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Boris FX v9, Graffiti 5.0
Boris FX has released Boris FX 9.0, a new version of its 2D and 3D compositing and effects plug-in and Graffiti 5.0, its 2D and 3D vector title animation plug-in solution. Both titles integrate with industry standard non-linear editing systems. Boris FX 9 incorporates an ultra-modern UI design and over 50 new filters: "the new UI incorporates NLE look and feel for smooth user interaction. A mini timeline in the composite window with keyframe animation controls and popular 'Sticky' and 'Magnetic' windows create an interactive design environment." In addition, the release offers over 100 compositing and effects filters, new library browser templates, support for new hosts, and 16-bit color. The company said a Universal version of the software will be available in December as free update to v9 owners. Boris FX 9 is $300 with upgrades priced at $200.
Intel's quad-core chips
Intel today introduced new quad-core processors for both servers and high-performance desktops by delivering chips with four computing "brains" inside a single microprocessor: the Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5300 and Intel Core 2 Extreme quad-core processor deliver "immense speed and responsiveness" for general purpose servers and workstations and for digital media creation, high-end gaming and other market segments that crave absolute performance, the company said. The new Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor 5300 series is designed for servers and provides performance boosts of up to 63 percent and offer up to 2.5 times the performance of the fastest competing processor, according to tests cited by the company. In addition, the processors offer up to 50 percent more performance within the same thermal envelope and at the same cost as the previous generation Dual-Core Intel Xeon processor 5100 series launched less than 5 months ago.
M-Audio ships MidAir
M-Audio has begun shipping its new MidAir wireless USB MIDI system (pictured at right) and MidAir 37 wireless keyboard controller. The MidAir wireless MIDI transmitter and receiver system allows users to wirelessly transmit data from any device that outputs MIDI--keyboards, drum machines, electronic drums and more. MidAir allows users to control everything from keyboards and sound modules to multi-effects units and stage lighting rigs. Users can simply plug the battery-powered transmitter into the MIDI Out port on their controller of choice and connect the receiver to the MIDI In port on the device they would like to control. The MidAir receiver also includes a USB port and functions as a class-compliant 1x1 MIDI interface for connecting to a computer.
NBC news shows on iTunes
NBC News this week said it will offer "NBC Nightly News" and "Meet the Press" as free video podcasts on iTunes. The company, which has been streaming its video on MSNBC.com as well as offering audio of both shows as audio podcasts, will be offering video downloads of the shows for the first time. "NBC Nightly News" will be available every weeknight at 10 p.m. EST, while "Meet the Press" will be available via video podcast at 1 p.m. EST -- both after their West Coast airings. The "NBC Nightly News" video podcast begins Tuesday. "It makes sense to provide the content to viewers in whatever format they prefer," MSNBC.com deputy editor Randy Stearns said. He said that MSNBC.com still believes that streaming ad-supported video-on-demand is what users want. The new video podcast will be the first full evening newscast available as a video download. ABC News began "World News Now" as a 15-minute daily newscast in January, and CBS News simulcasts "CBS Evening News" on the Web, according to the Washington Post. Meanwhile, ESPN said that it has begun offering iTunes podcasts of such local ESPN radio shows as "The Michael Kay Show" in New York and "The Big Show With Mason and Ireland" in Los Angeles.
Refurb 24" Core 2 Duo iMac
Apple has updated its refurbished iMac offerings to include its recently introduced 24-inch Core 2 Duo model, and added numerous other systems which were previously sold out. Refurbished 24-inch 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo iMac systems with 1GB of memory and a 250GB hard drive are available for $1,699, while the 17-inch 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo model with 1GB of memory and a 160GB hard drive ships for $1,099. A 17-inch 1.83GHz Intel Core 2 Duo iMac is also available with 512MB of memory and a 160GB hard drive for $899. Reconditioned Intel Core Duo iMacs include the 17-inch 1.83GHz model with 512MB of memory and a 160GB hard drive for $949, as well as the 20-inch 2.0GHz model with 512MB of memory and a 250GB hard drive for $1,199. Apple is still offering its refurbished 20-inch 2.1GHz iMac G5 system with 512MB of memory and a 250GB hard drive for $1,299.
