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Elgato ships EyeTV 2.3.1
Elgato has released a maintenance update to its Personal Video Recorder (PVR) software: EyeTV 2.3.1, the software for its EyeTV hardware devices (and some third-party devices), allows users to record TV/cable, pause any video feed, organize/edit clips, and more. Already comppatible with the Apple Remote (and integrated with Front Row software), the update brings an updated graphical user interface used in the "Full Screen Menu"--now designed to complement Apple's Front Row application. It also improves integration by updating the way users enter/exit EyeTV's full screen menu and allows users to change the order in which recordings are displayed. EyeTV 2.3.1, a free update for registered users ov v2, is a Universal Binary and requires a G4/500MHz or faster running Mac OS X v10.4 or later.
Airlines Allow Cellphones
Though Boeing is discontinuing its Internet service and British airports have banned almost all carry-on small electronics out of anti-terrorism precautions, two airlines today announced that they would permit cellphones on some of their flights. Australian carrier Qantas said it would start a three-month trial in early 2007 on domestic routes serviced by Boeing 767 passenger jets. The majority of business passengers Qantas has surveyed said the service would be "a good idea, particularly [for] e-mail access," according to Qantas General Manager of Customer Product and Services Lesley Grant. Irish carrier RyanAir will be more aggressive pending regulatory approval, launching its new OnAir cellphone service on 50 Boeing 737 aircraft in mid-2007 and outfitting its entire fleet with cellphone support by 2008. Both RyanAir and Qantas will share similar levels of service, charging global roaming rates for data and voice features.
Profits jump for Hon Hai
Hon Hai Precision Industry, the parent company of Apple's iPod manufacturing partner Foxconn, achieved a 43 percent gain in second quarter profit on demand for music players and mobile phones. Bloomberg says that new income climbed to NT$12.8 billion ($388 million) from NT$8.9 billion a year earlier. (According to the report, the earnings were derived by by subtracting first-quarter earnings from six-month figures released by the company today; however, the company could not firm the numbers.) In addition to manufacturing iods, the company is presently vying for Apple's laptop business and also boosted earnings by supplying parts for Motorola Inc.'s Razr phone and Sony Corp.'s PlayStation consoles. In the first six months, net income climbed 40 percent to NT$22.8 billion from a year earlier. Sales expanded 30 percent to NT$359.5 billion, according to the report. Hon Hai's subsidiary Foxconn today reduced the amount of damages it was seeking from two journalists in connection with a lawsuit over a story about iPod factory working conditions.
Screentime mProjector 2R10
Screentime Media today announced mProjector 2R10 for Mac OS and Windows, its tool for fast, powerful application development in Flash. The company says it is the only way to create applications with "Flash Shaped" windows: mProjector extends the power of Flash by adding new ActionScript classes directly into Flash and allows users to build applications within Flash, from a command line, or from the mProjector standalone application. 2R10 now offers native Intel-based Mac OS X playback, drag & drop support, command line building from Eclipse or Flex and integration into the Flash IDE for rapid application development.
Red Steel online play
As you may recall, Nintendo has said there will be no Internet play in third-party Wii titles until 2007. Ubisoft's much-hyped Red Steel is among the affected. So what kind of multiplayer will the game have, if any? The answer is four-player split-screen, which should create some interesting collisions as four people swing their Wiimotes in front of the same TV. What's more intriguing is that Ubi's Stephanie Langlois adds, "Online will maybe one day be announced by Nintendo but it won't be for the launch [of Red Steel]. In terms of gameplay I can't reveal anything really but what I can say is that internally we are making tons of tests." Could some sort of patch or re-issue be planned for 2007?
SpyDisk Pen USB Drive
Though the likelihood of the pen ever being used in its marketers' intended context is slim, the Japanese SpyDisk ballpoint pen could be valuable to anyone concerned that a standard USB flash drive is too conspicuous to be left alone in public. Unscrewing the pen cap reveals a hidden USB drive with between 128MB and 512MB of flash memory that can plug directly into any computer. An SD card slot concealed in the pen clip offers room for extra storage as well. No plans are currently in place to sell the SpyDisk in North America, but a $24 US entry price for the 128MB version places it within reach of importers.
