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News Archive for 06/10/05

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ViewSonic Cine5000 DLP front projector

10/05, 9:45pm

ViewSonic Cine5000

News of front projectors in recent months has focused on bringing the cost of high-end units down; ViewSonic is looking instead to improve the entry models. Its upcoming Cine5000 DLP projector should provide strong image quality without veering too far into the high end. Capable of a native 720p resolution, the 5000 uses the recent Texas Instruments DarkChip2 chip that should improve the black levels in relation to most other DLP projectors. ViewSonic boasts a 2,000:1 contrast ratio and 1,000 lumens of brightness for this new model. The unit is thankfully future-proof as well and has an HDMI input with HDCP support, component, S-Video, and VGA to connect it directly to a Mac or PC. The price will be steep versus other models: the Cine5000 officially retails for $2599, and even at its estimated unofficial price of $2000 it will still draw comparisons to less expensive models from companies such as Mitsubishi. However, ViewSonic believes that the processing hardware will overcome the criticism when it ships the projector later this month.

DEVON updates think, agent, note

10/05, 6:15pm

DEVON releases updates

DEVONtechnologies today released updates to DEVONthink Professional and Personal information management software, as well its DEVONagent intelligent internet research assistant and DEVONnote intelligent notepad. DEVONthink Professional 1.2.1 features full screen editing of rich text files with customizable background and foreground colors, allowing users to manually rearrange items in the Three Panes view, and recognizes more plain text file types. DEVONagent 2.0.3 ships with the improved advertisement filter -- used by the built-in Web browser to block inline advertisements of RSS feeds -- while the Plugins & Scanners panel highlights groups with special plug-ins for clarity. DEVONthink Personal 1.9.8 "inherits" many improvements from its Pro sibling such as "bookmarklets," the improved advertisement filter, enhanced full screen mode, and support for third-party QuickTime file types. DEVONthink Professional ($80), DEVONthink Personal (40), DEVONagent ($50), and DEVONnote ($20) all require Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.

Universal Valentina for REALbasic ships

10/05, 5:40pm

Universal Valentina 2.4.3

Paradigma has released Valentina Technology Release 2.4.3 for all of its developer and business products. The release provides numerous minor productivity improvements in addition to new, advanced SQL features and Universal Binary support for the REALbasic development system. Valentina business products include Valentina Office Server for Windows and Mac OS X (PPC and Intel) and Valentina Studio, a fast and easy to use visual tool for creating, browsing, querying and administering both local and server-side Valentina databases. The Valentina 2 Application Developer Kits offers royalty-free incorporation into desktop applications, while Valentina Developer Network allows royalty-free distribution of Valentina Embedded Server. Valentina technology includes support for Valentina XML import/export, Valentina SQL (SQL 92 + extensions), native Unicode UTF-16 support, simultaneous data exchange, transparent file formats, and more.

Briefly: free 2GB nanos; Wi-Fi printing

10/05, 5:35pm

Free 2GB Nanos, USBGear

In brief: Difusi is giving away a free 2GB iPod nano for every 200 cases it sells, and set no expiration date on the promotion.... USBGear has unveiled its new Combo Bluetooth printer adapter that converts almost any printer into a Bluetooth wireless model that computers can recognize using the original driver software.... Monotype Imaging today announced that it has passed the 100,000 milestone, offering as many font products via its Fonts.com online store.... Digital Video Expo today announced that its 10th annual conference and exhibition will return to the Los Angeles Convention Center, where it will run from November 12-17th focusing on HD, traditional video infrastructures, and the emergence of non-traditional distribution channels.... One user has posted a video of a PC controlling a Mac system remotely -- reportedly via an ADSL connection -- at high speed, resulting in only a slight delay between systems.

MOTU ships 8pre FireWire audio interface

10/05, 5:25pm

MOTU 8pre FireWire audio

MOTU is now shipping the 8pre, a 1U rack-space FireWire-based 24-bit, 96kHz audio interface. It offers eight mic inputs, 8-channel ADAT optical digital I/O and MIDI I/O can function as an 8-channel analog-to-digital converter when not connected to a PC. Designed for convenient desktop or rack-mount operation, it offers a variety of controls and status LEDs on the front panel for easy access and connectors on the rear panel for efficient studio installation. The device features eight 24-bit 96kHz analog inputs equipped with TRS/XLR combo jacks as well as front panel controls for each individual input. It also offers 24-bit 96kHz analog main outs, two banks of ADAT optical digital I/O connectors (in and out), MIDI in and out jacks, and two 400Mbit FireWire jacks. The 8pre front panel offers an individual set (eight sets total) of three front panel controls: a trim knob, 48V phantom power switch and a 20 dB pad switch for each of the 8pre's eight mic inputs, headphone connection with volume knob, and eight 5-segment ladder LEDs. It is available now for $600.

Sony plans Bluetooth speakers, headphones, more

10/05, 5:00pm

Sony Bluetooth Speakers

In spite of its reputation as a leading-edge technology company, Sony has been slow to adopt it through its products. At a recent Japanese dealer convention, however, the company unveiled a raft of new audio hardware designed to integrate the wireless standard. One of these, so far named only the HWS-NEW (pictured, left), is a Bluetooth audio transmitter that acts as the hub for multiple audio devices. It can toggle between serving as a transmitter and receiver, either broadcasting audio to Bluetooth stereo speaker sets like its SRS-NEW counterpart (right) or receiving the audio from a wireless source.

Also revealed was a set of Bluetooth headphones, the DR-NEW2, that can use its included Bluetooth transmitter to both receive audio from a cellphone and pause the music when that same cellphone receives a call. These early examples have yet to be given firm prices or release dates, but they should be available in Japan and abroad within the next few months.

Apple scandal implicates former execs

10/05, 4:30pm

Apple scandal, execs

Former Apple chief financial officer Fred Anderson -- who resigned from the company's board of directors -- and former Apple legal chief Nancy Heinen -- who independently sought legal counsel in May of this year -- could be the two unnamed former executives mentioned in Apple's recent statement, according to one industry analyst. "Apple mentioned it has 'serious concerns' regarding two unnamed former executives who may be responsible for the counting, recording, and reporting of questionable stock options grants," said American Technology Research senior analyst Shaw Wu. "From our assessment, we believe the executives could be former CFO Fred Anderson, who resigned from the Board of Directors, and former general counsel Nancy Heinen."

hField Wi-Fire triples wireless range

10/05, 4:20pm

hField Wi-Fire Antenna

The just announced QuickerTek Connect may already have a challenger in the race to extend wireless range. An American startup firm named hField has just released its Wi-Fire external antenna for laptops. As with the Connect, the Wi-Fire connects to a laptop's USB port and amplifies the wireless signal. Unique to hField's system is its radar-style receiver. The antenna can be rotated horizontally until the indicator shows a strong connection. Hotspots as far as 1,000 feet away or signals as weak as -98 dBm can be picked up by the device, according to the company. It currently works only with computers using Windows but is expected to work with Macs soon. Interested laptop users can order the Wi-Fire today from the hField website for $109; students get a special $89 price at their local campus stores.

Apple CEO clear of stock scandal?

10/05, 4:10pm

Jobs clear of scandal?

Several industry analysts today agreed that Apple CEO Steve Jobs is very unlikely to lose his executive role at the Cupertino-based company, following reports that Jobs knew of the options backdating but was unaware of possible accounting implications. "Regardless of the outcome and as we have mentioned before, we continue to believe that even in the worst case scenario where Apple is guilty of improper options grants, we do not believe Steve Jobs is liable, the reason being the compensation committee at Apple is run by an independent board that is not comprised of employees of Apple," said American Technology Research senior analyst Shaw Wu. Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray discounts any possibility of Jobs being forced out of Apple: "The findings concluded no legal wrong-doing for Jobs, thereby eliminating the remote risk to Jobs' position at Apple."

