New CAN Bus Interface for Chrysler from Scosche
June 14, 2006

2004 and up Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep vehicles can now receive a new CAN bus interface from Scosche that solves the problem of ACC power loss upon head-unit removal. Consumers upgrading to an aftermarket head-unit can use this new interface for real-time control applications. Kas Alves, Scosche’s vice president, sales and marketing, says, “Our research and design team continues to develop unique products to help custom installers and dealers and our unique CAN bus interface is no exception.” The product is compatible with the following models: 2004 and up Dodge Durango 2005 and up Chrysler 300C 2005 and up Jeep Grand Cherokee 2006 and up Dodge Charger 2006 and

White Paper: DRM/CA Conflicts Could Burn Digital Entertainment Industry
June 14, 2006

iSuppli Vice President of Multimedia Content and Services Mark Kirstein recently released a white paper entitled, “Digital Rights Management and Conditional Access: Keys to the Digital Content Kingdom.” In it, he explains how conflict over Digital Rights Management (DRM) and Conditional Access (CA) could cripple the progress of the digital entertainment industry, with hundreds of billions of dollars at stake. According to the paper, the future of broadband video, digital music, next-generation DVD, home networking, mobile TV and IPTV all hinge on the decisions made now about CA and DRM, which concern access to the content involved (CA) and what the

June 13, 2006

The NPD Group reports that mobile phone sales to consumers in the U.S. have reached 34.8 million units in the first quarter of 2006. Representing an increase of more than 11 percent from sales in the first quarter of 2005, NPD predicts total first quarter 2006 consumer sales will be around $2.3 billion. NPD’s Mobile Phone Track percentages show Motorola continuing to lead in the U.S. market. The company experienced an increase in share percentages for its first quarter from 27 percent to 29 percent. Other leaders include Nokia and Samsung with 18 percent and LG at 15 percent. Looking at the GSM market,

Survey: Men Outgab Women on Mobile Phones
June 13, 2006

A survey conducted by International Communications Research on behalf of Cingular Wireless revealed that men average 546 minutes a month on their phones as opposed to women, who use 470. This gap has been fairly consistent over the past six years, though female cell phone use has steadily increased in that time. Conversely, women use the home phone for calls more frequently than men, to the tune of 471 minutes per month against men’s 274. Women also make more use of their phone’s camera, with 51 percent claiming to use the feature “frequently” or “occasionally” versus 40 percent of men giving

Cingular Targets Hispanic Demographic with Store Redesign
June 12, 2006

Not to be outdone by Wal-Mart’s recent announcement that it will build new stores catering to specific demographics, including Hispanic customers, Cingular announced last week that it will reconfigure 420 stores in 40 cities to market to the same group. Signs and other displays will now be bilingual, as will the sales staff who, according to Cingular, “will be trained to handle the needs of Latino consumers using culturally appropriate selling techniques.” While the “culturally appropriate selling techniques” are yet to be disclosed, the locations, chosen based on Hispanic population density, include stores in Texas, California, Illinois, New York, Florida, Georgia,

Coping with COPE
June 9, 2006

The controversial COPE (Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement) Act is being voted on in Congress this week. The bill, which primarily strives to provide a national franchise for cable companies would, in the opinion of the bill’s opponents, do so at the expense of local authorities’ ability to regulate those franchises. In other words, if a new company (such as AT&T, a supporter of the bill) wanted to open a cable franchise in Durham, they would have to jump through a fair number of hoops. To open another in Indianapolis, they would have to jump through a completely different set of

Mobile Electronics Buying Group Launches Website
June 8, 2006

The In Car Experts (ICE) website has gone live, and after getting slammed with high traffic on its first day, is up and running again with increased server capacity. The mobile electronics buying group offers news and information about itself on the site, along with a membership calculator to give prospective members the opportunity to see how much money they would save by joining up. Application for membership is also available through the site. Learn more at

Will Mobile Phones Enter Mobile Navigation Fray?
June 6, 2006

With more than 18 percent of drivers requiring directions more than 20 percent of the time, the market is wide open for portable electronic navigation solutions. The question is, who will dominate the field? According to a new study from Strategy Analytics, cell phones are expected to offer capabilities similar to that of navigation products from TomTom, Garmin, Magellan and Lowrance in the near future. Prices for these items are expected to drop accordingly. The study points out that cell phone and automotive companies are in a position to provide solutions that go beyond navigation for the larger portion of

All Caps Phone Gets All Caps Music Service
June 5, 2006

The Motorola RAZR will now join the line of phones equipped to receive Verizon's V CAST music service. The RAZR V3m is now the slimmest phone to be able to pull music downloads directly from Verizon. The V CAST service has bulked up its library to 1 million songs from the 500,000 it announced at CES earlier this year. You should be able to fit roughly 32 hours of those on the 1 GB removable microSD memory card, which is an optional feature on the new RAZR. You can also download video and games. And what would a

Dual XDMR7710 PlaysForSure In-Dash Receiver
June 5, 2006

Slated for July shipment, Dual Electronics’ XDMR7710 AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA/XM-ready mobile electronics receiver is the first for the car to offer built-in compatibility with Microsoft’s PlaysForSure platform. The head unit will work with MP3 devices from leading brands including Philips, Creative Labs, RCA and iRiver, and with the use of the optional EAUSB20 Media Link Adapter, it can display detailed file information and also allow the recording of WMA files to USB thumb drives from any head-unit source. It has a detachable motorized face that hides the LCD panel where file information may be displayed. The XDMR7710 also offers iPod connectivity through