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News Archive for 06/10/19

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Sknet debuts waterproof iPod speakers

10/19, 6:10pm

Sknet debuts RelacOn

Sknet has developed RelacOn, a set of waterproof speakers for media players such as Apple's iPod. Users can open up the cover of RelacOn and connect a player via the stereo plug. Once tucked inside, a device is safe in water up to a depth of 30-feet, according to the company. Users must decide on playlist music before closing the lid, however, as the only dial accessible from the outside is a volume knob, according to Electronista. The speakers offer 800mW of power each, and are supplied by batteries providing 30 hours of playback. RelacOn is scheduled for shipment in Japan later this month for $40 in three colors which include pink, white, and marine blue.

M-Infotech unveils mobile iPod dock

10/19, 5:55pm

Mobile iPod dock unveiled

M-Infotech has unveiled its IH19, a mobile dock designed to protect iPods from rattle and weather damage. Users strap an iPod to the inside of the unit, where a cable connects the player to a set of speakers and external controls. Track, volume, and play/pause buttons are all accessible on the outside of the closed case. While the device currently offers no way to charge iPods through the dock, it is promoted as being waterproof, according to Electronista. The IH19 is currently shipping in Japan for $125, though online pricing and sales points are currently unknown.

RCA preps iPod nano competitors

10/19, 5:50pm

RCA Nano-like players

RCA has developed two new music players that compete directly in the mid-range market currently led by Apple's iPod nano portable media players. RCA has introduced its updated Lyra players under the Thompson brand, bringing the American company back into competition with other digital media player manufacturers. The EM2802 bears the closest resemblance to Apple's Nano, according to Electronista, holding 2GB of flash memory and featuring a 1.5-inch color OLED screen (versus the Nano's LCD). The device supports MPEG-4 video beyond the more conventional MP3 and WMA audio formats. The company has offered no estimated ship date, but has priced the EM2802 for less than $150 after tax.

Memorex ships iMove boombox for iPod

10/19, 5:35pm

Memorex offers iPod system

Memorex today unveiled the iMove boombox, a new portable iPod speaker system that allows users to carry and play their iPod safely while traveling. A built-in handle between the satellites allows users to lift the iMove with one hand, while the iPod is cradled parallel to the main system rather than sitting upright. Memorex says its boombox is capable of producing 12W of sustained power with SRS WOW sound enhancement, and that the device can run solely on eight D-cell batteries. Line-in support for alternate audio sources and a wireless remote are also included. The iMove works with all dockable iPods, and is shipping in black or white for $100.

Apple patent hints at satellite radio

10/19, 5:20pm

Apple, satellite radio

A recently discovered patent application from Apple hints at the company's exploration into satellite radio technology. The filing -- published on October 19th and originally filed in August of 2005 -- refers to two distinct methods of integrating the iPod with satellite services. The first aspect of the patent describes the ability to tune "into a wireless signal (e.g., AM/FM radio, digital radio, or Wi-Fi)" using an iPod-style player with "the capability to accept accessories to add the necessary functionality." While this may refer to Apple's Radio Remote released late in 2005, the patent's explicit mention of support well beyond AM/FM radio is significant and may signal a future add-on that would supply satellite radio directly to the iPod, according to Electronista.

Samsung WEP10L and WEP10R Bluetooth headsets

10/19, 5:15pm

Samsung WEP10 headsets

The FCC recently approved the WEP10L and the WEP10R, a pair of new Bluetooth headsets from Samsung. The units are distinguished by having volume and redial buttons built-in. Charge times for each should be about two-and-a-half hours. The L and R designations represent the sidedness of the units: L for the left ear, R for the right. Given that the technology has only just been certified, Samsung isn't saying when and at what price the headsets will ship.

Macworld 2007 feature presentations

10/19, 5:10pm

Macworld 2007 features

IDG World Expo today announced the feature presentations lineup for Macworld, listing the primary events to take place alongside Apple CEO Steve Jobs scheduled keynote speech. This year's feature presenters include actor, writer and film producer Kevin Smith; professional photographer and digital photography pioneer Joel Meyerowitz; and New York Times technology columnist and Mac luminary David Pogue. Feature presentations are open to all registered Macworld attendees and include "Q&A with Kevin Smith," "Photography and the Digital Experience," "Macworld Live! with David Pogue," "Macworld Best Of Show 2007," and "MacBrainiac Challenge." Macworld is scheduled to take place January 8-12th, 2007 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, with expected product introductions by Apple chief Steve Jobs during his keynote presentation.

