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Sony PS3 Firmware 3.0 Now Available!

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Last week, Sony mentioned that Firmware 3.0 for the PS3 is going to be the last major update of the year with small updates for the rest of the year - of course. Well, it's now live to all users. Here's some new features that have been found already, more will come later of course. By the way, I'll be updating this post when more information about Firmware 3.0 gets pushed out.

The new firmware update has it, bringing new XMB functionality, a status indicator, a friends list redesign, dynamic themes, avatars, and much more.
Free and premium avatars show up in your status bar, but the most prevalent of the changes is a status bar in the top right of the screen, which shows your avatar, your user icon, what you are up to, and a mail icon, in case you have messages waiting. Messages from your friends now appearing in their respective profiles.
Update: According to Sony Insider, here is most of what has changed in Firmware version 3.0.

System changes
  • The system startup has been slightly redesigned.
  • [Information Board] replaced by a [What's New] feature.
  • When the system is started it will display the [What's New] screen by default instead of the [Games] menu.
  • A [Status Indicator] added to the top of the screen showing the user’s online status, the number of friends online and an icon indicating if there are unread PSN messages.
  • The swirling activity indicator has been redesigned and now looks like an analog clock
  • The [Friends] list has been redesigned.
  • Messages from a specific person will now be accessible from that user’s profile screen.
  • BRAVIA Sync allowing control of the XMB by BRAVIA TV remote control. (120GB PS3 only)
  • Graphical changes to the XMB (increased font and icon size)
  • The default theme has been changed to an updated version of the ‘Original’ waves theme
  • Added print screen functionality to the [Internet Browser]
Game changes
  • A new feature will be added allowing game developers to display Trophies in different ways, such as grouping them by add-on pack, etc.
  • A [PlayStation Store] icon will be added under the [Game] category.
Media changes
  • BBC iPlayer application for users in the UK/ROI.
  • ABC iView application will be added for users in Australia.
  • A [PlayStation Store] icon will be added under the [Video] category (where available).
  • Added the ability to upscale audio stored on the internal or USB hard drive to 88.2KHz or 176.4KHz
Settings changes
  • Support for new [Dynamic Custom Themes].
  • [Install Other OS] and [Default System] will be removed. (120GB PS3 only)
  • An option has been added to the [Settings] menu to allow the user to change what the system displays by default on startup
  • Option to output audio through multiple sources (e.g. HDMI and optical) simulatiously

[Engadget, Kotaku]

Sony Vaios Now Have Google Chrome - the Browser - Pre-Installed

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According to Financial Times, Google is teaming up with Sony to distribute their browser, Google Chrome. Although having Google Chrome on Sony Vaio's won't push Google Chrome's market share a whole lot, it's definitely a good start. According to Mashable, "the Sony Vaios with Chrome on board have already begun to go on sale. Google indicated it's already in talks with other computer manufacturers to boost distribution through similar deals."

All Google needs to do now is work on those extensions and then they'll be set.


Asus Launching Ultra-Thin Notebooks With New Intel Penryn CPUs on September 7th; Acer and MSI Too

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More unconfirmed news from DigiTimes. This news states that Asus, Acer, and MSI plan to launch new ultra-thin notebooks running on Intel's new ULV Penryn CPUs, the Celeron 743 and the SU2300. Both of these CPUs will have a 1.2GHz clock speed with 1MB of L2 cache, an 800MHz frontside bus, and a 6x multiplier. The difference between the two CPUs is that the Celeron 743 will suck up to 10w of power, while the ULV SU2300 CPU will only suck up to 5w of power.

If DigiTimes is correct, Asus will be first out of the gate with these new CPUs launching two new notebooks (one running on each new Intel CPU) on September 7th. These notebooks will initially be available in Taiwan, China, and Europe. Hopefully, they'll be hitting Stateside as well.

Acer and MSI plan to launch their own "similar models" in the near future, but right now we don't know exactly when.

[Engadget, Crunch Gear]

Leaked Asus Roadmap Shows Three Upcoming Eee PC Netbooks and Multitouch Enabled Eee PC T91 With Windows 7

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A new Asus Eee roadmap has just leaked out. You'll find the Asus Eee PC 1201N, 1005HA-P, and the 1005HA-M on here. All three of these laptops are expected to launch later this year.

The Asus Eee PC 1201N is expected to have: a 12-inch display, an Intel Atom 1.6GHz N270 CPU, a 250GB HDD, Nvidia Ion graphics, 2GB of RAM, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth support, and a 6-cell battery. This mini-notebook will run on Windows 7 and will retail for $499 USD.

