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Parallels Desktop Update R
Parallels has released Update Release Candidate (RC) for the Parallels Desktop for Mac, which include better USB 2.0 support, improved drag & drop, dramatically improved Boot Camp support as well as a new "Coherence" view mode for "invisible" execution of Windows applications and better support importing third-party virtual machines. The software, which runs many alternate x86 operating systems, offers faster support for a broader range of devices, including Palm PDAs and most webcams (the current build does not support iSight). In addition, Parallels Desktop now shares the entire Mac file structure between OS X and Windows.
2G HomeDock Deluxe debuts
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) has unveiled its second-generation HomeDock Deluxe -- a device that uses a docked iPod to play iTunes music, TV shows, and movies on any home entertainment system or big screen TV. The HomeDock Deluxe links any dockable click-wheel iPod to TV and stereo systems, offering a user-friendly on-screen interface controlled by an included remote control. DLO's second-generation HomeDock Deluxe upgrades include complete video iPod navigation with customizable themes and screen savers, multi-language support including Spanish and Chinese, a convenient auxiliary port for plugging in a 'visiting' MP3 player, a new 'My Jukebox' feature that lets users select songs to build a party playlist on the fly, and on-screen album art. The enhanced DLO HomeDock Deluxe for iPod is priced at $150, and will begin shipping this March, according to DLO.
CalDigit ships FireWireVR
CalDigit has begun shipping the FireWireVR RAID, an external storage enclosure that offers FireWire 400/800 and USB 2.0 connectivity without the need for additional cards. The device supports RAID settings of 0, 1, and JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks) while providing controls for the different RAID settings on the box itself. The unit features a ball bearing fan and venting system, allowing air to flow freely through the enclosure. The FireWireVR utilizes SATA 3Gbps drives with 16MB of cache per drive, and is easily chained to multiple FireWireVR units without any loss in performance, according to CalDigit. Under performance mode the device handles two streams of 10-bit uncompressed SD and three streams of 8-bit uncompressed SD. CalDigit offers up to 1.5TB of storage capacity with a modular design in an aluminum housing to improve heat dissipation. Each FireWireVR unit ships with a padded achieving box that stores additional drive modules in the same fashion as verticle-standing VHS tapes (pricing was unavailable).
Presto! BizCard Reader 5.0
NewSoft America has introduced Presto! BizCard Reader 5.0 for Mac OS X, offering native support for Intel-based Macs. The Presto! BizCard Reader quickly and easily converts contact information on business cards into a convenient, searchable, digital database that is easily synchronized between Macs, PCs, PDAs, Outlook, Goldmine, and other popular PIMs. Boasting a compact design, the Presto! BizCard Reader includes a palm-sized gray-scale scanner that automatically retrieves contact data from any business card, according to NewSoft. The company's advanced OCR and SFIT (Smart Field Identification Technology) assigns the data into fields for rapid search and retrieval. The card reader recognizes up to seven different languages which include English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch. BizCard Reader 5.0 is available for $130.
Four Apple security flaws
Intego, the makers of programs like VirusBarrier X4, has issued a warning regarding three security vulnerabilities connected to Mac OS X, along with a fourth vulnerability attributed to QuickTime. The QuickTime vulnerability is related specifically to the way Apple's multimedia software deals with RTSP URL handlers. Intego notes that a malicious user could overflow a stack-based buffer, executing chosen code. Further attributed to Apple's work are flaws with folder permissions in Mac OS X 10.4.8, and in the same version, the way file permissions are repaired by diskutil. The final vulnerability is linked with the current Mac port of VLC Media Player, which could affect Mac OS X by exploting VLC's use of UDP addresses. Intego claims that its VirusBarrier X programs can stop attacks on Mac OS X, but will require users to block ports 554 UDP and 7070 TCP to halt the QuickTime bug.
Shinza Sparkle Ear Drops
Shinza has announced the availability of its Sparkle Ear Drop line of earbuds. Generally aimed at girls and women, the buds come in three shapes which include heart, stud, and spherical designs. Each earbud is tipped with rhinestones, and customers can choose between blue, pink, crystal or sapphire stones depending on the underlying model. The Hearts and Spheres models come with three silicone bud caps to accomodate different ear sizes. The speakers themselves produce 10mW of power each, producing a dynamic range of 20Hz to 20KHz. Prices start at $15 for the Studs and reach to $25 for the Hearts.
