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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Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD
NBCUniversal adds Bravo, Syfy, E! to Apple TV
NBCUniversal has launched three new apps channels for Apple TV users. Bravo Now, Syfy Now and E! Now brings users access full seasons of current and past episodes of most of NBCUniversal's catalog. The Bravo Now app includes shows like "The Real Housewives of New York Cit," "Below Deck Mediterranean," comedy "Odd Mom Out" and "Top Chef." The Syfy Now app offers up shows like "The Magicians," thriller "12 Monkeys" and the reality show "Face Off." The E! Now app serves up shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Botched," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," Caitlyn Jenner's "I Am Cait," and "WAGS." While some content is free, most content requires users to authenticate via their cable satellite or telco TV provider. http://bit.ly/20K4Pea
Apple rolls out Arabic version of Apple.com
Apple has rolled out a new version of its Apple.com website for Arabic language users in the United Arab Emirates. The site utilizes a right-to-left reading format where it has been updated, although the upgrade is still in progress with a number of page links still in the original English language left-to-right format. Of particular note is that the site debuts an all-new custom Arabic font created by the Tarek Atrissi Design agency, giving it a highly contemporary look and feel. The new support for Arabic on its host website follows the introduction of full support for right-to-left languages in iOS 9, and the addition of Arabic support to Siri late last year. http://apple.co/20JHGIM
Adobe previews Photoshop content-aware crop
Adobe has previewed a new 'content-aware crop' feature from the next version of its Photoshop CC. The new feature is similar to its 'content-aware fill' from the current version of Photoshop CC, and potentially saves users time when cropping photos in a way that might otherwise leave blank white space in the frame. Adobe's 'content-aware' tech automatically assesses the blank space and seamlessly fills the blank space with the nearest related content in the space when a photo is expanded or rotated without the need to manually clone that part of the image. The feature allows users to move a horizon by adding more sky or ground, change the aspect ratio by adding content around the edges of the image and fill in the corners of an image when rotated during a crop. Adobe says the feature is coming soon and will be automatically available to Creative Cloud subscribers. http://adobe.ly/20JDFEu
Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for €30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]
Safari Technology Preview release 5 arrives