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News Archive for 07/01/09

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Axiotron, OWC unveil 'ModBook'

01/09, 8:45pm

'ModBook' unveiled

Axiotron today together with Other World Computing (OWC) unveiled the ModBook, the first ever Mac OS X tablet computer. "Built for mobile users, artists, students, medical practitioners and professionals, the Axiotron ModBook enables its user to draw and write directly on the screen, while the handwriting recognition built into Mac OS X Tiger not only turns hand scribbles into text in every application, but also provides extended control of the system through gesture recognition," said Andreas Haas, president of Axiotron. "If your favored input device is the pen, then this is the Mac tablet solution for you." The Axiotron ModBook is an after-market hardware modification of Apple's MacBook, adding true pen input with a 13.3-inch LCD and an optional Global Positioning System in a satin chrome-plated magnesium top shell. The notebooks maintains the features of Apple's base MacBook system, and offers handwriting recognition. Users can select up to a 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor to accompany the integrated iSight camera and CD/DVD combo drive. The ModBook is priced at $2,780.

LightWave 3D v9 for Intel Macs due in March

01/09, 8:40pm

Universal LightWave 3D v9

NewTek today announced that the Universal version of LightWave 3D v9 will be available in March 2007. NewTek's LightWave offers modeling, animation, dynamics, volumetric rendering, particle effects and a motion picture quality rendering engine with unlimited render nodes, The company said that LightWave 3D for the new generation of Intel-based Macs takes full advantage of the advancements in the operating system and provides "noticeable speed and performance improvements" for Mac users. The Universal Binary is being prepped for the Open Beta phase, which will be open to all registered owners of LightWave v9. Qualified owners may access the Open Beta download through the NewTek online registration system LightWave v9 is available for $800 or as a $400 upgrade from previous versions. The Universal Binary version of LightWave will be provided at no additional charge to registered owners of LightWave v9.

Tunewear unveils Tunewave FM transmitter

01/09, 8:30pm

Tunewear unveils Tunewave

Tunewear today announced the Tunewave FM complete FM transmitter set designed for Apple's iPod. The Tunewave FM is a complete transmitter set for the iPod with an FM transmitter, a 12V car charger adapter, and a cable for charging via USB as well as syncing. The Fm transmitter lets users play iPod tracks wirelessly on any FM stereo, and a blue LED backlight makes it easy to see when using the device at night or in dark places. The 12V car charger adapter charges the iPod from a 12V cigarette lighter socket, and includes a safety fuse to protect the portable player against power surges. Tunewave FM connects via the iPod dock connector to offer compatibility with the fifth-generation video iPod, iPod nano (first- and second-generation), fourth-generation iPod, iPod with color display, iPod photo, iPod mini, and third-generation iPod. The company notes, however, that the 12V car charger adapter and USB cable are not compatible with third-generation iPods. The Tunewave FM is priced at $50.

TransDock transmits music, outputs video

01/09, 8:20pm

DLO Transdock due in March

DLO today announced its new TransDock, an update to its all-in-one TransPod solution that transmits audio content from any dockable iPod using a car's existing FM radio and 12-volt power outlet. In addition to a number of innovative upgrades and enhancements, it now offers a distinctive industrial design and an innovative video-output feature that lets users play their iPod videos through a car's mobile video system while transmitting the video's soundtrack to the car stereo. The TransDock also securely cradles and charges the iPod while offering users full control of bass, treble and volume settings from the car's console. It also holds up to four programmable presets to help users jump to commonly used frequencies.

Punch! to offer low-cost CAD tool: ViaCAD

01/09, 8:10pm

ViaCAD due in March

Punch! Software today announced the launch of ViaCAD, a low-cost 2D/3D design solution for Macsdue in March for $100. Using patent-pending adaptive user interface and LogiCursor technology. the company said that 3D designs automatically create 2D details, plans and elevations with a single mouse click. The software also offers industry-standard interoperability including Google SketchUp (also updated today), AutoCAD 2007, Adobe Illustrator and other common 3D format (DXF/DWG, ACIS SAT, IGES, Rhinoceros, STL, 3DS Max, etc.). According to the release the product supports 2D, 3D, surface and solid modeling tools with a wide array of features to allow precision illustrations. In addition, the software creates section and detail views, Bill of Materials lists, and includes complete 3D editing tools, annotation, and dimensions as well as other practical features for designers. It will be available as a Universal Binary.

Prosoft unveils Jax utility for iPod owners

01/09, 7:55pm

Prosoft unveils Jax

Prosoft Engineering today unveiled Jax (site not updated), its iPod enhancement utility, and promised to offer a sneak peek at the software for visitors of the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco through January 12th. Jax features more than a dozen built-in options, and allows users to add more as they are developed. Jax includes configurable visualizers to manage lyrics and find songs in a library that contain specific phrases or words. The software also helps manage album art, enabling users to select alternative images with higher resolution or different graphics. Jax users have access to point-to-point directions, current weather forecasts, favorite stock quotes, movie listings, and local gas prices. The software also provides local news from preferred news readers, all recently-received email messages, and favorite documents. Items are downloadable to the iPod as text or as spoken words as tracks in MP3 format. Jax also allows users to directly download videos from YouTube, Google Video, and desired QuickTime movies. Prosoft will release Jax in early February (pricing was unavailable). Prosoft also announced that its Data Backup software is included with hard drive solutions by both Other World Computing (OWC) and NewerTech.

Miglia TVMini HD+ to ship in Feb

01/09, 7:30pm

Miglia to ship TVMini HD+

Miglia today launched the TVMini HD+ (site not updated), a small USB device designed for users looking to experience analog Cable TV, unencrypted digital cable (ClearQAM), and free-to-air HDTV (ATSC) on a Mac. Users plug the portable TVMini HD+ into a USB 2.0 port on a Mac to watch as well as record TV, allowing users to benefit from Digital Video Recorder (DVR) features such as the ability to watch, pause, rewind, and record live TV. Users can also schedule future recordings, consult an integrated electronic programming guide to locate shows, and edit recorded clips to remove advertisements. The Miglia TVMini HD+ features exclusive 10-bit video and stereo sound; an included remote control; Composite, S-Video, and stereo audio inputs; and EyeTV 2 software. The device will ship at the end of February for an unspecified price with a 2-year Miglia warranty.

Google releases SketchUp Pro 6

01/09, 7:05pm

Google SketchUp Pro 6

Google has released SketchUp Pro 6, an update to its intuitive 3D modeling software that allows designers and planners to explore, communicate and present complex design concepts. "Google SketchUp Pro 6 now lets you create 3D models from photographs, match existing models to background photos, render sketchy effects and fog and mark your models with 3D text, logos and watermarks. With the new Styles palette, you have easy access to a collection of display settings, which you can save and share. You also have greater control, with new features like enhanced modifier keys that let you perform operations like "copy" while you move, rotate or push/pull." Google SketchUp Pro 6, a free upgrade for Pro users, is $500 and requires Mac OS X 10.4.

H2O Audio debuts Sport Integration System

01/09, 7:00pm

Sport Integration System

H2O Audio has previewed its new Sport Integration System for the recently released H2O Audio Outdoor case for iPod nano. The Outdoor case for Apple's first- and second-generation iPod nano is was designed by adventure sport enthusiasts to provide land-based users with durable, inexpensive protection for the delicate player. An impact and element resistant base-plate helps to protect the Nano during physical activity, while a custom locking clip enables a quick connection with a the company's bike mounting kit, Outdoor armband, belt clip, and backpack attachment. The bike mount adjusts to fit nearly any standard handlebars to keep the player in view as well as within reach. A removable belt clip allows for quick uninterrupted transfer and safe 'on-person carriage.' A strap mount also attaches to backpack shoulder straps or other gear for in-contact portability. H2O Audio's Sport Integration System due to ship in the first quarter of 2007 for $25.

Analyst: CES fails to threaten iPod

01/09, 6:55pm

Analyst on CES, iPod

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is producing many new product announcements, none of which pose a material competitive threat to Apple's iPod and iTunes, according to Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster. "As has been the case for the last several years of CES, we did not see any devices that we believe could prove to be significantly competitive with the iPod," Munster wrote in a research note obtained by MacNN "We continue to believe Microsoft's Zune is the best iPod alternative and we continue to be surprised at the lack of a compelling offering from consumer electronics giants like Sony." Microsoft indicated at CES that the company believes its Zune has had a successful start in capturing the no. 2 market share position in its first several weeks in the market.

Office 2004 for Mac 11.3.3 Update

01/09, 6:50pm

Office 2004 for Mac 11.3.3

Following the announcement of the Universal Binary of Office 2008 for Mac, Microsoft today released Office 2004 for Mac 11.3.3 Update. The update brings "several improvements to enhance security and stability, including fixes for vulnerabilities that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer's memory with malicious code. In addition, this update includes all of the improvements released in all previous Office 2004 updates." Office 2004 Standard Edition, Office 2004 Student and Teacher Edition, Office 2004 Professional Edition, Microsoft Word 2004 for Mac, Microsoft Excel 2004 for Mac, Microsoft PowerPoint 2004 for Mac, Microsoft Entourage 2004 for Mac.

LG's new KU950, KG208 phones

01/09, 5:45pm

LG KU950, KG208 phones

Two upcoming phones from LG have been revealed. Click below for photos. At CES is the KU950, whose screen can be tilted sideways to reveal a keypad and a VGA video camera. This camera is crucial to the phone, as LG is highlighting its videoconferncing ability, which is unusual in that most 3G phones can only do two-way video. The 950 will also have a 1.3-megapixel still camera, plus Bluetooth, a microSD slot, and a TV tuner. Plans for North American deployment have yet to be formalized, but LG expects Verizon to carry a pared-down version this quarter. Somewhat ironically, the Verizon edition will be missing the conferencing option.

China will soon be receiving the KG208, a rare example of a candybar Chocolate phone. Features will be relatively limited, highlights being music playback and a 1.3-megapixel camera. Supported audio files are MP3, WMA, and AAC/+/++. External microSD storage is complemented by 64MB of internal memory. [Via DailyTech, SlashPhone]

Zune to have gaming by 2008; wireless an option?

01/09, 5:05pm

Zune Gaming by 2008

Microsoft will add gaming to its Zune media player, according to a Bloomberg report. Speaking to journalists at a formal dinner during CES, Microsoft Xbox VP Peter Moore said that the Zune's 3-inch screen made it an ideal handheld gaming platform and could beat the iPod's recently added downloadable game support.

"I love the interface, I love the screen," Moore said.

The feature would add a degree of iPod feature parity with the Zune, which has been struggling to find momentum since its November 14th launch. Adding gaming to the device could bring it into further competition with the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP, Bloomberg's Avi Levy suggests, as the two Japanese consoles both share Wi-Fi support for multiplayer games. Microsoft has expressed a willingness to expand the Zune's wireless abilities beyond player-to-player media sharing but has so far declined to reveal definite plans for gaming or other features.

Apple still finalizing iPhone trademark

01/09, 5:00pm

iPhone trademark not final

Apple is still in the final stages of procurring the iPhone trademark, following the iPhone debut at this morning's keyote, according to a new report. Cisco, which currently holds the trademark on "iPhone", uses the name for its Linksys division's VOIP-based wireless phone that was introduced in mid-December. According to MarketWatch, Cisco and Apple have been through some extensive discussions recently The company says that "it is our belief that Apple intends to agree to the final document. We expect to receive a signed agreement today (Tuesday)."

Apple partners with Cingular for iPhone

01/09, 4:50pm

Apple partners w/Cingular

Apple and Cingular announced that Cingular, the largest wireless carrier in the US, will be Apple's exclusive US carrier partner for Apple's iPhone unveiled at Macworld Expo. As part of this multi-year partnership, Apple and Cingular are working together to provide innovative new features to mobile phone users, such as iPhone's pioneering and unique Visual Voicemail, a first on any mobile phone in the world. "Apple chose Cingular because they are the best and most popular carrier in the US," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "We are thrilled to be offering our revolutionary new iPhone exclusively with Cingular, and look forward to working together with them to create some wonderful new features for our customers."

