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News Archive for 06/11/01

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Apps: ReelBean, KeyCue, Merlin, Strider

11/01, 7:45pm

ReelBean, KeyCue, Merlin

    ReelBean 2.3 (free, $15 for Pro) updates the movie converter and player software for Mac OS X 10.4. ReelBean 2.3 adds 'Split Movie' functionality in the form of a new button in the toolbar and an item in the Edit menu. The 'Split Movie' functionality is designed to easily split a movie into two separate files based on wherever the playhead slider is positioned. [Download - 4.7MB]
    KeyCue 2.1 ($20) is designed to improve the visibility and usability of menu shortcuts. The latest revision adds complete German localization including German documentation, and offers functional improvements alongside maintenance fixes for user-reported issues. [Download - 600KB]
    24U Email OSAX 4.0 ($30) enhances the AppleScript scripting addition for direct email communication with a speed increase, secure connections, and Unicode support. Further improvements include the ability to send mail in the background, automatic suitable selection of server authentication type, and Base64 default encoding for attachments without resource forks. [Download - 1.9MB]
    Merlin 2 RC1 (€145) integrates a miniature view for all graphical displays into the project management software. Merlin 2 RC1 also allows users to get quick overview in the Gantt, Utilization or Netplan view to ease navigation in projects of all sizes. The update provides the ability to export projects into mind map format for use with NodaMind or MindManager. [Download - 26MB]
    Mc Nucle 1.0 (€30) is the first in a series of metadata management servers targeting home and small office networks. Mc Nucle promotes centralization of data in the home network while offering remote access, sharing, and metadata management capabilities. Certificates are used for authentication and end-to-end encrypted tunnels for secure data transfer, and the software integrates with the Nucle Browser -- iNuron's free metadata browser.
    Strider 1.2.1 ($12) updates the RSS and ATOM reader software. Version 1.2.1 adds a new preference to set the background color for the number of unread headlines, and allows users to set any new eBay feed to automatically refresh archived headlines. [Download - 1.6MB]

Apple offers $29 refurb iPod shuffles

11/01, 6:00pm

Refurb Shuffles for $29

Apple has dramatically lowered pricing on its refurbished iPod shuffle players following the company's introduction of the smaller second-generation model. Reconditioned first-generation iPod shuffles are available in 512MB and 1GB capacities for $29 and $59, respectively. The portable music players boast a size roughly equal to a pack of gum, and store approximately 120 songs (512MB) or 240 songs (1GB), depending on the model. Refurbished iPod shuffles come standard with a one-year Apple warranty as well as free shipping, and Apple is offering its AppleCare Protection Plan for $59 that extends the 90 day complimentary support and one-year warranty to two years. The Apple Store Canada also lowered its iPod shuffle pricing, with 512MB models available for $33 and 1GB models priced at $69.

Anora Wenge TV Hi-Fi Stand

11/01, 5:45pm

Anora Wenge TV Hi-Fi Stand

Anora is selling the Wenge TV Hi-Fi Stand, a product that holds plasma and LCD TVs away from walls and other fixed locations. Its name comes from the variety of wood used in its construction. Displays are anchored to the wenge boards, which can then be rotated via the center column. Pigeonholes are included between the boards for storing CD and DVD cases. A frosted-glass shelf sits further down, ready to hold larger items such as books and players. Pricing for the stand is unknown, but the only Anora retail outlet is located in Washington DC.

Bose intros Micro Music Monitor

11/01, 5:15pm

Bose Micro Music Monitor

Though best known for using unconventional shapes to produce its sound, Bose on Wednesday released a new set of multimedia speakers that it says focus on portability. The satellites of the Micro Music Monitor system are small and light enough to be held easily in each hand without sacrificing top-end power, suiting them to both desktops as well as portable audio sources such as iPods and laptops, Bose says. While many portable speakers operate at a fixed output level regardless of their source, the Micro Music Monitor satellites can operate either at 20W per channel when connected to AC power or 2W per channel when driven by AA batteries. This gives listeners the option of using the same speakers at or away from home. As the 2.0 speakers sound better than many larger systems, according to Bose, their quality and flexibility will support a price equivalent to $427 US when they become available December 1st in Japan. A North American launch is possible but has not been announced.