Philips Skype Phone
The recent influx of Skype-capable phones shows a clear shift towards VoIP as a practical reality for home telephone users. Nevertheless, almost all of these phones share the glaring limitation of an inextricable link to a PC. Philips claims to be the first major manufacturer to break from this trend. Announced today, the VOIP841 does not require a computer to send and receive Skype calls at all. Its base station connects to the Internet and gives the handset the ability not just to handle Skype calls, but also to sign up for the service directly through the device. The base unit transmits data over a 1.8GHz DECT signal to avoid wireless interference and can also connect to a regular phone line for traditional calls. Prices were not available on launch, though Philips expects the VOIP841 to ship before the end of the year. A full photo of the handset and base station is available after the jump.
Boot Camp, Mac GUI
In brief: Apple has confirmed plans to hold a special event on September 14, coinciding with rumors of an Apple movie store launch in that time period.... Other World computing has announced price reductions on its Mac Pro RAM kits now starting at $500 for a 2GB upgrade kit.... MacNN Blogger Neo has found a trademark filing by Apple for the term Boot Camp with some far-reaching descriptions.... Mac GUI has released a new suite of free web tools and services designed specifically for Mac OS X users.... Layers magazine has announced the close of applications for its MacBook Pro sweepstakes now scheduled to close 11:55PM (GMT-5) on September 1st -- the winner receives a MacBook Pro loaded with Bootcamp, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows XP and the entire Creative Suite 2 from Adobe.
Dark Messiah on Steam
Valve has announced that in addition to stores, Dark Messiah of Might and Magic will also be distributed through the Steam network when the game releases in October. Steam is currently the venue for the multiplayer beta being hosted by GameSpot. The fit is a natural one for Arkane's action-RPG, since it uses a modified version of the Source engine found in Valve's Half-Life 2. Ritual's Sin Episodes is another third-party Source title on Steam.
ToDo X 2.1 ($15) is a "todo" list application which supports multiple to-do lists and allows a to-do item to appear in more than one list; it also supports unlimited attached notes including clickable URLs, items can which can copied, linked or moved among lists via drag-and-drop. Version 2.1 adds "Page Setup" options, new Import capabilities, and several minor user-interface refinements and performance tweaks. ToDo X is a Universal Binary compatible with Mac OS X 10.2 or later.
[Download - 564KB]
UltraToolBar 2.0 ($50) is a "toolbars made simple" plug-in for REALbasic, allowing developers to easily add working cross-platform toolbars to their applications created with REALbasic. Version 2.0 adds a rewritten drawing algorithm for toolbar buttons, improved support for both composite and non-composite window, support for minimum width properties, implementation of LVStatusBars, and several minor bug fixes. UltraToolBar requires REALbasic 2006 Release 3 (or newer) Standard or Professional running under any version of Mac OS X. [Download - 141KB]
BookSmart 1.3 (Pay to Publish) is a book creation tool designed to help writers express their text creatively with an designed page layout or text formatting; allowing users to publish their books for various prices relative to page count. Version 1.3 enables BookSmart users to use any font installed on their computers and offers a new vertical book option specifically designed to showcase business books and blogs, full bleed dust jackets, and four new ready-to-customize cookbook themes. BookSmart 1.3 requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later running on a 1GHz or faster G3-. G4-, G5-, or Intel-based Mac. [Download - 18.4MB]
Daylite Productivity Suite 3.1.2 ($200) is a management utility designed to help users manage their projects and day-to-day scheduling; it offers the ability to create calendars, support for Palm and BlackBerry devices, contact management, and large project management. The update adds the ability to control the number of recent items, support for contextual menus, an improved global search feature, enhanced support for placeholder items, and fixes several minor bugs. Daylite is a Universal Binary requires Mac OS X 10.4.5 of later running on any Mac 1 GHz or faster. [Download - 24.3MB]
TimeCache 6.1.4 ($50) is a utility which tracks the users time and expenses on billable projects; users enter time and expenses in a Daily Log which is like an electronic timesheet. Version 6.1.4 adds support for resizing columns, improved support for selecting and editing entries with mouse clicks, improvements for languages that use non-Roman glyphs, and fixes several minor bugs offering over stability and performance improvements. TimeCache requires Mac OS X 10.2 or higher. [Download - 4.7MB]
Mac CrossOver beta debuts
Codeweavers has released a free beta of CrossOver for Mac, its utility for Windows application 'emulation' within Mac OS X. The utility allows Windows application to run independently inside of Mac OS X without using Windows itself, i.e., users of Codeweavers' CrossOver do not have to install Windows on the machine in order to run the programs; eliminating one of the needs of previous solutions such as Apple's BootCamp or Parallels. The beta runs certain applications on the compatibility list without restriction for 60 days. CrossOver for Mac OS X will work on any Intel-based Mac running any (Universal) version of Mac OS X.
