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Don't Download the Windows 7 RC Illegally Yet; A New Unfixable Hack

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Yes, the Windows 7 RC is already available to MSDN / TechNet suscribers, but apparently there is no "real" version of the RC available on the torrents right now. So, basically, you might want to wait a couple of hours / days for that to be illegally released. The official RC will be legally available on May 5 for those patient users.

On a side note, researches Vipin Kumar and Nitin Kumar at this year's Hack in the Box security conference have mentioned that they have found an unfixable hack for Windows 7. We'll see what happens here, but I hope Microsoft can fix it. Anyways, take a look at the excerpt below, courtesy of Engadget.

A hack that's "unfixable" is a pretty bold claim, but that's just what researchers Vipin Kumar and Nitin Kumar have announced at the now-happening Hack in the Box security conference, and they seem ready to back it up. Apparently, they've devised a means to gain control of a Windows 7 computer during the boot up process though the use of a tiny 3KB program dubbed VBootkit 2.0 (a follow-up to a similar Vista hack), which loads itself into the system memory and bypasses the hard drive altogether, making it extremely difficult to detect. Once loaded, an ill-intentioned individual could potentially change passwords, access protected files, or do just about anything else and then leave without a trace. The one fairly big drawback to the hack, however, and upside for most users, is that it can't be performed remotely, so it'll likely only be a significant concern for businesses or other folks using computers in public places -- unless, of course, Microsoft finds a way to fix the "unfixable."

[Gizmodo, Engadget (hack)]

Acer Aspire One Pro 531 Now Official

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The Acer Aspire One 531 was made official a couple of weeks ago, but Acer has decided to also announce the Pro version of this netbook. The Acer Aspire One Pro 531 will have the same 10.1-inch display with a 1,024 x 600 resolution, and your choice of Intel's Atom N270 or N280 CPU as the standard model. In addition, the Pro version will allow you to choose 1 of the 3 following OS's: Windows XP Home (the standard), XP Professional or Windows Vista Business (bad choice). The Pro version will also give you a choice of either a 250GB HDD or a 64GB SSD. The Aspire One Pro 531 is actually a couple of millimeters thicker than the standard model, but I don't know why. Don't forget that it will also come with WiFi, optional Bluetooth, and optional WWAN just like the standard model. To close it off, the 3-cell battery is expected to last 3 hours and the 6-cell battery is expected to last 7.5 hours. As of right now, there is no word on the pricing, but the availability date should be revealed shortly.

[Slash Gear]

T-Mobile and Google Sell 1 Millionth G1 Handset; Congratulations Android!

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T-Mobile and Google have just sold their 1 millionth T-Mobile G1. This is an incredible milestone for both of these companies. The G1 now accounts for about 2/3 of the 3G phones running on T-Mobile's network. It took Google and T-Mobile 6 months to sell their 1 millionth unit, which isn't bad. As a comparison, the iPhone took only 2 months and the iPhone 3G only took a weekend to hit this wonderful milestone. This proves just how popular the iPhone is in America. On a side note, it doesn't sell as well here in Canada, since it's so expensive. Most people want one, but no one has the money for it so they opt for those cheap little Sony Ericsson phones.

The T-Mobile G1's platform, Android, has just passed Palm on the smartphone market (6% share), but this lead might not last too long since the Pre's launch is almost here! Take a look at the chart above to see who's dominating the smartphone category.

[CNet News]

Sony's Walkman E Series Looks Like USB Sticks, Don't Let It Fool You

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Believe it or not, but these devices that look like USB sticks are actually a part of Sony's new Walkman E Series. These Walkman's will let you swap colours on the go, but more on that later. The E Series will come in 3 models: 2GB for about ¥8,000 ($80 USD), 8GB for about ¥13,000 ($132 USD), and a 4GB will be priced somewhere in between the other 2 models. "Each stick ships with a second front panel / cap combination for a quick color swap." The Walkman E Series will have a 3-line colour LCD display, FM radio capabilities, Sony's earbuds, and a battery that will give you 28 hours of music playback when it's fully charged - or 3 hours of playback after a short 3 minute charge. To me, that's pretty awesome.


