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News Archive for 07/01/26

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Refurb Mac Pros return to store from $2,199

01/26, 5:55pm

Refurb Mac Pros return

Reconditioned Mac Pro systems have returned to Apple's online store for as little as $2,199, offering cost-conscious professional shoppers a less expensive alternative to the company's brand new models with the same one-year warranty. Refurbished professional desktops currently include a 'low-end' system and a faster, pricier model. The refurbished Mac Pro Quad 2.66GHz Intel Xeon system is shipping with two 2.66GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors, 1GB of system memory, a 250GB 7200RPM SATA hard drive, and an NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT graphics card with 256MB of video memory for $2,199. The higher-end refurbished system is a Mac Pro Quad 3.0GHz Intel Xeon model with two 3.0GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors, 2GB of system memory, a 250GB 7200RPM SATA hard drive, and an ATI Radeon X1900 XT graphics card with 512MB of video memory for $3,299. Apple is also offering a refurbished Power Mac G5 Quad 2.5GHz with two dual-core 2.5GHz PowerPC G5 processors, 512MB of system memory, a 250GB SATA hard drive, and an NVIDIA GeForce 6600 graphics card with 256MB of video memory for $2,699. As always all Apple refurbished items come with free shipping.

Apps: KonaPDF; DiskLibrary; Yasu

01/26, 5:30pm

KonaPDF, DiskLibrary

    KonaPDF for QuarkXPress 1.2 ($16) is an AppleScript tool that generates PDF documents automatically using a folder of QuarkXPress documents. The latest edition is designed to better handle multi-page documents, particularly in terms of scope and reliability. KondaPDF for QuarkXPress 1.2 also includes support for Adobe Acrobat 7. [Download - Size Unknown]
    DiskLibrary 1.3 ($30) is a media cataloging program for Mac OS X Tiger with a special emphasis on CD and DVD content. Version 1.3 offers a drastically altered interface, as well as speed improvements for MP3 and RAW file cataloging. The latest revision also improves image metadata for improved accuracy. [Download - 1.5MB]
    Yasu 2.0.5 (donationware) automates a number of the maintenance tasks performed by System Administrators such as running cron scripts and clearing file caches. Yasu 2.0.5 is tailored specifically to Mac OS X Tiger with fixes for items such as an authorization window issue that could cause Yasu to freeze. [Download - 2.6MB]
    Graphic Inspector 1.0 (public beta) provides information about graphic files, and can locate problems according to user-defined criteria. Users can flag unwanted attributes in preflight, including everything from resolutions and file types to fonts and color profiles. The software requires Mac OS X 10.4.2 or later. [Download - 1.1MB]
    YummySoup! 1.0.3 ($20) is a recipe sharing and management application for Mac OS X Tiger made to resemble an email client. The latest version -- 1.0.3 -- strengthens the resemblance to an email client, and enables users to insert Mail-style splitters that keep their position between sessions. Users can toggle the full-screen mode for either the old Dark Gray style or the new Front Row format. [Download - 855KB]
    Twitterrific 1.1 (free) allows for quick reading and posting on the Twitter network, where users share what they've been doing in the world. Changes to the latest revision include bug fixes, new hotkeys, and a counter for the remaining characters available. Twitteriffic 1.1 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later. [Download - 304KB]

Vavolo four-in-one mouse

01/26, 5:15pm

Vavolo four-in-one mouse

Chinese company Vavolo claims to have a product which goes beyond other multifunction mice, offering not just two or three functions, but four. Despite its name, the PCPAL 3-in-1 can be used as a mouse, a keypad, a laser pointer and a remote control, the latter two functions being intended for digital slide (e.g. PowerPoint) presentations on Mac, PC and Linux machines. Controls include Start, Stop, Escape, Page Up/Down and more. The mouse slides into a PC Card slot when not in use. Mac and Linux requirements for the PCPAL haven't been specified, but Windows computers must be running 98SE or later. The product is on sale at the moment for $40.

Briefly: Review; Mac-filled basement

01/26, 5:10pm

Review, Mac basement

In brief: MacNN has reviewed PDO Aluminum V2 and N2 Cases ($25 and $30, shown at right), two separate protective cases for Apple's video iPod and second-generation iPod nano.... One Apple enthusiast has posted numerous photos of his basement which contains numerous Macs and Apple accessories including printers and monitors.... The Aperture Users Mailing list now has its own dedicated Web address, catering to post production photography users looking to communicate with one another.... Take Control Books has released the second edition of "Take Control of Mac OS X Backups," covering the latest changes in the backup scene while adding major new sections.... Thought Out is offering 25 percent off all its PED pedestal stands for Apple's iPods from now until January 31st....

Dell begins selling Vista PCs; systems to fall short?

01/26, 4:45pm

Dell Sells Vista PCs

Hoping to capture early adopters looking to try Microsoft's upcoming OS, Dell today announced that it would begin selling Vista-based systems as of this weekend, days ahead of the new Windows version's launch. The system builder said today that all of its desktop and notebook systems, while remaining the same as for their recent updates, would support running a minimum of Vista Home Basic. Most of the company's higher-end systems (such as the pictured XPS M1210) would also run Vista Home Premium or better versions without any changes, the company said.

Crucially, however, the company warned that much of its product line would require upgrades to use the media-centric version of its OS. The majority of Dimension, Inspiron, and Latitude computers all require upgrades to 1GB of memory and in some cases need a graphics card, Dell said. The computer company also suggested that ideal systems would require 2GB or more of memory as well as a 256MB dedicated video chipset and a dual-core processor.

While not unusual for computer makers in advance of the Vista launch, the Dell lineup reflects recent concerns by executives and professionals over rising prices for Windows systems as the disparity between levels of OS featues and hardware widens.

iSkin ships Duo 2G iPod nano case

01/26, 4:40pm

iSkin ships Duo Nano case

iSkin today began shipping its new Duo case for second-generation iPod nanos, which the company announced in early January at the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco. The Duo case protects Apple's second-generation iPod nano with a dual-layer design that combines a colored anodized impact-resistant VISOR with a shock absorbing silicone layer alongside a clear screen protector. The VISOR is metallic coated to resemble Apple's second-generation Nano, adding only 1.65mm to the player's overall thickness. The case ships with a bottom silicone docking port cover, a removable belt clip, a Universal Dock adapter to expand dock compatibility, and an iSkin adjustable lanyard. The Duo is available for $30.

Pros: Vista Media Center, media hubs flounder

01/26, 4:00pm

Media Centers Flounder

The version of Microsoft's Media Center software included with Vista has slim chances of conquering the living room during its lifespan, technology professionals said in a new survey published by financial news outlet SeekingAlpha. Responding to questions about Vista's chances of success as the underpinnings for a media hub, only 40 percent of the experts believed that its TV-oriented platform was good enough to wield a major influence in the home theater arena. A full 46 percent of that same audience saw either Media Center's interface or technical limits as enough to prevent it from ever gaining a foothold.

The apparent failure to win expert approval may be a sign of a timid response to media hubs and home theater PCs in general, SeekingAlpha's Paul Carton observed. Only 11 percent of all professionals in the survey expected the concept to explode in popularity in 2007, and 13 percent declined making any sort of prediction. This may cloud additional results that showed the Apple TV as front-runner, Carton noted, as the Cupertino-made hub may command what amounts to a niche market for the next one to two years.

Princeton announces 22-inch, speaker-equipped LCD

01/26, 3:05pm

Princeton 22-inch LCD

Japan's Princeton has just unveiled a new 22-inch LCD, the PTFSAF-22W, as one of its first Vista-ready computer displays. The screen is rare for its size in its use of chin-mounted speakers: two one-watt satellites at the bottom of the bezel deliver stereo sound for the space-conscious. Also unique is the contrast ratio: the firm claims a 1,000:1 contrast level, potentially rendering the display more vivid than the 800:1 models that currently dominate the market.

Response time is measured at the quick 5ms of newer 22-inch screens and is ideal for movies or games, Princeton said. The display is likewise flexible for input and has a DVI-D connector for newer computers as well as a fallback VGA connector for analog video. Models are set to arrive at the end of this month to match Vista's release and should sell for $438 in its native country. North American releases are possible but have not been announced.