Nintendo mag no "big" deal
In case UK readers were going to rush out tomorrow and buy a copy of the Official Nintendo Magazine, don't bother; some snooping by a British blog has revealed that ONM's "BIG exclusive" for the cover is none other Battalion Wars 2, a previously announced game that's far less exciting than something like Mario Galaxy. A Zelda DVD will come with the mag, but this page at the British Board of Film Classification tells us it should be a simple retrospective using video and screenshots. UPDATE: So much for snooping. The information is official. The DVD should have a bit more than expected though, with music, icons, and wallpapers for the series.
Beta CrossOver for Mac
The use of Intel processors and the development of Boot Camp have both helped Apple sharply increase marketshare after years of slight decline, giving switchers the option to continue running Windows-only applications as they transition to MacOS X. A consistent requirement of Boot Camp and other multi-OS solutions, however, is that owners must have a stand-alone copy of Windows to install. Codeweavers' newly released beta of CrossOver for Mac eliminates this requirement, allowing emulation of Windows programs without installing Windows itself. The 60-day free test version currently runs a limited selection of Windows software with a compatibility list receiving periodic updates as new programs are verified. CrossOver currently supports any Intel-based Mac.
EA in-game advertising
As if the present state of advertising weren't intrusive enough, EA has signed deals with Massive and IGA Worldwide that will see ads wedged into the middle of several upcoming EA games. The ads will only show up in American and European versions. Massive has the rights to place ads in a maximum of four titles, starting with Need for Speed Carbon, while IGA will have access to three games beginning with Battlefield 2142. The incentive for EA to accept advertising is substantial, as many game budgets are regularly in the $10-20 million US range.
Sharp 1080p DLP Projector
Sharp added to its prior 52-inch LCD announcement by presenting two new DLP projectors on Thursday. At the forefront of the presentation was the XV-Z21000 (pictured), Sharp's first full 1080p projector with a high 12000:1 contrast ratio. The new high-end system has component, DVI, S-video, and two HDMI inputs. It ships as soon as October for Europe, but is clearly meant for the most dedicated enthustasts and professionals with a 10000 Euro ($12793 US) price. A more mainstream model, the XV-Z3000, was also announced today and provides a native 720p signal with a 6500:1 contrast ratio. It includes one HDMI and one VGA connector and should be available immediately in Europe for a relatively affordable 2300 Euros ($3070 US). Both projectors are likely to see North American introductions in the near future.
iPod speaker system
A Japan-based company has released an innovative way to listen to music stored on an iPod throughout the users house, reports Electronista. The new company, ZMP, and established stereo manufacturer Kenwood have released Miuro, a robot which features an integrated iPod dock and Kenwood speakers. The small robot has two wheels which allow it to move from room to room broadcasting music from the docked iPod. The robot not only takes connects to an iPod for music playback, but can also broadcast wireless streams from computer programs such as iTunes. Miuro features a small camera and various sensors to plot out routes. The Miuro is priced at $1000 (USD) in Japan and aims to sell the robot internationally in the second half of 2007.
