Thursday, February 17, 2011

NFC, Near-Field Communication, Pay-by-Phone,Visa,Master Card,Credit Card

NFC is the new big thing in mobile. No, I’m not referring to the National Football Conference of the NFL here in the States, but rather Near-field Communication. Much like RFID – another acronym for Radio Frequency Identification – NFC will allow devices to pass information to a near-by reader.

Google already employs this in its mobile operating system Android, as does Nokia in a handful of its handsets (see image). The most commonly used technology used for NFC is in fact that other lesser-known acronym, RFID. Found in key fobs for “Pay Pass” as well as Google phones to your passport, RFID has become the standard hardware for NFC. While many have become concerned with RFIDs security vulnerabilities, manufacturers have taken to it to like crack due to its affordability and its it-just-works aspect. While reports have already floated around between job offers at Apple and rumors of NFC devices being tested in the field by the iCompany, what Apple will choose is not clear.

One thing is clear, however: NFC is the next big thing.

With its heavy use in social media from services such as Google’s Lattitude, FaceBook’s Places, to foursquare and Gowalla, all which basically are employing NFC, we have seen just how popular this technology is already in its infancy.

A start-up based in Southern California wants to be the first to take shopping to the fullest with your iPhone and other devices to pay for things like groceries, shoes, coffee, and lumber. MobilePayUSA is currently working with major merchants and financial institutions in making payment with your phone a reality. MobilePayUSA is an immediate, simple, low-cost and viable alternative to NFC sidelining security concerns and costly equipment for the merchant. I spoke to founder and CEO Randy Smith about his company’s visions and use of NFC last fall, and he hopes to eliminate plastic (credit cards) and paper (receipts) with MobilePayUSA. Smith told me that the idea is that no one really forgets their phone anymore, but wallets still seem to sometimes not find their way into peoples’ pockets. With MobilePayUSA on your phone, you won’t have to worry about having your wallet, credit card, check book, or cash. As an added bonus, Smith said that reward cards we all love to lose will be built into the application and instantly give you discounts at the register and track your points for you with every purchase. Smith hopes to have a public beta available soon.

iphone 5 MobilePayUSA

MobilePayUSA may beat Apple to the punch with its application, but Apple doesn’t seem to want to just go after the eWallet feature. No, like anything Apple, it wants to be the only one doing what it’s doing. It wants to go far beyond “There’s an app for that.” Think car security. Think home security. Think computer security. Think whereever you need a key – or password – and you’ll begin to understand just how huge NFC can really be.

Take a look at the tech landscape and you’ll find GM’s onStar app for nearly every 2011 model in iTunes. Unlock and lock doors with a push of a button. Start your vehicle with a push of a button. Lock and unlock your front door with one of the many wireless dead bolt locks available today. Turn on or off your home lights. All from your iPhone. But the trick is, you need to actively do something with your device.

Apple will remove that from the equation and, much like how keyless entry works on a Mercedes with its fob, you could simply walk up to your front door and open it…as long as your iPhone is on your person. Or go into the garage and open your car door and simply push the Start button to power up the engine. (I can say power up now since hybrid and electric vehicles are more common. :) )

This is would make the iPhone 5 the reason to ignore Droids and Windows 7 phones and all the others.

It’s not hard to see this technology coming to vehicles soon, either. Remember, Apple and Volkswagen openly admitted a few years ago that it was working closely on iPod integration and rumors even had an iCar in development before the global economical crash. It would be easy to bring auto-locks and authorize vehicle operations with an iPhone 5 to the masses with VWs bread-and-butter Jetta and Golfs. Since VW owns Audi, Porsche, and Bentley, upscale customers would be able to brag to their friends how their phone can start the car. Heck, how cool would it be to sit in a Lambo and just drive off without every grabbing for a key?

I could see GM jumping on board as well due to its onStar app already being in use. It wouldn’t take much for GM to integrate NFC with onStar. Between GM and VW, you would have 2/3 of the most sold vehicles in the world NFC ready for the iPhone 5.

Boy, wouldn’t that make Steve Jobs smile?