Survey suggests Apple TV will succeed

01/26, 3:05pm

Survey, Apple TV

A survey conducted in mid-December of 2006 polling 228 consumer electronics industry professionals suggests that Apple's forthcoming Apple TV set-top-box media streaming device will succeed in the digital living room. The survey, which focused on the future of "media centers," found that industry respondents cited Apple as the media center manufacturer with the highest chance of mass market acceptance, according to Financial firm SeekingAlpha. Apple dominated responses from industry professionals, receiving a whopping 43 percent of the total responses. Other manufacturers in the study included Sony (with 14 percent), Microsoft (totaling 11 percent), TiVo (8 percent), and HP (7 percent). Samsung, Cisco, and Dell are also named in the study, with all three fetching four percent of responses. The remaining 17 percent of respondents chose "other" manufacturers as those most likely to succeed in the living room.

V-Gear debuts motion-tracking webcam

01/26, 2:35pm

V-Gear Auto Focus Webcam

V-Gear has just begun offering the Auto Focus Webcam. Designed for intelligence, its sensor automatically recognizes the subject in front of the camera and follows, dynamically tuning the focus and zoom to keep the target both centered and in clear view. The camera additionally ships with software that can be used to actively monitor either recognizable subjects, such as children and pets, or any motion in a given area for the sake of security.

The 1.3-megapixel CCD allows for full-speed videos at 640x480 as well as 15 frames per second videos and still photos at 1280x960; similarly flexible is the multi-purpose clip, which fastens the webcam to notebooks and LCDs but also serves as a desktop stand. V-Gear's camera exports from Britain today for $82. [via Tech Digest]

Google edges Apple for top global brand

01/26, 2:25pm

Google, YouTube brand rank

Results from a survey today revealed that Google has once again bested Apple for the top spot in global brand ranking. Additionally, YouTube soared to the no. 3 spot behind Apple with Wikipedia following right behind. The survey measures brand impact according to brandchannel readers, and makes no distinction between good or bad "impact." Apple notably retained its title in the U.S. and Canada by topping survey results as the brand that impacted voters most, trailed by video sharing website YouTube. Other newcomers to the list include MySpace (ranking 15th in North America) and Al Jazeera (taking the 19th spot globally). Starbucks seized the no. 5 worldwide ranking with Nokia and Skype trailing in sixth and seventh place, respectively.

Belch revamps carbon fiber iPod cases

01/26, 2:10pm

Carbon fiber iPod cases

Belch Co. has unveiled a new a series of redesigned Carbon Fiber iPod cases, presenting a modified look for an improved finished product. All of the company's cases are made with aerospace-grade carbon fiber to protect the portable players, and feature a sleek design to avoid creating excess bulk. The iPod slides in on the right side of the case as the left side -- made from a unique form of carbon fiber -- acts as a hinge. Protective tabs on the top and bottom keep the iPod secure, and provide full access to all controls and ports. Each case ships with three clear screen and clickwheel protectors, and the company says it may offer similar cases in colored kevlar in the future. Carbon fiber cases for 30GB video iPods are due to ship in roughly two weeks, and first-generation iPod nano versions are slated for release in about a month alongside an 80GB video iPod version. Second-generation iPod nano carbon fiber cases are priced at $50.

HP ships pair of thin-client PCs

01/26, 2:05pm

HP Thin Client PCs

HP this afternoon launched a pair of thin-client PCs for businesses, schools, and others that need only basics for their computers. The Compaq-branded t5135 and t5530 are scarcely larger than a paperback and contain no fans, HP said, making them small and quiet enough to hide behind a flat-panel screen or otherwise out of sight. Being thin clients, the devices only need enough memory and performance to reach the network and have no writable storage of their own: just enough flash memory is onboard to hold the OS, which saves all its settings on a central server.

The two models share the common platform of 128MB of RAM, 64MB of flash memory for the OS, and a Via Eden processor, with models split by performance and OS: the base t5135 uses a 400MHz CPU and Debian Linux, while the faster t5530 doubles the clock speed to 800MHz and runs Windows CE, giving it enough strength and support for media players and other more demanding tasks. The t5135 ships at the beginning of February for $199 and should be followed a month later by the t5530 in March for $299.

