Asian Electronics Firms Based in San Diego – U.S. tariffs on Asian goods were one of the stimuli that caused Sony to open an assembly plant in the San Diego area. Proximity to Mexico and its less-expensive work force was another. Three other Japanese electronics-makers call the San Diego area home: Kyocera, Sanyo and Hitachi. South Korean company LG has its mobile phone business there. Sanyo shed many appliance product lines after losses but now produces LCD displays for Wal-Mart and the batteries used in Toyota Priuses.
Executives – Turn Your Blackberry Into a Universal Remote – A clever new application from a Canadian company called Unify4Life will allow BlackBerry smartphone owners to control all the entertainment devices in their home. The package, which will be available by October for $99, includes an AV hub, the remote control software, and SoundStreaming – which allows stream audio from your BlackBerry directly to your receiver. Once downloaded into a BlackBerry, the application can send commands wirelessly to IR-enabled electronic devices of all major brands and models – just as with a universal remote. The Unify4Life server plugs into a central location in the home and can be programmed to communicate with the TV, receiver, stereo system, etc. It provides access to TV listings with a searchable program guide, and in the future the Canadian company hopes to add control for other home devices such as thermostats, lighting and intercoms. The firm’s goal is to provide BlackBerry owners an essential component for the key systems in their homes. The unit comes with a two-year service warranty.
Free CD-Quality Album Download Sampler – HDtracks.com – the new digital music store launched by Chesky Records to provide uncompressed, lossless album downloads without DRM – is offering for a limited time the eight-track “HDtracks Ultimate Download Experience” to prove how good an HD download can sound compared to traditional compressed downloads from mainstream music sites. The selections represent a taste of the 60 different independent record labels on the site, and can be downloaded as AIFF files, lossless FLAC files, or MP3 files at 320 kbps.