Makers of HDLoader fined for more than $9 million US

10/05, 4:00pm

HDLoader makers fined $9M

Divineo and its subsidiaries have lost a case brought to a California District Court, Next-Gen reports. Judge Claudia Wilken has ruled that the company broke the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) when it sold its software and mod chips, allowing people to copy complete PS2 games to Sony's optional hard drive. As a result of the judgment, Divineo has been ordered to pay $9,541,600 in fees. The DMCA prohibits the manufacturing, sale or distribution of items and services that can aid in the reproduction of copyrighted data. Some gamers may have used HDLoader to copy illegal game files (from the Internet or elsewhere) to their hard drives.

BlueParrott B150-TK headset for distance drivers

10/05, 3:55pm

BlueParrott B150-TK

Long-distance truck drivers almost certainly need Bluetooth headsets more than most others. While for office workers a cordless headset is more a matter of convenience, for truckers the ability to take a phone call on the road is often the only opportunity to speak with non-truckers (often family and friends) before the next stop. BlueParrott says its B150 headset, now rechristened the B150-TK, is designed to be as helpful as possible to truckers as well as anyone who spends many hours on the road. The adjustable boom microphone has active noise cancelling to reduce the intrusion of engine noises and the other loud noises that typically permeate a truck cabin. It also uses a more conventional headband instead of the smaller (but less reliable) single-piece design of so many other headsets. A 12-volt vehicle charger is bundled with the B150 so it will remain powered regardless of how long the trip may be. BlueParrott says it's available immediately for $125.

Jumsoft releases Keynote Themes 5.0

10/05, 3:20pm

Keynote Themes 5.0 debuts

Jumsoft today released Keynote Themes 5.0, featuring 30 professional-grade themes and up to 24 layout masters specifically designed for each theme. Jumsoft more than doubles the number of themes standard in Apple's Keynote, thus "giving users double the assurance that they will find the perfect theme for their presentation--whether it be commercial or scientific, technical or legal, educational or simply entertational," the company said. "This new version also instills users with a whole lot of confidence that not everyone else will be using the same theme." Keynote Themes 5.0 was designed to be compatible with all versions of Apple Keynote. It retains 27 versatile themes from an earlier version and adds 3 new ones: Art, Chameleon and Wild. After purchase, all 30 Jumsoft themes are conveniently displayed in the Themes menu of Apple's Keynote. Keynote Themes 5.0 requires Apple Keynote 1.1 or later. Apple iWork '06 is recommended. The package is available for $45 and is $20 for registered v3.0 users.

ASUS W5Fe first official laptop with external display

10/05, 3:15pm

ASUS W5Fe Laptop

ASUS made it a point to exhibit its external laptop display technology at the Intel Developer Forum last month as a demonstration of the company's progress. Today, news has been received that the prototype will become a production model. The W5Fe, as it is now known, is a 12.1-inch portable with a dedicated screen and navigation buttons that can be used for several roles that don't depend on the main system, such as playing music or checking stored e-mail and weather information. The developer of the display is none other than iPod processor developer PortalPlayer, which claims that the Preface technology at the heart of ASUS' laptop saves battery power and can run for hundreds of hours when the computer itself is off. Expect the W5Fe to ship in early 2007, when the necessary Sideshow feature is available in Windows Vista.

Rainbow Six: Vegas demo on OXM disc

10/05, 3:00pm

R6: Vegas demo on OXM disc

The next issue of Official Xbox Magazine will contain a demo of Rainbow Six: Vegas, 1UP notes. Copies of the new OXM go on sale October 24th. The demo's content will include a single-player level, called Dante's Casino. If that's too little for you to justify the cost of a magazine, you can always wait a month for the Xbox Live demo, or the full 360 game that's due on November 14th. The Ubisoft tactical shooter should also ship for the PC and PS3 in the same timeframe. A separate PSP game is being prepared for December 5th. UPDATE: Ubisoft says Europe will get the Xbox Live demo on October 23rd.

Sony MDR-NC22 active noise-cancelling earbuds

10/05, 2:45pm

Sony MDR-NC22 Earbuds

The size and portability of active noise-cancelling headphones preclude most commuters from wearing them on the way to work. Sony Japan was thinking of this when it demonstrated its MDR-NC22 earbuds at CEATEC Japan this week. The new earpieces use the familiar approach to noise cancellation from headphones in a more compact form: microphones outside each earbud sample ambient noise and neutralize it with an equal sound generated by a processor, which in this case is stowed away in a small external brick instead of the earbuds themselves. Sony says the system can eliminate 75% of background noise for up to 50 hours on a single AAA battery. Japanese listeners will have access to the NC22s soon; a worldwide launch will follow soon afterwards, as the new models replace the NC11s already available elsewhere.

Supreme Commander beta sign-ups about to close

10/05, 2:20pm

Supreme Commander beta

Here's the deal: if you registered with the Gas Powered Games "Garage" Website prior to October 2nd, you're eligible to get into a limited beta of Supreme Commander. The catch is that the time to enter is running out - submissions will no longer be taken as of tomorrow at 3 PM Eastern. To try your shot at the beta, go here and follow the directions to the letter. Supreme Commander is the spiritual successor to Total Annihilation, widely considered to be one of the RTS genre's archetypal games alongside Warcraft and Command & Conquer. The new game features immense battlefields and fully independent unit AI.

USB Combo Bluetooth printer adapter

10/05, 2:05pm

USBGear Bluetooth Adapter

Wireless printing is valuable to laptop owners or anyone who needs access to a printer regardless of which computer they use at home. While printers with 802.11 or Bluetooth built-in are frequently expensive, adding the function to an existing printer is now possible through an adapter from USBGear. The Combo Bluetooth printer adapter converts almost any printer, including USB and parallel port models, to a Bluetooth wireless model that the computer can recognize using the original drivers. USBGear describes the adapter as a useful way of printing from a PDA or another handheld that may not have an easy way to connect to the printer directly. The connector works with Macs, Windows PCs, and any other Bluetooth-equipped system that supports Bluetooth printing. It ships today for $68.

iTunes adds Starbucks Hear Music

10/05, 1:45pm

iTunes, Starbucks tracks

Apple and Starbucks today announced the availability of the Starbucks Hear Music catalog on the iTunes Music Store, allowing iTunes users to preview, purchase, and download a variety of Starbucks popular Hear Music titles. Hear Music produces a wide range of albums showcasing new and classic artists including the well-known Artist Choice series, Opus Collections, Debut Series releases by emerging artists, as well as new works from major artists. Starbucks Hear Music offerings will be available in a special new Starbucks Entertainment area within the iTunes Music Store, and will include a wide variety of popular content as well as playlists created specifically for iTunes.

iLive Home Docking System for iPod

10/05, 1:05pm

iLive iPod dock ships

iLive has unveiled its Home Docking System with support for any dockable iPod. The device can output photos or videos to a TV, and includes a DVD drive to play movies directly from discs. The docking system also includes an AM/FM clock radio, as well as auxiliary audio inputs to support other audio devices. A wireless remote offers basic iPod functionality from across the room, and the system includes two side-firing subwoofers that deliver 75W of power, according to Electronista. The docking system includes a built-in charging cradle, a blue backlit LCD display with a digital clock, and dock inserts for iPod nano as well as iPod mini. iLive is shipping its Home Docking System in black or white for $160.

New Apple patents surface

10/05, 12:45pm

Apple files new patent

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office today published Apple's patent application titled "Efficient techniques for modifying audio playback rates," which relates to audio playback and efficient playback rate adjustment on a portable media device. Apple filed for its "iPod" trademark in Europe, and listed its Hong Kong application as the Priority date in the filing. The European application mirrors the Hong Kong application's International Classes which are noted as 9, 16, 28, 35, 38, 40, 41 and 42. The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office today also published Apple's patent application for a "Method and apparatus for detecting a router that improperly responds to ARP requests," which was originally filed in April of 2005.

Wii production even better than expected?

10/05, 12:30pm

Wii prod. truly massive?

It seems like no one will have problems finding a Wii. While Nintendo has been tossing around the figure of a million-plus consoles by November 19th, UBS reports that two million were built between July and September, and there may be as many as 11 million ready by the end of 2006. Nintendo's public predictions have been capped at four million. Assuming the UBS story is true though, this may, ironically, cause problems for the company. Flooding the market with goods could well decrease demand, at which point the resulting surpluses might only be dealt with by cutting prices. A boon for gamers could hurt Nintendo's long-term financials.

Zoom H4: pro portable digital recording

10/05, 12:20pm

Zoom H4 Digital Recorder

Recording audio professionally when away from a studio is not always a simple process, especially when the analog source needs to be converted to a digital format. The four-track Zoom H4 by Samson, by contrast, can meet many of the requirements musicians and reporters might have when in the field. It includes two condenser microphones for stereo recording, and also has two XLR inputs for capturing directly from instruments or other microphones. All sound is instantly converted to either 24-bit uncompressed audio or 320Kbps MP3s that are then stored on SD cards; a 128MB card is included. Up to 6.3 hours of the uncompressed audio can be stored on a 2GB card, according to Samson, though using the recommended pair of AA batteries will provide only four continuous hours of recording. The company is offering the Zoom H4 now at $299, which is unusually low for audio recording at this level.

Samsung t509 Plum, other phones arrive at T-Mobile

10/05, 12:05pm

Samsung Plum at T-Mobile

The US branch of T-Mobile thrives on obtaining exclusive phones to attract subscribers from other major networks, and has become especially friendly to Samsung in light of the Korean company's tendency towards ever slimmer fashion phones. This last fact became apparent today after T-Mobile announced the availability of three new Samsung models in its lineup. The most notable of these is the pictured t509 Plum, so called because of its rare dark purple color. Outside of its hue, the Plum is attention-getting thanks to its 0.39-inch thickness, EDGE broadband support, and a low cost of entry. T-Mobile carries the phone for $50 with a two-year contract.

Other choices made available today are the t619 flip-phone and the t629 slider. Both share a 1.3-megapixel camera as well as EDGE; the t629 has extra support for music playback and includes a microSD slot for storage. The t619 ships for $50 with the same two-year plan as the Plum, while the t629 can be had for $150.

iLive Home Docking System for iPods

10/05, 11:25am

iLive iPod Docking System

Stereos with iPod docks are now common, which leaves electronics makers with the need to truly distinguish themselves if they hope to garner significant attention. The iLive Home Docking System may accomplish this through the sheer number of features. The iLive stereo can output photos or videos to a TV and includes a DVD drive to play movies directly from discs. An AM/FM clock radio and auxiliary audio input are similarly regular features, and many of the functions (including basic controls for dockable iPods) can be managed by a wireless remote. What may be most worthwhile for comparison shopping is the audio quality: most bookshelf stereos lose some or all dedicated subwoofer strength in the name of size, but the iLive set has two side-firing subwoofers and delivers a strong overall 75W of power. The Home Docking System ships in black or white for $160.

Codemasters announces Heatseeker

10/05, 11:25am

Codemasters' Heatseeker

Codemasters has announced Heatseeker, an aerial combat game from IR Gurus (Heroes of the Pacific). SPOnG reports that the title will ship in early 2007 for the PS2, PSP, and most importantly, the Wii. Gameplay is being compared to the fast pace of Sega's After Burner, but unique content will include ground targets and a selection of real-world aircraft, from the F-15 to the Su-47. A curious choice is the F-117 - in the real world, the plane is neither a fighter nor equiped with any anti-air weapons. If the Gurus aren't messing with facts, it could be that the game will actually have a stealth mechanic. Codemasters has yet to say if the Wii title will use motion-sensing controls like the PS3's WarHawk.

Best Buy, Real, SanDisk take on Apple

10/05, 11:15am

Best Buy takes on Apple

Retail giant Best Buy today announced that it will join forces with RealNetworks and SanDisk to launch a new online music store, increasing competition with Apple and threatening Microsoft's recent move into the digital music market. The new music store will take advantage of Sansa music players, which offer support for Real's Rhapsody DNA subscription method to automatically download recommended music as a listener's music habits develop over time. Best Buy, RealNetworks, and SanDisk are hoping that the integration of a retail store, an online store, and a music player will mimic Apple, according to Electronista. Subscriptions will cost $15 per month, and the new online music service will launch alongside the players on October 15th.

PC Pro crowns Mac Pro fastest PC in UK

10/05, 11:00am

Mac Pro crowned fastest PC

Apple's quad-core Xeon-based Mac Pro set new records in the UK's first independent speed test of Apple's high-end system, according to PC Pro. Tests revealed that CPU-intensive tasks are "fabulously fast" as long as the running application can use all four cores. Testers immediately abandoned Mac OS X to install Microsoft Windows XP via Apple's Boot Camp beta software. "The results, in terms of pure performance, [speak] volumes for the ability of Intel's new processors - and Apple's ability to build systems around them." The Mac achieved record-breaking speeds in the multiple-applications test -- where testers run demanding software such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, and a music decoder simultaneously -- keeping all four cores constantly busy. "The result was almost three times faster than the reference Pentium D-based computer that PC Pro's [lab] test scores are based on."

ASUS unveils fast display with webcam

10/05, 10:50am

ASUS Display With Webcam

Despite the increasing prevalence of webcams in Macs and Windows laptops, destkop displays usually go without any built-in cameras to lend a more natural viewing angle to video chats. ASUS on Thursday launched its PW201 display as a solution. The 20-inch screen incorporates a 1.3-megapixel camera at the top that connects to the attached computer through USB and can pivot to adjust to the height of the user or the angle of the screen itself. The PW201 is also viable as a compact TV with built-in component, RCA, and S-video inputs in addition to two 3W speakers. ASUS further claims that the display is game-friendly with a 2ms response time.

Additional announcements from the company include the MW201U and MW221U, 20- and 22-inch displays with smaller speakers and computer-only video input. Shipping and pricing details are unavailable.

Briefly: MacBook mod kits; BodyPaint 3D

10/05, 10:40am

MacBook mod kits

In brief: iToppers.com has unveiled an easy way to customize Apple's MacBook with some color ($17, shown at right).... In addition to the launch of Cinema 4D R10 (announced yesterday), Maxon has announced a "landmark" update to BodyPaint 3D with new 16 and 32-bit image manipulation capabilities.... Bla.st is aiming to create the worlds largest visual online Mac directory where anyone can advertise their business, products, or website to an international audience for free.... Fast Icon has released "Finder Emoticons," a set of 10 freeware icons inspired by Apple's Finder icon designed for use with desktops, instant messengers, blogs, and websites.... Digidesign has announced that ABC's hit TV series Lost has begun an entire season making use of the company's ICON integrated console environment, as well as Pro Tools HD 7.2 for all facets of audio post production.... Microsoft has unveiled its new Software Protection Platform, which makes use of the controversial Windows Genuine Advantage technology first introduced with later Windows XP updates.

Best Buy teams with Real, SanDisk for music service

10/05, 10:15am

Best Buy Music Service

Most retailers prefer to remain agnostic to the music players they sell; even Best Buy's in-house Insignia brand is regularly given equal footing compared to other models. The company announced on Thursday that it would abandon this practice with a new partnership between itself, RealNetworks, and Sansa manufacturer SanDisk. The deal will see the three companies launching a new online music store that takes advantage of Sansa music players equipped with support for Real's Rhapsody DNA subscription method, which automatically downloads recommended music as a listener's music habits develop over time. More after the jump.

Artist's canvas MacBook sleeve ships

10/05, 10:10am

Artist's MacBook sleeve

Wrappers has launched "My Sleeve Not Yours," a laptop sleeve made from artist's canvas that allows users to paint, print, stencil, draw on, or otherwise decorate the sleeve in any fashion. The waterproof, quilted black microfiber lining makes a practical protective sleeve to guard the notebook against minor scrapes or bumps, and the inner lining is removable to ease the process of applying a custom design. "My Sleeve Not Yours" is tailored for Apple's 13-inch MacBook, featuring untreated heavy duty artist's canvas made from 100 percent cotton, according to Wrappers. The company suggests priming the canvas sleeve before painting it, and sealing it with a waterproof coating. The customizable canvas sleeves for 13-inch MacBooks are available for 16.

Sony desperate to re-brand identity?

10/05, 10:10am

Sony's desperate re-brand?

Sony is keen to find a new public image, says online marketing magazine Mad.co.uk. Though still a major force in the gaming and electronics industries, the company is not the dominant power it once was, and there have been severe PR problems with the PS3 that reach back to "in-game" footage of Killzone 2. Mad writes that Sony is specifically hunting for an ad agency to create a new corporate branding campaign; at the moment, consulting firm Wolff Olins is examining "brand identity and positioning." The company wants its cutting-edge image back. Might we suggest sticking to the purpose of a console and not trying to be an all-in-one entertainment centre?

Connect extends MacBook wireless range

10/05, 10:05am

QuickerTek's Connect

QuickerTek today announced MacBook Connect, its wireless booster for MacBooks. The Connect product boosts the signal between the internal AirPort card and the AirPort and AirPort Extreme Base Station or other 802.11 wireless access point from vendors such as Belkin, dLink, Linksys and others. Nearly doubling the wireless range of the MacBook, Connect is a 200 milliwatt repeater that delivers nearly four times the RF power of the internal MacBook wireless networking. Powered by a USB connection or AC adapter, the device can be attached to the MacBook case or kept on the desktop. MacBook Connect also features a powerful 2dBi external antenna and also accepts a variety of external antennas through the included antenna connector. The company also noted that the Connect generates four to five times more RF output and has a more sensitive receiver than the AirPort Express. Connect works with any version of Mac OS X and only requires a browser for setup; it is available now for $200 and backed by a 1-yr warranty.

Daylite 3.1.3 adds OpenBase 10 support

10/05, 10:00am

Daylite 3.1.3 released

Marketcircle today released Daylite 3.1.3, adding OpenBase 10 as well as stability improvements to its productivity management software. Daylite is designed to help users manage projects and day-to-day scheduling with projects, mail, labels as well as envelopes, and more. The application enables users to create calendars, offers support for Palm as well as BlackBerry devices, and provides easy contact management. The software features Mac OS X Services menu support, allowing users to create and attach notes from Apple Mail or from any Services-aware application. Daylite requires Mac OS X 10.4.7 or later running on a 1GHz G4-, G5-, or Intel-based Mac with at least 768MB of memory. Each user license costs $150, and a free trial is available online. Registered users can upgrade for $80.

Convert Google gadgets to Dashboard

10/05, 9:55am

Amnesty Generator in beta

Mesa Dynamics today announced the public beta release of Amnesty Generator, a free utility for Mac OS X that converts any Google webpage gadget into a Dashboard widget. Earlier this week, Google announced that it was opening its Google Desktop Gadgets framework to web developers allowing "Universal" gadgets to be embedded into web pages without the need for additional software. Amnesty Generator automates the process of embedding this gadget code into locally hosted web pages that are implemented inside Dashboard widgets. Widgets created with Amensty Generator can be installed in Apple's Dashboard environment, Mesa Dynamics' desktop widget environment, Amnesty Widget Browser or even converted into standalone Mac OS X applications using Mesa Dynamics' Amnesty Singles. The 0.5 beta release of Amnesty Generator requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later. Amnesty Generator is a Universal Mac OS X application and is free of charge.

Macware releases PowerSlides

10/05, 9:45am

PowerSlides released

Macware today released PowerSlides for Keynote and PowerPoint, offering fresh presentation backgrounds coupled with guidance to deliver clearer messages through the use of slide design templates. PowerSlides feature more than 200 designer backgrounds, over 300 textured backgrounds, 15 progressive backgrounds, and more than 100 pre-formatted slide templates. PowerSlides also comes with 50 template sets that include title, text, and print variations. "Progressive Backgrounds visually show the passage of time or dynamic action as each slide helps guide an audience through your message. This can show the phases of the moon, a human in action, the cycle of a single day, and much more." PowerSlides are available for $40 from Apple Stores and other major retailers.

Nokia 2865i arrives at Alltel

10/05, 9:35am

Nokia 2865i at Alltel

As much attention as smartphones can receive, simpler handsets can also be noteworthy when their manufacturers devote the same level of care. An example of this is another Nokia release today, the 2865i. The company announced that entry-level phone would make an American debut with the carrier Alltel. The 2865i is simple -- its technical features revolve around Bluetooth and web browsing -- but it also has a tall, slender design which is less common for budget phones. The price may also appeal to those seeking that slightly greater sense of style. Alltel is shipping the phone today for $10 with a two-year contract or with a trade-in. Click through for a larger photo.

Logitech brings ChillStream controller to PS3

10/05, 9:35am

ChillStream pad goes PS3

One of the chief complaints about gamepads is that they demand a tight grip. Different hand sizes aside, there's a problem that's almost universal: sweaty palms. No one likes sweating, and it's even worse when you end up soaking your controller. To this end Logitech released the ChillStream pad for the PC (pictured), and now the company has announced a console equivalent for the PS3. All ChillStream pads are fitted with a 40 mm fan and several vents aimed at the fingers and palms. In the case of the PS3 version, the ChillStream will also come in two different colours, silver and black. The pad is expected to go on sale for $39.99 US when the PS3 launches in November.

Intuit's "Universal" QuickBooks 2007

10/05, 9:15am

"Universal" QuickBooks

Intuit today announced a Universal version of QuickBooks program for Mac, its flagship business application. Developed to run natively on both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs, QuickBooks Pro 2007 for Mac also includes a new Layout Designer feature that allows users to easily create customized, professional templates for invoices, estimates, purchase orders, statements, sales receipts and credit memos: users have full control over placement of logos and text on the form, and can format borders, colors and background colors any way they like on a variety of business forms. The company said that templates customized in prior versions of QuickBooks for Mac can be used with the program but cannot be edited (and that QuickBooks for Windows templates are not transferable). Other new features including the ability to create and print deposit slips, streamlined application of single payments to multiple jobs, a customizable toolbar, improved help, and a new, interactive Tutorial Center.

Battlefield 2142 demo schedule

10/05, 9:00am

BF2142 demo schedule

The release timetable has apparently shifted somewhat. If you've pre-ordered the Collector's Edition of the game, today's the day you can grab the demo in advance through EA Downloader. Everyone else will have to hold tight until tomorrow morning, when GameSpot will have the next exclusive until October 7th at 10 AM. At that point all Websites will (finally) have the chance to host the file. Yes, we hate exclusive downloads too. At least there should be demo servers up and running by the time the public is ready to play. UPDATE: FiringSquad has slightly different info. They say that the GameSpot downloads will start tomorrow at noon EST, but will open up to IGN at 9 PM EST. The schedule is otherwise the same.

Adobe Contribute 4 gains blogging tools

10/05, 8:55am

Adobe Contribute 4 ships

Adobe Systems today released Adobe Contribute 4 software, a new version of the web publishing solution designed for business, education and government workers to easily and safely contribute content to the Web without having to learn HTML. Version 4 offers new blog publishing capabilities, unified web publishing, enhanced Microsoft Office integration for Windows users, and Adobe Flash video support. The new unified web publishing feature enables users to post and publish content to multiple Web sites and blogs using its visually intuitive authoring tools (and can work offline). Contribute 4 works seamlessly with Macromedia Dreamweaver from Adobe, site administrators give authoring permission and can maintain Web site integrity, and look-and-feel even when multiple authors update content across the site. It is available for Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later for $150. Upgrades from earlier versions are $80.

Nokia 5500 Sport Music with pedometer

10/05, 8:55am

Nokia 5500 Sport Music

Frequent exercisers now have the option of using dedicated music players such as the Nike+iPod Kit or Sony's S2 Sports Walkman. For some, even these hybrid devices may be an unnecessary addition to their collections. The Nokia 5500 Sport Music is designed to appeal to technology minimalists by merging their cellphone, exercise tracking, and music into a single handheld. A variant of the existing 5500 model, the Sport Music has a built-in pedometer that monitors calories and distance to sync them later with a PC. Users also receive an armband, a bicycle holder, and a sport-oriented headset for calls or music during a run. A GPS module is an option for long-distance exercise.

Beyond its new focus, Nokia's new phone ships with a 512MB microSD card to store music, a 2-megapixel camera for photos and videos, and supports text-to-speech for reading SMS messages aloud. It's already shipping to European customers for 350 Euros before service plans or taxes; a North American launch has not been mentioned.

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