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    Thursday, August 27, 2009

    Reuters - Bolt says he may take up long jump

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    Bolt says he may take up long jump

    Thursday, Aug 27, 2009 3:33PM UTC

    By Brian Homewood

    ZURICH (Reuters) - World 100 and 200 meters champion Usain Bolt is also fixing his sights on the long jump.

    "I definitely want to try the long jump," the triple Olympic gold medalist told a news conference on Thursday. "I think I would be a really good long jumper.

    "I've messed around with the long jump since I've been at school and I'm definitely going to give it a try."

    American Mike Powell, whose long jump world record of 8.95 meters has stood since the 1991 world championships, said last Friday that Jamaican Bolt could jump nine meters in the event.

    Bolt won the 100 and 200 at this month's world championships in Berlin, breaking the world records in each event.

    The Jamaican, who is due to run in the 100 and 4x100 relay at Zurich's Weltklasse meeting on Friday, said he had not yet discussed the long jump seriously with his coach or set a date for when he could take up the event.

    "It's just a case of me wanting to try it," he said.

    Bolt, who spent an hour at Zurich railway station at lunchtime signing around 3,000 autographs, said the recent success of Jamaican athletes in sprint events was because many had stayed at home to train rather than move to the United States.

    "When you go to the States you get a lot of injuries because you have to run week after week," he said. "I have a good coach who understands this.

    "The guys who are doing well are the ones who stayed in Jamaica, they can decide when they want to run."

    (Editing by Tony Jimenez)

    Reuters - Sharp eyes niche between netbooks, phones

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    Sharp eyes niche between netbooks, phones

    Thursday, Aug 27, 2009 10:29AM UTC

    TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Sharp Corp said it plans to launch a paperback-sized mini mobile PC that features a quick start-up time, touch-screen display and full keyboard, targeting niche demand between smartphones and netbooks.

    Smartphones, such as Apple's iPhone, pack many computer functions in regular cellphones, and netbooks are smaller and cheaper than regular notebook PCs and optimized for simple computing tasks such as Web browsing and email. Both have enjoyed robust demand despite the global downturn.

    "You can take cellphones anywhere with you, and they are always on. But you have to live with a small display. Notebook PCs offer a large display and full keyboard, but their battery life is short and it takes time to start them up," Sharp Executive Vice President Masafumi Matsumoto told a news conference.

    "We are introducing a mobile device that you can take with you wherever you go and comes with all major notebook PC functions."

    The new product, dubbed "NetWalker," has a high-resolution LCD screen and runs 10 hours on a single charge.

    Sharp plans to launch the device in Japan in September and expects it to sell for about 45,000 yen ($480).

    The company aims to sell 100,000 units by March 2010.

    No specific timing was set for release overseas, Sharp said.

    (Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

    Reuters - Microsoft cuts high-end Xbox price by 25 percent

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    Microsoft cuts high-end Xbox price by 25 percent

    Thursday, Aug 27, 2009 12:29PM UTC

    By Gabriel Madway

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp plans to slash the price of its high-end Xbox 360 video game console by $100, or 25 percent, stepping up the price war in the video game console market following a similar move by rival Sony Corp.

    Effective Friday, Microsoft will drop the price of the Xbox 360 Elite to $299.99, just days after Sony cut the rival PlayStation 3 to $299.

    Analysts have said that the cuts would put pressure on Nintendo Co Ltd to lower the price of its best-selling Wii console, but for now the company is not changing the price.

    "We don't have such a plan," Nintendo spokesman Yasuhiro Minagawa said when asked if the company plans to cut prices on the Wii.

    The Xbox is the No. 2 console in the U.S., behind the Wii, which sells for $249. But Xbox sales are up 17 percent in the U.S., the only console to show growth.

    The price on the entry-level Xbox Arcade model will stay at $199.99, and Microsoft will phase out its mid-range Pro console, leaving it with two models. The Pro will sell for $249.99 until supplies run out.

    Microsoft spokesman David Dennis said the price cut was in the works for some time, and was not a response to Sony's move, which was announced last week at the Gamescom video game trade show in Cologne, Germany.

    Rather, Dennis said the price reduction would attract new buyers and help simplify its product mix for manufacturers and retailers as well as customers.

    "It really makes the decision for consumers a lot easier," he said. "They're either price conscious and they gravitate toward the Arcade or they the want the full Xbox 360 experience."

    Game publishers such as Activision Blizzard have been clamoring for console price cuts, which help boost sales of software.

    The industry remains mired in a slump brought on by a lack of big-name releases and a recession that has pinched consumer spending.

    Despite the slump, Hirokazu Hamamura, President of Japanese game magazine publisher Enterbrain Inc, says that Nintendo may resist a Wii price cut.

    He suggests that the more powerful PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 machines are not attractive to Wii shoppers, who enjoy a range of family and fitness-based games.

    "The price cuts by itself won't stop people from buying Wiis. The users are too different," he said. "With Nintendo, the issue is not about the price so much as saturation and ability to grow in new markets."

    Microsoft shares were down 8 cents to $24.47 in thin premarket trading.

    (Additional reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka and Mayumi Negishi in Tokyo, and Franklin Paul in New York; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Derek Caney)

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