Friday, May 02, 2008

Chinese Facebook Clone Xiaonei Raises $430 Million


x.jpgChinese social networking site Xiaonei has raised $430 million in funding from Softbank, according to a report from VentureBeat.

Xiaonei was founded in December 2005 by Qinghua University graduates Wang Xing, Wang Huiwen, Lai Binqiang and Jacky, then was acquired by Oak Pacific Interactive in 2006 for an undisclosed sum. As of November 2007, the site was said to be the most popular social networking site among university students in China, with 15 million registered users and 8.8 million active users.

The company likes to call itself the Facebook of China, and we’d never guess why (note, shot as run through Google Translate, they don’t offer an English version from what I could see):


Information provided by CrunchBase

Crunch Network: MobileCrunch Mobile Gadgets and Applications, Delivered Daily.


Benq C36 Cellphone Thinks it's a Webcam and Radio Recorder Too [Cellphones]


Benq's new C36 cellphone is labelled a "Music Phone" but it also squeezes in a 1.3 megapixel webcam function and has a built-in FM radio with a recording function. This last even has a scheduling function, so you won't miss your shows. It plays MP3s, WAV, MIDI and AMR, has a 2-inch color LCD, built-in speakers, records voice notes, has microSD memory expansion and 180 hours standby and 2.4 hour talk time. The phone even has a "Health management" option, dealing with BMI and menstrual matters—we'd love to have been at the design meeting where they dreamed that up. The little 0.17-pound phone is available in blue, in Indonesia in May at first, with other countries to follow. No info on pricing. [Benq via TFTS]


Dragon Power Station Harnesses Kinetic Energy From Passing Vehicles to Power Stuff [Energy]


truck-traffic-hh001.jpgTerry Kenney's Dragon Power Station prototype works by harnessing the kinetic energy of trucks passing over plates buried in the road and turning that energy into electricity. The system he's got set up now in the Port of Oakland, with 2,500 trucks passing over it in a day, is enough to power 1,750 homes. It's a very interesting concept that can be extended to busier streets, harnessing a little bit of the energy that would otherwise be lost.

It's not all free energy, however, as these trucks slow down ever-so-slightly as they depress the plates in the road. TreeHugger supposes that this would be even better for the times when you actually do want to slow down, like going down a hill, where they could load up on these plates and slow down cars enough to not have to ride the brakes the whole way. Sounds good to us. [Treehugger]


CTL IL1 Netbook $50 Cheaper Than Eee PC, Has Better Specs [Netbook]


Ultraportables or netbooks as Intel is wont to call them, are officially a dime a dozen now, but an upcoming model, the IL1 from CTL (who's making the Classmate 2) looks like it might shake up the market, at least a bit, if being the cheapest thing around is the bottom line. A 1GHz Via processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB SSD or 60GB HDD plus an SD card reader, with Linux or Windows XP. The screen's Eee-sized, an LED-backlit 7-inch LCD, all for "less than $350." It's also got less of a kiddie or toy-look to it than either the Classmate or Eee PC, which might be a selling point for suits. Full stat smatter below.

CPU & PLATFORM Via C7-M 1000MhZ Processor Bios: 1MB Flash Rom Via VX800U Chipset ACPI 2.0 Power Management

200 Pin Socketx1
200-pin socket x 1

7" LCD, 800x480
Embedded Graphics
Color LCD TFT, LED Backlight
Dual Display Support through 15 Pin D-Sub out

4GB Solid State Flash Drive
Supports boot from Card Reader and USB
2USB Ports
USB2.0 Interface for external storage

WI-FI 802.11 B/G
Mini Card form factor, single antenna

Integrated Mono Microphone
Microphone in and Line out
2 integrated 1-watt speakers

I/O Ports
2 USB 2.0 Ports
1x RJ-45 10/100 LAN
56K Modem
1/8" External microphone-in jack
1/8" External headphone jack
3-in-1 SD/MMC Memory Card Reader

Operating System
Microsoft Windows XP Ready
Supports Linux

Dimensions & Power
Size: 9.6"W x 6.8" x 1.7"
Weight: 2.6 LBS
4-cell Li-Ion Battery
Approx 4.5 Hours Typical Usage

Integrated Camera
30FPS @640x480, .03M
Integrated Microphone



JVC Makes First Super Hi-Vision Display, 16 Times Full HD Resolution [Super Hi-vision]


JVC's new Direct-Drive Image Light Amplifier can produced images at a staggering 8192 x 4320 resolution—that's 35 megapixels, or around 16 times more than full HD. In fact, JVC are saying the little single-device reflective liquid crystal imager has the highest resolution in the World, and the first to enable projectors to produce "Super Hi-Vision" images. The technology behind it has been worked on since 2003, refining the pixel count and contrast upwards with each generation. Last year JVC made a 1.27-inch 4096 x 2400 version, which went on sale in a projector in February 2008. So does this mean we'll see the new 1.75-inch, 20,000:1 version in projectors soon? Very likely, but we expect you'll find it in professional projector gear, rather than for your home. [Akihabaranews]