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Ahead of its much-hyped one-day post-Thanksgiving sales event at its retail and online stores, Apple has posted its holiday shopping hours for its retail stores, noting that its Apple Store SoHo will also be open 24-hours during the peak shopping season. The company's flagship Fifth Avenue Store in Manhattan, which opened earlier this year, is already open 24 hours a day/7 days a week. The Apple Store SoHo will be open from December 13 at 9:30 a.m. through Dec 24 11:59p.m. The company says that most US Apple Stores will remain closed on Thanksgiving Day (November 23) and Christmas Day (December 25) and that on December 31, most stores will close earlier than normal for the holidays. Apple notes that during the special holiday hours, regularly scheduled workshops and events may occur at irregular times or be canceled on certain days. Users can visit the Apple Store this Friday for special deals.
Apple technology was used for storage and data transfer in Purdue University's historic internet data transfer project. "HugeTube," the project's nickname, is possibly the largest uncompressed video streamed over the internet, according to InformationWeek. The project may be the prelude to delivery of digital motion pictures to movie theaters, according to Perdue officials. "The 2-minute, 10-gigabyte scientific animation of the cell structure of a bacterium was streamed at a rate of 7.5 Gbps, achieving a peak transfer rate of 8.4 Gbps. That's sufficient to send 12 DVD movies in the same period of time. Researchers used six Apple's Xserve RAID storage technology connected via six Apple FibreChannel cards to six dual Opteron servers with PCI-x buses, provided by Advanced Clustering Technologies. The total cost of the project equipment was less than $100,000, according to the report. The demo took place at the SC06 Conference in Tampa, Fla., as part of the conference's High Performance Computing Bandwidth Challenge, which explored various uses for a 10-gigabit network.
Xupport 3.3 ($20) is a multipurpose system utility that provides many features to configure hidden Mac OS X and Unix options, to increase system security and performance, to maintain and backup Mac OS X, and more. It improves indication and determinate progress indicators, improves compatibility with case sensitive HFS+ volumes, and improved restoration of the system file visibility in Mac OS X 10.4. Upgrades are $10. [Download - 2.7MB] Kids GoGoGo 11.4 ($30) updates the Web browsing filter for parental controls, adding a new interface for better multi-user support, better security for password protection and logged in users, improved user selection, a better language engine for Russian and Portuguese, and a better installer script for Mac OS X 10.4. [Download - 8.3MB] Speed Download 4.1.6 $(25) an important update to the the fourth generation of Yazsoft's download manager for Mac OS X. Version 4.1.6 adds full compatibility with RAPIDSHARE servers as well as speed downloads for the location from where the file was downloaded. The update also adds a Finnish localization as well as more performance tweaks. It runs on Mac OS X 10.4.6 or later. [Download - 6.2MB] GPSPhotoLinker 1.5.1 (free) can be used to save location and GPS position data to a photo. It automatically enters the city, state, and country annotations into the metadata. Version 1.5 of GPSPhotoLinker includes support for RAW image formats, manually entering coordinates, shifting the date and time stamp of photos, custom map servers and several performance enhancements. [Download - 3.9MB] Album Cover Finder 6 ($11) updates the iTunes music library enhancement software. Version 6 adds new features including an iPhoto-style single-window user interface, an enhanced search engine that allows searches by artist, album, or song title, better communication with iTunes 7, and more. Users can search and download multiple high quality album covers (up to 500x500 pixels), track listings, reviews, artist info, videos, artist tour info, and automatically add artwork to digital music files. [Download - 6.8MB]
SoundArt's Canvas Art Speakers meld audio with decoration. After customers supply photographs or other images, SoundArt will print them on an appropriately-sized canvas (or two) that contains the company's SA-02 speakers. A subwoofer is connected elsewhere in the room via a 25-foot speaker cable. Each SA-02 setup accepts a single stereo input from devices such as stereos, televisions, and MP3 players. The speakers are only available from select British retailers, and because the size of the product can vary, the price does as well.
Apple is currently in talks with Eneco -- an engineering firm -- to use a new Thermal Chip which is said to convert heat into electricity, bouncing the free electrons of hot metal against cold metal to capture the resulting energy. The chip is alternately able to dramatically cool hardware by receiving direct electricity, and produces as much as five times the energy density of a lithium-ion battery, according to Eneco. Both companies have yet to settle on a contract and are not expected to ship products in the immediate future, according to ITWeek. Apple has often struggled in the past with thermal issues in its systems, and the new technology could effectively solve the company's cooling difficulties by absorbing most of the heat generated by processors and converting it into a source that would reduce or even eliminate the need for a high-capacity battery in laptops, according to Electronista.
New proposed copyright laws in Australia will significantly lower the threshold for criminal infringements regarding the use of MP3 players such as Apple's iPod, according to one report. Politicians and experts are already debating amendments to the bill, which will likely be voted on some time next year, according to the International Herald Tribune. Electronic Frontiers Australia -- a non-profit online free speech group -- claim the bill significantly extends the scope of items considered used for copyright theft to personal devices such as video players, iPods, and personal computers. The group also said the bill would make distribution of copyright material via the internet a criminal offense, even if the person responsible had no intention of distributing it. The bill would impose a maximum penalty of five years in jail and a fine of $50,000 US.
A new vulnerability has surfaced in Mac OS X that could allow malicious users to crash the system's Web browser or gain control of the system entirely, according to the French Security Incident Response Team (FrSIRT). "This flaw is due to a memory corruption error in 'com.apple.AppleDiskImageController' when handling corrupted DMG image structures, which could be exploited by attackers to cause a denial of service or execute arbitrary commands by convincing a user to visit a malicious Web page using Safari," the FrSIRT wrote. The vulnerability affects Mac OS X 10.4.8 and earlier systems, and the FrSIRT is unaware of any official supplied patch for the issue.
SIM2 today targeted the most dedicated home theater enthusiasts by introducing its Domino D80 DLP projector. Capable of the full 1080p resolution provided by Blu-Ray and HD DVD, the D80 focuses on true image quality, according to SIM2. The projector uses an updated Texas Instruments DLP chipset alongside a 7-segment color wheel to create a genuine minimum contrast ratio of 4,000:1 as well as reduce the aliasing and blurring effects common to digital video. A 160-watt lamp further improves the final picture in brighter rooms. SIM2 offers its high-end Domino in black or white casings for $10,000.
In other Fujitsu news, the company has just announced two new tablet PCs, the Stylistic ST5111 and ST5112. Both are claimed to be the first slates to use Intel's latest Core Duo Mobile chipset, the U2500 (1.2GHz). The 5111 has a 10.4-inch XGA screen, while the 5112's is 12.1 inches. The tablets are also separated by their security features, since the 5112 has an integrated fingerprint sensor in addition to the 5111's smartcard, TPM chip, and custom security software. Each does however have Bluetooth, 802.11a/b/g wireless, an anti-shock sensor, and a stylus with an eraser top. Notably, the slates have optional stands to hold them upright. The base 5111 is listed at $2,749 and (unusually) the 5112 at $2,649.
In brief: The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office today published Apple's newly granted patent for "Method and apparatus for chaining two or more tweens to provide non-linear multimedia effects" relating generally to the creation, integration, and publication of digital media.... Filmingk has inked a deal with Comcast Cable to distribute its short film 'Curiosity' -- which the company created using Final Cut Pro, Soundtrack, DVD Studio, FrameForge 3-D, and LiveType -- across North America.... A new report suggests that Apple's forthcoming iPhone faces numerous challenges entering the cellular handset market which include increased component costs, integration of its platform, issues with patented technologies, and verification from service providers.... Widgetop Developers has launched its Widgetop Web desktop, its online service allowing Windows and Linux users to use Apple's Dashboard widgets via a Web browser.... The second annual Lasso Summit is scheduled to take place in Ford Lauderdale from March 2-4th, 2007 at the historic Riverside Hotel.... Sharper Image today introduced its iBeam Speaker System ($170) with support for any dockable iPod and an AM/FM radio with as many as 12 preset stations.
Following the recent introduction of its JAQ3 handheld, i-Mate today revealed its PDAL smartphone. Described as one of the smallest PDAs available by its creator, the PDAL saves space by eschewing a keypad in favor of a 2.4-inch touchscreen that can be used to place calls as well as interact with the phone's extensive data features. i-Mate's device is a true world phone and can connect to all four major GSM bands as well as EDGE broadband and WiFi hotspots. A message notification light similar to that of the BlackBerry also exists to help take advantage of the phone's support for real-time "push" e-mail. The company has not announced a formal launch or price, but may bring the phone to North America at a later date.
Apple shares today reached an all-time high as the company steams into the busy holiday shopping season amidst lucrative analyst expectations. Forthcoming products from Apple in the spring of 2007 include Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard -- Apple's answer to Microsoft's new Windows Vista operating system -- as well as the launch of iTV, the Cupertino-based company's new media device designed to bring music as well as video downloaded from the iTunes Music Store into the living room via wireless networking. Industry insiders also expect the debut of an Apple-branded cellular handset in 2007, with some predicting a launch as soon as the first half of the new year. Yesterday American Technology Research senior analyst Shaw Wu revealed potential plans for a second Apple cellular phone that will likely integrate with iChat, and the company may unveil a new video iPod in the coming months. Further predictions include the arrival of revamped Mac mini systems followed by refreshed Mac Pro workstations utilizing Intel's forthcoming Clovertown quad-core CPUs, which are due to launch as early as the end of this year.
Epson today introduced its Endeavor ST100 PC, an ultra-desktop compact that competes directly with the Mac mini in terms of aesthetics and features. Though slightly heavier and larger than its Apple counterpart, the ST100 exchanges this size for added performance. The new Endeavor ships by default with a 2GHz Core 2 Duo and can be equipped with as much as a 2.33GHz version of the processor, Epson notes. The system can also be customized for storage and can ship with as little as 40GB or as much as 160GB of hard disk storage. All models ship with DVD burners and include two front-mounted USB ports in addition to four at the rear. A 56K modem, Ethernet, and VGA display output are also built-in. Epson currently offers its ST100 in Japan at an equivalent of $508 for the base configuration.
2Degrees Frost Data Solutions today announced the introduction of cost effective network storage built on Coraid's innovative ATA-over-Ethernet (AoE) technology. Coraid EtherDrive Storage products use standard Ethernet to connect to the network and utilize the open AoE storage protocol to provide fast, low-cost and scalable networked storage -- without much of the complexities, overhead or costs typically associated with iSCSI- or FibreChannel-based systems. The new Mac EtherDrive Storage Bundles allow Mac-based networks to scale from a single terabyte to multiple petabytes of shared data storage at a cost of $1.24/GB with support for internal RAID (0, 1, 5, 10) and hot swappable SATA-1 / SATA-II disk modules. This price is a significantly lower than iSCSI and Fibre Channel storage systems, according to the company.
Braid Art Labs has begun taking pre-orders for GroBoto 2.0, the latest version of its 3D software for artists and designers. The new release is an entire rework with new features including true 3D functionality, real-time editing with full rendering capability, and new animation tools. The update also includes shadow casting with local lights, fully editable primitives, high resolution output for various file formats, and new proprietary texture mapping. GroBoto 2.0 is designed to generate imagry quickly in a workspace that doesn't overwhelm users with technical details, is available for pre-order for $80, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
Quark has announced a change in its licensing for its flagship desktop publishing application: the company has now moved to platform-independent licenses and packaging for QuarkXPress 7, which it says is a result of the companys on-going commitment to improve licensing policies and procedures for customers and channel partners. In an effort to provide our customers with the most efficient and effective way to use QuarkXPress at home and at work, we are providing platform-independent licensing, said Jürgen Kurz, Quark senior vice president of desktop products. Creative minds should be free to design and innovate on any platform, and Quark is continuing to provide that freedom with our creative tools. Individual QuarkXPress users can now "double-activate" a single license on different platforms at no additional cost; customers can use the same QuarkXPress 7 license on Windows or Mac OS or both.
Seeking to combat the growing complication of media phones, Fujitsu has just prototyped a unique, four-way slider phone concept. In place of the unidirectional sliders on current phones that often require significant effort to open, the Fujitsu model slides only briefly in all cardinal directions, revealing a different set of controls each time. The prototype as revealed to T3 Magazine provides controls for phone calls as well as a camera, gaming, and media playback. Compartmentalizing the controls not only simplifies their use but also saves space, Fujitsu says. The electronics maker adds that it fully intends to translate the lessons learned from the rough design into future phones and expects shipping products sometime next year. A gallery of photos provided by T3 is available after the jump.
Sony has updated the Playstation Portable's firmware to version 3.00, giving the handheld a number of new features. Foremost is the addition of support for games on the Playstation Network, the Sony online service which is primarily supporting the Playstation 3 (released November 17th). Which games will be playable through PSN is unknown, though it is known that PS1 games will be among the download options. "Remote Play" is an option in the PSP's Network menu. The firmware also enables support for the camera add-on, and provides a visual player (with three-speed reverse and fast-forward options) for music files. The update is available now by connecting a PSP to the Internet. Be warned that if you have any unofficial software on your unit, this software may invalidate it.
Artistic Techworks has released Audiodia 1.0.6, an update to its real-time sound processing application offering performance and stability enhancements as a Universal Binary. The software provides access to the AudioUnit filters that ship with Mac OS X such as Reverb and the Delay filters, and comes with a built-in pitch-shifting filter. Audiodia enables users to pick favorite filters and quickly switch from one to another during use, mixing the sound output with other applications' sound output. Audiodia 1.0.6 is priced at $15, requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later, and offers English as well as French localization.
Apple is investigating what may be a revolutionary approach to cooling and powering small computers, according to a report by ITWeek's Green Business News. The computer company is currently in talks with the engineering firm Eneco to use the latter's recently announced Thermal Chip. Its technology is said to convert heat into electricity, bouncing the free electrons of hot metal against cold metal to capture the resulting energy. The chip can alternately be used to cool hardware dramatically by receiving direct electricity and produces as much as five times the energy density of a lithium-ion battery, Eneco claims. While both companies have yet to settle on a contract and are not expected to ship products in the immediate future, the potential impact for Apple could be dramatic, ITWeek writes. The system builder, which has often struggled with thermal issues in its systems in the past, could effectively solve its cooling difficulties by absorbing most of the heat generated by processors and converting it into a source that would reduce or even eliminate the need for a high-capacity battery in laptops.
BMI Gaming's Home Pro Racing Simulator is meant to be paired with a PC, PS2, or Xbox 360, and has custom-configured controls depending on your hardware. For non-driving games, owners can supplement the steering wheel and pedals with their own joystick. The main focus of the cockpit though is its 5.1, 1,000W sound system, with three satellites in the front, two in the rear, and a 10-inch subwoofer underneath the Hunsaker racing seat. The system is so powerful that it can hit volumes up to 115 decibels. Added effect comes from three vibration modules. To actually view your game, a shelf supports LCD/plasma TVs up to 42 inches, or you can simply position the cockpit in front of an existing display. BMI normally sells the machine for $4,475 but Costco is offering it for $4,000 until November 30th.
Dell today said that it will end the use of rebates for its Dimension destkops, instead lowering the base price of systems or offering instant, unconditional discounts. The sometimes heavily criticized practice has caused confusion and often resulted in ultimately higher prices, according to Dell. The company notes that some of its discounts were overly dependent on rebates and subscription tie-ins, masking the true cost of the system to the buyer. In one circumstance, Dell says, a Dimension listed as $99 at one store required three separate rebates and a cellphone plan to qualify, making it virtually impossible for the customer to buy the system as it was advertised. Dell is also likely to have instigated the rebate-free plan as a reaction to multiple below-average quarterly profits within the past year, which the company has partially blamed on excessive discounting. The new discount approach takes effect immediately.
Upcoming website UberCoolHome said on Tuesday that it will produce a limited-run 80-inch holographic TV named the Uber-Graph. The rear-projection system was originally designed for elaborate window displays and accomplishes its unique hanging-portrait holographic effect by trapping light at specific angles, allowing only the light needed for the intended picture to reach the screen while ambient illumination continues uninterrupted. The large panel works with both 3D sources and conventional video, though the company does not specify the available inputs. UberCoolHome is currently auctioning its first production model for a starting bid of £5,500 ($10,433) and plans to offer 99 more at a price of £15,000 ($28,455) when full-scale deliveries begin in January.
Synium Software today released CleanApp 2.0, updating the application removal utility by adding a new logging service to entirely remove applications and all accompanying parts. CleanApp 2.0 tracks all new files and folders that are created during software installation, ensuring the gapless location of associated data with the ability to remove it with no 'residue,' according to Synium. Additional CleanApp features include the ability to track system preferences, widgets, plug-ins, and screen savers; the ability to remove language packs from applications; support for cleaning system cache files; and the ability to detect old as well as unused files. The software is priced at $10, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
Creative Manager today released Creative Manager Pro 8.4, adding flash-based scheduling and timesheet entry with support for Apple's forthcoming Mac OS X 10.5 'Leopard' to the ad agency software and project management application designed for creative business. Creative Manager Pro is designed to offer full project management, CRM, digital asset management, billing as well as accounting, and extranet capabilities. The latest revision allows users to manage complicated schedules in a Flash-based screen, offering the feel of a local application with the benefits of the Web, according to Creative Manager. The upgrade is free for existing Creative Manager Pro users, requiring no installation or conversion (system requirements and pricing were unavailable).
Communications expert USRobotics today expanded its VoIP range into videos with the introduction of the Mini Cam for Skype. The camera has been certified by Skype for use with all of the latter's company's video-related features on a host computer, including live video chat, pre-recorded video messages, and still photos. The hardware is accordingly optmized, USRobotics says. The 1.3-megapixel sensor captures a full 30 frames per second and adapts its settings to better focus on indivduals' faces or in low-light situations. The slim-profile body is equally adaptable and is meant to clip or stand on any common surface, whether it be a laptop display or a desktop. USRobotics plans on shipping the Mini Cam with a microphone headset in January for a price of $40.
Apple and Coca-Cola have joined forces in the UK for a new Coke + iTunes promotion, offering thousands of London Piccadilly Circus visitors the chance to win free songs from the iTunes Music Store. Between now and December 3rd, the Coca-Cola billboard at Piccadilly Circus will periodically flash a keyword; visitors need only text that keyword to 85100 from a UK-based mobile phone to enter. Every visitor who enters the promotion is guaranteed to receive at least one free song from iTunes, and earns the chance to win up to 1,000 free songs. Apple and Coke agreed in early August to jointly promote the European iTunes site, with Coke linking its website to Apple's iTunes while offering millions of free digital music downloads on its drinks in the UK and Germany.
AeroGrow has recently released its signature AeroGarden aeroponic garden. A system designed for those without the skill, time, or weather to maintain an outdoors garden, the AeroGarden uses NASA-derived aeroponics to nourish most small plants without constant monitoring or even soil. The gardener must only add a supply of nutrients, seeds, and water every two weeks, AeroGrow says. After this, the system automatically releases food to the plants and adjusts lighting to simulate an outdoors sun cycle. The AeroGarden caters specifically to the likely needs of apartment dwellers and other small-scale gardeners, and has different settings for flowers, herbs, and smaller fruits or vegetables such as tomatoes. A beginning kit is available now from Amazon for $150, while themed seed packs ship separately for $20.
Realviz today released Stitcher Unlimited 5.5 DS, an update to the image stitching software designed to create panoramas from horizontallly and vertically stitched photos. The new DS "Double Shot" extension for Stitcher 5.5 Unlimited includes support for 2-Shot Fisheye Stitching, allowing users to automatically stitch together 2-shot IPIX style fisheyes. Stitcher 5.5 Unlimited DS is designed to create virtual tours of real estate, visual documentation of construction projects, and documentation of crime scenes for identification as well as forensics purposes for law enforcement. Realviz Stitcher 5.5 Unlimited DS is available in English and French for $800, or $220 as an upgrade for Stitcher 5.5 Unlimited users (system requirements were unavailable).
Sharper Image today introduced its iBeam Speaker System. Taking styling cues from the current-generation iMac, the entire unit floats on a single-piece, curved metal stand that both protects the speakers against spills and raises the speakers closer to the listener's ear level. The system also emphasizes audio quality from the speakers themselves. SRS WOW support can automatically enhance the resulting sound, Sharper Image claims; an optional Woofi subwoofer ($50) adds extra bass response for more demanding users. The iBeam is able to charge and play music from any dockable iPod, but also incorporates an AM/FM radio that supports as many as 12 preset stations. An auxiliary jack is built in for other audio sources. The company currently ships the stereo for $170.
Native Instruments today released Kontakt 2.2, an update to its flagship sampler. The new version brings a wide range of functional enhancements and optimizations, ranging from improved loop handling and group management to extended KSP and Universal Import functionality, as well as compatibility with Intel-based Macintosh computers. Handling of sliced loops in Kontakt 2.2 is now more flexible and convenient due to new drag-and-drop and in-sync preview functionality, according to the company. Group management has also been improved with a load/save function, 128-voice groups and new group presets. The KSP engine now offers additional functions that allow for an even wider range of creative scripting usage, while new modulation, tuning and envelope features expand its sound shaping functions. The new Universal Import function supports five additional formats. It is a free update, but requires a $30/25 Universal Binary license code to install on Intel-based Macs. The full version is $450.
In what it calls a breakthrough, Samsung today said that it has developed the world's thinnest LCD for cellphones and other handheld devices. The new panel measures only 0.82mm (0.03 inches) thick, achieving the same thickness as a credit card while still creating a 2.1 or 2.2-inch display for the viewer. This more than halves the thickness of typical 2-3mm LCDs and thus provides either more room for components or an even slimmerer phone design. The implementation doesn't come at the cost of strength, according to Samsung. A new LCD assembly technology, named i-Lens, merges the entire panel and its protective layer into a single piece that improves the shock resistance of the display even in relation to thicker models. This has the additional benefit of reducing the amount of light reflection and improving viewability in direct sunlight. Phones and other electronics that will use the panel will be available in the second half of 2007.
NoteMind 1.0 ($20) is an information management system that helps users collect, manage, and to archive information in a single place. NoteMind can create so called Mind Maps that offer a graphical oversight of collected information, making it easy to bring all data into a sensible context. NoteMind provides a self learning search algorithm, that is able to locate appropriate folders within NoteMind's data base for newly added data by itself. It requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later. [Download - 4.3MB] SafariSpeed v2.0 ($8) adds the ability to disable Safari's cache for a further performance boost, the ability to toggle PDF support and the debug menu, and the ability to switch between a brushed metal and Aqua interface. The system utility speeds up Safari browsing, improves responsiveness, and reduces memory consumption. [Download - 2.5MB] Groupcal 3.7 ($55) is an update to the program that offers users access to their Microsoft Exchange calendar from within iCal. Users can synchronize events and tasks, book people or resources for meetings, view Free/Busy time, and more -- without installing additional software on the Exchange server. Version 3.7 offers several fixes, multiple user interface improvements, and additional logging capabilities for troubleshooting support. It requires Mac OS X 10.4. [Download - form] PopChar X 3.1 ($30) is an improved version of the tool for inserting special characters into the text of any application. PopChar X supports Unicode fonts with thousands of characters available The new release adds a number of improvements and user-requested enhancements, including support for automatic font detection in Apple's word processor Pages (v.2.0 or newer). It requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or newer. The update free for anyone who purchased PopChar in the last 2 years. [Download - 1.5MB] TaskTime4 v4.3 ($20) provides a straightforward method of tracking time spent on jobs your clients. It can generate personalized invoices which can be emailed, printed, and saved to disk. It also offers project status tracking, Address Book integration for adding clients, linking of related resources to projects, expenses tracking, flat rate pricing, scheduled/manual data backup, etc. It can now import MS Entourage contacts, summarize sessions on invoices, more easily drag & drop URL/email addresses, and more. [Download - 6.4MB] RapidCal 1.01 ($15) is a plugin for RapidWeaver that links an iCal calendar to a RapidWeaver page, taking into account the theme of the website and its graphical appearance. The calendar is fully dynamic: changes in iCal are instantly reflected on the web page, without republishing from RapidWeaver. Version 1.01 improves speed and offers a new pane that allows direct access to the calendar's appearance by dragging an image for background, and gives an easier way for CSS customization. [Download - 888KB]
The Chinese division of Lenovo today launched the Tianyi F50, the company's first portable to be certified by and support Dolby Labs' sound technology. All models are capable not only of producing Dolby Digital surround sound through a single optical cable but can also generate a 5.1-channel signal from stereo sources through Dolby Headphone and Pro Logic II support. Those limited to stereo-only speakers can still reap the benefit, according to Lenovo: Virtual Surround produces an enveloping audio effect from any two-channel speakers, including those built into the F50. The performance of the systems themselves has also been updated, with the range-leading model sporting a 2GHz Core 2 Duo and 1GB of memory. Every model includes a 15.4-inch screen, GeForce Go 7400 graphics, and Lenovo's distinguishing Shuttle Center media controls. The Tianyi F50 is available today in China starting at a price of $1270 for a 1.73GHz Core Duo model with 512MB of RAM. The company has not yet announced intentions to bring the computer line to North America.
In Brief: Apple has posted its new iPod shuffle ad, which began running on national television in the US on Monday night. The ad is a departure from the dancing silhouettes and highlights the new music player through morphing images of users attaching the device to their clothing; it features the song, 'Who's Gonna Sing' by The Prototypes..... Pangea and MacGameStore.com are giving away free boxed CD copies of the Pangea puzzle game Enigmo with the purchase of any other Pangea title from MacGameStore.com.... Long-time Apple reseller RamJet has resigned its website and introduced a new logo...Other World Computing has reduced pricing on its Apple-qualified Fully Buffered DIMM (FB-DIMM) 667MHz DDR2 72-Bit ECC memory for the new Apple "Mac Pro Quad Xeon"--with upgrade kits starting at $225.... PacificDesign.com is offering free personalization on all iPod flip cases through December 22nd: choose from iPod nano, Mini, 4th Gen iPod/iPod photo, and 5th Gen iPod/iPod video flip cases that are available in a variety of colors including pink, green, blue, red, green, white, brown and black.
AmpliTube 2.1 brings compatibility with Intel-based Macs as well as Pro Tools 7 native support and improved CPU efficiency to IK Multimedia's popular guitar amp and effects modeling software. In addition, the free "Universal" update will no longer requires a USB iKey or dongle for authorization (now uses software-based authorization). The company said that the update includes a standalone version of AmpliTube 2.1 which bundles SpeedTrainer, an audio player with pitch and speed controls. SpeedTrainer allows you to drag any WAV or MP3 from your hard disk (including iTunes files) and set loop points easily for playing over and tracking your preferred song. It also includes a metronome (set by BPM or Tap) for the studying and practicing guitarist or bassist. The software offers four Preamp and 14 EQ models, seven Power-Amp models, 16 Cabinet models, six Microphone models, and more. The full version is $400.
Software developer Turbolinux this morning revealed the open-source Wizpy media player. Using a distribution of the company's own Linux variant, the Wizpy is deliberately designed to be user-modifiable. Enthusiasts and programmers are encouraged to install their own software on the built-in 4GB of flash storage, even installing their own OS if they choose, according to Turbolinux. By default, the player ships with support for AAC, MP3, and OGG audio as well as DivX video and FM radio; the open nature of the player, however, also lets it connect directly to the Internet and read office documents. The company has committed to a February launch date, but says it has not determined a final price.
Smallware today announced released Solavant 2.0, the latest version of "hard solitaire for solitaire pros. With no easy games, hints or cheats, Solavant pits players against cards in a solitaire collection that does absolutely nothing to help them win." Version 2.0 increases the collection to 223 solitaire games, adds Universal Binary support for PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs, and features a new Winnable Deals online community project that lets players share opening deals that are known to be winnable. Over 2,200 winnable deals have been identified to date. Solavant 2.0 is $27 for the standard package, with other price points available. Upgrades are free for previous Solavant customers. Solavant, exclusively available for Mac OS X, requires Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) or later. A free 100-game demo is available online.
L-Soft today announced released LISTSERV 15.0, a milestone version of the email list manager, featuring a completely redesigned Web interface, RSS support and new deliverability and performance features, such as rate limiting and background DomainKeys processing. LISTSERV 15.0 features site administration and list owner dashboards that provide at-a-glance summaries that make it simple to manage email lists and run the site from anywhere on the Internet. Site configuration changes can now be made on-the-fly directly through the Web interface. The software offers full interface customization, built-in virus protection, supports DomainKeys and includes a unique deliverability assessment, which analyzes LISTSERV and DNS configurations and gives concrete suggestions for improving deliverability. LISTSERV is available for all major operating systems, including Mac OS X. (Pricing not available.)
Now AAPL Stock: 95.01 ( + 0.99 )
Swift benchmarking suite goes open-source
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well. http://bit.ly/1W8u0EU
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram is now rolling out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in version 7.1.5 of its iOS app. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app; additionally, some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X
Bambooti wooden skins for MacBooks
Bambooti has introduced premium wooden skins for Apple laptops that allow users to customize any design or logo directly on the case. Each Bambooti skin is handcrafted from sustainably managed forests, and are hand sanded and spray-finished to create an ultra smooth exterior. Bambooti's wooden skins start at $65 on the fully-funded Kickstarter which includes a custom design or logo of the user's choice that will be engraved on the product. http://kck.st/1PhE6Sb
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes ÂPower Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO
Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