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News Archive for 06/10/30

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Sonnet revamps Nano cradle for iFreq

10/30, 8:20pm

Sonnet revamps Nano cradle

Sonnet Technologies today unveiled a redesigned iPod nano cradle that comes bundled with its iFreq in-vehicle FM transmitter/charger that works with both first- and second-generation iPod nanos. The iFreq features a design and mounting system that allow users to snap the cradle on or off an adhesive-backed magnetic disk that attaches to a vehicle's dashboard. The device utilizes the line-out signal from the iPod to obtain a clean, consistent sound level, and is designed to provide a high signal-to-noise ratio with stereo separation, as well as extended frequency response. The body of the accessory integrates simple controls with a backlit display, which plugs directly into a cigarette lighter jack. iFreq is compatible with all iPod models that feature a dock connector when used without the Nano mounting cradle, and is available for $80.

Apple releases Boot Camp 1.1.2 beta [u]

10/30, 8:10pm

Boot Camp 1.1.2 beta

Apple today updated its Boot Camp beta software, enhancing the utility that allows Intel Mac owners to boot into Mac OS X or another operating system such as Microsoft Windows. The list of specific changes for Boot Camp 1.1.2 is absent from Apple's website, however, despite the presence of its download link to the new version. Users wanting to update to Boot Camp 1.1.2 beta with a previously installed beta need only update the Boot Camp Assistant software and create a new Macintosh Drivers for Windows CD, installing the updated software it contains on Windows XP. Apple's Boot Camp beta software requires Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.6 or later running on an Intel-based Mac, as well as the latest firmware updates. [corrected]

"Compute" Keynote themes released

10/30, 7:50pm

"Compute" Keynote themes

Divine Fiat today released Compute, its latest theme set for Apple's Keynote presentation software consisting of "Workstation," "iTheme - Black," and "iTheme - White." Inspired by the industrial look and feel of the Mac Pro, Workstation is designed to give 'an elegant power' to presentations. From the 'cheese-grater' ventilation to the aluminum case, Workstation is meant to appear as sleek and strong as the computer that inspired it. Both iTheme - Black and iTheme - White incorporate the sleek, polished look and feel of the iPod as well as the new MacBooks. All three themes attempt to provide the same professional quality to presentations as all things Macintosh. Workstation, iTheme - Black, and iTheme - White are available individually for $20, or as part of the Compute collection for $50.

iHome previews Nano speaker system

10/30, 6:55pm

Nano speaker system debuts

iHome today previewed its iHM1B, a compact speaker system intended for Apple's first-generation iPod nano. The cabinet-shaped design provides stereo sound while safeguarding the iPod's body against scratches, and the enclosure also gives easy access to the iPod's clickwheel and hold switch. SRS TruBass technology is built into the speakers to improve low-end frequency response, according to Electronista. The iHM1B is available only in black, and is scheduled to ship for $30 later in the fall; the status of a version designed for second-generation iPod nanos is unknown.

ATTO debuts SAS/SATA RAID cards

10/30, 6:35pm

SAS SATA RAID cards debut

ATTO Technology is planning to unveil a new line of SAS/SATA RAID Adapters that offer flexible SAS and SATA II connectivity while delivering fast data transfers of up to 3Gbps per port. The new ExpressSAS RAID adapters are the industry's first and only devices of their kind with a true low-profile form factor that fit standard-length PCI Express slots, according to ATTO, making them ideal for compact server applications. The adapters are also the only SAS RAID cards with hardware RAID 6 and RAID 60 support, offering selectable port configuration options for a custom mix of internal and external SAS connections. The ExpressSAS adapters are the only SAS RAID controllers that support Mac OS X, bringing the high performance of SAS storage technology to Mac owners. ATTO's new ExpressSAS RAID controllers are expected to ship in the first quarter of 2007 for $1,100.

