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News Archive for 07/02/05

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MS warns of Excel 'zero-day' attack

02/05, 7:20pm

Excel 'zero-day' attack

Microsoft last week began warning users of new "zero-day" attacks using a vulnerability in Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac as well as Microsoft Office 2000, Microsoft Office XP, and Microsoft Office 2003. Specifically, the attack exploits a flaw Excel spreadsheet component of the business software suite and is rated as "extremely critical" by security firm Secunia, but Microsoft on Friday said that users are vulnerable if they open a any malicious Office file, indicating it may affect other components as well. "While we are currently only aware that Excel is the current attack vector, other Office applications are potentially vulnerable," the company said in a Microsoft Security Advisory posted to its website. Ironically, the warning comes days after Microsoft chairman Bill Gates attacked Mac security.

Apps: PackRat, Advanced Link Manager

02/05, 6:00pm

PackRat, ProjectForum

    PackRat 1.0 ($25) is a companion program for Backpack -- an online scheduling tool -- that lets users view and edit content offline, uploading to Backpack when a connection is available and no changes are in progress. The software records and synchronizes all changes, requiring Mac OS X 10.4 or later. [Download - 3.3MB]
    Advanced Link Manager 3.3 ($60) tracks inbound links to websites, identifying their sources and what they contain. Version 3.3 introduces several aids including context help, quick actions, and the Advanced Link Manager Assistant. The software also identifies search engines currently reporting each link. [Download - 14.1MB]
    ProjectForum 5.3 ($50) is a wiki collaboration program aimed primarily at developers. The software can operate behind a firewall while offering support options such as SSL, version control, and authentication. The latest revision (version 5.3) adds a custom link feature, enabling the use of outside content such as images or "Web 2.0" applications. [Download - 1.83MB]
    Ishmael 1.3 ($30) combines narration with still images or PDF files to produce a final QuickTime video clip. The update supports creating export sets that serve as groupings of slides with custom movie preferences. Saved recordings use the Apple Core Audio Format (CAF), and users can refresh sources without reloading the Ishmael document. [Download - 2.9MB]
    PDFtoMusic 1.0 ($40) plays musical scores in PDF files, and supports singing the lyrics or isolating components such as a soprano section. Applets called the Melody and Harmony Assistants allow users to alter a score by removing, transposing, or rearranging what is seen. PDFtoMusic Pro ($200) allows exporting to the MusicXML format. [Download - 10MB]
    Shades 1.0 ($15) introduces a new pane to the Apple Color Picker, displaying grids of related colors in addition to the standard scales. The program also uses HSB (Hue Saturation Brightness) coordinates, rather than RGB (Red, Green, and Blue). Users can add colors picked through Shades to any software's color palette. [Download - 1.4MB]

Holland Electro table melds furniture, home theater

02/05, 5:45pm

HE Theatre table/AV system

The Dutch company Holland Electro has unveiled a new home theater system which is actually built into a side table, much as radios and television were built into cabinets in the past. The design is by the legendary Marcel Wanders, who has also created products for Boffi, Flos, Poliform and Droog Design. Inside is a DVD player, a 30W subwoofer and 25W speakers, which are augmented by a set of four 5W "pebbles" that provide 5.1 surround sound. A number of media formats are supported including DivX. Theatre sets are selling for €299 ($387) from the HE online shop. [Via Crave]

Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst released

02/05, 5:20pm

MCF: Ravenhearst released

Big Fish Games today released Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst, the third game in the popular Mystery Case Files series. "Rumors surrounding the history of stately Ravenhearst Manor have circulated for decades. The recently acquired diary of Emma Ravenhearst may hold the key to unraveling the history of this unsettling place, yet the pages are missing." Players assume the role of Master Detective to unlock secrets held within Ravenhearst, scouring 32 rooms in the manor for cleverly-hidden clues. Locating and assembling diary pages helps tell the history of the house, and ultimately unlock the mystery. Features include 32 new unique rooms, dozens of puzzles to solve, thousands of hidden objects, and changing levels that enhance replay value. Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst is available for $20 from Macgamestore.com, and requires Mac OS X (specific system requirements were unavailable).

