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Realviz today released VTour for Mac, offering users a solution for the creation of photo-real 3D environments from 2D pictures or panoramas. The software is specifically designed for use with virtual walkthroughs, 3D simulation, virtual reality, urban planning, and modern gaming. Starting directly from digital photographs, or from full 360-degree panoramas, VTour facilitates the creation of 3D scenes such as interiors or urban areas using polygonal photo-textured primitives. Users can export or publish results as a 3D movie or an interactive application using 3D viewers such as SPi-V3d viewer. VTour also supports the creation of geo-referenced 3D scenes for Google Earth. The update allows users to create photo-realistic Web content with a size reduction of 2 to 3, according to Realviz, without any loss in quality. The latest revision also includes an updated SPi-V3d viewer for improved compatibility with Mac systems. Realviz is available for $600, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
Microsoft has responded to complaints about the EULA (End-User License Agreement) for Windows Vista, changing the document so that users can install a copy on more than one computer. "You may uninstall the software and install it on another device for your use. You may not do so to share this license between devices," it now reads in section 15. It was previously suggested that Vista owners might need a new key from Microsoft for some major hardware upgrades. The new EULA does not apply to OEM versions of the OS however, only retail copies, ZDNet clarifies.
Selwyn Electronics in the UK has launched its unconventional DigiMemo A402 designed to add a digital advantage to conventional note-taking. While it uses standard ink and paper, a processor inside the A402 records the input to 32MB of flash memory. This storage is equal to roughly 160 pages, Selwyn claims. A CompactFlash card slot is available to expand the storage up to a limit of 999 pages. Crucially, the A410 can also connect to a computer through USB to serve as a tablet input device and give artists a way of translating sketches on their preferred surface to paper. Four AAA batteries can provide as much as 80 hours of continuous drawing. Selwyn sells its DigiMemo notepad for $179 US. Import information isn't available.
iNotePad 2.4 ($15) is a creative Mac OS X alternative to the classic Mac OS Notepad application that expands on the classic version's features. The update is the first Universal version, offering links between notes, links to files, and improved Spotlight integration. The software supports indexing encrypted notes as well as backing up databases as tar archives. iNotePad 2.4 requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later running on a G3-,G4-,G5- or Intel-based Mac -- with Mac OS X 10.4 or later required for certain features. [Download - 1.9MB] Pandora 2.0.4 ($30) gathers images and other Web content via URL "spidering" or by keyword searches including support for images, audio files, videos, and other standard document formats. The update is a bug-fix release which improves the quantity of Google Image Search results returned when performing searches and allows leading zeros in consecutively numbered file patterns. Pandora, formerly known as NetScrape, requires Mac OS 10.4 "Tiger" or later. [Download - 2.3MB] Inquisitor 3.0b (free) is a plug-in for Safari designed to function like Spotlight for the internet. Inquisitor attempts to find results as users type, immediately providing the results and search refinement suggestions. Inquisitor 3.0b is the first public release of version 3.0 which includes more animations, performance optimizations, autocompletion of words or phrases, user interface augmentations, and performance tweaks as well as optimizations. Inquisitor requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later. [Download - 254KB] Springy 1.1 ($20) is an archiving utility enabling users to browse files in archives with all three of Mac OS X's view types. The update adds the ability to delete and overwrite files in TAR archives (both compressed and uncompressed TARs), search functionality, extended as well as improved Finder-like preview of files in archives, support for Java archives (JAR, WAR, EAR), and more Finder-like behavior. A contextual menu plug-in also enables users to archive selected files in a single archive or separately. Springy requires a G3-, G4-, G5, or Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.3 or later. [Download - 4.0MB] FileXaminer v2.6 ($10) enables users to get info on items in Mac OS X and modify file/folder attributes that the Finder cannot. The application supports Path Finder, Mac OS X labels, and Image Buddy. The update corrects several bugs, improves help files, and tweaks overall application performance. FileXaminer requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later. [Download - 1.8MB]
iFixit has posted a disassembly guide for Apple's new second-generation iPod shuffle with internal photos of the small device. The new guide's release follows Apple's official shipment confirmation on October 31st, . The disassembly guide includes instructions accompanied by detailed photos of the new device, illustrating the fact that Apple's smallest iPod is user-serviceable. The guide depicts how to get inside, access, and replace any component in the new Shuffle. iFixit -- which offers free Fixit guides for every iPod and Mac laptop online -- claims that every iPod Apple has ever shipped is user-serviceable.
Apple today released Aperture 1.5.1, an update to its post production photography tool designed for industry professionals. The release confirms an earlier report suggesting that the Cupertino-based company would unveil the latest revision of its software, as detailed by an Apple director at the PhotoPlus Expo. Aperture 1.5.1 improves overall reliability and performance in many areas of the application, including keywords, the Loupe, cropping, previews, metadata presets, file renaming, iPhoto library import, and watermarks. Specifically the update addresses more than 100 issues related to overall reliability and performance in all areas of the application. Aperture 1.5.1 is available for $300, with upgrades available for free to existing Aperture users of any previous version. Aperture requires Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later. The company also released its fully functional free trial of the software, as previously reported.
V-Moda has released details on its Vibe earphones, featuring a unique design with handmade premium metal encasements and soft silicone ear fittings. The fittings come in three sizes to ensure a comfortable fit, and the earphones use Base Level Isolating Soft Silicone (BLISS) isolating technology to reduce noise while enhancing bass response. The Vibe earphones ship with a gold leather pouch, modawrap cable management, eight pairs of silicone fittings (six clear, two black), and a VIP card offering access to exclusive online content. V-Moda's Vibe earphones are scheduled to ship November 6th for $100.
Canadian media company Rogers said today that it will introduce the first HSDPA mobile Internet network in Canada. Beginning with coverage primarily in the greater Toronto area and extending as far as Oshawa and Niagara, Rogers subscribers can connect to the country's first 3.5G wireless network as of November 24th. The company also announced that its first compatible device will be the Sierra Wireless AirCard 860, a PC Card adapter for laptops that can connect at HSDPA's 3.6Mbps theoretical maximum speed and is backwards-compatible with the slower EDGE and GPRS standards. The 860 will appear at the same time as the service and will be available for $50 CDN with a three-year contract, or $350 for shorter plans. Cellphones and other computer adapters should become available as the network expands in 2007, Rogers says. HSDPA is already available in the US, but only in a small number of Cingular service areas.
Parallels today released Parallels Installation Assistant, a utility to ease the installation process of Microsoft Windows on a Mac. The software comes as part of Parallels Desktop for Mac, the company's solution for running PC operating systems alongside Mac OS X without the need to reboot on any Intel-based Mac. The Installation Assistant provides an easy to use 'Express Windows OS Installation Mode' for Windows XP and Windows Vista that completely automates the virtual machine setup and Windows installation processes. Users select which Windows version they plan to use, enter their name, company information and Windows activation key, and then click 'finish' to begin installing Windows in a pre-designed virtual machine optimized for their version of Windows. From that point on, installation is completely automated and requires no user interaction, according to Parallels. Parallels Desktop is available for $80, and requires an Intel-based Mac with Mac OS X 10.4.6 or later.
BeLight Software today launched its Printfolio software suite, a collection of five professional printing applications. The suite includes Business Card Composer, Swift Publisher, Disc Cover, Mail Factory, and Image Tricks. Each software title is designed for one specific task, integrating with the other applications to facilitate data exchange. The bundle is designed to help users: prepare unique business cards and update existing cards; create flyers, brochures, and catalogs; make CD and DVD covers for music collections; mark backup discs in a convenient way; maintain a corporate look for business correspondence; and automate postal correspondence for businesses with large mailing lists. Printfolio is priced at $90, and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Magellan marked its presence at the SEMA show today by revealing the CrossoverGPS hybrid GPS receiver. In contrast to nautically-oriented GPS units such as the iWAY 600c, the CrossoverGPS emphasizes flexibility and can convert from its role as a turn-by-turn driving navigator to an all-terrain GPS unit with topographical marks and a waypoint system that can remember routes over land and water for later trips. Detailed marine maps can be added through SD cards. Magellan further says that its handheld is built to survive common shocks and is splashproof from all angles. Shipping in December, the CrossoverGPS will retail for $550.