AllOfMP3 takeover may legalize efforts

01/26, 1:45pm

AllOfMP3 may go legal

Online music store AllOfMP3 -- which elected to close down after coming under fire from anti-piracy advocates -- could be subverted through a corporate buyout. Analysts indicate that an as yet unnamed "influential and wealthy" Russian tycoon has been pursuing the direct download shop and intends to legitimize its often questionable licensing scheme by taking control of the company. The businessman is working on behalf of music labels and publishers that believe AllOfMP3's extremely low-priced downloads skirt the edges of its home territory's law, according to Music Ally. If successful, the takeover would be followed by new licensing deals obtained directly from the labels themselves. [corrected]

Toshiba introduces five new laptops for Japan

01/26, 1:40pm

Toshiba laptops for Japan

Japan is receiving five new laptops from Toshiba, all of which are in lineups also available in North America. The Qosmio F30-78AW comes equipped with a 2GHz Core 2 Duo processor, as well as 2GB of RAM, a Multi DL DVD burner, and a GeForce GO 7300 videocard. The 15.4-inch screen is capable of resolutions up to 1280x800, which may prove useful, since a Regza digital TV tuner is built-in. Battery life is said to be 2.7 hours.

The remaining four laptops are in the Satellite series. The Satellite CXW is a lower-end model, shipping with just a Celeron M 430 processor, 512MB to 1GB of RAM, a Multi DL burner, and Windows Vista Home Basic. Likewise, its hard drive holds 80GB. The Satellite TXW 66AW is nearly identical, but has a larger screen (15.4 inches versus 14.1), and ups the RAM to as much as 2GB. The TXW 67AW adds a Core 2 Duo T5500, a GeForce 7600, and a 100GB hard drive; the 69AW is closest in performance to the Qosmio meanwhile, sharing its Core 2 Duo T7200 and a 120GB hard drive. No prices have been published. [Via Akihabara News]

Smart Loops releases SL Hip-Hop Kit

01/26, 1:25pm

SL Hip-Hop Kit released

Smart Loops today released the SL Hip-Hop Kit, a new drum sample set for use with leading Mac and PC software samplers. SL Hip-Hop Kit includes more than 350MB of 24-bit drum samples, providing the essential sounds used in today's Hip-Hop, Rap, R&B, Electronic, Pop and other music, according to Smart Loops. The set includes over 600 unique samples, with drum samples from dry and unprocessed to extreme FX. The kit is compatible with all major Mac and PC samplers, including Dimension Pro, Session Drummer 2, Rapture, EXS24, FL Studio, GigaSampler, GigaStudio, HALion, KONTAKT 2.2, Reason NN-XT, SFZ Player, VSampler and any other sampler that can load or import 24-bit WAV files. All included samples come in SFZ as well as WAV formats, and the SFZ format includes 478 Multisample Mappings -- complete kits, kick combinations, snare combinations, cymbals, toms, percussion, SFX, and more. The SL Hip-Hop Kit is available via digital download for $20 for a limited time, and the company is offering customers who purchase the new kit an additional SL Sample Set for $20.

AllOfMP3 to become legal through buyout?

01/26, 1:20pm

AllOfMP3 Buyout Claims

Infamous online music store AllOfMP3 maybe subverted through a corporate buyout, according to a report today by the research firm Music Ally. The analysts indicate that an as yet unnamed "influential and wealthy" Russian tycoon has been pursuing the direct download shop and intends to legitimize its often questionable licensing scheme by taking control of the company. The businessman is working on behalf of music labels and publishers that believe AllOfMP3's extremely low-priced downloads skirt the edges of its home territory's law, Music Ally's researchers claim. If successful, the takeover would be followed by new licensing deals obtained directly from the labels themselves.

The website has been the subject of intense legal pressure in recent months, which culminated in a large-scale lawsuit filed in the US this December. AllOfMP3 has repeatedly shaken off these attempts, indicating that it received its song licenses legitimately through a separate Russian agency.