Apple sells 2b songs via iTunes, adds movies

01/09, 4:45pm

2 billion songs via iTunes

Apple today announced that more than two billion songs, 50 million television episodes and over 1.3 million feature-length films have been purchased and downloaded from the iTunes: "iTunes has crossed another major milestone by selling over two billion songs -- with over a billion of them sold in the last year alone -- making it by far the world's most popular music store," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "And by selling 50 million TV shows and over 1.3 million movies to date, iTunes is already the largest online video store in the world as well." The iTunes Store now features the world's largest catalog with over four million songs, 250 feature films, 350 television shows and over 100,000 podcasts. Beginning today, iTunes has added more than 100 movies from Paramount Pictures priced at just $9.99 including "School of Rock," "The Italian Job," "Mean Girls," "Zoolander," "Coach Carter," "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life," "Chinatown" and "Breakfast at Tiffany's."

iRiver unveils W10 music player with Wi-Fi

01/09, 4:40pm

iRiver at CES 2007

Korean music player designer iRiver at CES officially revealed the W10, its first jukebox to use Wi-Fi. Rather than use the wireless technology for simple sharing or transfers, the company says its device uses Wi-Fi to locate the owner: a system developed by Skyhook named the Wireless Positioning System uses the geolocation of one or more nearby Wi-Fi access points to find the user's position. The W10 is then able to guide its owner with NAVTEQ maps towards a nearby point of interest such as an ATM system or a restaurant. Using ground-based access points instead of satellites means the system works even indoors or in heavy interference from buildings, Skyhook says.

Beyond its signature wireless feature, the 3-inch touchscreen player stores up to either 4GB or 8GB of MPEG-4 and WMV movies as well as MP3 and WMA songs. Expansion for more memory is handled through a miniSD card slot and an FM tuner is built in for listening to live broadcasts. iRiver ships the W10 in April for an undetermined price.

MS announces Universal Office 2008 for Mac

01/09, 4:25pm

Office 2008 to ship in '07

Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit (Mac BU) today revealed that a new, Universal version of Office for Mac is slated for shipment in the second half of 2007. Office 2008 for Mac shares a new graphics engine with Office for Windows, and Office Art 2.0 enables users to add professionally designed graphics with one click. Office 2008 features a new user interface that introduces an Elements Gallery, emphasizing discoverability while providing quick access to tools as well as Mac-specific features within applications. Document Parts -- a tool that comes as part of the Elements Gallery -- enables users to simplify and automate some of the most common document tasks, such as adding a table of contents or headers and footers. [corrected]

Polaroid dips its toes into the media player market

01/09, 4:05pm

Polaroid media player

Famously associated with photography, Polaroid is nevertheless pushing hard into the media player realm, demonstrating unnamed 30GB and 80GB models at CES. The 30GB player will have a 2.8-inch screen while the 80GB model will expand to 4.3 inches. Little else is known about the players except that they'll be WiFi-enabled, permitting connections with other Polaroid electronics.

Polaroid is also launching a new photo backup device (presumably the CGA-02540, pictured), which plugs into a computer's USB port and automatically copies all supported image files without prompting. Inside the unit is a 2.5-inch hard drive, which should store at least 40,000 photos, though perhaps more or less depending on the size and quality. Software support is in place for online photo sharing and printing. The device should be ready in the first quarter of 2007.

Apple introduces 802.11n AirPort Extreme

01/09, 4:00pm

Apple AirPort Extreme

Apple today introduced the new AirPort Extreme, a simple wireless networking solution that delivers up to five times the performance and twice the range of the previous AirPort Extreme. Based on 802.11n, AirPort Extreme extends a wireless network to more areas and makes streaming digital content as well as transferring large files faster. The new AirPort Extreme Base Station features a sleek new design with connections for networked computers, printers, and a USB hard drive to share files or back up data. Using MIMO (Multiple In Multiple Out) smart antennas and 802.11n technology, AirPort Extreme operates in either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz wireless frequencies, reducing the possibility of interference from appliances and cordless phones that operate in the 2.4GHz frequency. Apple's new AirPort Extreme is backward compatible with Macs and PCs using previous generation 802.11b/g wireless technologies. The new AirPort Extreme Base Station will ship in February for $180. Apple notes that nearly all currently shipping Macs support 802.11n when updated with 802.11n Enabler software, which ships with the AirPort Extreme Base Station.

Verbatim expands Store 'n' Go USB line to 8, 12 GB

01/09, 3:20pm

Verbatim Store 'n' Go USB

Verbatim has expanded its Store 'n' Go line of USB drives, introducing an 8GB flash drive and a 12GB general model. The flash drive is compatible with systems running Windows 98SE, Mac OS 8.6, and Linux 2.4.0 or greater; it should be noted, however, that the security software will not be Vista-compatible until a new version is released later this month. The 12GB drive will up the Mac requirements to OS 9, but will have the U3-like Mobile Launchpad for access to applications like e-mail. It will ship later this month for $179, while the 8GB should be out now, though the cost is unknown.

Apple quietly updates Airport Extreme with 802.11n

01/09, 3:15pm

Airport Extreme 802.11n

Alongside its AppleTV and iPhone announcements, Apple silently launched a major revision of its Airport Extreme Base Station. The new design is influenced by the AppleTV and Mac mini and uses the extra space given by the design to greatly expand its connection options. Support for the previously rumored draft version of 802.11n is present, providing connection speeds up five times faster than 802.11g in a dedicated network with up to twice the range, the company says. Apple has also provided long-requested support for 802.11a wireless networks and four Ethernet ports, three of which are dedicated to computers and devices attached to the local network. The USB port similarly gains an Airport Disk feature that lets it share files from external hard drives. The updated router will be available in Feburary for $179 and can be pre-ordered immediately from the Apple Store.

