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News Archive for 07/02/07

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Supernana debuts MacCover laptop cases

02/07, 8:40pm

MacCover laptop cases

Supernana has introduced a new line of laptop cases, designed primarily for the MacBook and the MacBook Pro. MacCovers protect a laptop with felt a tenth of an inch thick, and feature no hard parts such as zippers, which could possibly damage a computer through scratches or impacts. The magnet straps, meanwhile, use real leather, and the seams of the felt are double-stitched. Supernana's stock cases fit 13-, 15- and 17-inch MacBooks, and come in seven different colors including black, brown, pink and cream. Should buyers have an unusual laptop, custom sizes can be made on request. The cost per case is €40 ($52) plus shipping to anywhere in the world.

Briefly: MacBU birthday; Apple on Vista

02/07, 6:00pm

MacBU birthday, anti-Vista

In brief: Microsoft's Mac Business Unit (MacBU) celebrated its 10th anniversary on February 6th, acknowledging the group's formation in 1997. A few Mac BU members decided to arrive at the office early to set up giant pixelated designs -- which were created in Excel -- in the windows made entirely from sticky notes to commemorate the occasion.... Apple is planning to heat up its anti-Vista campaign at its international retail stores later this week by issuing new store displays and employee t-shirts that softly mock Vista as a weak attempt at a modern operating system. The company also challenged its employees to learn about and tout the advantages of Macs over computers running Windows Vista in a multi-page training manual.

MYOB AccountEdge Network goes Universal

02/07, 5:45pm

AccountEdge Network update

MYOB today released the Universal version of AccountEdge Network Edition 2007, its premium small business management and accounting software for Mac systems. The update runs natively on PowerPC as well as Intel-based Macs, and includes several bug fixes recommended for users of the 2007 versions of both AccountEdge and AccountEdge Network Edition. AccountEdge Network Edition is priced at $300 for new users, or $250 for upgrading users. The software requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later, but Mac OS X 10.4 or later is required for syncing with Apple's Address Book.

Apple's Leopard, Final Cut trademarks

02/07, 5:40pm

Apple trademarks in Europe

The European Trademark Office today published three of Apple's latest trademarks titled "Xray," "Spaces," and "Final Touch." The first two trademarks are Mac OS X Leopard-related, while the third is a feature located in Apple's Final Cut Studio software. "When you need a bit more help in debugging, Xcode 3.0 offers an extraordinary new program, Xray," Apple wrote on its website. "Taking its interface cues from timeline editors such as GarageBand, now you can visualize application performance like nothing you've seen before." Spaces enables users to create a space for work or play via a function key, offering drag-and-drop support of all application windows onto different spaces. Xray and Spaces were filed in Trinidad and Tobago in 2006 under Apple Inc., while Final Touch was acquired in October of 2006.

Apple, iPhone challenges at 3GSM expo

02/07, 5:35pm

Apple and the 3GSM expo

Neonode has promised to best Apple's iPhone to scores with its upcoming touch-screen phones, even as attendees of next week's 3GSM phone expo ready themselves to directly compare their new phones against Apple's iPhone. A special discussion to be held at 3GSM is an even more telling demonstration of Apple's influence, PC World writes. Dubbed "Mobile Music: The Apple Factor," the conference has been formed solely to talk about the iPhone's effect on music phones and will count a Nokia marketing chief among its guests.

Apple looms over 3GSM phone expo

02/07, 5:05pm

Apple Looms Over 3GSM

Apple may have a ghostly presence at next week's 3GSM expo, according to PC World. Even though the California company won't attend the Barcelona conference and hasn't actually released its first phone, it will have a tangible effect on presentations, the magazine says. Numerous cellphone hardware manufacturers are expected to directly compare their new phone announcements directly against the iPhone. Neonode in particular has already said that its current and upcoming touchscreen phones will beat Apple's device to stores.