message2net now Universal
Nova media today debuted version 1.2 of message2net, a Universal Binary application for SMS and phonebook management. Message2net allows users to send, receive and manage SMS-messages on a Mac OS X computer using a connected mobile phone to transmit or receive the SMS-messages; i supports advanced features such as multipart-SMS, group-SMS and direct access to Address Book. Also included in the message2net package is a phonebook management utility which allows users to edit contact information stored on SIM-cards. Users can also transfer their contact information directly of the SIM-card to Apple's Address Book application. "We are unhappy with the lack of Mac OS X support of the mobile phone manufacturers and hope to fill the gap with our solutions." explained Jan Fuellemann of nova media. Version 1.2 reworks the mobile phone connection method to improve stability and performance while offering support for generic Bluetooth pairing, more SIM-card support, and improved message formatting and time information. Message2net requires Mac OS X 10.3.9, 10.4.x and a compatible phone. [Download - Demo]
Soulblighter now Universal
Project Magma, a group of Myth enthusiasts that have continued development work after Bungie granted them access to the game source code, has released a public beta update to Myth II: Soulblighter which adds Universal Binary support, allowing the game to run natively on Intel-based Macs. Also added in this update are Mac OS X versions of Bungie's Fear and Loathing tools, the ability to cap the frames per second reducing CPU use, and reverse compatibility with Myth II 1.5.1 for networked gameplay. The Project Magma staff notes that this patch is released as a public beta to test it out on many systems, not because it is proven unstable in anyway. Myth II is set in a 3D world of dangerous alliances and ancient evil, where all beings tremble before the wrath of Soulblighter, cruellest and most cunning of the evil Fallen Lords. The game is a real-time tactical game based on squad and unit management rather than resource gathering and expansion. [Download - 5.2MB]
Nokia N80 Internet Edition
Having previously released its N80 as a general-purpose smartphone, Nokia today unveiled a new version targeted specifically at cellphone users who depend on Internet utilities as often as phone calls. The N80 Internet Edition follows Nokia's earlier slider design but improves its usefulness for online communication. A larger 2.1-inch, 352x416 display fits more data onscreen at once. Software functions are also greatly expanded. The N80 Internet Edition supports VoIP calls through third-party software such as Skype and ships with a suite of tools including Yahoo Go for instant messaging and Flickr photo gallery uploads, Amazon Shopper, and a MobiPocket eBook reader. Connection options remain as extensive as before and include Bluetooth, EDGE mobile broadband, quad-band GSM, and WiFi. Nokia's updated phone should go on sale during September with prices determined by carrier service plans. See full photos of the new N80 after the jump.
MS: XBL plans, 360 stocks
Chris Lewis, the head of Microsoft Europe, proclaims that the 360 will have "no shortages anywhere in the region over Christmas." This is in stark contrast to the launch and Christmas periods of last year, when Microsoft's manufacturing failed to keep up with demand in any region. Lewis says that production has tripled since then. Moving on to the topic of Xbox Live, Famitsu says that Microsoft will continue the up-to-the-minute Marketplace content it provided during E3 2006. Demos and trailers will probably be limited to Japanese gamers for the upcoming Tokyo Game Show, but at X06 (Sept. 25-29), the floodgates should open.
Rethinking the User Manual
Manuals are intended as essential guides to every aspect of a product - but electronics manufacturers are quickly learning that end-users are daunted by their increasing size, reports The Asahi Shimbun. Where a Matsushita television manual was only 68 pages long as recently as 1996, by 2002 a later version of the set included a much larger 216-page text. Companies in Japan and abroad have realized that overly complex manuals are ineffective in teaching users about special features and add to the price of each new system. Paper is being replaced with visual cues onscreen and on the system to indicate next steps for a given command. Even the paper itself is being revised: new Olympus cameras include a manual that focuses on the actions needed for a particular photo technique, rather than describing the controls in isolation. Ultimately, electronics designers hope to make a device's ease of use as important to potential buyers as the feature set.