SpamSieve 2.5 improves parser

10/30, 6:05pm

SpamSieve 2.5 released

Developer Michael Tsai today released SpamSieve 2.5, an update to the Universal application that brings Bayesian spam filtering to Mac email clients. SpamSieve allows users to control the software from within an email client to customize how the program interacts with message sorting rules. Compatible email clients include Apple Mail, Emailer, Entourage, Eudora, GyazMail, Mailsmith, Outlook Express, and PowerMail. The latest revision includes changes to the parser and classifiers for improved accuracy, and enhances the in-memory corpus representation efficiency. The Software Update feature is rewritten to show release notes when a newer version is available, and SpamSieve 2.5 improves accuracy on messages containing misspelled words. The update is free for registered users, and requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later. SpamSieve is priced at $30 for new users.

First Apple Store to open in Scotland

10/30, 5:25pm

Scotland Apple Store

A listed building planning application currently under consideration by Glasgow City Council reveals the future location of Scotland's first Apple Store. Located at 147 Buchanan Street in the middle of what some say is one of the busiest and most exclusive shopping streets in the UK, Apple will open its doors in a remodeled building that currently houses a home furnishings shop. The planning application depicts the replacement of the existing mezzanine floor, as well as the installation of a new elevator. Apple is also planning to install a new stone floor at the ground level, with stainless steel panels making up the rear wall and ceiling. A glass spiral staircase to the left of the main entrance will connect the ground and mezzanine levels, where an Apple "Genius" bar will service customers with questions who make appointments to speak with Apple employees. The plans do not indicate the presence of a theater, however, and the cost of alterations to the current building is estimated at £1,168,000.

Casio updates Exilim camera line

10/30, 5:20pm

Casio Exilim camera update

Casio has updated its Exilim camera line with the EX-Z6 and EX-Z7, reports Image-Acquire. The Z6 is a 6MP point-and-shoot, while the Z7 (pictured) differs mainly through a 7.2MP rating. Both cameras have a 2.5-inch LCD, 3x optical zoom, and a brushed aluminum exterior. The Z7 also has image stabilization in the form of Anti Shake DSP. The Z6 may have this technology as well, but the fact of this was unclear at press time. Casio has also been quiet about pricing and availability, though the presence of other Exilims in North America suggests the cameras will be here eventually.

Homestar Planetarium star projector

10/30, 5:15pm

Homestar Planetarium

Firebox is taking orders for the Homestar Planetarium, a star projector meant to be aimed at ceilings. Firebox claims the product uses the same lens as a full-sized commercial planetarium. Once a disc is inserted into the Homestar's drive tray, up to 10,000 stars are displayed for either the northern or southern hemispheres. Motors simulate the effects of the Earth's rotation, and shooting star displays can be toggled on or off with the push of a button. Separate discs are included for displaying constellation lines. The Homestar Planetarium is priced at £100 ($190) on Firebox's website.

MOTORAZR Dolce & Gabbana available at T-Mobile

10/30, 5:00pm

Dolce MOTORAZR at T-Mobile

The US division of T-Mobile said today that it has begun carrying the still-rare Dolce & Gabbana RAZR for its subscribers. Available as a stand-alone handset in the past, this special edition of the V3i is named after the well-known fashion designer and distinguished primarily by its use of a gold and silver finish for the entire body, a special "DG" keychain, and audiovisual references to Dolce & Gabbana. Technical features such as a 1.3-megapixel camera and media playback of files stored on microSD cards remain unchanged from the original. T-Mobile is now offering the deluxe RAZR for $300 with a service agreement.

Plextor ships 10X external DVD burner

10/30, 4:50pm

Plextor 10X DVD burner

Plextor today unveiled the PX-755UF, its first external DVD drive that breaks the 8X speed threshold for writing dual-layer discs. The PX-755UF records a full 8.5GB DVD+R disc at a 10X rate, making it suitable for backups of downloaded and purchased movies, according to Plextor. The drive is also capable of writing to dual-layer DVD-R discs at 6X and can record a single-layer DVD in either format within six minutes, according to the company's tests. The device features ports for both FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 connections, according to Electronista, and both are supported on Mac OS X and Windows systems. The PX-755UF is due to ship in mid-November for $160.