Skype's New Unlimited Plans for $6 A Month Includes 40 Countries

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Skype is coming through yet again for us - at least for those people who use it for overseas calls. Skype has a new plan available that allows you to call a landline phone for however long you desire for just $6 USD per month. Yes, that's right. Unlimited calling to a country for just $6 a month using Skype. Unfortunately, this will only include landline phones, so cell phones will still cost you a hefty amount of money. Another "unfortunately" is that it only includes 40 countries. I was going to tell my mom about this, so that she can do her calling to the Philippines for a pretty cheap price, but they're not on the country list. Take a look at the writing below and check out if the country you are longing to call is on the list.

Skype Adds New Unlimited Country Subscriptions in U.S. and Canada
Subscriptions give Skype for iPhone app users more options for calling regular phones.
San Jose, CA, April 20, 2009 – Skype, the worldwide leader in online communications, announces that it is expanding its calling subscription options in the U.S. and Canada. People can select an Unlimited Country subscription which includes unlimited* low-cost calls to landlines to one country of choice for $5.95 per month.
Subscriptions for more than 40 destinations are now available: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Chile, Columbia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guam, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, and United Kingdom.
Since the new Skype for iPhone application was launched on March 31, 2009, it has generated a great response with the application becoming the No. 1 downloaded free iPhone application in more than 40 markets, and downloads surpassed the two million mark in less than ten days. Adding a Skype subscription allows iPhone and iPod touch users to have greater flexibility of calling people who are on regular phones from Wi-Fi zones, and it allows them to save significantly on making calls internationally compared to the rates typically charged on mobile phones.
"In a tough economy, everyone is looking for more ways to save. With the launch of Skype's Unlimited Country subscriptions, we now offer very simple, cost effective one country calling options," said Don Albert, GM and vice president of Skype Americas. "Our users can make calls internationally to virtually any regular phone any time of day, without a long-term contract, hidden fees and other restrictions."

BlackBerry 9630 "Niagara" Will Hit The World As The BlackBerry Tour!!

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How could you forget the sexiest upcoming BlackBerry to hit the market? The BlackBerry 9630 "Niagara" could be hitting the world as the BlackBerry Tour (now confirmed). The name doesn't strike me as anything breath-taking, but I could care less about the name. The same tipster that gave us this information mentioned that it will be available "early Summer." Look below for the supposed confirmation of the BlackBerry Tour name, courtesy of Boy Genius.

Thanks to one of our awesome readers, they’ve just alerted us to the fact that www.blackberry9630.com (something RIM would obviously own) and www.blackberrytour.com both point to the same IP address. Additionally, they were both coincidentally registered on the same date. Welp, it looks like BlackBerry Tour it is!

[Boy Genius]

Sharp's $999 Mebius Netbook Pre-Orders Now Available; Due June 5

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Remember that Sharp Mebius netbook with an LCD trackpad? Well, how could you seriously forget the LCD trackpad? Anyways, the Mebius - with an LCD trackpad - is now available for pre-orders starting at $999 USD. As of right now, the ship date is June 5 so it's over a month until you get your fingers on this LCD trackpad. Yes, the Sharp Mebius has an LCD trackpad. Sweet stuff!


Dell Inspiron Mini 10 Netbook Gets A Six-Cell Battery Option

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The Dell Inspiron Mini 10 is not shy to give itself new features (see 720p). Today, Dell has added yet another option to the Mini 10 and if you read the title, you already know what it is. Yes, Dell has decided to give users a well-needed battery upgrade to a 6-cell, in addition to the 3-cell. It'll only cost $30 USD extra, so it's definitely a must-buy. On a side note, if you want to get one of those funky designs for your Mini 10 netbook it'll cost you an extra $60 USD.


Apple Sells Its 1 Billionth App

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Earlier today, Apple announced that the 1 billionth app had just been downloaded from their App Store. An incredible feat, and I'm proud of them - even though I'm not exactly a huge fan of Apple. Apple has offered up a prize valued at over $13,000 USD for the person who bought the 1 billionth app. That person's name will be publicly displayed when they pinpoint exactly who it was. Congratulations to Apple and the winner of that prize.