World of Warcraft news
If you've wondered why Blizzard has never talked about porting World of Warcraft to the Wii, 360 or PS3, here's why. As Blizzard COO Paul Sams says, "One really big challenge is that one of the key features of a massively multiplayer game, especially WoW, is consistent and regular content updates. They require hard drive space, and there's a finite amount of that on each of those platforms." Another problem is the amount of certification that content updates would have to go through. "There's no certification process [for Blizzard PC games] outside of Blizzard's internal process. When you introduce Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo, you introduce a whole new certification process." In other WoW news, Blizzard states that there will probably be no open beta of Burning Crusade. This may change, but it's unlikely to do so.
Seirra wireless EVDO Mac
Sierra Wireless recently announced two new USB adapters to take advantage of newly upgraded mobile broadband connections offered by Sprint and other providers. Electronista reports that Sprint recently announced plans to upgrade its cellular network to support EVDO Rev A. broadband and that one of the new cards, dubbed AirCard 595U, is compatible with both the original EVDO standard and its more recent upgrade. The new AirCard ships with a cradle to make swapping a single card between desktops and portables easier. Both it and the almost identical, HSDPA-oriented AirCard 875U are Mac OS X (and Windows) compatible. The 595U will ship in the fourth quarter of this year to coincide with Sprint's upgraded service. Pricing and system requirements are not currently available for either model. [images included]
Sierra Wireless USB Cards
Shortly after the Sprint announcement of enhanced EVDO Rev. A broadband for its cellular network, Sierra Wireless has announced USB adapters that take advantage of both the new EVDO connection speeds as well as its HSDPA counterpart on GSM networks. The AirCard 595U is built for both the original EVDO and its latest update; in turn, the AirCard 875U can transmit data from HSDPA networks as well as EDGE and GPRS. Both new cards have GPS support for location-based functions and include internal batteries to maintain connections at the very limits of wireless signals. A cradle (pictured) is included with either card to simplify swapping a single card between desktops and portables. AirCard 595U models ship in the last quarter of 2006 to coincide with the Sprint network launch, while 875U cards are not expected until the first quarter of 2007. All cards are compatible with either MacOS X or Windows.
Pres. candidate in-game
The MMO game Second Life will be receiving an unusually high-profile visit today when Mark Warner, a Democratic presidential candidate, drops by to promote his political action (i.e. fund-raising) committee. The former governor of Virginia will be sporting his own avatar at the Second Life New Globe Theater, arriving there around 3:30 PM Eastern. Basic membership in the game is free, so sign on up if you want the rare chance to speak with a US politician in person. Says Warner: "In Second Life, distances and time differences vanish. It will allow us to reach people through a whole new medium. Social technologies can be great tools for political change, and virtual worlds like Second Life might be the next tool for engaging people in the real world democratic process. We want to use Second Life to continue the conversation about the direction of our country. My avatar is also pretty funny looking. That alone makes it worth checking out."
Battlefield 2142 downloads
The official Website for 2142 indicates that in September, players will be able to pre-order and (later) download the game through EA's Downloader service. This will be the first major release through Downloader, as most of the items currently being offered are patches, trailers, and Battlefield 2 expansions. Moreover, players who pre-order 2142 through the service will have access to the demo 24 hours before anyone else on the Web. The full game is due October 17th.
USR9630 Skype Phone
One potential danger of a Bluetooth Skype phone is interference: Bluetooth operates on the same 2.4GHz frequency as WiFi and some conventional cordless phones, which could result in choppy audio. USRobotics is aware of this in releasing its new USR9630 Skype phone. The new handset's choice of DECT 6.0 instead of Bluetooth prevents most wireless signals from affecting call quality, according to the company. Phone range is also substantially better than Bluetooth: users can roam as far as 150 feet away from the main transmitter while indoors. USR9630 callers are also free to use the phone for conventional phone lines, as the base unit plugs into an analog phone line as well as the computer's USB port for Internet-based Skype calls. USRobotics' system depends upon a Windows 2000/XP PC and will reach the market in September for a price of $120; additional handsets (up to three more) will sell for $70 each starting in October.