Children's iPulse Bear for iPod ships

11/01, 5:10pm

iPulse Bear for iPod ships

Sharper Image has introduced the iPulse Bear, its first child-oriented speaker set for iPod. Covered in either brown or white fur, the bear has a belly pouch with a hidden minijack cable that plugs into an iPod or other small music player, and the company says its design takes advantage of the iPod nano's bottom-mounted headphone jack to expose the main screen. Lights on all four paws light up in time with the rhythm and volume levels of the music produced from built-in speakers. The iPulse Bear is powered by four C-cell batteries, and an optional $10 AC adapter is available for owners who expect the bear to remain still during most listening sessions, according to Electronista. Sharper Image ships the bear for $40.

iTunes MP3s come to BlackBerry 8100

11/01, 5:00pm

iTunes MP3s on BlackBerry

Information Appliance Associates has released pearlTunes, a software utility for BlackBerry Pearl 8100 users that copies and converts non-copy-protected MP3s from Apple's iTunes to the MicroSD memory card on the BlackBerry. The software copies favorite iTunes playlists to the BlackBerry 8100 without requiring user intervention once playlists are selected. "At last, BlackBerry Pearl 8100 users can have the best of both worlds. iTunes in Windows to manage their music album and a BlackBerry Pearl to enjoy the MP3 (non-copy-protected) music from their iTunes playlists." PearlTunes is priced at $10, and requires Microsoft Windows 2000/XP and Apple's iTunes.

Helio to receive new Samsung "Drift" phone

11/01, 4:35pm

New Samsung Phone at Helio

The virtual network operator Helio is set to replace its swiveling, Samsung-made Kickflip phone with a new, more conventional design from the Korean company, according to an image provided by an anonymous source. The new device, named the Drift by Helio and codenamed the Astropop by Samsung itself, more closely resembles the latter's typically Korea-only slider phones but sports features similar to the Kickflip, which was recently discontinued by Helio. Early information reveals that its primary enhancement over the outgoing model will be the addition of a Bluetooth transmitter that can both sync with a host PC as well as connect to A2DP-supporting wireless headsets and speakers. The Drift will be released next month, though the source hasn't specified whether its price will vary significantly from the $200 of the Kickflip. The full leaked image is available after the jump.

Versomatic offers incremental backups

11/01, 4:35pm

Versomatic 1.0 released

Acertant Technologies today released Versomatic 1.0 for Mac OS X, an extension to Apple's latest operating system that monitors and archives file changes automatically in the background. The entire process is completely transparent to users and is compatible with any application that saves files to disk. Versomatic can also recover deleted or accidentally over-written files, regardless of when they were deleted. The software is designed as part 'version control' and part 'incremental backup,' archiving changes in real-time as they happen. Users can right-click on a document to retrieve an earlier version of a document via a popup menu, which lists the file's entire revision history. Clicking on a date and time enables users to view or export a copy of the chosen revision, requiring no restore scripts or complicated queries. Versomatic supports all file types, is available for $40 through the month of November, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.

ABI: 58 percent of iPod owners may switch to the Zune

11/01, 4:30pm

ABI: 58% may go Zune

As many as 58 percent of current iPod owners may make their next MP3 player a Zune, according to a web survey conducted by ABI Research. The company contacted 1,725 American adults and teenagers, and of the number that said they were likely to buy an MP3 player in the next 12 months, 58 percent of existing iPod owners said they were "somewhat" or "extremely" likely to pick a Zune. Of the users that owned other MP3 players, 59 percent chose the Zune. Conversely, only 15 percent of iPod owners said they were "not very" or "not at all" likely to buy Microsoft's player. More details following the jump.

Cingular carries rugged Motorola V365 phone

11/01, 3:45pm

Motorola V365 at Cingular

Without any prior announcements, Cingular has begun offering the new Motorola V365 handset. The service provider characterizes the V365 as a toughened phone designed to survive common abuse, a fact reflected in its rubber-coated outer shell as well as the internalized antenna. This upgrade to the prior V360 is similarly designed with more than just phone use in mind, Cingular adds. The handset supports push-to-talk instant voice as well as EDGE broadband; a predictive texting feature is said to improve SMS texting as well as e-mail and instant messaging. A microSD card slot gives owners the further option of playing up to 1GB of music. Subscribers can buy the phone for $250 by itself or $100 as part of a two-year contract.