New Seagate hard drive with built-in encryption

10/30, 4:35pm

Seagate encrypted h. drive

A new Seagate hard drive is being manufactured with built-in encryption, the company says. The Momentus 5400 FDE.2 is designed for laptops and has a "DriveTrust" chip that controls all data sent or received. To run a laptop equipped with an FDE.2, users must first enter a password set when the laptop arrives. Seagate believes that future laptops may come with more elaborate security measures such as fingerprint readers or smart cards. Indeed, the drive seems to be targeted mainly at governments and corporations, who in some cases have had highly publicized data thefts. Although pricing for the product is undetermined, Seagate expects the initial rollout to happen early next year. DriveTrust chips will also be used for DRM control in DB35 drives, meant for entertainment products such as DVRs.

iHome iHM1B portable iPod nano speakers

10/30, 4:25pm

iHome iHM1B iPod Speakers

iHome on Monday previewed the iHM1B, a compact speaker system intended for the first-generation iPod nano. The cabinet-shaped design provides stereo sound while still safeguarding the iPod's body against scratches, iHome says. The enclosure also gives easy access to the iPod's click wheel and hold switch. SRS TruBass technology is built into the speakers to improve low-end frequency response. The iHM1B is currently available only in black and will ship for $30 later in the fall bundled with a water-resistant case; the status of a version designed for second-generation iPod nanos is unknown. Click through for a full-size photo.

New HTC phones, Treo 680 to arrive at Cingular soon

10/30, 4:05pm

HTC and Treo at Cingular

Leaked official documents have revealed that Cingular plans to launch two highly-anticipated smartphones within the next two weeks, according to Mobility Today. An ad for the Treo 680 has surfaced online, revealing that the US carrier expects to be the first to launch the smartphone on November 5th. The leak also confirms Palm's claims that the device will be inexpensive relative to the previous 650, 700, and 750 versions: prices will range from under $200 when bought with a two-year unlimited data plan to $425 with no obligations.

Click through for details of the 8525 and photos of the revealed documents.

PQI releases U350 flash drive with retractable plug

10/30, 3:15pm

PQI U350 Flash Drive

PQI has released a new USB flash drive designed to eliminate the need for a separate cap that can be lost. Using a mechanism similar to ballpoint pens, the U350 has a tab that can be pulled outwards to retract the USB connector when not in use, and pushed out until the port locks into place. The aluminum design is both stylish and space-efficient, according to PQI. All U350 models with file management software to backup and synchronize regularly accessed information, and are compatible with both MacOS X and Windows. Capacities range from 256MB to 4GB on the now-shipping U350. No pricing is yet available.

Apple CEO named greatest IT person

10/30, 3:10pm

Greatest IT person: Jobs

ComputerWeekly.com has declared Apple CEO Steve Jobs no. 1 of the top 10 greatest IT people. "For every world-famous name with a world famous fortune, such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Michael Dell, there are hundreds of other individuals who have moved the IT industry and its technology inexorably forward." Changing the world through technology is the 'hallmark' of the IT greats, according to the publication, and some of these IT people alter the way technology is marketed, or have drastically influenced the way IT is perceived by society. Following Jobs is Microsoft founder Bill Gates in 3rd, followed by Linus Torvalds -- the man who initiated the development of the Linux kernel in the 5th spot. The Apple chief topped the 40th anniversary poll as a result of a devoted following he has generated through his work in personal computing and product design, according to ComputerWeekly.com.

Briefly: review, Audio Kontrol 1 ships

10/30, 2:50pm

review, Audio Kontrol 1

In brief: MacNN has reviewed iMuffs Wireless Headphones from Wi-Gear ($180, shown at right), a set of earphones designed for people who don't want to live on an iPod leash.... Native Instruments has begun shipping its Audio Kontrol 1 ($300), a compact high-performance USB 2.0 audio interface designed to address the typical needs of many musicians, producers, and DJs in a portable package.... O'Reilly Press has released "Practical Color Management" ($30), a designed to take readers from the history and science to setting up a color management-friendly workflow.... FileMaker today announced that it will showcase Web-enabled database technology during the Zend/PHP Conference and Expo being held October 30-November 2nd at the Doubletree Inn in San Jose, CA.... Dosch Design has released 10 detailed, entirely textured buildings including interiors and respective furnishings representing a range of architectural styles.... Dosch Design also released Dosch CAD, featuring many of the popular Dosch 3D models with optimized file formats for use with numerous CAD applications.

