News Bits: ThinkPad T60 with Cingular Wireless, New Intel Wireless Driver Memory Leaks, Qantas Curtails Dell Laptops

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Lenovo unveils first Cingular-enabled ThinkPad

Lenovo and Cingular Wirelss have announced that the ThinkPad T60 notebook, featuring built-in Cingular UMTS/HSDPA-based technology, is now available to business users in the US. According to Lenovo, ThinkPad T60 owners have nationwide high-speed access to the “UMTS/HSDPA-based Cingular BroadbandConnect service in over 70 markets in and around 21 of the top major metro areas.”

President of Lenovo Americas, Scott Smith, said in a statement:

“ThinkPad users can now enjoy wireless broadband Internet access via the Cingular BroadbandConnect service without needing a separate PC card or additional hardware. The combination of Cingular’s technology and our ThinkVantage Technologies that simplify the connectivity process gives on-the-go users the ultimate portability with a punch.”

For travellers, the ThinkPad T60 is only an inch thin, and has a travel weight of 4.8 lbs. The new Cingular-enabled notebooks will ship with Cingular Communication Manager pre-loaded, which “is an easy-to-use software package that allows users to effortlessly establish connections with Cingular’s BroadbandConnect and EDGE services from their notebooks.”

New Centrino drivers cause massive memory leaks

Intel’s recently released driver updates for its 2200 and 2915 wireless network adapters to fix security flaws – they did the latter, but brought another problem to the table.

The new Intel PROSet 10.5 control panel with driver release has a massive memory leak problem. Intel’s “S24EvMon wireless management service is having troubles releasing registry handles” according to DailyTech.

Image courtesy of DailyTech

If you installed those security updates, you can check this for yourself – hit the classic Ctrl, Alt, Delete, then select the “Processes” tab. Hit “Memory Usage”, and it will sort them in order of what’s using the most memory. Look for “S23EvMon.exe”, that’s the faulty process. There’s no word when or if Intel will address this issue, but for right now, probably best off using the drivers that came with your notebook.

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Qantas Airlines curtailing Dell laptop usage onboard flights

Qantas has never had a major accident in the history of the airline, they pride themselves on this reputation for safety and apparently they’re not about to let the risk of an exploding laptop ruin this reputation.  According to travellers on Qantas they have been pulled aside and asked to remove the battery from any Dell laptop and tape up contact points before boarding any flights.  This is a major bummer for all those business folks travelling with a Dell Latitude, Qantas isn’t discriminating between laptops that were recalled and those that weren’t, so anyone that wanted to get work done on a Dell laptop in flight might be out of luck.

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Rock’s Pegasus T12 15.4″ notebook released with claimed 7 hour battery life

UK laptop company Rock Direct has fitted their Pegasus T12 notebook with a high-capacity battery, which they claim will last for up to 7 hours. It holds 10,000mAh of charge, while most batteries hold around 5,000. Starting prices are ~$1,230 (converted) with a Celeron and 15.4″ display.

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eMachines founder bids $450 million for Gateway’s retail business

The original founder of eMachines, Lap Shun Hui, wants his business back – Gateway received a $450 million dollar bid to take over the company’s retail division and turn it into a seperate entity. eMachines still makes up the largest part of Gateway’s retail business. Hui sees an opportunity for the business to boom if separated from the troublesome Direct and Professional units from Gateway.

Hui said in a letter to Gateway chairman Richard Snyder that “separating the Retail business from the Professional and Direct businesses is the right strategic direction for Gateway.”
A few years ago, Gateway tried to open up its own retail stores, but they failed – Gateway now has a strong presence in popular retail stores such as Best Buy and Circuit city, where they sell computers and monitors.

Shares of Gateway have jumped 20% since the offer was made public, and Gateway’s board says it is considering the bid. If approved, Hui believes that it could be completed by Q4 this year.

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No more Dell MP3 players

Back in February, Dell announced it was dropping its hard drive-based Digital Jukebox DJ players due to poor sales and competition from the iPod. Dell is now getting ready to cut their flash-based DJ Ditty players, which are essentially competitors to Apple’s iPod Shuffle.
Although Dell has gotten rid of its own MP3 players, it is still selling music players from other companies like Creative and Sandisk. Let’s hope Microsoft has better success battling Apple and the iPod.

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