BenQ develops concept bendable, touchscreen phones

02/05, 5:00pm

BenQ Concept Phones

BenQ's design house Product Visionaries has just revealed a series of concept phones that point to company's future design direction. Foremost among them is the as yet unnamed touchscreen concept (shown). Dominated by a large display as with the iPhone, the demonstration model uses a sliding control panel to change its control method: bringing the pad to the middle converts the interface into a traditional phone design, while sliding it back creates extra room for videos or other music files.

Other examples produced from BenQ include a completely bendable model, whose snake-like shape could wrap around its owner's wrist, and an angular model with asymmetric keys and a display that can both tilt and swivel independently of the main body. The designs are not anticipated for a near-future release but are said to be based on real, achievable designs. Click through for a gallery. [via Portable Gadgets]

Ampede releases WebLink, PDFLink 2

02/05, 5:00pm

WebLink, PDFLink 2 ship

Ampede today introduced WebLink -- a Motion FxPlug plug-in and Safari SIMBL plug-in -- as well as PDFLink 2 -- the company's second-generation PDF plug-in designed as a Universal Binary to run natively on Intel-based Macs. WebLink and Safari SIMBL together allow motion graphics artists to export any Web page from Safari as a "pixel-perfect" WebLink, which Motion users can import for further animating. WebLink adds a new command in Safari's File menu titled "Export as WebLink..." that archives the current Web page exactly as it is seen, including attributes such as browser width and stylesheets. The companion FxPlug generator plug-in for Motion imports the WebLink and controls its horizontal as well as vertical scrolling. PDFLink 2 is a fully-integrated Final Cut Pro generator plug-in that renders vector content from PDF and Adobe Illustrataor files frame-by-frame. WebLink is available for $100, and PDFLink 2 is priced at $100.

Vista confusion may aid Mac OS X

02/05, 4:30pm

Confusion to aid Mac OS X?

Microsoft's recently-released Windows Vista -- which some industry watchers claim to be a blatant copy of Apple's Mac OS X operating system -- could end up helping the Cupertino-based company accumulate market share. Digit reports that Microsoft is losing consumer operating system market share to Apple for numerous reasons, with complication serving as the primary factor. Microsoft chose to release a total of 10 versions of Windows Vista at launch, confusing customers and experts alike about the differences between the various editions. Upgrade versions of Vista are "poison," according to Digit, because the requirements for each edition vary and demand an existing installation of Windows 2000 or Windows XP. Users hoping to reinstall Windows Vista on a freshly-formatted hard drive are forced to install Windows twice, and future hardware configurations may fail to support Windows XP to render the Vista upgrade versions useless.

Verizon lists Samsung's budget U340 cameraphone

02/05, 4:25pm

Samsung U340 at Verizon

In addition to this morning's Strawberry Chocolate, Verizon has also brought Samsung's U340 clamshell to its catalog. Ostensibly a budget phone, the Samsung still carries with it features usually reserved for slightly more advanced devices, including a VGA camera, an external 96x96 display, and basic Internet services like e-mail and instant messaging. It also has its own unique software feature: its emergency contact list is available at all times -- even when the phone is locked, Verizon writes.

Price is considered the phone's strongest selling point; available today, the U340 is currently free when tied to a two-year service plan and a $30 rebate.

GSO offers up router for cautious parents

02/05, 3:55pm

GSO XGate Router

Global Security One has announced the XGate, a router with its own unique parental controls. Instead of simply monitoring access time and blocking individual sites, the network switch uses an intelligent system to flag keywords sent across instant messaging, web-based chatrooms, and other text-based online arenas prone to exploits by sexual predators. The router's owner can then be notified by e-mail or an SMS text message that will warn of the chat and even let a worried parent silently eavesdrop on the conversation. Software onboard the XGate will even scan for viruses and spam e-mail before it reaches the computer much as with a corporate router, the company adds.