Sharing EVDO, Apple loops
In brief: EVDOinfo.com has published a tech note for MacBook and MacBook Pro users, demonstrating how to share EVDO connections from a Mac to Windows running in Parallels.... A new website designed as a free resource for Garageband and Logic users -- Macloops.com -- is offering more than 250 Apple loops in a variety of genres that are optimized for use in the Garageband Loop Browser.... QNX Software Systems' real-time operating system is officially supported by the National Instruments Measurement Hardware Driver Development Kit (MHDDK) and PCI multifunction data acquisition (DAQ) devices.... IntelliScanner has unveiled the Wine Collector 200 ($300), its portable barcode scanner and companion software package for wine collection and management.... One MacNN reader who purchased the BFG 8800GTX graphics card reports that the device fails to work in his Mac Pro, causing the machine to turn on without sounding the Apple chime.... MacMall has begun bundling new Macs with Microsoft Windows XP home and XP Pro.
Sony stops official PS mag
Sony and publisher Ziff-Davis are discontinuing the Official Playstation Magazine, a staple of the gaming industry since the PS1 console. Nominally a propaganda organ, OPM was nevertheless respected because of the arm's length Sony kept from the editors, resulting in incidents such as one editor saying she wouldn't buy a PS3 this November. The magazine is being dismantled however because of another selling point: the demo DVD. Sony marketing VP Peter Dille notes that now that the Playstation Network will be offering web browsing and free downloads, the DVD has become redundant. The last OPM issue will be dated for January. This contrasts with the status of Microsoft's Official Xbox Magazine, which also has a demo disc but has been continually published despite the arrival of Xbox Live in 2002.
Comcast TV Via Cellphone
In what may signal a larger trend, Comcast today said it would add cellphone services to its existing collection of services, according to a report by USA Today. The cable company plans on introducing its own cellphone plans in Boston and Portland, Oregon later this month that will use Sprint's handsets and networks. Cox Cable and Time Warner have signed similar agreements but have not announced their launch plans.
The Comcast incarnation of the deal will see the company merge its home phone and TV features with calling functions: subscribers to both cable and cellular service will have a universal voice mailbox, says the company, while also having the option of downloading short TV clips from the Comcast network. Viewers will eventually have the choice of a wireless DVR function to record TV shows directly from their cellphone, according to Comcast spokeswoman D'Arcy Rudnay. Pricing has yet to be revealed, although phones such as the LG-made Fusic (pictured) are expected to be among the initial phone options.
Philips CD5351S DECT
Though it may look like a VoIP or cellular phone, Philips' new CD5351S is a cordless that happens to have cellphone-like features. Central to this is the color screen, which displays an icon-based navigation system with corresponding controls. There are even pre-loaded games. Up to 50 contacts can be stored in memory, and SMS messages can be pre-composed, sent only when the user is ready. Polyphonic ringtones can identify three different groups of callers. The phone's base station supports up to five handsets, charging each with 12 hours of talk time or 150 hours of standby. Popcorn-uk is selling the CD5351S for £47 ($89).
Zune, little excitement
Apple's iPod and Mac sales remain strong moving into the holiday season, but Microsoft's Zune player is generating 'little' excitement and will only minimally impact the iPod, according to UBS analyst Ben Reitzes. "While Microsoft's Zune will hit stores tomorrow, our checks show little excitement around the new product and we are not expecting much of an impact to iPod sales from the new MP3 player. In fact, initial reviews for the Zune have been far from impressive." Reitzes' views echo those of Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster, who yesterday pointed to the long, hard road Microsoft has ahead as it tries to best Apple's dominance in the digital music market. Reitzes of UBS continues to expect new iPods next year after Macworld, with the large screen video model likely ready by spring.
While stand-alone camera additions for media players are already available to transform media players into video recorders, JonesCAM on Tuesday released its SportDVR as one of the first mobile recorders to come bundled with both a camera and a complete media player. Mounting to a hat or helmet to get a unique first-person perspective, the camera relays video to a handheld that can not only capture up to 20 hours' worth of video at maximum quality, but also play back the footage on its 3.5-inch screen. The SportDVR is equally made to last the entirety of a long fishing trip or the majority of a police officer's shift, according to JonesCAM. A 2.5-hour internal battery for the recorder combines with a high-capacity battery pack to record interruption-free for 5-7 hours when paired with the camera. The firm sells its complete kit for $1095.
Circuit City $99 Laptop
Large electronics retailer Circuit City plans to capitalize on the often frenetic shopping activity the day after Thanksgiving to set a new record in discount laptops, according to a leaked ad obtained by Black Friday 2006. The store will carry a budget Compaq Presario laptop that will be available for $99 after obtaining an instant discount, a mail-in rebate, and a 12-month subscription to Vonage Internet telephone service. As with similar offers from HP and Wal-Mart, the system is a budget 15.4-inch system with 512MB of RAM and a 60GB hard drive; however, the as yet unnamed Presario model at Circuit City will include a 1.6GHz Celeron M instead of an AMD processor and a DVD rewriter in lieu of the more limited DVD/CD-RW combo drive. The surprise discount from Circuit City, while temporary, reflects an increasingly clear trend towards extremely low-cost portables in the market, similar to the path taken by desktops in previous years.
Zune Team SE Players
To reward its team for the release of the Zune, Microsoft today sent its development staff special versions of the new player, according to Zune business developer Bill Wittress. Staff could choose between orange and pink players that reflect the colors of the energy status bar on the devices. They also feature a clear version of the Zune's signature double-shot color effect around their rims. Although the limited-run Zune is only a gift, Wittress asks for reader reactions -- a practice used by other pseudo-official Zune blogs such as Zunester and Zune Insider to gauge the reaction to the device and listeners' habits. The disclosure may pave the way for future color options in stores beyond the current black, brown, and white options. A full photo of the pink edition is available after the jump.
Elecom disc destroyer
Elecom's SCR-CD001 takes a different approach to making discs unusable. Whereas most destroyers simply break a disc, Elecom's product scratches the surface in a particular pattern, rendering the disc unreadable without completely wiping the data, which can be recovered through more elaborate services. The destroyer is also small and fast, being powered by a USB connection and needing only five seconds per session. The SCR-CD001 begins Japanese sales in late November for the price of 3,000 yen ($25).
Tyan Typhoon 600
The official launch today of Intel's first quad-core desktop CPUs has seen multiple announcements of multi-core desktops. However, Tyan today revealed what it characterizes as a personal supercomputer. The Typhoon 600 series uses as many as ten of Intel's quad-core Xeon 5300 processors, producing a forty-core system that can achieve an unprecedented 256 gigaflops in peak performance. Unlike most systems at this performance level, however, the Typhoon doesn't require a rackmount or special power needs. The entire system fits in a wide tower case that can plug into an ordinary wall socket, Tyan boasts. This allows professionals to use the system as a personal CPU cluster, rendering 3D images or science data in a fraction of the time that a conventional desktop would take. To this end, the system has DVI and VGA video output and multiple front-mounted USB ports to serve as a true desktop rather than a backroom server. Tyan expects the system to sell for under £10,000 ($18,959) when it arrives in January -- a low price for the available power, the company says.
Civ IV: Warlords ships
Aspyr Media today began shipping Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Warlords in North America for Mac. Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Warlords is the first expansion pack for Firaxis Games' Civilization IV. Paying homage to some of history's greatest military leaders, the expansion delivers eight unique and interesting scenarios, giving players the chance to change the course of history with the help of their new powerful "warlord" unit. Civilization IV: Warlords includes new civilizations, leaders, units, and wonders that offer more ways for players to expand their civilization's military power as they strive for world domination. Warlords adds support for a new game type, warlords, which focuses on a Warlord character. Vassal states are also supported, along with new scenarios, additional unique units, and new wonders. The expansion requires the original Civilization 4 release as well as Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later, and is available for $30.
JVC DLA-HD1 LCD projector
JVC has revealed the DLA-HD1, a new LCD projector coming to Japan next year. Beyond being a "Full HD" system capable of resolutions up to 1080p, the projector will have a response time of 4ms, and an unheard-of contrast ratio of 15,000:1. Even Sanyo's PLV-Z5 can only achieve 10,000:1. JVC claims that this will allow "true" black reproduction without sacrificing picture brightness, which on the HD1 should run to 700 lumens with a 200W bulb. The projector will not be cheap, though: JVC expects to sell it in late January for the price of 798,000 yen ($6,767). Plans for distribution outside of Japan have not been mentioned.
Brookstone tub MP3 Speaker
Offering an alternative to normally vertically-oriented music docks, Brookstone today began carrying its tub MP3 Speaker System. The tub includes a space on top especially built to safely hold an iPod or other music players while continuing to output audio from any given player's headphone jack. In addition to protecting the jukebox, the design saves space by placing the stereo speakers directly underneath. Rubber feet at the bottom both keep the tub still and elevate the design to prevent spills from seeping into the speaker grilles. In accordance with its simple design, the speaker set relies on AC power and has only simple volume adjustment controls. Brookstone delivers the tub for $50.
Wolfram Workbench released
Wolfram Research today released Wolfram Workbench, an integrated development environment (IDE) that incorporates Mathematica technologies for the development of large-scale technical solutions. The software is built on the Eclipse IDE platform, easing the process of Eclipse adopters using Mathematica for applications. Key Workbench features include the ability to group files, code, and other Mathematica resources into a single project; perform source code editing with syntax highlighting, error reporting, and local variable coloring; and study code as it runs to detect and fix issues. The application also supports profiling code execution to develop run tests via an array of reporting methods; managing multiple versions of files as well as access version histories, and building as well as deploying Mathematica packages. Wolfram Workbench requires Mathematica 5.2 or later, and is priced at $145 (system requirements were unavailable).
Global VR Ultra Pin
The Ultra Pin is digital pinball machine, simulating six conventional tables by Bally and Williams: Attack from Mars, Medieval Madness, F-14 Tomcat, Sorcerer, Xenon, and Strikes and Spares. The actual parts of the machines have been replaced with a 16:9 plasma display, and in place of the standard dot matrix screen, Global VR has substituted a color LCD. To make the Ultra Pin play like a classic machine, however, the company has included force-feedback sensors, which allow players to bump and tilt the playing field. Additional games such as FunHouse and Pin-Bot can be bought in table packs. The cost of the table itself is undisclosed, but given Global's arcade-based market, it may well be several thousand dollars.
Brando Dual-Scroll Mouse
Online exporter Brando today released its own Battery FREE Wireless Optical Mouse in hopes of outperforming the Royche NB-57D released earlier this month. As with its competitor, Brando's model uses electromagnetic induction from the mousepad to charge the controller without batteries or cords. Unique to Brando's model, however, is a second, horizontal scroll wheel. The extra input can be used not just to pan left or right across documents but also to adjust zoom or turn pages in documents or websites, Brando says. Buttons also exist to replicate a double-click and navigate back or forth when using Internet Explorer. The Wireless Optical Mouse ships from Brando for $36.
CrossOver Mac 6.0 beta 3
Codeweavers has released public beta 3 of CrossOver Mac 6.0, allowing users to run Windows-based applications on Intel-based Macs without installing the Microsoft Windows operating system. The latest beta release begins to converge on a final 6.0 version, according to the company, but still has some major issues to resolve such as Quicken 2007 functionality and general polishing. The update includes notable fixes for service packs, Outlook 2003, Quicken versions prior to 2007, and Half Life 2. The latest revision of the software also includes improvements to non-U.S. locales, with the European and Japanese environments becoming noticeably more usable. Codeweavers is accepting pre-orders of CrossOver Mac 6.0 for $40, which requires an Intel-based Mac running a compatible version of Mac OS X.
Klegg KLM401A 40-inch LCD
Klegg's newly-announced KLM401A is a Windows Media Center TV with the unique support of "smart home" systems by the likes of AMX, Creston, and HAI. The TV connects to the rest of the system via Ethernet or wireless. From there, all the user has to do is download specific Autonomic Controls modules from the Klegg or AC websites. He can then send IP-based commands to the TV from anywhere in the home. The 401A runs resolutions up to 1080i and has a 1,000:1 contrast ratio. Pricing and availability is currently unknown.
While Microsoft is today officially launching its Zune media player with an extreme level of publicity, the company is simultaneously facing an uncertain future, according to sources speaking to Bloomberg. Discussing the prospects of the Zune with the media outlet, Microsoft executives recognized that the jukebox will likely have a difficult path ahead even in ideal circumstances.
"We can beat them, but it's not going to be easy," says company CEO Steve Ballmer. "Obviously we're the David in this one. Apple's the Goliath." Zune marketing head Chris Stephenson similarly downplayed the company's ambitions, emphasizing that relevance, not dominance, is the crucial factor. "We would like people to say there's a clear No. 2 in the marketplace," he says.
Comments from analysts follow after the jump.
DRM Dumpster released
BurningThumb.com has released DRM Dumpster, a utility designed to legally convert DRM tracks in an iTunes music library to MP3 files using a CD-RW and iTunes itself. Users simply launch DRM Dumpster, click the Dump DRM button, and insert a CD-RW disc to begin the conversion process. iTunes will display a new playlist that contains MP3 files once the operation is complete, and the application allows users to resume conversion where it left off in the even of an error during the process. DRM Dumpster is available for free, requiring Mac OS X 10.2 or later alongside a scriptable version of iTunes -- such as iTunes 7 -- and a CD burner with a CD-RW disc.
Averatec Voya 320 GPS
Laptop maker Averatec on Tuesday expanded its fledgling GPS receiver line with the simpler yet capable Voya 320. Despite its budget emphasis, the navigation system has a sharper display than the more expensive Voya 350, according to Averatec: the 320 displays information at 640x320 versus its predecessor's 320x240. The system is otherwise basic and focuses on GPS only, but includes a 1GB SD card with North American map information and 1.6 million points of interest. Designed to be car-mounted with a 12-volt charge cable, the new Voya can also be handheld and will last for two hours with a built-in rechargeable battery. Its price is expected to be its primary selling feature: at $299, it will cost far less than most similar GPS systems. The company will ship the GPS unit from its online store and OfficeMax outlets later this year.
Intel, Dell quad-cores
Intel has formally rolled out the Core 2 Extreme QX6700, the first quad-core processor aimed at desktops. Each core is clocked at 2.66GHz, and the front-side bus reaches 1,066MHz. It has an 8MB L2 cache and a split L1 cache, divided into two 16KB units. One of the first companies to adopt the processor is Dell, who've made it an option in their new XPS 710 systems. The computers use Nvidia's nForce 590 SLI motherboards and support up to 2TB of storage, 4GB of DDR2 RAM, and four GeForce 7950s or two ATI Radeon X1950s. In general, less expensive options are offered by default. A stock 20-inch LCD can be upgraded to 24 inches. Prices for the 710 range begin at $3,699, but can easily approach $5,000 or more as extra hardware is added.
Dell updates 30-inch LCD
Dell today revised its flagship 30-inch display to increase appeal for artists and other color-sensitive users. The improved 3007WFP-HC incorporates a cold cathode fluorescent light designed to dramatically increase color accuracy, according to Electronista. Most computer LCDs display only 72 percent of the NTSC color gamut, but Dell claims the cold cathode in the 3007WFP-HC raises this to a full 92 percent, making the monitor an ideal work environment for photographers. The display similarly improves the pixel response time to 8ms, and optionally uses a speaker bar for sound in small desktop environments. The display also features a 9-in-2 card reader and a 4-port USB 2.0 hub. Dell expects to ship the HC variant of the 3007WFP by the end of 2006 for $1,700.
Dell today revised its flagship 30-inch display to increase its appeal for artists and other color-sensitive viewers. The improved 3007WFP-HC incorporates a cold cathode fluorescent light that should dramatically increase color accuracy. Where most computer LCDs display only 72% of the NTSC color gamut, Dell says, the cold cathode in the 3007WFP-HC raises this to a full 92%. This makes it an ideal work environment for photographers, according to Dell. The display similarly improves the pixel response time to 8ms and can optionally use a speaker bar for sound in small desktop environments. A 9-in-2 card reader and a 4-port USB 2.0 hub are standard. Dell expects to ship the HC variant of the 3007WFP by the end of 2006 for $1,699. Click through for a full photo.
iLife '06 BETT, Zune error
In brief: Apple's iLife '06 software has been nominated for a BETT Award, the world's largest and most successful technology in education show taking place at Olympia, London from January 10-13th.... One user managed to purchase Microsoft's Zune player ahead of the launch date, only to encounter an installation error when trying to make the device work for the first time.... Llamapod Design is including a special surprise with every Llamapod shipment from now until the end of the year, announced that unless the company receives orders soon it won't order more stock, and launched a contest offering the first five people to send in photos of their Llamapod cases in use every other case made by the company.... Actual Technologies has released Actual ODBC Pack 2.5, a suite of ODBC drivers for connecting to Access, Oracle, MySQL and SQL Server databases.... Tricky Software is celebrating its first game -- Armado -- as well as the addition of the game trailer to Apple's website with an iPod contest.... Macessity has announced a new Power Grip Bracket ($6) for Apple's Mac mini, allowing users to mount the oversized power brick under a desk with built-in coil tabs to wrap up excess cabling.
TiVo Online Video Sharing
TiVo announced today two upcoming new services that will let its subscribers easily share video between their PCs and televisions. Of these, the most dramatic is a new collaboration with media host One True Media that will let users share their unprotected video clips to a private group through the Internet. By uploading videos to a special One True Media account, TiVo owners will be able to send videos or photo slideshows to friends and family simply by providing them with a private channel code, TiVo says. The content can then be downloaded through any active TiVo Series 2 or 3 DVR; subscribers will even have the choice of subscribing to a Season Pass -- similar to that of TV shows -- which automatically downloads photos and videos as they appear. TiVo plans on launching the service in early 2007 at a cost of $4 per month to upload content. Downloads will be free of charge.
Click through for details of TiVo's new broadband video conversion.
Firmware update, MBP whine
Apple's new firmware update, released yesterday, appears to greatly reduce the annoying whine experienced by some MacBook Pro owners. The update was said to address several Boot Camp startup and wake-from sleep issues on its Intel-based Macs. One MacNN reader reports having to run QuietMBP -- a third-party application that made small changes to the way his MacBook Pro ran to reduce the whining noise -- prior to the firmware update. Meanwhile, another MacNN reader reports that his new MacBook Pro doesn't need the firmware update or a third-party software application to quiet his notebook, saying that the whine was never present in the later model.
Five Speed ships iGet 2.5
Five Speed today shipped iGet 2.5, an update to its Mac file transfer tool. Along with improved performance and several bug fixes, iGet 2.5 delivers a redesigned New Connection window, a new interface for maintaining the favorite connections list, and support for public key authentication using OpenSSH key files. "Its custom-designed network protocol efficiently supports remote Spotlight searching and true Mac icons. It understands packages, Finder labels, HFS metadata and resource forks, etc. Connections are always strongly encrypted. And yet, the interface is so intuitive that there is virtually no learning curve at all for most Mac users." In addition, the software supports the ability to resume any file transfer, Automator support (actions built-in), Keychain integration, Bonjour network browsing, SSH-encrypted transfers, drag-and-drop transfers, and support for Unicode file names. The software requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and is available for $50. It runs as a Universal Binary, supporting both Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs.
Geneious Pro 2.5 ships
Biomatters today released Geneious Pro 2.5, an update to its flagship product "Geneious" that allows researchers to do genomic research quicker: it offers tools for sequence alignment, sequence analysis, phylogenetic tree building, PubMed search, the ability to organize sequences and publications in a database, and download protein/gene sequences. "Think of Geneious like 'bio-Google on steroids' - it is the one tool that has successfully allowed biologists to run complex computational diagnostics on genomic information." Version 2.5 adds artificially intelligent searching; allows users to load, view and edit full chromosomes or up to 10,000 HIV genomes; offers primer design & basic contig assembly; delivers publication-quality image export; includes full collaboration with Google Chat integration; and brings interoperability with other tools, such as DNAStar, Mega, Phrap. It is free for academic use, while the Pro version is $133 for academic use and $333 for commercial use.
Lenovo ThinkPad X60
Having previously conceived of the X-series as a fixed-screen ultraportable, Lenovo today revamped the lineup with the tablet-based ThinkPad X60. The updated computer has been transformed into a convertible tablet PC that can either serve as a conventional 12.1-inch ultraportable or, by swiveing the display, a compact tablet. Rare amongst these systems is the choice of using navigation buttons instead of a touchscreen: while a display that supports both finger and stylus input is an option, buyers can save money and instead use a directional pad underneath the screen when hand-portability is the only concern. The X60 is also designed to be used all day, according to Lenovo. Using an extended-capacity battery, the X60 can operate for 7.5 hours due to its use of either low-voltage Core Duo or Solo processors. It also embraces newer standards and integrates an early 802.11n wireless adapter alongside an ExpressCard slot. Lenovo is accepting pre-orders today beginning at $1,799 for a 1.66GHz Core Duo model with 1GB of RAM, an 80GB hard disk and a viewing-only screen.
iTunes customer cries foul
One angry iTunes customer is voicing his frustration with Apple's iTunes Music Store after he purchased a South Park, Season 10 Season Pass, only to receive seven episodes instead of the entire season. Comedy Central decided to 'split' the season into two halves and offer each half for $11.99, confusing many customers who purchased the passes hoping to receive all of the episodes in the entire season. What's more, Apple quietly changed the name of the South Park, Season 10 Season Pass to Season 10A, adding Season 10B as the second half of the episodes available to customers after initially posting the season pass without any indication that it would be split into two parts. Another user has launched a blog about the changes to iTunes content following its public availability, trying to rally other frustrated users with the hope that Apple will give them the second half of the episodes.
iPod airline integration
Apple today announced it is teaming up with Air France, Continental, Delta, Emirates, KLM and United to deliver the first seamless integration between iPod and in-flight entertainment systems. These six airlines will begin offering their passengers iPod seat connections which power and charge their iPods during flight and allow the video content on their iPods to be viewed on the their seat back displays. "There is no better traveling companion than an iPod, and now travelers can power their iPods during flight and even watch their iPod movies and TV shows on their seat back displays," said Greg Joswiak, Apple's vice president of Worldwide iPod Product Marketing. "We're excited to work with Air France, Continental, Delta, Emirates, KLM and United to offer iPod users an even better in-flight experience."
MegaSeg 4.0 DJ software
Fidelity Media has released MegaSeg 4.0, an update to its Pro DJ and radio automation software for the Mac. Version 4 is now a Universal Binary running natively on both Intel and PowerPC-based Macs, and includes over 100 additional improvements and new features. MegaSeg 4.0 also offers tight integration with iTunes and Apple's Spotlight search technology, allowing for faster playlist access and iTunes importing. For multi-system installations, syncing library data across local networks is now possible via the new Bonjour (ZeroConf) networking support. In addition, Fidelity said the update brings a new user interface with customization options and better overall system responsiveness. Users can deselect unnecessary interface features to customize and simplify their experience.
NI ships Guitar Rig 2.2
Native Instruments today released Guitar Rig 2.2, an update to its digital guitar studio. The new version includes three additional modules emulating some of the most sought-after classic guitar effects, and brings compatibility with Intel-based Macs. The new components include the "Harmonic Synthesizer," a sophisticated effect that uses the guitar signal to trigger an analog synthesizer circuit; the "Electric Lady," a faithful re-creation of a classic flanger unit; and the "Phaser Nine," an authentic emulation of one of the most popular modulation effects in the history of rock music. Version 2.2 is now available as a free download for all registered users of Guitar Rigt 2.2. For installation on a Intel-based Mac, a Universal Binary license code can be purchased for $30 /€25; customers who first registered GUITAR RIG 2 after September 12th, 2006, are eligible for a free Universal Binary license code.
Chrome messenger bags ship
Domestic bag manufacturer Chrome, located in the SOMA district of San Francisco, has unveiled a new messenger-style laptop bag in two sizes designed to safely tote laptops such as Apple's 13.3-inch MacBook or 15-inch MacBook Pro. Each bag is constructed with carbon fiber and Kevlar reinforced composite materials as well as ballistics nylon to keep the laptop inside safe and dry. Composite material is used both as a design element and because it boasts a high strength to weight ratio for an innovative visual presence, according to Chrome. Each bag features custom laser cut stainless steel hardware, internal divider pockets, pen slots, a padded laptop compartment, front cargo pockets, a carry handle, and a removable shoulder strap. The Duma ($120) and Shuttle ($110) each measure 16 x 12.5 with depths of 5 and 2.5-inches, respectively. Both sizes of Chrome's new messenger laptop bag are made in the U.S. and come with a lifetime guarantee.
New Toshiba P100 Satellite
Toshiba this morning shipped the Satellite P100-ST9742, an update to its earlier range-topping model that primarily adds the speed of Intel's latest processor to the line. The ST9742 uses a 2GHz Core 2 Duo, increasing performance without significantly increasing heat output. Other details are largely unchanged but still reflect Toshiba's approach to the portable as a gaming desktop replacement. A 512MB GeForce Go 7900 GTX is standard for the latest 3D games, as are a 7200RPM, 100GB hard drive and a full 2GB of system RAM that the company says is key to the system's performance. A showcase laptop, this newest Satellite also has a signature copper-colored outer shell to highlight its looks as well as harman/kardon speakers for above-average portable sound. Toshiba takes orders today for $2,899.
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