Shure in-canal earbuds
Shure at the CES trade show in Las Vegas demonstrated its new SE in-canal earbuds, offering improved frequency ranges and more comfortable designs while dropping prices. The SE210 ($150), a standard earbud set with a single driver per ear, while the similar SE310 uses an enhanced driver with better bass response for listeners who prefer beat-heavy electronic or urban tracks without sacrificing treble. The SE420 ($350) enhances audio quality even further, says Shure, offering separate tweeter and woofer drivers built into each earpiece to better distinguish high- and low-frequency sounds. A premium eartip kit also ships with the SE420 to ensure a perfect fit, according to Electronista. All of the new designs are scheduled to launch in February.
"Craplets" and Vista
Microsoft is worried that unwanted software bundles could affect the success of Windows Vista, according to a senior Microsoft executive. The anonymous official says that many of the pre-installed third-party programs included with new Windows PCs which he calls "craplets" due to their small and often irritating nature, may be incompatible with Vista and could create unintentional ill will towards Microsoft through bugs or even a complete failure to run, according to Electronista. "If someone buys a Vista PC and has a problem, they're going to blame Windows," he said. Microsoft wants to control the initial experience with its own operating system but claims to be hampered by legal restrictions that prevent it from dictating the software third-party system builders can load on new PCs. Additionally, many Windows system vendors choose to pre-install third-party freeware or trial versions in exchange for pay, reducing the overall price of the system.
Xacti HD2 camcorder
Sanyo updated its signature Xacti camcorder at the CES trade show in Las Vegas with the launch of its Xacti HD2. Still the smallest and lightest HD camera, according to its creator, the HD2 gains a sharper 7.1-megapixel sensor that can rapidly capture still photos at its native resolution as well as record widescreen 720p video in MPEG-4 format. The sensor is also tuned for better light sensitivity, offering 76 percent more receptiveness than its HD1 ancestor, according to Electronista. The Xacti includes support for higher-capacity SDHC cards, enabling users with an 8GB card to capture almost three hours of 720p footage. The camcorder also adds HDMI functionality to the docking station, relaying both audio and video to a TV through a single cable. Built-in image stabilization and editing tools help correct images as well. Sanyo intends to ship the HD2 in March for $700.
WMS 100 Image ships
NewSoft America has unveiled its new WMS 100 Image, a wireless projector adapter and software broadcast suite that offers presenters an easier-to-use approach to connecting to projectors. The WMS 100 Image allows users to eliminate tangled wires by linking a Wi-Fi-ready laptop directly to the projector, and supports broadcasting from anywhere in the room while allowing others access to the same projector when additional information is needed but may not be on the presenter's own laptop. WMS 100 includes NewSoft's Presto! WMS sending software with a hardware receiver, and features presentations with a frame transfer rate of 15fps. The device and software support Mac OS X running on Intel Core 2 Duo platforms, and is on display at the Macworld Conference & Expo (booth #2343). The WMS 100 is available for $280.
The iPhone continues to create a ripple effect among cellphone producers and journalists, according to separate reports by MSNBC and Reuters. Speaking originally to a local business paper, Nokia multimedia unit leader Anssi Vanjoki largely dismissed the Apple-made device, labeling it "quite an interesting product" but quickly playing down suggestions that it might upset the Finnish cellphone maker's core business. He points to his company's existing strong points, alluding to the large screens, storage, and media playback functions of Nokia's higher-end cellphones.
"This is another piece of evidence that we have been on the right track from the beginning," Vanjoki said.
More reaction follows after the jump.
FMWebschool has launched FMStudio, an application designed to let users see as well as utilize live data from a FileMaker database in Adobe Dreamweaver. The software supports literal drag-and-drop support of FileMaker information directly into a Web page, eliminating the need to write any PHP code or preview the page as it will appear online. Users can, in some cases, send the Dreamweaver code to a server with the single push of a button, according to FMWebschool. Additionally, when designers decide to insert custom programming, the software ensures the code is color-coded to prevent tampering with FMStudio portals. FMStudio requires FileMaker Server 7 or 8 Advanced, and works with Dreamweaver MX, MX 2004, or 8. A single-user license costs $120 for either API or FX.php versions, and bundles that include both are available for $150.