Vertu Constellation officially announced

10/19, 5:00pm

Constellation Official

Vertu, a luxury division of Nokia, has formally announced the existence of its most accessible phone to date. The Constellation is described by the firm as a simpler alternative to the more extravagant Ascent and Signature handsets. The announcement confirms earlier details about the device, including a European leather back, a gold or satin steel body, and a sapphire crystal screen that Vertu claims is scratch-resistant.

Technical details have been similarly verified in the release. As noted in an early review, the Constellation keeps Vertu's existing Concierge service, a special hotline for owners who want to make reservations or arrange travel regardless of which coverage area they live in. The phone proper is a quad-band GSM device with a Bluetooth 2.0 receiver, audio/video playback, and Internet access through either GPRS or EDGE. No pricing is listed for the general public, but the luxury-oriented stores to which the Constellation is now shipping (Bang & Olufsen and jewellers are amongst them) betray its premium price.

Apple patent suggests satellite radio support

10/19, 4:20pm

Apple Satellite Patent

Although Apple has previously dismissed deals with satellite radio providers, it continues to explore the technology on its own, as OrbitCast has discovered in a recent patent application. The filing (PDF), published October 19th and originally filed in August 2005, refers to two distinct methods of integrating the iPod with satellite services. The first aspect of the patent describes the ability to tune "into a wireless signal (e.g., AM FM radio, digital radio, or WiFi)" using an iPod-style player with "the capability to accept accessories to add the necessary functionality." While this may refer to Apple's Radio Remote released late in 2005, the patent's explicit mention of support well beyond AM/FM radio is significant and may signal a future add-on that would supply satellite radio directly to the iPod. Click through for details of the further satellite integration elements of the patent.

Bandai NetTansor WiFi robot webcam

10/19, 4:15pm

NetTansor WiFi robot cam

A robotic webcam called the NetTansor will come out in Japan December 16th, says Japanese site Impress Watch. The cam will use 802.11b/g wireless to accept commands from a remote PC, which will also be able to engage in two-way voice communication. Three sensors and an image recognition system will prevent the robot from crashing into objects. A somewhat limited battery supply will offer just two and a half hours of runtime. The robot will sell in Japan for 50,000 yen ($419.83 US).

Neon ships "Universal" LANsurveyor 8.6

10/19, 3:35pm

LANsurveyor 8.6 ships

Neon Software today shipped LANsurveyor 8.6 for the Macintosh, which enables administrators to efficiently safeguard and monitor their networks with automated graphical network mapping, asset management reports, and network monitoring. LANsurveyor, easy to configure and operate, is designed for by small-to-medium organizations as well as organizations with thousands of network nodes. "Unlike expensive solutions that require extensive training or a team of consultants to master and install, LANsurveyor is inexpensive, installs quickly and easily, and scales to meet customer requirements," the company said. Version 8.6 offers a new Universal version of the Neon Responder, complete support for the new Linux-based Neon Responder, more than 150 new vendor icons, and an updated user interface. The all-new Mac OS X Neon Responder now functions as a daemon, client management capabilities such as shutting down or restarting computers without a user logged in. It is available for $1,000. [updated]

Munchkin iCrib Sound System

10/19, 3:30pm

Munchkin iCrib speakers

Parents looking to play something different (or longer) for their children might look into Munchkin's iCrib Sound System, an audio player dock that mounts on the railings of most baby cribs. The dock features with a volume limiter to avoid waking babies, as well as a nightlight that changes colors and a timer that can be set to 15-, 30-, or 60-minute intervals. The iCrib costs $30 and is being sold online at sites like Amazon, and in person at shops such as Babies 'R' Us and Target.

