Tuesday, April 28, 2009

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Cablevision Systems Corp plans to roll out super-fast Internet access connections that can allow a customer to download a full-length high-definition movie in less 10 minutes.

The New York-based cable operator said on Tuesday it is also doubling the speed of its Wi-Fi wireless Internet service -- free for subscribers -- as it steps up its offerings to counter the competitive threat of Verizon Communications' FiOS service.

Cablevision customers will pay nearly $100 a month to use the new high-speed Internet service, which will deliver download speeds of up to 101 megabits per second and upload speeds of up to 15 megabits per second. Such speeds can enable the download of up to 750 digital photos or 150 songs in one minute.

The company plans to roll out the service across its entire market starting May 11. Currently Cablevision offers download speeds of 15 megabits per second for $45 to $50 a month.

It remains to be seen how much customer demand there is for new super-fast Internet access, which cable companies charge premium prices for. Comcast Corp charges up to $139 a month for its 50 megabit Wideband service in certain markets, for instance.
"Right now the real demand for 50 to 100 megabits is pretty limited," said Todd Mitchell, analyst at Kaufman Bros. "But over the next two to three years, the number of video applications we all use will grow exponentially so it will become a necessary level of service."

Cablevision will be the first of the major U.S. cable operators to roll out new super-fast speeds to its entire network using a new cable technology called DOCSIS 3.0. Other cable operators like Comcast and Charter Communications started trying out the super-fast access speed in some of their regions last year.

The cable companies are increasing access speeds in response to the launch of advanced digital services from phone companies Verizon and AT&T Inc, and also encouraged by the popularity of Web video services like Google Inc's YouTube and Hulu, a venture of News Corp and NBC Universal.

Faster speeds will make it easier to watch video programing over the Web, but there are industry concerns that they might also make it easier for customers to 'cut the cord' of traditional cable TV subscriptions.

"The cable operators are trying to walk a fine line," said Craig Moffett, analyst at Sanford Bernstein.

Moffett said the challenge for the operators is how to preserve their current technology and speed advantage over phone companies without harming their core video offering.

"They don't want to provide so much bandwidth that they foster the means to bypass their core service," he said.

Cablevision is also doubling the speed of its wireless Internet access to 3.0 megabits per second using Wi-Fi technology. The company offers the service for free to Cablevision subscribers using their laptops and other mobile devices around certain locations in its local area.

Source: http://uk.reuters.com/article/technologyNewsMolt/idUKTRE53R0WU20090428?sp=true
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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Hewlett-Packard is today launching a new line of inexpensive business laptops with fresh features targeting small and medium companies.

The machine will be the company's new mainstream business notebook and replaces the HP Compaq line, although the Compaq name will continue to be used in other PCs.

The ProBook offers an optional Linux-based operating system pre-installed - Novell's SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11, the company's first-ever Linux pre-install on a standard business laptop.

The machine comes with a choice of finishes - including an optional "Merlot" color - dark red to you and me - and a raised keyboard design that the company promises makes it easier to clean.

"The stunning HP ProBook s-series delivers exceptional style and aggressive pricing that will captivate small and medium business users," said Ted Clark, senior vice president and general manager, Notebook Global Business Unit, Personal Systems Group, HP. "But it's not just about good looks or low cost, the HP ProBooks deliver the right blend of features and professional innovations to provide a great user experience."

The ProBooks come with 14-inch, 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch screen sizes, with prices starting at $529. Some models incorporate HP Mobile Broadband. There is built-in Qualcomm Gobi technology, enabling them to use a single module, the HP un2400, to support multiple mobile broadband network technologies and mobile operators.

Source: http://www.tgdaily.com/html_tmp/content-view-42196-135.html
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SEAGATE ANNOUNCED a USB backup appliance aimed at Windows PCs on Monday.

The company's easy to use backup system, which it calls Replica, doesn't require the user to do much more than plug in the device. It plugs into a USB 2.0 port and draws its power over the same USB connection, so it doesn't need a separate power brick, cord or plug. The drive is about the size of a paperback book and weighs about half a pound.

Once the user connects the Replica, all they have to do is click OK to accept the software licence. The device then copies everything on the system it's connected to, including the operating system, settings, applications and all the data files it finds - documents, emails, pictures, music, movies and whatever else the user has on their PC. The system is capable of backing up either a single PC or multiple PCs.

Once the Replica finishes its initial backup, it runs in the background as long as it remains plugged-in, quietly and continuously backing up all changed files.

Terry Cunningham, a Seagate senior vice president, said in a statement, "While people continue to amass digital content, many still don’t understand the importance of backing up their libraries of personal memories, or they don’t take the time."

He reckons: "The Seagate Replica is about as easy as it gets."

Seagate's Replica mindless backup appliance for Windows PCs doesn't come cheaply, however. The 250GB model for backing up one PC costs $130, while the 500GB model capable of backing up multiple PCs is priced at $200.

Source: http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/950/1051950/seagate-offers-easy-expensive-usb-backup
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