Briefly: Shuffles arrive early; Quark

11/01, 3:35pm

iPod shuffles arrive early

Briefly: Apple's new second-generation ("2G") iPod shuffles have begun to arrive early at customers' houses, despite a formal announcement from the company that it won't be available until Friday.... On the heels of the introduction of its new Flash-based QID tool, Quark today announced the appointment of Raymond Schiavone, a veteran software company CEO and former GE executive, as President and Chief Executive Officer and said that President Linda Chase will remain with the company in her ongoing capacity as Senior Vice President of Enterprise Products.... WebAssist today released Dreamweaver Tools for Google, a free Dreamweaver extension for easily integrating Google Checkout, Google Maps and Google Search to any website; it free and compatible with Dreamweaver 8, Dreamweaver MX 2004 and Dreamweaver MX.... MacForce is offering on November 7th a free lunchtime seminar with Apple's Jim Kantor on Aperture, Apple's professional photo-management solution... Paperless Technologies announced it will integrate its leading paperless solutions -- PT Medical and PT Dental -- with MacPractice, the Mac OS X-based practice management programs (but did not provide a timeline).

MyLight intros MarkLight LED for books and laptops

11/01, 3:20pm

MarkLight LED for Laptops

MyLight today launched the MarkLight, a portable light designed to fit in unconventional locations. Originally intended for books, the MarkLight centers around a thin, malleable strip that can be slipped in between pages to be used as a bookmark as well as a reading light. Because of the even illumination provided by its three LED lamps, the MarkLight can also be used to light the keys of a laptop's keyboard or act as a small stand-alone lamp, according to MyLight. The device lasts for up to 40 hours on two AAA batteries and comes with several different skins, including real and simulated leather, nylon, or plush cloth. Versions dressed in real leather ship today for $20; lights with the remaining covering options will be available soon for $15.

iSkin debuts 2G iPod nano protectors

11/01, 3:05pm

iSkin 2G Nano protectors

iSkin today debuted its new iPod protectors for the second-generation iPod nano, which are 'inspired by the very product it protects,' according to the company. "Capturing the true essence of the iPod nano, iSkin has created a protector that follows not only the form but the style of the iPod without additional bulk. Adding a mere 1.65 millimeters of all-round protection to the iPod, the iSkin boasts a dual-layer design that combines a front impact-resistant 'Visor' with a premium shock absorbing silicone layer," said iSkin. "Together they seamlessly unite with precision to perfectly encapsulate and protect the iPod nano while enhancing the original beauty of the iPod nano." The new iPod protector features full-frontal protection via the 'Visor,' while a shock absorbing silicone layer helps protect the player's surface with an anti-dust coating. iSkins are due to ship in the coming weeks in 3-packs ($30 each) with three colored silicone protectors, one 'Visor' screen protector, and a RevoClip2 removable rotary belt clip.

Slyder clear 2G Nano case debuts

11/01, 2:55pm

Slyder clear 2G Nano case

Marware and Dr. Bott today launched the Slyder, a clear case for Apple's second-generation iPod nano with a slide-down clickwheel access system and a rotating Dock connector port cover. The Slyder -- which is constructed from polycarbonate into a hard shell exterior-- is designed to combine functionality and protection with a front cover that slides or retracts via the push of a thumb. The iPod's headphone port and hold switch are accessible at all times, and a low-profile adhesive-backed mini clip provides access to all of Marware's Multidapt interchangeable clip system options. The Slyder is available for pre-order at $25.

Amadana deluxe portable DVD player

11/01, 2:50pm

Amadana Deluxe DVD Player

While portable DVD players are gradually losing influence with the introduction of video-capable iPods and other media players, luxury goods producer Amadana has just unveiled a high-end DVD unit for those who prefer the quality of the disc format. The VP-110 Portable DVD Player is larger than most challengers and has a 10-inch widescreen LCD that can display movies at their full quality with Dolby Digital sound. Owners should also be satisfied with the player as a physical object, Amadana writes, and to this end the player has touch-sensitive playback controls as well as a genuine bamboo inlay for the outer shell. Lastly, Amadana says it has adapted the DVD player to more recent technology and supports both DivX and MPEG-4 videos from either discs or removable SD cards. In accordance with its features, the VP-110 is currently available for the equivalent of $1094 US before tax.

Accuratus Mouse Phone 142

11/01, 2:20pm

Accuratus Mouse Phone 142

Accuratus has produced the 142, a Skype-based mouse phone distinguished by a flip-phone design. It functions as a standard USB mouse until a call comes in, at which point opening the phone lets you answer. Mouse resolution is 800dpi, and an LCD screen shows caller ID for all Skype conversations. The phone can also be used for voice chat through Yahoo or MSN Messenger, though in doing so, the keypad becomes inactive. A built-in speaker allows hands-free use. The 142 requires Windows 2000 or XP to run and can only be bought for £40 ($76) from Ceratech. Click below to see full-sized images.

Sharper Image iPulse Bear speakers

11/01, 2:10pm

Sharper Image iPulse Bear

Sharper Image recently introduced its first child-oriented speaker set, the iPulse Bear. Covered in either brown or white fur, the bear has a belly pouch with a hidden minijack cable that can plug into an iPod or any small music player, though the company says its design takes advantage of the iPod nano's bottom-mounted headphone jack to expose the main screen. Lights on all four paws light up in time with the rhythm and volume levels of the music produced from built-in speakers. By default, the iPulse Bear is powered by four C-cell batteries so that it can quickly be carried into a child's room; an optional $10 AC adapter is also available for owners who expect the bear to remain still during most listening sessions. Sharper Image ships the bear itself today at a price of $40.

Wal-Mart reveals Zune details

11/01, 2:10pm

Zune details revealed

Wal-Mart today inadvertently revealed additional details of Microsoft's Zune media player ahead of its official launch, which could increase competition with Apple's iPod. An update to Wal-Mart's pre-order page for the Zune this morning reveals Microsoft's plans to spur business by offering a 14-day trial subscription to its Zune Pass, according to Electronista. The $15 per month service mimics the subscription features of existing stores such as Napster and URGE, and will allow Zune owners to download an unlimited number of songs while their subscription remains active, deleting those songs afterwards if subscription fees are not paid. Microsoft has often cited the Zune Pass as an advantage over the iPod and iTunes, which requires a-la-carte sales for $0.99 a piece.

Sketchpad 4.07 comes to Intel Macs

11/01, 1:50pm

Sketchpad goes Universal

KCP Technologies today released Sketchpad 4.07, offering native compatibility to Intel-based Mac owners as a Universal Binary. The Dynamic Geometry mathematics visualization software allows users to understand mathematics by constructing objects, figures, and diagrams. The latest version of Sketchpad's Help menu includes Web links to the Sketchpad Resource Center, information about curriculum, and Sketchpad sample documents. By building and investigating their own constructions and models, students increase their ownership and understanding of mathematical concepts, according to KCP Technologies. The update is free for existing users, and the full version is priced at $130 for new users (system requirements were unavailable).

Dell begins selling AMD-based laptops

11/01, 1:35pm

Dell AMD Laptops

Having begun shipping its AMD-based desktops in September, Dell today released its first portables using non-Intel processors. Buyers can now order the Inspiron E1501, an AMD equivalent to the Intel-based E1505 model. Unlike the latter, the E1501 is aimed directly at basic users and is equipped with a 1.8GHz Sempron, 512MB of RAM, and a 60GB hard drive in its base $549 configuration. The system can be custom-built to include as much as a dual-core 1.8GHz Turion 64 X2, 2GB of RAM, and an 80GB hard drive. Bluetooth, dedicated graphics, and other options have been stripped from the model to emphasize its economy focus. Factory-stock models are available immediately.

XLR8 XtraView captures/outputs video

11/01, 1:30pm

Daystar's XLR8 XtraView

Daystar Technology has introduced the XLR8 XtraView, a new video transfer solution for Mac OS X. This new USB 2.0 based, all-in-one package, integrates easy full-screen, "click and record" video capture with a fully native, fully universal QuickTime conversion interface. The result is an end-to-end video transfer solution for moving non-DV (Digital Video) sources like VHS, Hi-8, laser and satellite, to iMovie, iDVD, DVD, CD and iPods. XtraView allows both audio and video to be captured via USB 2.0. XtraView capture software uses a simple "click and record" interface to transform any S-Video or RCA video source into QuickTime movies. A bundled XtraView Exporter package allows uses to convert their QuickTime captures for use in iMovie, iDVD, or viewing on iPods. The XtraView package also include ArcSoft's VideoImpression 2.0 software which integrates capture and creation into one simple iMovie-line application.

