News Bits: Sony Upgrades the Vaio UX, Vista Downgrade Option, OLPC Give 1 Get 1

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Sony upgrades the Vaio UX UMPC

Sony has updated the latest UX series models with a 1.2GHz Core 2 Solo U2200 processor and 64GB SSD. Other great features these little Vista running tablets include are 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 1.3 megapixel webcam, CF slot, memory stick slot, USB 2.0, 1GB memory, Intel 945GMS Express chipset, and 4.5-inch (1,024 x 600) display. The design and weight are still the same, only the internals are getting a refresh.

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Microsoft offers XP ‘downgrade’ for Vista users

Despite Microsoft’s hype over the Vista operating system which was supposed to transform the way we all compute, it simply is not happening for many consumers. The operating system has been dismissed as bloated, unstable, and slow compared to Windows XP. The User Access Control (UAC) has also been found to be annoying by many consumers.

Due to the complaints, Microsoft has given the option to OEMs of offering a ‘downgrade’ to Windows XP for Vista Business and Ultimate customers. Vista Home Basic and Premium users are not eligible for the ‘downgrade’. It is up to the OEM to offer the downgrade.

The time for getting Windows XP is running short – direct OEM and retail licensing of XP will stop on January 31, 2008.

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FlipStart Labs releases Snap Camera for FlipStart PC

FlipStart Labs today introduced the FlipStart Snap Camera, the first snap-in accessory for the FlipStart super compact PC. The Snap Camera easily snaps onto the lid of the FlipStart PC. The Snap Camera weighs 1.8 oz. and can go everywhere you do for instant still and video photography.

The camera can take up to 5-mega-pixel high-resolution photos, has a built-in microphone, digital zoom and VGA-quality video capture. The FlipStart Snap Camera is available for $149.99 USD.

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OLPC announces buy a laptop for yourself, one for a child program

The One Laptop Per Child non-profit foundation has recently announced a "Give 1, Get 1" marketing program that allows Americans and Canadians to buy two laptops for $399. One of the laptops goes to the purchaser and one goes to a child in a developing nation. The program will last for two weeks between the dates of November 12 and November 26. The donated laptop is considered a tax-deductible charitable donation.

Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the OLPC foundation, said that if there were $40M in donations that 100,000 laptops could be distributed around the world. The purpose of the program is to kick-start slow orders.

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Dell allows Inspiron and Dimension customers to pay for no bloatware

Don’t want your Dell PC to arrive full of pre-installed junk software? Dell is now providing Inspiron and Dimension customers with the option to get a bloatware-free PC like it does with its XPS systems. The machines will not be entirely bloatware-free if your purchase out though – they will still come pre-installed with Adobe Acrobat, anti-virus, and Google Tools. The anti-virus can be uninstalled by declining the licensing agreement at start-up, and the other two can be easily uninstalled using Dell’s new software uninstall utility.

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