PS3 Wireless Headset Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound | Ear Force PX5 | Turtle Beach

Turtle Beach, a leader in premium gaming headsets and audio entertainment accessories, announced today the latest innovations for 2011. The Ear Force PX5 Programmable Wireless Surround Sound Headset – the most technologically-advanced headset ever designed for PlayStation 3 and XBOX 360 gaming, the Ear Force P11 Amplified Stereo Gaming Headset for PS3, and the XC1 XBOX LIVE Communicator Headset, will all debut during the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas from January 6-9, 2011 at the Turtle Beach booth, South Hall 1 # 20428.

Ear Force PX5 Programmable Wireless Surround Sound Headset

The PX5 is the most technologically-advanced headset ever designed for PS3 and XBOX 360 gaming, incorporating a programmable digital signal processor to allow independent customization of the chat, game and microphone signals. Custom settings stored in the headset as presets can be selected during specific parts of the game to emphasize sounds like footsteps or reloads that might otherwise be difficult to hear. It can even be programmed to disguise a gamer’s voice or to enhance the voices of online players to be heard when the game gets louder. These personalized presets will be possible with software available from the Turtle Beach web site that allows the user to adjust the settings on a PC and transfer them via a USB connection to the headset.

The PX5 is also the first headset to incorporate dual radios—one for immersive, Dolby Digital surround sound game audio and a second for chat on the PlayStation Network via Bluetooth. The Bluetooth feature also supports stereo audio streaming for listening to music while playing a game and can accept a phone call while wearing the headset.

“Turtle Beach has always been recognized for technological innovation. We pioneered the console gaming headset industry by launching the first stereo XBOX headset, were the first with wireless gaming headsets and the first with innovative features to enhance the gaming experience, like Chat Boost™. With the introduction of the programmable PX5, we’re poised to again revolutionize the gaming headset market.” says Carmine Bonanno, President and CEO. “By allowing gamers to customize their audio environment, the PX5 gives them an opportunity to take charge of their console gaming experience in ways that have never before been available.”

MSRP: $249.95
Availability: Spring 2011
URL: www.turtlebeach.com/px5

Turtle Beach Ear Force P11 Amplified Stereo Gaming Headset

The Turtle Beach Ear Force P11 Gaming Headset, designed for the PlayStation 3 and also compatible with PC/Mac, raises the bar for affordable gaming headsets. Powered directly through USB with its 50mm high fidelity speakers and amplified stereo sound, the P11 headset gives the player an immersive audio experience. With independent volume controls for chat and game audio, you can ensure that you won’t miss out on a single footstep or a warning from a teammate. The P11 delivers crisp audio while providing hours of comfort with its oversized fabric mesh ear cushions and adjustable headband, ensuring your competitive edge during those long gaming sessions.

MSRP: $59.95
Availability: Spring 2011
URL: www.turtlebeach.com/p11

Turtle Beach Ear Force XC1:

Designed specifically for the XBOX 360, the Turtle Beach Ear Force XC1 XBOX LIVE Communicator combines audio performance and a streamlined design to create a headset far above the standard communicator headsets. With a unique slotted ear cup design, the XC1 allows you to hear external game sound and internal chat at the same time, so you will never miss out on any of the action. The fully adjustable, single ear lightweight design fits comfortably on either ear and is perfect for long gaming sessions.

MSRP: $24.95
Availability: Spring 2011
URL: www.turtlebeach.com/xc1



Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fractal Design Launch of the new Define mini case

As the name implies, Define Mini is the smaller sibling of the acclaimed and award winning Define R2/R3 case. Being a Micro ATX version of Define R2/R3, it offers a number of interesting functions with a very stylish appearance. It’s a case focused on low noise level, without neglecting other important features such as cooling, expandability and ease of use. The Define Mini excels in including a lot of features in a small size!
The Define series is reaching new heights in combining stylish, contemporary design with maximum functionality and noise absorbing features. The minimalistic, yet stunning front panel design, fitted with noise absorbing material on the inside, creates an aura of exclusivity.

The patent pending feature ModuVent™, in which you can choose whether to have fan slots in side and top panels open or not, makes the case appealing for users seeking optimal silence, as well as the performance hungry ones.

The sleek black interior is matched with pre-fitted, dense noise absorbing material on the side panels, efficiently absorbing noise and vibrations. You can fit an astonishing total of six(!) hard drives into this case, using the user friendly HDD-trays. All painted in a nice white color and using black silicone mounts. PSU is mounted in the bottom of the case, with a convenient pull-out filter beneath it.

