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Leopard for developers
Apple this week revealed new interface and security enhancements expected with the next version of its Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard" operating system, including a new realtime debugging tool for developers, code-signing, updated Objective C environment, and resolution independence for higher density screen. The company outlined its new Xray application, which will allow developers to "track UI events in real-time and see how they affect I/O activity and CPU load at the same time," eWEEK writes. "This application will be based on the open-source DTrace, but provide a graphical interface to that utility's command-line monitoring of kernel and user code.... At the other end of the spectrum--affecting users more than developers--is resolution independence. This will allow the operating system to present user interface elements at various scales."
Apple ranks No. 11 on Web
Briefly: Apple ranked No. 11 among all global web properties during the month of September with just under 95 million unique users--ahead of its No. 14 US ranking during the same month--according to comScore Networks (Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google were in the top three with 727m, 505m, and 480m, respectively).... FreeMacBlog has released the sixth video in a series on how to use your Mac as a server: "How To Host Multiple Web Sites On A Single Mac" explains "everything in simple terms so even beginners should feel comfortable.".... Jumsoft today released Money 2.0 Beta ($40), a new and completely rewritten version of its personal and small business financial management application for Mac OS X, ofering a simplified user interface, smart accounts, improved reports, bills management, budgets management, and more.... At least one consulting firm recommends that Mac small business owners users run the PC version of QuickBooks to run their business rather than the Mac version, noting that PC version has a larger feature set.
DVD Studio Pro 4.1.1
Apple has released DVD Studio Pro 4.1.1, an update to its professional DVD authoring application. The update addresses an issue with disc layout for DDP and CMF images on Intel-based Macintosh computers. It is a 2.3MB download and requires Mac OS X 10.4.4 or later. Separately, the company also released a firmware update for its MacBook shutdown problems and a new iPod utility to address iPod shuffle reset problems as well as Final Cut Pro Express HD 3.5.1 to fix a few other known issues.
New .Mac webmail UI
Apple today launched its revamped webmail user interface on .Mac, its suite of paid internet services. The company previewed the interface several weeks ago, but did not provide a release date. On Thursday, the company quietly launched the new UI, which is akin to its Mail.app desktop email client. Mail.app ships free with its operating systems, including both Panther and Tiger. Dot-Mac (.Mac), which costs $99/year, offers a plethora of services, including file sharing with 1GB of combined storage, photo sharing, email, backup, group collaboration, computer-to-computer sync services, and integration with iWeb, Apple's webpage creation application, and Mac OS X. The new interface brings drag & drop support, a message pane, smart refreshes, quick reply, an integrated Address Book, message previews, message flagging, and keyboard shortcuts.
MacBook firmware update
Apple today released new firmware that it claims resolves the MacBook shutdown problems plaguing many users. The company has released MacBook SMC Firmware Update 1.1, which it said improves the MacBook's internal monitoring system and addresses issues with unexpected shutdowns. Apple recommends the update for all MacBook systems, including those that received warranty repair, but said that the update requires the installation of Mac OS X 10.4.7 or Mac OS X 10.4.8. In early September, the company acknowledged the MacBook problems by posting a note to its support website and asking affected users to contact AppleCare, while other users suspected other faulty components as the root cause. Users continue to report unexplained, random shutdown problems with the new (and popular) Intel-based consumer laptop and even went as far as creating a website to rally those affected. Recent reports also indicate that some US-based lawfirms were exploring the possibility of a class action lawsuit as well.
Kenpo, 15 iPod jackets
Kenpo has unveiled 15 new iPod jackets designed to target virtually every user need. The expanded Kenpo Jacket line ranges from light windbreakers to heavier bubble and snowboarding jackets for men as well as women. All the new models use ElekTex' smart fabric to provide five navigation buttons on the left sleeve that pause and skip tracks for the iPod, which is hidden in a specially-padded pocket, according to Electronista. The design is machine-washable, and doesn't require any batteries to run. Jackets are priced between $90 and $200 depending on style, and are scheduled for shipment to clothing stores such as JC Penney and Nordstrom's in the near future.
HookUp Bluetooth remote
Lenntek has unveiled the HookUp, a tandem Bluetooth receiver and remote designed to more effectively bridge the audio of cellphones and iPods. The receiver connects to the Dock Connector on fifth-generation iPods, making use of an intermediary remote to handle basic audio controls on both the portable player and a Bluetooth-enabled cellular phone. As with similar remotes, the HookUp automatically pauses music when it detects an incoming call and resumes when the call ends, according to Electronista. The accessory allows owners to safely pocket both devices until access to more advanced functionality is required. The company is already shipping the Bluetooth adapter for $130.
Rimax Mystic player w/VoIP
Rimax has introduced the Mystic, a media player that happens to double as a VoIP phone. To engage VoIP mode, users simply plug the USB cable into a PC. When it's not taking phonecalls, the Mystic can listen to FM radio, play ACT, MP3, WAV, and WMA audio files, or play MPEG-4 video converted to the AMV format. JPEG photos can also be stored. The Mystic is being sold now in three different formats: 512MB (£56), 1GB (£70), and 2GB (£90). The 512MB player comes with white and orange covers, while the 1 and 2GB models come with an additional green cover. At present there seems to be no domestic American distribution.
Kenpo iPod Jackets
Los Angeles' clothing designer Kenpo has just introduced 15 new iPod jackets that it says target virtually every need. The expanded Kenpo Jacket line ranges from light windbreakers to heavier bubble and snowboarding jackets for both men and women. All the new models use ElekTex' smart fabric to provide five navigation buttons on the left sleeve that pause and skip tracks for the iPod, which is hidden in a specially-padded inside pocket. The design can be machine-washed and doesn't require any batteries to run, Kenpo says. Jackets vary in price between $89 and $189 depending on the style and will be available soon at clothing stores such as JC Penney and Nordstrom's.
Lenntek HookUp iPod Remote
Lenntek has unveiled the HookUp, a tandem Bluetooth receiver and remote that the company believes will more effectively bridge the audio of cellphones and iPods. The receiver connects to the Dock Connector on fifth-generation iPods and uses an intermediary remote to handle basic audio controls on both the iPod and a Bluetooth-equipped cellphone. As with similar remotes, the HookUp automatically pauses music when it detects an incoming call and resumes when the call ends. This lets owners safely pocket both devices until more advanced functions are necessary, according to Lenntek. The company ships its Bluetooth adapter today from Amazon for $130.
Toshiba HD-DVD offer
Toshiba will soon offer three free discs with every purchase of an HD-DVD player, writes High-Def Digest. Starting November 1st and ending February 28th, customers will receive a mail-in order form that will let them choose one disc apiece from three different studios (Warner, Paramount and Universal). Notable titles to choose from include "Apollo 13," "Blazing Saddles," and "U2: Rattle and Hum." Click through to see the complete list. The move would seem to be an escalation in the HD media wars, following Sony's decision to bundle the Blu-ray "Talladega Nights" with the first 500,000 Playstation 3s. Toshiba is demonstrably winning the conflict though, since Home Media Retailing has reported that HD-DVD discs are outselling Blu-ray discs three to one.
RSS Replay, File Sleuth
RSS Replay 1.2.2 ($30) updates the Dreamweaver extension for placing content from RSS feeds in Web page layouts. The latest revision simplifies placing multiple Replays on one layout by enabling auto-renaming, improves linking as well as maintaining links when moving RSS Replay files within a website, and removes the requirement of fopen access for PHP Proxy.
[Download - 257KB]
File Sleuth 1.0 ($10) updates the file management utility that offers advanced editing options, generates icons, renames audio tracks, and applies file attributes in batches. Version 1.0 runs natively on Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary, features a new icon, adds a presets popup menu, and applies a different set of rules for batch operations. [Download - 6.2MB]
Radiotastic 0.9 beta (free) allows users to listen to as well as record internet radio via Apple's dashboard. The widget supports RealAudio, Windows Media, QuickTime, and MP3 formats. Radiotastic runs natively on Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary, requiring Mac OS X 10.4 or later. [Download - 200KB]
iWisdom ($price) manage a collection of quotations or other brief notes, tracking a set of fields concerning each item. iWisdom stores data in XML format, optionally publishing collections in HTML using a series of included XSL templates and cascading style sheets. [Download - 3.1MB]
Birthday Buzzer 1.0.1 ($9) reminds users of upcoming and already-missed birthdays by integrating with Apple's Address Book. The software offers a variety of reminder options, and includes Growl support. The update fixes problems running in the WWDC 2006 version of Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard," and repairs other minor bugs. [Download - 640KB]
Subliminal Message 1.0 (free) is designed to help users experience subliminal messages. A slider changes the on-screen display time of random messages from 1-50 milliseconds, and a button enables users to display the same message for 500 milliseconds when messages are missed. Subliminal Message 1.0 requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later. [Download - 1.3MB]
Pocket LOOX GPS
Fujitsu-Siemens is touting its new Pocket LOOX N100 as both a useful GPS unit and as a truly portable media player. The N100 uses a 2.8-inch touchscreen instead of the more commonplace 3.5-inch display. This shrinks the system to a size that can fit on a keychain, the company says. It maintains the same features as larger models and can track multiple potential routes as well as thousands of points of interest. However, Fujitsu-Siemens notes, the N100's compact size makes it a superior portable media player. Support for AAC, MP3, and WMA songs is possible simply by transferring songs from a computer via USB, giving the hybrid device compatibility with both Mac and Windows systems. A 1GB miniSD card is bundled with the system and comes preloaded with maps of the GPS unit's native Europe. The N100 is shipping today for £250 ($472 US) after tax.
Samsung prosumer camera
Samsung has announced the VLUU NV7 OPS, a high-end consumer camera initially headed to the Korean market in October, says AVING. Though the NV7 will have a 7.2MP CCD sensor and 7x optical zoom, the most unusual aspects of the camera are the body size and the anti-shake technology. The unit will actually have two anti-shake systems: Advanced Shake Reduction, and the centerpiece Optical Picture Stabilization (OPS). The body meanwhile will be a mere 0.8 inches thick, which is less than a third the girth of the competing Canon S3 IS. The NV7 will also be able to charge via USB and record MPEG-4 video at 30fps and 640x480 resolution.
Wacom tablet for children
Wacom has introduced Colorelli, a combination computer tablet and game designed for children ages five and up. Through a series of artistic and design-oriented games, players are encouraged to develop creative expression and learn practical drawing skills; the system was created in tandem with educators and child psychologists, according to Electronista. The tablet boasts many of the same features as the company's professional models, including a 5 x 3.6-inch active drawing area, a 512-level pressure-sensitive pen, and a 1000dpi effective tablet resolution. The game requires a 1.2GHz Windows XP system with a DVD drive, but the tablet itself connects via USB and should offer compatibility with both Mac OS X and Windows systems. Wacom is due to ship Colorelli in Europe on November 6th for $75 US.
Sansa Car FM Transmitter
Accessory maker Maximo Products has just introduced an FM transmitter that helps Sansa e200-series owners enjoy the same listening options as iPod owners. The SAN-360 is designed simply to power the SanDisk player through a car's 12-volt port while streaming the player's music through an integrated FM transmitter. The design takes advantage of the Sansa's dock connector to minimize cabling. Maximo's transmitter can be set to address nearly all of the available FM band, from 88.1 to 107.9MHz, and has three memory presets for quick access to known clear frequencies. Maximo doesn't currently list a price but is shipping the SAN-360 shortly.
