Verizon announces early store openings for DROID launch

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We’d already heard through the grapevine that select Verizon Wireless stores would be cracking their doors open early to deal with the presumed flood of consumersHumans” eager to snap up the first-ever Android 2.0 device, and now the carrier has come right out with the official details. We’re told that “many” of its over 2,000 retail locations will open at either 7AM or 8AM local time to field orders for the DROID, though VZW mall stores will all open at their regular time. You should check with your local store to see exactly when they’ll open, and while we can’t guarantee it, we’d guess that having an Android-related tattoo on your person is a good way to get VIP treatment once you arrive on scene. Or, you know, you could just get your Best Buy pre-order in now and save $100 up front by dodging the mail-in rebate.

Archos 9 up for pre-order in America for $50 more than anticipated

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Uh, Archos? You do remember telling us that your Archos 9 media tablet would ship on October 22nd for $499 back in late September, right? ‘Cause if our eyes are being truthful to us, that’s not at all what’s happening here. The outfit’s official web store has the 8.9-inch device listed (complete with Windows 7 Starter, WiFi, Bluetooth and a 1.3 megapixel camera) for $549.99, and worse still, it’s only up for “pre-order.” You know what happens after the second strike, right guys?

http://www.ownta.com/index.php?target=products&mode=search&subcats=Y&type=extended&avail=Y&pshort=Y&pfull=Y&pname=Y&pkeywords=Y&cid=0&q=archos&x=0&y=0

GSM Palm Pre unlocked with a little Rebel assistance

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It’s not exactly the native unlock we’ve been waiting for, but those of you in Europe dying for a Pre unshackled from O2 will be happy to know that the Rebel Simcard II is now compatible with Palm’s first webOS device. The £10.99 / $17.95 accessory card slots in between your carrier’s SIM and the Pre’s SIM slot, bypassing the Pre’s network locks and allowing full access to voice and data services including 3G. Sadly, the Pre doesn’t have the radio support to make this work in the States on anything but EDGE, but at least it’s a start, right? Video after the break.

Sonos ZonePlayer S5 all-in-one speaker system now available

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We managed to get a early hands-on look at Sonos’ new S5 all-in-one speaker system last month, and if that got you intrigued you’ll no doubt be pleased to know that the rig is now available in the US for the slightly premium price of $399. That will get you all the usual wireless connectivity you’d expect from a Sonos ZonePlayer (minus the need to purchase additional speakers), plus support for the Sonos Controller iPhone app (but no actual iPhone / iPod dock), and of course some “room-filling” sound, which we found did actually live up to its promise. Still confused about the whole thing? Head on past the break for a video.

3M unveils 3D panels for portable devices

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Among its many virtues gadget-wise, 2009 has seen 3D technology go from irritating to… well, not quite so irritating. Of course, with so many companies working to develop a satisfactory way to bring the third dimension to our TVs and computers, it’s only a matter of time before we find a device that accomplishes the goal without giving us a headache. And now 3M, who’s been really digging their heels into display technology as of late, is debuting a 3D panel that eschews the glasses for something called conoscopy: the surface of the devices features a film with lenses on one side and prism structures on the other that display the corresponding left- and right-eye portions of the image. Currently available in both 9-inch and 2.8-inch LCD panels, the company is said to be gearing up for volume production, so it may not be long before they begin featuring on portable devices. Who knows? Maybe your dream of a 3D Gizmondo isn’t dead after all! Get a closer look after the break.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX1 scores mixed reception

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By now you should be thoroughly familiar with Sony’s Party-shot-loving and almost unreasonably svelte TX1 compact shooter. Its headline features — 720p movie mode and better low light performance courtesy of the Exmor R sensor — have now been put to the test and we’re here with the scorecard ready to spill the results. Reassuringly, all reviewers found image quality to be excellent for the camera’s size class, and the TX1 even outperformed its peers by keeping noise comfortably in check all the way up to ISO 800. A 1cm (or 0.4-inches for you heretics) Macro mode was another highlight, though criticisms did rain down on issues of lens distortion, a fiddly touchscreen menu that was too prone to accidental activation, and an uncompetitive price point. Of course, your biggest draw here might still be the optional (and spendy) party dock, but the thorough reviews below at least give you the chance to pretend like you’re buying this camera for the image quality alone.

Rejoice! BlackBerry support arrives on Celio REDFLY

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We heard it’d be here in mid-Q4, and sure enough, it’s here. And by “it,” we mean “BlackBerry support for Celio’s largely unwanted REDFLY Mobile Companion.” Starting today, those looking for the Foleo‘s long lost cousin can snap up a REDFLY and download a free driver that adds compatibility for RIM’s BlackBerry Bold 9000, Curve 8900 and Tour 9630. Granted, it’s not like the BlackBerry web browser will be any less painful to use on an enlarged screen, but hey, whatever suits your fancy.

Dutch hacker seeks out jailbroken iPhones for fame and fortune

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Jailbreaking an iPhone certainly brings many benefits, but it’s also fraught with some peril, as amply demonstrated by a Dutch hacker who decided to go snooping around for vulnerable jailbroken iPhones in the Netherlands. While he apparently didn’t actually swipe personal information or cause any damage, he was able to find some jailbroken iPhones with SSH running, which allowed him to display a message saying “Your iPhone’s been hacked because it’s really insecure! Please visit doiop.com/iHacked and secure your iPhone right now!” A noble gesture of a white hat hacker? Not exactly, ’cause that site demands €5 for the “fix” to let folks go back to using their phone securely — or it did until the hacker apparently had a change of heart and posted the instructions for free, along with an apology for his misguided moneymaking scheme.

LG GW620 Eve coming to Rogers, Android deftly avoids AT&T yet again

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It looks like Canada’s Rogers will be among the first carriers in the world to offer LG’s first Android device, the GW620 Eve — and for North Americans, this is particularly notable since it means there’s a version of the device at retail that’ll theoretically work on Bell, Telus, and AT&T in addition to Rogers proper. We have no indication that AT&T’s about to actually pull the trigger on this thing (or on any Android device for that matter), though, so if you’re into the 5 megapixel AF cam, full QWERTY slide, and 7.2Mbps HSDPA capability, we’d recommend putting your unlockin’ pants on. For Rogers customers, we’re not seeing a release date just yet, but it looks like you’ll be paying a downright reasonable CAD $49.99 (about $47) on a three-year deal when it launches.

Spring Design Alex comes out to play and show off Marvell’s Armada chip

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You’d think a pending lawsuit and a grainy official video would be enough exposure for one little dual-screen e-book reader, but Marvell’s decided to bring out Spring Design’s Alex as a way of showing off their new Armada chip, which claims a faster three frames per second refresh rate along with the usual assorted reductions in cost and power consumption. Maximum PC got the opportunity to see the Alex first-hand at the meeting, and note that while it’s definitely thicker than the kindle (blame goes to the larger battery and second screen, naturally), it’s a smart little device. Hit up the read link for more pics.

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