AMEX ships i Talk nano USB VoIP phone

10/30, 2:40pm

i Talk nano USB Phone

AMEX Digital has introduced the i Talk nano, a USB-based VoIP phone highly reminiscent of Apple's previous-generation music player. In addition to its conspicuous design, the i Talk nano is notable for its universal VoIP support, according to the company. AMEX officially supports the use of the phone for several different IP telephone networks, including Firefly, MSN, and Skype; both Macs and Windows PCs are supported, AMEX says. The handset supports service-specific features such as caller ID and has built-in speakers for hands-free calling. Echo and noise cancellation prevent unwanted audio from reaching the microphone. Available in black or white, the i Talk nano ships for $25.

Microsoft updating Xbox 360 Dashboard

10/30, 2:35pm

MS 360 Dashboard

Tomorrow, Microsoft plans to update the Xbox 360's Dashboard interface through the Xbox Live online service. All Xbox 360s with Internet access can receive the upgrade. Key among the Dashboard's new features will be 1080p support, fed through component cable. The feature is intended for games and downloadable videos, as there is no HDMI port on the main console. The update will also be needed to connect several new Microsoft products, namely the HD DVD drive, the Wireless Racing Wheel, and the Zune. Users will also be able to play video files from more external media, such as CDs, DVDs, USB 2.0 flash drives, and 360 Memory Units. Gamers will note that the Live Arcade has be streamlined with features such as automatic trial downloads and faster game launching. For a complete list of Dashboard updates, click here.

Motorola i835 phone for women

10/30, 1:55pm

Motorola i835 phone

Virtual carrier Boost Mobile is selling Motorola's i835, a phone marketed towards a female audience. Available in white, purple, or black, the phone flashes lights in time with MIDI ringtones and has floral stenciling on the exterior. AgION anti-microbial coating is intended to keep the surface germ-free. More technical features include GPS, wireless Web access, voice notes and multimedia messaging, and a walkie-talkie mode through Nationwide Boost. All three versions of the i835 are being sold for $130.

Apple ships second-generation Shuffle

10/30, 1:50pm

Apple ships 2G Shuffle

Apple has reportedly begun shipping its second-generation iPod shuffle, as various users who first ordered the tiny players already claim to have received confirmation of shipment. This diffuses speculation of delays stemming from a previous report which claimed that the new Shuffle might arrive in mid-November, later than expected. One user confirmed the shipment of the new Shuffles with AppleInsider after receiving an email notice that the second-generation iPod shuffle had shipped, with delivery expected by November 3rd. Most users who received such confirmation placed their orders immediately after the device debuted at Apple's last Special Event on September 12th. "I placed my order immediately after Apple's press event, about five minutes after the Apple online store came back online," one customer said.

Speedflow Edit 4.0 enables PDF editing

10/30, 1:45pm

Speedflow Edit 4.0 ships

OneVision today released Speedflow Edit 4.0 for Mac OS X and Windows, its Java-based software that enables full PDF editing of text, images, and vector graphics from a user's desktop computer. Speedflow Edit offers comprehensive prepress editing tools in the hands of authorized print production personnel enabling complete control of all data within PDF files to save money, time and effort. The editing tool is designed for use by publishers and organizations that produce all sizes and types of printed materials, including magazines, books, and newsletters: users can alter images and advertisements in virtually any PDF, including text, vector and raster elements--without having to obtain and access the original document or use the original program. PDF files from any application can be opened, edited and cleanly written as a PDF (v1.2-v1.6), including PDF/X-1a and PDF/X-3 standards.