UTStarcom Slice phone surfaces at Virgin Mobile

10/19, 3:15pm

UTStarcom Slice Phone

Customers of Virgin Mobile have until recently had a comparatively lackluster selection of phones, but a recently discovered product leak promises a better if not necessarily unique option. Bearing an uncanny similarity to Motorola's SLVR, the Slice has recently been discovered on Circuit City's product pages. UTStarcom, normally a producer of smartphones, is responsible for the candybar design and has clearly targeted it at the lower prices associated with Virgin's prepaid service: its primary feature is 32MB of memory, with neither Bluetooth nor a camera. Without the added cost of this technology, however, the Slice is currently priced at $50 and requires only Virgin's standard prepaid service to be activated. Circuit City says it will be shipping the new cellphone by next week.

"Apple should license the Mac to Dell"

10/19, 3:00pm

Gartner on Apple, Dell

Gartner research in a bold report has stated that Apple should license the Mac to Dell and concentrate on creating software while making use of Dell's production and distribution capabilities. The firm says increasing component costs and pressure to cut its prices mean that Apple's best decision for long-term success is to leave the hardware business, according to Gartner. "Apple should leverage its close relationship with Intel and team up with Intel's closest ally, Dell," the firm wrote. "We recognize that this move would surprise and even shock many. We are aware that Steve Jobs cancelled previous Mac licenses when he took over at Apple and that he guards the Apple brand zealously."

Optimus Upravlator controller concept

10/19, 2:30pm

Optimus Upravlator

Although its initial keyboard concept is only now reaching users in the form of the Mini-Three assistant, Art Lebedev Studio says it's developing a new device that would be a useful companion device to creative workers and gamers. Currently existing only in prototype form, the Optimus Upravlator will expand the company's existing computer controls to a full twelve buttons in a shape reminiscent of a computer screen. As with the Mini-Three, each button will incorporate its own display that can animate or change depending on the program and its immediate context. The studio suggests roles such as a palette tool for artists, a properties editor for 3D modeling software, or a cockpit instrument cluster for a flight simulator. No definite information about the device's eventual release has been given. A gallery is available after the jump.

Sknet RelacOn waterproof speakers

10/19, 2:25pm

Sknet RelacOn speakers

Japanese manufacturers Sknet have developed RelacOn, a set of waterproof speakers for media players such as the iPod. Owners open up the cover of RelacOn and connect a player via stereo plug. Once tucked inside, a device should be safe in water up to a depth of 30 feet. Decide on your music before closing the lid however, because the only dial accessible from the outside is a volume knob. The speakers have 800mW of power each and are supplied by batteries providing 30 hours of playback. RelacOn should be on sale in Japan later this month for 4,380 yen ($36.78 US) in three different colors: pink, white, and marine blue (click below).

Merill Lynch on Apple's fourth quarter

10/19, 2:15pm

ML on Apple's Q4

Research firm Merill Lynch today advised investors that Apple's September quarter revealed a solid upside, signaling a bright future for the Mac and iPod maker moving forward. "Apple reported iPod units of 8.7 million, about 1 million above our 7.7 million estimate and Mac units of 1.6 million vs. our 1.5 million estimate," wrote Merill Lynch analyst Richard Farmer. "Revenue of $4.84 billion was 3.8 percent above our $4.61 billion estimate. Earnings-per-share of $0.55 (excluding a tax benefit of $0.06) beat our estimate and consensus of $0.51." Farmer believes Apple's revenue outlook for December of $6.1 billion -- 6 percent below the analyst's original $6.5 billion estimate -- looks conservative. The firm raised its earnings-per-share estimate for December by $0.02 to $0.77, tweaked its base case fiscal year 2007 earnings-per-share estimate from $2.65 to $2.71, and bumped its fiscal year 2008 estimate from $3.54 to $3.62. Merill Lynch reiterated its "Buy" rating on Apple shares with a price objective of $88.

Verizon to launch Casio G'zOne rugged phone

10/19, 1:45pm

Casio G'zOne Rugged Phone

While most high-profile phones are built for style, Verizon revealed a new phone today that it says is built to survive the harshest conditions. The Casio G'zOne Type-V is unique not for its shape or media features, but for a casing that has been tested against US military standards, according to Verizon. The US carrier notes that the G'zOne is waterproof to a depth of at least one meter, can survive the shock of repeated 1.5-meter drops, and is resistant to corrosion, dust, and extreme temperatures. Importantly, however, the media features of the phone have not been compromised, says Verizon. A 2-megapixel camera, EVDO broadband support, and support for Verizon's own V CAST games and videos put it on par with more recent handsets. The phone will be available online starting tomorrow for $300, and will be in stores as of the 23rd. A full photo is available after the jump.

Microsoft announces 100GB drive for Xbox 360

10/19, 1:45pm

100GB Xbox 360 hard drive

Microsoft has used its X06: Korea event to announce a new hard drive for the Xbox 360, Game Inside reports. The expanded drive will be a sizable 100GB; that's 40GB larger than the one in Sony's top-end Playstation 3 console (due in the US November 17th), and five times larger than the drive presently available for the 360. The new device should ship as an optional accessory sometime in March of 2007. Players use these hard drives to store everything from music to downloaded game demos on their systems. Some gamers have complained about the current 360 drive, noting that 20GB is rather low in an era of 1GB demos and 30GB iPods.

Mac, iPod sales surprise analysts

10/19, 1:20pm

Mac, iPod sales

Apple's fourth quarter financial results, which the company released yesterday and discussed via a conference call, caught analysts by surprise with higher than expected Mac and iPod sales. "On the strength of the Mac's forthcoming ability to run Windows applications, we thought 2007 would be a breakout year for Mac sales," said Needham & Company analyst Charles Wolf. "We were wrong. The breakout appears to be already occurring." Apple's revenues of $4.837 billion were up 32 percent year-over-year, easily beating the analyst's estimate of $4.612 billion, as did GAAP earnings per share of $0.61 vs. Wolf's estimate of $0.49 -- which was partially due to a $0.06 lower tax rate. As Apple Store Mac sales rose to 323,000 units, up from 202,000 a year ago, Needham & Company cites Apple's note that over half of the sales were to first-time Mac owners. The firm raised its 2007 earnings per share estimate from $2.50 to $2.60 on a $22 billion revenue estimate.

M-Infotech IH19 iPod dock

10/19, 1:10pm

M-Infotech IH19 iPod dock

Japan's M-Infotech has announced the IH19, a mobile dock designed to protect iPods from rattle and weather damage, Newlaunches says. Users strap an iPod to the inside of the IH19, where a cable connects the player to a set of speakers and external controls. Track, volume, and play/pause buttons are all accessible on the outside of the closed case. Though there's no means of charging iPods through the dock, it is promoted as being waterproof. It's currently selling in Japan for about 14,800 yen ($124.27 US). Online pricing and sales points are currently unknown. Click below to see the inside of the unit.

Mac sales validate market share gains

10/19, 1:05pm

Mac sales, market share

Apple's "blowout Mac quarter" validates the company's 32 percent surge in U.S. PC market share that resulted in 6.1 percent of the total market for the Cupertino-based company, according to one research firm. Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster expects the "halo effect" -- which describes consumers who are introduced to Macs via their iPod purchases -- will drive continued market share gains moving forward. "The 68m iPods sold in the past five years (39 million of those were sold in the last 12 months) are translating to the resurgence in the Mac platform with worldwide Mac market share increasing from 2.1 percent in March of 2006 to 2.8 percent today," the analyst said. "We believe in six months the halo effect will expand beyond a simple iPod-to-Mac correlation into a four-way relationship with iPod, Mac, iPhone, and iTV benefiting from each other's success."

Adobe acquires Serious Magic

10/19, 12:30pm

Adobe buys Serious Magic

Adobe today announced its acquisition of Serious Magic, a maker of video software and communications tools for creative professionals, businesses, consumers, and educational institutions. Adobe hopes the move will strengthen its position in the video software realm via Serious Magic's DV Rack -- which extends direct-to-disk recording and monitoring into the field -- alongside the company's Visual Communicator and Vlog It products. "The huge momentum behind Flash video, which is powering everything from online TV shows to YouTube and MySpace, is turbo-charging Adobe's video business," said John Loiacono, senior vice president of Creative Solutions Business Unit at Adobe. "The purchase of Serious Magic accelerates our vision to make, not just video but all dynamic media, an even more ubiquitous communications vehicle, whether you're delivering content for the broadcast market, over the Web or on mobile devices."