Miuro iPod Robot
An unusual but inventive method of portable music listening around the home has been announced in Tokyo, reports Japan's Mainichi Daily News. At a press conference today, startup company ZMP and stereo manufacturer Kenwood released the Miuro, a small robot with an integrated iPod dock and speakers. Owners can command the two-wheeled robot to move from room to room broadcasting audio from an iPod docked at the top of the unit; camera and sensor accessories exist to help the robot map locate itself and take familiar routes. Those without iPods can also stream audio wirelessly to the Miuro through programs such as iTunes. ZMP is already accepting Japanese sales for the $990 US shipping price and hopes to sell internationally by the second half of 2007.
Spark's Fall of Liberty
Codemasters and Spark Unlimited (Call of Duty: Finest Hour) have announced a new FPS for the PC, 360 and PS3, tentatively named Fall of Liberty. The game will be set in an alternate 1950's where the Nazis won World War II and conquered the United States. A swastika is flying over the White House, and what rebellion exists is threatened by a nuclear weapon poised to be dropped on Manhattan. Players will join a resistance group fighting a guerilla campaign. Nothing else is known except that the game is intended to ship in Q4 2007.
OmniOutliner 3.6.1 ($50-$70) is a utility which allows users to create, collect, and organize information in an effort to kick-start the creative process; it offers flexibility and a unique document structure. Version 3.6.1 adds an improved template menu, an enhanced selection of templates, an improved user interface, more international language support now including Simplified Chinese, and fixes several minor bugs. The "Pro" version also was updated, boasting all the same improvements as the standard edition. OmniOutliner requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
[Download - Outliner, Outliner Pro]
MusicRenamer 1.0 (free) allows users to automate the renaming of music files to a consistent and easily readable format using the ID3 tags embedded in the 'tunes' to help users avoid hours of manually editing the file names. With several simple steps, the music library will be renamed to the following format: artist, album name, track number, and song title. It supports MP3, AAC, M4P, and M4A--formats common to many user libraries. MusicRenamer requires Mac OS X 10.3 or higher. (Available for $10 on CD.) [Download - 3.0MB]
CheckBook 1.7 ($15) is a financial management solution design for Mac OS X to be easy, intuitive replace "monster applications" like Quicken that offer a number of features users don't need. Version 1.7 of CheckBook features a new way to review scheduled entries called Look Ahead, also features is schedule reminder balancing, scaled printing support (via Page Setup), the ability to lock individual accounts, improved international language support, and several minor bug fixes. CheckBook is a Universal Binary and requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later. [Download - 2.6MB]
Sonicfire Pro 4.2 ($800) helps users to create music custom soundtracks which fit target videos which other audio software cannot complete, while remaining fast and easy to use. Version 4.2 adds improved migration support, enhanced audio and video synchronization, sorting of single-layer and multilayer in the Maestro feature, and corrects several minor bugs. This update requires Sonicfire 4.x running on Mac OS X 10.4 or later. [Download - 8.7MB]
Conference Recorder 2.0.2 ($15) updates the software solution to record iChat audio and video chats and offers the ability to act as an add-on for iChat AV which automatically transforms conference sessions into QuickTime movies. Version 2.0.2 adds the ability to create higher quality recordings, save movies at higher resolutions, and includes several performance enhancements. Conference Recorder is a Universal Binary and requires an iSight, or iChat compatible camera and iChat AV 2.0 or later running on Mac OS X 10.3.8 or later. [Download - 714KB]
Sharp Aquos 52-inch LCD
Holiday shopping in southeast Asia will be particularly ruthless for home theater enthusiasts, as the major LCD television manufacturers from the region are all releasing larger, higher-definition displays this Fall. Yesterday, Sony expanded its Bravia line to include a 52-inch LCD and smaller 1080p sets; Samsung added a 52-inch set of its own that should be the first to arrive in North America. Joining the competition is Sharp, which is today introducing new Aquos LCD televisions at sizes of 42, 46, and 52 inches. All are capable of 1080p and are available with or without side speakers. Where the panels are truly unique compared to rivals, says Sharp, is the use of eighth-generation LCD glass. The new manufacturing process can obtain eight 46-inch panels from a single sheet of glass where earlier techniques get only six, dramatically reducing the final price. Sharp says its 52-inch set should sell for the equivalent of $5115 US in Japan when it ships October 1st - a stark contrast to the $6833 price for the Sony Bravia model of the same size.