Vista upgrades, confusion
Microsoft's recently announced plan to offer Vista upgrade coupons as a means of shoring up computer sales during the holiday is "another Microsoft stumble," according to one report. ZDNet's Adrian Kingsley criticizes the coupon system -- which offers different upgrade paths from Windows XP systems purchased between October and March, depending on the XP edition -- for allowing widely varying discounts that may only serve to confuse buyers. Kingsley condemns the frequent ineligibility and contrasting prices for the upgrades, with many entry-level PCs being excluded entirely from free upgrades by system builders while owners of other systems face significant expenses, according to Electronista.
New MacBook Pro photos
In brief: One user has posted photos of a new MacBook Pro featuring Intel's Core 2 Duo processor as the device is unpacked from its box.... The new C2D MacBook Pro apparently features an updated wireless card manufactured by Atheros with a device ID of 0024, and is reportedly compatible with 802.11n draft specification.... The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office today published Apple's patent application titled "Security methods and systems," which generally relates to methods of improving security when accessing applications.... The Kewei Digital Jianwai SOHO Apple Store is set to open on October 31st in Beijing, making it Beijing's largest Apple-related store to date.... Apple is preparing to launch a new version of its Mac Pro computer that will offer almost double the processing power of existing models with eight cores, according to one report.... PC Publishing has released "PC Music - The Easy Guide" ($18) designed to introduce users to making music with computers.
O'Neill H3 Camera Backpack
O'Neill has developed a backpack for outdoors enthusiasts who want to record their expeditions as well as any traveler who wants to capture video without a conspicuous camera. The H3 CamPack includes a micro camera lens in its right shoulder strap, and a joystick on the left to aim the lens. Any standard DV camera can connect to this lens or a second, goggle- or helmet-mounted lens to obtain video without endangering the actual video device, says O'Neill. A Bluetooth transmitter has been added to enable hands-free calling, and the backpack can interface with any docking iPod to use the shoulder straps as basic music navigation tools. The H3 already ships in Europe at stores such as Air-Head for £220 ($415 US). North American availability hasn't been determined.
SwiMP3 Underwater Player
Finis is currently shipping a unique digital audio player made solely for swimmers. Where most music devices rely on headphones that vibrate the air, the SwiMP3 uses bone conduction to register the sounds immediately on the wearer's inner ear. This provides superior sound quality, according to Finis, and lets swimmers listen to music underwater without concerns about water infiltrating the earpieces or rushing water noises interrupting the music. Controls are mounted on the back of the swimmer's head to avoid interfering with performance swimming. Music playback is limited to MP3s stored on 128MB of built-in flash, but the SwiMP3 works with both Macs and Windows. It can be found at stores such as Waterproof Music for $200.
BMG Japanese artists, iTMS
BMG Japan and Apple today announced the availability of Japanese and international artists on iTunes in Japan. The addition of the BMG Japan catalog brings top J-POP and international artists to the iTunes Store, including Alicia Keys, Avril Lavigne, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Foo Fighters, Justin Timberlake, Kasabian, Outkast, Pink, Seamo, Suga Shikao, Sukima Switch, Usher, and more. "BMG Japan is delighted to join forces with Apple to make the wealth of our catalogue available through the iTunes Store in Japan." said Daniel DiCicco, executive vice president of BMG Japan. "We look forward to continuing to drive BMG Japan's digital development through this very important relationship by connecting the iTunes community to top J-Pop and international artists from BMG Japan."
Nokia 870 Spotted
While news of the lower-end Nokia 330 media player has only just surfaced as an inexpensive counterpart to the 770, the latter's successor is already well into development, forum members at Internet Tablet Talk have discovered. A photo and preliminary details of the upcoming handheld appeared courtesy of an anonymous source that confirmed Nokia's plans to improve on its earlier design. The 870 is expected to be slightly larger horizontally, improving the resolution and visibility of the design for web browsing. A webcam has also been added, and an enlarged speaker grille suggests an increased focus on VoIP communication, say reports. Few other details are known, though mobile broadband access and WiFi are widely anticipated. Click through for the complete photo.
Mac Expo: Photo Gallery II
With the ongoing Mac Expo in London, companies such as Quark and Miglia made product announcements. Despite a large Apple presence at the London tradeshow, no specific product announcements were made after its new Core 2 Duo-enabled laptops for professionals were introduced earlier this week, but the company showcased its new 24-inch iMac. Earlier in the day, Greenpeace's 'Green my Apple' stall was shut down at the start of Mac Expo in London by event organizers due to "complaints from unnamed sources." Other companies attending the show include Adobe, Canon, Filemaker, Griffin, Logitech, Pinnacle, and Quark, among others. We have posted our second showfloor gallery.
Super-slim mice from Korea
Keeping mice small is essential for portable computing, and Samsung has stepped up with an unnamed super-slim mouse, AVING reports. The mouse has five buttons but is just 0.3 inches thick and 3.7 inches long. A semi-automatic cable winder tucks the USB cord inside the body. The scrollwheel, meanwhile, is lit with an LED light and scrolls by rotating left and right rather than up or down. A similar design exists in the Anyzen UM10, which appears to be directly licensed from Samsung and differs mainly by being even smaller (3.1 inches in length) and purple instead of black or silver. Click below to see it. The UM10 is identified as having 800dpi resolution.
Greenpeace shown the door
Greenpeace's 'Green my Apple' stall today was shut down at the start of MacExpo in London by event organizers who claim they received complaints from unnamed sources. Greenpeace set up the stall in an attempt to raise awareness about concerns over the use of toxic chemicals in Apple's products. The Greenpeace volunteers manning the stall were signing up Mac fans to challenge Apple to 'go green,' according to the organization. Flyers explaining the Green my Apple campaign were handed out to members of the public along with organic green apples. The volunteers have vowed to return to the expo tomorrow to continue the campaign.
SuperClip for 2G Nano
XtremeMac today unveiled its new SuperClip for Apple's second-generation iPod nano, a low-profile attachment that snaps to the back of the iPod and clips to a belt, pocket, purse, or backpack. The clip rotates 360-degrees and locks into a variety of positions, allowing easy attachment at any angle, according to XtremeMac. The SuperClip is designed as a functional and unobtrusive accessory, revealing only the sides of the clip when viewing the Nano from the front. Notches in the clip help users wind up excess earbud cord, and clear rubber pads on the inside grip the Nano to prevent slipping. SuperClip is available for pre-order ($20), and is slated for shipment in mid-November.
Fisher-Price Music Player
Fisher-Price recently began shipping the Kid-Tough FP3 Player, a digital jukebox the toy maker has designed with pre-schoolers in mind. The FP3 has oversized buttons and an icon-only interface to help children navigate their music without help. The bundled headphones are properly sized for younger listeners' ears and the player itself is built to survive the shock of a sudden drop, according to the company. Inside, the player stores up to two hours of music on its integrated flash storage and has an SD card slot to store extra music. Fisher-Price preloads the device with six songs and two stories, giving parents the option to either purchase more through an online Fisher-Price store or to import their own CDs. Power is supplied through two AAA batteries. Already available, the latest Kid-Tough device sells for $70.
Polaroid and breast cancer
Polaroid has introduced the i639M, a digital camera meant to raise breast cancer awareness. The camera comes in three shades: pink, light pink, and magenta. It should be noted however that unlike Apple and the Product Red iPod, Polaroid is not donating any proceeds to charity. The camera is a 6MP model with 3x optical zoom, a 2.4" LCD, and 16MB of built-in storage to go with its SD card slot. It can also record WAV audio and MPEG-4 video. The i639M is on sale for about $150 at retailers such as Target and Circuit City.
Mac Expo Photo Gallery I
The Mac Expo tradeshow today kicked off in London with announcements of new products from Quark, including QuarkXpress Interactive Designer, the company's new Flash tool as well as QuarkXpress 7.02, an update to the only Universal professional desktop publishing solution. Other announcements included Miglia's TVDuo, which the company claims is the world's first dual digital TV tuner for Mac systems. While Apple did not have any announcements, we have posted a photo gallery of Apple's booth from the London show.