Flashforward at Macworld Expo 2007

10/30, 1:25pm

Flashforward at MWSF

The Flashforward Team today announced the first Flashforward event of 2007, a partnership with Macworld Conference & Expo offering attendees the chance to experience Flashforward while browsing the annual show. All Flashforward Macworld sessions will demonstrate the latest Flash and Flex development tools running directly under Mac OS X, focusing on Mac platform integration as well as workflow topics. Flashforward Macworld sessions include Adobe Introduction with Mike Downey, Mike Chambers, Justin Everett-Church; Adobe Tool Integration with Flash hosted by Michael Ninness; Animation with Flash by Chris Georgenes; Flash Video with Robert Reinhardt; Introduction to ActionScript hosted by Aral Balkan; and Introduction to Flex Builder 2 with Aral Balkan.

Coleco resurrected with Sonic Handheld

10/30, 1:15pm

Coleco Sonic Handheld

The creators of the legendary ColecoVision console have returned to the market, shipping the Sonic Handheld, a portable unit loaded with over a dozen older Sega games. Titles in the mix include "Alex Kidd," "Altered Beast," and "Sonic Triple Trouble." Handhelds with pre-loaded games are not a new development; most, however, do not feature games from a reputable name such as Sega. Target is currently selling the Sonic for $50 online and at retail.

Zune not to arrive in the UK until 2008?

10/30, 1:15pm

Zune Misses UK in 2007

Microsoft's Zune music player won't arrive until months after the November 14th North American launch, reports Britain's New Media Age. Citing the delay in finding a partner to help build the Zune Marketplace online music store that forms an integral part of the the overall Zune strategy, Microsoft's Dene Schonknecht indicated that preparations have fallen far short of expectations.

"The earliest date it will be in the UK is towards the end of 2007. However, it could easily be 2008... we're way off launch," he said.

Microsoft has yet to officially reveal the Zune Marketplace beyond providing details of its points-based system, which resembles the company's existing Xbox Live Marketplace. This latest news, however, confirms that Microsoft is outsourcing the infrastructure of its music store in the same way it has based the Zune player around Toshiba's earlier Gigabeat S. [Subscription required for full NMA article]

MacBook Pro replacement battery ships

10/30, 1:00pm

MacBook Pro battery ships

Fastmac today began shipping its high capacity replacement battery featuring TruePower technology for Apple's MacBook Pro notebook. The new 62-watt/hour battery uses Lithium-Polymer cells with integrated charge indicator LEDs that utilize TruePower technology for increased safety during use, and lasts around 5 percent longer than Apple's default battery. TruePower technology incorporates sensors in the integrated circuit inside the battery that detect undesirable levels of swelling or a short circuit that will power off the battery in certain extreme conditions. TruePower batteries do not contain or use any Sony cells that are subject to the recent series of recalls issued by major computer manufacturers, according to FastMac. The TruePower battery for 15-inch MacBook Pro is available for $100 with a 30-day money back guarantee.

Macs rebounding on college campuses

10/30, 12:40pm

Macs rebounding in schools

Apple's shipments of Mac laptops increased 49 percent over the same time last year as revealed by the company's fourth quarter financial results, which showed a 'blowout Mac quarter' and a 32 percent increase in U.S. PC market share. That increase was driven by MacBook sales and Apple's successful back-to-school promotions, challenging Dell's overwhelming dominance on college campuses. Experts tracking both student purchasing and institutional trends say Apple is quickly expanding its presence at colleges and universities, according to Inside Higher Ed. Eric Weil -- managing partner of Student Monitor, a national group that tracks the consumer habits of college students -- believes that the rise of iTunes as well as the iPod digital media player, combined with Apple's ability to position itself as an especially 'hip' brand, and an overall increase in notebook purchases contribute to the trend.

BOSS Micro BR digital recorder

10/30, 11:50am

BOSS Micro BR Recorder

Pro audio hardware designer BOSS is now producing the Micro BR, a portable audio recorder the company notes is scarcely larger than an iPod. Capable of playing back four tracks simultaneously and recording two, the Micro BR can also match each of the playback sources to eight previously recorded tracks, dubbed V-Tracks, for a total of 32 simultaneous instruments or vocals. Musicians can further add any of 300 drum patterns to their production, use a dedicated guitar input for a live instrument, or apply live time stretching and center cancel effects.

