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Forums October 13
Forums roundup: Members are discussing the value of Apple computers and the high price myth associated with them..... Other users are taking part in a poll to surmise which users will release MXM upgrade cards for the 24-inch iMac.... Another user shares an interesting find for MacBook and MacBook Pro users looking to control their fan speeds in the form of a new application.... Another member looks for help upgrading the optical drive in an aging PowerBook.... Meanwhile, users comment on the possible class action lawsuit by MacBook owners due to "Random Shutdown Syndrome" plaguing the laptops.
Refurb Mac Pro Quad Xeon
Apple has added a refurbished Mac Pro Quad-Core Intel Xeon workstation to its list of discounted goods, featuring two 2.66GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors, 1GB (two 512MB chips) of 6676MHz DDR2 fully-buffered DIMM ECC memory, a 250GB Serial ATA 4Gbps 7,200-rpm hard drive, a 16x double-layer SuperDrive DVD/CD burner, and an NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT graphics card with 256MB of video memory for $2,199 -- 13 percent off the list price of $2,499. Apple is also offering the Mac Pro's predecessor -- Power Mac G5 systems -- which include the Dual 2.3GHz (512MB of memory, 250GB hard drive) and Quad 2.5GHz (512MB memory, 250GB hard drive) models for $1,999 and $2,699, respectively. All refurbished Apple products come with free shipping and the company's standard one-year warranty. The Apple Store Canada is also offering refurbished Power Mac G5 systems for $2,399 (Dual 2.3GHz) and $3,199 (Quad 2.5GHz), both of which include a 250GB hard drive as well as 512MB of memory.
SL Hit Tracks launches
Smart Loops has officially launched its SL Hit Tracks, a selection of downloadable loop packs that recreate the live drum performances of hit songs from artists like LEd Zeppelin, The Who, and The B-52's. SL Hit Tracks allow musicians to rehearse, perform, and record their own versions of hit songs with live drum track support. Each SL Hit Track is split into separate chorus, verse, fill, solo, and other song sections. Some of the SL Hit Tracks include solo performances and small groups intended for use at live shows and gigs to sound more like the original song; drum, guitar, bass, and keyboard students to slow the SL Hit Tracks down for learning or rehearsing purposes; and songwriters, producers, and remixes to create entirely new songs. Smart Loops is adding SL Hit Track titles on a weekly basis, which are available for $10 each.
Motorola RIZR FCC Approved
Although most of the attention on Motorola's new phones has centered around the KRZR K1, recent documents show that the American cellphone designer will bring its equally style-focused RIZR Z3 to the US as well. A recent FCC filing provides evidence that the upcoming slider phone is almost ready to ship to US carriers. The RIZR shares several features with its flip-phone KRZR parallel, including a 2-megapixel camera, EDGE broadband, a microSD card slot, and an improved interface for elements such as the address book. Motorola has said that the RIZR should be released to cellphone service providers before the end of 2006 and will compare in price to the original cost of the RAZR. Click through for phone images from the FCC document.
Protection Pack Plus ships
Marware today introduced its Protection Pack Plus, a new case designed to protect Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops. The Protection Pack Plus features an ultra-soft microfiber sleeve, while a removable hand rest protects the notebook from scratches with a cushioning layer. The dual-purpose keyboard cover guards the screen from dirt and oil build-up on the keyboard, and also serves as a screen cleaner. The sleeve protects the exterior of the portable computer and is designed to fit inside a laptop bag or briefcase. The hand rest features soft, cushioned PVC leather that is custom fitted for Apple laptops, and is easy to remove as well as reapply. The Protection Pack Plus is available for $35, and works with any 13-inch MacBook, 15-inch or 17-inch MacBook Pro.
Bully ruling comes in
The anticipated decision has been made, and Jack Thompson has lost his case, Destructoid reports. Bully will go to market on schedule without any interference. "There's nothing in the game that you wouldn't see on TV every night," Judge Ronald Friedman has ruled. "[I] wouldn't want [my] kids to play the game, but that shouldn't mean that the game won't ship." In reaction, Thompson apparently lost his temper in court. Destructoid writes that the courtroom became "pretty heated," and the judge had to ask Thompson to sit down. The lawyer insisted that Friedman hadn't really played the game, which may have been true, but he was present alongside Thompson and a Take-Two employee while two hours of gameplay were shown. Thompson further rejected an offer to appeal the decision to the Third Appellate Court, saying that Bully would already be in stores by the time the case was heard. The game is due October 17th.
