*From the Free MP3 archive* Though they left indie labels behind years ago, Death Cab's indie cred's still in full effect. Singer-guitarist Ben Gibbard's confessional, heartfelt lyrics come wrapped in meticulously placed arrangements and straightforward production that results in sturdy, melodic music.
Vermont may have gorgeous scenery, maple syrup, and civil unions, but up until now it hasn't had the iPhone. Since the Green Mountain State is one of the few states to lack native AT&T service, Vermonters have been left out of the iPhone classic and iPhone 3G scramble. Sure, they could buy them somewhere else and use the phones in Vermont, but it wasn't quite the same.
Now that 2009 is only hours away, I thought it was time to unveil this year's 2009 predictions. There's no telling if what I think will happen will come true or not, but I thought I'd fill you in on five of my predictions for the New Year.
Please share your own 2009 predictions in the comments with the rest of us, so we can look back a year from now and see who did the best job.
1. PS3 pricing is reduced by $100
I don't think there's any doubt that PlayStation 3 pricing will be reduced by $100 in the next year. As the costs of building the console continue to fall and Sony's competitors continue to enjoy strong sales thanks to a lower price, the pressure Sony will feel will be too much and it'll be forced to bring the price of its PS3 down to $299 to compete more effectively against the Xbox 360 and the Wii.
Will it work? You bet.
2. Apple ends iPhone exclusivity deal with AT&T
This one isn't too much of a stretch and I'm sure many of you would agree that it's only a matter of time before Apple finally announces that the iPhone will be made available to more carriers.
AT&T exclusivity simply doesn't work for Apple anymore, since it's now one of the leaders in the cell phone space and it's doing itself a disservice by not opening its popular mobile phone up to the millions of people who have decided against AT&T as their mobile carrier.
Exclusivity was great for two years, but now that Apple has proven it has its sights set on RIM, it can't beat the BlackBerry maker unless it makes its iPhone available to any U.S. carrier.… Read more
China's state council said it's approved licenses for higher-speed 3G mobile networks, a move expected to help bring higher-end services to phone users in the country.
Under a telecommunications reorganization plan whose creation delayed issuance of the licenses, China Mobile is set to receive approval for a network using TD-SCDMA technology, a standard backed by Beijing, according to a Reuters report Wednesday. China Unicom would be awarded a WCDMA license and China Telecom a CDMA 2000 license, according to the report.
WCDMA and CDMA 2000 standards are mature and globally accepted but come with royalties the Chinese government … Read more
In a report that could send shock waves through the video game industry, market research firm iSuppli has detailed the real cost and new savings found in Sony's second-generation Playstation 3.
iSuppli's report, issued Monday, says that the current PS3 model contains 2,820 individual parts, including Nvidia's Reality Synthesizer, IBM's Cell Broadband Engine, and Toshiba's I/O controller, which are now made using 65-nanometer process technology, compared to 90-nanometer technology formally employed in the previous iteration. That has drastically reduced the PS3's power supply cost by 30 percent from $30.75 to $21.50.
Kionix's three-axis accelerometer in the PS3 controller has replaced the Hokuriku Electronic Industry Co. part, saving Sony an estimated $1.45 per unit.
But perhaps the most important cost savings is in the console's vaunted Cell processor from IBM. According to iSuppli, the latest PS3 includes a new version of IBM's Cell Broadband Engine, which is priced at $46.46 -- 28 percent lower than its original cost in the first-generation hardware. A new version of Nvidia's Reality Synthesizer, the console's GPU, at $58.01 per unit is now priced 30 percent lower than it was in the first generation.
Altogether, Sony's second-generation PS3 features a 35 percent total cost reduction from the first-generation model. In dollars and cents, today's PS3 costs Sony about $448.73 to produce, compared to the old model's $690.23 price tag. That said, the lower cost doesn't include software, box contents, and royalty expenses.
Realizing that, and considering the PS3's current price tag of $399, iSuppli has found that Sony is still losing money with each sale of its console. But Andrew Rassweiler, director and principal analyst at iSuppli, believes Sony may be able to break even in 2009.
"With its new-generation PS3, Sony has come closer to breaking even, although it probably hasn't quite reached that mark yet," Rassweiler said in a statement. "With iSuppli's estimated PS3 cost at $448.73, the product retailing in the United States at around $399 and taking into account other expenses, the PS3 may be able to break even in 2009 with further hardware revisions."