Songs on the Micro BR are recorded to removable SD cards in either uncompressed or MP3 formats; approximately 65 minutes of single-channel audio can fit on the included 128MB card, Boss says. The recorder can integrate MP3 files placed on these cards into mixes and play them back in isolation as well. BOSS is now delivering the Micro BR for $230.

Briefly: Apple Greece; MacForensicsLab

10/30, 11:40am

Apple Greece, Smart Loops

In brief: Greek Apple users continue to demand service that is equal to the rest of Europe, following a similar initiative in Poland that launched earlier this year.... SubRosaSoft is offering free training courses on the operation of MacForensicsLab at the Huntington Beach Police Department in Huntington Beach, CA.... Gizmodo has reviewed Sonnet's Volta ($70), a rechargeable battery pack that boasts up to 16 hours of video playback on a single 5.5-hour charge.... Thursby Software Systems today announced that the U.S. Army has formally accepted its ADmitMac for CAC (AFC) as part of its enterprise desktop standards.... Smart Loops has released Smart Loops Studio Pack, a downloadable loop pack with four instrument libraries which include Dry Studio Kit, Electric Guitars, Bass Guitars, and Percussion Kit.... Former Microsoft technology evengelist and now podcasting expert Robert Scoble has criticized the company's Zune player in his blog, pointing to the media player's lack of appeal to the technology-driven early adopters that often determine new electronics' long-term success.

Ministry of Sound MOSMP075 music player

10/30, 11:35am

Ministry of Sound MOSMP075

British nightclub owners/music merchandisers Ministry of Sound have released another self-branded music player, according to Tech Digest. In addition to playing MP3s, the MOSMP075 also plays FM and DAB (Digital Audio Broadcast) radio, which can be recorded directly to the player's internal memory. The device comes with a pair of in-ear headphones, an internal rechargeable battery, and a pre-loaded album. A 512MB model is being sold for £120 ($227) and a 1GB model is going for £180 ($341).

Sony launches 007 Spy Gear portables for US

10/30, 11:15am

Sony 007 Spy Gear

As a follow-up to its Canadian 007 Edition TX-series, Sony today introduced a suite of VAIO computers and peripherals whose style and theme link closely to the upcoming movie Casino Royale. While the American release of the 007 Spy Gear TX remains unchanged and includes the same Core Solo-based computer, privacy screen, and camera, Sony has added an ultra-mobile PC counterpart in the form of the 007 Spy Gear UX (pictured, left). It too ships with a custom, Bond-themed attaché carrying case and a DSC-T50 camera; however, the privacy screen is replaced with a Bluetooth GPS receiver that provides real-time mapping to the UX from any location it can receive a signal. The 007 Spy Gear UX will be available November 10th for $3,200.

Lastly, both the 007 DSC-T50 bundled with the TX and UX models, as well as a black 1GB 007 MicroVault USB flash drive, will be sold separately, according to Sony. These will be available for $600 and $60 respectively at the same time as the new portables.

Sun, Netbeans release NetBeans 5.5

10/30, 11:00am

NetBeans 5.5 released

Sun together with NetBeans today released NetBeans 5.5 Integrated Development Environment (IDE), the first and only freely available IDE to provide comprehensive support for Java EE 5. NetBeans 5.5 -- which runs only on Microsoft Windows systems -- features Java Persistence API and JAX WS 2.0 productivity tools, Subversion support, and enhancements to the NetBeans GUI Builder formerly known as Project Matisse. The latest revision ensures the common look and feel of applications post-deployment across Mac OS X, Solaris, Linux, and Windows systems. The application also provides support for Java Platform Standard Edition (Java SE), Java Platform Enterprise Edition (Java EE), and Java Platform Micro Edition (Java ME). Sun today also announced five value-added packs for NetBeans 5.5 which include NetBeans Enterprise Pack, NetBeans Mobility Pack, NetBeans Profiler 5.5 Pack, a technology preview of NetBeans Visual Web Pack, and NetBeans C/C++ Pack (beta). NetBeans 5.5 is available for free as a digital download, and requires Java SE JDK 5 or 6.