The Asus Eee PC 1005HA-P is going to replace the current 1005HA-P series. It's expected to have: a 10.2-inch display, an Intel Atom 1.66GHz N280 CPU, a 250GB HDD, 1GB of RAM, Bluetooth support, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, and a 6-cell battery that will supposedly last 10.5 hours. This netbook will run on Windows 7 Starter Edition and will cost around $399 USD.

Last, but not least is the Asus Eee PC 1005HA-M, which will replace the Eee PC 1005HA-V. We actually heard about this netbook back in May so it's nothing entirely new. The 1005HA-M will have: a 10.2-inch display, an Intel Atom 1.6GHz N270 CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 250GB HDD, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, a 6-cell battery that should last around 8.5 hours, and Windows 7 Starter Edition. This netbook doesn't look like it will have Bluetooth support and it will cost around $349 USD.

Update: According to Engadget, a multi-touch Asus Eee PC T91 tablet / netbook hybrid is on the way as well. This netbook will be running on Windows 7 and will have a 32GB SSD. It's expected to launch for $549 USD, but there is no specified release date yet.

[Slash Gear, Liliputing]

Intel Launching New Core i5, Core i7, and P55 Chipset On September 8th

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According to DigiTimes, Intel plans to announce their new P55 chipset, Core i5-750, Core i7-860, and Core i7-870 CPUs on September 8th. Unfortunately for me, I can't even afford the "last-gen" Core i7 motherboards, but this is definitely a good look for Intel. Keep in mind that this is unconfirmed news at the time.


More Probably Fake Google Chrome OS Screenshots

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Could these really be the first live photos of Google's Chrome OS? Probably not, but they're worth the look. I think everyone expects that the dock is a must-have in the new Chrome OS and Google will probably pull through with that. I like the idea of Google search right on the desktop, but if Chrome (the browser) is built right in to the wallpaper then there's no need for that - since the Google Chrome URL bar is basically a Google search engine itself. Anyways, enough for my rant, you can take a look at the other photo below.

[Tech Crunch]

Apple Ditching Nvidia For ATI Radeon HD 4000 Graphics

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Apple had problems with Nvidia's 9400 Series graphics and that is a big deal when it comes to Apple since they strive for perfection. Well, AMD has just announced that ATI's Radeon HD 4000 Series graphics are going to be used in Apple's iMac and Mac Pro desktop computers. In addition, "ATI says that its HD 4870 video card will be offered inside the Mac Pro computer and that its HD 4850 will be offered inside iMac systems." This is probably intended to be a standard

[Slash Gear]

Santech LV1 Ultraportable Packs Intel ULV CPU, But Missing Cheap Price Tag

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Santech has released their latest ultraportable notebook. Thin? Check. Intel ULV CPU? Check. Low price tag? Well, not exactly. The Santech LV1 notebook has: a 13.3-inch display, an Intel SU3500 1.4GHz CPU, 2GB of RAM, a 160GB HDD, and a battery long enough to supposedly last 12 hours. It also has an 8-cell battery option. Unfortunately, the price tag  - if you choose the 8-cell battery option - is €701 ($1,003 USD) after taxes, which would make it €100 more than "an almost identical Aspire 3810T from Acer."


Nokia Alvin Passes FCC, Hopefully Maemo-Based With 32GB of Internal Memory

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We heard that a high-end Maemo-based smartphone will be unveiled at Nokia World 2009 this year and people are guessing that it could be the Nokia N920 - but it could be a bit too early for that. This smartphone is expected to be higher-end than the recently announced Nokia N900 Maemo-based smartphone and the Nokia N97, so what could it be? We don't know, but maybe it'll be this smartphone.

This is the Nokia Alvin and it has just passed the FCC with: 32GB of internal memory, tri-band WCDMA / quad-band GSM connectivity, Bluetooth / WiFi support, and a 1,320 mAh battery. These features match the N900, but it seems a bit too thin to be the N900. I'm sure we'll see it announced at Nokia World this year. I'm excited.

[Unwired View]

Lenovo Launching HD (1,280 x 720 Resolution) Display Option to IdeaPad S10-2 in Europe and Japan

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Lenovo is now planning to launch an HD 10-inch display (1,280 x 720 resolution) option for the IdeaPad S10-2 netbook in both Europe and Japan. This new model will also have integrated Bluetooth support and will cost about $50 more than the usual price tag.