Are you one of those users always ending up with a case full of tangled cables? No more. The Define Mini offers a convenient and good looking way of hiding them away. The motherboard has rubber covered holes in which you can easily route the cables behind the motherboard.

Key features
§ Stunning front panel design
§ Patent pending ModuVent™ design, allowing the user to either have optimal silence or optimal airflow
§ Pre-fitted with dense, noise absorbing material
§ 6(!) white painted HDD-trays, with silicone mounting
§ A total of 6 fan slots (2x120mm in front, 1x 120/140mm in top, 1x120mm in back, 1x 120/140mm in side panel,1x
Specifications
§ 6x 3,5 inch HDD trays, compatible with SSD!
§ 2x 5,25 inch bays, with 1x 5,25>3,5 inch converter included
§ On top of front panel: 2x USB2, 1x USB3 and Audio I/O
§ No PSU included (removable filter below PSU)
§ M/B compatibility: Mini ITX and Micro ATX
§ 4+1 expansion slots with sleek white painted brackets
§ Supports graphic cards with lengths up to ca 260mm when removable HDD-bay is in place
§ Supports graphic cards with lengths up to ca 400mm when HDD-bay is removed
§ Supports CPU coolers with height of ca 165mm
§ Supports PSU’s with a depth of maximum circa 170mm, when using bottom 120/140mm fan location.



Thursday, October 14, 2010

iPad

It’s not news that the 9.7” Apple iPad changed user behavior and reshaped the mobile PC world by creating a new segment. But this is news: The iPad’s success might also reshape the competitive landscape in the mobile PC world (which includes notebook PCs, mini-notes, the older tablet PCs and the new slate PCs). Traditionally, Apple’s mobile PC products have been adopted by a certain number of Apple fans but they have never helped the company gain significant market share within the segment. According to the Quarterly Notebook PC Shipment and Forecast Report, Apple sold 7.6 million mobile PCs in 2009 and ranked #7 in the world with 4.4% share, behind HP, Acer, Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo and ASUS. Compared to companies such as HP (20% market share), Acer (18%) and Dell (12%), Apple was not a big mobile PC brand in 2009. Toshiba and Lenovo sold more than twice as many notebook PCs as Apple in 2009.

However, the iPad boom might change everything. Apple could not only surpass ASUS, Toshiba and Lenovo by becoming a top 5 mobile PC brand—it could also threaten Dell’s #3 position. It’s very interesting to see how a product like the iPad can reach more than 10 million shipments in its first year and also reshape competitiveness in the PC industry.

Excluding the iPad, Apple plans to ship 9 million mobile PCs in 2010, up 18.4% over 2009. This is a comparatively lower Y/Y growth than other brands. However, Apple seems to have put most of its efforts into iPad development and shipment rather than its other mobile PC series, such as the MacBook. According to the Quarterly Notebook PC Shipment and Forecast Report, there will be more than 13 million 9.7” mobile PCs shipped in 2010. Apple’s target is actually higher than this number, but supply chain constrains have limited availability. In 1H’10, Apple sold approximately 4 million iPads, and in 2H’10, Apple will likely ship 9 million. Including iPad, Apple’s total mobile PC shipment will hit 22 million, up 176% Y/Y, which helps Apple to surpass ASUS, Lenovo and Toshiba. In other words, Apple has been hovering between positions #6 and #8 in mobile PC for many years, but one single product makes it rocket to #4. The company is not only changing the mobile phone world with its iPhone but also changing the PC world with its iPad.

iPad Reawakens Interest in Tablet PCs
The iPad is very similar to the tablet PC, which is not a new product. Years ago, Microsoft developed the Windows Tablet PC edition, aimed at business users, and brands including Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, Panasonic and Toshiba introduced tablet PCs targeting the commercial segment. However, these products never took off. As reported in the Quarterly Notebook PC Shipment and Forecast Report, 2009 tablet PC shipments were only 1.5 million units, down from 1.8 million in 2008. Intel then had a new idea called MID (Mobile Internet Device), which targeted consumers. Intel’s original concept was to have a portable device with a low power consumption CPU and a very simple operating system that would be used for personal multi-media, social networking and web surfing. These features are almost the same as the iPad! However, the MID wasn’t clearly defined for end users, and it has never been a successful product.

