TigerDirectThis is the TigerDirect News Update for Tuesday, December 12, 2006.

Today’s podcast includes:

  • Samsung’s Dealt a Blackjack – and it’s not a good hand
  • Wireless connections for your TV are around the corner
  • Nintendo’s Wii Faces Lawsuit from Remote Manufacturer
  • and Microsoft rolls out a new VOIP Server

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TigerDirect News Update for December 12, 2006

For Samsung, Blackjack isn’t lucky

Research In Motion is suing Samsung, claiming that the name of the company’s new BlackJack smart phone is too similar to that of RIM’s own BlackBerry devices.

The suit was filed Friday in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. RIM is seeking an injunction against the sale of the new BlackJack phones. In the complaint, RIM said Samsung’s use of the “BlackJack” name “constitutes false designation of origin, unfair competition and trademark dilution.”

RIM contends that its BlackBerry devices, used by more than 6 million people around the world to send and receive e-mail, have become iconic in both form and function. The BlackJack, which runs Windows Mobile operating system and has a full QWERTY keyboard, competes directly with many of RIM’s devices, including the BlackBerry Pearl, a phone designed to attract consumers rather than RIM’s typical business customers. The company says it believes the name BlackJack might confuse some customers.

Cingular launched the Blackjack in November 2006 in partnership with Samsung. Cingular’s spokesperson indicated they have no intentions to stop selling the device at this time.

Wireless AV Connections Coming

El Granada, Calif.-based Neosonik is part of a wave of small and large companies trying to eliminate one of the more aggravating issues in consumer electronics: wires. Wireless is firmly established with notebooks and phones, but TVs, speakers and stereo equipment remain largely tethered to each other through tangles of cable.

In a recent experiment, “At the San Mateo Marriott, we borrowed the maid’s cart and went down the hall with it. We went 200 feet, through six rooms and three external walls” before the signal got a little weak and caused the picture to get pixilated, he said. “Often, people want me to unplug the TV to make sure it isn’t power line networking.”

Video files can be huge, requiring more bandwidth than has been available, and issues such as synchronization and sound quality have bedeviled products in the past. In addition, walls can be hazards to good wireless transmission, and so can distances.

Controller Lawsuits Shake Up Nintendo

Nintendo of America has been sued by Interlink Electronics over alleged patent infringement in its Wii console’s remote control.

Interlink, a Los Angeles-based company specializing in remote controls and electronic-signature technology, filed suit in a federal district court in Delaware on December 4, claiming that Nintendo’s Wii Remote violates its “Trigger Operated Electronic Device” patent (U.S. patent No. 6,850, 221). Interlink claimed that Nintendo’s sale of the device, nicknamed the Wiimote, has caused the company to lose profits and royalties.

While current consumer complaints regarding the slipperly device who’s wrist strap seems to be breaking sometimes, resulting in a “thrown” controller which is breaking televisions, laptops and other devices according to reports online, suits like these are the reason that the PS/3 has no feedback in their controllers.

Check TigerDirectBlog for the latest in news each day.

Microsoft Releases VOIP Features and Server App

Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer has predicted that within 10 years all business communications will be Web-based. To provide a Microsoft based solution, the company has announced 2,500 companies will be beta testing the product in the near future.

Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, due for release in the April-June quarter of 2007, will push the software giant into the business telephone market at a time when many large companies shift to cheaper telecommunications powered by Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology.

The new voice server will allow users to instantly call anyone from within Office applications by clicking on a person’s name and initiating a call. For example, a worker who receives an e-mail in Office Outlook from various colleagues can simply click on each colleague’s name to check their availability and place a person-to-person phone call or arrange a conference call.