Wacom Colorelli Tablet
Normally known for its emphasis on professional artists, Wacom has recently introduced Colorelli, a combination computer tablet and game targeted at children aged 5 and up. Through a series of artistic and design-oriented games, players are encouraged to both develop creative expression as well as learn practical drawing skills; the system was designed in tandem with educators and child psychologists, Wacom says. The tablet has many of the same features as the company's professional models, including a 5-inch by 3.6-inch active drawing area, a 512-level pressure-sensitive pen, and a 1000 DPI effective tablet resolution. The game requires a 1.2GHz Windows XP system with a DVD drive, but the tablet itself connects via USB and should be compatible with both MacOS X and Windows PCs. Wacom is shipping Colorelli first to Europe on November 6th for 60 Euros ($75 US).
i-mate K-JAR Pocket PC
The Dubai-based i-mate has recently shown off a new Pocket PC phone called the K-JAR, says PDAFrance. The design is based off the company's existing JASJAR model. Like the JASJAR, the new product will not only sport a QWERTY keyboard, but also a pivoting display. The K-JAR will have a 2.8-inch QVGA screen, as well as Bluetooth, WiFi, and 64MB of RAM with 128MB of ROM. The OS is Windows Mobile Phone Edition. Curiously, the K-JAR will omit the 3G radio that was in the JASJAR. It's undetermined if and when the K-JAR will come to North America, but i-mate's past efforts to breach the market suggest the phone could be a weapon in the struggle.
White Nano Action Jacket
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) today launched its white Action Jacket for iPod nano, a neoprene case with a fully adjustable armband and a rotating belt clip. The new Action Jacket is specifically designed to complement the colors of Apple's new second-generation iPod nano, offering a 'clean' white design to spotlight the Nano. A solid vinyl window protects the iPod screen and controls, shielding the device from dirt and sweat during physical activities. An occasional wipe with a damp soapy cloth keeps the case clean, according to DLO, and the the armband is machine-washable. The new DLO Action Jacket for iPod nano is available for $30.
JVC portable stereo, dock
JVC has begun shipping the RA-P10, its first portable stereo system featuring an iPod dock. The device comes with a remote control, offers 4W per channel, and boasts an FM tuner with 20 presets. The JVC RA-P10 can run on six AA batteries, whereas most other stereo docks require D-size or even proprietary batteries. An included AC adapter also allows users to power the device from any wall socket, according to Electronista. iPod owners can view the built-in LCD display, make use of a snooze alarm clock, and monitor room temperature with a built-in thermometer. The system is shipping for $130.
Vista Coupon Stumble
Microsoft's recently announced plan to offer Vista upgrade coupons as a means of shoring up computer sales during the holiday is "another Microsoft stumble," according to ZDNet's Adrian Kingsley. The coupon system, which offers different upgrade paths from Windows XP systems bought between October and March depending on the XP edition, is criticized by Kingsley for allowing widely varying discounts that may only serve to confuse buyers.
"Microsoft has taken what should be relatively easy and made it far too complicated by handing too much control over to the PC vendors," he says.
iPod dock alarm clock
Edifier has introduced the MO, a speaker dock designed specifically as a bedside alarm clock for use with Apple's iPod players. The MO looks like a conventional alarm clock , replacing the watch hands with an iPod cradle that both charges the iPod and uses its built-in alarm function to play the owner's choice of song through integrated speakers, according to Electronista. The central position of the iPod is also useful for viewing the on-screen clock, according to Edifier. The speaker system works with all dockable iPods, including the iPod nano and video iPod models (pricing and a launch date were unavailable).
Final Cut Express update
Apple has released Final Cut Express HD 3.5.1, addressing compatibility issues on specific hardware. Final Cut Express HD features flexible movie editing with the ability to insert, overwrite, replace, or fit to fill clips into sequences by dragging them directly onto a canvas or timeline. Users can layer video clips, photos, or graphics files -- such as multilayered Adobe Photoshop files to produce side-by-side video, picture-in-picture effects, or multi-layered collages. The software supports real-time effects and transitions, as well as up to 99 audio tracks and voiceover capability. The update requires Mac OS X 10.4.4 or later and Final Cut express 3.5. Final Cut Express HD is available for $300.