Apple introduces iPhone

01/09, 2:55pm

Apple Intros iPhone

Apple today announced its highly anticipated iPhone, a combination cellphone, Internet communicator, and music player. Described as a "revolution of the first order" by Steve Jobs, the phone relies almost exclusively on a 3.5-inch screen with multi-finger touch control to place calls and SMS text messages, control media, and communicate with the Internet through e-mail or the Web. Unlike other smartphones, Apple says, the device includes a full desktop operating system -- Mac OS X -- with support for full-size programs such as Safari and Dashboard-style tools for Google Maps, weather, and more. A quad-band GSM phone, the device connects to the Internet through EDGE or Wi-Fi and lasts for up to 5 hours of talk time or 16 hours of music.< Accessories include a Bluetooth headset and earphones.

Although announced today, the phone will be available in North America beginning in June due to FCC certification, the company says. Cingular will be the exclusive carrier in the US. Releases are due in Europe by the fourth quarter of this year while Asia will see the iPhone in 2008. Apple expects to price a version with 4GB of storage at $499 and an 8GB model for $599.

AppleTV announced

01/09, 2:55pm

Apple TV Announced

In addition to the iPhone, Apple today formally revealed AppleTV, the company's new media hub for streaming audio, photos, and video from local computers to a home TV. Previously codenamed iTV, the device connects to a network through Ethernet or Wi-Fi, including the 802.11a and 802.11n standards supported by the company's new Airport Extreme Base Station and recent Intel-based Macs. New to the device since its early appearance in September is the implementation of a sync system and a 40GB hard drive: instead of relying exclusively on computers attached to the network, the AppleTV can sync with iTunes on a preferred Mac or PC and store local copies of media from the computer for access at any time. Up to five computers are recognized on a network at once, Apple says.

The hub connects to any TV that supports component or HDMI input and can display video as high as 1080i or 720p on widescreen HDTV sets, according to the company. Audio is handled via either RCA stereo or optical audio. Apple plans to ship the iTV in February for $299 and is accepting pre-orders now at the online Apple Store.

Dell debuts XPS 710 H2C, flat-panels, Media Suite

01/09, 2:35pm

New Dell XPS, flat-panels

Dell has launched a three-prong assault on CES, confirming the existence of new flat-panels, the Home Media Suite, and most importantly, the H2Ceramic (H2C) Edition of the XPS 710. Using a technology previously codenamed Black Ice, the H2C cools its components in a two-step process: first through a liquid-to-air heat exchanger, and then with ceramic thermoelectric modules to shift the heat away. The computer will definitely need it, as the base model ($5,499) uses a quad-core Core Extreme overclocked to 3.2GHz, as well as twin GeForce 8800 GTX graphics cards. Other specs of the system include 4GB of RAM, two optical drives, and two 160GB, 10,000rpm hard drives.

LIVE: MacWorld San Francisco 2007 keynote updates

01/09, 2:10pm

LIVE MWSF 2007 Updates

Electronista will be following news from Steve Jobs' presentation at MacWorld San Francisco, which begins today at 9 AM Pacific (12 PM Eastern). Many expect Apple to preview an updated version of Mac OS X Leopard, new editions of the iLife and iWork suites. Hardware announcements such as the iTV media hub and the heavily-rumored Apple phone. Please click "read more" on this story for updates, but be advised that Electronista and other sites are likely to experience slowdowns under heavy use. Any new announced products should be available through the online Apple Store.

Sony unveils VAIO music streamer, UX Premium Micro PC

01/09, 1:20pm

Sony VAIO music streamer

A couple of smaller new products from Sony are the VAIO UX Premium Micro PC, and the VAIO WA1, also known as the the Wireless Digital Music Streamer. Click through for photos of both. As its name suggests, the WA1 lets you listen to computer audio elsewhere in your house via a wireless connection, using either an established network or a more direct "peer-to-peer" setup. A USB network interface is being bundled with the device. Formats supported by the WA1 include unprotected AAC, MP3, and WMA, as well as Sony's proprietary ATRAC. The company is pushing Live365 as the primary source of Internet radio. In addition to streamed content however, the WA1 can also hold 128MB of music onboard and play it directly from 8W stereo speakers. Control is handled through a remote, a touchscreen, or another audio player connected through a line-in port. Analog and S/PDIF outputs let you connect to a home stereo. A release date as yet to be announced, but it should retail for $350.

Apple unveils 'revolutionary' iPhone [u]

01/09, 12:55pm

Apple unveils iPhone

Apple today unveiled the iPhone (site not updated), a wide-screen iPod with touch controls that also functions as a mobile phone and an internet communication device. The company chief Steve Jobs revealed the new device during his keynote speech at the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco. "This is a day I've been looking forward to for two and a half years," Jobs said on stage in front of the keynote attendees. "Every once in a while a product comes along to change the industry. Apple has been fortunate to introduce a few of these: the Mac in 1984; the iPod in 2001. Apple will introduce three revolutionary products of this class. Wide-screen iPod with touch controls. The second is a mobile phone. The third is a break-through internet communication device. All of those in a single device. Not separate devices, but a single device called iPhone. Apple reinvents the phone." [updated]

Apple debuts iTV as 'Apple TV'

01/09, 12:40pm

Apple debuts 'Apple TV'

Apple CEO Steve Jobs today debuted 'Apple TV' (site not updated) during his keynote speech at the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco, renaming the former 'iTV' while providing details on the wireless media streaming device. Apple TV enables users to receive movies wirelessly, displaying them on a TV across the home. The new Apple offering includes three networking standards (g, b, and n) and ships with a component cable. Apple TV supports up to 720p HD Vide, and includes a 40GB drive to store video. The device features an Intel-based processor to work with video, music, and photos. Apple TV can autosync content from one computer and stream content from up to five computers, automatically syncing most recent movies and storing them on the hard drive. The new device does not store streaming content on the hard drive, and ships with a simple Apple remote that allows users to wirelessly surf trailers while connected to the internet.