MacIT Conference joins Macworld Expo

11/01, 1:15pm

MacIT Conference at MWSF

IDG World Expo today announced the schedule for the MacIT Conference at Macworld Expo. The thre-day conference promises to cover the latest features and deployment techniques for Apple's IT products, and will provide in-depth training in client, security, and network management techniques by industry luminaries. The conference chair for the event is Schoun Regan, CEO of ITInstruction.com and international expert on Mac OS X Server. "MacIT is the industry's most comprehensive conference presenting technical training on Apple IT tools and technology. MacIT participants can choose from 45 sessions under the following five topics: System Imaging & Deployment; Mac OS X in the Enterprise Arena; Service Solutions Using Mac OS X Server; Mac OS X Management and Administration; and Securing Mac OS X."

Apple reseller plans opening in China

11/01, 1:05pm

Apple reseller in China

A new Apple Authorized Reseller is preparing to open in northwestern China, according to a new report from MacInChina. The store is located at 51 Xixin Street in Xi'an at the center of the city, and boasts an even larger size than the newly-opened Kewei shop in Jianwai SOHO, Beijing. CellStar -- the company planning to open the new shop -- has already begun an ad campaign in Xi'an, with ads posted on the Zhonglou underground passage and in Huashang Bao, a local newspaper. The company plans to distribute flyers on the day of the store's opening in the vicinity of the new store, and will hold a contest with a prize drawing as part of the ceremony.

Briefly: OWC; iPodLinux interview

11/01, 12:50pm

OWC; iPodLinux interview

In brief: Other World Computing (OWC) today began stocking the Fatman iTube ($650), offering users a way to dock almost any iPod to play video as well as audio through a home entertainment system.... A new interview with iPodLinux main developer Bernard Leach looks at what iPodLinux can do for iPod owners who don't want to remain stuck with proprietary firmware.... Tidbits.com has released a new eBook in its 'Take Control' series entitled 'Take Control of Passwords in Mac OS X' ($10), teaching readers to assess risk factors and devise a personal plan for generating different types of passwords.... ColorBurst today announced that its ColorBurst RIP is the first device to receive certification under the new IDEAlliance SWOP and GRACoL standards, which are based on strict colorimetric readings rather than a visual review.... The Portland Mac Photographer User Group Meeting is scheduled to preview the newest film completed by NW Documentary, welcoming Ian McCluskey to the MacForce Theater for a viewing of The Weston Project from 6-8:00 p.m. on Monday, November 6th.... Hitachi today revealed that it plans to dramatically increase both the capacity and speed of laptop drives in the coming year, and will introduce new models of its 2.5-inch Travelstar range of drives that peak at 250GB.

Speaker dock supports iPods, phones, PSPs

11/01, 12:50pm

Multifunction dock speaker

Hong Kong exporters Brando are selling dock speakers with the unusual ability to support several different kinds of devices. The key is a set of adapters, which provide varying levels of functionality depending on the product. iPods (3G and up) are able to charge, play music, and sync with iTunes; Sony-Ericsson phones can do charging and music, while Nokia phones and Sony's PSP handheld are limited exclusively to music. Other players must rely on a line-in cord for music support. The dock comes with an English manual and a dock-to-PC USB connection, and is selling for $58.

Royche NB-57D battery-free wireless mouse

11/01, 11:55am

Royche Battery-Free Mouse

The Korean electronics reseller Royche is now offering a mouse that it says resolves the primarily complaints about wireless mice. Made by A4Tech, the NB-57D eliminates the need for the additional weight and charging requirements of cordless mouse batteries by generating power through electromagnetic induction: a USB-connected mousepad supplies energy to the mouse as long as it remains on the pad's surface, Royche says. The mouse also has relatively advanced controls, ranging from a button that emulates a double left-click, a Microsoft Office shortcut button, and image zoom. No price is listed for the NB-57D, which is shipping now in Korea and may be found through importers as well.

Safari gains share in browser market

11/01, 11:50am

Safari usage up

Safari usage rose in the month of October to 3.93 percent from 3.53 percent, according to statistics from Market Share. Microsoft's Internet Explorer still claims 81.28 percent of the market -- down from 82.1 percent -- and Firefox rose to 12.96 percent from 12.46 percent. Netscape grabbed 0.83 percent of the browser market in October, followed by Opera at 0.61 percent and Mozilla at 0.24 percent. Safari and Firefox continue to gain share from Microsoft's browser, despite the latest release of Internet Explorer 7.