The iPad has finally popularized the tablet industry. In its first year, the iPad will reach more than 13 million in shipments and it’s expected to hit more than 25 million next year. This success has led many brands to plan their own slate PC products. But everyone is wondering if the iPad’s success will translate to success for slate PCs introduced by other companies?
Many people believe that the iPad is not successful only because of its elegant look and seamless touch screen interface but also because of its applications, content and services, including Apple’s iTunes, Apps Store and iBooks. Therefore, if a new slate PC wants to be successful, it has to strengthen its multi-media functionality, with e-books, mobile TV, music and, probably most important of all, games. Of course, a good operating system will be vital.

In addition to the Apple iOS operating system, which dominates with over 90% market share, there are several new operating systems, such as Google’s Android, Microsoft’s Windowbased, HP’s Web OS, Nokia’s MeeGo and RIM’s QNX. Many slate PCs will be introduced in late 2010 and early 2011, but it will be difficult for any of them to challenge the iPad’s market position in the next few quarters. In the long run, DisplaySearch thinks Android is most likely to compete with Apple iOS.

Furthermore, the iPad will probably make it difficult for the mini-note to survive, as noted in the DisplaySearch press release, “iPad Leads the Tablet PC Charge as Mini-Note Shipments Plummet.” The iPad is already cannibalizing the mini-note market.



Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Touch Screen Mini-note_Slate PCs Shipment Forecast

In the first quarterly update to its Touch Panel Market Analysis, DisplaySearch has increased the forecast of projected capacitive touch screens for mini-note and slate PCs. Total touch screen shipmentsfor mini-note/slate PC in the size range of 5.0-10.2” areprojected to reach 19.5M in 2010 and 122M in 2016.

“Penetration of touch screens in medium and large-size electronic devices such as mini-note/slate PCsand all-in-one PCs, as well as education/training applications, is rapidly increasing” noted Jennifer Colegrove, PhD, Director of Display Technologies for DisplaySearch. “Several touch screen module manufacturers are expanding capacity or adjusting technology to offer projected capacitive touch panels in an effort to take advantage of the growth spurt in this segment. However, with touch screen prices quickly falling, it is important for suppliers to have the most efficient supply chain in order to remain competitive.”

Figure 1: Touch Screen Mini-note/Slate PCs Shipment Forecast

Source: DisplaySearch Touch Panel Market Analysis Q3’10 Update

Other key findings from the Q3’10 update include the following:

Worldwide touch screen yielded capacity will reach 7.9 million square meters in 2010, and will grow to more than 10 million square meters in 2011. Production capacity (3” equivalents) is estimated to be 296 million units per month in 2010, and is forecasted to reach over 391 million units per month in 2011.
The average selling price for 5.0-10.2” touch screens used in mini-note/slate PC applications is falling rapidly, as more suppliers enter the market and manufacturing yields increase. While the majority of devices in this segment are 9.7” currently, upcoming 7” models, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab and ViewSonic 7”, will shift the average size of this segment down.
In 3.0-4.9” touch screens for mobile phones, average selling prices are increasing, as demand for projected capacitive from mini note/slate PC is causing supply to tighten, and as the average screen size for mobile phones increase.
The supply chain for projected capacitive touch screens is rapidly evolving, especially in Taiwan. In 2010, projected capacitive is expected to become the leading touch technology in revenue terms.
Integration of touch sensing into displays (both in-cell and on-cell) continues to develop, for example with Samsung Mobile Display producing AMOLED with on-cell touch and AUO producing TFT LCD with on-cell. These approaches have implications for the supply chain, as they involve integration of the touch sensor and display.
The new DisplaySearch Touch Panel Market Analysis Q3’10 update serves as a supplement to the 2010 Touch Panel Market Analysis. This report covers the progress of the fast growing touch industry, including touch suppliers, newly launched touch products, trends, tradeshow/conference reviews, price trends, and DisplaySearch’s revised forecast for certain rapidly changing categories.