Apple sells more music than Amazon.com

01/09, 12:30pm

iTunes beats Amazon

Apple CEO Steve Jobs today announced during his keynote speech at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco that the Cupertino-based company is the fifth largest music reseller in the U.S., selling more music than Amazon.com. The company has sold more than 2 billion songs through its iTunes Music Store, with iTunes sales still rising this year. Apple sold the second billion songs in 10 months, and Jobs "couldn't be happier" with the growth rate of iTunes. The store is selling 5 million songs per day, or 58 songs per second. Additionally, Jobs discussed the iPod nano as being the most popular MP3 player, and that the second-generation iPod shuffle is the most "wearable" player on the market.

SanDisk promotes USBTV, other storage mediums

01/09, 12:15pm

SanDisk promotes USBTV

SanDisk and several partner corporations have announced USBTV, a technology for quickly playing digital video on a TV. Sidestepping the option of media servers, USBTV drives will be essentially be flash-based media players, to which owners will drag-and-drop desired videoclips. An onboard processor will automatically convert files into a playable format, and once a drive is connected to a TV, preloaded guide software (and a remote) will let users to choose what they play. Initial USBTV players will require a special cradle to output to an AV port, but SanDisk is hoping that some future TVs from the likes of LG, Pioneer and Mitsubishi will permit direct connection. The popularity of USBTV may be hampered by DRM restrictions however, with copying being limited at the behest of movie and TV studios. The first USBTV products should be ready this spring.

Apple Store closes ahead of keynote speech

01/09, 12:00pm

Apple Store closes

The Apple Store online has closed for maintenance updates ahead of company CEO Steve Jobs keynote speech, which is scheduled to take place at San Francisco's Moscone Center during the Macworld Conference & Expo. Displaying the usual "We'll be back soon." post-it note image, the store notifies users that Apple employees are busy updating the store, and that service will return shortly. Historically Apple takes down its store during planned special events and at unsuspecting times to add new products or upgrade its services. Industry watchers and analysts expect the Cupertino-based company to debut a cellular phone during the keynote speech today, alongside potential movie deals with Paramount to offer full-length feature films on the iTunes Music Store for purchase and download. Visitors can tune in to MacNN's live coverage of the keynote speech to view events as they happen.

AMD intros first PC tuner to record cable HDTV

01/09, 11:30am

TV Wonder Digital Cable

AMD's graphics division ATI at CES revealed the TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuner, the world's first PC-attached tuner that can both play and record HDTV signals from more than just unencrypted over-the-air broadcasts. The tuner accepts the CableCARD adapters offered by many HD-capable TV providers and will allow live viewing of any HD television, such as ESPN or HBO; with approval from content providers, programs can also be saved to a computer and streamed to the Xbox 360 or any other Windows Media Center device. An Avivo video decoding system eliminates the compression artifacts and other anomalies that surface even in HD broadcasts, ATI says.

While available at the end of January to coincide with the launch of Windows Vista and its new Media Center functions, the tuner won't be sold separately, the company says. Instead, system builders and third-party companies are expected to build the new TV Wonder directly into new desktop and laptop computers or else offer the tuner as an external device (pictured).

Bare Bones updates BBEdit, Yojimbo, more

01/09, 11:15am

BBEdit 8.6, Yojimbo 1.4

Bare Bones Software today released BBEdit 8.6, Yojimbo 1.4, and TextWrangler 2.2. The latest revision of BBEdit brings significantly improved language support, new commands, and bug fixes to the HTMl and text editor. Yojimbo 1.4 adds AppleScript support for inter-application automation to the information organization utility. TextWrangler 2.2 signals a major overhaul to the text editing application with more than a hundred new features and improvements. BBEdit 8.6 is priced at $125 and requires Mac OS X 10.4, with upgrades for registered BBEdit 8 users priced at $30. Yojimbo 1.4 is available for $40 with a free update package available to registered customers, requiring Mac OS X 10.4.3 or later. TextWrangler 2.2 is available for fre to all Mac users and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.

Pioneer launches new nav systems, 5X Blu-Ray drive

01/09, 11:10am

Pioneer AVIC at CES 2007

Pioneer at CES announced a pair of new in-dash navigation systems in its AVIC series. At the top is the company's new AVIC-Z2 system, which adds dramatically improved address finding to the DVD and information hybrid device. By using the extra storage afforded by the nav system's built-in hard drive, the Z2's Tele Atlas database contains exact positioning for 45 million US street numbers; this brings driving directions closer to the exact building rather than its general location. The extra storage also lets Pioneer provide a much larger than average 12 million points of interest and exact voice feedback that alerts the driver to turns by name. XM NavTraffic support for live road condition updates by satellite, Bluetooth, and optional direct iPod control round out major features. The Z2 will be ready in April with a 7-inch motorized touchscreen for $2,200.

Occuyping the mid-range is the simultaneously announced AVIC-D3 (pictured), which the company previewed at SEMA last year. The company promises to bring high-end features into a more mainstream shape and has incorporated both optional iPod control and XM NavTraffic into the double-DIN sized navigator, which relies on a 6.1-inch fixed touchscreen for input. Bluetooth is also carried over from its more advanced counterpart. The D3 will be ready in March for $1,000.

Pioneer's new Blu-Ray drive follows after the jump.

Panasonic introduces LIFI HDTV series

01/09, 11:00am

Panasonic LIFI HDTVs

The Panasonic entry into CES is the LIFI line of LCDs, named after a technology developed by Luxim. The companies claim that LIFI uses a new type of lamp, one-eighth the size of a conventional HID (High Intensity Discharge), allowing LIFI sets to power on in a fraction of the time. This is helped by the absence of electrodes in LIFI bulbs, which should also contribute to a longer lifespan, as electrode degradation can cause diminished brightness or even damage to the surrounding material. Two sub-lines of the LIFI will be coming in 2007: the LCX models will be limited to 720p, while the LCZ models will reach 1080p. Both ranges will have 50-, 56-, and 61-inch sizes, and be capable of 3,000:1 contrast, plus 20W of output from the built-in speakers. SD slots, PC input and three HDMI ports will come standard. The 56- and 61-inch LCXs are expected in April, with all three LCZs shipping in May. No prices have been published.