SubRosaSoft has released the second major incarnation of its MacForensicsLab suite. The program sifts through data on a computer, highlighting the particular evidence investigators are searching for in a criminal case. MacForensicsLab 2.0 runs natively on Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary, and enables users to to multitask -- for example by acquiring one disk, cataloging another, and salvaging a third disk image for files simultaneously. The software also includes several new tools such as a filter for skin tones in pictures, and a scan for Social Security as well as credit card numbers. MacForensicsLab 2.0 requires Mac OS X 10.3, targeting local police and other government departments. The latest revision is priced at $1,000.
tribalmedia iShell 4.5
Tribalmedia has released iShell 4.5, a new version of its development software for multiplatform CD and DVD projects, kiosks, digital signs, and internet applications. The company is specifically targeting owners of Macromedia Director with the latest version, offering a "crossgrade" program in which iShell is less than half the normal price ($300). Tribalmedia is hoping to garner market share from Macromedia by touting the fact that iShell is now a Universal Binary, whereas Director is still a PowerPC-only application that must be emulated by Apple's Rosetta software on Intel-based Macs. Other changes include dynamic font loading, quick button/menu creation, and a restructured program core which improves speed on both Intel and PowerPC-based systems. The program requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 with QuickTime 6.0 or higher pre-installed.
Pantech U170 Style Phone
Pantech today unveiled its IM-U170 clamshell media phone. Evoking both the design influences of the iPod and RAZR, the U170 is clothed in a white outer shell but has a brushed-metal inside that includes an exotic touch-sensitive keypad in place of traditional buttons. 3G wireless is essential to the design, says Pantech: support for HSDPA, EVDO, and Korea's native WiBro speed the handset's Internet access and make use of the phone's forward-facing VGA camera for video conferencing and self-portraits. The phone also toggles quickly between MP3 playback and calling duties through a rocker switch. The U170 is available today through the Korean carrier SKY. Click through for a large image of the phone courtesy of Akihabara News.
MS Office 2008 for Mac
Screenshots have surfaced of Microsoft's recently-announced Mac Office 2008, which the company says is due to ship in the second half of 2007. The updated Office suite will run natively on Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary and share a new graphics engine with Office for Windows, according to the company. Office Art 2.0 will enable users to add professionally designed graphics with one click, and the new release will feature a new user interface with an Elements Gallery that focuses on discoverability as it provides fast access to tools and Mac-specific features within applications. Mac Office 2008 will also include 'Document Parts,' a tool that comes as part of the Elements Gallery enabling users to simplify as well as automate some of the most common document tasks. Mac Office 2008 is to include various Mac-only features, such as a publishing layout view to support layout-rich documents like newsletters. A 'My Day' feature will enable users to track priorities while staying on top of daily activities, and the new Office revision utilizes Open XML formats approved by Ecma International as an international standard.
3Dconnexion released the beta version of its software designed for use with its SpaceNavigator device under Mac OS X. The SpaceNavigator is a three-dimensional navigation device that offers 3D designers intuitive 3D navigational control. The SpaceNavigator is a companion to the mouse that is held in the alternate hand, designed to significantly reduce the number of times users need to switch tools to manipulate 3D imagry and increase productivity. Users can pan, zoom, and rotate 3D objects using the device. 3Dconnexion plans to release the final version of the software -- which will ship with the SpaceNavigator device -- by the end of March 2007, and will enable the device to work with select 3D applications on Mac OS X such as GOogle SketchUp.
Shure SE Earbuds
Earphone specialist Shure at the CES expo demonstrated its new SE line of in-canal earbuds, touting improved frequency ranges and more comfortable designs while dropping prices. Beginning the series is the SE210 ($150), a standard set with a single driver per ear; the similar SE310 uses an enhanced driver with better bass response for listeners who prefer beat-heavy electronic or urban music without sacrificing treble. The SE420 ($350) enhances audio quality even further, Shure claims. Separate tweeter and woofer drivers are built into each earpiece to better distinguish high- and low-frequency sounds. A premium eartip kit also ships with the SE420 to ensure a perfect fit, Shure says.
The company has also renamed its E500 series the SE530, describing it as the culmination of the technology found the rest of the SE line. It keeps the three-driver earbuds of before and is sold with ($500) or without ($450) Shure's Push-to-Hear adapter, which switches sound from the normal audio source to a microphone that relays conversations or other outside sounds to the wearer. All four SE designs are targeted for a February launch.
Apple, Cisco square off
Apple and Cisco are continuing to square off over the iPhone trademark, following the lawsuit filed by Cisco over willful trademark infringement. Apple today called the lawsuit "silly," while Cisco said it was willing to share iPhone with Apple. Earlier this week, Cisco said that Apple refused to send over final agreement paper on Tuesday and that it had no choice but to sue Apple over willful trademark violations, when Apple announced the iPhone on Tuesday without permission. Apple spokesman Steve Dowling called the Cisco lawsuit "silly," saying there are several companies using the term iPhone for VOIP products, and Cisco's trademark is "tenuous at best." "We're the first company to ever use the iPhone name for a cellphone," he told the WSJ. "If Cisco wants to challenge us on it, we're very confident we'll prevail."
MSI 16GB Flash Player
Taiwanese electronics firm MSI said at CES that it will soon release a high-capacity version of its P640 media jukebox. Where previous versions of the player have used microdrives to achieve larger capacities, the upcoming version is expected to carry as much as 16GB of flash storage, doubling the 8GB limit found on most challengers. MSI adds that the player has room for existing features such as a 1.8-inch LCD, an FM radio, and recording for line-in and microphone sources. No official pricing or release date has been given, though the company said a 12GB version would also be available at launch. [via The Inquirer]
Cisco on iPhone lawsuit
Briefly:: Apple has posted the new iPod television ads, which debuted earlier this week during Apple CEO Steve Jobs' keynote and feature Flathead by The Fratellis; the ads use a variation of the traditional Apple silhouette animation and were broadcast during the keynote..... Cisco says that its recent lawsuit over the iPhone trademark is not over money, product/services, or, royalties, but because Apple flatly refused to come to an agreement with the company: "We wanted to make sure to differentiate the brands in a way that could work for both companies and not confuse people, since our products combine both web access and voice telephony. That's it. Openness and clarity. This lawsuit is about Cisco's obligation to protect its trademark in the face of a willful violation. Our goal was collaboration. The action we have taken today is about not using people's property without permission."... In addition to our own show floor images, one website has posted QuickTime VR panoramas from Expo.
Microsoft on Windows Cruff
Microsoft is worried that unwanted software bundles could affect the success of Windows Vista, a senior Microsoft executive has told CBC News. Choosing to remain anonymous, the official says that many of the pre-installed third-party programs included with new Windows PCs -- nicknamed "craplets" by the official for their small and often irritating nature -- may be incompatible with Vista and could create unintentional ill will towards Microsoft through bugs or even a complete failure to run.
"If someone buys a Vista PC and has a problem, they're going to blame Windows," he said.
While the executive said Microsoft would like to control the initial experience with its own operating system, the company claims to be hampered by legal restrictions that prevent it from dictating the software third-party system builders can load on new PCs. Many Windows system vendors choose to pre-install third-party freeware or trial versions in exchange for pay, reducing the overall price of the system. Michael Dell, CEO of the namesake company, recently said to Ars Technica that the selling price of new PCs would increase by as much as $60 without such deals.
Inventec to ship Apple TVs
Inventec Appliances will serve as the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of the Apple TV, which debuted at the Macworld Conference & Expo on Tuesday morning. The manufacturer will ship the first batch of Apple TVs later this month, which serve as a multimedia content hub for up to five computers. Inventec will ship its first batch of 100,000 Apple TVs in late January, amounting to associated revenue of around NT$500 million. Inventec sources said Apple accounted for 70 percent of the company's appliance sales in 2005, and that Apple was responsible for 65 percent of the company's Appliance sales in 2006. Inventec is planning to reduce the proportion further in 2007 to lessen its reliance on a single customer, according to DigiTimes.
OQO model 02 UMPC
OQO has begun shipping the model 02, its newest entry into the UMPC (ultra-mobile PC) genre. The company claims it has the world's smallest Vista-capable computer, measuring 5.6 inches long, 3.3 inches wide, and one inch thick (when closed). Until Vista is relased however, buyers will have to pick from three versions of Windows XP for the operating system, including Home, Professional, or Tablet PC Edition 2005. The 02 is driven by a 1.5GHz processor with 1GB of RAM and 60GB of hard drive space. Three different wireless technologies are supported, including Bluetooth, Sprint EVDO, and 802.11a/b/g. An optional dock allows users to connect directly to the implements of a full-sized computer, such a monitor, mouse, and Ethernet cable. A base-level model 02 costs $1,499.
Gallery IV- Apple booth
Following the Expo keynote, attendees flocked to the Apple booth to catch a glimpse of the iPhone, but the company's booth was focused on Apple TV, Apple's first product for the living room. The device allows users to stream content for viewing on their HD television (720p only) from up to five different different computers, while a built-in 40GB hard drive allows storage/sync to a single designated "main" computer. The device was first previewed in September of last year and begins shipping next month, but took second fiddle to Apple's iPhone, which was only available behind (rotating) glass cases. On Wednesday, the company was sued by Cisco over the iPhone trademark -- for which it said Apple had spent much time negotiating, but never finalized. [image gallery]
At his Expo keynote, Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage on Tuesday to formally introduce Apple TV, a set-top box for the living room that was previously previewed as iTV. But the iPhone took center stage as Jobs debuted the new iPod, internet communicator and mobile phone in a single device. The iPhone (more details) is Apple's third revolutionary device, Jobs said -- following the 1984 introduction of the Mac and the 2001 introduction of the iPod. Jobs wowed audiences with the fully-functional iPhone -- running a version of Mac OS X -- with full featured Web-browsing using Safari, contact management, music organization/playback, video playback, and a plethora of connectivity options including WiFi, but said that the device would not be available until June. Ironically, the CEO never mentioned Mac OS X Leopard, the next-generation operating system, which is due out early this year.