RCA readying two iPod nano challengers

10/19, 12:10pm

RCA Lyra EH308 and EM2802

After a relatively quiet interval, RCA has developed two new music players that compete directly in the mid-range market currently led by the iPod nano. As revealed by postings at the German online store CyberPort, updated Lyra players have been introduced under the Thompson brand that put the American company back into competition. Of these, the EM2802 (pictured) bears the closest resemblance to Apple's compact players. Holding 2GB of flash memory, the device has a 1.5-inch color OLED screen (versus the nano's LCD) and supports MPEG-4 video beyond the more conventional MP3 and WMA audio formats. The German retailer has no estimated ship date but is selling the EM2802 for 150 Euros after tax, which translates to a sub-$150 price for a future American release. Click through for details of the 8GB EH308.

Logitech aquires Slim

10/19, 12:05pm

Logitech aquires Slim

Slim Devices CEO Sean Adams has announced via the company's online forum that it has been acquired by Logitech. "We have been building a relationship with Logitech for quite some time. As we got to know their executive team, it became clear that there was a compelling opportunity for us to work together to bring Slim Devices' products to the mainstream market. As you may know, Logitech recently launched the Wireless DJ music system, and also produces Harmony remote controls, which many of our customers already use with their Squeezeboxes," Adams wrote. Slim Devices manufactures its Transporter -- a network player designed for "audiophiles" -- as well as the Squeezebox -- an affordable digital music player designed for home use.

MS chides Apple for passing worm blame

10/19, 11:40am

Microsoft chides Apple

The man in charge of Microsoft's product release virus scanning has chided Apple for trying to blame Microsoft after it was discovered that a small batch of the Cupertino-based company's video iPods shipped with a worm. "It's not a matter of which platform the virus originated [on]. The fact that it's found on the portable player means that there's an issue with how the quality checks, specifically the content check, was done," wrote Jonathan Poon, who oversees Microsoft's efforts to scan products for viruses before they ship. Apple yesterday issued a statement via its website, admitting that some of its iPods shipped with a worm and stating that "we are upset at Windows for not being more hardy against such viruses, and even more upset with ourselves for not catching it." The worm does not damage data on infected Windows systems, but can lower the security settings of an infected system.

Memorex iMove boombox for iPod

10/19, 11:15am

Memorex iMove Boombox

Not known for its speakers, Memorex on Thursday unveiled a new portable iPod speaker system. Listeners of the iMove boombox can carry and play their iPod safely while travelling. A built-in handle between the satellites allows the iMove to be lifted with one hand, and the iPod is cradled parallel to the main system rather than sitting upright. Memorex says its boombox is capable of 12W of sustained power with SRS WOW sound enhancement and can run solely on eight D-cell batteries, though the company doesn't provide an estimated battery life. Line-in support for alternate audio sources and a wireless remote are included. The iMove works with all dockable iPods and ships in black or white for $100.

Spectec SDW 823 microSDIO WiFi card

10/19, 11:15am

Spectec SDW 823 WiFi

If your smartphone is missing built-in WiFi, or an SDIO slot for a regular SD WiFi card, Spectec is making the SDW 823, a WiFi card made for microSDIO. The product is a tiny 0.92x0.43x0.03 inches. In terms of network protocols, the card supports 802.11b and g, running at speeds of 11Mbits and 54Mbps respectively. The one limiting factor of the 823 may be its OS support, since it will only operate under Windows CE 4.x and 5.x. Price and availability information is currently unknown.

Briefly: Apple patents, trademarks

10/19, 11:10am

Apple patents, trademarks

In brief: The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has published Apple's patent application titled "Multiple-panel scrolling," which relates generally to scrolling windows in a user interface, and more particularly to techniques for scrolling a window having two or more panels.... The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office today also published Apple's patent application titled "Audio sampling and acquisition system," relating to media identification as well as purchase and distribution of media, specifically detailing an in-vehicle media environment using an iPod.... Apple is facing further difficulties abroad in its attempts to trademark the "iPhone" slogan, as new data recently surfaced in the IPAustralia database with regards to two new filings for iPhone that originated in Trinidad and Tobago....

