Plans for an Apple retail store in downtown San Luis Obispo are on hold indefinitely, after the company showed initial interest in renovating one retail location in area, but ran into a few obstacles. Following recent news of upcoming stores in Denver and Chicago as well as a third location in Manhattan, the San Luis Obispo Tribune report says despite early discussions about the company’s storefront design, momentum has slowed to a standstill. "As of now, it is in Apple’s court as to whether they are moving forward and the timing for moving forward," city officials told the publication. "The application is on hold." Apple submitted an application with the city earlier this year to take over 899 Higuera St., the previous location of the Express for Men store at the Downtown Centre. City officials speculated that momentum may have slowed because the company was unable to launch the store before the lucrative holiday shopping season
Apple is planning a third retail location in New York City, confirming earlier reports indicating it had signed a retail lease late last year. The company, which launched its second NYC location on Fifth Avenue in May of this year, will open its third Manhattan retail store at SL Green Realty Corp.'s retail joint venture at West 34th Street, just west of Fifth Avenue and south of the company's flagship Fifth Store location, which welcomed its one millionth visitor in mid-September. The comapny's Apple Store SoHo welcomed its five millionth visitor in April of this year. "The team had to negotiate more than six separate transactions and explore the outer reaches of the New York City building code with help of several consultants," SL Green's chief investment officer told analysts during its third-quarter conference. [updated]
Microsoft and various PC manufacturers have finally solidified earlier plans to offer an upgrade to Windows Vista. According to Microsoft, the Express Upgrade program will allow buyers of select Windows XP machines (mainly from Dell, Sony, Gateway, et al.) to upgrade to Vista for free, or in some cases, at a "discounted" price. The exact details will be dependent on the vendor. Smaller PC makers defined as "system builders," for instance, will only be given discount coupons to go with Windows Vista Capable machines. All upgrade plans will only be available between October 26th and March 15th. What version of Vista you get will be tied to the copy of XP that was installed. Media Center Edition 2005 will translate into Vista Home Premium, while Professional, Tablet PC, or Professional x64 will be upgradable to Business or Business 64 for a fee. XP Home can become either Home Basic or Home Premium, but the latter will still cost 50 percent of the retail price.
Apple has updated its listings of refurbished video iPods and iPod nanos for sale at discounted prices, stocking the 30GB White video iPod for $179 as the only top-end player currently available. The company is offering black and white 2GB iPod nanos for $99 each, as well as black and white 4GB Nanos for $169 each. Apple's refurbished iPod shuffle with a free External Battery Pack is still available for $49, and refurbished iPod shuffles are still in stock for $49 (512MB) and $79 (1GB) each. Refurbished iPod minis are currently depleted at the U.S. Apple online store, as are refurbished Mac mini models at the Canada store. Both stores are still offering refurbished 1.83GHz and 2.0GHz MacBooks for U.S. $949, and $1,099, respectively, with the Black 2.0GHz MacBook priced $200 higher than the White model at $1,299. [Link to Canada Apple Store]
Forums roundup: Members are discussing the MacBook Pro update launched today adding the new Core 2 Duo processor and standardizing Firewire 800 to all MacBook Pro models..... Mac Pro prospective buyers are debating the value of eight processor cores potentially found in next-generation Core 2 Quadro-based Mac Pros.... Another user looks for help purchasing memory for a Mac Pro system, weighing Crucial against OWC and asking members to share experiences with each.... Another member share experiences with flickering MacBook screens and the search for potential causes.... Meanwhile, users respond to the question posed by an inquiring poster -- "What mouse are you using?"
