After incurring the wrath of the seemingly ever-furious Authors' Guild, Amazon have backtracked on the Kindle 2's text-to-speech functionality by giving publishers, not users, the right to decide whether an ebook is read out loud or not. While still maintaining that the feature is legal, Amazon suggest that rightsholders will "be more comfortable with the text-to-speech feature if they are in the driver's seat."
LG's detachable QWERTY touchscreen feature-phone, the LG Versa, has been officially announced for Verizon Wireless. Available March 1st 2009, the Verizon LG Versa has a 3-inch 480 x 240 touchscreen, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR and EV-DO Rev.A; however its most striking feature is the included case, which has a built-in QWERTY keyboard and, on the outside, a 0.94-inch 56 x 120 monochrome OLED display used for Caller ID, phone status and displaying the time.
The Amazon Kindle 2's text-to-speech feature - which reads out ebooks on the device - probably isn't the best way to lull your kids off to sleep, being as it's a very obviously computer-generated voice. However if the Author's Guild has its way, it won't even be around to distract you when your eyes get tired: the Guild is claiming that by including text-to-speech functionality, Amazon are impinging on audio book copyright.
Sprint have announced the Motorola i365IS, where the "IS" stands for "Intrinsically Safe". According to Sprint, the i365IS "is incapable of releasing sufficient electrical or thermal energy to ignite fuel and cause a fire or explosion" and is safe to use in areas containing flammable gasses, vapors or dust. Personally, I'd like any cellphone I use to be incapable of exploding, but maybe that's too much to ask. As well as promising not to go supernova in your front pocket, the i365IS has push-to-talk (PTT), military-spec ruggedization and Bluetooth.
The high performance yet ultra quiet ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 was the result of Asetek’s closed loop liquid cooling system which utilized workstation-thermal technology over PC. It enables much-faster clocks speeds to improve GPU overall performance while manage to improve heat transfer with its low-noise liquid cooler system. Asetex has announced the same cooling system has been chosen by SAPPHIRE Technology for its latest ATOMIC HD 4870 X2 ultra high performance single-slot video card.
Induction Dynamics have unveiled two new speaker models in their "Super Loudspeaker" range, the ID1.15 and the S1.8. ID1.15 - shown here in black - stands 62.5-inches high and features a 1.125-inch high-power soft dome tweeter, a 3-inch soft dome midrange, an 8-inch woofer with Kevlar cone, and dual 15-inch subwoofers with laminated cones.
Verizon Wireless have announced the CDMA version of the Samsung Omnia, the SCH-i910, complete with a 3.2-inch touchscreen display, 5-megapixel camera with flash, and WiFi b/g. The Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro handset has Samsung's TouchWiz GUI overlay, offering customizable widgets that work with the Omnia's haptic feedback. There's also an optical mouse.
SanDisk has updated its Sansa Clip PMP with 8GB of storage, doubling the maximum capacity available. The Clip still has a small color OLED display and weighs just 0.9oz, with the rechargeable battery good for up to 15hrs continuous playback. A removable clip - which obviously gives the Sansa its name - can be used to attach the PMP to belts, bags or purses.
The USB-authenticated door lock project was based on a sensible theory - people carry around USB memory sticks, so why not use them instead of keys - but it forgot an essential fact about human nature: people are stupid, and forget stuff. Enter the completely-keyless door entry system, which uses a tapped-out pattern on a $3 touch-sensor to open the lock.
Video demo after the cut