HP Quad-core Workstations
Intel's first quad-core processors will launch on November 13th, according to an invitation to a Hewlett-Packard press event. Though the invitation didn't reveal specific systems, it notes that the computer builder will be introducing a new line of workstations that are timed to coincide with the projected release of Intel's first quad-core desktop processors. The HP workstations are specifically expected to use the Xeon 5300, a quad-core variant of the dual-core 5100 series used in professional systems such as the Mac Pro. At present, quad-core processors are generally reserved for massively parallel duties such as CAD and scientific simulations, though Intel has also said that it will release mainstream Core 2s with four cores to target high-end gamers. Apple and other workstation system designers have yet to indicate any plans of their own regarding the new Xeons.
M-Audio ships GuitarBox
M-Audio today began shipping its new GuitarBox and GuitarBox Pro complete music production systems for guitarists. Both systems combine the M-Audio Black Box and Pro Tools M-Powered software. Both also feature a suite of 7 Bomb Factory plug-ins, 33 DigiRack plug-ins, Digidesign Xpand! virtual instrument, Pro Tools Method One instructional DVD, and Ableton Live Lite Digidesign Edition. The GuitarBox ships with the G-Rack premium plug-in effects bundle including SansAmp PSA-1 amp- and cabinet-modeling plug-in, Tel-Ray Variable Delay, Moogerfooger bundle, Voce Chorus/Vibrato, and Spin and TL Space Native Edition convolution reverb. The GuitarBox Pro ships with the more extensive G-Rack Producer premium plug-in effects bundle including all of the G-Rack plug-ins, plus the Fairchild 660 and 670 boutique tube-modeled compressors/limiters, Pultec Bundle vintage tube-modeled EQs, Maxim mastering limiter/sound-level maximizer, and DINR LE noise reduction plug-in to remove noise or buzz from pickups. GuitarBox and GuitarBox Pro are currently shipping for $500 and $700, respectively.
New E3 expo details
Down but not out, the new incarnation of the E3 Expo will take place July 11th to the 13th in Santa Monica, California. The event will be invitation-only for members of the game industry, and revolve around press events scheduled by companies. Those wanting to actually play a game will have to migrate to Barker Hangar, where software will be set up in pre-sized areas for demonstrations. More "intimate" meetings and demonstrations will take place in local hotel suites. The ESA (Entertainment Software Association) is also toying with adding an independent games showcase, plus the Into the Pixel art competition and exhibition. "The new E3Expo event will be more personal, efficient and focused," the ESA's Doug Lowenstein says, "and it will provide the top stakeholders who make games, sell games, and cover games streamlined access to the people and products they most need to see."
FastMac debuts MBP battery
FastMac today debuted the first high capacity, extended life battery upgrade for Apple's 15-inch MacBook Pro (MBP). The new 62-watt/hour battery uses Lithium-Polymer cells with integrated charge indicator LEDs that utilize TruePower technology for increased safety during use, and lasts around 5 percent longer than Apple's default battery. TruePower technology incorporates sensors in the integrated circuit inside the battery that detect undesirable levels of swelling or a short circuit that will power off the battery in certain extreme conditions. TruePower batteries do not contain or use any Sony cells that are subject to the recent series of recalls issued by major computer manufacturers, according to FastMac. The TruePower battery for 15-inch MacBook Pro is scheduled to ship within 10 days for $100 with a 30-day money back guarantee, and is already available for pre-order.
Zen Update Disables FM
After heavily promoting its FM radio recording feature as an advantage over Apple's iPod line, Creative has been forced to disable the feature in its Zen Vision:M music players, according to owners. Members of Creative's official discussion forums report that a recent firmware update removes FM recording as an option, limiting the player's FM support to listening only and the recording to a microphone. The decision was made "due to licensing," says one user who contacted technical support, indicating that Creative has bowed to pressure from the music industry. The RIAA and other major music label organizations have regularly considered recording radio broadcasts as a copyright violation. Creative has since pulled the firmware update (version 1.50.02) but doesn't list FM recording as a feature on the Vision:M product page.