Leaked information about the LG KE800

11/01, 11:35am

LG KE800 leak information

Hungarian site Mobil Portál claims to have information about the LG KE800, a Western version of the Korean KV6000 luxury Chocolate phone. The 800 will reportedly be an upgraded model, featuring a 2MP camera, an FM receiver, 128MB of memory, and a two-inch screen with over 256,000 colors. Bluetooth, USB, and a microSD slot will be built-in. The phone will have also have tri-band (900/1,800/1,900MHz) support for GSM, with the EDGE protocol being used for broadband. Supported sound files will include AAC, AAC+/++, MP3, and WAV. Pricing and release information is unavailable. Click through to see larger photos.

Zune to come with 14-day pass, use web-based store?

11/01, 11:15am

Zune 14-Day Pass

Wal-Mart on Wednesday inadvertently revealed additional details of the Zune ahead of its official launch. While news that the Zune would ship preloaded with music has long since been established, an update to Wal-Mart's pre-order page for the Zune this morning reveals Microsoft's plans to spur subscriptions by offering a 14-day trial subscription to its Zune Pass. The $15 per month service mimics the subscription features of existing stores such as Napster and URGE and will let Zune owners download an unlimited number of songs while their subscription remains active, deleting the songs afterwards. Microsoft has often cited the Zune Pass as an advantage over the iPod and iTunes, which typically require a-la-carte sales.

Details of the official Zune website follow after the jump.

Apps: OpenMenu X, Nano, Disco

11/01, 11:10am

OpenMenu X, Nano, Disco

    OpenMenu X 1.0 ($10) is a shareware utility that can customize the contextual menu. Users can open documents, applications, AppleScripts, Services Menu Items, and URLs as well as browse the file system and move/copy files and folders (through the contextual menu). In addition, it supports the shortcut key for each menu item, the long-press of the mouse button to invoke a contextual menu, and both Carbon and Cocoa applications (and status bar menu). The Universal Binary runs on Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later. [Download - 3.0MB]
    Nano 1.1 (free) is a described as a major update to the open-source C++ framework for developing modern high-performance Carbon applications. Version 1.1 adds over a dozen new views, all of which are rendered with CoreGraphics for resolution independence, and several of which were previously only available to Apple's own applications. The release also includes over 30 improvements and bug fixes. Built around the native Carbon framework, Nano allows developers to create 64-bit clean, resolution-independent, Universal Binary applications. [Download - 3.7MB]
    Subliminal Message v2.0 (free) allows users to explore/deploy subliminal messages. Version 2.0, now fully automated, allows users to set the message and on-screen time (between 1 and 50 ms), the period between messages (1 - 30 sec) and the message font darkness. It runs in the background and allows users to enter custom messages. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later. [Download - 1.3MB]
    Disco Public Beta ($15) is another disc burning utility that claims to accomplish real burning tasks with minimal effort. It offers features such as Disc spanning, full multi session support, audio burning, disc erasing, multi-file system support, one-to-one copies, VIDEO_TS burning, motion sensor support, and many disc imaging options. It also features Discography, which seamlessly tracks all burned images/CDs and can search through tens of thousands of previously burned files to find out what disc they are on. [Download - 700KB]
    Snippet Monkey 1.1 ($15) is a system utility that increases productivity by allowing users to create shortcuts for frequently typed phrases. It allows you to create new snippets from the clipboard or via our easy to use snippet editor. "Snippets" can contain a combination of text, images, date/time (custom formats), and more. They can be nested and/or disabled on a per-application basis. It requires Mac OS X 10.4. [Download - 1.3MB]
    pro Fit 6.1 beta ($95) is the next iteration of QuantumSoft tool for the analysis of scientific data and mathematical functions. It is the first Universal Binary version and now includes built-in multidimensional fitting capabilities, new inspectors for function and statistical analysis, revamped drawing rendering with improved Quartz and PDF support, new Menu layout with standardized keyboard shortcuts. This beta release is semi-public and reserved to current pro Fit 6.0 users. It will be free to all purchases in 2006 (and $55 for others). [Download - 16MB]

Hela Glider Mouse

11/01, 10:55am

Hela Glider Mouse

Hela's new Glider Mouse aims to improve the ergonomics of mice. By building the Glider for a central position behind the keyboard, Hela says they've eliminated repetitive stress injury caused by constantly reaching out to the side. Soft wrist-rests make using both devices more comfortable. The mouse itself is meant to behave somewhat like an air hockey paddle, and is useable by left- or right-handers. Buttons and a scrollwheel are actually located around the rim of trackpad. Configuration is handled mainly through a series of 12 switches, requiring no additional software. The product comes in 15.7- and 18.9-inch models, and can be mounted off-desk if desired. Hela is selling the Glider for £199 ($380) including VAT.

Difusi unveils exotica leather cases

11/01, 10:50am

Exotica leather cases

Difusi has introduced its exotica European-style cases for iPods and notebooks. The new cases are designed to integrate luxury and technology with a selection of genuine Ostrich, Camel, Snake, Lamb Shearling, and Alligator leather exteriors. Difusi's exotica line features smooth black lambskin interiors, and the company allows users to select custom features prior to the construction of each case. Exotica cases are designed to work with 12 to 17-inch notebooks, with prices ranging between $1,500 and 4,800 depending on materials used and custom features selected. Supported platforms include Apple, Dell, Toshiba, Sony, Acer, HP, Compaq, and Alienware. Exotica cases built for Apple's fifth-generation video iPod, iPod nano, and second-generation iPod nano will ship first in the near future for between $130 and $330, according to Difusi.

RAZR V3t, Sony-Ericsson K790 at Rogers Wireless

11/01, 10:35am

V3t and K790 at Rogers

Canadian cellphone users now have the choice of two new style-oriented phones, according to the Ontario-based carrier Rogers. Subscribers who need a full-featured media phone can now opt for the Sony-Ericsson K790 (pictured), a quad-band GSM world phone with a high-resolution, 3.2-megapixel camera and xenon flash as its central features. The handset is capable of connecting to Rogers' EDGE mobile broadband access and can play either FM radio or AAC/MP3 music stored on Memory Stick Micro cards. Rogers now sells the K790 for $250 with a three-year plan or $410 without.

The company also says that those less in need of features can chose the RAZR V3t, an inexpensive V3i alternative previously available in the US from T-Mobile. The V3t lacks iTunes or EDGE support but maintains the 1.23-megapixel camera, GPRS Internet access, and media playback. The V3t costs less than half the price of the V3i at $99 Canadian for a 3-year contract and $270 as a stand-alone purchase. Both it and the K790 are shipping today.

Hitachi promises 250GB laptop drive in 2007

11/01, 9:55am

Hitachi 250GB Laptop Drive

Hitachi revealed today that it plans to dramatically increase both the capacity and speed of laptop drives in the coming year. The company says that it will introduce new models in its 2.5-inch Travelstar range that peak at 250GB of storage while still operating at reasonable speeds, according to the company. The increase is the direct result of Hitachi's own perpendicular recording technology, which allows for far more bits per platter and increases both the density of the drives and access times for their data. The 250GB model is expected to rotate at 5,400 RPM and will launch in the second half of 2007; current models at this performance level reach only 160GB. Hitachi also said today that it would ship a 7,200 RPM, 200GB mobile hard drive in the first half of 2007 that outperforms by a wide margin the 4,200 RPM models featured in recent laptops from Alienware and Apple. The company further predicts that it will be shipping 750GB drives for portables by 2010 thanks to perpendicular recording.

iTMS adds shows from telemundo, mun2

11/01, 9:35am

iTMS adds spanish TV

Apple, Telemundo, and mun2 today announced that popular Spanish-language television programming from Telemundo and bilingual programs from its popular Latino youth network, mun2 are available for purchase and download on the iTunes Store. The new content features popular Telemundo programming such as "Pasion de Gavilanes," "El Cuerpo del Deseo" and "Decisiones," as well as mun2 reality content such as "mun2: The Immigration Special." The shows are available for purchase and download for $1.99 each, with more Telemundo content coming to iTunes in the coming months. "We're thrilled to be iTunes' first Hispanic TV property," said Don Browne, President, Telemundo. "Partnerships like these are all about our viewers and following their needs. We can offer our original content to our audience through innovative and hugely popular platforms such as iTunes, which is why we are pioneers in the Spanish-language television and digital media industries."