Tangerine 1.0 ($40) is color management software that provides graphic designers and creative professionals with a unique color workflow experience, offering new enhanced color support for Mac OS X. The software integrates with several popular graphics applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Fireworks, and others to ease the process of applying color schemes across multiple unrelated applications. [Download - 3.7MB] Watcher 4 and Media Indexer 1.2 ($10 each) update the computer usage monitoring tool and software for indexing numerous types of media. Media Indexer 1.2 supports instant searching from the main window similar to the Google search field in Safari. Watcher 4 is entirely rewritten to use Mac OS X 10.4 technology to provide settings over the network, screen effects, and multiple-screen support. [Download - 1.2MB and 725KB] Navicat 6.3.3 for MySQL ($100) is the latest iteration of the database management tool featuring enhancement for Query Editor and minor bug fixes related to the Data Synchronization feature. The update is a Universal Binary and supports all versions of MySQL. Navicat is designed to synchronize databases, import/export data, perform backups, and more. [Download - 6.1MB] ClipDoubler 1.1 ($9) updates the clipboard enhancement utility that offers unlimited clipboards. ClipDoubler offers shortcuts to copy the time, date, or an IP address to the clipboard. The application also creates clipping files as well as internet shortcuts, and edits or processes text on the clipboard. [Download - 4MB] My Money Minder 1.9 ($13) allows users to easily track expenses, income, and bank account balances. All data is viewable in a spreadsheet-style grid or as graph, and the application remembers the last 100 unique items entered via a single dialog. The latest revision runs natively on Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary, imports QFX files, and adds Dutch as well as Japanese localizations. [Download - 7.9MB] Bible Buddy 1.0 (free) is Bible reading software that includes the full text of the King James version. The application provides multiple ways to navigate through the Bible including jumping directly to any book, chapter, or verse, and allows users to bookmark passages for later viewing. [Download - 2.5MB]
Cardo Systems has announced the scala-600, a small Bluetooth 1.2 headset with a substantial battery life. Though the headset weighs a mere 0.41 ounces, active talk time can reach up to 10 hours, and standby time is over 240 hours. The unit can pair with up to eight different devices and broadcast to a range of 33 feet. To recharge, users can use the bundled Travel Wall Charger or buy a separate USB charging cable. Cardo's BTA II adapter will let you use the 600 with non-Bluetooth phones. The headset is going to market now for $50 at US retailers.
Ion Audio recently released an iPod-capable PA system designed for broadcasting the music player's audio outdoors or at other public events. Named the iPA03, it consists of a one-piece, stage-class stereo loudspeaker that broadcasts the audio from an iPod at professional line-out quality, according to the manufacturer. The speaker is designed to operate in tandem with other live performance equipment with connections for an XLR microphone, instruments, and RCA audio sources with individually adjustable gain levels on all three inputs. Ion Audio's system is transportable via wheels with a retractable handle, and is pole-mountable. The iPA03 works with all dockable iPods through a Universal Dock adapter and is shipping from online retailer zZounds for $400.
Dutch network monitoring service WatchMouse has released version 2.0.4 of its Dashboard utility. The latest revision of the company's Site Monitor widget, which checks the responsiveness of a given internet site through over twenty Web-based locations, adds continuous monitoring even when the computer is disconnected from the internet by linking the widget to the user's WatchMouse account. The update also adds a version check and various bug fixes. The new Dashboard widget is a free download and supports both free trial accounts as well as all of the company's paid service plans.
A member of Chinese forums pcINlife claims to have acquired unpublished specifications for Nvidia's GeForce 8800GTX. According to the post, the next-generation video card will have a core clock scalable to 1.5GHz, a 384-bit interface (256 plus 128) with 768MB of total memory, and 16-bit floating point for high dynamic range support and multi-sampling anti-aliasing. Cooling will be handled with a hybrid fan/water system. A mysterious item in the list is "VCAA" anti-aliasing -- the term refers to no known rendering technique. If nothing else, the poster did manage to take what seems to be a plausible set of photos of the card. A gallery can be seen by clicking below.
