150. Based on what Microsoft has already said, users will likely be able to (clean) install Windows 7 on a machine running XP without having to install Vista first.

Also, Windows 7 continues Microsoft’s legendary backward compatibility for applications. For instance, I was able to get my 12-year-old copy of Office 97 running on Windows 7 with no hitches.

But just how low can you go with Windows 7? Do you really need a computer with the minimum specs as outlined by Microsoft?

Like lo-fi DJs and classic car enthusiasts, a subculture of Windows fans has sprung up trying to take Windows 7 far lower than Microsoft says it can go. At Windows fan site, testers have claimed success with a 700MHz Pentium III ThinkPad with 256MB of RAM and a 600MHz Pentium III desktop with 512MB of RAM.

At another site, The Windows Club, someone claims to have run Windows 7 on a circa-1997, 266MHz Pentium II with 96MB RAM and a 4MB video card.

While not matching those reports, the following five accounts are from users — including yours truly — who have successfully run Windows 7 Ultimate RC on a variety of older and underpowered hardware, from a 7-year-old white-box desktop to a Dell netbook. All the testers weigh in on their Windows 7 experience and provide tips for installing it on low-end systems.
Sprucing Up the Old Work Laptop

Who: Jan Andersen Cornelius, a technology architect in Roskilde, Denmark

What: “Several laptops, including a Dell Latitude D600 and a ThinkPad T60. The oldest was my Asus L3800c that I used [when I was] an independent consultant between June 2002 and April 2004.”

Specs (Asus): 1.8GHz Pentium M CPU, 1GB RAM, 160GB hard drive (5,400rpm), ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 on-board graphics

Windows Experience Index (Asus): 1.0

[Note: The Windows Experience Index is a set of 5 scores on a scale of 1.0 (lowest) to 7.9 (highest) that are generated by Windows 7 based on your PC's hardware specs (not how it actually runs). Microsoft bases the overall rating on your hardware's lowest individual score.]

Performance: On the Asus machine, it’s “a little bit slower than Windows XP (I’m running both in dual-boot) and Office 2007. It takes a while for everything, including Java, to start up. On my Dell, it is a lot faster than Windows 2000. Same with the ThinkPad when compared to Vista.”

Would you recommend Windows 7? “Personally, I would not hesitate to install Windows 7 on any machine built in 2003 and after.”

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Dell shows prototype at China Mobile platform launch

August 19th, 2009 pooja No comments

Dell shows prototype at China Mobile platform launch

China Mobile introduced a new mobile platform Monday, and one of the presenting partners on hand has raised a few eyebrows.

Details of a Dell phone, reportedly called the Mini 3i, began to circulate on the Web almost immediately after being presented at the event, but Dell says it has not yet announced any smartphone for the China market.
“Dell was there supporting China Mobile as a development partner. We did not confirm or announce anything,” said Dell spokesman Matt Parretta.

There was, however, a “proof of concept mobile device prototype” shown off at the event, Parretta said. That explains the photos, which depict a black, candybar-style handset that had a touch screen and was stamped with the Dell logo on the back.

Reports from the China Mobile event, which introduced the wireless operator’s Android-based Open Mobile System, or OMS, say the Mini 3i was confined to operate on a 2G GSM network–no Wi-Fi access–but had a 3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and a slot for a microSD card.

Industry observers and market analysts have been largely underwhelmed both by the idea of a Dell smartphone, and according to some who saw early prototypes, the execution of it as well.

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256GB solid state drive from Samsung

August 18th, 2009 pooja No comments

256GB solid state drive from Samsung.Samsung is planning to launch a 256GB high performance SSD (solid state drive) especially targeted at the gaming users. The drive according to Samsung will deliver high speed and enhance the gaming experience there by making the conventional HDD a thing of the past.

The 256GB drive will be different from the conventional HDD used with an enhanced overall performance. Though the drive can be used by any users it will be of a great benefit to the gaming users using a desktop or a notebook.