ATI unveils Radeon X1650 XT

10/30, 10:40am

ATI Radeon X1650 XT

ATI has launched a new mid-range videocard, the Radeon X1650 XT. Its feature set is similar to higher-end cards like the X1950 Pro, except that it has half the pixel-shader processors, and memory is limited to 256MB of GDDR3 versus 512MB of GDDR4. It also lacks DirectX 10 support, but the card does support Shader Model 3.0, so this may just be a software issue. Advantages to the card include CrossFire dual-GPU support, and a PCI Express x16 bus that also functions with AGP 8x, using an external bridge chip. The estimated MSRP of the card is $149.

Verizon to ship white LG Chocolate, MOTOKRZR K1m

10/30, 10:40am

Verizon Chocolate and K1m

Cellphone carrier Verizon is set to release two new versions of its most popular recent cellphones tomorrow, as revealed by the early posting of splash pages for the new devices. The provider will release both the LG Chocolate and MOTOKRZR K1m in shades of white that contrast sharply with the more conventional, glossy blacks of earlier models. While the white Chocolate retains largely the same design, the white K1m gains a subtler, two-tone blend of gray and white. The updated phones keep the same features as before and are also expected to share earlier pricing, as the white Chocolate and KRZR editions will ship for $130 and $200 respectively with a two-year contract. Click through for a gallery of the new handsets.

Sanyo debuts 720p, high-contrast projector

10/30, 10:10am

Sanyo PLV-Z5 Projector

Known primarily for its business-oriented line of projectors, Sanyo has just released what it says is an unparalleled home theater LCD projector, the PLV-Z5. The 720p-capable system achieves a uniquely high 10,000:1 contrast ratio; this is a feat unheard of for LCD projectors, Sanyo claims. The improved image quality is made possible in part by including separate irises for the lamp and the lens, allowing the Z5 to selectively darken scenes both by changing the color settings of the image itself as well as the lighting applied to the final picture. The Z5 can also project a 100-inch image from as close as 9.8 feet away, the company says.

The projector's home theater emphasis is equally reflected in its format support: dual sets of both component and HDMI inputs are included for high-definition sources, while RCA, S-video, and VGA are provided for connecting to earlier standards as well as Mac and Windows PCs. Sanyo is shipping the PLV-Z5 now for $1,695.

Canon ships new multi-function printer

10/30, 9:55am

Canon PIXMA MP960 ships

Canon has begun shipping its higher-end PIXMA MP960 all-in-one multi-function printer with a flatbed scanner and copying capability. The device features seven ink tanks to achieve quality rivaling that of photo labs, according to Canon, and the printer completes a best-quality 4 x 6-inch photo in about 35 seconds. The flatbed scanner achieves 4800 x 4800 dpi while minimizing light distortion, offering auto exposure correction as a copier to prevent the transparency effect when working with thin pages. Unifying all three roles is the previously introduced scroll wheel interface that controls the visual menu system on the MP960's built-in 3.5-inch LCD, according to Electronista. The PIXMA MP960 is shipping for $400.

Gateway launches FX530 gaming PCs

10/30, 9:40am

Gateway FX530 PCs

Gateway on Monday revealed a new line of high-performance gaming systems designed to rival similar moves by Dell and Hewlett-Packard. The FX530 shares the earlier FX510's cooling-efficient BTX case but updates the CPU and video performance beyond Gateway's traditionally conservative levels. Those who order the system with a 2.93GHz Core 2 Extreme can ask for the processor to be overclocked at the factory with full warranty support -- a feature rarely offered by other system builders, Gateway claims. Buyers can now also equip the system with dual X1950 CrossFire Edition video cards for added 3D performance. In a concession to the enthusiast community, Gateway has also added the option of metallic side-panels in multiple colors.