In brief: Google has announced that it will attend MacExpo UK in London via its Google Mac Blog, noting that "Google and Apple users could really have a fruitful relationship".... ExtremeTech.com has run performance tests on the Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad CPU, gauging speed in 3DStudio Max 8 and DivX 6.25.... Apple has produced a video about how 37signals exclusively uses Macs to produce Web content.... Teacup Software today announced that it is sponsoring the InDesign Conference: Master Class from November 6-8th in Seattle, WA to teach Mac users about InDesign.... Fabrix Cases has launched three new designs in its laptop sleeves collection that include "Black Angus," "Red Fury," and "Black Flora."
XtremeMac today announced an updated MicroShield for the second-generation iPod nano. As with earlier models, the clear, impact-resistant plastic prevents dents and scratches on the iPod while still showcasing the music player's design, according to the company. The case includes a belt clip with notches for wrapping earbud cords, managing the cables as it rotates 360-degrees. The MicroShield comes bundled with a Universal Dock adapter that allows the iPod inside to attach to speaker docks and many other freestanding accessories without being removed from the enclosure. XtremeMac is already accepting pre-orders and expects to ship its updated MicroShield on November 6th for $25.
Archos' 504 media player will go on sale tomorrow, says Mobile Magazine. A counterpart to the 604 WiFi, the 504 may be a "wired" player, but what it forsakes in Internet access it makes up for in increased storage. The base model will hold a conventional 40GB, but a mid-range player will hold 80GB, and the top end will store 160GB. Archos believes this is enough to load 450 movies, 1.6 million photos, or 80,000 songs. The player is otherwise feature-similar to the 604 WiFi, the only other absent selling point being a touchscreen. The 40GB player will retail for $350, the 80GB for $400, and the 160GB for $600. Check a local retailer or Archos' online store for stock.
US Modular is preparing a high-capacity version of its mid-range Monstor Drive, the company announced on Tuesday. The updated version stores as much as 12GB of data (up from 8GB) on a 1.8-inch hard drive, providing enough room for music and other valuable data that won't fit on standard flash drives, according to Electronista. The transfer rates on the 4200RPM, USB 2.0 drive remain comparatively quick, varying between 3.3MB and 6.5MB per second depending on drive activity. The unit comes in a stainless steel enclosure rated at 1500G shock resistance. US Modular will release the larger Monstor Drive on November 1st for $130.
Zettabyte has just announced a backup device and service that it hopes will replace conventional, physical-only backups. The zBox maintains the same amount of storage in an hourly online backup service hosted by Amazon as it does on its local hard drive, creating redundancy in case either the local drive is destroyed or the remote storage is inaccessible. The zBox system is protected by 256-bit AES encryption and can roll back to earlier versions of files or settings if a change proves disastrous, Zettabyte says. The device and its service are available now starting at $49 per month for 30GB of storage; more dedicated companies and individuals can subscribe to as much as 690GB of storage for $299 per month.
More thefts have been reported at Apple's Cupertino campus, as the employee store reported a third theft of nearly $5,000 worth of merchandise from the sales floor. The San Jose Mercury News reports that the "fleecing at the Apple corporate store continued Monday with the theft of two more iPods and 10 software packages from the employee store inside the headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino. The total estimated value of the latest theft was approximately $4,688, on top of the 11 music players previously reported stolen from the company's Cupertino offices." The report says that nine black 80GB iPods -- worth just over $3,000 -- were reported stolen from the Apple employee store over the weekend as well and that two iPod nanos were reported missing in a shipment from Elk Grove that arrived at the company's headquarters on Oct. 17. "The shipping boxes that should have contained the two missing silver nanos were crushed," according to the report. There are no suspects in the case.
Blizzard today announced that it has pushed back the release date for The Burning Crusade, the expansion to its World of Warcraft online role-playing game. Blizzard notes in an official forums post that by adding a few extra weeks to the development cycle of The Burning Crusade beyond its original target date, the company hopes to extend the closed beta test and further refine the new content that will ship with the expansion. "We appreciate the enthusiasm surrounding World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, and we're excited about putting the finishing touches on all of the new content," said Mike Morhaime, president and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "We feel confident that the extra time spent polishing the game will result in the high-quality experience that our players expect and deserve."