FW Depot SATA PCI-X card
FireWire Depot today introduced the SATA2-PCIE02, a new SATA PCI-X and eSATA PCI-Express card. The SATA2-PCIE02 is a 2-port ATA-to-PCI Express Host Adapter compatible with Mac OS X, and features a Silicon Image Sil3132 Serial ATA Host Controller designed to offer multiple port serial ATA connectivity with minimal host overhead and host-to-device latency. The card also supports a 1-lane 2.5 Gbps PCI Express bus and the Serial ATA Generation 2 transfer rate of 3.0Gbps (300 MB/sec). Host Protocol features include optimization for transaction-oriented designs, support for two-command issuance mechanisms providing greater efficiency with embedded implementations as well as reduced dependency on bridge behavior, and support for up to 4Mbit of external Flash for BIOS expansion. PCI Express features include an internal application interface multiplexed to two ports, full-chip command completion status that is accessible with single PCI Express access, and accessibility to all registered through input/output space. FireWire Depot's SATA2-PCIE02 card is available for $70.
Sony-Ericsson Bravia Phone
The Sony-Ericsson partnership has resulted in phones tied to Sony's better-known labels, including CyberShot for camera phones and Walkman for music. Sony added to this symbolic connection with its recently announced SO903i phone for Japan's NTT DoCoMo. Appropriately linked to Sony's Bravia line of LCD TVs, the phone has an extremely large 3-inch, 432x240 internal display and uses the same Reality MAX video processing engine as Bravia flat-panel screens. A 3.2-megapixel camera with image stabilizer and a large external display also underscore the phone's visual focus. It also includes the by now expected music features and has several dedicated music buttons on the outer shell and 1GB of built-in memory to store its media (Memory Stick Pro and miniSD are also supported). NTT DoCoMo doesn't list a price and says only that the phone is "coming soon." Click through for a gallery of the phone in white.
Playstation Network info
Sony's reputation is lacking somewhat when it comes to online play. They may have implemented networks for the PS2 and PSP, but nothing they've done has been as successful as Xbox Live or even the Nintendo DS. That could be changing, says Eurogamer. The site had a chance to get hands-on PS3 experience with Sony's Phil Harrison, and quite a bit of info has been spilled about the PS3 and its operation with the Playstation Network. As we've known, the core interface will resemble the PSP. What you may not know is that the PS3 will support multiple PSN accounts, unlike the 360, which forces you to use a single Xbox Live account. PSN accounts will be further divided into master and associated levels. Most gamers will want to stick with the master level, but parents can use associated accounts to restrict how much a child does online. And speaking of account levels, you can forget about about buying the equivalent of Xbox Live Gold. All features of PSN will be immediately accessible, from Web browsing to multiplayer play. The only items you'll pay extra for are subscriptions to massively multiplayer games, and select downloads from the Playstation Store.
Bone Act 1 released
Vanbrio Entertainment has released Bone Act 1: Out from Boneville for Mac, the first installment of an episodic interactive adventure game based on Jeff Smith's Bone series. The adventure begins with three cousins' -- Fone Bone, Phoney Bone and Smiley Bone -- who become separated in a vast, uncharted desert. One by one, they find their way into a deep, forested valley filled with wonderful and terrifying creatures and new mysteries that await them. "The engaging characters and storyline of Jeff Smith¹s Bone series make for a very fun and family-friendly interactive adventure," said Amy Torres, CEO of Vanbrio. "With great gameplay, beautiful animation and sound, fun puzzles and mini-games, all wrapped up in an episodic series, we knew Bone: Out from Boneville had to be on the Mac!" Bone Act 1: Out from Boneville is available for $13, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
iGoGo Player and Massager
Health product maker OSIM has introduced a unique music player that should appeal to those who frequently get stiff backs and shoulders but don't necessarily have the luxury of visiting a masseuse. While at heart the OSIM iGoGo is a basic music player with only 128MB of built-in memory and an MMC card slot for more, it also ships with two gel massage pads that connect through an RF wireless signal to the main unit. The pads can be set to massage in one of seven different preset ways or can alternately synchronize with the music on the player. Shipping now for $500 US, the iGoGo is expensive as a pure jukebox but is less expensive than several trips to a massage parlor. [Note: link may redirect some users to OSIM's main page]
A photo of the music player itself is available after the jump.
G4 network moves to E!
In an attempt to consolidate its west-coast TV channels, Comcast has placed the G4 gaming network under the auspices of E! Entertainment Television, TV Week writes. For gamers, this is just the latest in a series of disappointments from G4. The network's programming has become increasingly diverted from gaming since its debut in 2002; some current shows include G.I. Joe, The Man Show, and Star Trek: The Next Generation. The E! changeover may accelerate G4's transformation into a non-gaming channel. "I do agree with the vision of going after young men more than just going after gaming," E!'s Ted Harbert says. "Gaming has been demonstrated as being too narrow." He may be right, since G4 is ranked 57th among 64 channels available on basic cable.
MacBook tattoo, difusi
In brief: A 22-year-old Italian woman has set out to purchase a new 2GHz MacBook by promising to tattoo the names of each individual donating at least €10 toward her new laptop.... Diffusi has announced that Billy Hanna in Alabama is the first winner of its iPod nano giveaway, which offers one out every 200 orders a free iPod nano.... The semi-finals for Phill Ryu's MyDreamApp contest have begun, this time offering each voter a free copy of Voice Candy voice recording software for Mac OS X.... Sony is reportedly developing a video-enabled Walkman to compete with Apple's video iPod player, but is remaining tight-lipped about further details.... Luxology is planning to demonstrate its latest 3D tools for Mac OS X at Macworld Expo 2007, including modo 202 -- a cutting-edge modeler that won an Apple Design Award at this year's WWDC -- and will showcase its new imageSynth plug-in for Adobe Photoshop.
iRiver Clix 4GB Soon
iRiver's minimalist Clix media player is set to receive a significant upgrade, according to the Swedish site Min Hembio. The site has obtained photos of an upcoming version that would double the flash storage inside to 4GB, greatly improving the usefulness of the Clix for the larger file sizes of games and videos. Also noticeable in the photos is the move upscale in design: instead of the basic white shell, the 4GB version will come entirely in glossy black with a chrome edge. No details of its launch timeframe or price were announced, though the existence of final photography means its release should be close and that it will be priced similarly to Apple's iPod nano.
The photos are available after the jump.
WebYep 1.1.10 released
Objective Development Software has released WebYep 1.1.10, a compact Web Content Management System for extremely simple creation of editable Web pages. The software focuses on Web developers whose primary concern is design, and reduces functionality to keep designers in control without the burden of complex content administration. Primary WebYep features include text editing and image management; the ability to build basic menu structures with sub-items and section titles; loops to repeat arbitrary WebYep or HTML elements on a page; and file attachment enabling users to attach any kind of document to a Web page for visitors to download. WebYep requires no PHP or HTML knowledge to use, and integrates with Macromedia Dreamweaver. WebYep 1.1.10 is available for €30 per website, and requires any modern Web browser such as Safari or Firefox.
Berbie has released TrailRunner, a new application designed for all people doing long distance sports that helps plan and journalize workouts. The software is a route planner for people who enjoy running, biking, skiing, and other forms of outdoor sports, and works with the Nike+iPod Sport Kit. Users can plan workout routes on a geographical map, export route directions as small "NanoMaps" onto an iPod, and import workout data from the Nike + iPod Sport Kit back into the workout diary. TrailRunner also features an exercise plan, .Mac weblog publishing capability, GPS/GPX/KML import/export functionality, and an integrated map with elevation data from global mapping services such as USGS topo maps. TrailRunner is available for free, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
Mac sales to offset iPods
Research firm Merill Lynch today lowered its estimate for Apple's iPod sales for the September quarter while increasing its estimation of Macs sold, joining two other industry analyst firms which modified their views on Apple yesterday. "We are tweaking our Apple model to reflect slightly higher Mac estimates and lower iPod units (offset by higher ASP mix) for the September quarter," wrote Merill Lynch analyst Richard Farmer in a research note obtained by MacNN. "Our overall fiscal fourth quarter of 2006 (September) revenue estimate goes up slightly from $4.57 to $4.66 billion and earnings-per-share from $0.48 to $0.51." Farmer said the changes signify a broad shift in Apple's overall story away from iPods, toward an emphasis on Macs and new products in 2007. Numerous analysts are modifying their views on Apple shares following the release of new NPD data, which promises to offer a clearer picture of Apple's current financial situation.
Dual NavAtlas XNAV3550
Dual recently updated its GPS navigation systems with a model that may be useful to travelers who find themselves under high stress while following directions. The NavAtlas XNAV3550 shares many features common to GPS units today including an MP3 player and spoken direction support, but adds LED turn signals at opposite ends of the receiver that prevent drivers from missing a turn due to conversations or their focus on the road ahead. A 1GB SD card is bundled with the system and comes preloaded with a map of the US and millions of points of interest. The 3550 is shipping from MobileMusic for $800.
South Park sword in WoW
You knew it was coming. In South Park's World of Warcraft episode, Stan Marsh uses the specially-crafted Sword of a Thousand Truths to slay an otherwise unstoppable griefer. Now that the closed Burning Crusade beta is underway, testers have discovered the sword for sale from a merchant - "Finely crafted to Salzman's specification." Joystiq has confirmed the sword's existence with Blizzard. The weapon is apparently intended as a reward for gladiators in the new Arena PvP mode. Unlike the fictional sword, however, the real one doesn't cause instant mana burn or 120 points of damage per second. Click below to see bigger screenshots.
iSee nano V2 case debuts
Contour Design has unveiled its iSee nano V2, a clear case for Apple's second-generation iPod nano that provides protection without hindering usage. The iSee nano V2 offers play-through clickwheel protection while maintaining access to the dock port and headphone jack. The case features a removable stainless steel belt clip that fastens in four different positions, and a universal mounting system usable with new Contour gear currently under development. iSee nano V2 features a snap-on design to offer all around protection while showing off the iPod inside, offering compatibility with 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB second-generation iPod nanos. The Countour iSee nano is slated for shipment in the first week of November for $20.
Sapphire TOXIC X1950 XTX
Sapphire on Friday launched what it said is the fastest video card on Earth. Its TOXIC X1950 XTX is one of the few video cards available that ships with a water cooling system built-in. The reduced heat gives Sapphire the room to improve the speed of the already-fast Radeon X1950 chip by delivering the new TOXIC board from the factory with a core overclocked from 650 to 700MHz and the 512MB of GDDR4 memory overclocked to an effective 2GHz. Owners can also choose whether to prioritize performance or silence in the cooling system: the built-in fan can operate either at full speed to cool the system further during gaming and unofficial overclocking, or else throttle back to generate virtually no noise in a standard case. Sapphire is releasing the new card in both a regular and multi-card CrossFire Edition next week for $549.
Nikon Zac Posen Case
Almost every camera case available today is utilitarian. Women who would like something more visually appealing often have to search for specialty designers to buy a case they like. Nikon is opting to make this hunt easier for a limited amount of time with its Zac Posen camera case. The well-known fashion designer wanted to show his love for Nikon cameras by designing a product for them, the company says. The result is an Italian leather case made to recall classic camera bags and which fits the camera maker's more compact COOLPIX models, particularly the S7c and S9. The Zac Posen case is available now for free to a limited number of COOLPIX owners who register at the case's website.
See Thru MBP case ships
Speck has unveiled SeeThru, a new translucent molded shell case for Apple's 15-inch MacBook Pro (MBP) notebooks. SeeThru cases for MacBook Pro laptops are made from sturdy, polycarbonate plastic and come in clear and red colors. With the easy snap-on design, users can shield their notebook from scratches and bumps while maintaining access to all features including the keyboard, drives, and ports. Each case ships for $40 with rubber feet to help prevent movement on slippery surfaces, and similar cases for Apple's 13-inch MacBook are due to ship in early November. Speck also announced that it plans to ship notebook computer sleeves in its Canvas Sport design in November as well.
Oblivion extras on PC, 360
In an interview with IGN, Bethesda's executive producer on The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion has said that both the PC and 360 will get the extra content shipping with the PS3 version of the game. "We always aim to have all our content available across all platforms, so that is our goal," Todd Howard explains. No timeframe has been set for any downloads or retail packages. Called Knights of the Nine, the extra content will add another 10 to 20 hours of gameplay as players join a new faction and encounter new quests, locations, characters and equipment. The PS3 game ships on November 17th.
Red Apple logo photos
In brief: First-hand photos of Apple's glowing red logo within the glass cube at the company's Fifth Avenue Store in New York City have surfaced, lending support to the company's (Product) Red -- a new iPod nano which debuted this morning as part of Bono's campaign to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa.... Jumsoft today released an update to Keynote Animations 4.1 ($45, free for 4.0 users), a collection of 150 animated objects with transparent backgrounds designed to enhance Apple Keynote presentations and Pages documents.... FastIcon has released "Avatar Girl" freeware icons, a collection of 10 icons depicting female faces designed for use with Instant messenger applications, blogs, and websites.... Palm has released its Treo 680 handset, a PalmOS-based phone with modernized EDGE broadband support on GSM-equipped models, a faster Web browser, and internet radio streaming capability.... SanDisk has introduced a 2GB microSD card in Japan, which it claims is the largest capacity of the world's smallest removable flash memory.
Vista Changes for EU
Microsoft has reluctantly made concessions to the European Commission and the South Korean government in order to release Windows Vista on time, according to a Reuters report. In what the software company would only call "constructive dialogue," Microsoft has altered features of its future OS to help prevent possible violations of competition laws in Europe and Korea. The company would not divulge specific details of what had been changed, but sources speaking to Reuters say that the primary difference is the ability to remove built-in Microsoft applications and replace them with software from third parties.
This would take the concessions a step further than was the case for Windows XP, whose eventual concessions involved only the option of changing program defaults and a limited edition for Europe that removed Windows Media Player. Depending on the exact terms, these updates may satisfy competitors Adobe and Symantec, which have lobbied the European Commission to demand action against what they claim is Microsoft's abuse of its OS monopoly in the anti-virus and document markets.
Danger Phone ships
MacMice today began shipping the Danger Phone, its USB VoIP (Voice over IP) handset. The Danger Phone is a USB VoIP telephone handset that works with Skype or any other VoIP application with support for USB handsets, offering plug-and-play compatibility with both Mac OS X and Windows XP systems. The phone is designed as a simple device that is easy to use, emphasizing durability and ruggedness. MacMice sought to do away with gadgetry, a "fake" display, and "flashing lights," leaving only the core functionality of a VoIP phone with a simple interface. The Danger Phone is available for $30.
Bully ruling later today?
Lawyer Jack Thompson e-mailed GamePolitics last night and informed them that "Judge [Ronald] Friedman has seen the game played with me present, and... he has granted my motion to reconvene the hearing at 1:30pm tomorrow (Friday). After argument by both sides, he will rule." Friedman is one of the presiding judges at Florida's Third District Court, which is overseeing a case that would see Bully handed over to Thompson to determine the threat of copycat violence. Yesterday, Friedman himself asked to see the game so he could evaluate its contents. Such a short viewing may well mean that the judge has made up his mind.
NI ships Komplete 4
Native Instruments today announced that Massive, Absynth 4, Battery 3, FM8 and Komplete 4 are now available in stores worldwide. Massive is a next-generation software synthesizer with unique sonic character, high audio fidelity, and a flexibility, innovative, interface. Based on an new high-resolution audio engine, Massive combines advanced Wave-Scanning synthesis with sophisticated sound-shaping and modulation options for "charismatic high-end sound full of warmth, punch, character and definition," according to the company. Massive is available for $340/€300.
efrontier debuts Poser 7
efrontier today announced the release of the English version of Poser 7, a new version of its 3D figure design and animation software that will include many new features, new content and improvements to its architecture. Poser, first introduced in 1995, is used by graphic artists, illustrators, hobbyists and animators worldwide. Poser 7 will include two, new realistic 3D Poser figures, "Sydney" and "Simon" and a Poser 7 Special Edition will feature exclusive content of high fashion formal clothing for the new figures, a complete casino scene with props, a sports car and many extras that are essential for secret agents working a casino. Upgrades from previous versions will be $130, while the Poser 7 Special Edition will be $250. All purchases of Poser 6 between October 12, 2006 and the official Poser 7 launch date will receive a free electronic download upgrade to Poser 7 Special Edition.