Nokia has debuted an unusual portable stereo that's completely transparent, reports The Cool Hunter. All interior components of the product are visible, from the wiring to the amplifier. An inside shelf is equipped to hold your phone, which would seem to be the primary source of music for the system, much like the iPod Hi-Fi. Exact technical details are unavailable. A long strap at the top should increase portability however, and feet at the base should improve stability. Nokia has launched the stereo in Finland with a campaign set in parks and beaches.
Creative updated its successful Live! Cam line today with the Optia, a multi-purpose webcam designed as much for desktops as for laptops. The camera has a clamping base that can still rest flat on a desk or table without requiring a different mount. The main unit rotates 270 degrees and is programmed to flip the image automatically when the camera is inverted, Creative says. Equally significant is the Optia's nature as a USB Video Class device. On recent Windows XP systems, the webcam works without requiring drivers and can be used as a live video capture source for any program, such as a movie editor or an instant messaging client. A 1.3-megapixel sensor provides 1280x960 still shots as well as 640x480 video at a full 30 frames per second. The camera will be available this month in Creative's home of Singapore for $82 US; a North American release is likely soon afterwards.
Wrappers today launched its pinstripe laptop sleeve, a protective cover for Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops. Pinstripe laptop sleeves are made from waterproof, fire retardant dark navy cotton canvas. The covers are stain resistant, and are lined with classic grey pinstripe as featured in several designer collections this season, according to the company. Cushioned interiors protect the hardware within from small bumps and scratches, and the cases are tailored to fit each laptop snugly. Wrappers is shipping its pinstripe laptop sleeve for £16, which optionally includes a custom ID tag embroidered with initials for an additional £3.
Cingular today revealed its new music initiative following earlier reports that the mobile carrier would challenge Apple's dominance in the digital music market. Dubbed Cingular Music, the service allows Cingular subscribers to buy, subscribe to, or stream music from multiple high-profile online networks through handsets from LG, Samsung, and Sony-Ericsson. The carrier has partnered with online stores Napster, Yahoo! Music, and eMusic to allow customers of these stores to obtain and transfer music directly from their cellular phones at no additional cost beyond those of the stores themselves, according to Electronista. Support for Napster and Yahoo! subscription services, where customers can download unlimited songs at a fixed monthly rate, is a cell phone industry first, according to Cingular. Cingular users can also subscribe to XM Radio Mobile for $9 per month to stream 25 of the satellite radio network's more popular channels. Cingular Music will officially launch on November 6th.
Security researcher H.D. Moore -- the developer of the Metasploit security tool -- has published attack code that he claims exploits a new security flaw in Apple's AirPort driver. The flaw reportedly affects the AirPort driver provided with wireless cards shipped between 1999 and 2003 in PowerBooks as well as iMacs, and requires that a malicious user be on the same wireless network as a vulnerable Mac. Moor has not succeeded in gaining complete control of a vulnerable Mac, but says it's "just a matter of time and motivation." The current code triggers a fatal kernel panic and forces the victim to power cycle the Mac, according to a report from News.com. An Apple spokeswoman said Apple is investigating the vulnerability, and that the issue "affects a small percentage of previous generation AirPort-enabled Macs and does not affect currently shipping or AirPort Extreme enabled Macs."
Cicero Networks has announced a new version of the CiceroPhone VoIP client, which will run on select Symbian-equipped Nokia S60 phones. The E60, E61, E70 and N80 will be supported. The program enables calls to be routed through the best available network, whether WiFi or cellular. Cicero claims that routing rules should ensure optimized costs and signal quality. Users will also be able to perform limited adjustments to these rules, so long as they concentrate on particular numbers or ranges of numbers. CiceroPhone for Symbian should be released on November 30th. It should be noted, though, that Cicero released its first "dual-mode" client in 2005 for Windows Mobile 5.0 devices.
As part of the official launch of Microsoft's Zune.net site that promotes the upcoming music player, Integrated Mobile Electronics on Thursday revealed what it claims is the first true universal music player dock for cars. Its IME Dock is designed to connect numerous media players -- such as the iPod, Sansa e200, and the Zune -- directly to a vehicle's entertainment system and plays its audio or video regardless of the device or file format. Connected players can also charge through the station and will play content even on systems with multiple LCDs, IME says. A remote control function is also expected. No pricing has been announced, though the company said it will start shipping the IME Dock in February.