Creative today said it would release a special edition of its Zen V Plus music player to support the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The pink-tinted player will ship only in a 2GB version but marks Creative's official endorsement of the NBCF and the beginning of an education campaign on the part of both organizations. "Every time someone turns on their pink Creative ZEN V Plus... we want them to think about taking charge of breast health," says the NBCF's chief executive Kevin Hail. Features are unchanged as the V Plus continues to enjoy support for FM radio and video playback in addition to music and photos. Creative will make the Special Edition Pink Zen V Plus available in North America as of November for $140 online and in select electronics stores.
Sony has offered a public apology for the recent massive battery recall that the company began last month, following reports of short overheating notebooks. "We would like to take this opportunity to apologize for the worries," said Sony CEO Yutaka Nakagawa. "We want to put this behind us. [...] I take this problem seriously and I want to finish the replacement program as quickly as possible for the sake of our users and corporate customers." Sony said its battery problems are remedied and that none of the company's top executives would resign as a result of the incident. The Japan-based company claims it has made improvements in production, design, and inspection to prevent any recurrence of laptop overheating issues, according to a report from the Associated Press.
Sony's NV-U71T is a full-color GPS unit with a 3.5-inch display, but what separates it from rivals is a touchscreen technology called Gesture Command. Owners can set the unit to automatically execute certain functions when a finger is swiped in a particular pattern. Other useful aspects to the receiver are real-time traffic information and re-routing, and a map database that includes all of Canada, Puerto Rico, and the United States. Seven million "points of interest" have been pre-programmed. If you want to buy the U71T, Sony is taking holiday pre-orders from its website for $500 whole or $15 a month.
Cingular's use of the HTC TyTN (pronounced "titan") has been confirmed, say contributors to Howard Forums. As part of an update to its website, Cingular has inadvertently posted official images of what will be known as the Cingular 8525 and has also confirmed its specifications. Unlike many imported European phones, the 8525 will retain the ability to connect to UMTS mobile Internet networks as well as Cingular's own version of HSDPA. Bluetooth and WiFi are standard, but the cellphone carrier's data sheet notes that the 2-megapixel camera may only be optional -- a significant change in approach compared to most other providers, which rarely offer more than a single version of a device. Neither pricing nor a launch date were leaked in the website revision, but Cingular's posting of this content indicates a likely introduction within the next few weeks. Click through for a larger photo.
Contour Design today introduced the Showcase nano, its first dual layer case for Apple's second-generation iPod nano. The Showcase nano features shock-absorbing edges for for protection against bumps and knocks, while the clear front and back allow the portable player's colors to show through. The new case includes clickwheel, dock port, and headphone plug protection alongside a removable belt clip and a universal mount. The stainless steel clip fastens in four different positions, and the universal mounting system is usable with new Contour accessories currently in development. The case is hinged with a new side latch for easy access to the player, and offers playthrough protection for all three second-generation iPod nanos (2GB, 4GB, and 8GB models). The Contour Showcase nano is slated for shipment during the first week of November for $35.
Apple's growth engine, which previously depended almost entirely on the company's enormously successful iPod digital media player, has added another 'cylinder' with the advent of surging Mac sales backed by 'switchers' -- consumers exposed to Macs via the iPod. That growth engine is set to add two additional cylinders in early 2007, however, with Apple's rumored launch of its "iPhone" mobile handset alongside the iTV media device. Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster believes that a significant addressable market remains for Apple in its iPod business, and that its iPhone and iTV will add new addressable markets within the next six months.
Users who miss the aesthetics of phones circa 1970 might be interested in the ThinkGeek Bluetooth Retro Handset, which mimics older receivers but takes its calls from your mobile phone. The connection works with phones using Bluetooth 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2. A tiny LED light indicates operation. Range is 30 feet. To recharge the headset, you simply plug it into a USB port with the included cable. Since the design is a ThinkGeek original, you can order it only from the company's website for the price of $40.