[Mac Rumors]

Routon P730 and P760 MIDs Are Android-Based

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The P760 and P730 MIDs from Routon are pictured above, left and right respectively. The only difference between the two is that the P760 has a number keypad and the P730 doesn't. Both MIDs have the same spec sheet, and this includes: a 4.8-inch touchscreen with an 800 x 480 resolution, a Samsung S3C6410 677MHz CPU, 256MB of RAM, and your choice of either 4GB or 8GB of flash storage. These MIDs will also have WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR, optional GSM / EDGE support, and also an optional TV tuner. Both MIDs will also be running on Android, so it'll be interesting to see how that works out. They will be available in May, but Routon is currently looking for overseas distributors. Hopefully these MIDs aren't expensive because they seem desirable - for the most part. For more photos of these 2 MIDs, hit up the link below.

[Slash Gear]

Leaked AT&T Doc Shows That The iPhone Trumps The Palm Pre

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What has this world come to? Everyone likes a bit of competition, but apparently AT&T wants none of that. This information was revealed last night and it looks like AT&T is 100% behind the iPhone (no surprise). Maybe this will convince Apple enough to extend their sweet little iPhone deal to 2011. The completely biased chart was just leaked and you can take a look at it above. For more information about it, you can hit up the Boy Genius link below.

[Boy Genius]

Pentax K7D DSLR To Be Available On May 21; Specs Outlined

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Remember that picture we saw yesterday? It was a new Pentax DSLR, but no one knows exactly what model. Some people are guessing that it is the Pentax K7D and today there has been news that the K7D will be "coming on May 21." The above photo actually does resemble the blurry picture from 2 days ago, so it is a possibility that this is it. Some of the "confirmed" specs of the Pentax K7D are:

* Square sensor? 1.3 crop factor.
* A new, overhauled, excellent AF system
* At least 5fps
* 1.0x viewfinder
* 720p video with audio
* 1/8000 shutter
* 2.7 or 3.0 inch VGA res screen

Some purported specs of the Pentax K7D DSLR are:

* Same sensor as the K20D
* Up to 6400 ISO with better noise treatment
* 5 images/sec
* 100 % viewfinder
* Better weatherproofing
* Mirror lockup
* Liveview and HD Video
* Better stabilizer .
* Better DRE mode
* 77 zones light metering
* Much better AF system even with non-SDM lenses
* 3 inches/ 920 000 pixels screen with in-body editing (crop…)
* 1/8000 shutter with 1/250 sync

[Crunch Gear, Engadget]

MSI Announces 5 PMPs For China; Showing Off Android-Based Netbooks At Computex

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Well, looks like MSI is back at it again, this time with their own set of PMPs for China. All 5 of these PMPs have e-dictionary support, minimal game functionality, and support for a bunch of codecs. They are all cheap (price-wise), but only the MV652 has a touchscreen (more on that later). It's kind of weird to have a PMP without a touchscreen, but I guess that's what MSI did here. Let's go from low-end to "high-end." Starting things off is the MV622 which costs ¥198 (yuan) ($29 USD). It has a 2.4-inch LCD display with 2GB of storage and 3 colours (pictured above). The MV651 which costs ¥299 ($44 USD) has a 3-inch display with a 400 x 240 resolution, TV-out, FM radio, and 4GB of storage. The MV652 - like I said earlier - is the only one with a touchscreen. It also comes with e-book reading functionality, and has 2 models: 4GB ($51 USD) and 8GB ($58 USD). The MV881 has a 4.3-inch display with no touchscreen and also has 2 models: 4GB ($58 USD) and 8GB ($73 USD). The MV882 which costs $58 USD has 720p video, S-video output and has 8GB of storage - but also has no touchscreen. They're cheap, but no touchscreen is definitely a turn-off for me.

Computex begins on June 2 and it looks like it could be Android-packed. Apparently, MSI will be showcasing their Android-based netbooks and with any luck, we could also see HP, Dell, Asus, or Acer showing some Android love too. We'll just have to see what happens at Computex this year. It's just over a month away.

[Engadget (PMPs), Engadget (Netbooks)]