The FX530 is slated to ship in three stock models. he FX530XG ships with a 2.67GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB of RAM, dual 150GB high-speed hard drives, and dual X1950 CrossFire cards for $2500; the XL adds the Core 2 Extreme and a 24-inch display for $4000; lastly, the deluxe XT version increases the default RAM to 4GB and equips the system with dual 750GB hard drives for a price of $5000. All three variants are available beginning today.

Mac Expo: More photos from show floor

10/30, 9:35am

Mac Expo: Gallery III

The Mac Expo in London continued with large Saturday crowds flooding into the event this weekend as numerous companies continued to demonstrate products and software. Event organizers handed out awards to HP as well as Griffin for best of show and iPod accessory manufacturer of the year, and Apple continued to impress visitors with ongoing demos of its products as it displayed non-functional second-generation iPod shuffles to attendees. The third day completed the Mac Expo after two prior days brought much excitement and a few surprises.

MacFair 2006 to offer 28 seminars

10/30, 9:20am

MacFair 2006

The Southern California MacFair 2006 is set to begin this weekend with more than 40 Mac-related companies, 28 Mac seminars, and 15 Mac workshops for attendees. MacTech Magazine's Editor-in-Chief and Publisher Neil Ticktin will offer this year's keynote address for several hundred expected visitors. The event begins Friday, November 3rd and runs through Saturday, November 4th at Cerritos College in Southern California. Advanced online registration for the vendor expo, presentation seminars, and door prize entry is $17 until November 1st at 10:00 p.m., thereafter rising to $20 at the door.

Plextor external drive writes dual-layer DVDs at 10X

10/30, 9:00am

Plextor 10X DVD DL Drive

Plextor today unveiled its first external DVD drive that breaks the 8X speed threshold for writing dual-layer discs. The PX-755UF can record a full 8.5GB, DVD+R disc at a 10X rate, suiting it to making backups of downloaded and purchased movies, Plextor says. The drive is also capable of writing to dual-layer DVD-R discs at 6X and can record a single-layer DVD in either format within six minutes, according to the company's tests. Plextor has also provided ports for both FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 connections, both of which are supported for MacOS X and Windows PCs. The PX-755UF will be available in mid-November for $159.

Day three at MacExpo in London

10/30, 8:55am

MacExpo day three

The expected large Saturday crowds flooded into MacExpo this weekend, generating a massive influx of questions and interest in products as they perused the show. During the first two days, awards were handed out to honor those participants with outstanding products or services. HP won the "MacWorld Best of Show Award" for its B9180 A3+ inkjet printer (shown at right), while Griffin won the "Mac User iPod Accessory Manufacturer of the Year Award." Apple again attracted large crowds with ongoing demonstrations of its products and applications as the company showed off non-functional second-generation iPod shuffles to accentuate the small size of the new device. Elgato showcased its new "EyeTV Diversity" USB stick device offering dual DTT tuners with picture-in-picture capability, which it said is slated for shipment in mid-November for £110. IRIS held a strong presence at the show as well, demonstrating its Readiris Pro OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software, IRISCard mini scanner, and IRISPen express.

Nokia 330 Auto Navigation announced

10/30, 8:25am

Nokia 330 Auto Navigation

Though details of its new device have already surfaced, Nokia today officially announced its first mapping-oriented handheld. The 330 Auto Navigation is intended as a dedicated GPS unit and includes a 3.5-inch touchscreen in addition to the dedicated quick-access and navigation buttons revealed last week. The device is intended to streamline European driving, Nokia says. To this effect, the company is bundling the 330 with a 2GB SD card that contains route data for almost all of Europe -- enabling drivers to visit multiple countries without swapping cards, according to the company.

Additionally, the 330 includes the previously mentioned multimedia features for entertainment between destinations, allowing the device to play MP3s, photos, and videos through its built-in speakers. Nokia hasn't yet specified exact formats beyond MP3 audio. Shipping by the end of 2006, the 330 is expected to sell for 360 Euros ($458 US) when it launches in its native Europe. No details of a North American release were given. A photo of the 330 in its car mount is available after the jump.

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