Bose is finally offering its own in-canal audio product, simply dubbed the In-Ear Headphones. The central feature of the phones is their silicone tips, designed to make long-term listening a bit more comfortable. Small, medium, and large-sized tips come in the package, as does a carrying case designed to keep the phones untangled. In terms of audio fidelity, Bose is promoting a technology called TriPort, which they claim offers better low-frequency response than most earbuds. The In-Ear Headphones are on sale for $100 from the Bose website and various retailers.
The travel bag maker G-Tech recently unveiled a new, larger bag made expressly for iPod listeners. The Messenger Bag (pictured) uses the same smart fabric used in its Loaded Sound Bag and other models to save users the trouble of either using a remote or retrieving their iPod from a case in order to change songs. A fabric touchpad built into the shoulder strap can pause or skip tracks on an iPod connected inside a special pouch. Owners can also route audio from the iPod or any device with a headphone minijack into a built-in speaker system. A pouch also exists to store another small handheld safely apart from the internal cargo. G-Tech intends to launch the Messenger Bag in mid-November for $130. [Photo courtesy of Gizmag]
A new book is shedding light on the early development of Apple's iPod digital media player, describing the day-to-day life of Apple employees while the revolutionary device was under development. At every go or no-go checkpoint and on every detail, engineers were told to finish "builds" -- in-process prototypes of software and hardware -- on Fridays rather than the more typical midweek deadlines, according to a report from Forbes.com. "I think [...] they were giving the build to Steve [Jobs], who would take it home for the weekend and play with it," one engineer said. Mondays started with long 'to fix' lists, and "Steve would be horribly offended [if] he couldn't get to the song he wanted in less than three pushes of a button," according to another engineer. Journalist Steven Levy's 'The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture and Coolness' is a collection of essays about the iPod.
Spectra Video is now selling a hybrid media device that it says is ideal for computer users for whom tight living spaces might limit the available space for a separate TV. Simple in nature, the Logic 3 Super VGA Box can accept and switch between video input from multiple analog sources. TV can be played directly through a coaxial cable courtesy of a TV tuner or relayed from an outside source through RCA and S-video ports. Logic 3's device connects to a Mac or PC through a VGA connection and can display one of its video sources in a picture-in-picture window, letting viewers track a TV show without interrupting their computer use. The Super VGA Box is available now for Ł60 ($112 US).
Apple today introduced its new MagSafe Airline Power Adapter, a device that allows Mac notebook owners to plug into an airline seat power port for constant notebook power in-flight. The announcement comes alongside Apple's refreshed MacBook Pro, and follows bans on Apple and Dell laptops enacted by several airlines due to recent lithium-ion battery issues, including numerous reports of laptops bursting into flame. The new accessory features a standard connection via an "EmPower" compatible connector that users can plug into a 20mm DC power plug with the included adapter. "Because it's a MagSafe Adapter, you'll continue to enjoy MagSafe convenience just as you're already enjoying at home or work. The magnetic DC plug both ensures a tight connection and enables a clean break from the power port if there is undue tension-preventing your MacBook from being pulled off of your tray table if someone accidentally yanks the cord." The Magsafe Airline Power Adapter ($60) does not charge the battery while in use, according to Apple.
Not to be confused with the V9900, Samsung has debuted the V900, an Ultra Edition clamshell phone that's tinged red and etched with decorative patterns on the exterior. The phone is just 0.39 inches thick. AVING writes that the phone has a 2.3-inch QVGA screen, as well as Bluetooth, EVDO broadband, a 2MP camera, a GPS function, a microSD slot, and an audio player that handles VOD, MOD, and MP3. Extra software includes a subway route map and a "playing with my pet" game. Pricing and distribution has yet to be announced. Click through to see the open phone.