Despite Apple's recent appreciation, American Technology Research senior analyst Shaw Wu believes the Cupertino-based company will see sizable upside ahead of MacWorld Expo in January of next year. "We see several catalysts over the next few quarters including: Mac OS X Leopard in the first half of 2007 that will help maintain strong Mac momentum, iTV launch in the first quarter of 2007, movie content partners beyond Disney, new iPod features including widescreen and wireless Bluetooth capability, and cell phones sometime in 2007," said Wu. The analyst is comfortable with a December quarter forecast of $6.1 billion in revenue and $0.72 in earnings-per-share vs. Apple's guidance of $6.0-6.2 billion and $0.70-0.73. "We are modeling 14 million iPods and 1.8 million Macs." American Technology Research reiterated its 'Buy' rating on Apple shares, suggesting investors take advantage of recent weakness to add to positions.
A senior Apple director today at the PhotoPlus Expo revealed that the company will release Aperture 1.5.1 some time today, as well as a fully functioning demo of the post production photography software that will allow users to try out all aspects of the application. "The update comes from user feedback on our 1.5 release and focuses on performance improvements related to previews," said Kirk Paulsen, Apple's senior director of professional applications product marketing. The update also addresses general stability and reliability of Aperture, according to Paulsen, adding RAW support for the Nikon D80 and Canon XTI cameras. The demo version allows users to purchase Aperture from within the application, requiring only the entry of a serial number before resuming usage of the fully legal application. "We want to get Aperture in the hands of as many photographers as possible," Paulsen added.
Senior analyst Gene Munster of research firm Piper Jaffray today addressed 16 unanswered questions within a broad spectrum of Apple's business, from the iTV launch to Apple's holiday shopping season strategy. Industry watchers are asking questions about Apple's general business operations, Mac computers, and the company's retail stores. A research note obtained by MacNN details these questions, outlining Munster's take on each item. Piper Jaffray maintains its 'Outperform' rating on Apple shares with a price target of $99.
ASUS has officially released the Asteio D22, its latest media hub targeted at dedicated home theater enthusiasts. Built with TV recording in mind, the D22 ships with a dual TV tuner that can display and record two analog or two digital broadcasts at the same time. Programs can be scheduled for recording as far as two weeks in advance, and the resulting media can be accessed from the Internet through a broadcast-to-go feature compatible with computers, cellphones, and almost any other mobile device. More details follow after the jump.
LG will soon begin mass-producing the world's largest LCD TV, says The Register. At 100 inches, the display will be the second largest TV ever put into mass production, dwarfed only by Panasonic's 103-inch plasma. The LG product will be capable of 1080p resolution, 1.07 billion color hues, and a contrast ratio of 3,000:1. The response time will be 5ms and the viewing angle should be a full 180 degrees. These specifications will come at a high cost however, as LG will spend $150,000 to build a single TV set. Retail prices should be correspondingly higher in order to turn a profit.
Aspyr Media today announced that it is bringing Star Wars: Empire at War (site not updated) to the Mac platform. Star Wars: Empire at War puts the power to command an entire war for the Star Wars galaxy in the hands of players, offering the freedom to determine how the game is played via scalable and accessible gameplay. Set a few years before the events of Episode IV A New Hope, the title allows players to wage war on the ground and in space, as well as experience the creation of the Rebel Alliance, the strengthening of the Empire, and the beginnings of the Galactic Civil War. The software uses an entirely new game engine created by the Las Vegas-based developer Petroglyph, rendering land and space battles set on memorable planets such as Yavin IV, Tatooine, and Dagobah, as well as never-before-seen environments taken directly from the Star Wars films and expanded universe novels, according to Aspyr (pricing, system requirements, and availability were unavailable).
Voodoo PC today previewed a new version of its high-end gaming PC that will use Intel's quad-core Core 2 Extreme processor. The OMEN Core 2 Extreme Quad Core upgrades the existing design to use Intel's 2.66GHz chip but retains the customized features the company's systems are known for, including the choice of factory-overclocked video cards from ATI or NVIDIA with copper heatsinks. The upgraded system can increase performance by as much as 70% over dual-core systems, Voodoo PC says. Pricing varies depending on the configuration and hasn't been listed, but the updated OMEN will be available for custom orders starting November 14th. The new system is the first to be introduced since company was acquired by HP in September. A full photo is available after the jump.
Microsoft has announced that Windows Vista will first be available to Canadian businesses, starting on November 23rd, says IDG. Microsoft will host the first of its New Day for Business events in Edmonton, Alberta, where Canadian availability of the OS will be formally launched. The company will also begin distributing Exchange Server 2007 and the Office 2007 suite at the same time. The American launch of Vista, meanwhile, will happen a week later on November 30th. CEO Steve Ballmer will be present for events at the NASDAQ Stock Market in Manhattan as well the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. The New York launch will not be the end of Microsoft's publicity efforts. Further Canadian presentations will take place in Toronto on December 5th, Montreal on December 7th, and Ottawa on December 12th. Miscellaneous demonstrations will continue into January, by which time Vista should be put into public release.
Seeking to differentiate itself from the often utilitarian ultra-mobile PC format, Japanese firm PBJ said that it has commissioned a more visually striking concept from UK designer Crispin Jones. The as-yet unnamed UMPC is patterned after Japanese suzuribako writing utensil boxes, Jones says, and features distinct line patterns that not only individualize the system but also serve as grips. The system is also unique for the absence of buttons: all commands are handled using a touchscreen and stylus. Rubber feet on the bottom allow the UMPC to be used horizontally on a desk, replicating its Japanese inspiration. No specifications or formal launch details have been provided either by Crispin Jones or by PBJ, but as it was completed in October its release as a final product is likely within the next few months.
In brief: The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office today published numerous Apple patent applications which detail 'Techniques for acquiring a media season of digital media assets,' an 'On-line media store that supports pre-ordering of digital media assets,' and 'Rating media item groups'.... A survey conducted by ABI Research reveals that many prospective MP3 player buyers -- even iPod owners -- are likely to choose Microsoft's Zune player when the device hits shelves.... Google's ad revenue in the UK is expected to surpass Channel Four's predicted £800m, and will likley overtake ITV1 within 18 months.... FotoTime has announced a partnership with RealNetworks, offering SuperPass members access to FotoTime's online photo sharing and video services.... BenQ today released its new FP241W display ($1,100), the first 24-inch LCD to offer direct HDMI input.
Intel today made public its first quad-core desktop processor, the Core 2 Extreme QX6700. The chip, previously codenamed Kentsfield, effectively merges two of the company's Core 2 Duo desktop processors on to a single die. This gives gamers and other performance enthusiasts the abillity to handle four computing tasks at once without requiring a costly two-socket mainboard, according to Intel. While the new chip operates at 2.66GHz instead of the 2.93GHz of the dual-core Core 2 Extreme, each half of the QX6700 has 4MB of L2 cache that helps share data between cores. The updated Core 2 Extreme will be available later this month for $999 for volume system builders; the workstation- and server-oriented equivalent, the Xeon 5300 series, is also due later this month and may find its way into systems such as the Mac Pro. A less expensive, 2.4GHz Core 2 Quad is expected in January for $851.
Adobe Systems today released Adobe Acrobat 8, the latest revision of its PDF creation utility designed to improve communication and collaboration across multiple operating system environments, applications, and firewalls while running natively on Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary. The announcement marks the fourth Universal application from Adobe following Flash Player, DWG Converter, and Photoshop Lightroom beta. Adobe today also released its Adobe Acrobat Connect hosted service, the first Web conferencing and collaboration solution to offer 'always-on' personal meeting rooms. Adobe Acrobat 8 Standard is available for $300, or $100 as an upgrade. Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional is available for $450, with upgrades for registered users of qualifying earlier versions available for $160. The Acrobat Connect hosted service is immediately available as a free trial through the end of the year.
BenQ today released its new FP241W display, the first 24-inch LCD to offer direct HDMI input, according to the company. In addition to connectors for DVI and VGA for computers as well as component, RCA, and S-video for analog signals, the FP241W includes a single HDMI port for transmitting video from Blu-Ray and HD DVD players, the PlayStation 3, and other HDMI-equipped media devices that may require HDCP encryption to display at their full 1920x1200 resolution. The screen itself is ideal for fast-motion games and movies, BenQ adds, as the panel provides a 6ms gray-to-gray pixel response time. The company's proprietary Senseye image compensation is also said to dynamically improve the contrast, color, and sharpness of the final picture. BenQ is shipping the FP241W in November for $1099.
TechRestore has begun offering a 200GB drive upgrade as part of its overnight hard drive upgrade service for Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro systems. The new upgrade marks the first 200GB SATA drive upgrade available for notebooks, according to the company. The overnight service includes installation of the new drive into the notebook, as well as data transfer from the old drive to the new, creating an exact clone of the old hard drive ready for immediate use when the laptop is returned via overnight courier. TechRestore offers nationwide door-to-door pickup service for the upgrade, as well as an option to install the old drive into a portable external enclosure. TechRestore's 200GB overnight upgrade is $400 including the hard drive, installation, and data transfer. The upgrade includes a 1-year warranty with a 5-year warranty on the hard drive from the manufacturer.
QuickerTek has unveiled 'Quicky,'the first Transceiver/Antenna for wireless networking requiring only a USB port, according to the company. The device boosts wireless range and signal strength by at least twice that of Apple's 12-, 15-, and 17-inch notebook standard range, clipping onto the top of the laptop case. The Quicky features a small antenna with a built-in transceiver, requiring no computer skills to set up or use and remaining completely transparent to users as it boosts signal strength. The device boasts 500 milliwatts of RF power and attains improved signal strength by bringing the antenna out of the notebook chassis where it normally resides. Quicky works with all 802.11/b/g Wi-Fi equipment from common manufacturers such as Linksys, D-Link, Belkin, and all of Apple's AirPort-supported devices without the need to install additional software. Quicky is available for $230, requiring Mac OS X 9 or Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Following early reports, Cingular today revealed its new music initiative. Dubbed Cingular Music, the service will let Cingular subscribers buy, subscribe to, or stream music from multiple high-profile online networks through handsets from LG, Samsung, and Sony-Ericsson. The carrier has partnered with online stores Napster, Yahoo! Music, and eMusic to allow customers of these stores to obtain and transfer their music directly from their phones at no additional cost beyond those of the stores themselves. Support for Napster and Yahoo! subscription services, where customers can download unlimited songs at a fixed monthly rate, is a cellphone industry first, Cingular says. Additionally, Cingular users can subscribe to XM Radio Mobile for $9 per month to stream 25 of the satellite radio network's more popular channels. Cingular Music will officially launch on November 6th. Cingular has simultaneously announced the Cingular SYNC phone, a self-branded version of the Samsung's A707 handset that will be ready for the provider's music service with 3G wireless support for EDGE and HSDPA as well as music support for AAC, MP3, and WMA. The phone will also ship on November 6th and will sell for $50 with a two-year contract and mail-in rebate.
EzGear has launched the clearCase Nano G2 for Apple's second-generation iPod nano, providing a full 360-degree view of the portable media player while protecting the device from bumps and scratches. Constructed from clear acrylic, the case offers access to all ports via openings on the bottom as well as clickwheel usage via a cut-out in the acrylic body. The top of the clearCase G2 flips open for easy installation and removal of the iPod, and a removable neck strap enables users to wear the device about the neck on-the-go. EzGear is shipping two new models of the new case which include the clearCase Nano G2 ($16) and clearCase Nano G2 Sport ($19). The Sport edition ships with an integrated armband, according to the company.
Ambrosia today released Dragster 1.0, a Universal Binary utility that brings drag-and-drop simplicity to file transfers. Dragster sends files via email, uploads documents to remote servers, copies items to iDisks, and moves or copies files anywhere on local hard drives. The software integrates into the dock, and supports unlimited file destination shortcuts. A contextual menu component enables users to control-click on any file in any program to send that file to a previously configured shortcut, and Dragster offers full support for Bonjour. Ambrosia's latest utility supports FTP, SFTP, SCP, SMB, and AFP protocols under one unified interface, and is designed to complement other software such as Fetch and Transmit. Dragster is priced at $20, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.99 ( + 0.29 )
Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k