A four-port Ethernet switch and a built-in ADSL modem let the device serve as the sole piece of networking equipment in a family's home. GSO sells the router for $196 in the UK and offers a free year's worth of daily virus upgrades with the purchase. [via SlashGear]

Microsoft releases self-branded notebook bags

02/05, 3:15pm

Microsoft Notebook Bags

In a rare move for the software developer, Microsoft today introduced its own line of over-the-shoulder notebook bags meant to help promote the launch of Windows Vista. The Madison, Manhattan, and Monticello are designed by Samsill with women in mind and have a padded sleeve that accepts portables with displays as large as 15.4 inches. A separate compartment is provided for power adapters and other accessories likely to follow the computer around; the Monticello adds external pouches for pens annd other quick-access items. Zippers over the bags and their sleeves help keep the contents safe.

Microsoft's bags all have a leather-like black vinyl the company says are suited to professionals and ship on February 15th at prices of $60, $70, and $50 respectively. [via Shiny Shiny]

Apps: Doom 3, Valentina, Eureka!

02/05, 2:50pm

Doom 3, Valentina, Eureka!

    Doom 3 1.3.1 Rev A ($50) is the latest version of id Software's horror-themed first-person shooter. The revision fixes a physics crash and reduces stalling due to DNS lookups. The update also resolves issues related to downloading PAK files. The game requires Mac OS X 10.3.8, a computer with a 1.5GHz CPU, and an ATI or Nvidia graphics card with at least 64MB of memory. [Download - 11.68MB]
    Valentina 2.5.5 ($60) represents the newest version of both the Valentina database software and Valentina Office Server. The update improves database dumps from mySQL AB, and Office Server ($300) includes support for Ruby on Rails. [Download - 32.77MB]
    Eureka! Personal Edition 1.1.2 ($25) is a file search and management tool that sorts files into user-defined categories, rather than those predefined by Mac OS. The update includes graphics and GUI fixes for problems window stretching, and integrates help information directly into the software. [Download - 2.37MB]
    Dragster 1.0.2 ($20) is a file transfer utility that sits in the Dock, designed to replace or complement existing FTP clients. Users simply drag files to the icon and select one of a number of shortcuts. Version 1.0.2 fixes a bug that blocked connections to Windows File Sharing servers, and the software requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later. [Download - 6.66MB]
    SafariSpeed 2.1 ($8) aims to improve the speed of Apple's Safari Web browser, eliminating unnecessary caching as well as the one-second page-loading delay. The latest revision adds further code improvements, and lays the groundwork for future localizations scheduled in an upcoming patch. The application should work with any Mac that supports Safari, according to the developer, but achieves the best results with broadband connections. [Download - 2.5MB]
    Dominoes 4.0 ($20) combines several iterations of the classic tabletop game, from Draw and Block up to Matador and Mexican Train. The latest release is a Universal Binary that runs natively on Intel-based Macs, and bases the graphics engine on Apple's Quartz technology. Dominoes 4.0 requires Mac OS X 10.3 or higher. [Download - 1.6MB]

First roll-up display device to debut next week

02/05, 2:50pm

Cellular-Book

Polymer Vision and Telecom Italia on Monday unveiled what they said is the world's first handheld to have a rollable display. Called the CELLULAR-BOOK, the device will use a polymer 5-inch screen that completely folds into the main body when not in use. As opposed to e-book readers and other devices most likely to use the technology, however, the CB is built for live information as well as static text: news, real-time maps, and weather will be available through EDGE or UMTS mobile broadband as well as data broadcasts over Europe's DVB-H towers. Books and other text can even be purchased directly through Telecom Italia's broadband network, the two companies add. Music playback will also be an option.

The entire device is controled through a unique, touch-sensitive strip an should last for a long ten days between battery charges courtesy of the display's low power draw, Polymer Vision says. A model with 4GB of built-in flash will make its first appearance at next week's 3GSM conference in Barcelona. Telecom Italia will be the sole carrier of the communicator in its home country, though Polymer Vision has not ruled out launches in other territories. [via Mobile Mag]

LG prepares low-cost GPS unit

02/05, 2:35pm

LG prepares LN505 GPS unit

Coming in February is the LN505, a new GPS unit from LG. The product is clearly aimed at a more affordable price bracket, having just a 276MHz processor, and none of the music or video abilities of some of its rivals. It can however display BMP, GIF and JPEG images, and comes with a 512MB of ROM, as well as an SD slot and a Mini-USB 1.1 port. The onboard software is Destinator 6, which pulls its data from a SiRFstar III receiver with a built-in antenna. The display is a 3.5-inch QVGA touchscreen with 260,000 colors. LG is currently targeting the product at France, but it seems likely to spread to other countries by the end of the year. The French price is set at €199 ($258).

Denon intros its first home earbuds, headphones

02/05, 2:10pm

First Denon Earphones

Longtime home stereo maker Denon today said it would branch out into portable audio, dramatically expanding from its single DJ-oriented HP1000 to a total of six models aimed at portable media players and home listening alike. The AH-C350K ($50, pictured) and AH-C700K ($200) are both geared towards portable audio and share an Acoustic Optimizer technique for bass enhancement on the low-power drivers; the C700K improves over its basic equivalent by replacing the plastic shell with a longer aluminum casing that helps better reproduce sound, according to the company. The two earbud sets will ship February 10th in black or white for the C350K, and black or silver for the premium C700K.

Three headphones are also expected. The AH-D1000 ($150) bridges the divide between portable and studio-style headphones with a lighter, smaller design; in contrast, the larger AH-D2000 ($350) and AH-D5000 ($700) are meant to replace dedicated speakers. The D5000 in particular uses a mahogany wooden shell that improves the overall sound, Denon claims. Each of the D-series headphones has a microfiber diaphragm that cuts down on distortion. The firm will ship all three at the same time as the earbuds and is accepting pre-orders today through Amazon. [via Crave]

New Sony headphones for portable players

02/05, 1:50pm

New Sony headphones

Sony has introduced two new sets of headphones intended for portable music players. At the top end is the MDR-Q68LW, which has an output of 108dB/mW, and can span frequencies between 16Hz and 24KHz. The earpieces weigh only 1.5 ounces, and are also just 0.6 inches thick. Slightly less powerful is the Q38LW, producing 104dB/mW and cutting off the bottom frequenies at 20Hz. It is even lighter however at 1.3 ounces, and comes in six different color combinations. The 68LW also comes in six versions (black, white, silver, blue, red and cream), but only features black trim, instead of the red, white and orange options with the 38LW. Buttons on each of the sets will recoil the audio cable automatically. Prices were unavailable at press time. [Via Akihabara News]

LG Philips demos LED-lit LCDs, hints at Apple model

02/05, 1:20pm

LG Philips LED-Lit LCDs

The display-making partnership LG-Philips LCD used its presence at the recent ICDL expo to demonstrate a slew of new LCD panels with LED backlights. As with a similar presentation by Samsung, the line ranges from small displays to larger models intended for TVs, all of which take advantage of LEDs to improve brightness and power efficiency compared to today's lamp-lit screens. Models will start with 7- and 8-inch screens but will also involve 15.4-inch notebook variants as well as 26- and 47-inch HDTV models, the company said. The larger models in particular will have exceptional color fidelity, achieving as much as 136% of the NTSC color gamut with the 26-inch version. An official production date for the range hasn't been revealed but should follow within the next few months.

In a surprise move, an Apple Cinema Display was also on display at LG-Philips' booth during the conference, prompting questions about the presence of the American-branded product. While the display may have been used solely for comparison purposes, its placement at an LED-only conference as a demo unit points towards an eventual update of one or more Apple monitors with the enhanced backlight. A second photo of the LG-Philips screens as well as the Cinema Display follows after the jump. [via AVING]

XNET iSoftPhone has new iPhone-like theme

02/05, 1:15pm

iPhone-like iSoftPhone

Xnet Communications has released iSoftPhone, an easy-to-use internet phone for Mac OS X using VoIP (Voice over IP) technology to provide full compatibility with clear voice quality with a sleek interface. A one-step configuration allows users to begin talking to others in seconds, according to the company, by simply dialing the number of the desired party or selecting them from an integrated Address Book. Users can create private telephone networks by adding multiple SIP providers, and the application is a Mac-only implementation built on a telephony engine. iSoftPhone is priced at $100, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.

Etri router promises ranges up to 3,281 feet

02/05, 1:10pm

Router WiFi up to 3,281ft.