DoubleTwist -- the company founded by "DVD Jon" Lech Johansen -- has signed its first client hoping to cash in on Apple's success in the digital music industry, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Johansen recently announced plans to license iTunes DRM hack software, which allows users to remove many of the restrictions Apple imposes on video and music content purchased from the iTunes Music Store. DoubleTwist hopes to market anti-DRM software to third-party companies, and said it has signed its first client--although it declined to a provide the company's name. The software could help any of Apple's competitors and significantly alter the landscape of the music industry.
US Modular is preparing a high-capacity version of its mid-range Monstor Drive, the company announced on Tuesday. The updated version stores as much as 12GB of data (up from 8GB) on a 1.8-inch hard drive, providing enough room for music and other valuable data that won't fit on standard flash drives. Despite the increased storage, the transfer rates on the 4200RPM USB 2.0 drive remain comparatively quick, varying between 3.3MB and 6.5MB per second depending on the activity. The drive comes in a stainless steel enclosure that has a 1500G shock resistance rating. US Modular plans to ship the revised Monstor Drive on November 1st for $130.
D-Link has announced the DHP-301, the company's answer to the burgeoning number of home networking kits that operate through powerlines. The 301 bundles Ethernet cable, two adapters, and an installation disc. Throughput tops off at 200Mbps. Like other powerline setups, the network is connected simply by threading Ethernet cable to the adapters, which are then plugged into standard power outlets. Your home's own powerlines carry the data. D-Link says that the 301 will ship online and to retail "later this quarter" for the price of $220.
Falcon Northwest, a veteran gaming system builder, took the unusual step of releasing one of its own case designs to the public. Although most boutique PC designers limit their case designs to pre-assembled systems, the FragBox is now available as a barebones case that can be outfitted with any standard micro-ATX mainboard and the user's choice of peripherals. A 750-watt, full-size ATX power supply is included; this is crucial, Falcon says, as it allows even the most demanding processors and graphics cards to run properly in the tight confines of the case. The company has tested and used Athlon 64 FX-60s and quad-SLI video cards in the chassis. NewEgg is already shipping the FragBox for $290 from its online store, linked above. Availability at other stores hasn't been announced.
Adobe today released Adobe Digital Editions Beta, a rich internet application for digital publishing that allows users to acquire, read, and manage content including eBooks, digital magazines, and other digital publications. Digital Editions is designed to deliver a straightforward user experience for reading and managing commercially-published digital publications. The software builds on the Adobe eBook capabilities integrated into previous versions of Adobe Reader, taking them further by adding the ability to incorporate Flash interactivity and rich media. Adobe Digital Editions Beta is initially available as a free download for Microsoft Windows, though the company announced plans to distribute an initial public beta for Mac OS X during the fourth calendar quarter of 2006. Adobe plans to unveil Digital Editions beta at Adobe MAX 2006 on October 24th in Las Vegas, offering the software as a free download from the Adobe Labs website.
T-Mobile began testing a new service late Wednesday that it says will cure many of the issues that plague cellphones. Dubbed Hotspot @ Home, the technology takes advantage of the increasing prevalence of broadband Internet access and home WiFi routers to potentially eliminate the need for more than a cellphone, according to T-Mobile. In the current Seattle-only trial, subscribers must own phones with built-in WiFi but can connect to either a wireless router at home or a T-Mobile public hotspot to switch from cellular networks to VoIP. The plan gives users unlimited calling time from these points and improves the often poor reception found in some indoor areas. These two advantages effectively allow a cellphone to replace a land line in some cases, T-Mobile says. HotSpot @ Home is currently available in the trial area for $20 per month in addition to a minimum $40 per month with a two-year contract; the two phones currently on offer sell for $50 each with these terms. T-Mobile hasn't provided details of a formal rollout beyond Seattle, but it isn't expected to be widely available until 2007.