Sanyo Xacti HD2 DV Camera
Sanyo at CES updated its signature Xacti camcorder with the launch of the Xacti HD2. Still the smallest and lightest HD camera, according to its creator, the HD2 gains a much sharper 7.1-megapixel sensor that can rapidly capture still photos at its native resolution as well as record widescreen 720p video in MPEG-4 format. The sensor is also tuned for better light sensitivity and is 76% more receptive than its HD1 ancestor. Further modernizing the Xacti is support for higher-capacity SDHC cards. At 21 minutes per gigabyte, an 8GB card can capture almost three hours of 720p footage, Sanyo says. HDMI has also been added to the docking station and will relay both audio and video to a TV through a single cable. Built-in image stabilization and editing tools help correct images as well. Sanyo promises the HD2 in March for $700.
Gallery II: Greenpeace
Earlier this week, Greenpeace promised to "green" the Apple Store San Francisco on Monday evening, following the group's inability to get booth at the Expo and a similar "greening" that the organization held at Apple's flagship retail store in New York City. Although the group promised more dramatic results, technical and logistical issues prevented the group from fully carrying out their greening. In December, Greenpeace ranked Apple as the worst technology company with regard to environmental issues following an update to its quarterly "Guide to Greener Electronics." Greenpeace activists on Monday were able to project large images on the walls adjacent to the San Francisco Apple Store to protest the company's use of toxic chemicals, but technical glitches prevented the group from carrying out their "greening" as planned.
iRobot at CES devoted itself to hobbyists by releasing the iRobot Create, a variant of the company's Roomba cleaning robot that strips the vacuuming abilities of the original in exchange for easily customization by hobbyists or students. A 25-pin port at the center of the Create lets designers program the robot by transferring commands as simple as scripts or as complex as C and C++ code; in tandem with the optional Command Module (pictured in green), the latter technique can actually be used to create fully autonomous behavior, the company says. The 25-pin port and the Command Module's serial ports are also used to attach peripherals such as cameras or limbs for use in more advance programs. An empty storage bay will also hold batteries or other objects that cannot be mounted. iRobot's Create ships today for $130, while the Command Module is available for $60.
PC Mag tests iPhone
PC Magazine was allowed 10 minutes to handle Apple's new iPhone one day after it was introduced on Tuesday morning by company CEO Steve Jobs at the Macworld Conference & Expo inside San Francisco's Moscone Center. "Ten minutes isn't much, but I can safely say that the iPhone is even more impressive than it appeared during the Jobs keyote, and that's saying something," said PC Magazine's Cade Metz. Metz was granted a brief meeting with Apple executives on Wednesday afternoon where he handled and used the phone for the brief period, saying that the device was "an absolute revelation." "Seeing the device in action is one thing--but actually using it is another," Metz said. "Each application is impressive in its own right, from photo-management software to the Safari Web browser, but it's the overall touch-screen interface that takes the breath away."
Panasonic music server
It may not make much sense to buy several complete speaker systems for your home, and to that end there's the Panasonic SC-PTX7, being demonstrated at CES. At the core is the control unit, which houses an 80GB hard drive, to which you rip music from a CD/DVD combo drive. Owners can of course play music discs without copying them, and XM radio is supported as well. Local is sound is produced by two satellites and a subwoofer, operating in Dolby Virtual Surround; users can also buy separate self-contained systems, however, which connect to the PTX7 wirelessly from elsewhere in your home. The remote units have their own amplifiers and can select which audio source to use, whether it be XM, CD, or the hard drive. The release date of the PTX7 has yet to be announced, but it should sell for $799. [Via SCI FI Tech]
Sorenson Squish, SquishNet
Sorenson Media launched Sorenson Squish and its companion Web application Sorenson SquishNet, designed to enable seamless and cost-effective publishing and sharing of user-created video. Sorenson Squish is a Java-based Web application allowing users to drag-and-drop video into a Web page where it is automatically encoded within the browser, then uploaded to a Website all utilizing Sorenson's Squeeze Compression Suite technology. Both Sorenson Squish and Sorenson SquishNet will be available in February, with pricing for Squish starting at $1 per user with an annual minimum of $5,000 and SquishNet starting at $1.50 per user with an annual minimum of $7,500 (system requirements were unavailable).
New Seagate hard drives
Seagate has revealed an entirely new range of external hard drives dubbed FreeAgent at CES in Las Vegas which the company hopes will garner attention for style as well as usefulness. The FreeAgent Pro is a desktop drive intended for serious users who need to back up entire document folders or synchronize frequently with online accounts. Each drive stores 320GB, 500GB, or 750GB internally and includes Memeo backup software that can automatically upload stored photos to a Shutterfly account or to a Seagate Internet Drive -- a paid online backup service that stores 500MB or more of a subscriber's most important files. The device features dual FireWire 400 interfaces as well as USB 2.0 and external SATA ports, and is slated for shipment in February; Pro models will ship for between $200 (320GB) and $420 (750GB).
XM CommanderMT dash
XM Radio has decided to upgrade its Commander in-car faceplate with the CommanderMT, now showing at CES. Whereas the previous Commander had the tuner hardwired inside, the MT replaces it with an XM Mini-Tuner, which can be taken out of the dash and used in any XM Ready audio system, such home stereos or other vehicles. Notably, though, the MT may still require a professional installation due to changes to the FM modulator, mandated by the FCC. Both Commanders add XM support to any car's pre-existing FM radio system. [Via Orbitcast]
Harman/Kardon at CES
Harman/Kardon has unveiled a pair of devices that will ramp up competition with Apple's iPod at the CES trade show in Las Vegas, including the Drive + Play II for in-car music control and the Guide + Play GPS-500 global positioning system for navigation. The Drive + Play II represents a major upgrade to the earlier in-car music control adapter, universalizing the once iPod-only mounting kit to include direct menu navigation for other media players such as Microsoft's Zune, as well as most jukeboxes known to work with PlaysForSure music stores. The device includes a 3.5-inch screen that displays full color rather than the earlier monochrome, and features Harman Net, an expansion port system that optionally integrates the Bluetooth hands-free calling as well as Sirius satellite radio.
iPhone coming to Canada
Canadian cellular provider Rogers today said it intends to carry Apple's newly unveiled iPhone, according to company officials speaking with Web developer John Wiseman. While the company provided no specific release information for the Apple handset during Steve Jobs' MacWorld San Francisco keynote beyond the June release for Cingular subscribers in the U.S., the Canadian firm says it is already in the early planning stages to bring the device to its service, which is the largest GSM-based network in Canada. The phone will be available with either two- or three- year contracts -- potentially lowering the initial cost for long-term users versus the American two-year requirement -- but will also be linked to a data plan for the carrier's EDGE network. Rogers has not provided an official timeframe for the release of the iPhone in Canada, but the company has historically offered smartphones to Canadians between 6-8 months after the device is released in the U.S., placing an introduction roughly between late 2007 and early 2008. Versions for other major carriers such as Bell and Telus are unlikely in the foreseeable future given the lack of a CDMA equivalent, according to Electronista.
Seagate FreeAgent Drives
Storage developer Seagate at CES revealed a completely new range of external hard drives, dubbed FreeAgent, that it hopes will garner attention for style and usefulness alike. At the summit of the range is the FreeAgent Pro (pictured), a desktop drive intended for serious users who need to back up their entire document folders or synchronize frequently with online accounts. Each stores 320GB, 500GB, or 750GB internally and including Memeo backup software that can automatically upload stored photos to a Shutterfly account or to a Seagate Internet Drive, a paid online backup service that stores 500MB or more of a subscriber's most important files. Dual FireWire 400 interfaces as well as USB 2.0 and external SATA ports are built-in. The FreeAgent line will be available in February; Pro models will ship for prices between $200 (320GB) and $420 (750GB).
For less demanding backups, Seagate says it also offers the Desktop, a USB 2.0 drive storing between 250GB ($150) and 500GB ($250); the Go, a notebook-class drive that automatically syncs bookmarks, IM contact lists, and other information for Windows users in storage ranging between 80GB ($130) and 160GB ($190); and the Go Small, a 12GB microdrive with a retractable USB connector and the same features as its larger Go counterparts for a price of $140. A gallery of each drive line is available after the jump.
Patents, Miglia giveaway
In brief: The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office today published two Apple patent applications titled 'User interface for dynamically managing presentations' and 'User interface for presenting media information,' relating to the automatic recording, organization, update and display of presentations based on user access patterns and an interactive digital processing system-controlled graphical user interface that provides functionality for play back or other processing of time-based and still media data, respectively.... Miglia Technology is offering all Macworld visitors who attend its booth (#S204) a chance to win one of 25 prizes.... Macworld and Aspyr Media are preparing to co-host the seventh annual MacBowl -- an invitation-only Macintosh industry bowling competition and charity event to build a computer lab and support computer education in an at-risk public San Francisco elementary school -- tonight at Yerba Buena Bowl on 750 Folsom Street in San Francisco at 6:00 p.m. local time.... MacTech Magazine is hosting its 'Meet the Authors' event at Macworld in San Francisco, and has published a schedule of the publish authors' appearances at the Expo.... One avid Mac enthusiast has posted a poem entitled "Twas the Night Before Macworld."
Alienware m9750 laptop
Another upcoming offering from Alienware is the m9750, a 17-inch gaming laptop that manages to fit in two videocards. The cards are a pair of Nvidia Go 7950 GTXs, which have 512MB of RAM apiece. The duality theme continues through the computer with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of RAM, and twin hard drives that together hold up to 400GB. The machine also has a TV tuner, a full-sized numeric keypad, and a Blu-Ray drive for HD movie playback. The m9750 is only on display at the Consumer Electronics Show at the moment, but should be shipping to North America and Europe within the next few months. [Via Pocket-lint]
GPS w/two-way Internet
GPS units with Internet connections are nothing new, but the Dash Express is one of the first to have "two-way" Internet -- meaning files and data can be sent to the Express with or without a driver's request. The routing software, for instance, not only uses historical data to avoid traffic, but also the positions of other Dash-equipped cars. Owners can also have third parties send them an address via the web or Microsoft Outlook, and when it comes time to expand the Express' database, new maps are downloaded automatically. Users can search their area with Yahoo! Local to locate nearby points of interest. The Express is presently on display at CES, but my already be available in select regions of the United States. Check for availability.
DuraBook Core 2 Duo
Twinhead announced at CES that its DuraBook line of toughened notebooks would receive an upgrade to Intel's more recent dual-core processors. Originally introduced in 2006 with mobile Celeron and Pentium processors, the latest DuraBooks now have the option of Core Duo or Core 2 Duo processors and receive upgrades to storage and wireless: both the 13.3-inch widescreen D13RY and 14-inch standard-aspect D14RY ship in base trim with a 1.66GHz Core Duo, 60GB hard drives, and added support for 802.11a Wi-Fi to complement existing b/g options. Both systems retain the military-grade magnesium case design, which the company says is 20 times stronger than standard plastic. Pricing is unavailable, though Twinhead promises to ship both DuraBooks soon.
iPhone in Canada in 2008
Canadian cellular provider Rogers said today that it intends to carry the Apple's newly unveiled iPhone, according to company officials speaking with web developer John Wiseman. Although no specific release information was provided for the Apple handset during Steve Jobs' MacWorld San Francisco keynote beyond the June release for Cingular subscribers in the US, the Canadian firm says it is already in the early planning stages to bring the device to its service, which is the largest GSM-based network in Canada.
The phone will be available with either two- or three- year contracts -- potentially lowering the initial cost for long-term users versus the American two-year requirement -- but must also be linked to a data plan for the carrier's EDGE network. Rogers has not provided an official timeframe for the release of the iPhone in Canada. However, the company has historically offered smartphones to Canadians between six to eight months after the devices' release in the US, Wiseman says, placing an introduction roughly between late 2007 and early 2008. Versions for other major carriers such as Bell and Telus are unlikely in the foreseeable future given the lack of a CDMA equivalent, the web developer adds.
CrossOver Mac released
CodeWeavers has released CrossOver Mac, its software that enables Mac OS X users to install and use Microsoft Windows applications without actually installing Windows. CrossOver Mac offers an easy-to-use single-click interface that, once loaded, integrates seamlessly with Mac OS X, according to CodeWeavers. Mac users can simply click on Windows applications in the Finder to run them under Mac OS X, and the same applications are loaded similarly from their install disks. CrossOver Mac supports numerous popular Windows applications such as Microsoft Office; Microsoft Viseo and Project; Intuit's Quicken and QuickBooks; and games such as Half Life 2 and Prey. CrossOver Mac is priced at $60 for the download version or $70 for the CD version, requiring an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X.
