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News Archive for 06/12/12

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Refurb iMac G5s, Power Macs, iPod nanos

12/12, 6:20pm

Refurb iMac G5s, Nanos

Refurbished iMac G5 systems and iPod nanos in two capacities have returned to the Apple Store online. The Cupertino-based company is selling its refurbished iMac G5 17-inch 1.9GHz with 512MB of memory and a 160GB hard drive for $999 alongside its iMac G5 20-inch 2.1GHz with 512MB of memory and a 250GB hard drive for $1,299. Refurbished iPod nanos made a comeback this week with white and black 1GB players priced at $89 alongside the white 4GB model -- priced at $149. The company is still offering reconditioned iPod Hi-Fi portable stereo units for $299 to complement its iPod offerings. Refurbished Power Macs have also made a comeback, with G5 Dual 2GHz and 2.3GHz systems boasting 512MB of memory and a 160GB or 250GB SATA hard drive for $1,599 and $1,999, respectively.

CarCom E9102N GPS unit/media player

12/12, 6:15pm

CarCom GPS/media player

Hong Kong manufacturer CarCom has unveiled the E9102N, a GPS unit that also supports a plethora of media files. Among the compatible audio formats are CD, MP3, MP4, OGG, and WMA, while supported video formats include DVD, DivX, WMV, Video/Super-Video CD, and H.263 (not to be confused with H.264). Media is transferred via SD cards or a USB 2.0 cable, and lands on a hard drive in optional 20, 40 or 60GB sizes. The display is a 4.3-inch touchscreen with 24-bit color. Only composite cables are provided for direct AV output, but owners can use a built-in FM transmitter to produce audio wirelessly. A 1.2W speaker is embedded as well. No pricing or distribution information has been published for the unit.

Arcsoft releases PhotoStudio Darkroom 1.5

12/12, 6:05pm

PhotoStudio Darkroom 1.5

ArcSoft today released PhotoStudio Darkroom 1.5, a new version of its image editing application that provides non-destructive photo processing for RAW, JPEG, and TIFF image files. The program offers professional photographers and photo hobbyists a complete set of image enhancement tools and export options. Version 1.5 more than doubles the number of RAW formats supported, offers a built-in photo browser, supports conversion from RAW to Adobe DNG, and allows users to import photos directly into the application from a camera or removable drive. Additionally, ArcSoft's automatic red-eye removal and spot and patch removal technologies have been integrated into the program, letting users perform common blemish removal functions with a single click. ArcSoft PhotoStudio Darkroom is available for OEM bundling or as a $100 retail package (only). It runs on Mac OS X 10.3 or later.

CNBC: 17m iPods could boost Q4 revenue

12/12, 5:55pm

CNBC on Q4 iPod sales

Eight percent of American consumers are planning to buy an iPod for the holidays as stated a "Holiday Central" survey. The figure represents about 17 million units -- or $2.7 billion in revenue -- which amounts to a greater portion of the holiday market than any other specific product. CNBC further notes that approximately 20 percent of Americans (42 million) already own an iPod, while 70 percent are planning on buying something else, or nothing at all. Three percent of that larger group want either a Nintendo Wii or Sony's Playstation 3, while two percent would like Microsoft's Xbox 360. The research findings suggest a positive holiday season for Apple, which Forrester Research earlier this week said is likely experiencing plummeting iTunes sales despite higher iPod unit shipments.

Apps: xTime Planning, Temporis, Armado

12/12, 5:40pm

xTime Planning, Temporis

    xTime Planning BETA 1 ($70) is a utility designed to keep track of human and material resources while offering an instinctive and 'unconscious' user experience. The schedule management tool features views by year, month, week, and day while allowing users to print views and generate PDF documents or publish a schedule on a website with one click. [Download - 2.3MB]
    Temporis 1.0 ($25) creates and styles graphical timelines. Key Temporis features include a drag-and-drop editor for drawing events in place and support for date-based or simple sequential timelines. A simple control palette enables users to personalize the look and feel of timelines as well as events. [Download - 2.5MB]
    Christmas Sudoku 1.0 ($6) is an iconic twist on the standard Sudoku number game derived from the traditional style Sudoku puzzles. Christmas Sudoku replaces the usual numbers with Christmas icons which include Santa Claus, bells, snowflakes, gingerbread men, candies, presents, and more. The software requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later. [Download - 1.5MB]
    Armado 1.1 ($20) updates the game where players embark on a great quest as Armado the armadillo to free the queen of the eagles. The latest revision greatly reduces the size of the Mac versions, fixes a bug with the strike key that would sometimes make Armado target the wrong direction, and repairs an issue that occurred in windowed mode causing the game menu to toggle on and off whenever a user switched focus away from the game. [Download - 112.2MB]
    SteamTRAIN 2 ($20) is a major update to the train simulation software boasting OpenGL graphics support. SteamTRAIN 2 features night runs with locomotive headlights, station lights, and an oil lantern for the crew. A dispatcher offers challenges in the train makeup and routing to the destination with varying difficulty. [Download - 2.8MB]
    GuancheMOS 1.6 ($30) brings Linux compatibility to the plug-in that generates as well as validates serial numbers for REALbasic deployed applications. Key GauncheMOS features include the ability to check as well as validate unique serial numbers or license keys for each application, and the ability to build complex systems to automate the serial number assignment and control of processes. [Download - 301KB]

Marmot ships iPod-friendly iGloves

12/12, 4:55pm

Marmot iGlove for iPod

Marmot today revealed its practical iGlove Multi handwear. The company hopes to overcome the common problem of controlling an iPod's touch-sensitive click wheel through winter gloves, which often dull the responsiveness or negate it entirely. The tips of both the index finger and thumb on each glove are made of a proprietary Playpoint material that Marmot says increases contact with the wheel and lets wearers scroll through menus without exposing their hands to freezing temperatures.

The gloves also sport a sillicon printing on the inside to steady the grip on the iPod and are thin enough to be worn underneath larger gloves in particularly cold weather. Marmot's resellers now offer pairs of the iGlove Multi in sizes between Small and Extra Large for $35.

Forums: RAM quantities, missing data

12/12, 4:35pm

Forums December 12

Forums roundup: Members are discussing the performance of Macs with 1GB of RAM or less when performing normal tasks vs. using more memory-intensive applications.... One member is wondering whether Apple will continue offering both glossy and matte screens or whether the company will discontinue the less popular model in the future.... Another user is experiencing issues while trying to print from websites, resulting in poor quality and incomplete prints.... Another member claims to have lost all data after restarting the computer.... Meanwhile, one poster is looking for opinions from owners of the 24-inch iMac and whether it has met their expectations.

Brando Stainless Steel MP3 Watch

12/12, 4:30pm

Stainless-steel MP3 watch

Whereas many media-player watches are more player than watch, the Stainless Steel MP3 Watch sold by Brando is aesthetically similar to any other men's piece. Storage sits underneath the face of the device, which holds up to 1GB of MP3 files, plus voice recordings saved in the WMA format. MP3s are transferred through a USB 2.0 cable. The battery of the unit allows over nine hours of continuous playback. To control audio, functions such as Stop and Fast Forward are assigned to standard watch buttons located on the sides. Brando is exporting the watch from Hong Kong for $74 US.

New Nabaztag/tag launches with VoIP

12/12, 4:30pm

Nabaztag tag with VoIP

A new version of the rabbit-like Nabaztag Internet device has launched, according to news posted on the manufacturer Violet's official blog. The Nabaztag/tag expands on the earlier device's WiFi notifications by adding a "belly button" that responds to voice: owners can speak commands to receive weather updates or put the system to sleep, and can also use the Nabaztag/tag as a voice-over-IP device to send MP3 messages to other users.

RFID plays an instrumental role in the new features, Violet adds. By applying a passive tag to an object, an owner can trigger certain actions whenever that object is near, such as an audible response or sending a notification e-mail. The company lists availability today in Europe, though US online store ThinkGeek estimates one to three weeks' delay for North American shipments. US pricing is set at $180.

Cambridge unveils PlayDock i speakers

12/12, 4:10pm

Cambridge PlayDock i

Coming from Cambridge Soundworks next month is the PlayDock i, an iPod-compatible version of the newly-released PlayDock Zen system for Creative's digital audio players. The PlayDock's speakers are designed for wider spatial imaging, according to Electronista, and are matched by an accompanying subwoofer for better bass output. Magnetic shielding protects the speakers from nearby computers and the docks are controllable from a distance via infrared remote. Players with video support can use the dock for 640x480 video output on a nearby TV, and the PlayDock Zen is distinguished by a telescopic antenna to aid the Zen's built-in FM tuner. Both systems are shipping for $200.

Gartner: Mac OS X appeal beats Linux

12/12, 4:05pm

Mac OS X desktop appeal

Mac OS X is more appealing than Linux to big business as a desktop operating system, according to Gartner Research, and appeal for Apple systems is growing despite a limited number of enterprise Mac clients. Apple's operating system is unlikely to take market share from Microsoft's domineering Windows in the enterprise market, however, as some 70 percent of those applications require Microsoft's OS to run. The researchers note that "in many instances, Macs are replacing Unix and Linux workstations, rather than Windows PCs." The Cupertino-based company is making numerous mistakes with regard to attracting scale enterprise deployments, according to a report from ZDNet Australia, including failing to license its operating system to third party manufacturers and refusing to provide clearer outlooks for supporting current versions of its operating system.

Sony: PS3 manufacturing problems clearing up

12/12, 3:45pm

PS3 Manufacturing Improves

Sony's chronic supply problems for the PlayStation 3 should be coming to an end, according to a statement provided to today by the console maker. While the company admits that it fell short of the 400,000 units promised for the mid-November launch, as reported previously in NPD research, Sony communications head David Karraker said on Tuesday that the "problems have been resolved" and that the company should still meet its earlier oal of one million PS3 systems shipped by the end of 2006. The company plans to ship consoles by air to compensate for lost time.

Nintendo's Wii console is still expected to outnumber the PS3 in stores, with roughly two million systems due by the end of the year.

Updated Belkin TuneFM nano leaked by FCC

12/12, 3:25pm

Belkin TuneFM nano Leaked

An updated version of Belkin's TuneFM nano is coming soon, according to a recent FCC filing which has leaked details of the adapter in advance of its announcement. While largely identical to its predecessor, the updated version will have the option of an optional, TX mono sound mode that sacrifices maximum audio quality for improved reception in areas with crowded frequencies. The bundled 12-volt car charger will remain part of the package, according to the revealed user manual. No pricing or availability has been announced, though the current model sells for $80.

LG, Prada collaborating on luxury cellphone

12/12, 2:50pm

LG, Prada working on phone

The luxury fashion specialists at Prada are collaborating with LG to produce a new cellphone, due out next year, Pocket-lint reports. Though little is known about the project, Prada's involvement may run considerably deeper than with the comparable Dolce and Gabbana MOTORAZR, which mainly added gold and silver plating. Prada and LG say that they've "jointly explored and developed all aspects of this new phone," changing styling, software, and interface elements. The one confirmed feature of the new product is a touch interface, which may be similar to the one used in LG's current Chocolate series. Initial rollout of the Prada phone will begin with Europe in early 2007, and progress from there to Asia. [Photo courtesy of AVING]

SplitFish adapter adds PS3 motion to PS1, PS2 games

12/12, 2:45pm

SplitFish motionFX Adapter

Game accessory maker SplitFish this afternoon began shipping its motionFX adapter for Sony's older Dual Shock controllers. The add-on clips to the front of the official PlayStation 1 and 2 gamepads and effectively recreates the effect of the PlayStation 3's Sixaxis controller for the earlier consoles' games, allowing gamers to control the core movement in these titles by tilting the gamepad itself rather than use the left analog stick. The technology is also intelligent enough to compensate for the vibrations caused by force feedback, SplitFish says. The motionFX is available today at GameStop for $40.

Forrester iTunes sales study misleading?

12/12, 2:20pm

Forrester on iTunes Sales

While recent claims by Forrester Research indicate that Apple's iTunes revenues are declining, the analysis may be overlooking critical details that reflect the actual connection to iPod sales, according to an article by Ars Technica. Author Mary Tyler notes that the seemingly stagnant growth of iTunes sales relative to iPods is misleading, making assumptions about iTunes usage habits that are inaccurate. No distinctions are made between older and newer iPods, Tyler points out.

"More than a few people have worn out, broken, or otherwise had an iPod put out of commission over the last four years," she says. "People can [also] own more than one iPod that is in use. I know at least a few families where everyone in the family has an iPod."

Tyler suggests that Forrester's statistics may in fact point towards a trend opposite that suggested by the research firm, as the lower number of iPods currently in use could raise the number of songs per iPod to a significantly higher level than previously thought.

Pioneer develops 10X dual-layer DVD burner

12/12, 1:35pm

Pioneer 10X Dual-Layer DVD

The Japanese division of Pioneer today revealed the DVR-A12J, a drive the company claims is the fastest dual-layer DVD writer available today. Improved cooling and disc stabilization are said to ensure reliable burns that were previously thought impossible: a write-once, dual-layer DVD disc can be recorded at 10X speed, breaking past the 8X limit that has previously limited desktop drives. The A12J is also one of the quickest drives overall and writes to single-layer DVDs at 18X and DVD-RAM at 12X.

Additionally, Pioneer's writer makes use of a disc labeling technology dubbed Labelflash: similar to HP's LightScribe, Labelflash can etch a label on compatible discs and save the need for markers or stickers. The drive also ships with a 2MB memory buffer to protect against disc overruns. Models will be available with black, silver, or white faceplates later this month for for $86 in Japan; the drive will ship to North America but has not been announced yet in the region.

Briefly: MacBook mod; iPhone poster?

12/12, 1:25pm

MacBook mod, iPhone poster

In brief: One avid MacBook owner seeking an alternative to the limited availability of colors offered by Apple has applied Carbon Graphix -- a vinyl sticker material that looks like real carbon fiber -- to the outside of his notebook.... Another Mac user has posted an image that appears to depict the rumored iPhone with iSync, Address Book, iCal, Mail, and Bluetooth capabilities.... MOTU has released public beta hardware drivers for Windows Vista, allowing owners of its FireWire, PCI, and USB hardware interface products to use the devices with Windows Vista when it ships to the general public.... Intelligent Assistance today released the third of its collections of Pro Apps Tips containing 101 tips for Apple's Final Cut Pro Studio applications originally published in the Pro Apps Hub software.... One Mac user has started the notMac challenge to encourage the development of an easy-to-use replacement for Apple's docMac service, and will match the first $10,000 in contributions.... today announced that the 10th AppleScript Pro Sessions are to be held in Denver, Colorado for the first time from June 11-15th, 2007 drawing attendees from around the world.

Hammacher Schlemmer iPod DJ Mixing Studio

12/12, 1:20pm

iPod DJ Mixing Studio

Offered by Hammacher Schlemmer, the iPod DJ Mixing Studio is not a proper mixing table, but rather lets you add digital effects such as voice, background rhythms, and fill-in sounds (including drum fills) by "scratching" the provided turntables. There are also knobs for adjusting volume and tempo levels on the fly. The Studio takes input from any digital audio player's headphone jack. An output port is provided for recording to a Mac or PC, although Hammacher does not supply the required cable or software. Power for the Studio is provided by four AA batteries. The Studio goes on sale January 2nd for $40.

Cambridge announces PlayDock i speakers

12/12, 12:30pm

Cambridge PlayDock i

Cambridge Soundworks has announced the PlayDock i, an iPod version of the PlayDock Zen speakers (see right) being released for Creative players of the same name. Both docks feature speakers set wide for better spatial imaging, as well as their own built-in subwoofers. The docks are magnetically shielded, and come with infrared remotes and video-out ports that support 640x480 (standard NTSC) resolution on a TV. Notably, the PlayDock Zen also features a telescopic antenna, which aids with the Zen's native FM tuning. The PlayDock i begins shipments in January for $200, while the PlayDock Zen is shipping today at the same price.

HP launches simple nx7300 notebook

12/12, 12:10pm

HP nx7300 Notebook

As a companion to yesterday's release of the HSDPA-equipped nc6400, HP on Tuesday began shipping the nx7300. The 15.4-inch widescreen portable is built as a straightforward notebook for business users and others who would consciously avoid the media functions of the company's more elaborate, home-oriented systems. HP says it has made flexibility a priority: while the base nx7300 ships with as little as a 1.73GHz Celeron M, the system can also be had with as much as a 1.83 GHz Core 2 Duo for the sake of performance.

The pared-down approach also reaps benefits in terms of pricing, HP says. A base Celeron model with 512MB of RAM, an 80GB hard drive, and a DVD/CD-RW optical drive ships for $659; a mid-grade model with a 1.66GHz Core Duo, doubled memory, and a 120GB drive is available for $999. Faster computers are available through special orders.

Princeton debuts network storage enclosure

12/12, 12:10pm

Princeton network storage

Princeton today introduced its PEC-NAV network storage enclosure, a media hub designed for homes with multiple PCs. The enclosure ships with explicit iTunes server support, according to the company, and an Ethernet-connected Mac or Windows compter can copy its unprotected AAC as well as MP3 songs to a Parallel ATA drive inserted into the case. Such copying provides access to the songs for any iTunes-equipped computer on the network even when the original source of the music is turned off, according to Elecetronista. The system also offers access to almost any audio, photos, or video directly from the PEC-NAV via support for the DLNA streaming media standard. Users can share publicly with built-in FTP and Samba servers, and a front-mounted USB port supports adding to the internal drive's capacity with flash as well as hard drives. Princeton expects its drive to ship in Japan by mid-January for $160.

LG debuts PDA with mobile TV, DVR functions

12/12, 11:40am

LG PM-80 PDA With TV

Not commonly associated with PDAs, LG today introduced the media-friendly PM-80 handheld to its line. It bridges the gap between the practicality of cellphones and playback support of dedicated media players, according to the company. Mobile TV is a fixture of the device through support for Korea's DMB broadcast standard; unlike most of the country's handhelds, however, the PM-80 is a self-contained video recorder. Viewers can schedule the PDA to record shows directly to SD cards, saving them for later viewing either on the portable or on a computer. LG estimates roughly 2.5 hours of continuous viewing.

Outside of this key element, the PDA offers many features inherent to Windows Mobile 2003, such as pre-recorded media playback, web browsing, and Office document editing. Pricing and availability are not currently available.

NewerTech ships quieter miniStack V2 combo

12/12, 11:30am

Quieter miniStack V2 combo

Newer Technology (NewerTech) today launched a new, enhanced version of its miniStack V2 combo external storage device that operates quieter than the previous model. The miniStack external FireWire 400/USB 2.0 single-drive solution integrates three USB 2.0 port and two FireWire powered ports in a Mac mini-like enclosure. A new construction process that incorporates a large aluminum passive heat sink serves to radiate heat away from the hard drive, resulting in quieter operation. The heat sink contacts the drive on both the top and side to disperse more heat, and an intelligent cooling system initiates a quiet protective fan only as a precautionary measure, according to the company. All models between 160GB and 750GB feature the latest Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 and 7200.10 mechanisms with a five-year warranty.

Windows development chief would buy a Mac

12/12, 11:20am

MS exec would buy a Mac

The head of Microsoft's Windows development James Allchin wrote an email to CEO Steve Ballmer and co-founder Bill Gates in January of 2004 stating that "I would buy a Mac if I didn't work for Microsoft." The email was presented as evidence last week in an Iowa antitrust trial against Microsoft, quoting Allchin as saying "in my view, we lost our way." The co-president of Microsoft's platform and services division also wrote that "I think our teams lost sight of what bug-free means, what resilience means, what full scenarios mean, what security means, what performance means, how important current applications are, and really understanding what the most important problems our customers face are. I see lots of random features and some great vision, but that does not translate into great products." Allchin has overseen various aspects of Windows development since the mid-1990's, according to Computerworld, but plans to retire after Windows Vista ships to the masses.

Netherlands first to stop "free to air" analog TV

12/12, 11:10am

Dutch halt analog air TV

The Netherlands has become the first country in the world to stop all broadcasts of "free to air" analog television, reports the Associated Press. The event is a result of a deal with Royal KPN NV, who will get to use the bandwidth to broadcast digital TV, but must continue to offer several state and regional channels for free. KPN has also borne the cost of building digital broadcast masts around the Netherlands to replace the old services. Government-backed channels were available nationally as of Monday, while KPN's paid packages will achieve that status in early 2007.

The changeover may benefit the Netherlands financially as well as technologically. A government spokesman notes that 94 percent of the population is served by cable, and furthermore, only about 74,000 households were using analog antenna reception. The Dutch government should save approximately $14 million per year -- Dutch consumers, however, may be asked to pay $66.50 for a digital tuner if they want their previous programming back.

Verizon carries Moto Q Black, lowers price

12/12, 11:00am

Moto Q Black at Verizon

Verizon this morning began carrying the Motorola Q Black, a rare black edition of the normally silver Windows Mobile smartphone. Although hardware features remain unchanged on the device and include the same 1.3-megapixel camera, EVDO broadband, and media playback features of the original, the phone is said to ship with the latest edition of Motorola's software -- an update currently unavailable to existing owners regardless of their choice of providers.

The phone is currently available for $150 when linked with a two-year contract and other discounts. Verizon has also lowered the price even further for the initial version of the Q, offering the silver model for $100 with a similar plan.

Princeton intros network storage with iTunes server

12/12, 10:40am

Princeton iTunes Storage

Princeton today introduced its PEC-NAV network storage enclosure, a media hub for homes with multiple PCs. The enclosure is one of the few to ship with explicit iTunes server support, the company says. An Ethernet-connected Mac or Windows PC can copy its unprotected AAC and MP3 songs to a Parallel ATA drive inserted into the case, which will then give access to the songs for any iTunes-equipped computer on the network even when the original source of the music is turned off.

Owners can also access almost any audio, photos, or video directly from the PEC-NAV due to its support for the DLNA streaming media standard. Public sharing is also possible through built-in FTP and Samba servers. A front-mounted USB port gives the further option of adding to the internal drive's capacity with flash and hard drives. Princeton expects its drive to ship in Japan by mid-January for $160.

Galbanum offers 1,800 wavetables

12/12, 10:35am

Galbanum, 1,800 wavetables

Galbanum today released a collection of more than 1,800 wavetables that includes Architecture NI Waveforms 2, Architecture MS Waveforms, and Architecture Universal waveforms. The wavetables, which are single cycle periodic waveforms that form the most fundamental building block of synthesis, are sound generators responsible for determining a given sound's primary timbre or 'tone color.' Galbanum's collection offers a wide variety of waveforms logically organized in sub-folder categories with the first version containing more than 1,000 waveforms developed for Galbanum's MetaSynth content DVD, Architecture Volume One. Many of the new waveforms are designed for use in LFO shapes, envelope shapes, modulation shapes, distortion curves, and oscillators. Architecture NI Waveforms 2 and Architecture MS Waveforms are available for $25 each with $10 upgrade fees, while Architecture Universal Waveforms is priced at $30.

RIM sues Samsung over the BlackJack

12/12, 10:25am

RIM sues Samsung

Research in Motion has launched a lawsuit against rival phone maker Samsung, says the IDG News Service. Creators of phones such as the BlackBerry Pearl, RIM insists that Samsung's new BlackJack and Black Carbon phones violate the BlackBerry trademark. "Samsung is misleading the public into falsely believing that Samsung's goods and services are connected with RIM's business," reads a filing submitted Friday to the US District Court for the Central District of California. If RIM wins its suit, production of the Samsung phones will cease and RIM will be rewarded unspecified damages.

Griffin launches HomeConnect iPod cable

12/12, 10:10am

HomeConnect iPod cable

Griffin Technology has launched the HomeConnect for iPod, a cable that transfers audio, photos, and video content from a video iPod to a home sound system and TV. The cable is designed to eliminate home clutter while providing the necessary connections with two-channel stereo and composite video. The 3.5mm accessory plugs into the headphone jack of an iPod, while the other end is connected to a stereo, TV, or home theater. The HomeConnect plays audio from all iPod models, allowing users to share photos with Apple's iPod photo or video content with the fifth-generation video iPod. The HomeConnect is available for $15.

A-Data 12GB Mini Cube with one-button backup

12/12, 10:05am

A-Data Mini Cube

A-Data has recently released the 12GB Mini Cube, the first micro USB drive from the company and one of the smallest available at less than two inches long. Its hallmark is a one-touch backup function rare in its size class: Windows users can press a side button to automatically synchronize the drive with their PC, and also have the choice of scheduling regular backups that occur as long as the drive is plugged in.

Mac and Windows users alike can take advantage of the unique USB connector, according to A-Data. The port swivels a full 180 degrees, either concealing itself completely within the case or stopping at any position outside. The design helps the Mini Cube plug into a computer even in tight spaces. Online retailer Nothing But Software carries the drive today for $125. [Courtesy of Chip Chick]

Bracket for Mac mini, drive enclosure ships

12/12, 9:45am

Duo Hang With Mi ships

Macessity has unveiled the Duo Hang With Mi, a mounting bracket designed to hold Apple's Mac mini system as well as an external drive enclosure modeled after the computer together under a work desk or entertainment shelf. The Duo Hang With Mi bracket is thicker than the single version, and features a built-in 4-port self powered USB 2.0 hub. The bracket is available in an aluminum color, and is expected to ship during the final week of December for $45. Units are available for pre-order for $35 until the brackets begin shipping, however.

Creative ships Live! Cam Optia webcam to US

12/12, 9:35am

Creative Optia cam in US

Creative today announced that the Live! Cam Optia is now shipping in the US. The camera had been introduced last month in the company's native Singapore and marks what Creative says is the first truly driverless webcam for Windows PCs. As a USB Video Class device, the camera can be automatically configured for instant messaging and other video software without requiring a software install. The webcam also boasts a universal mounting system that can rest safely on a desk while rotating to provide a clip for a laptop or an LCD display. Creative says its 1.3-megapixel camera is available today online or at Fry's for $80.

LaserSoft releases SilverFast v6.5

12/12, 9:35am

SilverFast v6.5 released

LaserSoft Imaging today launched SilverFast v6.5, an update to its scanning software that advances High Dynamic Range Imaging by varying exposures of the scan. The company says the new feature "dramatically increases the dynamic range allowing even the most subtle nuances in both shadow and highlight areas to be recognized and enhanced." The SilverFast Multi Exposure function is based on the principle of the distinguished Multisampling Feature (multiple scan) with auto-alignment, the company said. With Multisampling the picture is scanned several times using the same settings, in order to identify and minimize noise, but with Multi Exposure the dynamic range of the scanners is utilized by repeating the scan, but with different exposure intensities. The effect creates a dynamic range comparable to that of a drum scanner, while patented auto-alignment secures the precision of the scan allowing for optimal sharpness and clarity. It runs on Mac OS X 10.2 or later. Pricing is based on scanner model.

EOS launches wireless speaker iPod dock

12/12, 9:25am

Wireless speaker iPod dock

EOS Wireless is developing an iPod dock that links up to four sets of stereo speakers together with a wireless connection, providing what the company describes as "whole home audio." Electronista reports that each set can be placed as far as 150 feet away from the base station and that the device has an integrated (but detachable) power supply which lets it connect directly to an outlet. In addition to the dock and the transmitter, the base has a subwoofer and its own pair of stereo drivers. Signals are sent out in the SRS WOW (simulated surround) format. The core EOS system is expected to ship in March, including one dock and one remote unit, for $300. Extra remotes will be sold separately, as will a weatherproof outdoor amplifier and a transmitter/receiver bundle, according to the report.

LANrev 4.0 adds InstallEase, AD support

12/12, 9:10am

LANrev 4.0 supports AD

LANrev today released LANrev 4.0, a major update to the all-in-one lifecycle management software for networks. Version 4.0 adds LANrev InstallEase, a new exclusive feature for Mac OS X that generates packages, filters, and validates data, creates uninstaller packages, and outputs in multiple formats. In addition, LANrev 4.0 features Active Directory integration, LANrev TheftTrack, advanced license purchase management, and advanced battery information management. Battery management can be used to track important information about laptop batteries including status, capacity, percentage of original capacity, and load cycles. LANrev is a Universal Binary that runs natively on both Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs. The software offers tools for software distribution, license management, patch management, remote management, asset inventory, and usage management as well as includes LANrev's innovative ImageLive disk imaging for Mac OS X. (Pricing not available.)

Calabash intros World Explorer GPS guide for tourists

12/12, 9:00am

Calabash World Explorer

Calabash this morning announced its World Explorer guide for tourists. The company says its new GPS unit is the first to specifically address the common problems tourists face, from basic needs such as direction-finding and locating restaurants to learning about local culture. Each system comes preloaded with self-guided audio and photo tours that let owners drive or walk at their own pace while studying the history and inhabitants of the region. There are also guides regardless of location: a media player gives access to local music and interviews with locals. The World Explorer's interface is designed to be simple, Calabash says, while the system itself is ruggedized to survive likely accidents. The mapping devices are available today for rent in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, though the company says it plans to expand availability to the rest of the Caribbean and other travel destinations in the near future.

AssistiveWare's TextParrot speech solution

12/12, 8:55am

TextParrot speech solution

AssistiveWare today announced "ConvenienceWare", a new family of innovative and affordable products that offers the company's advanced technologies in cool and convenient applications designed to make the life of Mac users easier. TextParrot 1.0 is a Universal Binary, multilingual speech solution for Mac OS X that allows users to listen to their documents with naturally sounding voices in a language of choice. It also allows users to create their own personal podcasts or audio books by exporting to iPod-ready iTunes tracks. Or, users can just use it to speak selected text in a handy reader window with play, fast forward and rewind functionality. It even allows users to listen to text by just pointing the cursor at the text and sit back and relax while TextParrot reads the text under the cursor. The software includes Acapela Group's naturally sounding, high quality voices in one or two languages of choice. The software is available for download only for $40/40 (single-user) or $80/80 (Household license for three Macs).

Sharp unveils first 32-inch 1080p TV

12/12, 8:30am

Sharp 32-inch 1080p TV

Sharp today said it had broken a new threshold in LCDs by producing the first 32-inch TV capable of full HD. Split into two variants, the L-32GS10 with chin-mounted speakers and the L-32GS20 with speakers moved to the sides, the new Aquos model is the first from any manufacturer to display 1080p at its size, Sharp claims; previously, the resolution has been limited to 37-inch and larger sets as well as smaller, computer-only displays. The set includes its own digital broadcast tuner as well as dual HDMI inputs to receive a full-quality image. A DVI input is similarly part of the design to provide the resolution when attached to a computer. Analog video is handled via two S-video and four RCA inputs.

The fresh panel design does not preclude performance, Sharp says. The new Aquos is capable of a better-than-average 6ms response time and sports a claimed 2,000:1 contrast ratio thanks to the company's Black ASV technology. Sharp plans to deliver both the GS10 and GS20 models first to Japan on December 22nd for the equivalent of $2,400. An international release is certain but has not yet been announced.


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