Hagiwara ships ExpressCard flash drives in US

02/07, 4:20pm

Hagiwara ExpressCard in US

Hagiwara's US branch on Wednesday began shipping its distinctive ExpressCard/34 Flash Memory Drive. The drive, which had been revealed in Japan in December, is targeted specifically at the MacBook Pro and other notebooks that can use the extra speed of the ExpressCard format. In US form the drive can read as quickly as 32MB per second and write at 22MB, the company claims.

While the cards require no drivers and work with any Mac or Windows OS that supports ExpressCard/34 or /54 slots, Vista owners can use the card as a ReadyBoost cache for improving the responsiveness of systems with low RAM or slower hard drives. The card ships today in capacities ranging between 1GB ($67) and 8GB ($440).

BlackBerry 8800 photos, prices leaked

02/07, 4:00pm

BlackBerry 8800 Photo Leak

The Boy Genius Report today said that it has obtained both a BlackBerry 8800 and details of its final launch. Commenting on the feel and use of the device after hands-on testing, the anonymous author observed that the 8800 represented a significant upgrade over both the full-size 8700 (pictured at right) and the company's now-famous Pearl, offering a slightly smaller fit than the former while responding more quickly and with better speaker quality than the latter.

The site was also keen to reveal firm details for the smartphone's imminent arrival in the US. Releasing February 20th with Cingular, the 8800 should be available for $499 by itself or $299 when attached to a two-year agreement, according to BGR. Crucially, however, the version set to appear first in the US will not include the 8800's inherent Wi-Fi ability, saving the feature instead for an as yet unknown provider or unlocked version. An additional profile photo from the leak is available after the jump.

Internal 18X DL SuperDrive for Mac Pro, Power Macs

02/07, 3:50pm

MCE 18x DL-SuperDrive

MCE Technologies today began shipping an 18X DVD±R/RW + DL (Dual/Double Layer) internal SuperDrive upgrade for Apple's professional Mac Pro and Power Mac lines. The MCE 18X DVD±R/RW + DL drive records at up to 18X on standard DVD±R media and up to 10X on standard DVD±R (DL) Dual/Double Layer media. The drive is compatible with iDVD, iTunes, DVD Studio Pro and Finder Burning under Mac OS X. The MCE 18X DVD±R/RW + DL SuperDrive internal upgrade for the Apple Mac Pro and Power Mac is priced at $60 and is available immediately. "There is no higher performance DVD storage solution on both single and double/dual layer media for the Apple Mac Pro and Power Mac available on the market than our 18X SuperDrive upgrade," stated Arnold Ramirez, president of MCE. [site not updated]

Defendant gets payout after RIAA shakedown

02/07, 3:30pm

Defendant Wins Vs RIAA

A defendant in a lawsuit filed by the RIAA has won a payout from the music organization for her court battle over file sharing, the Electronic Frontier Foundation reports. Judge Lee West has ruled that the RIAA must compensate the target of its suit, Oklahoma resident Debbie Foster, for all her attorneys' fees. West justified his decision by pointing out that Foster was essentially bullied by the music labels, which had demanded that the Oklahoma woman pay a settlement or else face a potentially crushing legal struggle.

The judge had already ruled in favor of Foster last year after it was learned that the RIAA had only obtained an IP address associated with her account. West further condemned the organization's tactics by highlighting Foster's inexperience, saying that she "does not know Kazaa from a kazoo."

Boomwave's unveils new 2G Nano cases

02/07, 3:20pm

New 2G Nano cases debut

Boomwave's has unveiled its Bearaphim and Diablo Spectrum special edition protective cases for second-generation iPod nano owners. The Bearaphims collection includes colorful creations with six various designs that ship in pink, lime green, blue, white, black, and red. The company's Diablo Spectrum special edition cases are an extension of its Diablo Spectrum range of cases that features horns, a tail, pointed ears, and a sterling silver earring. The special edition includes all the features of the Diablo Spectrum while adding two distinctive cases, including the "Ever Reddy" and the "Whacko Blacko" cases. Bearaphim and Diablo Spectrum special edition cases are priced at $20 each.