  • The top 20 touch suppliers capacity expansion from 2008-2011
  • Review of touch screen industry conferences, including related presentations, papers and exhibitions at SID DisplaySearch Business Conference and SID Display Week
  • Quarterly touch application trends on touch PCs, with analysis of touch penetration, supply chain of five PC segments: slate PC, mini-note, notebook PC, desktop monitor PC and all-in-one PC
  • Regional News Update, reporting the progress of more than 20 global touch companies in the past quarter
  • Price trends of projected capacitive touch screens


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

ivi.tv brings tv to your mac, pc, or linux

ivi, Inc., today releases its revolutionary live television application enabling anyone with an Internet connection to “cut the cord” and watch live broadcast television anywhere in the world, anytime. The easy-to-use, over-the-top (OTT), online cable system, is the first traditional television experience available on the Internet.

Upon launch, ivi offers more content than Hulu and a 30 day free trial to watch major broadcast channels including ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, The CW, PBS, and others from a growing number of local affiliates, all available via a downloadable app at ivi’s website, ivi.tv.

“The cable industry has spent countless millions of dollars on so-called ‘TV Everywhere’ solutions in a blind effort to prop-up outdated technology and business models” said Todd Weaver, founder and CEO of ivi, Inc. “However, ivi empowers its users to experience TV Anywhere, offering them major broadcast channels delivered live to their laptop or desktop, anywhere on the planet. Whether eventually integrated into Google TV, Apple TV, or meshed with an existing platform’s digital strategy, ivi makes the set-top-box and any ‘Web to TV’ products obsolete. Instead of attempting to bring the Web to the TV, ivi intuitively brings TV to the Web.”

The ivi TV player transforms a computer into a television, containing multiple channel offerings that viewers can select from the user-friendly channel guide or by simply changing the channel. ivi TV is a stand-alone, simple application that allows users to seamlessly watch broadcast television on their computer without sacrificing the user’s ability to run other applications simultaneously. The ivi TV player is currently available for download to any Windows, Apple, or Linux computer, and will soon be available on other platforms, including mobile devices, tablets, and set-top-boxes.

As consumers devote more time to the Internet, the proliferation of new devices is driving them to seek OTT and cord-cutting options. ivi offers the first cross-platform, live TV application allowing both place and time shifting in a single software solution. The basic ivi Air package contains over 25 major broadcast channels for $4.99/mo USD, after the 30 day free trial, with more air channels to be added each month for no additional cost to the base package price. In addition, an upgrade offering time-shifting DVR functionality is available at an introductory price of $0.99/mo USD.

ivi’s launch is bolstered by recent published findings from multiple renowned research firms validating this shift in consumer behavior. Leading research organization, SNL Kagan reported that, for the first time, cable companies lost a staggering 711,000 subscribers in the second quarter of 2010 alone—the biggest quarterly loss in cable TV’s history. Yankee Group recently issued a report indicating that the broadcast and cable industry stubbornly clings to a belief that their pay TV revenues continue to increase when, in fact, they decrease, as consumers become gradually more educated and word-of-mouth spreads about OTT as a viable solution.

In spite of prolonged economic pressure on consumers, cable TV subscription rates have increased 5-7.5% each year while the quality of cable service has steadily decreased, with consumer dissatisfaction soaring.

ivi offers a fresh, innovative and affordable approach to live television by providing an online cable system for those consumers who are increasingly expressing discontent with cable’s antiquated content delivery methods, limited options, and high subscription costs.

Weaver continued, “Recognizing the fate of the landline telephone and the digital debacle experienced by the music industry, ivi offers the broadcast and cable industries innovation they do not have time to build. Consumer-friendly features like a la carte are built in the ivi technology and are available as a turn-key solution to shift cord-cutting losses into online paid views for content owners, offering consumers the choice they have long demanded, with a compelling solution to a multi-billion dollar problem. Forcing consumers to pay for undesired content did not work for the music industry, and it is equally unsustainable for the cable and satellite industries. There is no incentive to fight us, when they should simply join us.”

The ivi TV player allows the consumer unparalleled flexibility in their live television viewing experience. ivi TV moves across devices and locations, allowing users to watch programs at home on a desktop computer or on their laptop while at their favorite cafe–the ivi subscription travels with the user.