Apple today was granted three new patents, including a patent for a laptop ‘camera latch’ and one ‘Assigning meanings to utterances in a speech recognition system,’ which was originally filed on February 18, 2004. The patent, which references spoken utterances in a speech recognition system, may be related to Apple much rumored "iPhone," according to MacNN blogger Neo. The US Patent & Trademark Office also published Apple’s newly granted patent for “Method and apparatus for mapping objects to multiple tables of a database. Finally, Neo writes about the laptop latch patent: "Apple launched their first laptop with an integrated camera in October 2005 without using this granted patent method. Whether Apple will ever choose to implement a variant application of this invention in a future laptop design is unknown at this time. However, one of the advantages associated with this method that’s interesting to note is that the latch noted in this patent could be pivoted between a first position (as shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B) and a second position (as shown in FIGS. 2C and 2D)."
NEC today unveiled a new 37-inch LCD set designed as much to be used at work as it is in the living room. While the MultiSync LCD3735WXM has an ATSC tuner for HDTV signals and includes component, composite, and S-video inputs, it trades the HDMI ports more common among HDTV sets for DVI and VGA connectors with HDCP support. This lets users not only connect a Mac or PC directly to the set, but also provides the option of switching between two computers' video sources. The 1366x768 display is also considerably more color-accurate than most TVs and has a 9ms response time suitable for fast video, according to NEC. The 3735WXM is expected to ship in early November for $2,299.
After months of anticipation, Apple today unveiled a significant update to its pro laptops. The new MacBook Pro uses the newer Core 2 Duo processor, which adds 64-bit support and 4MB of cache, increasing performance by as much as 39%, according to Apple's testing. The company has also addressed several concerns with the previous 15-inch model, adding a 6X dual-layer DVD rewriter, a brighter screen, and a FireWire 800 port to the existing configurations. As before, Apple is offering two different 15-inch systems as well as a single 17-inch variant. The $1999 entry model sports a 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo, 1GB of RAM, and a 120GB hard drive; upgrading to the $2499 version improves the CPU to 2.33GHz, doubles the RAM to 2GB, and doubles the video RAM to 256MB. The flagship 17-inch version primarily improves storage, increasing the DVD write speed to 8X and offering a 160GB hard drive. Apple is shipping the 15-inch models today; the 17-inch version will be available next week.
Samsung used the recent Korea Electronics Show to unveil what is likely the slimmest mainstream phone yet available. Its V9900 handset is only 0.27 inches thick, rendering it thinner still than even the company's own T-Mobile Trace. Even so, Samsung says it hasn't sacrificed features to achieve these dimensions. As available now, the V9900 has a two-megapixel camera, a 320x240 screen, and MP3 music playback support. While no plans have been formally announced to release the phone in the US, in its current form it connects to CDMA networks and supports EVDO -- pointing to a possible introduction with US cellular providers such as Verizon in the coming months. Click through for a gallery, courtesy of AVING.
Apple today announced that its entire MacBook Pro line of notebooks now includes the new Intel Core 2 Duo processor and delivers performance that is up to 39 percent faster than the previous generation. All MacBook Pro models now offer double the memory and greater storage capacity than the previous generation, as well as a FireWire 800 port for connecting to high-speed peripherals. The new MacBook Pro's stunning, lightweight, aluminum enclosure is just one-inch thin, available in 15- and 17-inch models, and features a built-in iSight video camera for video conferencing on-the-go. The new models feature either 2.16GHz or 2.33GHz Core 2 Duo processors as well as more memory and greater storage capacity (including build-to-order options for 200GB drives). Apple said that the 15-inch models--available in $1,999 and $2,499 configurations--are expected to ship this week, while the 17-inch models will ship next week.
Apple's online stores are closed ahead of rumored MacBook Pro updates. The stores have a "We'll be back soon. We are busy updating the store for you and will be back shortly" message on the front page. The store closings are typical of days Apple has product introductions. Late last night, reports an imminent release of Core 2 Duo-enabled versions of Apple's professional laptop line surfaced. The new versions may bring updated, faster Core 2 Duo "Merom" processors, while other reports indicate that larger drivers, faster DVD burnersa, and FireWire 800 may also be possibilities.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,Â Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard DiskÂ Drive,Â GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl