News Bits: 16GB USB Flash Drive, U. Miami Laptop Backup Service, Furry Laptop Covers

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Make your laptop hot and furry

Do you want a way to make your laptop unique? And how about rendering your laptop’s cooling system useless in the process? Take a look at the furry Lapstyle covers. They are $25 each, although if your notebook runs hot already, then putting a fur blanket on your laptop isn’t such a great idea.

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University of Miami provides laptop backup service to students

Atempo today announced that the University of Miami will provide a laptop backup service to its students powered by Atempo LiveBackup. Called "myUMbackup," it was developed to take backup responsibilities off of students and provide data protection for the University’s campuses. The UM currently has over 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

LiveBackup runs automatically and transparently in the background; it is nearly unnoticeable to students. The myUMbackup service does the following:

  • Real-time, transparent backups – LiveBackup works quietly in the background.
  • On and off-campus data protection – data protection is provided from any location.
  • Self-serve file recoveries – students can easily retrieve lost or deleted papers and projects.
  • Safe and secure central repository – backed up data is stored in safe and secure central data repository on campus.

Director of product marketing at Atempo, Marylise Tauzia, said in a statement that "LiveBackup is designed to run quietly in the background for the end-user, the IT administrator and the network. By leveraging LiveBackup’s CDP technology, UM is running an innovative backup service that is transparent to the students and the network, and is easy to manage. These are critical elements that help keep the focus on enhancing the student experience, not on backup administration."

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Sprint launches 10 more markets, REV A coverage reaches 60M

December 12th – Sprint today announced that it has upgraded the Sprint Power Vision Network with a faster EV-DO Revision A technology in 10 additional markets. The Power Vision Network is currently the world’s largest wireless broadband network, and covers over 180 million people. Today’s launches occurred in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Detroit, Denver, Baltimore, Providence and New Jersey. The upgraded network now covers over 60 million people in 20 markets. Sprint passed their year-end goal of covering markets containing 40 million people.

Users of the Sprint Power Vision Network in the 20 upgraded areas should see significantly faster average upload speeds of 300-400 kbps; current EV-DO networks only reach 50-70 kbps. Average download speeds should increase from the current 400-700 kbps to 450-800 kbps.

Sprint currently offers the only EV-DO Revision A-capable USB modem, the Sprint Mobile Broadband USB Modem by Novatel Wireless Ovation U720. It plugs into the USB port of any compatible laptop. Three other Mobile Broadband cards are offered, and are compatible with laptops that have a Type II PCMCIA slot.

Sprint’s Power Vision network upgrade is part of a $7 billion investment in its wireless and wire line networks in 2006. Additional information on Sprint’s Mobile Broadband network can be found here: http://powervision.sprint.com/mobilebroadband/

Apple iTunes sales take a dive

Although Apple currently has 63% of the portable audio market with its iPod, the company saw a 65% decline in iTunes sales in the first half of 2006 according to Forrester Research. The average transaction size also dropped 17%.

For every iPod Apple sells, 20 iTunes songs are also sold; however, given the fact that iPods can hold hundreds and even thousands of songs, many believe consumers are looking at alternate ways to loading up on content.

Despite the decline in sales, Apple still made a profit on its iTunes store in its last reported quarter. iTunes will continue to remain a part of Apple’s overall business.

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Corsair announces 16GB flash drive

In need of some serious storage? Corsair announced on Tuesday a 16GB flash drive. It is water resistant, and has enough space for users to store Windows and boot off of the drive.

According to Corsair, the drive has sustained read speeds of 22MB/s, and write speeds of 7MB/s. The 16GB Flash Voyager is available now for a cool $300.

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Non-Vista supporting hardware has manufacturers worried

Manufacturers of motherboards and VGA cards are worried over potential losses from their inventory of low-end, non-Windows Vista-supporting motherboards and graphics cards. Their key concern is that if they do not clear their inventory before the new operating system hits the market, prices of the products will plummet.

Non-Vista supporting video cards, such as the Nvidia GeForce 4 MX400 and ATI Radeon 9250, have fallen to US$35 and $30 respectively. Nvidia and ATI have reduced output for products that do not support Vista. Nearly all PC products on the market support Vista Basic.

Products that only support Vista Basic may see lessened demand, as consumers will want to get the full Vista experience.

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