OWC lowers ModBook, Quickview pricing

01/26, 1:10pm

OWC drops ModBook price

Other World Computing (OWC) has lowered the prices on its new Axiotron ModBook Mac OS X tablet solution, as well as its Maxtor Quickview 500GB SATA I/II 3.0G hard drive and its Mercury On-The-Go portable solutions. OWC is offering the Mac tablet at $2,200 for a limited time until February 1st with a free GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) receiver, a one-year OWC warranty, and free delivery in the U.S. The company's Maxtor Quickview 500 GB SATA I/II 3.0G Hard Drive is available for $135 boasting a 7200RPM A/V class drive with a 16MB buffer and a five-year warranty. Additionally, OWC is offering its Mercury On-The-Go portable FireWire 400/USB 2.0 hard drives with up to 200GB of storage space at discounted rates. Mercury On-The-Go drives are priced at $115 (40GB), $125 (60GB 5400RPM), $130 (80GB 5400RPM), $150 (60GB 7200RPM), $150 (100GB 5400RPM), $150 (120GB 5400RPM), $170 (80GB 7200RPM), $200 (100GB 7200RPM), and $220 (160GB 5400RPM). [corrected]

Pogo offers iPod-like YourWay MP3 radio recorder

01/26, 12:40pm

Pogo Radio YourWay LX

Pogo has entered the controversial realm of digital radio recording with the Radio YourWay LX, a tuner designed expressly to capture radio for those who frequently miss favorite shows. The Pogo device converts live programming into MP3 or WMA format and can be set in advance to record as many as ten separate events. Recording is also possible for line-in sources and through a built-in microphone. All of this is controlled through a unified iPod-like control wheel.

Because of the relatively low bitrate of radio, the recorder demands little memory for long sessions: the 128MB of built-in flash lasts for as much as 8.5 hours, Pogo says. Removable SD media extends this time to 70 hours on a 1GB card, and the quality is adjustable to up to 256Kbps for clearer sources. Playback itself is measured at 15 hours on a single charge. Online retailer C.Crane ships the Radio YourWay LX today for $200. [via Orbitcast]

Motorola Q2 in development

01/26, 12:25pm

Motorola Q2 in development

With the Q being one of the most popular smartphones, it may be no surprise that Motorola is producing a successor, to be known as the Q2. Though generally shrouded in secrecy, a leaked financial report (PDF) confirms its existence, and a member of HowardForums claims to have recently taken a photo, which can also be seen below. Performance of the phone is merely described as "fast," which is echoed by Motorola's official declaration of support for EVDO and HSDPA broadband. The Q2 will be officially revealed at the 3GSM World Congress in February.

Evergreen HDMI hubs with remote control

01/26, 11:35am

Evergreen HDMI hubs

HDMI hubs are becoming increasingly useful to wealthier home theatre enthusiasts, but few of them have a remote control, like the EG-HDMI201 by Evergreen. An infrared receiver on the hub is good up to 4.6 feet, letting owners switch between the two ports on the device without standing up. This also means that the hub can be kept relatively concealed, though it still requires line-of-sight to receive commands. Demanding users can upgrade to three-port or five-port variants. Shanghai Donya is selling the HDMI201 for 9,980 yen ($82), the 301 for 29,980 yen ($248), and the 501 for 39,980 yen ($330).

Genus ships DVD-quality VIZO media player

01/26, 11:15am

Genus VIZO Media Player

An electronics maker named Genus today surprised many by releasing the VIZO, a low-cost media player that claims unusually high-quality video playback. When connected to a TV, the VIZO will play videos as large as 720x576 at their native resolution and speed. The extra resolution not only works with NTSC and PAL sets but even lets many AVI, MPEG-1/2/4, DivX, and VOB videos transfer directly to the player without first being converted, Genus said.

Audio support is common and includes MP3, OGG, and Windows Media files, but the company adds that up to 6.3-megapixel photos are supported without having to resize images. Video playback will last up to 4 hours on the internal battery while music is rated for 10 hours. The VIZO keeps its cost low by storing 1GB of flash, and as a result ships today for $52. [via Pocket Lint]

Vista draws fire in Europe prior to release

01/26, 11:00am

Vista draws fire in Europe

Microsoft has yet to release its forthcoming Office 2007 software and Windows Vista operating system -- which will compete with Apple's Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard release due in the spring -- but both of Microsoft's suites are already subject to formal complaints by competitors, according to one report. Several chief rivals to Microsoft's core Office and Windows businesses -- including Adobe, Corel, RealNetworks, and Linux distributor Red-Hat -- petitioned the European Commission and argued that the Redmond developer was about to repeat the same anti-competitive mistakes that resulted in a 500-million Euro fine in March of 2004. The attention focused on both the XAML and OOXML formats built into Vista and Office respectively, according to Reuters. While technically based on open standards, the two file formats are only designed to work best on systems using Windows and Office, the group said, potentially shutting out some users from work documents or even websites.

Microsoft draws EU complaints over Office, Vista

01/26, 10:50am

Microsoft in EU Vista Row

Though Microsoft has yet to release its highly anticipated Windows Vista and Office 2007 suites, both are already subject to official complaints by competitors, according to Reuters. Petitioning the European Commission, several chief rivals to Microsoft's core Office and Windows businesses -- including Adobe, Corel, RealNetworks, and Linux distributor Red-Hat -- argued that the Redmond developer was about to repeat the same anti-competitive mistakes that had ultimately resulted in a 500-million Euro fine in March of 2004.

The attention focused on both the XAML and OOXML formats built into Vista and Office respectively. While technically based on open standards, the two file formats are only designed to work best on systems using Windows and Office, the group said, potentially shutting out some users from work documents or even websites.

The EC has said that it will look into the allegations and is already inclined to support the allegations. Microsoft had "clearly chosen to ignore the fundamental principles" of the 2004 decision and was poised to use XAML to try and control the Internet, according to a spokesman for the European Committee for Interoperable Systems. The 2004 ruling saw Microsoft forced to release Europe-only versions of Windows XP without Windows Media Player after RealNetworks complained that the jukebox software's inclusion stifled its hopes of competing with the OS giant.

Nano adds advanced software update engine

01/26, 10:45am

Nano 1.2 released

RefNum Software has released Nano 1.2, a major update to its open-source C++ framework for developing modern high-performance Carbon applications. Nano 1.2 adds an advanced Software Update engine built around RSS that allows users to view release notes, download updates, and upgrade software from within a running application. The latest revision also includes more than 50 improvements and bug fixes related to HTTP support, XML parsing, PCRE-based regular expressions, thread locks, and additional control over WebKit views. The framework provides an HIG-compliant application and document model; C++ wrappers around every HIToolbox view; one-line-undo functionality; built-in support for software updates; and an improved interface builder. Nano allows developers to create full-featured 64-bit "clean" Universal Binaries with minimal effort using the C++ language, according to refNum (system requirements were unavailable).

Hasselblad unveils 31 megapixel H3D-31

01/26, 10:25am

Hasselblad unveils H3D-31

Camera maker Hasselblad today unveiled the H3D-31, a new mid-range addition to the company's line of H3D cameras. The new model is designed to strike a balance between the absolute fidelity of the flagship H3D-39 and the relatively low cost of the H3D-22, achieving its namesake 31 megapixels with a smaller 44mm x 33mm sensor as opposed to the original 48mm x 36mm lens of its 39-megapixel peer. The smaller size allows more images on a Compact Flash card or hard drive as well as a faster time to capture full-size uncompressed images with as little as 1.2 seconds between shots, according to Electronista. The H3D-31 is intended for professionals at a price of $25,000 but is priced considerably lower than the H3D-39, priced at $32,000.

More confirmation of the Nokia E65?

01/26, 10:20am

Nokia E65 confirmed?

New information has emerged about the Nokia E65, all but confirming the development of the smartphone, first reported earlier this month. Click below to see the new photo. What may still be up in the air are the phone's specifications, as the new ones conflict somewhat with the old. Features like WiFi, Bluetooth and the 352x416, 16M-color display are intact, but the internal memory has been raised to 70MB, and it may well connect with a standard USB 2.0 cable, though a POP port remains a possibility. Additional figures mention support for Bluetooth 2.0 and IRDA (infrared) connections, as well as the particular brand of WCDMA broadband being UMTS. The operating system will be Symbian S60 9.1, running Feature Pack 1. The phone is expected to be announced at the 3GSM World Congress next month in Barcelona. [Via Ubergizmo]

Rabidlab releases Dodge That Anvil!