GizMac's 25U XRackPro2 server cabinet

10/19, 10:45am

GizMac ships 25U XRackPro2

GizMac today announced that it has begun shipping its new 25U XRackPro2 server rack mount cabinet. Building on its success with the 4U and 12U XRackPro noise reduction server rack mount cabinets, GizMac is releasing their new 25U XRackPro for customers with more rackmount cabinet capacity needs. By reducing noise levels, the company said that the 25U XRackPro2 server rack mount cabinet allows computer, audio / video, medical and other equipment to be placed in areas that require low noise, including post-production film studios for video and audio editing; television, cable and radio broadcasting; health care, dental and veterinary locations; military, and education and business offices. The cabinet features locking front and rear doors and pre-installed caster wheels for easy mobility. Pricing for the 25U XRackPro2 rack mount cabinet is $2,200 and it is available in platinum or black.

Robosapien RS Media robotic toy

10/19, 10:40am

Robosapien RS Media

British gadget retailers Gizoo are promoting the RS Media, the latest toy in WowWee's Robosapien series. The highlight of this iteration is a head-mounted camera and a 1.9-inch LCD screen, located in the chest. The camera can take still shots or display a live feed to the LCD. A USB port allows music, pictures and video to transferred to 40 MB of flash memory, and through removable SD cards, the toy can also store and play back your voice. A new editing package called BodyCon allows you to change the RS' motions. You may have to hurry if you want a robot though: at last count, Gizoo had a mere five of them in stock for the price of 300. It may be some time before the RS ships to North American retailers. Click through for a full-sized photo.

Microsoft: Vista unfinished in October

10/19, 10:35am

Vista Not Ready in October

Windows Vista won't be ready for the widely predicted late-October timeframe, according to ZDNet. Microsoft's well-known co-president of platforms and services, Jim Allchin, revealed the news to journalist Mary Jo Foley later on Wednesday. "We won't RTM (release to manufacturing) in a week," Allchin said. The executive elaborated that driver support and program compatibility are not yet at RTM quality, although the third-party companies responsible are providing schedules that have Allchin "feeling good about targets," according to Foley. The writer currently estimates an early November completion date for the new OS, although Allchin declined to confirm any details. The second release candidate of the OS, made available to testes only in early October, has prompted worries that holding firm to the previously planned schedule would result in a substandard shipping version.

Epson "Ultra High-Definition" printers

10/19, 10:30am

Epson ships three printers

Epson has unveiled three new inkjet printers -- the Stylus Photo R260, R380, and RX580 All-In-One -- which it claims are better professional photo labs. All three printers are capable of "Ultra High-Definition prints," according to Epson, using a new "MicroPiezo" print head that allows the new models to adjust the ink drops to one of five different sizes depending on what needs to be drawn, eliminating much of the coarseness common to printing photos at home. The new print head is also said to print photos extremely quickly, producing a basic 4 x 6-inch photo in as little as 13 seconds, while a full-quality image takes as little as 32 seconds to complete. In combination with the company's new six-color Claria ink, the new technology is expected to produce photos at least as sharp and vivid as commercial labs, according to Epson. The R260 is available for $130, while the R380 and RX580 ship for $200.

Apple US marketshare surges 32%

10/19, 10:15am

Apple, 6.1% U.S. PC share

Apple currently holds 6.1 percent of the U.S. PC market, making the company the fourth most popular PC maker in the country. Gartner today released data suggesting that sales of Macs over the last year have grown faster than any other major PC manufacturer in the country, following the company's assertion in its quarterly conference call that its September quarter Mac shipments grew 30 percent over the prior year--more than three times IBC's latest published market growth projections for the quarter. However, Apple failed to place in the top five PC manufacturers worldwide (and thus data was not available). According to Gartner, Apple shipped 975,000 Macs, just 38,000 CPUs behind third place maker, Gateway, and ahead of its 744,000 units in the same quarter a year ago. The company saw its marketshare surge by 32.3 percent to 6.1 of the US market. [updated]

Pantech PX-500 EVDO Rev. A card at Sprint

10/19, 9:50am

Pantech EVDO Sprint Card

Sprint says it is now carrying one of the least expensive mobile broadband cards available. Shipping today, the Pantech PX-500 is a PC Card adapter that supports both the original EVDO as well as its new Revision A which is expected to serve as much as 800Kbps downstream and 400Kbps upstream in real-world conditions. A dual-band antenna is built-in to maintain the signal at the fringes of coverage areas. Power is also carefully managed by the card to prevent laptop batteries from draining prematurely. Crucially, Sprint says, the new card is available for free through its website after a discount and mail-in rebate, leaving subscribers to pay only the cost of the data plan itself.

