News Bits: HP dv9000t to Offer HD DVD, Details on Next Gen Centrino, iTunes Software Update

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17″ HP dv9000t series notebook goes HD DVD

September 28th – HP today announced a new lineup of computing products designed to make it easier for people to enjoy high-definition entertainment. The three new high-definition products include a 17″ widescreen notebook with an HD DVD drive, an HD DVD Media Center TV PC, and an external HD DVD drive for PCs.

HP’s flagship entertainment notebook, the dv9000t, receives the HD DVD upgrade. The dv9000t incorporates the latest technologies, such as the new Intel Core 2 Duo processor, a 17″ high-definition widescreen display with optional dual-lamp technology, and an integrated HDMI port for true HD content playback on an external monitor or TV.

The HP dv9000t is available immediately with the HD DVD option, a $450 upgrade from the base Super Multi 8X DVD+/-RW drive. Product Link

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Intel releases details of next-gen Centrino platform

September 27th – Intel released details of its next-generation Centrino Duo mobile platform at the IDF 2006 today. To be introduced in the first half of next year, it will improve on the current Centrino platform in offering greater power efficiency.

The Core 2 Duo processor will offer better power management thanks to new technologies; longer residency in Enhanced Deeper Sleep low-power states will help improve efficiency, and Dynamic Front Side Bus Switching will allow better performance. The Core 2 Duo’s front-side bus will be increased from the current 667MHz to 800MHz.

The next-gen Centrino platform will feature new WiFi technology based on the 802.11n specification. Senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s Mobility Group, David Perlmutter, said in a statement:

“Many 802.11n products currently on the market don’t interoperate optimally with Wi-Fi networks. We believe our 802.11n solution will offer the best balance of throughput and power efficiency on the market. Our robust program will help ensure optimal interoperability, something people expect from Intel Centrino mobile technology laptops. This interoperability program is designed to go beyond the already robust program announced by the Wi-Fi Alliance.”

In addition to a new WiFi chip, the next-gen Centrino platform will feature integrated wireless broadband connectivity using Nokia’s leading edge 3G technology. It will expand connectivity options for laptop users in range of 3G networks.

Intel will be including their flash memory-based accelerator, which saves 0.4 watts of power in the hard drive and allows the laptop the ability to resume productivity from hibernation and run multiple applications up to two times faster. And finally, the next-gen Centrino platform will debut with Intel’s new integrated graphics core, which offers high-definition playback.

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GE laptop theft exposes 50,000 names, Social Security numbers

GE reported on September 26th that a laptop containing the names and Social Security numbers of 50,000 past and present employees was stolen in early September. According to GE, the laptop belonged to a GE official who was authorized to have the data; it was stolen out of a locked hotel room.

Earlier this week, a GE spokesman said GE began notifying the exposed employees of the breach and offer them a year’s access to a credit-monitoring service. The GE spokesman did not give any further details, but did imply that the evidence suggested that the thief was after the laptop and not the data it contained. There has been no indication so far that the information has been used improperly.

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60% of Asustek notebook shipments to land in Europe

Digitimes reports that approximately 60% of Asustek’s notebook shipments will be to Europe in the second half of 2006, up from 50-55% in the first half. Asia Pacific and Greater China regions will account for the remaining 40%.

Notebook demand in Europe has been stronger in the second half than in the first, and Asustek is now targeting a bigger share of the European market, the largest notebook market in the world in terms of volume. Asustek shipped close to 280,000 notebooks to Europe during Q2 2006, or about 56% of its total shipments during that time.

Asustek is well established in the European market thanks to its motherboard business, and should not have much difficulty developing its notebook brand.

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Apple releases iTunes 7.0.1 to address issues

September 27th – Apple today quietly released an update to iTunes 7, version 7.0.1. According to Apple:

iTunes 7.0.1 addresses issues with audio playback. In addition, iTunes 7.0.1 also addresses stability and performance issues with Cover Flow, CD importing, iPod syncing, and more.

iTunes 7 is the biggest update to iTunes so far, and includes a refreshed user interface and support for full-length film downloads. The updated version can be found here.

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