Copyright © 2015
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.
Now AAPL Stock: 95.01 ( + 0.99 )
Swift benchmarking suite goes open-source
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well. http://bit.ly/1W8u0EU
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram is now rolling out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in version 7.1.5 of its iOS app. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app; additionally, some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X
Bambooti wooden skins for MacBooks
Bambooti has introduced premium wooden skins for Apple laptops that allow users to customize any design or logo directly on the case. Each Bambooti skin is handcrafted from sustainably managed forests, and are hand sanded and spray-finished to create an ultra smooth exterior. Bambooti's wooden skins start at $65 on the fully-funded Kickstarter which includes a custom design or logo of the user's choice that will be engraved on the product. http://kck.st/1PhE6Sb
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes Power Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO
Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