Computerworld: "think twice" about iPhone

02/07, 3:05pm

Computerworld on iPhone

Computerworld has posed eight reasons to "think twice" about purchasing an iPhone when the device ships in June. Questions to ask, according to the publication, are whether the cost of switching mobile carriers -- assuming this is necessary -- is worthwhile, and whether Cingular -- Apple's exclusive carrier for the iPhone -- provides ample coverage in needed areas. The iPhone's 2G support achieves speeds similar to or slightly better than dialup, but requires a wireless connection from a hot spot to utilize broadband data transfer speeds due to lack of newer 3G technology support. Storage space is also a consideration for potential iPhone buyers, as the phone can play videos but boasts the same storage space as Apple's iPod nano.

New York may ban 'iPod crossings'

02/07, 2:40pm

'iPod crossing' ban?

New York senator Carl Kruger today said he will introduce legislation to ban the use of gadgets such as iPods and Blackberry devices while crossing the street. "Government has an obligation to protect its citizenry," the senator said. "This electronic gadgetry is reaching the point where it's becoming not only endemic but it's creating an atmosphere where we have a major public safety crisis at hand." Under the proposed legislation, New Yorkers attempting to cross streets while using Blackberry devices, video games, or iPods will face a $100 fine. The proposed law comes following the deaths of three pedestrians in his Brooklyn district since September. The victims stepped into traffic while distracted by electronic devices, and in one case bystanders screamed "watch out" to no avail. "What's happening is when they're tuning into their iPod or Blackberry or cell phone or video game, they're walking into speeding buses and moving automobiles," Kruger said. "It's becoming a nationwide problem."

Samsung unveils new-look LCD TVs

02/07, 2:30pm

Samsung Bordeaux 2007

Samsung has just unveiled the new style for its LCD TV sets through a pair of new models. Continuing the earlier "Bordeaux" name based on the angled wine glass look of the chin, the new 81 series now has a transparent chin that both adds a more distinguished look and also bounces sound from the chin-mounted speakers towards the viewer.

The displays have also seen a genuine technical upgrade, the Korean firm claims: compared to earlier models, the dynamic contrast ratio has doubled to 10,000:1 thanks to a new S-PVA panel. The enhanced color range is said not just to help with shadows but also enhances the blue tints that are often neglected on LCD sets. As with the 53 and 61 series announced at CES, the 81 will have three HDMI inputs. Models are expected to ship in March at 32- and 40-inch sizes: prices are set in Korea at the equivalent of $1,700 and $2,600 respectively, but may change slightly when the TVs are released at the same time in the US.

Nokia to announce 'mid-range' TV phone?

02/07, 2:05pm

Nokia 'mid-range' TV phone

With the 3GSM World Congress set for next week, Nokia may be gearing to announce a moderately-priced TV phone, sources close to the company tell Reuters. In North America, many phones with TV service are limited to upper price scales, which in turn restricts the practical adoption of the technology. The new phone is expected to be similar to the Nokia N7 series, and may be called the N77. A purported photo has emerged at a Russian forum. Reflecting the European target audience, signals would be received in the DVB-H format, and the price would be €200 to €300 ($259-389).

CompUSA leaks 320MB GeForce 8800 card

02/07, 1:55pm

CompUSA 320MB GeForce Card

CompUSA has inadvertently pre-announced NVIDIA's first mid-range card based on the GeForce 8800 chipset. The BFG GeForce 8800 GTS OC has all the features of the GTS released in November but halves the memory to 320MB, significantly dropping the price. Card maker BFG's implementation compensates for the loss in performance, according to the slip on the retailer's page: the core speed jumps to 550MHz through a factory overclock, far higher than the 500MHz stock speed of the normal 640MB model.

BFG's card is currently scheduled to launch on February 17th at a price of $350. It remains unclear as to whether or not cards from BFG and other companies released using stock speeds will cost less.

New ASUS smartphone rumored

02/07, 1:15pm

New ASUS smartphone?