[Liliputing, Slash Gear, Netbooked]

Asus Eee Keyboard PC Spotted at the FCC, Launching in October?

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Finally! The long-awaited Asus Eee Keyboard PC has just been spotted at the FCC, so it looks like that October launch is looking pretty solid right now. "Interestingly, the test reports indicate the presence of a UWB radio in addition WiFi and Bluetooth, so it looks like we'll see the planned wireless HDMI model even after the specs pretty much hit the skids earlier this summer." Any other details are still unknown, but if you're looking for the wireless HDMI model you better start praying.


Scoop Up the PS3 Slim For $254 Now

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Dell is now the place to go if you want a new PS3 Slim. If you use their 15% off coupons, you can now cut almost $50 off the $300 price tag. "Use coupon code 6FWJ247J1P44CK and your PS3 Slim will cost just $254 [USD]." Get one now, before they run out!

The coupon code also makes for the best Xbox 360 deal yet. A post-price-drop Xbox 360 Pro sells for just $212 on the site. That's almost Arcade-price for a console that you can use! Or if you need an Arcade to replace a busted Pro or something, it's $170.

[vg247, Joystiq - PlayStation]

Nokia Launches Promo Video For the N900, Shows Off UI

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Nokia has just shown off a new promo video of their tablet, the N900. This device is looking pretty solid thus far, special thanks to Nokia's Linux-based OS, Maemo 5. I don't really have anything else to say here, so enjoy the video below. It's a good look at the UI of the new OS.

[Boy Genius]

New Palm Smartphones Spotted in Sprint's Inventory System, the Palm 120 and C40

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New Palm phones have just been spotted in Sprint's inventory systems and we have no clue what they are. It's the Palm 120 and the Palm C40. I guess the Palm 120 could be Sprint's version of the upcoming Palm Eos since the Palm P121 headed to Verizon could be the Eos as well. There is no word on what the Palm C40 could be, but let's hope we see news about that smartphone soon.

[Unwired View]

Samsung Announces World's First OMH CDMA Handset In India, the Mpower 699

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Samsung has just launched another "world's first" handset, the Mpower 699. "Manufactured in collaboration with Qualcomm, the Samsung Mpower 699 is the world's first CDMA phone to use OMH (Open Market Handset) technology." The Mpower 699 - awkward name - has: a 1.3MP camera, a microSD card slot, and an FM radio. When it launches it will be priced at 7,100 INR ($145 USD).

Samsung also went on to mention that they expect to launch five more OMH phones by March 2010.

[Unwired View]

Apple Confirms iPod Refresh on September 9th Event, Sending Invitations

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Apple has just confirmed that the event they are holding on September 9th has to do with an iPod refresh. They are now sending out invitations for the said event and it will take place "at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco." Look our for the new [possibly] 3.2MP cameras and let's see what else Apple has in store for us.

[Beta News, TUAW]

Samsung YP-R1 PMP Now Official, Launching in Europe in September

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Samsung has just officially announced their latest PMP, the YP-R1. "The R1 is hailed as the slimmest and lightest multimedia player around that is compatible with DivX." The YP-R1 also has: a 2.6-inch touchscreen display with the TouchWiz UI, 8GB / 16GB of internal storage, and an 8.9mm thin body that weighs only 50g. This is expected to launch in Europe next month (September) and it will launch everywhere else later this year.

[Engadget, Slash Gear]

Verizon Launching BlackBerry Storm 2 to Business People On September 29th, Regular People On October 14th

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According to the latest rumour, the BlackBerry Storm 2 will be available on Verizon to business customers on September 29th. Regular users will be able to get their crack at the Storm 2 - a little bit later - on October 14th. The price hasn't been mentioned yet, but let's hope what we're hearing is true.

[Phone Arena]

Verizon Launching the LG VX8370 Next Year

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Verizon looks like it won't stop launching LG's VX8xxx, since they are big-sellers. Well, the LG VX8370 has just been spotted at the Bluetooth SIG with Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR capabilities. Nothing else is known about this handset, but it could retain the clamshell design since all of the other handsets in the series have had the same design. This handset is expected to launch on Verizon next year, but we'll just have to wait for it to hit the FCC to know more about it.

[Phone Arena]

BlackBerry Essex is the BlackBerry Tour With New Trackpad and WiFi Love

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Thank you RIM! According to the latest rumour, RIM will be launching the BlackBerry Essex, which will basically be the BlackBerry Tour with a new trackpad (optical?) and WiFi capabilities. There's nothing much else to say here, but we're hoping that this rumour comes true. The sexiest BlackBerry could get even sexier soon.

[Mobile Syrup, Engadget]

Nokia Launching Mid-End Touchscreen 3208c Handset In China

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Nokia is set to launch a mid-end touchscreen candybar phone to the Chinese market. This is the Nokia 3208c and it will be available in the two colours you see here, pearl white and graphite black. The 3208c has: a 2.4-inch QVGA touchscreen display (probably resistive), tri-band GSM/EDGE connectivity, a 2MP camera, a 3.5mm headphone jack, Bluetooth / Stereo FM radio support, a stylus, handwriting recognition, and a 1GB memory card in the box. The price and exact release date hasn't been mentioned yet, but you can check out Nokia China's official website for more information.

[Unwired View]

Sprint Launching the HTC Touch Pro 2 For $350 On September 8th

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Sprint has finally announced that they will be launching the HTC Touch Pro 2. The official date will be September 8th and the price will be a whopping $349.99 USD on a 2-year contract after a $100 rebate. It'll have WinMo 6.1 pre-installed and you probably shouldn't get it at launch since you can already scoop up the T-Mobile Touch Pro 2 for just $149.99 on other sites out there. You can go get it if you really feel like, but I'd think it's a waste of money. Just be patient, young grasshopper.

[WMExperts, Engadget Mobile, Electronista]

LG Launching Their First Android Phone, GW880, on China Mobile This Year

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LG looks like it is going to release their first Android phone in China before anywhere else. The LG GW880 is headed to China Mobile later this year and will probably run an OPhone customized build of Google's Android. Other specs of the LG GW880 include: a 3.5-inch WVGA touchscreen display, a 5MP camera, 256MB of RAM, GPS support, and no WiFi support.

[Engadget Mobile]

Deep Red and Metallic Blue DualShock 3 Now Available For $54.99

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So much for all of the other rumours out there citing September and October launches. It looks like the Deep Red and Metallic Blue DualShock 3 controllers are now available - if you know where to look. The red one (above) was scooped up at GameStop and the blue one (below) was bought at Best Buy, both for $54.99 USD.


Nikon S70 and S570 Launching on September 19th, Projector-Packing S1000pj Launching on October 23rd

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Earlier this month, we heard about a couple of new Nikon cameras, the S1000pj, the S70, and the S570. The S1000pj has the projector that can display a 40-inch image, the S70 has a 3.5-inch OLED multi-touchscreen display, and the S570 has a 12MP sensor. Unfortunately, all of these cameras are facing delays. The S70 and S570 are expected to launch on September 19th and the S1000pj is expected to launch on October 23. Apparently, the S1000pj is being delayed a whole month because of the overwhelming demand. Anyways, just wait around for it, it'll be here before you know it.


Samsung Set to Launch Application Store on September 14th

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Looks like Samsung's app store is on the way. "The imaginatively named Samsung Application Store launches on September 14 for British, French, and Italian Omnia and I8910 HD handsets, later coming to the Omnia II and OmniaLITE as well as users in various other nations." Samsung has mentioned that "over 300" apps will be available at launch, "while partners like Electronic Arts, Capcom, Gameloft, and TAITO have signed on for the fun." Let's just hope it won't flop like the Nokia Ovi Store. Check out this website for what you see above.


SmartQ 5 PMP to Get Android Cousin, Shipping By the End of September in Japan

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Back in March we heard about the SmartQ 5 PMP already; it ran Ubuntu and it was pretty cheap. Well, today we're hearing that the same PMP will be pre-loaded with Android and will be selling in Japan at the end of next month (September). In case you forgot, the SmartQ 5 PMP has: a 4.3-inch touchscreen display with an 800 x 480 resolution, a 667MHz Samsung CPU, 1GB of RAM, and WiFi / Bluetooth support. Unfortunately, this probably won't hit anywhere outside of Japan and this device is still lacking 3G support.

[Akihabara News]

Bell Launches Another Palm Pre Ad, Takes Jab At Americans

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Bell has just launched their latest ad for the Palm Pre in Canada and it's somewhat funny. It makes fun of the unactive Americans out there - and yes, there are a lot of those. Anyways, here are some of the highlights, courtesy of Engadget Mobile. Below that you can check out the video for yourself.

"Unlike our neighbors to the south, Canadians are an active people."
"Coupe de Kill is kinda scary. I should probably get out of here before she goes on Twitter."
"According to Wikipedia, this game was first played in 1299. And, uh, I think some of these people were maybe there."

[Gizmodo, Engadget Mobile]