Evening tech news: Samsung is planning the European launch of a camera phone capable of taking pictures with a resolution of 2 million pixels; Time Warner says that it talks to Microsoft about some things but that a published report about a possible sale of America Online "is just not true;" Britain's National Archives posted more than 1 million wills, spanning five centuries, on the Internet; and PC Magazine says while the technology is still superior, cost-driven market forces will kill TiVo as OEMs develop cheaper alternatives.
Microsoft is among the potential buyers for Time Warner's America Online division: "Time Warner executives have held discussions in recent months with Microsoft about a potential sale of AOL, The New York Post has learned. In addition, Time Warner lawyers have begun analyzing any potential antitrust issues from such a deal, and to date their conclusion is that there would be few roadblocks to a Microsoft acquisition of AOL, according to sources familiar with the matter."
The Grateful Dead is finalizing a deal with Apple to make every live note they've ever recorded available for download, according to Rocky Mountain News: "'The band has recorded all of its live shows since the late '60s, at first 'just so we could listen back, see what it sounded like and make any changes.'...And compared to most music at iTunes, the Dead's jams are a bargain, he says with a laugh. 'At 99 cents a tune, it's a pretty decent price, because most of our tunes are pretty long.'"
Linux Journal says that PowerBooks are the gold standard among laptops and quotes Borland's CTO as saying "OS X is my favorite Linux distribution". The article says that "PowerBooks now are common as cameras in geek circles. For the past two years at O'Reilly's two big conferences, eTech and OSCon, PowerBooks have comprised about half the laptop population. At ApacheCon last Fall, they were in the majority. Witness this picture, taken at the hackathon that opened the show. There's no doubt that OS X PowerBooks are filling a gap left open by the lack of Linux laptops from major vendors. Most techies I know who use PowerBooks on the road have Linux servers at home."
MacNN readers report that iPhoto photo and album printing are now available to most European countries, although the service apparently requires iPhoto 4, part of iLife '04, and is not supported by iPhoto 2. At Macworld San Francisco, Apple CEO Steve Jobs promised European customers that this feature would be available by March and appologized for the delay in implementing it. Previously, only iPhoto users in the U.S., Canada, and Japan could use the printing features.
Pangea Software today released Otto Mattic 2.0 and announced that Bugdom 2 2.0 will be available in a week or two. Both 2.0 releases add support for 3D anaglyph glasses, based on the code from Nanosaur II. The 3D red-cyan 3D glasses ship with copies of Nanosaur 2 or can be purchased separately for $5.00 from the manufacturer. Additionally, Pangea Software announced that it has started shipping the CD version of Nanosaur II, which sells for $35. The game can also be downloaded for $25.
PodWorks 2.8 ($8) is the latest version of the application for transferring songs from an iPod to a Mac. Version 2.8 adds star rating and composer columns, improved type-ahead search performance, several bug fixes, and more. VirtualKeyboard X 2.2 ($12) is an on-screen keyboard that offers point-and-click typing using pointing devices. The software is designed primarily for disabled person but it can be used also to teach children to write, to prepare kiosk environments, and more. Version 2.2 adds the ability to make the keyboard transparent, make it disappear when not in use, and other features. PhotoReviewer 1.2 ($10) is a photo and image management utility designed for people who work with a lot of photos. The software allows users to quickly scan through a folder of photos and decide whether to keep or remove a particular photo. Version 1.2 adds support for fast display of raw images from digital cameras, a revamped preferences window, and more. PhotoShow 1.6.0 ($15) adds a new export feature to the digital photo album software. The export feature allows slide shows to be deployed as linked HTML files for Web publishing.
E-on Software has started shipping Mover 5, a new version of its software for importing Curious Labs Poser content into the company's Vue d'Esprit 4 and Vue 4 Professional 3D software. Mover 5 allows for the inclusion of fully animated digital characters, enhanced, new motion effects, and network rendering; it also includes over $200 worth of Poser models from Daz Productions, Dedicated Digital, and Trilium36. Mover 5 is available now for $100 and requires Poser 4 or 5. Owners of Mover 4 can receive a free upgrade to version 5.
Logitech today announced the Notebook Optical Mouse Plus, a compact mouse designed for travellers that features a retractable USB cable. The mouse also features two buttons and a scroll wheel and will go on sale in April for $30.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE