Brace yourself: GameStop and EB Games are taking PS3 pre-orders as of Tuesday morning. GameSpot reports that you'll be asked to put down a $100 deposit (via cash, credit or trade-in), and even then, it's not guaranteed that you'll get your console on November 17th. The consoles available will very limited: eight for most stores, up to 16 for the biggest. Purchases will be further restricted to two employees per store and one system per household. Note that all this information applies exclusively to outlet pre-orders, since online orders will start "after software and accessory availability dates are confirmed."
LiveController 1.0 ($2) is a script that controls up to 15 user assignable commands as well as the Play/Stop toggle in Ableton Live from a cellular handset. LiveController currently only works in conjunction with Sailing Clicker, a Bluetooth-equipped cellular phone, a CPU with a Bluetooth module, and Ableton Live audio software. RouteBuddy 1.1.1 ($100) adds numerous features and additional support to the GPS navigation software. Version 1.1.1 adds a GPS status button to the toolbar, includes a preference for coordinate degree formatting, and adds support for .gpx as well as .loc file import. The update also supports dragged URLs from map websites, is compatible with NMEA 2.3 devices, and adds support for NMEA altitude data. [Download - 20.5MB] MacMemoriesManager 3.2 ($70) updates the amateur radio memory channel management software, ensuring IC-7000 defaults to filter 2, fixing the TM-V7 write problem, and offering improved Intel USB/Serial input/output support. MacMemoriesManager 3.2 also fixes a bug in the Intel driver. The software features drag-and-drop support for arranging memories, and transfers radio memories to/from disk profile files as well as an interactive list. [Download - 2.5MB] KidsBrowser 3.6 ($50) brings a new user interface, improved performance, and numerous bug fixes to the Web browser specifically designed for children. KidsBrowser provides a safe alternative to other Web browsers, maintaining a database of approved sites that children can access, automatically blocking any site not in the database. [Download - 9MB] xSort 1.5.1 ($20) fixes numerous bugs in existing as well as previous versions of the Card Sorting tool for Mac OS X. xSort allows users to model and conduct a card sorting exercise in a graphical view that simulates a table with draggable physical cards. xSort also presents the results of the exercise based on statistical analysis and clustering algorithms. [Download - 6.1MB]
Google today confirmed previous rumors by announcing that it has agreed to acquire online video provider YouTube for $1.65 billion in a stock-for-stock transaction. The new deal gives Google an effective monopoly over Web-based video, and could bear serious consequences for Apple as it provides Google CEO Eric Schmidt -- who sits on Apple's board of directors -- a strong influence over Apple's recent movie initiative. Both Google and YouTube earlier today made moves to legitimize their online content by signing deals with major labels such as Sony-BMG, hoping to minimize the amount of copyrighted material available illegally from both services.
Legal experts are commending Apple for taking charge to remedy its stock option grant scandal, despite the implication of two former executives which raised "serious concern" during Apple's internal investigation. The investigation of irregularities -- which has plagued investors with worries of company chief Steve Jobs possibly losing his position -- made significant progress last week to clear the air around Jobs' apparent lack of involvement with the shady accounting practices. "The company has taken every single appropriate step that can be expected to be taken to identify and remedy the past problems," said Mike Koenig, a criminal defense attorney. "We think Apple will get past this unscathed - as long as it doesn't impact [Steve] Jobs," said analyst Shannon Cross of Cross Research. Jobs assertion that he did not understand the accounting implications of the illegal backdating may also help his case, according to Reuters.
Previously hinted at by anonymous sources speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Google today confirmed that it was buying the Internet video provider for $1.65 billion in stock, according to an official press release. The deal will see YouTube retain its existing identity without any expected job cuts or relocation, Google says, as it prefers to keep the younger company's ad hoc culture intact. While exact details of the companies' future plans were not released, the buyout is expected to give YouTube a considerably wider reach than it has had in the past, integrating the video site with Google's extensive advertising and search resources. In acquiring YouTube, Google now becomes the single largest distributor of online video and thus a tremendous influence on content providers as well as video stores such as iTunes. Google and YouTube expect the deal to be finalized by the end of 2006 pending government approval.
Finnish cellphone maker Nokia has been conservative as of late, preferring to update its phones for exercise and music instead of introducing completely new models. The company's Aeon its a step in the opposite direction, demonstrating a likely direction for future Nokia phones. It replaces virtually all of the front face of the handset with a touchscreen LCD interface. Little else is known about the prototype, but the photography reveals clear advantages to the design. Beyond a much larger display, an Aeon-based phone could change its entire interface to suit the user's needs and use virtual faceplates to change the look on a whim. Nokia hasn't issued a press release to accompany the Aeon, which leaves its practicality a mystery.
Quark today announced QuarkXPress 7.02, the latest update to its flagship (Universal) desktop publishing application. The release provides new, up-to-date functionality, including license-transfer features and typographic support for new languages as well as resolution of the most important issues reported by customers since the product shipped, according to the company. The new License Transfer functionality allows customers to deactivate and activate the software without relying on external resources; in addition, the new license agreement allows customers to run previous versions of QuarkXPress in parallel to QuarkXPress 7 on the same machine.
If you were to judge by the PR rhetoric, you'd think the 360 was an unstoppable commercial juggernaut. As usual though, PR lies. According to Next-Gen, Microsoft's gaming division lost $1.26 billion US in the fiscal year ending June 2006. But that's acceptable, COO Kevin Turner tells the San Jose Mercury News. "People forget. Steve [Ballmer] reminds me it took seven, eight, or nine years before Windows was profitable," he explains. "People forget that. We're in it for the long term. This is a company committed to invest for the long term." Microsoft expects to turn the first profit for the 360 in 2008. That may sound dire, but know that Merrill Lynch predicts losses of up to $2.367 billion for the first three years of the PS3.
MacSQL 3.1 Preview Release ($250) is a Mac database management tool with full AppleScript support. MacSQL 3.1 is a significant upgrade offering a Job Manager to schedule unattended database backups, support for generating E-R Diagrams, and updated support for the latest versions of MySQL, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server, and OpenBase. MacSQL 3.1 is a Universal Binary running natively on both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs, boasting more than 100 new features and bug fixes. [Download - 33.7MB, updater 6.2MB] CoverScout 2.2 ($20) is designed to reunite album artwork with songs. The update enables users to easily copy artwork originally applied by iTunes 7 into the music file as a standard ID3 tag. Covers are attached to single songs as well as complete albums so they are always shown, regardless of which application plays the song. [Download - [form]] PictureSync 1.6 ($14) simplifies annotating and batch uploading photos as well as video clips to online services. The application features drag-and-drop integration with iPhoto, iView Media Pro, and Aperture. PictureSync remembers uploads, quickly resizes pictures for faster uploads, supports numerous file formats, and features lossless auto-rotation as well as sRGB ICC color conversion. [Download - 1.7MB] Kids GoGoGo 11.1 ($30) enhances the parental control software for internet browsing, offering live monitoring of what children are doing online. Kids GoGoGo 11.1 improves restsriction by category, offers a better favorites window, enhances the movie quality of Screen log, and improves the filtering engine for Russian sites. [Download - 8.3MB] xTime Project 4.0.2 ($100) is designed to facilitate project management via the realization of production planning. The update brings improved feedback with the cursor, displays task/process names when users print or export any view, and fixes display problems in month/day/week views. Version 4.0.2 also features enhanced import/export, and fixes various small bugs. [Download - 11.8MB]
Almost every computer owner with an external USB hub is likely to know the difficulty of connecting devices without blocking other ports or tangling cables. Online importer Brando has devised a simple solution in the USB Twister Hub. The first two ports can rotate 180 degrees, clearing room for large devices or cables that might run in separate directions. Brando adds that the hub can be powered by an optional AC adapter for printers and other devices that typically require a direct connection to the host computer. The Rubik's Cube-inspired hub works with both Macs and Windows PCs and can be imported through Brando for $26 with the AC adapter ($22 without).
The release of Windows Vista RC2 led many to believe that Microsoft would indeed ship its upcoming OS to manufacturing for the scheduled October 25th date. Testing over the course of the weekend has called into question the status of this final beta release, according to separate journalist reports. Scot Finnie of ComputerWorld notes that commonly available hardware such as SoundMAX integrated audio still doesn't have drivers, preventing many participants in the beta program from using Vista for everyday tasks. "There's just no excuse for this," Finnie said. Similar problems were encountered by PC Magazine's John Clyman, who writes about performance and visual problems that affected a test system despite the near-final state of the OS. "It's not there yet," says Clyman of RC2's quality. Despite the increased refinement over earlier versions, he says, Vista is likely to require an interim RC2 update or even a full RC3 revision before Microsoft can declare the software complete and ready for mainstream use. The OS is not expected to be available to the general public until January.
Belkin today introduced the SportCommand for iPod (F8Z067), a new device that lets you wirelessly control your music while your iPod stays protected. "Strap the fabric remote to your arm, store your iPod in your backpack or jacket, and then listen to all your jams while you snowboard or bike. With its weather-resistant durability, the SportCommand is perfect for outdoor activities, such as snowboarding, mountain biking, and hiking." The water-resistant design offers protection from rips and malfunctions from exposure to the elements with a durable, flexible design and it works through walls, backpacks, and jackets with a 50ft range. SportComand features big buttons for easy control—even with gloved hands, offering controls for play/pause, next/previous track, and volume up/down. It can be ecured to a user's arm, leg, belt, or another strap with tough neoprene and VELCRO closure strap. The SportCommand will ship in November in North America for $80, while launches in Asia, Europe, and Australia are expected to follow shortly. It is compatible with the iPod mini, first- and second-generation iPod nano, iPod w/click-wheel, iPod video, and iPod w/color display.
One of the lesser-known pieces of Wii hardware is the sensor bar. Contrary to what you'd expect, the Wiimote doesn't just send signals back to the console; it has to read your movements from a neutral position above or below your screen. And the sensor bar may be very sensitive to light, it turns out. A contributor to NintendoGal writes that the bar not only goes berserk under halogen lamps, it may stop working altogether if it's in direct sunlight. At September's Nintendo World event, two Metroid Prime 3 kiosks required curtains to work, and a couple of Wii Sports kiosks wouldn't function at all before falling into shadow. It seems clear that Nintendo's optical readers may require serious refinement.
Some news of Wii prices and accessories has come to light thanks to Engadget. The site claims to have a copy of a CompUSA markup sheet, on which you can see the price differential between wholesale and retail. The margin on the console itself is surpisingly low; it's a little over $12 US. You can read the whole sheet after the jump. The site has also managed to get photos of Wii gear headed to Target, but they're generally unremarkable except for a strange pair of official accessories. The "controller gloves" resemble rubber sleeves you can buy for your iPod, and appear to come in two different three-packs: red, blue and pink, or else green, black and silver. The other accessory is a package of dog tags and lapel pins - presumably for sticking on backpacks and keychains.
In August, Sonic's Roxio brand announced that it was testing a new DVD burning system that would let businesses and home users alike record DVDs with built-in copy protection. The first official products of this testing were unveiled on Monday with news that Sonic would be including the latest Macrovision copy protection in its DVD-on-Demand creation program. Though not available for public consumption, the program effectively changes the way movies can be sold online and in stores. Because the technology can be used to create an exact copy of a movie with protection intact, Sonic envisions retail stores where the back catalog of movies is available simply by burning a disc at the store; the company also sees direct download stores that can finally promise physical copies of movies which work properly in DVD players. As with the home-oriented Roxio Venue, DVD-on-Demand will be ready later this year.
Princeton has unveiled its new PMP-BP18 battery pack for video iPod owners who need longer playback time. The battery pack provides significantly longer battery life for the iPod or any USB-equipped mobile device through its lithium-ion battery cells -- which Princeton estimates doubles the battery life for cellular phones with mobile TV support -- the BP18 includes an adjustable stand enabling users to rest the media player at a more natural angle for watching video at a desk or another stable surface. Princeton has not yet planned to ship the new battery pack to North America, however, according to Electronista.
Google and YouTube today both made moves to legitimize their online content by signing video deals with major labels. Sony-BMG and Warner Music will put their own music videos on Google's website, tying them into the AdSense network and placing related ads next to the videos as they play. Sony-BMG, CBS, and Universal Music Group will allow their videos to appear on YouTube with permission, but each have the ability to filter out unauthorized audio and video content. CBS will also be one of the first media outlets to sell videos through YouTube, offering news and TV shows for an undetermined price as well as giving itself the option of placing advertising alongside user-submitted videos it believes should remain, according to Electronista.
Apple will likely report results at the upper-end of or even exceed its guidance of $4.5-4.6 billion in revenue and $0.46-0.48 in earnings-per-share, according to American Technology Research senior analyst Shaw Wu. "We anticipate continued strength in its Mac business (up 6 percent quarter over quarter) driven by MacBook and a rebound in its iPod business (up 5 percent quarter over quarter) helped by new Nanos and initial shipments of its new Shuffle." Wu believes Apple will guide conservatively for the December quarter due to the company's preference for setting reasonable expectations and tough year-over-year iPod comparisons. "For revenue, we believe Apple will likely guide to $5.7-6.1 billion (we are at the upper end at $6.0 billion), up 25-31 percent quarter over quarter." American Technology Research maintains its "buy" rating on Apple shares with a price target of $91 based on strong competitive advantage and growth prospects in large-cap technology.
The two predominant hosts of online videos, Google and YouTube, have been in a heated battle to legitimize their unintentionally dubious catalogs: Google previously launched sales of TV shows and other programming while YouTube has begun signing music labels to host every music video made. The plans of both companies were accelerated today by separate announcements of deals that will see officially sanctioned videos gradually replace the bootleg versions that are often uploaded without permission. In the Google agreement, Sony-BMG and Warner Music will put their own music videos on the search company's website and tie them into the AdSense network, placing related ads next to the videos as they play. Click through for details of the YouTube deal and its unique filtering system.
Native Instruments today announced that its DJ Division will completely concentrate its operations on the Traktor platform and retire the FinalScratch product line in favor of its Traktor platform. NI said it will develop integrated solutions for the DJ market based on its own internal hardware engineering capabilities and expertise, as its partnership with Stanton Magnetics based on their FinalScratch digital DJ system will mutually expire in 2006--with both companies expected to focus on their respective product lines following that date. In addition, NI said that will continue to maintain the FinalScratch user forum on its website until December 31st 2006, but will take steps to provide a single software solution to users by offering a Traktor 3 upgrade ($120/€100) to existing users of FinalScratch 1/2 and to Traktor 3 LE. The company has renamed Traktor DJ Studio 3 to simply "Traktor 3," and adjusted pricing to $230/€200. Due in early November, the free Traktor 3.2 will include a range of new features and improvements as well as support for Intel-based Macs.
Samsung earned significant attention in the crowded flash music player market by introducing a model with built-in Bluetooth. However, the newly released version of the device, named the YP-T9, appears to shed this important feature. With the version released to Asian markets, known as the T9B, owners could connect their jukeboxes to Bluetooth headphones as well as sync data wirelessly with their computers. The American T9 reduces the list of advantages over Apple's players to FM radio and MPEG-4 video support, putting it roughly on par with SanDisk's newer Sansa models. Battery life is rated at 30 hours for audio. Best Buy is the first to carry the YP-T9 in the US and is matching other companies' pricing, shipping the 2GB version for $150 and 4GB for $200.
Discount retailer Target -- which accounts for about 15 percent of DVD sales -- has warned major movie studios that it may "reconsider" its investment in the DVD business if it doesn't receive "equitable pricing." In a letter to major studios last month, Target detailed its concern that new movie downloading services such as iTunes will receive lower prices from studios on electronic copies of movies, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel suggests in the letter that the retailer may cut back on marketing disks, promotional programs, shelf space, and signage. The letter follows a similar warning from retailer colossus Wal-Mart, which reportedly threatened to retaliate against studios if they partnered with Apple to offer digital movie downloads at lower prices than DVDs on shelves. Wal-Mart quickly disputed reports that it had threatened studios, however, and was later rumored to be in talks with Apple over possible digital content offerings.
Apple has begun running three new "Get a Mac" ads on the internet, featuring supermodel Gisele Bundchen. The Gisele ads, first noted in early September, have previously been spotted in Apple retail stores, but were first spotted on the internet on the News.com homepage by Italian website 7BIT. The new "I'm a Mac/I'm a PC" ads humanize a PC and Mac and highlight some of the misconceptions about the Mac platform and its advantages. "Hollywood-Style Movies" touts movie home-movie creation by depicting a real-life model (Gisele) vs. a "work in progress" (a man in drag). A second one called "You can make amazing stuff" depicts a Mac and PC in a therapy session in which a PC "feels" inadequate because he can't do as much as out of the box and can get viruses. The third, dubbed "Macs run Microsoft Office," highlights the work/business functions of a Mac: the PC falls down because he is worried of all the "work" stuff a Mac can do (using Mac Office). Vogue has reported that Apple paid Gisele more than $1 million for the ad spots. [photos after the jump]
Mike Gallo has shared PS3 network secrets with the Official Playstation Magazine podcast. In many ways, the Playstation Network should resemble Xbox Live - players will have a user ID and an online profile, signed in automatically when the console fires up. Disabling auto log-in may be an option. Gallo's most interesting comment, however, is that Full Auto 2 will use Gamespy as a backend, rather than Xfire or some proprietary Sony system. Gamespy is used primarily for server browsing in PC games. With Xfire being used in Untold Legends, it would seem that PSN is going to be far less regulated than XBL. Does Sony have no plans for matchmaking services of its own?
Owners of video iPods who need car chargers and other power adapters are often looking to extend the amount of video playback time for a family vacation or during idle moments at work. The Japan-based company Princeton decided that its new PMP-BP18 battery pack ought to target these viewers by making the user more comfortable. In addition to providing significantly longer battery life for the iPod or any USB-equipped mobile device through its lithium-ion battery cells -- Princeton estimates double the battery life for cellphones with mobile TV support -- the BP18 has an adjustable stand that can be used to rest the media player at a more natural angle for watching video at a desk or another stable surface. Princeton has not yet planned to ship the new battery pack to North America.
In brief: Apple is set to open another retail store, this time in Boulder, Colorado at the Twenty Ninth Street shopping center on Friday, October 13th.... The European Patent & Trademark Office today published Apple's latest trademark/service marks titled "DashCode" under application number 005348693 and "Time Tunnel" filed under application number 005348917.... Computers Unlimited today announced that it will distribute Intego's NetBarrier X4, VirusBarrier X4, Personal Backup X4, ContentBarrier X4, Internet Security Barrier, and Remote Management Console in single-user as well as multi-user versions in all available European languages.... The state of Minnesota has purchased 26 Intel iMacs for St. Paul's Arlington High School lab with funds provided by an antitrust settlement with Microsoft.
Levelground Media today today announced the release of updates to Fattenizer and Vintasion, and also introduced two new plug-ins, Super Graphic and Polishizer. All three digital audio processing plug-ins for use in Audio Unit supporting host environments on Mac OS X. Fattenizer 3.0 ($36), Vintasion 3.0 ($36), Super Graphic 1.0 ($36), and Polishizer 1.0 ($36) offer recording musicians and engineers of all skill levels the ability to enhance individual audio tracks and project mixes by adding user tunable vintage-style 'coloration' and character enhancement with Vintasion, 'fattening' and low-end enhancement with Fattenizer, configurable adjustable band width 36-band graphic equalization with Super Graphic, and audio polishing using precise six-band parametric equalization with Polishizer. The LgM Thermal Pack 2.0, which bundles all four plug-ins together in one package, is $100. All plug-ins are available as Universal Audio Units and can be used in any DAW or host supporting Audio Units, such as Digital Performer, Logic Pro, Logic Express, Garageband, etc. Special "50% off" introductory pricing is available until October 31, 2006.
The first images of Electronic Arts' Skate have surfaced in Official Playstation Magazine, and Jeuxfrance has the scans. As you might remember, hopefully, EA announced the game in September while only saying that it would ship in 2007 with 14 pro skateboarders. Thanks to OPM, we now know that one of the boarders is Danny Way. Way is perhaps best known for jumping the Great Wall of China. Click below to see all of the screenshots.
Although Blu-Ray movies were prepared to launch shortly after the introduction of HD DVD, the novelty of the technology betrayed itself through the discs themselves. Every Blu-Ray movie to date has been stored on single-layer, 25GB discs -- which has often been large enough for the movies themselves at the native 1080p resolution, but rarely enough to include all the special features normally found on regular DVDs or to include them at the same quality as the movie itself. The situation will improve dramatically on Tuesday when Sony Pictures releases a Blu-Ray version of Adam Sandler's "Click" as the first dual-layer, 50GB Blu-Ray movie. Viewers will not only get every special feature at HD quality but also include raw, uncompressed audio. Two other movies from Sony, "Black Hawk Down" and "Talladega Nights," are similarly expected to get the improved quality when they release in November and December respectively. "Black Hawk" in particular will mark the introduction of a technology called Blu-Wizard that can create playlists for special features. Outside studios are also planning to ship enhanced movies by the end of the year: Lionsgate's "The Descent" will arrive by the end of October, while "Kingdom of Heaven" from Fox will ship in mid-November. The movies will be ready just as second-generation Blu-Ray players from Panasonic, Philips, and other companies ship to stores.
Reldata today announced that it has successfully completed Reldata IP Storage Gateway 9200 testing with the ATTO Xtend SAN iSCSI initiator package for Mac, providing businesses that use Mac OS X client/server platform with another solution provider for IP storage. The ATTO Xtend SAN iSCSI initiator package is designed to extend Mac OS X platforms with a reliable iSCSI connectivity, while RELDATA’s IP Storage virtualization appliance provides high-speed iSCSI SAN and NAS access to shared storage resources. The open storage interoperability allows users to consolidate industry-standard Fibre Channel, SCSI and iSCSI storage resources into one single virtualized storage volume pool. RELDATA’s powerful virtualization technology also makes it simple for system administrators to tailor RELDATA IP storage solutions to their needs – whether it’s high performance transactional database or storage-centric applications such as e-mail, web, CRM or ERP solutions.
While appealing to many, ViewSonic's just announced Cine5000 could be excessive for those who simply want to watch DVDs or deliver presentations. The company today announced a much more reasonable DLP projector, the PJ558D. Its maximum resolution is 1024x768, but unlike some other entry-level projectors, it supports 720p and 1080i signals and can scale them to fit. The input options are similarly scaled down but are well-suited to more modest home theaters and business presentations, with VGA input and output as well as RCA and S-video. Support for ViewSonic's own 802.11g wireless presentation adapter is also present for those circumstances when it becomes difficult to string cables from a laptop to a projector at the opposite end of the room. The PJ558D ships today for $999, less than half the price of its Cine5000 sibling.
FireWire Depot today unveiled its S2VR HD 3.75TB SATA II enclosure featuring a PCIe or PCIX host adapter, the newest member of the company's S2VR HD series that supports a 3GB/sec interface capable of sustaining more than 230MB/sec to support 10-bit HD capture and playback. The S2VR is available in capacities from 1.5TB to 3.75TB, enabling users to store up to 7.5 hours of 10-bit HD 1080/60i video or 25 hours of 10-bit SD footage. The S2VR HD includes five removable hard drive trays, and is configurable for performance (RAID 0), protected (RAID 10), or JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks). Performance mode utilizes five SATA drives for maximum throughput. The S2VR HD 3.75TB SATA II enclosure ships for $6,000 with either a PCIe or PCIX host adapter. FireWire Depot also introduced its PCI Express FW-PCIE01 2-port internal FireWire Host Adapter and its PCI Express FW-PCIE02 2-port external FireWire Host Adapter for $60 and $70, respectively.
Gamers who bought Prey through the Triton download service may be in trouble. 3D Realms' Joe Siegler says that the service has shut down, leaving some Prey owners with missing online hooks needed to play their copies. Patches, for instance, were once delivered through Triton rather than Websites. All is not lost however; Triton's Royal O'Brien informs us that fix is in the works to remove Triton dependency. It'll require legal approval, but O'Brien says he has the help of both 3D Realms and Human Head.
Serious music listeners regularly invest thousands of dollars into their speaker systems, but those with particularly large collections may also want to invest in organizing their collections. The Soolos Music System is designed for just these users. At its core is a 17-inch touchscreen control system that lets users choose music by its album art and create playlists without having to use traditional computer controls. The main system, in turn, broadcasts its music wirelessly to as many as 32 different control zones which are accessed by separate 7-inch touchscreen remotes. While this could be considered impressive by itself, Soolos also intends the Music System as a replacement for the faithful audio reproduction of luxury CD players: the minimum available storage is 1TB with drive mirroring, allowing every album to be transferred to the hard drive in a lossless format and backed up in case of a failure. The company will even volunteer to transfer albums to the system in advance and personalize it with song picks and reviews. As the features suggest, the Music System is far from a trivial expense at $12,000 for a one-zone, 1TB system, but with storage for at least 2,000 albums it will clearly satisfy the most dedicated music collectors.
Confirming a story from Famitsu, Sony has said that Resistance: Fall of Man and Genji: Days of the Blade will cost 5,980 yen ($50 US). Next-Gen adds that Motorstorm should sell for the same price. Third parties may be selling at substantially higher amounts; Sega, for example, has said that Sega Golf Club and Sonic the Hedgehog will retail at 7,140 yen ($60). There's no word on the cost of games like Ridge Racer 7 and Armored Core 4. Remember too that currency conversions may not reflect the actual American prices.
TVWeek has posted an interview with Disney/ABC exec Anne Sweeney on the video iPod/digital media revolution, how last year's revolutionary deal with Apple became a turning point for networks, how many are looking for growth opportunities via mobile content delivery. "Looking at the video iPod Mr. Jobs gave her, Ms. Sweeney knew she didn't face a choice of whether to makes episodes available online, but a choice of whether to try to monetize online distribution of ABC content. Assembling the deal that Mr. Jobs and Ms. Sweeney's boss, Walt Disney Co. CEO Robert Iger, ultimately announced in October 2005 was tricky. Due to Apple's secretive development process, Ms. Sweeney was allowed to involve only a handful of people. Everyone signed nondisclosure agreements. At the time, the secrecy seemed merely an annoyance. But after the announcement, angry reactions by station owners and advertisers left out of the loop gave the Disney-iTunes deal a worrisome spin."
Now AAPL Stock: 100.35 ( -0.06 )
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 â‚¬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