01/26, 10:10am

Dodge That Anvil! released

Independent game developer Rabidlab today released its first downloadable title, Dodge That Anvil!. The new release draws inspiration from classic cartoons and "platform" games, designed to provide a wild and unique action gaming experience for both Mac OS X and Windows users. Players assume the role of the Harvester of Eastwarren, the only rabbit brave enough to face the perilous anvil storm plaguing the countryside. "Supported by Rabbit Research Labs and their array of practical gadgets, the young Harvester zigs and zags across all the lands of Eastwarren in search of the answers that will end the mysterious rain of anvils once and for all." Dodge That Anvil! features more than 40 levels and three distinct modes of play. The game requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later, and is priced at $20.

Digital Cowboy brings telephoto lens to webcams

01/26, 10:00am

DC Telephoto Zoom Webcam

Digital Cowboy this morning unveiled a unique webcam dubbed the DC-NCP130. Seeking to overcome the limited digital zoom which has become ubiquitous in webcams, the company has built an iSight-like camera with a mountable telephoto lens. When attached, the add-on brings 7X optical zoom to the otherwise static camera, allowing it to magnify distant subjects without losing detail. The option can be used for anything from observing wildlife to home security, according to the firm. A removable tripod is bundled to maintain a steady image.

At its core is a 1.3-megapixel sensor capable of 1280x1024 video at 15 frames per second, with a full 30 frames per second achievable at 640x480; the camera connects to a computer through USB and is said to integrate easily with Yahoo Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, and other IM clients. The NCP130 goes on sale in its native Japan for $81 as of early February. [via Cnet]

RAZR V3xx now available at AT&T, brings 3G wireless

01/26, 9:30am

RAZR V3xx at ATT

AT&T (formerly Cingular) today added the RAZR V3xx to its phone range, adding a new device to the still small list of 3G wireless phones available in North America. The V3xx primarily brings HSDPA Internet access to Motorola's iconic phone, allowing it to connect to the highest-speed services available in some cities served by the US carrier. The thin handset also brings with it UMTS support for connecting to some Internet providers in Europe and also has legacy support for EDGE. A 1.3-megapixel camera with 8X digital zoom is present, as is Bluetooth with support for A2DP audio as well as using the phone as a modem for a nearby computer.

The phone is available today by itself for $230, but is discounted to $80 when attached to a two-year contract. This makes it one of the least expensive 3G phones available, AT&T said.

Hasselblad intros 'mid-range' 31-megapixel camera

01/26, 8:50am

Hasselblad 31MP Camera

Medium format camera maker Hasselblad on Friday updated its range-topping H3D camera with a new, mid-range version called the H3D-31. The Swedish firm hoped to strike a balance between the absolute fidelity of the flagship H3D-39 and the relatively low cost of the H3D-22, achieving its namesake 31 megapixels with a smaller 44mm x 33mm sensor versus the original 48mm x 36mm lens of it 39-megapixel peer. The smaller size both allows more images on a CF card or hard drive as well as a faster time to capture full-size uncompressed images, with as little as 1.2 seconds between shots.

The new sensor provides an advantage in sensitivity not seen in other H3D cameras, Hasselblad said. The 31 model reaches ISO 800 instead of the ISO 400 of the other models, making it a better choice than any of its fellow models for low-light photography. The H3D-31 is intended for professionals at a price of $25,000 but is priced considerably lower than the $32,000 of the H3D-39. The camera is available beginning today.

Motorola preps Ferrari edition RAZRmaxx

01/26, 8:15am

Moto RAZRmaxx Ferrari

Motorola this morning revealed a special, Ferrari-badged edition of the RAZRmaxx. Known as the RAZRmaxx V6 Ferrari Challenge Mobile Phone Limited Edition, the clamshell handset not only displays the Italian supercar maker's logo but also switches to an appropriately red lighting scheme for its backlights. The sound of the V8 engine from Ferrari's F1 car is timed to play when the phone is turned on or of; custom wallpaper and a collection of 30 photos of the F430 and Ferrari Challenge cars are preloaded as well.

The RAZRmaxx was chosen for the makeover due to its already high speed, Motorola said, which is represented by its support for 3.6Mbps HSDPA broadband. A 2-megapixel rear camera and forward-facing VGA camera remain unchanged from the original model. Motorola plans to deliver the RAZRmaxx V6 internationally on the 29th for 490 ($636) before service plan discounts. A full photo is available after the jump.

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