Nokia Eseries devices are widely available in the U.S.

Nokia E61i

I purchased a Nokia E61 to replace my Treo 650 from a US importer last year and have since upgraded to a Nokia E61i, again via a US importer. Nokia posted a press release announcing that Nokia E-series, these are the enterprise focused devices like the E61i, are broadly available in the United States. The release is primarily an educational announcement to spread the word about various outlets where you can get a Nokia E61i, E65, or other Eseries model. There are more than 140 value-added resellers (VARs) in the Nokia for Business Channel Program, including Dell.com, Gateway, and Mobile Planet. I personally have purchased my Eseries devices from PhoneSource USA and have been extremely pleased with their services. IMHO, the E61i is a great deal at around US$400 for a SIM unlocked device that requires no contract extension or minimal service obligation.

The Eseries devices are S60 smartphones with pre-installed applications and features focused on the business user. Devices like the E61i and E90 have QWERTY keyboards and just about every wireless radio you can think of to allow for VoIP telephony and connectivity anywhere. There are several syncing and push email solutions as well as the ability to view email attachments. The Nokia Intellisync Mobile Suite also allows for high security managment of the devices, which is critical to the business user. All of this isn’t to say that these devices still can’t be used for fun and personal enjoyment since they have MP3 capability, some have cameras for quick snapshots, and they support a large number of 3rd party applications.

Thanks to my buddy Chris over at Mobility Site for the link to the press release.

Apple prepping a cheaper iPhone? Probably.

Yeah, don’t pretend like you didn’t see this one coming. Completely unsubstantiated “market sources” rumors are making the rounds that Apple is already prepping a lower cost iPhone variant. Warning: completely mundane “analysis” follows. According to American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu, “Apple needs to round out its iPhone product line at lower price points (similar to iPod) if it expects to replicate the success of its iPod with sales of 100 million units.” Shaw Wu has been right on a couple Apple predictions in the past, but it doesn’t take much to guess that Apple is currently at work on, or at least thinking about, a second generation of iPhone. Price drops also seem inevitable, and Shaw’s predictions hold few surprises. He claims to have heard of “lower cost iPhone prototypes for release at unspecified future dates” from his sources, and maybe he has, but we’re not going to start proclaiming Apple’s dominion over all form factors and price points (as entertainingly conceptualized above) just yet.

[Via The Raw Feed]
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Harry Potter Hacked?

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t’s very unlikely, but someone claims to have hacked into the publishing house that distributes the Harry Potter books (Bloomsbury) and obtained the final manuscript of the soon-to-arrive 7th book. This man (kid) supposedly got into the computers of the publisher by sending a link to a browser exploit through email and having the publisher click on it.

Don’t click if you don’t want potential spoilers.

Harry Potter 0day [Seclists via The Inquirer]

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Apple Corrects iPhone Competitive Data Chart

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As several alert readers already noticed, iPhone isn’t the only Wi-Fi device in the chart. The Nokia N95 does indeed have it too. Above you’ll see the corrected chart that Apple released a few minutes ago. Follow the jump to see them both. Why? Because it’s fun to laugh at human error on a Monday morning, I suppose.

Original chart:

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Apple Gives iPhone Glass Face and Extends Talk Time To 8 Hours [Gizmodo]

Euroscraper…Scrapes Europe, Not Sky?

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The Euroscraper is a donut in the long john-dominated world of skyscrapers. Recently placing third in theeVolo Architecture Skyscraper competition, we love this vision of the future

Granted, it’s horrible for preserving ground real estate. But it looks neat.
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Euroscraper
[inhabitat]

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Apple Gives iPhone Glass Face and Extends Talk Time To 8 Hours

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Amid skepticism that Apple‘s originally proposed talk time of “up to 5 hours” may not be guaranteed, Apple has upped the ante. Today it promised “8 hours of talk time, 6 hours of Internet use, 7 hours of video playback or 24 hours of audio playback” plus a whopping “10 days of standby time.” The same press release says that the front surface of the iPhone has been upgraded from plastic to “durable” glass. Jump for the info, straight from the horse’s mouth.

iPhone Delivers Up to Eight Hours of Talk Time

Now Features Durable Glass Top Surface

CUPERTINO, Calif., June 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Apple(R) today announced that iPhone(TM) will deliver significantly longer battery life when it ships on June 29 than was originally estimated when iPhone was unveiled in January. iPhone will feature up to 8 hours of talk time, 6 hours of Internet use, 7 hours of video playback or 24 hours of audio playback.* In addition, iPhone will feature up to 250 hours-more than 10 days-of standby time.

Apple also announced that the entire top surface of iPhone, including its stunning 3.5-inch display, has been upgraded from plastic to optical-quality glass to achieve a superior level of scratch resistance and optical clarity.