JVC RA-P10 iPod stereo
JVC is dipping its toes into the realm of iPod docks with the RA-P10, a portable stereo system. It has a remote control, 4W per channel, and an FM tuner with 20 presets, but what may really attract some is the ability to run on six AA batteries. Other stereo docks can require D-size, or a proprietary battery that has to be charged. An AC adapter is included if you have access to a socket, which is probably wise to use if you want to charge your iPod through the dock. Some miscellaneous features of the P10 include an LCD display, a snooze alarm clock, and room temperature display. The system is out now for $130.
QuarkXpress 7.02 posted
Alongside the introduction of its new Flash creation tool, Quark today released QuarkXPress 7.02, an update to the Universal application for creating print and Web-ready layouts. The update offers license transfer functionality, enabling users to move an activated license of QuarkXPress 7.02 or QuarkXPress Passport 7.02 to a new computer. In addition, the latest revision of QuarkXPress includes supplemental language support for QuarkXPress 7 Passport customers that provides hyphenation support for additional languages; it also offers support for special characters in object and file names when the operating system is set to that language. Finally, the update resolves a number of display, printing, output, graphics, language, and other issues. The company notes that Mac OS customers must install QuarkXPress 7.01 before installing version 7.02.
Edifier MO iPod Clock
Edifier is preparing a speaker dock designed explicitly as a bedside alarm clock. Dubbed the MO, the device holds the appearance of a conventional alarm clock but replaces the conventional watch hands with an iPod cradle that both charges the iPod and uses its built-in alarm function to play the owner's choice of song through integrated speakers. The central position of the iPod is also useful for viewing its on-screen clock, Edifier adds. The speaker system is compatible with all dockable iPods, including the iPod nano and video. No pricing or availability has been set. A full photo is available after the jump.
Miglia debuts TVDuo
Miglia Technology today debuted TVDuo, the world's first dual digital TV tuner for Mac systems. The device is designed to bring a complete DVR experience to Mac desktops by integrating two digital terrestrial tuners, allowing users to watch and record programs without having to decide which to miss and which to watch. TVDuo is compatible with the DVT-T standard, and works in most European and Asian countries, according to Miglia. The company plans to demonstrate TVDuo on stand 458 at Mac Expo in the UK. The device requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later, and will ship with a 2-year warranty (pricing was unavailable).
Quark Interactive Designer
Quark today announced Quark Interactive Designer, its new Flash development application that enables creative professionals to create rich, interactive content such as interactive tours, online ads, and design-driven presentations using QuarkXPress 7. Quark Interactive Designer allows users to design compelling Flash layouts for the Web without any programming skills. The new software enables easy creation of interactive buttons, animations, movies, and dozens of predefined actions for transitioning pages, playing sounds, sliding objects, and creating interactive menus. QID creates SWF files using a "timeline-free" environment--instead allowing users to select from a variety of animation, interactive, and other design options.
Apple, Shuffle woes
Apple has released iPod shuffle Reset Utility 1.0 for Mac, an application designed to restore its first-generation iPod shuffle by completely erasing all data on the device and reinstalling software version 1.1.4. The utility fixes several issues related to first-generation (512MB and 1GB) models, such as the flashing "lights of death" typical of unresponsive Shuffles. In late June iPod shuffle owners banded together after discussing the widespread issue on Apple's own support forums, hoping the company would recognize the problem and address the issue. Affected iPods flash amber and green LEDs when the play button is pressed, and the units will not play any music or sync music from iTunes. The iPod shuffle Reset Utility only works with first-generation 512MB and 1GB iPod shuffles, requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later, and is available for free from Apple's website.