Apple adds iTunes Latino to iTMS

11/01, 9:20am

Apple adds iTunes Latino

Apple today launched iTunes Latino, a dedicated area within the US iTunes Store featuring top Latin music, music videos, TV shows, audiobooks, and podcasts. iTunes Latino offers hundreds of thousands of Latin and international music tracks, including exclusive tracks and albums available only on iTunes, according to the company. The iTunes Latino area on the iTunes Store is dedicated to Latin and Latin influenced music in many genres including Regional Mexicano, Rock Alternativo, Baladas y Boleros, Pop Latino, Reggaeton and Hip-Hop. "We're thrilled to offer customers their favorite Latin music and video programming with iTunes Latino," said Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of iTunes. "Latin music has been a huge hit on iTunes and now we're bringing music fans even more of what they love in a dedicated area on the iTunes Store."

Sony VAIO G to be world's lightest laptop

11/01, 9:10am

Sony VAIO G Laptop

Sony claims it has produced the world's lightest laptop computer, according to an announcement made in Japan today. The new VAIO G-series weighs 898 grams (1.98 pounds) without an optical drive, or 984 grams (2.17 pounds) with the drive included, giving it an exceptionally low weight despite the 12.1-inch screen that defines its frame. The G-series achieves this figure by using a shell entirely made of carbon fiber, Sony says, reducing the weight without compromising its strength. The company has also employed an LED-backlit LCD and a lack of extensive cooling to reduce the overall thickness of the case to less than one inch.

Click through for details of battery life, performance, and a photo gallery.

Cingular music deal excludes Apple

11/01, 9:10am

Cingular excludes Apple

Cingular is partnering with Napster and Yahoo to launch a new music service on its cellular network, catering to users with mobile phones that also offer music playback capability in a bold move to defy Apple's dominance as the leader of digital music downloads. Previous reports speculated that Cingular might partner with Apple as the Cupertino-based company's highly-anticipated 'iPhone' nears its rumored launch, backed by a trademark filing, various patents, and industry insider tips. Cingular's new service, which is expected to debut as early as tomorrow, will likely spoil any potential agreements between the mobile carrier and the iPod-maker. Cingular in September of 2005 expressed desire to work with Apple to create a music service that would allow users to download songs to their mobile phones, but said it hoped for "slightly higher" pricing on tracks than the iTunes Music Store.

Logitech Alto laptop stand with keyboard

11/01, 8:30am

Logitech Alto Keyboard

Understanding that many laptop owners use their systems as desktop replacements, Logitech today revealed its Alto hybrid keyboard and laptop stand. The design solves two of the main ergonomic problems with laptops, Logitech says, by both elevating a laptop's display to eye level and providing a comfortable, full-size keyboard. The keyboard attaches to the computer through USB, avoiding the proprietary format of a docking station, and includes two additional USB ports for external storage, mice, or other peripherals that typically remain at home. Logitech notes that the Alto is intended for most Windows laptops weighing 9 pounds or less. The company expects to ship the keyboard to Europe in December, and North America in January for $100 US.

Japan music competitor concedes to Apple

11/01, 8:30am

Apple defeats Oricon

The overwhelming success of Apple's iTunes Music Store in Japan today marked the company's first victim in the PC music download market. Oricon, a publishing company of music hit charts, has withdrawn from Japan's MC music download market as a result of iTunes and the iPod, saying it will instead post links from its website to online music stores while concentrating on music downloads for mobile phones. "The iPod has outrun us all," said Oricon spokesman Teruaki Hidaka. "If iPod users could download music from our site, we may have waited to see if the tide turns from mobile phones to online downloads." Oricon's online store has lost nearly $214,000 each month since its launch in March of 2005, according to a report from News.com, and raising its monthly download volume of 90,000 tracks while earning a profit is impossible in the near future, according to Hidaka.

PearDict 0.2 eases Web dictionary use

11/01, 8:15am

PearDict 0.2 released

Pearworks has released pearDict 0.2, a utility designed to ease the process of looking up words in Web-based dictionaries. Users can select a word in any Cocoa-based application and choose the 'Look Up on Web Dictionary' item from the Services menu to find that word. The software also supports moving the cursor over a word and pressing a keyboard shortcut to automatically look up the word online. Customizable hotkeys support looking up selections as well as text-cursor placements, and the software works for non-service aware applications. PearDict offers a search field for manual word lookups, providing direct access to a full-featured dictionary Web page. PearDict 0.2 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later, and is available for free.

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