iTunes Movie Store Sept.?
Wal-Mart is displeased with the prospect of Apple taking a bite out of its movie sale business, reports BusinessWeek. The report says that Apple will launch the 'iTunes Movie Store' as soon as mid-September along with a new iPod. Wal-Mart has reportedly become so concerned for its business that it has threatened not to sell DVDs from companies which agree to sell on iTunes. The prospect of Wal-Mart not selling DVDs for Hollywood executives is a terrifying thought -- currently Wal-Mart accounts for 40 percent of DVD sales, about 17 billion dollars of the market. Earlier this year, Wal-Mart played out this move by initially refusing to sell Disney's "High School Musical" after it popped up on iTunes prior to Wal-Mart getting a chance to sell it. In addition, the report says that Apple only has Disney signed-on for iTunes movie sales--despite a comment from Lions Gate that it had a deal with iTunes already.
Exodus from 3D Realms
Duke Nukem Forever has been the butt of vapourware jokes for ages, but it is an active project. What's more, it seems to be having new problems. Shacknews has learned that as many as ten employees have left 3D Realms since the end of 2005, with a few of them having departed just this week. This shrinks the DNF team from around 24-28 people to about 18. Four of the exiles have turned up at Brothers in Arms developer Gearbox Software. Sources for the Shack speculate that unless 3D Realms stops its continual cycle of upgrading the graphics engine, DNF may never be released under the company's own aegis. UPDATE: President George Broussard claims that "Physics and animation systems [which some of the ex-employees worked on] are virtually finished and shippable. It's simply maintenance and polish from here on out." We'll believe this when we see a new gameplay movie - the last trailer was released five years ago, at E3 2001.
Apple in Rome, Zurich
In Brief: Following confirmation of an Apple Store coming to Zurich, Switzerland, the Apple Store in Rome, Italy is not expected to open before February 2007, according a new report that has posted photos of the Mall "Roma Est".... Apple is seeking feedback for interesting topics on its .Mac blog, which covers Aple's suite of Web/internet (paid) services, while Microsoft's Mac BU has started its own blog called Mac Mojo, the official weblog for the Office for Mac team at Microsoft.... The entire first chapter of Jeff Carlson's latest book is now available as a free downloadable PDF file: "iMovie HD 6 & iDVD 6 for Mac OS X: Visual QuickStart Guide."... Tubesock is a new shareware application that lets you save YouTube videos to your iPod, PSP or iTunes library by converting any YouTube video to the H.264 iPod format or the MP4 PSP format (or as an MP3 for audio-only iPods).
Foxconn backs down
Apple's iPod manufacturing partner Foxconn has drastically reduced the amount of damages it is seeking in a lawsuit against two journalists in connection with an allegedly false report on the working conditions in Foxconn's iPod factories. Following a report that said Apple was going to help mediate the dispute between the parties, Foxconn has slashed a libel claim from 30 million yuan ($3.77 million) to just 1 yuan, according to the Xinhua news agency. Foxconn, which manufactures iPods for Apple, said it would also apply to unfreeze the journalists' assets, which include their homes, bank accounts and a car, according to the report. The Chinese manufacturing giant, which is also reportedly vying for additional laptop production business from Apple, was seeking damages caused by a tarnished reputation from false charges of labor abuse. "This is a victory for Chinese media," Weng Bao, one of the two reporters working for the Shanghai-based China Business News, was quoted as saying.
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