"Chameleon" iPod patent
Briefly: A new US patent application reveals Apple's possible plans for a new iPod; the filing describes the chameleonic nature of a next-generation touch-screen iPod that will be able to transform itself from being a music player to PDA to photo album and a cellular phone. Apple also filed two other continuation patents titled 'Method and apparatus for configuring a computer' and 'Presenting compatible components and system conditions for computer devices.' A related patent was additionally filed under 'Method and apparatus for providing compatible components for purchase.'... The BMG Japan Catalog is now available on the iTunes Store in Japan.... Apple announced it will open a new retail store, ABQ Uptown, in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Wednesday, November 1, 2006 at 10:00 a.m. MDT; the store is located at 2240 Q Street NE, Suite D.... DVcreators.net has released its After Effects 7 PowerStart DVD ($80), a next-generation training tool for mastering Adobe's sophisticated motion graphics software.... Omnipilot has launched a new Agency Users Group and is celebrating its 10-year Lasso anniversary with specials that expire at the end of the month.
Samsung U710 for Verizon
Photos have appeared showing a new Samsung smartphone that will soon arrive at Verizon, according to contributors from HowardForums. Initially discovered in FCC testing, the U710 is an answer to LG's VX9900, also set to be carried by Verizon. While it resembles a music phone on the outside, including dedicated external music controls and an accordant display, the bi-directional clamshell design opens to reveal a QWERTY keyboard suited to e-mail and texting. Features are expected to be rich, sources report, including a 3.2-megapixel camera, EVDO broadband, and enhanced Bluetooth support that can transmit all audio -- not just that from a media player or other specific programs -- to nearby wireless headphones or speakers. The phone's menus are also notable for supporting visual themes, a feature previously absent on many Samsung handhelds. No launch information has been given, though the existence of the Verizon branding on the U710 points to a release in the near future. Click through for a photo gallery.
Adobe Soundbooth beta
Adobe has posted a beta of Soundbooth, a new sound editing application with visual tools for creating and editing audio and fixing common audio flaws using visually-oriented tools. The application, built in the "spirit of Sound Edit 16 and Cool Edit," provides the tools video editors, designers, and others who do not specialize in audio need to accomplish their everyday. Users can clean up noisy audio, edit audio files/tracks, visually identifying and removing unwanted sounds, record and polish voiceovers, add effects/filters, and easily create customized music without much musical expertise. The company is offering the solution for Intel-based Macs only, saying that "Apple is quickly moving its focus towards Intel Macs, and no longer sells Power PC systems in many places. By focusing on Apple's future, we have been able to bring this powerful application to the Mac platform much more rapidly, and with a stronger feature set."
Nokia Bundles Movie
In what it describes as a Hollywood first, Nokia said on Thursday that it will bundle a full-length movie with one of its premier cellphones. A new N93 edition will ship with a 512MB miniSD card that stores a complete copy of the action movie Mission: Impossible 3, optimized in resolution for the phone's smaller screen but running at the same 25 frames per second as in theaters. While the movie is copy-protected and can't play on a computer or another memory card, Nokia warns, the file can be transferred to a host PC for safekeeping to make room for more essential information. The MI:3 bundle won't raise the price of the N93 and is shipping now to most of Europe; a North American edition hasn't been announced.
Everex today claimed that it has produced a laptop with record-breaking low power consumption. The StepNote NC1500 uses a 1.5GHz VIA C7-M mobile processor, minimizing the effect of the CPU as the single largest contributor to a portable computer's overall power consumption. The result is a maximum 12 watts of power use at peak performance, Everex says. A combination of this and the use of low-energy S3 integrated graphics and a 4200RPM hard drive produces as much as 20% additional battery life while still offering a 15.4-inch display and built-in 802.11g wireless. The choice of components also helps trim costs as well, according to Everex. Despite the inclusion of a DVD rewriter, the NC1500 is shipping for $498 in a standard configuration that also includes 512MB of RAM and a 60GB hard drive. The company says its newer StepNote should be available now at Wal-Mart as well as some computer resellers.
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