PumpOne highlights iPod fitness network

01/09, 11:00am

iPod fitness network

PumpOne -- the creator of visual workout programs for Apple's iPod and iPod nano -- is highlighting its fitness network that integrates youPump Trainers, its membership network, and users seeking portable expert fitness guidance. The network is aimed at bringing together personal trainers, coaches, sports scientists, and physical therapists to create customized iPod and iPod nano workout programs for clients, patients, athletes, and fitness-minded users. PumpOne's drag-and-drop program design tool FitnessBuilder allows youPump Trainers to generate their own fitness program content for compatible iPod models, offering more than 500 fitness programs containing over 1,000 individual workouts. Consumer iPod and iPod nano workouts start from $9, while youPump Trainer membership is $200 per year.

NEC to launch first 26-inch computer LCD

01/09, 10:40am

26-inch NEC LCD

NEC today said it will be the first to launch a 26-inch LCD for computers, unveiling its MultiSync LCD2690WUXi with 1920x1200 resolution. The new display is the first to use X-Light Pro -- a technology that uses the screen's own luminance and color sensor to ensure a consistent light level across the entire screen -- and is based on more color-friendly IPS technology with a 12-bit color look-up table that produces better color levels as well as grayscales, according to Electronista. NEC says the resulting images match up to 92 percent of the NTSC color gamut, 93.4 percent of the Adobe color triangle, and 87.8 percent of the NTSC triangle. Triple inputs for DVI-D, DVI-I, and VGA allow a mixture of analog and digital sources wile extended display cables as long as 30-feet for digital and 100-feet for analog are usable without degrading the signal. The 26-inch model and similarly-equipped 24-inch LCD2490WUXi displays are exected to ship in February for $1,699 and $1,499, respectively.

Motorola unveils Bluetooth iPod adapter

01/09, 10:30am

Motorola iPod adapter

Motorola has unveiled the D650 companion Bluetooth adapter for iPods. The receiver works with any dockable iPod and is designed specifically to work with the offset connector of Apple's iPod nano. Motorola's D650 is powered entirely by the iPod itself, and works with any Bluetooth headphones or speakers. The company notes that battery life is unrated and depends largely on the attached player. The D650 is due to ship in the first half of 2007 for an unspecified price. Motorola also introduced its Active Headphones S9, a Bluetooth-enabled set of headphones designed with for joggers with a behind-the-head design that works with the company's D650 Bluetooth adapter, according to Electronista. The headphone set is expected to ship in the first half of 2007 for an unknown price.

VMware to demo Fusion public beta

01/09, 10:15am

VMware to demo Fusion beta

VMware today announced that it will demonstrate the public beta of VMware Fusion at Macworld in San Francisco, showcasing its new desktop software that enables Intel Macs to run x86 operating systems such as Microsoft Windows and Linux in virtual machines at the same time as Mac OS X. VMware introduced the software at the World Wide Developers Conference in August of 2006, and released the free public beta in December. Users can create and run a wide variety of 32- and 64-bit x86 operating systems on Mac OS X without rebooting while simultaneously running PC applications next to Mac OS X applications. The virtualization technology utilizes virtual SMP capabilities to gain additional performance improvements, enabling Mac owners with dual-core processors to assign multiple CPUs to a virtual machine to gain additional performance for CPU-intensive workloads. VMware Fusion is expected to ship this summer, with pricing to be announced at that time.

MediaREADY places MC-PRO atop media center line

01/09, 10:10am

MC-Pro Media Center PC

MediaREADY thos morning refeshed its media center range by introducing the MC-PRO, its highest-end system yet. The new edition is said to improve audio quality by including D2Audio's Intelligent Digital Amplifier, a device that improves audio decoding above and beyond the integrated surround sound audio. Performance has also been upgraded from the single-core, 2.8GHz Pentium 4 of the previous MC (pictured) to a dual-core Athlon 64 X2 with enough power to decode high-definition video. An appropriate dual ATSC/NTSC tuner is built in to provide those signals, MediaREADY notes. Few other details have been released at CES, though 802.11g Wi-Fi is standard in the system. Launch information is expected to follow shortly after the conclusion of this week's CES expo.

NEC first to ship 26-inch computer LCD

01/09, 9:40am

NEC 26-inch Computer LCD

NEC on Tuesday said it will be the first to launch a 26-inch LCD for computers. The new MultiSync LCD2690WUXi adds the large, 1920x1200 display to the company's color-accurate line of displays for artists and other visual professionals. The 1920x1200 screen is not only the largest of the kind but also the first to use X-Light Pro, a technology that uses the display's own luminance and color sensor to ensure a consistent light level across the entire screen. The panel is also based on more color-friendly IPS technology with a 12-bit color look-up table that produces better color levels and grayscales. The resulting image matches up to 92% of the NTSC color gamut, 93.4% of the Adobe color triangle, and 87.8% of the NTSC triangle, NEC claims.

Triple inputs for DVI-D, DVI-I, and VGA allow a mixture of analog and digital sources; extended display cables as long as 30 feet for digital and 100 for analog can be attached without a degraded signal. The 26-inch model, as well as the similarly-equipped 24-inch LCD2490WUXi, are expected to arrive in Feburary for prices of $1,699 and $1,499 respectively.

Creative launches Xdock Wireless for iPod

01/09, 9:35am

Creative dock for iPod

Creative has introduced the Xdock Wireless, a device that docks an iPod and plays music at beyond CD quality via X-Fi Wireless Receivers. The Xdock Wireless connects directly to a powered speaker system or home theater to display photos and play video or music in DTS surround-sound. The device is designed to work seamlessly with the iPod, and is certified by Apple under the 'Made for iPod' program. Creative's X-Fi 'Xtreme Fidelity' technology is produced with X-Fi Crystalizer and X-Fi CMSS-3D technology to play audio at better than CD quality. The X-Fi Crystalizer makes MP3s sound better than CDs by analyzing and identifying which parts of the audio stream have been truncated or damaged during compression, according to Creative. The Xdock Wireless offers a line-out port for connecting to powered speakers, as well as S-video and composite video-out connections. Creative's Xdock -- which works with Apple's video iPod, iPod photo, iPod mini, and iPod nano -- is slated for shipment in the spring for $200. The X-Fi Wireless Receiver will ship for $100, and an Xdock Wireless with an Xi-Fi Wireless REceiver is due to ship for less than $300.

Greenpeace protests at SF Apple Store

01/09, 9:15am

Greenpeace demonstration

Greenpeace activists last night projected large images on the walls of the San Francisco Apple Store to protest the company's use of toxic chemicals, depicting Asian scrap yards where many electronic products such as those made by Apple end up when they are finally discarded. As Mac enthusiasts gathered for the annual trade show, images of electronic products being melted and taken apart -- releasing toxic chemicals into the environment -- shown on the exterior of the store. The organization 'greened' Apple's Fifth Ave store in New York on December 18th by shining green flood lights into the iconic store's glass cube at the street level.

Motorola intros Q PRO, wireless headphones, iPod kit

01/09, 8:55am

Moto Q PRO and iPod Kit

In addition to its new MING and RIZR media phones, Motorola has just announced the Q Pro, a version of the company's popular Windows Mobile smartphone built to appeal to more demanding business users. Coated in black, the previously leaked device is preloaded with viewers for Microsoft Office and PDF documents, as well as a Word-compatible text editor; a 512MB miniSD card stores backups of the software. Enhanced data encryption, password layers, and logging also prevent valuable data from reaching intruders. Notably, the phone's 1.3-megapixel camera can be selectively disabled -- a crucial feature for workplaces where any camera-equipped cellphone could be a security risk, Motorola adds. Hardware remains similar to the original model and includes Bluetooth plus support for EVDO broadband. The Q PRO is available immediately from Motorola itself, though pricing is unlisted.

Read more for details and photos of the Bluetooth headphones and iPod adapter.

Adobe ships Flex Builder 2 for Mac

01/09, 8:45am

Flex Builder 2 for Mac

Adobe on Tuesday began shipping Flex Builder 2 for Macintosh, an extension of its powerful toolset for designing and deploying rich Internet applications. The software helps developers and designers build interactive Web applications that "combine the benefits of desktop software with the reach of the Web." With the free license version of the Flex 2 SDK, developers can build and deploy complete rich Internet applications with no software licensing costs. Flex Builder 2, a powerful Eclipse based integrated development environment (IDE), combines powerful ActionScript and MXML editors, a visual UI designer, and integrated debugging, to help developers build applications faster. Flex Builder 2 for the Macintosh and the Flex Builder 2 Eclipse Plug-in for the Macintosh are available as trial versions or for $500 or $750 (with charting). The Mac OS X version of Flex is a Universal Binary that runs on Mac OS X 10.4.7 (1.25GHz G4 PowerPC or Intel-based Mac).

Intego's Dual Protection Mac security products

01/09, 8:35am

Intego security packs

Intego today released two security packs from its new Dual Protection line to help Mac users protect both Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows installations. Intego VirusBarrier X4 DP is designed to protect both Mac OS X and Windows from all known viruses, while Intego Internet Security Barrier X4 Antispam Edition DP helps block malicious users, vandals, spyware, spam, and phishing attacks. Intego VirusBarrier X4 DP contains Intego VirusBarrier X4, as well as BitDefender Antivirus 10. Intego Internet Security Barrier X4 Antispam Edition DP contains Intego NetBarrier X4, Intego VirusBarrier X4, Intego Personal Antispam X4, and BitDefender Internet Security 10 with BitDefender Antivirus, BitDefender Firewall, and BitDefender Antispam.

WSJ: Cingular iPhone, Paramount on iTunes

01/09, 8:35am

WSJ on Apple announcements

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is expected to deliver his keynote address at 9 am PT this morning and may introduced the company's new iPhone with service from AT&T's Cingular Wireless, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal. The report said that Apple is working on a device that combines the iPod with a cellphone and that such as device could be announced as early as today. Another reportf from the same publication says that the company plans to start selling movies from Viacom's Paramount Pictures via iTunes and that the deal could be announced at today's keynote. The deal will initially cover Paramount's back catalog, including "Forrest Gump," "Mission: Impossible" and "The Truman Show,". They will be sold for $9.99 each.

ViewSonic projector, LCD TV with iPod dock

01/09, 8:15am

ViewSonic PJ258D projector

ViewSonic is showcasing several new products at CES, including TVs, monitors, and a unique projector, Electronista reports. The PJ258D is DLP projector with a docking station, allowing video iPods to output directly to the unit without cables. iPods are charged simultaneously while playing. The projectors are further promoted as being light at less than four pounds, and supporting resolutions up to 1024x768, at a brightness of 2,000 lumens with 2,000:1 contrast. Other external inputs include VGA and S-video. The PJ258D will go on sale later this quarter for the cost of $999. The company also showcased a prototype of an 37-inch LCD TV with a built-in iPod dock.

Sony intros 70-inch LCD and Internet link, demos OLED

01/09, 8:15am

Sony 70-inch Bravia LCD

Sony at CES debuted a series of new TVs in its Bravia line. Topping the announcements is the company's KDL70XBR3, the company's largest ever TV at 70 inches and also promises the best image quality of any Sony TV to date, according to the company. As with the new Samsung 81 series, the new XBR3 model will feature LED backlighting and support HDMI 1.3's deep color for improved accuracy; its 10-bit LCD panel can also run at 120Hz for smoother response times in action scenes. Sony anticipates shipping its signature TV in February for $33,000.

The electronics maker also discussed ts new Bravia Internet Link technology. Starting with the upcoming S3000 series of Bravia LCDs, owners of Sony sets can buy an optional adapter that will provide access to simplified Internet content suitable for control with a TV remote: RSS news feeds, streaming video, and other content will be supplied by partners such as AOL and Yahoo. The access will be easy to manage using the Xross Media Bar (XMB) interface borrowed from the PlayStation 3 and PSP, Sony says. The Bravia Internet Link should be available by the time the S3000 line ships in sizes between 26 and 46 inches in Spring this year.

Details of the OLED prototype follow after the jump.

Glance offers cross-platform screen sharing

01/09, 8:05am

Glance supports Macs

Glance Networks on Tuesday debuted a Mac version of Glance, a one-button screen sharing tool that lets people instantly show their live computer screens to anyone on the internet. The service can used for product demonstrations, sales presentations, web tours, training, creative reviews and technical support. THe company says that sign-up and installation takes under two minutes and that it allows users to choose their own personal URLs. Session guests do not need any software and can connect instantly with nearly any PC, Mac or Linux computer: once connected, guests see everything the host sees, in full color. Glance, for both Mac and PC users, is available for $50/month ($500/year). Each session can host up to 15 guests--all of whom can connect for free. Users can sign up for a free trial online.

WorldSync ships SyncDeK 7, AudiTrail beta

01/09, 7:35am

SyncDeK 7 supports SQL/Web

WorldSync (booth 1236) has released SyncDeK 7.0, an update to its solution that performs data replication and data transmission services for structured databases. The background Java service supports includes a GUI-based tool to configure sharing of data among specific users. Version 7 can now synchronize with SQL accessible data sources and offers remote administration via a web browser (using FileMaker Pro 8.5 Advanced). The SQL support works with any combination of data sources and can also include other JDBC/ODBC-accessible data sources. SyncDeK 7 is compatible with FileMaker 6/7/8/8.5 on Mac OS X, Windows XP and Windows 2000. Pricing is $250 (SyncDeK Single-user), $100 (SyncDeK Network Engine), $2000 (SyncDeK SQL Engine), and $500 (SyncDeK Developer). The company also announced a beta program for AuditTrail, an upcoming plug-in for FileMaker 8.5 which aids company and organization compliance with various regulatory requirements by capturing all Add, Change and Delete actions to separate tables and logging a field-level change history.

FM Nexus products for FileMaker developers

01/09, 7:15am

FM Nexus at MWSF

FM::Nexus (booth 1236) Tuesday made several announcements for FileMaker developers, including a free analysis tool. The company shipped Inspector 1.6, an update to its diagnostic, debugging, and documenting tool for FileMaker. The tool analyzes the metadata of solutions built with FileMaker software and provides advanced information for developers, including a visual overview of basetables, table occurrences, layouts, scripts, fields, privilege sets and more. It is available for $400 (single-user license) or as a free (recommended) upgrade for existing users. The company also began demonstrating and accepting beta testers for Dragon Web Surveys (for building flexible surveys on the Web) and the FM::Nexus Web Services plug-in (for implementing standards-based interoperability with Web Services).

SeeFile 3.0 improves Web collaboration

01/09, 7:05am

SeeFile 3.0 released

SeeFile has introduced the third generation of its web-based creative collaboration tool, which allows instant web sharing and messaging around large media files. This new, Universal software runs natively on either Intel-based or PowerPC-based Macs and easily turns any Mac into an interactive webserver for those media files, with support for remote access from anywhere on the Internet via standard browsers (Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer). It delivers a simple, elegant tool for communication between print, photography and video professionals: as files are updated on the system running SeeFile, the software automatically creates thumbnail and preview images and a browser-based representation of the folder system. Version 3.0 offers simplified installation and takes advantage of the Core Data functionality in Mac OS X to allow both a one-step installation process and rapid, sophisticated metadata handling. The $400 software is a free upgrade for previous users.

Griffin debuts three iPod speaker systems

01/09, 6:55am

New Griffin iPod speakers

Griffin Technology continued its slew of product announcements on Monday with the announcement of its new lineup of three powered iPod-based speaker systems. Griffin's Evolve (pictured at right) is a new iPod-ready wireless speaker system with powerful, crystal clear sound. It features a flat charging base that holds an iPod in a Universal Dock and charging stations for two cube-shaped speakers on both sides. Powered by a lithium-Ion battery pack, the speakers can be easily charged (without wires) to provide up to 10 hours of music. Griffin also said that each speaker cube features its own on/off power switch and automatic sleep mode for power conservation. Evolve features a wireless range of more than 150 feet and includes an RF-based remote for easy control of iPod functions. Evolve will be available by summer for $350.

New ultra-portable barcode scan solution

01/09, 6:35am

IntelliScanner mini ships

IntelliScanner (booth no. S437) today unveiled IntelliScanner mini, its ultra-portable personal barcode scanner and software package for organizing collections and home assets with barcode technology and AutoFill item identification. IntelliScanner mini is about the size of a car "keyfob," and can organize personal assets automatically by simply scanning the retail barcode or printed tag. IntelliScanner mini's six included programs help automatically organize collections and home assets, including Wine Collector, Media Collector, Comic Collector, and more. Each application automatically searches Internet databases for detailed product information about a barcode or entered title information. The complete cross-platform IntelliScanner mini bundle (portable scanner, 6 software tools, neck lanyard, and keychain clip) is now shipping worldwide for $300.

Mark/Space debuts sync for Blackberry, Macs

01/09, 6:25am

Sync for Blackberry, Macs

Mark/Space (booth no. 1844) today announced two new synchronization products for Mac OS X, including The Missing Sync for BlackBerry and SyncTogether for for synchronizing contacts, calendar events and tasks, notes, web browser bookmarks and more between multiple computers running Mac OS X. The Missing Sync for BlackBerry will provide a reliable synchronization environment for owners of BlackBerry devices from Research In Motion (RIM), including the popular BlackBerry Pearl smartphone. The software will synchronize information between Mac OS X's Address Book and iCal applications and the corresponding applications on BlackBerry handsets. It will also offer built-in support for Apple's Sync Services technology, allowing information also to be synchronized with other Sync Services-savvy applications, including Microsoft Entourage 2004 and Chronos' SOHO Organizer.

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