Apart from the huge space the Samsung 256GB solid state drive will reduce loading time, will be able to store data faster, consume less battery power on a laptop and this will further boost the overall gaming experience and performance.

A gaming device always needed that extra processing power, the advanced graphics, monitor with high resolutions, good memory and a storage drive. Until now no importance was given to the conventional hard disk drives being used, but with the Samsung 256GB SSD this would change.

The 256GB storage capacity is achieved by using 2 bit multi level cell technology powered by ARM processor.

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Sony Pulls The Plugs On OLED Due To Losses & Production Problems

August 18th, 2009 pooja No comments

Bleeding cash and TV market share, Sony has now said that they will not deliver a new OLED TV this year because of costs and production problems. New research has also revealed that 4 out of 10 Sony OLED TV panels made are dumped because of production problems.

Hailed 18 months ago as the breakthrough TV technology that would catapult Sony into a dominant position in the TV display market, OLED TV is now turning into a lemon for the Japanese TV maker who in Australia has seen their TV display market share savaged by Samsung.
Also in Australia Sony is struggling with several other products with the Company recently admitting that they have had to replace faulty Sony Walkman and Vaio Notebooks that are prone to melting.

In an admission to the Wall Street Journal Sony has said that they are set to delay the launch of its next organic light emitting diode, or OLED, television because mass producing the new ultrathin displays would exacerbate losses at its TV division.

In Australia the Company is trying to sell a tiny 11″ OLED TV for $6,999 which is $2,000 more than some vendors are selling a 55″ Full HD TV for, complete with a free Nintendo Wii gaming console.

Sony who have admitted that they have never made a profit selling their Bravia LCD TV’s are on track to lose money for the sixth straight year in their TV division.

Both LG and Samsung are now set to have large screen OLED TV’s on sale before Sony. LG is planning a 15″ OLED TV monitor by Xmas say insiders. Samsung has already shown a full working 31″ OLED TV at the 2009 CES show.

In previous ChannelNews stories we reported that Sony Chief Executive Howard Stringer had said in May 2008 that Sony would have a 27-inch OLED television available within 12 months

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Red Hat steps up channel reach against Novell and Microsoft

August 18th, 2009 pooja No comments

Red Hat steps up channel reach against Novell and Microsoft

It takes money to make money, and commercial Linux distributor Red Hat knows this.

Red Hat has made no secret of the fact that it wants to get more of its sales through indirect channels. This is not just a matter of shifting the burden of sales to resellers, as is the case with most server makers, but is also a means of keeping Red Hat’s overall revenues growing so it attains its long-term goal of becoming a $1bn, profitable software company.

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Managing a channel is a bit like managing an open source software development project, inasmuch as both are meritocracies that reward the best performance. The difference is that big channel partners who bring in the big sales want the best commissions and other rewards, such as co-marketing funds, training, and input into product plans as well as the normal roadmap briefings.

IT channels tend to differentiate their partners by tier, and as a company grows, ain’t it funny how there are more tiers and more hoops to jump through to get more benefits from the vendor whose products the channel partners peddle.

Red Hat is no different from any other IT vendor, so is beefing up its North American partner channel with the addition of a premier business level to give channel partners more “economic, sales, marketing, and technical benefits.”

The software company also added three new specialties that partners can be certified to chase deals under, and these areas reflect the three main areas where Red Hat is doing business: infrastructure software, middleware, and virtualization.

Red Hat says that it is putting more money in building out its partner ecosystem, but declined to give out any specific figures regarding how much it was already spending on helping partners do their sales job and how much incremental money it was throwing at the channel. It also did not elaborate about what makes a premier partner different from an advanced one, or merely a ready one.

The company did say that the infrastructure specialization was aimed at partners selling Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the Red Hat Network Satellite patching system, plus its Global File System, Cluster Suite, and MRG real-time and grid Linux extensions. Partners with this specialization need to have two employees certified by Red Hat to do channel sales and one certified as a technician.

The middleware specialization is obviously focused on the JBoss stack – including sales of Enterprise Application Platform, BRMS, Operations Network, Developer Studio, SOA Platform, and Data Services Platform. Partners seeking this specialization need to have two certified middleware salespeople and one JBoss administrator on staff.

The virtualization specialization for partners is obviously focused on Red Hat’s current Xen and KVM hypervisors and its impending Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization product, which is a standalone KVM-based hypervisor that went into beta in June and that is expected to come to market in its initial packaging later this year, with enhancements into 2010. Partners need to have two channel sales specialists and one Red Hat certified engineer on staff with expertise with virtualization to get this specialization.

Time to pull a Novell?

Red Hat’s channel has grown significantly and is contributing more to sales, which is exactly what the company wants. A few years ago, Red Hat had only 300 channel partners in North America, according to a company spokesperson, and that number now exceeds 1,500 partners.

In its most recent quarter ended in May, the company’s sales rose by 11.3 per cent to $174.4m, and 61 per cent of its bookings came through the channel. That is a five point shift in six months, which is huge. Five years ago, in the summer of 2004, the channel only accounted for 45 percent of sales at Red Hat, and interestingly, the company was projecting that the channel would account for 70 per cent of sales by the end of 2006. Red Hat has a ways to go before it hits this goal – probably closer to something like a year from now if current trends persist.

Of course, if Red Hat wanted to go crazy, it could pull a Novell and ink a deal with Microsoft to have Big Bill scarf up maybe $500m in Red Hat Enterprise Linux licenses and make one, big channel right into the relatively small part of the vast Windows installed base that wants Linux running side-by-side with Windows.

While such a strategy has enabled Novell to pad its financials over the past several years, it seems pretty clear that Red Hat, with its dominant market share in corporate Linux, is not desperate enough to make such a move. And, if the company does the hard work of building out a real partner channel, it probably won’t be any time in the future,

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Sony extends Vaio laptop warranty for Nvidia glitch

August 12th, 2009 pooja No comments

Sony said that a small percentage of Vaio laptops with Nvidia graphics chips may experience problems and the company offered to provide an extended warranty to cover the cost of repair. This follows similar statements by Apple, Hewlett-Packard, and Dell.

Nvidia first disclosed the problem with its graphics chips in July 2008, saying at the time that graphics processors manufactured with a certain material set were failing in the field at a higher than normal rate.

In a Sony eSupport USA notice dated August 3, the company said: “Sony, in cooperation with Nvidia, has been looking into any possible effect to Vaio notebooks with Nvidia graphic processors. Until recently we had not identified any Vaio models that were affected by this issue.”

The statement continues. “However, after closely monitoring the situation, Sony has now determined that a very small percentage of Vaio computers with the Nvidia graphics chips may experience this issue. These PCs may exhibit distorted video, duplicate images or a blank screen due to a failure of the Nvidia graphics chip.”

The belated notice from Sony comes a year after Dell–in August 2008–made a similar revelation. Apple disclosed the problem in October of last year. HP began addressing the problem in support forums in November 2007.

Sony lists models affected by the issue on the eSupport Web site, which include the Vaio VGN-ARxxx, VGN-FZxxx, and VGC-LTxxx series. Though Sony doesn’t specify the graphics processor, Nvidia chips cited in the past include the GeForce 9600M and 8600M.

“For any customer who requires repair of their Vaio computer due to the Nvidia graphics processor issue, Sony will cover the cost of repair (parts and labor) at no charge and, in addition to the standard limited 12 month warranty, Sony will provide a three year warranty extension for the Nvidia graphics chip,” the company said.

Nvidia said earlier this month that its financial results were negatively affected by an additional net charge of approximately $119.1 million to cover costs related to this problem.

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