“With 8 hours of talk time, and 24 hours of audio playback, iPhone’s battery life is longer than any other ‘Smartphone’ and even longer than most MP3 players,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We’ve also upgraded iPhone’s entire top surface from plastic to optical-quality glass for superior scratch resistance and clarity. There has never been a phone like iPhone, and we can’t wait to get this truly magical product into the hands of customers starting just 11 days from today.”

iPhone introduces an entirely new user interface based on a revolutionary multi-touch display and pioneering new software that allows users to control iPhone with just a tap, flick or pinch of their fingers. iPhone combines three products into one small and lightweight handheld device — a revolutionary mobile phone, a widescreen iPod, and the Internet in your pocket with best-ever applications on a mobile phone for email, web browsing and maps.

iPhone ushers in an era of software power and sophistication never before seen in a mobile device, which completely redefines what users can do on their mobile phones.

Pricing and Availability
iPhone will be available in the US on June 29, 2007 in a 4GB model for $499 (US) and an 8GB model for $599 (US), and will work with either a PC or Mac(R). iPhone will be sold in the US through Apple’s retail and online
stores, and through AT&T’s select retail stores.

*All Battery claims are dependent upon network configuration and many other factors; actual results may vary. See http://www.apple.com/batteries for more information. Music capacity is based on four minutes per song and 128-Kbps AAC encoding; actual capacity varies by content.

Press release [Apple]

Microsoft launches new look for mobile MSN

Microsoft launches new look for mobile MSN

Microsoft launched a redesigned MSN portal optimized for mobile phones on Sunday, stepping up its offering at a time when more powerful devices increase the demand for richer content on handsets.

U.S. mobile Internet use still represents only a fraction of computer-based Web usage, but technology heavyweights like Microsoft see increasingly powerful mobile phones and faster networks opening the door for new services and content.

“We firmly believe there is an inflection point here,” said Phil Holden, Microsoft’s director of mobile Web services. “There’s a new battle, a new frontline developing on the mobile phone.”

Microsoft’s new MSN Mobile portal offers news, sports information, entertainment features and access to services like e-mail, search, maps and instant messaging all on one page.

When a user accesses the portal, the MSN platform detects the handset and optimizes the site for that device, adjusting things like font sizes for different screens.

The number of U.S. mobile Internet users is expected to more than triple to 110 million in 2011 from the current 32 million, according to Sterling Market Intelligence and Opus Research.

Microsoft faces a lot of competition in the space.

Its Web competitors Google and Yahoo are trying to establish a mobile Internet presence while wireless carriers want to keep their consumers close with portals of their own.

The ultimate prize for all the players is to gain a foothold in the market for mobile advertising. ABI Research has forecast global mobile marketing and advertising to increase sixfold to $19 billion by 2011 from an estimated $3 billion by the end of 2007.

Microsoft said it will not place advertising on the portal right away, but said it expects to have either banner, text or click-to-call ads in place this year.

The launch of the new MSN Mobile portal comes a few weeks before Apple releases its iPhone, which features a Safari browser that allows users to view full Web pages by zooming in and out.

Greg Sterling, founding principal of research firm Sterling Market Intelligence, said the iPhone and the new MSN portal reflect how companies are trying to address consumer dissatisfaction with surfing the Internet on mobile phones.

“The majority of users are not surfing the mobile Internet yet, but there is pent-up demand for content on mobile phones,” said Sterling, noting that small screens and slow networks contributed to a poor experience for most users.

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Intel readies massive multicore processors

Ants and beetles have exoskeletons–and chips with 60 and 80 cores are going to need them as well.

Researchers at Intel are working on ways to mask the intricate functionality of massive multicore chips to make it easier for computer makers and software developers to adapt to them, said Jerry Bautista, co-director of Intel’s Tera-scale Computing Research Program.

These multicore chips, he added, will also likely contain both x86 processing cores, similar to the brains inside the vast majority of Intel’s server and PC chips today, as well as other types of cores. A 64-core chip, for instance, might contain 42 x86 cores, 18 accelerators and four embedded graphics cores.

Some labs and companies such as ClearSpeed Technology, Azul Systems and Riken have developed chips with large numbers of cores–ClearSpeed has one with 96 cores–but the cores are capable of performing certain types of operations.

The 80-core mystery

Ever since Intel showed off its 80-core prototype processor, people have asked, “Why 80 cores?”

There’s actually nothing magical about the number, Bautista and others have said. Intel wanted to make a chip that could perform 1 trillion floating-point operations per second, known as a teraflop. Eighty cores did the trick. The chip does not contain x86 cores, the kind of cores inside Intel’s PC chips, but cores optimized for floating point (or decimal) math.

Other sources at Intel pointed out that 80 cores also allowed the company to maximize the room inside the reticle, the mask used to direct light from a lithography machine to a photo-resistant silicon wafer. Light shining through the reticle creates a pattern on the wafer, and the pattern then serves as a blueprint for the circuits of a chip. More cores, and Intel would have needed a larger reticle.

Last year, Intel showed off a prototype chip with 80 computing cores. While the semiconductor world took note of the achievement, the practical questions immediately arose: Will the company come out with a multicore chip with x86 cores? (The prototype doesn’t have them.) Will these chips run existing software and operating systems? How do you solve data traffic, heat and latency problems?

Intel’s answer essentially is, yes, and we’re working on it.

One idea, proposed in a paper released this month at the Programming Language Design and Implementation Conference in San Diego, involves cloaking all of the cores in a heterogeneous multicore chip in a metaphorical exoskeleton so that all of the cores look like a series of conventional x86 cores, or even just one big core.

“It will look like a pool of resources that the run time will use as it sees fit,” Bautista said. “It is for ease of programming.”

A paper at the International Symposium on Computer Architecture, also in San Diego, details a hardware scheduler that will split up computing jobs among various cores on a chip. With the scheduler, certain computing tasks can be completed in less time, Bautista noted. It also can prevent the emergence of “hot spots“–if a single processor core starts to get warm because it’s been performing nonstop, the scheduler can shift computing jobs to a neighbor.

Intel is also tinkering with ways to let multicore chips share caches, pools of memory embedded in processors for rapid data access. Cores on many dual- and quad-core chips on the market today share caches, but it’s a somewhat manageable problem.

“When you get to eight and 16 cores, it can get pretty complicated,” Bautista said.

The technology would prioritize operations. Early indications show that improved cache management could improve overall chip performance by 10 percent to 20 percent, according to Intel.

Like the look and feel of technology for heterogeneous chips, programmers won’t, ideally, have to understand or deliberately accommodate the cache-sharing or hardware-scheduling technologies. These operations will largely be handled by the chip itself and be obscured from view.

Heat is another issue that will need to be contained. Right now, I/O (input-output) systems need about 10 watts of power to shuttle data at 1 terabit per second. An Intel lab has developed a low-power I/O system that can transfer 5 gigabits per second at 14 milliwatts–which is less than 14 percent of the power used by current 5Gbps systems today–and 15Gbps at 75 milliwatts, according to Intel. A paper outlining the issue was released at the VLSI Circuits Symposium in Japan this month.

Low-power I/O systems will be needed for core-to-core communication as well as chip-to-chip contacts.

“Without better power efficiency, this just won’t happen,” said Randy Mooney, an Intel fellow and director of I/O research.

Intel executives have said they would like to see massive multicore chips coming out in about five years. But a lot of work remains. Right now, for instance, Intel doesn’t even have a massive multicore chip based around x86 cores, a company spokeswoman said.

The massive multicore chips from the company will likely rely on technology called Through Silicon Vias (TSVs), other executives have said. TSVs connect external memory chips to processors through thousands of microscopic wires rather than one large connection on the side. This increases bandwidth.

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Wireless Gadget Charging Makes World Debut July 9

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Remember those WildCharge wireless chargers we played with back at CES? They’re almost here. You’ll be able to get one July 9.

Thoughts of hand cancer aside, the way these WildChargers work would require a couple of physics classes to completely understand. The layman’s explanation is that it uses inductive charging—the type you see in Sonicare toothbrushes—that will charge your gadget just by placing it on a sheet.

Some more familiar companies other than WildCharge such as Apple, Motorola, and NTT DoCoMo all have their own wireless charging devices in development as well.

What’s the point of all this wireless charging? Mostly convenience in not having to have multiple chargers and charging adapters, which may win out over our current favorite charging system, the Chargepod.

Wireless charging: Here at last [Computerworld via The Raw Feed]

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New NVIDIA 8700M GT Rendering Looks Better Than Xbox 360

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NVIDIA has just released their new top of the line GeForce 8700M GT, just in time to remind you that no matter how cool your new MacBook Pro or Sony VAIO are, you are not the King of the Hill anymore.

Not only that: NVIDIA says that now your Xbox 360’s graphics have been officially overtaken by a notebook GPU, as you can see in the gallery. The new 8700M GT has been first appeared into the Toshiba Dynabook Satellite WXW, which just got announced in Japan.

The 8700M GT has the same 32 Stream Processors of the 8600M GT, but it has increased the frequency of the GPU to 625MHz from 472 MHz. The shader processor has also seen an increase, from 950MHz to 1,250MHz, the same as the memory bus, which now clocks at 800MHz instead of the 700MHz with a maximum 512MB on board.

This new specs push performance quite a bit, jumping from a 7.6 gigatexels per second Texture Fill Rate to reach the 10 gigatexel/s mark. All quite stunning for a mobile graphic chip, matching the performance of some of the best desktop cards last year.

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Other than the new graphics processor, the Toshiba Dynabook Satellite WXW is your usual top of the line Santa Rosa laptop. It comes with Core 2 Duo T7300 at 2GHz, 1,680 × 1,050 pixel screen and 120GB hard drive. It also comes with your usual ports plus HDMI out, S/PDIF digital audio and a fingerprint sensor. The NVIDIA 8700M GT, however, comes with just 256MB of RAM.

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Good specs, fugly design.

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