Fast Facts About ivi

· No buffering – ivi’s proprietary technology solves frustrating buffering problems typical with watching video content online. ivi offers continuous TV programming, just like traditional TV, but online.
· ivi’s nimble technology allows easy installation and requires minimal system requirements.
· ivi plays in different quality levels, depending on your broadband connection, so anyone can enjoy live TV anywhere they are connected to the Internet, regardless of its speed.
· ivi allows users to watch local content anywhere in the world, such as viewing New York City broadcast channels anywhere from Paris to Perth to Peru.
· Offering a la carte channels, channel packages, and subscription services gives consumers more options and control.
· Priced at $4.99/mo, ivi is significantly less expensive than traditional cable TV, which averages $71.00 per month, according to research firm Centris.
· ivi TV is cross-platform, working identically on Windows, Mac and Linux systems.
· America’s favorite pastime of channel surfing remains alive and well with ivi, which compiles (aggregates) channels into one viewing format allowing the user to discover, select, and watch their favorite channels.
· ivi is in talks with Nielsen, providing valuable analytics to help the existing advertising business model of channels and broadcasters.



Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Zinio Brings Rolling Stone to Your Eyes and Ears with Top 500 Songs Issue

Zinio, the global leader in digital-publishing technology and services, today introduced a new, interactive release of Rolling Stone: 500 Greatest Songs of All Time on its cross-device ZINIO UNITY? platform. Using the Zinio App for the iPad (zinio.com/ipad), the iconic music title’s digital version will allow music enthusiasts to sample and purchase music with a swipe of a finger. The interactive edition will be available on other platforms as well, including Windows, Mac and Linux PCs. While fans read about legends ranging from Bob Dylan and Beyoncé to Bruce Springsteen and Aretha Franklin, they can preview and purchase the Rolling Stone Special Collectors Edition’s song recommendations via iTunes.

“Our 500 Greatest Songs of All Time is the ultimate playlist for any music fan,” stated Rolling Stone Executive Editor Jason Fine. “These are all the songs you need to have on your iPad. The issue also features the stories behind each song, plus photos from the Rolling Stone archive. With Zinio, you can listen to the songs while you read, giving our audience an exciting way to experience the list.”

“Partnering with Wenner Media for Rolling Stone to create an interactively enhanced edition is an exciting demonstration of how published content and technology can create a seamless and multi-sensory experience for engaging consumers,” said Rich Maggiotto, President & CEO, Zinio. “We are laser-focused on working with innovative publishers like Wenner to deploy these types of heightened experiences, globally and cross- platform, to increase user engagement and utility with editorial and advertising.”

To preview this dynamic issue please visit: www.zinio.com/top500songs on your PC, or visit the featured section in Zinio iPad App.

Zinio launched its free App for iPad in the U.S. on April 3rd and overseas on May 28th, respectively, and is available from the App Store on iPad or at itunes.com/appstore, extending the pay-once-read-anywhere reading platform. This approach offers the unique benefit of letting readers pay once for a magazine subscription or single issue, then enjoy that publication across platforms and devices like their iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Windows, Mac and Linux PC, with new mobile platforms coming soon.



FX3021_side.jpg

Altec Lansing, a division of Plantronics Inc. and a market leader in digital audio, today announced the latest member of its acclaimed Expressionist™ PC speaker family, the Expressionist PLUS (FX3021). This boldly imagined, compact system brings large-as-life sound to any desktop for only $99.95 MSRP.

“The Expressionist PLUS (FX3021) subwoofer packs tremendous punch for its tiny size,“ says Don Milks, Altec Lansing’s Senior Manager, Product Management for PC Audio. “By doing away with the enclosure and making the satellites angle-adjustable, we’ve made it easy for the listener to enjoy a remarkably deep, precise soundstage, no matter what distance or angle they listen from. We think this is the best performing $99 PC speaker on the market.“

The new Expressionist PLUS is a 2.1 channel subwoofer-satellite system featuring a dramatic cone-shaped, bottom loaded subwoofer that at its base is about the size of a small Frisbee disc. This sleek, modern looking sub utilizes a 5.25-inch, long-throw driver for authoritative bass that extends down to 50 Hz, even when placed on a desktop. The bass output is conveniently controlled within fingertip reach, letting the user tailor the optimum balance between sub and satellites. The entire system is driven by an impressive 24 watts of power.