Epson ships "Ultra High-Definition" photo printers

10/19, 9:10am

Epson Ultra HD Printers

Epson has just released three new inkjet printers it says are better than professional photo labs. The Stylus Photo R260, R380, and RX580 All-In-One are all capable of what the company says are Ultra High-Definition prints. Using their new MicroPiezo print head, the new Stylus models are able to adjust the ink drops to one of five different sizes depending on what needs to be drawn, eliminating much of the coarseness common to printing photos at home. The new print head is also said to print photos extremely quickly: a basic 4" by 6" photo can be printed in as little as 13 seconds, while a full-quality image can be completed in 32 seconds. In combination with the company's new six-color Claria ink, this is expected to produce photos at least as sharp and vivid as commercial labs, according to Epson. Both the R260 and R380 can print at this quality and are also capable of printing directly from cameras, cellphones, and memory cards. Writing to printable CDs and DVDs is also supported.

While the R260 has only basic printing controls, the R380 adds a 3.5-inch LCD that aids in basic photo correction and editing; the RX580 adds a 1200x2400 DPI flatbed scanner for copying and transferring existing photos. All three are available immediately for $130 (R260) and $200 (R380, RX580) respectively.

PC Mag reviews iPod nano, Mac Pro

10/19, 9:00am

iPod nano, Mac Pro reviews

PC Magazine has posted a review of Apple's second-generation iPod nano and its recently released Mac Pro, giving each 4.5 stars out of 5. The review notes that the black matte surface of the iPod nano still picks up fingerprints, the new music search feature, but that it has a significantly longer battery life. "When all is said and done, the second-gen iPod nano is an excellent product. It is slim, attractive, sturdy, and easy to use, not to mention the excellent integration with iTunes. But more important, the sound quality is very good (until you push the volume near the limit), it supports lossless compression and gapless playback." In addition, the publication reviewed a "totally tricked out" Mac Pro workstation worth nearly $8,000. Despite scoring some of the highest benchmark scores of any Mac or PC, the review notes a bug that slows disk transfers when running Boot Camp/Windows (but not running the same config on other Intel-based Macs or when running Mac OS X natively).

Apple: edu sales "very, very strong"

10/19, 8:40am

Apple's large edu deals

Apple's education sales had a very strong quarter. The company said it sold a a record number of Macs and saw 20 percent year-over-year growth, which is significantly greater than IDC's most recently published forecast for the U.S. education market for the quarter. "It was the most successful back-to-school quarter ever for our higher ed business, where shipments of Mac portables increased 49% year over year," Apple told investors on the conference call. "This result was due in large part to the popularity of the MacBook in higher ed, as well as our very successful back-to-school promotion." Apple also noted that it had a "very, very strong" back to school and education sales season and two including two large K-12 deals that totaled 50,000 units during the quarter, which helped it reach its record Mac sales of 1.6 million in the quarter, significantly greater than the previous quarterly record of 1.38 million Macs sold in the first quarter of Apple's fiscal 2000.

Apple: music products see strong 4Q

10/19, 8:25am

Apple's music products

Apple's music products generated another quarter of strong results, according to executives. The company's generated 42 percent of its total revenue from the iPod and related products, an increase of 36 percent year over year. iPod shipments also grew 35 percent year over year, to $8.73 million, bolstered by the announcement of our new iPods on September 12th, and the company's "very popular" back-to-school promotion. "Reviews of the new iPods have been very positive, and we are very confident in our new line-up, despite increased competition this holiday season," Apple executives told investors on Wednesday's conference call, echoing Apple CEO Steve Jobs earlier comments on entrance of Microsoft to the music/media player business.

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