Harman Kardon GPS and iPod
Audio accessory maker harman/kardon at CES introduced a pair of devices made for travelers. The Drive + Play II (pictured) represents a major upgrade to the earlier in-car music control adapter and universalizes the once iPod-only mounting kit to include direct menu navigation for other media players, including Microsoft's Zune and most jukeboxes known to work with PlaysForSure music stores. Its 3.5-inch screen now displays full color instead of the earlier monochrome and features Harman Net, an expansion port system that optionally integrates the Bluetooth hands-free calling and Sirius satellite radio. Software for the Drive + Play has also been revitalized to streamline listening during long trips: an owner can search a category with the wireless control knob, shift the emphasis of random playback towards diversity or similarity, or let the unit create dynamic channels that automatically include relevant songs. The company ships its second-edition car kit in March at a price of $400.
Click through for a photo as well as news of harman/kardon's first GPS unit.
PDF to InDesign converter
Recosoft has unveiled a new tool to convert PDF documents into fully editable InDesign files. The new PDF-to-InDesign conversion software operates as a plug-in for Adobe InDesign, allowing users to open PDF documents in InDesign as fully editable InDesign files. The new tool utilizes modern client-server computing technology to deliver optimal PDF document to InDesign conversion performance for both Mac and Windows systems, according to Recosoft. The plug-in accurately replicates a PDF document into an equivalent and editable InDesign file with paragraphs, graphics, and re-constructed tables for transparent PDF document recover and reuse within InDesign. Recosoft is previewing the new PDF to InDesign conversion tool at Macworld (booth #213), which is scheduled to ship in the second quarter of 2007 for an unspecified price.
iSale 4 released
Equinux has launched iSale 4, its complete eBay auctioning software that boasts full Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard compatibility. The latest revision of iSale includes new picture functions with manual picture scaling and cropping, allowing users to swap pictures between picture zones or drag pictures from Web browsers. iSale 4 supports the free Flickr online image hosing service, and includes advanced template functionality with a rewritten template chooser. The update includes more than 130 professionally designed templates that users can filter through a fast keyword system to select and combine keywords, such as collectibles and jewelry or electronics. Additionally, new templates load automatically as soon as they become available as a result of the new template update engine. iSale 4 offers enhanced support for defining default content for every text box in a template, and brings improved printing support. iSale 4 is due for release in the coming weeks, with new licenses priced at $40. iSale 3 users who purchased the software on or after December 1st of 2006 are eligible for a free upgrade.
PayGo 4.0 released
Christian James has released PayGo 4.0, a major update to its retail point-of-sale software that adds multi-store functionality and a completely redesigned interface. PayGo 4.0 uses syncing technology to support quick setup for syncing PayGo data with other stores via a PayGoNode Server. Each stores requires a broadband internet connection to communicate with the server, as well as other locations. The latest release also features a new matrix inventory creation tool, allowing users to view the performance of inventory as well as departments and vendors. The update includes new definable employee access privileges, custom menu screens for each employee, employee time card tracking, enhanced search capability that can save the most common find requests, and purchase order tools to aid in the ordering of products. PayGo 4.0 comes bundled with FileMaker Pro 8.5, which serves as its database engine. PayGo 4.0 requires Mac OS X (pricing and specific system requirements were unavailable).
BUG.tv CLASS-1 HD released
Broadcast Unifying Gears (BUG.tv) has released CLASS-1 HD (site not updated), its new pro-grade HD video server software for Mac OS X. The application enables Final Cut Pro users to play 1080p work directly to air without time-consuming file-format conversion via a simple drag-and-drop operation. Users program using BUG.tv's dynamic playlist builder application titled ListPlayer Pro with support for real-time, sequential, and systems or network triggered start-up actions. CLASS-1 HD also supports control protocols such as MOS, VDCP (Louth), API-based, and GPI. (BUG.tv's CLASS-1 HD is available now from Broadcast Unifying Gears (BUG.tv) and its authorized resellers (pricing was unavailable).
Alienware 7500 Quad-Core
Alienware this morning said it was one of the very first companies to introduce a system using Intel's new, more mainstream quad-core CPU. The Area-51 7500 is the first of the gaming PC builder's models to use the Core 2 Quad, a detuned version of the previously launched quad-core Xeon and Core 2 Extreme. The company says it will use the 2.4GHz Q6600 version of the chip to balance the difference between performance and cost. Other components of the system are similar to its previous update and include the option of as much as 4GB of RAM, dual GeForce 8800 GTX video cards, and a Blu-Ray drive. Alienware has not announced the upgrade price as of this posting but should set it $150-200 lower than the $3,219 price of the system when configured with the Core 2 Extreme four-core processor.
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