The dual 2-inch full range satellites of the Expressionist PLUS complete the system, and are remarkable achievements of design and simplicity. Their innovative form utilizes Altec Lansing’s Audio Alignment™ craftsmanship that precisely aligns the drivers, enclosure and electronics for natural-sounding audio performance, the way the artist intended. The satellites can be aimed in any direction to focus the soundstage for the ideal listening position, distance and height. The end result is a deep and realistic stereo image that’s exactly proportioned to the listening area.

The diminutive size of the Expressionist PLUS makes it a perfect accompaniment for desktop and laptop computers and other 3.5mm-connected entertainment such as an iPod®. Power and volume controls are conveniently located for easy access.

Altec Lansing’s Expressionist PLUS FX3021 PC Speaker System will be available in June of 2009 at consumer electronics retailers and at www.alteclansing.com.



Thursday, June 18, 2009

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MAINGEAR Computers, award-winning builders of high performance custom computers for PC gamers and enthusiasts, is proud to announce the Axess HD Gamer, a luxury gaming PC that brings high end gaming to the living room. Built into a sleek, low profile, aluminum HTPC form factor with an acrylic trim, the Axess HD was designed to integrate seamlessly into any home theater set up with existing A/V components.

The impressive list of hardware for the Axess HD includes a powerful Core i7 processor combined with dual 9800 GT video cards in SLI to deliver a stunningly visual1080p experience. MAINGEAR also teamed up with NVIDIA to integrate GeForce 3D Vision so that gamers with Mitsubishi DLP’s or Samsung desktop LCDs can experience an unparalleled 3D gaming experience. MAINGEAR further enhances the luxurious home theater gaming experience by being the first company to offer the Phantom Lapboard, a unique keyboard that liberates users from desktop settings through an innovative 360-degree rotating design. The Axess HD Gamer also offers cutting edge media center capabilities including 7 channel pre amplified audio, Blu Ray and DVD Movies, Music, Home Videos, HD TV, Internet TV, based on Microsoft® Windows® Vista Home Premium which also provides access to Netflix’s online streaming through the Media Center interface.

”The Axess HD Gamer was conceived to deliver unsurpassed gaming performance fused with advanced media center capabilities all contained within a low profile case, making it the perfect cornerstone for any home theater environment” said Wallace Santos, CEO and Founder of MAINGEAR. “A lot of the media centers currently on the market don’t specifically address the PC Gamer and we want to give our customers a solution to game from the comfort of the living room without sacrificing quality or performance.”

“We’re thrilled that MAINGEAR is providing a Games for Windows solution that complements the wide range of media functionality that Windows Vista Media Center already provides,” said Megan Both, Snr. Director of OEM Sales at Microsoft. “This high performance 3D gaming system combined with the advanced functionality of Windows Media Center make the Axess HD Gamer a phenomenal option for the home theater enthusiast as well as the avid gamer.”

Gamers can purchase the Axess HD Gamer at MAINGEAR’s Web site www.maingear.com or order by phone at (888-MAINGEAR). The base price is $1,799. Axess HD Gamer comes with MAINGEAR’s standard 14 month warranty and is backed by the best in-house support team in the country.



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NZXT, a company built on realizing the dreams of gamers worldwide, is proud to announce the Zero 2 Full Tower Steel Chassis the integrates a fully customizable cooling system. The structural integrity of the Zero 2 can not be doubted featuring a sturdy 1.0mm steel construction and weighing in at 10.2kg. Adopting a similar extreme cooling approach to that of the original Zero chassis, Zero 2 offers a fully customizable cooling system with space for seven 120mm fans and one 80mm fan making it a phenomenal option for users that run Multi GPU systems. This aggressive cooling system combined with other great features like screwless installation for HDD devices, top mounted USB, and Intel HD Audio and AC’97 Audio capability make Zero 2 one of the most compelling case options on the market for the PC Enthusiast and Gamer.

“The original Zero was a tremendous success for NZXT due to its unique, customizable cooling setup,” said Johnny Hou, Chief Designer at NZXT. “The Zero 2 builds off of its predecessor’s success and provides truly phenomenal value for gamers everywhere priced under $100.”

Retailing for $99.99 the new Zero 2 is available now. For more information on the NZXT Zero2, visit http://www.nzxt.com/products/zero_2/

For more information on NZXT and to view the company’s complete catalog, visit www.nzxt.com.