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News Archive for 06/11/20

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Apple changing its iTunes pricing tune?

11/20, 9:55pm

Changing iTunes pricing?

Apple may be looking for ways to encourage sales of digital albums and is reportedly working with the record labels to reimburse buyers of digital singles who subsequently buy the entire album. CNET News.com reports that Apple is trying to solve this purchasing dilemma, which discourages customers and reduces overall sales for the record industry. "So not only are you not getting your tunes, but the music industry is leaving some money on the table," according to the report. "Supposedly, iTunes customers may soon be able to buy the album and get credit for any single tracks they have bought. The report also sayd that Apple has already been showing more flexibility when it comes to album pricing, by selling some albums for $7.99 and $5.99, less than Apple's flat-pricing of $9.99.

Etymotic's ety.8 Bluetooth Earphones

11/20, 6:45pm

ety.8 Bluetooth Earphones

Etymotic Research today introduced the ety.8 Bluetooth Earphones, which it says is the industry's "first and only" in-the-ear wireless earphones. The ety.8 Bluetooth Earphones are also the only Bluetooth earphones with high-accuracy sound reproduction and full noise exclusion. The new earphones are the smallest wearable stereo Bluetooth earphones, able to fit easily in a pocket or purse. Each earphone weighs less than half an ounce; one contains the battery and the other the circuit, antenna and controls. The ety.8 Bluetooth Earphones, which work with iPod devices and other Bluetooth-enabled music players, are supported completely by the ear canal-with no external support required-for comfortable long-term use. The company includes a large selection of eartips to accommodate different ear sizes.

EZ Bus Desktop Storage gets Mac utils

11/20, 6:30pm

EZ Bus Desktop Storage

Apricorn today announced further expansion of its EZ Bus Desktop Storage and Backup line with Apricorn's Data Protection Suite for Mac. Providing powerful backup, synchronization and encryption tools, Apricorn's Data Protection Suite contains ShirtPocket SuperDuper!, Qdea Synchronize! X, and Apricorn's Encryption Utility. The EZ Bus Desktop FireWire/USB 2.0 Combo (EZ Bus DTC) offers a combination FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 interfaces and up to 500GB of additional storage using high performance 7200RPM drives. To ensure optimal operating temperature and to protect stored data, the EZ Bus DTC was designed with an ultra-cool fan and aluminum enclosure to dissipate heat, according to the company.

IntelliScanner ships Wine Collector 200

11/20, 6:20pm

Wine Collector 200

IntelliScanner today unveiled the Wine Collector 200, a portable barcode scanner and companion software package for wine collection management. By scanning the retail barcode with the included portable USB or Bluetooth wireless barcode scanner, users can automatically identify detailed product information using an Internet-enabled AutoFill wine database. After scanning, collectors use the companion wine management software to track bottle locations, calculate wine maturity, view bottles on the color-coded Virtual Cellar grid, and add custom ratings. Users can use the same barcode to look up listings, add comments, and mark the bottle as consumed (when appropriate). Wine Collector 200 offers AJAX-enabled Internet sharing tools with a free, fully integrated Web 2.0 publishing service.

Ministry of Sound takes on 2G Shuffle

11/20, 6:10pm

Ministry of Sound

Ministry of Sound today launched its Clip Stix music player, a new rival to Apple's second-generation iPod shuffle. The screenless Clip Stix integrates a full-size clip on the back, enabling the device to attach safely to clothes for running or other high-impact exercise. The 256MB flash player plays songs in either MP3 or WMA format, and comes preloaded with 10 songs from the Ministry of Sound. Battery life is rated at a modest 4.5 hours, according to the company. The player is scheduled to ship in the near future in black or pink for $60 after taxes, but offers significantly less storage capacity than Apple's entry-level 1GB iPod shuffle, which sells for $79. [corrected]

Dell adds Sprint broadband to select laptops

11/20, 5:50pm

Dell adds Sprint broadband

Dell has announced that as of today, some of its laptops are offering Sprint Mobile Broadband support built in. The XPS M1210, the Precision M65, and the D420, D620, and D820 Latitude systems all have the Dell Wireless 5700-S EVDO card as an option. EVDO allows a laptop to connect without Ethernet or WiFi; in the the case of SMB, however, users must be within one of 220 cities or 486 airports in the United States. The card costs $179 and SMB service is $60 a month with a two-year subscription.

iPod aids rescue of lost hunter

11/20, 5:20pm

iPod aids rescue

A 25-year-old Vancouver man who wandered off into the woods near Corvallis found himself lost Thursday after he and his mother split up to hunt for mushrooms. The man failed to hear his cellular phone ring as he foraged because he was listening to music, but eventually realized that he was lost with no means to find his way back to his vehicle. A search through the underbrush by workers from a nearby sawmill turned up nothing, and Benton County emergency rescue authorities were called to the scene as night fell, according to the Oregonian. Rescuers talked to the man on his cell phone in an attempt to locate him by his description of the landscape, but discovered his location by the bright glow of his iPod, which led rescuers directly to his location. The man suffered a sprained ankle, but said he was relieved to be back home and thanked the volunteers who tried to find him.

Cowon intros D2 mini media player with mobile TV

11/20, 5:15pm

Cowon Intros D2

Cowon said on Monday that it has launched the D2, one of the world's most compact but fully capable portable media players. Similar to iRiver's Clix, the Cowon player uses hidden controls to maintain a large screen without adding significantly to the player's size: the D2 is only slightly larger than its 2.5-inch, 16 million color display. However, the handheld keeps all the features of bulkier players, Cowon says: music, photos, video, and even Korea's preferred DMB mobile TV standard are playable on the device without add-ons. Battery life is listed only at 8 hours for DMB viewing; however, music playback extends that time to a much longer 45 hours. The player contains either 1, 2, or 4GB of built-in flash memory but can add more through SD cards. Cowon has not announced launch details, though the player may not appear in North America without removing DMB support. A full-sized photo of the player in its optional red follows after the jump.

OCZ FlexXLC memory modules with liquid cooling

11/20, 5:05pm

OCZ liquid-cooled memory

Memory specialists OCZ have announced the development of a new memory module, the PC2-9200 FlexXLC. Consisting of two 1GB DDR2 strips, the 9200 is distinguished by alternate cooling methods. The first is through air fins and an eight-layer PCB, which transfers heat passively and reduces crosstalk. The second is through liquid cooling, which can be injected over the memory through pre-installed copper tubes. OCZ claims that theirs is the only memory module to come stock with such technology. Each module is covered by a lifetime warranty. Pricing for the 9200 is undisclosed, but it should be selling online by the end of the week.

Rock unveils 20-inch Xtreme SL Pro notebook

11/20, 4:30pm

Rock Xtreme SL Pro Laptop

Rock completed its notebook line on Monday with the addition of its Xtreme SL Pro. With a 20-inch, 1680x1050 display, the SL Pro is meant as a full desktop replacement for gamers and demanding 3D professionals who still need occasional portability. Slimmer than Dell's XPS M2010, the new Rock system also emphasizes power in twos, according to the system builder. The PC turns to AMD's dual-core Turion 64 X2 for its core CPU and ships with two GeForce Go 7950 GTX graphics chips paired through SLI for extra 3D performance. A Quadro 2500M workstation graphics chip is available for professionals. Media playback is also highlighted in the design, which has as many as two 160GB hard drives and can be outfitted with an internal, digital TV tuner for recording and watching most broadcasts. Rock has made the notebook available today for 2,499 ($4,740) after tax with a standard 2GHz Turion 64 X2, 1GB of RAM, and dual 100GB hard drives.

Cingular launches HSDPA, EDGE-capable AirCard

11/20, 4:05pm

Cingular AirCard 875

Cingular today started offering the Sierra Wireless-made AirCard 875, a PC Card adapter that can connect to all of the carrier's mobile broadband services. The AirCard 875 operates as a tri-band device on Cingular's faster HSDPA network, supporting up to 700Kbps downstream as well as 120Kbps upstream in real-world conditions; it can also connect to the more pervasive but slower EDGE network as a quad-band device. Support for the rarer GPRS and UMTS networks is similarly present and gives travelers a roaming ability on European networks, Cingular says. The AirCard ships today for $350 by itself, but can be had for as low as $50 with the addition of a two-year contract and rebate.

Clarion shipping new GPS, DVD units

11/20, 4:00pm

New Clarion GPS, DVD units

Clarion is currently shipping two new products for the holiday season. The NAX970HD is a GPS system which Clarion claims is their first in North America to use their 3D menu interface, based on Windows Automotive 5.0 and updatable through the unit's 30GB hard drive. The unit's database covers all of the continental United States and portions of Canada. Other features of the 970 include voice guidance, automatic route adjustment, and a built-in gyroscopic sensor.

The interface requires a screen however, and to that end Clarion is promoting the MAX675VD (pictured). The touchscreen "multimedia station" handles TV, CDs, DVDs, satellite radio, and more. Particularly noteworthy is its iPod integration, which not only accepts audio and video from the players but displays an iTunes library on-screen. Clarion's "2-Zone" technology allows two different AV sources to play in the front and back sections of a car. The MAX675VD and the NAX970HD are retailing for $1,200 apiece. Click below to see more images.

Pantech PN-820 coming to Verizon

11/20, 3:40pm

Pantech PN-820 for Verizon

Pantech's distinctive PN-820 clamshell phone is expected to launch with cellular provider Verizon next month, as revealed today by an online leak. As with the already available Cingular 3125, the PN-820 uses the full Windows Mobile 5 operating system despite its use of a number pad instead of a keyboard. This gives it the abilities of costlier smartphones without the bulk created by extra text keys, Pantech explains. The phone can use pocket editions of common tools such as Microsoft Office and Windows Media Player, allowing it to edit documents or play media from the home and workplace alike. The PN-820 will also share many features of Verizon's other mid-range phones, including a 1.3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and EVDO broadband. The phone is expected to launch with the US carrier on December 29th, although pricing has not been revealed. A full-size photo is available after the jump.

Palm CEO dismisses Apple's iPhone

11/20, 3:30pm

Palm dismisses iPhone

Palm CEO Ed Colligan has revealed disinterest in Apple's forthcoming iPhone cellular handset when questioned about the matter at a breakfast gathering, according to the Mercury News, and laughed at the idea that any company -- including Apple -- could easily draw customers in the difficult smart-phone sector. "We've learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone," Colligan said. "PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They're not going to just walk in." Apple exploded into the digital music market in December of 2001 with the debut of its first-generation iPod, and has since worked to establish and maintain its dominance in the market. Apple still retains its leadership over the digital music industry, reporting the shipment of more than 8,792,000 iPods during its previous quarter.

Jabra preps BT 8010 dual-mode Bluetooth headset

11/20, 3:10pm

Jabra BT 8010 Headset

Bluetooth specialist Jabra today previewed its hybrid BT 8010 headset. Where most cellphone headsets are limited solely to mono or stereo sound, the new Jabra headset invites flexibility, according to the company. Listeners can either use just the primary earpiece when holding a conversation or attach a smaller, secondary earpiece through an audio cable to add stereo for music listening. This gives callers a choice between audio quality and battery life: though listening with both earpieces can last for up to 6 hours per battery charge, that life can be extended to 10 hours when calling is the only concern. Pricing and availablity have not been announced.

Briefly: Apple rating; "Rhonda;" review

11/20, 2:45pm

Apple rating, "Rhonda"

In brief: Bloomberg today published a new "average analyst rating" chart ranking Apple no. 1 under the "Technology Hardware and Equipment" category, but listed Apple as dropping from no. 8 to no. 16 on another chart ranking the top 52 S&P stocks in general.... Apple this week is deploying numerous enhancements for its retail stores to more efficiently handle customer interest in its Mac systems, including a new alert system called "Rhonda".... MacNN has reviewed the Executive Leather Case ($35, shown at right) for Apple's Video iPod, featuring fine stitching and a band of elastic material to accommodate the different video iPod models.... Google has released the first Mac version of its Google Web Toolkit (GWT) as a digital download, allowing Mac developers to write AJAX code in Java while leveraging concepts as well as patterns familiar to user-interface developers.... BenQ today launched four new computer displays with two widescreen models and two standard LCD panels.... One website has posted a screenshot of a Windows Vista install occurring on an Intel Mac inside a VMware Fusion virtual machine.

Creative announces Z500, Z600 Zen speakers

11/20, 2:25pm

Creative Z-Series Speakers

Creative increased the listening options available to Zen Vision:M owners on Monday by debuting two new speaker sets for its Zen line of players. The flagship X-Fi Sound System Z600 is designed as a home theater addition and uses the same X-Fi processing hardware as found in the Xmod to improve audio quality on an attached Zen Vision:M player; the 24-bit Crystalizer is said to restore many of the details lost in compressed audio and optionally adds a virtual surround effect. The speakers themselves are designed for power, says Creative, and generates a total 200 watts of sustained power through two 35-watt satellites and a 130-watt subwoofer. The Z600 can be connected to TVs or other displays for playing videos and can sync the Vision:M with a host PC even while playing music. Creative ships the Z600 on November 24th for $399.

Click through for etails and a photo of the companion Z500.

Norton Confidential supports Safari

11/20, 2:20pm

Norton Confidential update

Symantec has released a new update to its Norton Confidential for the Macintosh phishing protection toolbar bringing support for Apple's default Mac OS X browser, Safari. The application protects against fraudulent websites, secures important files and identity data, and defends against software vulnerabilities. The first version of the product, which shipped in mid-October, offered protection for Firefox users. The company today said it released an update via the automatic update feature: "Users need only run LiveUpdate and they will receive the new functionality immediately (they will get a message confirming that they now have Safari compatibility)," the company said. "Once the update is installed, if Safari is open, they just need to quit and re-launch Safari. No restart is needed." Norton Confidential is available for $30 in an introductory offer.

i-mate JAQ3 messenger phone

11/20, 1:55pm

i-mate JAQ3 smartphone

i-mate's newly-revealed JAQ3 is a messenger phone running Windows Mobile 5.0 for Pocket PC. Applications such as Office Mobile, MSN Messenger, and Windows Media Player Mobile come pre-loaded. Central to the hardware design is a 2.4-inch landscape touchscreen, which allows simpler control through a stylus. The phone is also controlled via a scrollwheel, a QWERTY keypad, and five navigation buttons. It can connect to the Internet through GPRS, EDGE, and 802.11b/g WiFi, and it has a 2 megapixel camera located on the back. Each device comes bundled a trial version of i-mate Suite, a program designed to share and safeguard business data. The JAQ3 is now on sale in the Middle East.

Jaguar launches first Internet-based car tracking

11/20, 1:45pm

JaguarWatch Car Tracking

Jaguar today revealed JaguarWatch, a tracking service for its cars that the automaker says is the first Internet-based system of its kind in the US. Instead of providing tracking data solely to Jaguar or the police during an emergency, JaguarWatch uses a MicroTRAK GPS unit that relays its information to an Internet-based server. Drivers can track their car from the Web regardless of its current state. Additionally, JaguarWatch can track and flag information according to the driver's own preferences, the company says. The tracker can signal an alert when the Jaguar reaches a user-specified distance from home, and will log the route and speed of the car to either warn the owner of a a possible theft or simply to note the destinations of recent trips. Jaguar plans to sell JaguarWatch for all its car models as an accessory at its dealerships beginning in December 2006; no pricing information is available.

oXygen XML Editor 8.0 released

11/20, 1:30pm

oXygen XML Editor 8.0

Syncro Soft today released oXygen XML Editor 8.0, enhancing the Schema Editor and XSLT/XQuery Debugger software with a spreadsheet-like XML Grid Editor and a new database perspective. The grid editor allows users to edit repetitive XML content in a special layout similar to a spreadsheet application without the need to interact with the markup language. The new Database perspective enables users to browse tables or collections from databases, execute XQuery or SQL queries, inspect or modify data, and specify XML Schemas for XML fields as well as collections. Database support includes many of the popular servers such as Tamino, XHive, MarkLogic, TigerLogic, eXist, Berkeley or mixed operating as native XML storage, or as relational and XML at the same time using DB2, SQLServer, or Oracle. oXygen XML Editor 8.0 is priced at $50 for a non-profit license, $225 for a professional license, and $275 for an enterprise license. The software requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.

Sharp unveils hybrid dictionary, mobile TV

11/20, 1:00pm

Sharp Papyrus TC900

Sharp today unveiled its unique Papyrus PW-TC900 media-focused dictionary. While its central feature is a Japanese dictionary capable of translating English and providing audio pronunciation guides for as many as 26,000 English words, the TC900 is also the first such device to also have built-in mobile TV, according to Sharp. The new dictionary can receive broadcasts in Japan's 1Seg digital broadcast format and has a pivoting screen that rotates 180 degrees when the owner focuses solely on TV viewing. Sharp adds that the TC900 is a general-purpose MP3 player that supports MP3 playback and eBooks stored on SD cards. This most recent Papyrus is expected to ship to Japan on December 8th for an open price.

Onkyo LX-1J portable speakers

11/20, 12:55pm

Onkyo LX-1J speakers

A part of the WAVIO series, Onkyo's LX-1J speakers connect to devices such as PCs and digital audio players. Unlike most products their size, however, the 1Js are designed to have a wide audio field, and produce a fair amount of bass from a TPDB (Twin-Port Double-Bass) subwoofer located at the rear. Because of the integrated shape of the speakers, they can be stood vertically or laid flat, depending on the room available and the subjective sound quality. The speakers have 1W of output per channel and produce frequencies between 200Hz and 20KHz. Power is provided by an AC adapter or four AA batteries. The product goes on sale December 25th at retail, as well as from Onkyo's online sales site.

Wcode 2.0 enhances Search Bar

11/20, 12:35pm

Wcode 2.0 released

Widget Factor today released Wcode 2.0, an update to the Cocoa application that partially automates the creation of widgets. The latest release enhances the template system by allowing users to design, share, and download custom creations. Users can preview as well as edit widgets inside Wcode, and the update improves Search bar functionality by locating every file opened as well as the titles of all other files. Wcode 2.0 offers a 'virgin' customizable Dashboard icon, Aqua effects templates that include the Apple reflection Aqua effect, and a backside image as well as the tips to recreate it. Wcode 2.0 is priced at $15 (system requirements were unavailable).

Parliant ships PhoneValet 5.0

11/20, 12:35pm

Parliant's PhoneValet 5.0

Parliant is now shipping PhoneValet Message Center 5.0 for the small office, home, and home office markets. PhoneValet's software and hardware solution turns a Mac into a virtual call center with unlimited voice mail boxes, call blocking, recording, logging and screening, automated dialing and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) capabilities -- on single or multiple lines. Version 5 offers a new interface designed to simplify access to its many telephony features as well as includes Parliant's new patent pending Call Completion Technology (CCT). CCT directs an incoming caller to a person or department, plays music or audio information as the caller is being transferred, then directs the caller to voice mail or other audio information options if the call can't be answered in person.

TurboCAD Mac v2 goes Universal

11/20, 12:25pm

Universal TurboCAD Mac v2

IMSI/Design has released TurboCAD Mac v2 as a Universal application for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, which enables it to run natively on both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs. Created for the home designer, TurboCAD Mac Version 2 builds on the comprehensive 2D drafting, intuitive user interface, and outstanding drawing performance introduced in Version 1 a year ago. TurboCAD MAC Version 2 contains over two dozen powerful new features and enhancements, including a new double line tool, improved AutoCAD DXF and DFG file support, updated fractional unit and dimensional display, improved drawing snaps, and a new ability to define Multiple User preferences and settings. TurboCAD Mac offers over 275 intuitive 2D design tools, more than 7000 symbols, extensive file compatibility, and intuitive command tools. It is available for $100 (or as a downloadable demo).

InPreflight for InDesign released

11/20, 12:20pm

InPreflight for InDesign

Zevrix today released InPreflight, a quality control solution for Adobe InDesign that will locate potential problems within documents. InPreflight gives users extensive information about all document's fonts, colors and links and allows to quickly spot potential problems according to user-defined preflight settings. Users can select various attributes to be flagged as problems, such as color mode, font type, image effective resolution, link status and others. InPreflight also reports information about several link attributes otherwise unavailable in InDesign, such as TIFF and EPS compression, fonts in native Illustrator files, existence of embedded fonts and resolution of duotone images. Users can also generate detailed preflight report, open links in default application and show them in InDesign document, reveal links/fonts in Finder and activate InDesign's Package command. InPreflight 1.0 is available for an introductory price of $25 and requires Mac OS X 10.4.2; it works with Adobe InDesign CS and CS2.

Briefly: Apple preps Thanksgiving sale

11/20, 12:10pm

Apple Thanksgiving sale

In brief: Apple is preparing for a Thanksgiving sale with an online teaser, encouraging customers to "come back to the Apple Store the day after Thanksgiving for a special one-day-only holiday shopping event," touting dozens of gift ideas with free shipping.... MacNN has reviewed Apple's MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo ($2,500), Apple's latest professional notebook featuring Intel's latest mobile high-speed processor.... Faronics has released User Refresh Mac 1.01, its application that allows administrators to maintain baseline user account configurations regardless of user activity.... The National Printing Skills Center in the UK has upgraded to QuarkXPress 7 across its entire organization, and has trained students at the business division of Leicester College (NPSC) on the use of the software since the beginning of the year.... Mosquito SW has released GuancheMOS 1.6, an update to its plug-in that generates as well as validates serial numbers for Mac OS, Windows, and Linux REALbasic applications.

Apple developing 2nd iChat-based phone

11/20, 12:05pm

Second Apple iPhone

Apple is developing a second cellular handset that features 'messaging' capabilities, according to American Technology Research senior analyst Shaw Wu. "We believe it will focus initially on mobile IM as opposed to e-mail," Wu wrote in a research note obtained by MacNN. "From our understanding, [the new phone] will leverage off existing iChat software that runs on Macs." Time to market is uncertain because the new handset -- which Apple may brand as 'iChat mobile' -- is in the development phase, according to the analyst. The exact timing for Apple's original iPhone is still unknown, but Wu expects that a 'go-to-market' strategy continues to be the gating factor and that the phone will launch in 2007, with a potential release in the first half of next year. Additionally, Apple's new (PRODUCT) RED iPod nanos are selling well, according to Wu, who reiterated a 'Buy' rating on Apple shares with a price target of $92.

NEC MultiSync LCD2690WUXi-BK

11/20, 11:40am

NEC 16:10, 25.5-inch LCD

NEC's forthcoming MultiSync LCD2690WUXi-BK has an irregular 16:10 aspect ratio, with a width of 25.5 inches. The display should also be HD ready, being equipped with VGA, DVI-I, and DVI-D HDCP inputs, and supporting resolutions up to 1920x1200 (1080p is 1920x1080). Contrast is measured at 800:1 with 400cd/m2 brightness. Response times can be as low as 12ms, but the display does have a 178-degree viewing angle, as well as a purported 91-percent coverage of the Adobe RGB color gamut. The display is being marketed primarily towards businesses such as hospitals. As of press time, no cost or release date had been set.

ADS InstantVideo To-Go encodes iPod, PSP video

11/20, 11:35am

ADS InstantVideo To-Go

Citing the often glacial encoding time of software as a barrier to portable movie watching, ADS Tech on Monday unveiled its InstantVideo To-Go add-on. Plugging in via USB, the adapter provides onboard hardware acceleration specifically made to convert video into the highly efficient but demanding H.264 format used by the iPod, the PSP, and other more recent portable media players. Where a standard 100-minute in DVD's native MPEG-2 format would take 300 minutes to transcode into H.264 on a typical CPU, the combination of the InstantVideo To Go and ADS' own software reduces that time to only 20 minutes, according to the company's testing. The USB video encoder is expected to ship soon for $80.

LG's VX9900 gets Verizon street date, price

11/20, 11:00am

LG VX9900 Release Details

LG's much anticipated VX9900 smartphone has received an official launch date, according to its initial carrier Verizon. To be nicknamed the enV, the folding handset is expected to launch in early December for $320 without any contract, while one-year and two-year contracts reduce the price of the phone to $200 and $150 respectively. The relatively affordable pricing comes despite a relatively aggressive feature set, according to the company, as it combines a complete keyboard with a 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and EVDO. The VX9900 is also noteworthy for its unique vertical clamshell that maintains full phone controls on its outer shell.

IZI Robotics netoy

11/20, 10:45am

IZI Robotics netoy

Similarly to the Nabaztag/tag WiFi rabbit, IZI Robotics' netoy will read out news, weather, and audio books streamed from a wireless connection, AVING reports. By contrast, though, the netoy will depend on Korean wireless ISP Nespot for its data. More localized functions will include a wake-up call and daily scheduling. The robot has a 1.5-inch LCD built into its chest, and moves its arms and torsos about as it speaks from 2W stereo speakers. Pricing and distribution information is unannounced, but it seems unlikely that the netoy will migrate from Korean shores.

Al Jazeera switches to Macs

11/20, 10:45am

Al Jazeera Intl. switches

The English version of Al Jazeera -- a 24-hour news and current affairs channel in the Middle East based in Doha, Qatar -- has announced that it will utilize a range of Apple products for its media organization. The company said it will make use of 41 MacBook Pros with the same number of Final Cut Studio licenses for journalists; a 70TB Apple storage solution with 10 Apple Xserve 7TB XRAID setups as well as 14 Apple Xsan software licenses; 12 PowerMac G5 Quad systems; two Power Mac G5 Dual Core workstations; and 19 23-inch Apple Cinema HD Displays. A subsidiary of Al Jazeera, Al Jazeera International is the world's first English language news channel to be headquartered in the Middle East, according to AME Info, and the channel has more than 30 bureaus alongside dozens of correspondents covering the world.

Ministry of Sound debuts iPod shuffle rival

11/20, 10:35am

MoS Clip Stix Player

Music company Ministry of Sound is today offering its simple Clip Stix music player. Similar to the recently released second-generation iPod shuffle, the screenless Clip Stix integrates a full-size clip on its back that lets it attach safely to clothes for running or other high-impact exercise. The 256MB flash player can play songs in either MP3 or WMA format and comes preloaded with 10 songs from the Ministry of Sound itself. Battery life is rated at a modest 4.5 hours, according to the company. The player ships soon in black or pink for 30 ($57 US) after taxes, significantly undercutting the price of the entry-level iPod.

Briefly: Milan iPod station; Beijing

11/20, 10:05am

Milan iPod station

In brief: The first iPod listening station in Italy has opened in Milan, at the most visited mall of the city just a few steps from Duomo.... Three new Apple Authorized Resellers plan to open their doors before the end of 2007 in Beijing, China.... Freeverse has made its original game 'Wingnuts: Temporal Navigator' a free download for the Mac community to wrap up its 'Big Week' of news and releases.... ifrogz has opened 15 retail kiosks at malls across the western U.S. and the Midwest to showcase its various iPod cases.... The Creative Media Expo is coming to the Long Beach Convention Center September 8-9th in 2007, enabling companies to generate sales leads and reach target markets while establishing a presence in the industry.... Big Nerd Ranch has announced yet another session of PHP 5 Bootcamp, offering attendees an exhaustive five-day schedule of topics covering the fundamentals and advanced features of PHP 5 from February 26th to March 22nd, 2007.

BenQ adds four new pro-series LCDs

11/20, 10:05am

BenQ Pro-Series LCDs

BenQ today said it has released four new computer displays in its professional-series lineup that are targeted at business but available to everyone. Most notable is the new FP92W ($269, pictured), which BenQ says is the first 19-inch widescreen to have a 5ms response time. This makes it ideal for games, videos, and oter fast-action scenes, the company claims. Also released in widescreen is the FP222W ($499), a 22-inch, 1680x1050 display with similar performance. Two standard-ratio displays were also released to complement more mainstream use: the FP73GS ($229) and FP93GS ($289) are 17-inch and 19-inch 4:3 displays that both have ultra-thin bezels for dual-screen arrangements.

All four displays have both DVI and VGA inputs. Each also promises the same 5ms pixel response rate, a 700:1 contrast ratio, and the company's automatic i Key and Senseye systems for automatically adjusting the display and its color quality. The new LCDs are all expected to ship in mid-November.

Cineon/DPX PRO QT Components updated

11/20, 9:35am

Cineon/DPX PRO for QT 7.1

Glue Tools has released version 2.0.4 of its Cineon/DPX PRO QuickTime Components for Mac OS X. This New Release Includes Improved 64-bit Pixel Support, Spotlight improvements, and speed/memory optimizations. The Cineon and DPX PRO QuickTime components, currently available for QuickTime 7.1, have now been optimized to increase performance. This new release fixes problems with QuickTime and 64-bit pixel support during Movie Exports. Version 2.0.4 also includes significantly faster Spotlight indexing, and a nearly instantaneous Cineon/DPX directory parsing, allowing the Finder to be used for searching and viewing thumbnails of large Cineon or DPX sequences. In addition, 64-bit file sizes are now supported, allowing sequences over 4GB to be loaded and saved. As with the previous versions, this new release supports 8 and 16-bit linear image data, as well as 10-bit Logarithmic, Raw and Linear image data. Cineon DPX QuickTime Components are available for $90 (free upgrade for existing owners).

Accurian ships compact HD radio

11/20, 9:25am

Accurian Tabletop HD Radio

Radio Shack today began carrying Accurian's new Tabletop HD Radio, a home receiver for those who live in areas where the high-quality terrestrial broadcast format is available. The system supports both HD2 stations as well as all the data associated with them, Accurian says. Listeners can view song information, traffic, weather, and other data on the system's built-in LCD, which can also indicate signal strength and other features not present with analog radios. The company similarly boasts improved quality for earlier technologies. The Tabletop HD Radio's FM reception approaches CD quality, according to Accurian, and can clean AM radio to raise its quality to FM standards. Radio Shack ships the new radio today for $200.

New SATA-II EC adapter for MacBook Pro

11/20, 9:10am

SATA-II EC adapter for MBP

FireWire Depot has introduced its eSATA-EC, a new Express Card adapter for the MacBook Pro that adds 3.0Gbps SATA-II technology to achieve a superior level of high disk performance for mobile professionals. The eSATA-EC controller has two external, 3Gb/s, SATA-II ports, and plugs directly into a MacBook Pro (15-inch or 17-inch). It allows users to connect up to 10 drives (using port multiplier based 5 drive enclosures) for high-performance applications, such as Apple's Final Cut Pro. With the company's qBox-P or sBOX-P attached in a RAID 0 array, the eSATA-EC can achieve sustained disk write and read speeds of 130MB/sec and 140 MB/sec, respectively -- about five times as fast as USB 2.0 or three times as fast as FireWire connections (using the same drive setup). With the eSATA-EC PC Express Card installed, users can connect a Mac laptop to SATA peripherals such as the SATA HUB, an External RAID, and eSATA storage Devices (CDROM, CD/RW, MO, HDD, ZIP etc.). It requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.

Adobe's kuler shares color themes on Web

11/20, 9:00am

kuler shares color themes

Adobe has introduced a technology preview of kuler, a Web-hosted application that allows users to quickly create and share color themes over the Web. kuler delivers an interactive and "communitarian experience" that delivers on the promise of Web 2.0, according to the company. Users can collaborate and share color themes based on predefined color formulas or create custom themes using kuler's interactive color wheel. It also enables users to tag, comment on and share themes with fellow designers seeking creative inspiration around color. In addition, users of Adobe Creative Suite have the added ability to save their color themes as Adobe Swatch Exchange files (.ASE) for use in their Illustrator CS2, InDesign CS2, Photoshop CS2 and GoLive CS2 workflows. Kuler is built using Adobe Flash 9 Player and ActionScript 3.0.

Runtime ships Galaxy 1.5

11/20, 8:45am

Runtime ships Galaxy 1.5

Runtime Revolution's Galaxy 1.5 is a high productivity alternative add-on environment or core replacement IDE for Runtime Revolution. Galaxy 1.5 ships with 9 new components and 31 new features, extending the Revolution environment with highly robust and productive replacements for core IDE components. Galaxy is a design environment for reducing complexity and enhancing productivity on small-to-very large commercial projects. Galaxy includes its own, tighter user interface that frees up 50 of screen space, as well as its own enhanced debugger, variable watcher, script and property editors. Version 1.5 features a new Galaxy templating system that can rapidly build the most common window and dialog types as well as allow users to create custom, reusable code. It also brings immediate, real-time feedback on the size and location of screen elements and other visual aids, Universal Context Menus and auto-Complete; three new editors and version control manager, and a built-in Galaxy updater. It is available for for $100.

HTC launches P4350 phone with auto-sliding keyboard

11/20, 8:45am

HTC P4350 Smartphone

Cellphone maker HTC this morning revealed the P4350, a higher-end smartphone that the company hopes can set new benchmarks for convenience. The full-length QWERTY keyboard sports a semi-automatic sliding mechanism that can speed typing. The P4350 is also unusually thin and light for its full-sized, sliding design, HTC claims: at 0.67 inches thick and 0.37 pounds, the handheld more closely fits the shape of bar phones. HTC has designed the device as a true world phone and has given it quad-band support for GSM cell networks, Bluetooth 2.0, EDGE broadband, and WiFi. Its use of Windows Mobile 5 also promises full support for mobile production tools such as the portable edition of the Microsoft Office suite. Initially launching for Europe and the Middle East in December at a price of $735 US, the phone is likely to see a US launch through Cingular, which has previously launched HTC-made phones such as the Cingular 8525. A full photo is available after the jump.

Tunewear debuts new iPod nano cases

11/20, 8:30am

New iPod nano cases

Tunewear today announced its "PRIE uni" and "PRIE SilverBall" series of high-quality genuine nappa leather cases for Apple's iPod nano. PRIE uni (pictured at right) is a color stitch carrying case for the first- and second-generation iPod nano. It is made from black nappa leather and has vivid color stitching all along the front and back of the case; there are 3 types of color stitch models--green, blue or purple. PRIE uni includes a removable, swivel hook called TUNEHOOK that allows users to easily attach it to a belt loop or a ring on any bag and also features a flip-cover that closes with a magnetic flap; the case includes TUNEFILM, the company's clear protective film that covers the LCD and click wheel of the iPod nano for extra protection. It also offers the ability to sync/charge the iPod while inside the case. It will ship in December for $40.

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