The ability to roam is a primary advantage of WiFi, and to that end, Korean maker Etri has announced a new WiFi router with extreme range. The company's Wireless AP product can broadcast to distances between 100 meters and a full kilometer, which translates to 3,281 feet. This is several times the distance of a conventional router. The Etri product can reach speeds of up to 270Mbps, and encrypts its signals so that it can't be accessed by the greater number of third parties it reaches. The company has also announced a similar router, but with shorter range and 240Mbps transfer. No tentative dates or prices have been discussed.

Centrify debuts DirectControl for Mac OS X

02/05, 12:50pm

DirectControl for Mac OS X

Centrify today debuted DirectControl for Mac OS X, a SmartCard Login Option that enables Mac users to join Microsoft Active Directory environments that require two-factor authentication via smart cards. The solution supports the Department of Defense Common Access Cards (CAC) standard, used throughout the DoD and related agencies to authenticate both military personnel and contractors to systems. The Centrify DirectControl for Mac OS X SmartCard Login Option enables users to log in to any DirectControl-enabled system without requiring any special user configuration on the local system, because all authentication and access control data is stored in Microsoft Active Directory. Centrify DirectControl for Mac OS X is priced at $60 per workstation, and the SmartCard Login Option is available for $30 per workstation. The solutions are slated for release in March.

Ramos develops iPod nano clone

02/05, 12:40pm

Ramos iPod nano Clone

Ramos today revealed the Q13, its latest entry into the music player field. Unabashedly influenced by the second-generation iPod nano, the flash-based player is actually slightly thinner than its Apple reference point and adds video support to its music and photo abilities. Its 1.5-inch LCD is also closely matched to that of the nano.

Few exact details have been released beyond the initial announcement, though the company notes that its base model will ship with 1GB of flash memory and should be available first in China. A full size image of the Q13 can be found after the jump. [via The MP3 Players]

Nokia: iPhone will stimulate market

02/05, 12:25pm

Nokia on iPhone, market

Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo this week said he doesn't think his company needs to change its business practices as a result of Apple's iPhone, but said the Cupertino-based company's entry into the cellular handset business will clearly stimulate the market. "The fact that we will see multipurpose devices from many manufacturers, I think it will be good for the industry," Kallasvuo said. "And in that way, I very much welcome [Apple to the market]." Samsung however believes Apple's iPhone -- touted as 'revolutionary' by CEO Steve Jobs during his keynote speech at Macworld in January -- offers few features that are innovative or new, according to the Associated Press. "They're just jumping into the party where everyone else is," said Peter Skarzynski, senior vice president at Samsung's telecommunications unit in North America."

Car visor integrates TV, DVD, and MP3

02/05, 12:05pm

Car visor w/TV, DVD, MP3

While in-car entertainment systems are nothing new, the newest one from GadgetUniverse is unique in that instead of mounting to the dash or the roof, it replaces an existing sun visor. It's controlled through the seven-inch, 16:9 touchscreen, and can play standard CDs and DVDs, as well as VCDs, MP3 CDs, and CD-R or CD-RW discs. Files can also be played using an SD card or a USB connection. Should that not be enough, FM radio and analog TV can be picked up with built-in receivers. The player is selling for $300 without a warranty. [Via CrunchGear]

Ghost Action aids organization, productivity

02/05, 12:05pm

Ghost Action 1.0 released

Ghost Park Software has released Ghost Action 1.0, a Mac application designed to help users get organized, increase productivity, and make better use of time. The software offers various views of to-do items, grouping them according to context or project. A project view is designed for planning the next action for projects, while a context view offers users an overview of tasks at the current context -- which refers to locations or situations such as home or work. Ghost Action features full two-way synchronization with iCal, offering support for synchronization of to-dos to any iSync-compatible device such as a phone or PDA. The application is priced at $20, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.

My Book offers USB 2, eSATA external storage

02/05, 11:25am

USB 2, eSATA My Book

Western Digital today announced that its new My Book Premium ES Edition external hard drive offers eSATA and USB 2.0 connectivity to transfer data at higher speeds while expanding compatibility. "Virtually all motherboards shipped today include the SATA interface for internal drives and many PCI cards are available to connect eSATA hard drives to PCs and Macs," said Western Digital." An increasing number of motherboard manufacturers are incorporating support for eSATA connector ports." The My Book Premium ES Edition is designed in a book shape with a small footprint, requiring no CD to install by including software that loads from the drive the first time it is plugged in. An intelligent drive management system dubbed "SmartPower" automatically powers the device on and off with the computer, and a "Safe Shutdown" feature ensures data is saved before shutting down, according to Western Digital. My Book Premium ES is available in 320GB ($180) and 500GB ($230) capacities.

Palm tweaks Treo 750 with HSDPA broadband

02/05, 11:15am

Palm Treo 750 HSDPA

Smartphone maker Palm this morning revealed a new, unlocked version of the Treo 750 that adds HSDPA. The change makes the new phone the first from the company to support 3G wireless and gives it downstream Internet speeds as quick as 3.6Mbps, far exceeding the existing EDGE and UMTS connections available before.

The introduction also represents the first time the phone has been widely available in Europe, ending an exclusive deal for the Treo 750 struck with Vodafone in the Fall of last year. Palm's latest phone works with any GSM-based cell network and can be purchased unlocked for Ł429 ($944) in the continent. A US launch is probable given the phone's support of US networks and Cingular's existing use of the 2.5G-based Treo 750.

InterGate Mail Service combats spam, viruses

02/05, 11:10am

InterGate Mail Service

Vicomsoft today launched InterGate Mail Service, a managed email filtering service designed for corporate networks of any size to protect against spam as well as viruses for both email and images. Striving to deliver 0 percent false-positives, the service operates outside the local IT environment which negates the need for users to manage or update the service with virus definitions. The software filters email externally to conserve bandwidth inside corporate networks, and boasts "zero hour" protection from the initial seconds of a spam or virus outbreak. InterGate Mail Service also protects against denial of service and directory harvest attacks via rules engines and visual reporting mechanisms, according to Vicomsoft. The subscription-based solution is fully managed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and includes multiple identity-based engines to detect viruses (pricing was unavailable).

'Get a Mac' ads contribute to Mac sales

02/05, 11:00am

'Get a Mac' ads, Mac sales

Apple's 'Get a Mac' ad campaign is boosting company sales -- which grew three times faster than sales of PCs over the last three months of 2006 compared to the same period in 2005 -- according to AdWeek. Creative Strategies president Tim Bajarin says the Mac comparison approach is working, noting that half of all Macs are sold to non-Mac users and that Apple's share of the total computer market is growing steadily -- from three percent three years ago to five percent in 2007. The ads depict a nerdy 'PC guy' played by comedian John Hodgman and a hip 'Mac Guy' played by actor Justin Long. Apple's "Mac vs. PC" series earned the honor of Best Spots' 2006 Campaign of the Year, and the 2006 spot that resonated most with consumers was "Virus." Hodgman as the 'PC guy' in "Virus" catches a cold, crashes, and passes out while 'Mac guy' Long remains sympathetic and healthy throughout the spot.

LG officially ships Blu-Ray/HD DVD hybrid to the US

02/05, 10:45am

LG Blu-Ray HDDVD Ships

LG today announced that the BH100 is at last reaching US stores. Although word surfaced that it had already shipped in advance and was available as early as mid-January, the movie player should now be widely available throughout the US.

LG's device, known also as the Super Multi Blue, is the first drive of its kind to play both Blu-Ray and HD DVD movies, including at their native 1080p resolutions when using HDMI output. Its processor will also upscale DVDs to 1080i. The BH100 maintains its originally announced $1,200 list price.

System 76 intros Ubuntu-based notebook

02/05, 10:25am

System 76 Ubuntu Notebook

Departing from the mainstream, System 76 has just unveiled the Darter Ultra preloaded with Ubuntu Linux. The company hopes to bring the same level of support to hardware running the open-source OS that owners would expect with Windows systems, and has ensured that the 13.3-inch widescreen notebook is set with drivers for every aspect of its design. The system ships with a 4-in-1 card reader, ExpressCard/54 slot, and video outputs for both S-video and VGA; the Intel-based mainboard's 802.11/a/b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 7.1-channel audio also work on first boot. Battery life is also excepptionally strong, according to the company. A standard battery will last an average 4.5 hours, but an extended battery doubles the running time to a full 9 hours.

Models can be ordered today at $995 with a 1.46GHz Celeron M, 512MB of RAM, 40GB hard disk, and a dual-layer DVD rewriter. A fully-equipped system with a 2.33GHz Core 2 Duo, 1.5GB of RAM, and a 100GB hard disk is available for $1,902. [via Core Duo News]

Apple Inc, Apple Corps bury the hatchet

02/05, 9:55am

Apple, Beatles mend ties

Cupertino-based Apple Inc. and The Beatles' company Apple Corps today announced a new agreement concerning the use of the name "Apple" and apple logos to replace their 1991 agreement, placing all previous disputes behind both companies and signaling the end of the ongoing legal dispute. Under the new agreement, Apple Inc. will own all of the trademarks related to "Apple" and will license the usage of certain trademarks back to Apple Corps for their continued use. The ongoing trademark lawsuit between the companies will end, with each party bearing its own legal costs, and Apple Inc. will continue using its name and logos on iTunes. While the terms of the settlement are confidential, Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs commented on the resolution of the dispute.

Western Digital rolls out My Book drive with eSATA

02/05, 9:45am

WD My Book With eSATA

Western Digital this morning updated one of its flagship personal backup drives with a new interface: the My Book Premium ES Edition supplements the original USB 2.0 with external SATA, raising its theoretical maximum speed to the same 3Gbps of the fastest internal hard drives. The drive can reach burst speeds of 300MB per second versus the 60MB per second limit of USB, its creator claims. Systems attached to the My Book through USB 2.0 in turn get a ring-shaped capacity gauge that lights up as the disk is filled. Every drive also ships with a copy of EMC's Retrospect Express HD for automating backups for both Mac OS X and Windows PCs, both of which can connect through the eSATA port.

The Premium ES Edition is already reaching stores and sells at a price of $179 for a base 320GB version, while its larger-capacity 500GB sibling retails for $229.

OQO adds EVDO, Vista to model 02 UMPCs

02/05, 9:25am

OQO model 02 with EVDO

OQO on Monday brought EVDO and Windows Vista into the options for its model 02 ultramobile PC. Just introduced last month, the model 02 can be custom-ordered with a built-in receiver for Verizon's EVDO-based BroadbandAccess network, allowing the handheld to connect to the Internet from any of the cell carrier's coverage areas without a USB adapter. The expansion adds $149 to the base $1,499 price and is available for order today, though systems are not expected to ship for the next few weeks. Sprint EVDO access has been available since January for the same price.

Customers at the company's online store additionally gained the option today of ordering the model 02 with Vista pre-installed: the premium model now has the option of replacing Windows XP Professional with Vista Business at no additional charge. The system can also be upgraded with Vista Ultimate for an additional $100, OQO says. The Vista-capable model ships in several weeks' time with a 1.5GHz processor, 1GB of memory, and a 60GB hard drive for $1,849.

LG rolls out series of new TV/PVR hybrids

02/05, 8:55am

LG TV and PVR Hybrids 2007

LG this morning overhauled its XCanvas lines of LCDs and plasma TVs. Intended as compact PVRs, all five sets ship with both dual HDTV tuners and a 160GB internal hard drive. Viewers can record one HD show while watching another or see both at the same time using picture-in-picture, LG says. A USB 2.0 port adds external hard disks for extra recording time.

Each one of the new sets also implements LG's newest XD Engine for processing video and XCC for cleaning image artifacts and noise. The LCD-based LY3DR versions are available first in Korea at sizes between 37 and 47 inches and are capable of 720p/1080i signals for prices starting from $2,592; the 50-inch, 720p-ready PB3DR and 60-inch, 1080p PY3DR sell for $4,286 and $9,496 respectively. North American equivalents are very likely but have yet to be announced.

Verizon adds LG Strawberry Chocolate

02/05, 8:15am

LG Strawberry Chocolate

Verizon has just added the LG Strawberry Chocolate to its phone lineup. Complementing Friday's launch of the KRZR K1m Fire, the Strawberry brings a bright pink color to the LG slider, including a color-matched user interface. The 1.3-megapixel camera, music playback, and other elements of the phone remain the same as for the original.

Unique to the pink model, however, is the price: the phone ships today for $100 after a rebate and two-year plan, substantially lower than the $130 of other Chocolate versions.

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