Special Edition Sidekick 3
More special edition phones were unveiled on Friday, this time through the US division of T-Mobile. The company today said it would release two new versions of its Sidekick 3 messenger phone for more style-conscious subscribers. One of these is influenced by the urban clothing shop Lifted Research Group, whose unique Sidekick model takes on a green shell and keyboard with a tree pattern around the screen edge.
For more feminine T-Mobile users, a version created by fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg will also ship at the same time. This version is all black save for bright red lipstick kisses around the bezel and a pink number pad. Both it and the LRG edition will be available for pre-order on October 30th and will likely match the $350 price of the regular Sidekick 3. Large photos of both versions can be found after the jump.
iPod nano (PRODUCT) RED
As anticipated yesterday, Apple today announced the iPod nano (PRODUCT) RED Special Edition. (RED) was created by U2 lead singer, Bono and Bobby Shriver to engage business in the fight against AIDS in Africa by getting leading companies to make uniquely branded products. A portion of the profits from these products goes directly to the Global Fund to fund programs for women and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa. The iPod nano (PRODUCT) RED comes in a red aluminum enclosure and features 24 hours of battery life, Apple's innovative Click Wheel and an incredibly thin and light design. Exclusively available from Apple, the company said it will contribute $10 from the sale of each iPod nano (PRODUCT) RED to the Global Fund to help fight HIV/AIDS in Africa. In addition, Apple will also offer a $25 iTunes (PRODUCT) RED gift card available for purchase at Apple's retail and online stores next month.
Phantasy Star beta out
With the end of the test period (October 18th) a mere five days away, Sega has finally put the Phantasy Star Universe beta up on the Xbox Live Marketplace. The file is a free 940 MB download until Sunday, when beta entries will be closed. Players will be able to fight, talk, try different jobs, explore three different planets, and manufacture their own weapons. If you have bug reports or game suggestions, Sega is hoping you'll send them in through forms on the official Website. Now for the unfortunate news: on October 17th, Xbox Live will be going down for as much as 24 hours of maintenance starting at 3 AM Eastern. So in reality, gamers will get closer to four days of Phantasy Star.
MOTORAZR RED Announced
The second major release of the (PRODUCT) Red campaign today was announced by cellphone maker Motorola. The MOTORAZR (RED) is a uniquely colored version of the company's existing V3m that includes a 1.3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and a microSD slot for storing AAC and MP3 music. As with the red iPod nano, part of the proceeds from sales of the red RAZR will go to the (RED) Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa.
Two US carriers are partners for the launch. The first to receive the phone is U.S. Cellular, which will be offering the phone for $80 with a two-year plan and will be donating $17 directly to the Global Fund for every (RED) phone sold. The provider is making the phone available today at Motorola's Chicago retail presence on North Michigan Avenue; U.S. Cellular retail stores will carry the MOTORAZR (RED) in early November. Next to ship the fundraising handset will be Sprint, which says that subscribers can receive an e-mail notification when their version of the phone is ready in early November. Sprint will sell the new RAZR for $65 with a two-year contract or $305 by itself.
Details and a photo of the (RED) Bluetooth headset are available after the jump.
iPod nano Product Red
As was previously confirmed, Apple has officially launched a special color of its iPod nano to help combat AIDS. Buying the iPod nano (PRODUCT) Red donates $10 to the Global Fund of the (RED) charity, which was founded by Bobby Shriver and U2's Bono to support AIDS prevention and treatment in Africa. Aside from the bright red aluminum shell, the new iPod nano also features an engraved (PRODUCT) Red logo on the back and red elements in the packaging. The price has remained unchanged from standard versions with the sole 4GB Red model shipping now for $199. This edition will only be available through the online Apple Store and in the company's own retail outlets. Click through for profile photos.
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