Though ASUS has only recently begun shipping phones, another one is already in development, according to French site GPSAndCo. Given only a partial name, the rumored P3xx smartphone supports UMTS/WCDMA broadband at 2,100MHz, for upload and download speeds of 384Kbps. Regular connections are through tri-band GSM and GPRS, which suggests that ASUS may not be bringing the phone to North America, at least not in its current state. Miscellaneous features include Windows Mobile 6, a microSD slot, a two megapixel camera, and wireless provided through 802.11g and Bluetooth 2.0. It's expected to ship in the third quarter of 2007. Click through for photos.

Imation boosts Clip to 4GB, hardens Pivot

02/07, 1:15pm

Imation Clip and Pivot

Imation today launched a two-pronged upgrade to its jumpdrives. The Clip now carries as much as 4GB, doubling the amount of storage for the carabiner-equipped flash stick. The new capacity should equal about 8,000 photos by the company's estimates. The top-end Clip is already shipping now and should sell for $100.

Following the boost to the Clip, the company has also toughened the security level on the Pivot (shown). The swiveling drive has had its security boosted from 128-bit to 256-bit AES encryption. The change makes sensitive information on the ruggedized drive exponentially harder to crack, according to the company. The Pivot is shipping at the same time as the Clip for a slightly higher price of $120; in a uncommon move, Imation has also said that existing owners can also update the Pivot to the new security through a patch.

Briefly: iPhone has 3 'ARMs'; Coke+iTunes

02/07, 1:05pm

iPhone chips; free music

In brief: The iPhone has considerable processor power for a mobile device, as confirmed by chip supplier ARM Holdings. There are "at least three" processor cores in the iPhone, according to company president and CEO Warren East, and the main CPU is a PXA320 -- originally known as the Intel Monahan -- supplied by Marvell.... Starting February 15th, Italians who buy Coke products will be able to win free music from the iTunes Store when purchasing eligible products such as Coke, Diet Coke, and Caffeine-Free Coke; winning codes will be printed under the label.... Netopia has merged as the new "Broadband Solutions Group" within Motorola's Connected Home Solutions division. The company's eCare, Timbuktu Pro and embedded xDSL software will be paired with Motorola's existing voice, video and data services; Netopia is promising to avoid disruptions with current customers as the merger is completed.

Apps: Mac Cleanse; iStumbler; Coolbook

02/07, 12:55pm

Mac Cleanse, iStumbler

    Mac Cleanse 1.0 ($20) scours a computer of caches, recent file lists, and Web as well as chat histories. Users can configure the software to delete select "favorite" items on command to simplify cleaning routines, and Track Destroyer users can upgrade to the new application with a free license code. [Download - 4.4MB]
    iStumbler Release 98 (donation) scans for wireless hotspots created by AirPort stations, Bluetooth devices, and Bonjour services. Release 98 offers a revised AirPort plug-in to better report signal strength as well as other information, and the AirPort Inspector shows dBm statistics in the latest revision. [Download - 644KB]
    Pukka 1.4 ($5) is a client application that sends links to the del.icio.us bookmarking website. Version 1.4 keeps track of outgoing links, and warns when a new link is a duplicate. The software also includes a tag-based hierarchical menu for links sitting in the Dock icon. [Download - Size Unknown]
    CoolBook ($10) controls and monitors the the fans as well as CPUs in MacBooks. Users can adjust the controls separately to balance settings for the ideal combination of noise, heat, and battery performance. Temperature is monitored in real-time so the effect of settings is reviewable immediately. [Download - 364KB]
    iWisdom 1.30 (free) creates a database of quotations and other brief insights, identifying them by author, source, year, title and category. Users can export collections to XML or HTML formats, and a display mode shows excerpts at set intervals. The update adds an Author Info field, and fixes a bug where items would continuously duplicate themselves. [Download - 3.1MB]
    Default Folder X 3.0.3 ($35) adds a toolbar to Open and Save dialogs, providing faster access to commands as well as toolbars. The latest revision offers improved memory usage, and boasts a smoother, more responsive user interface. The update also addresses performance and compatibility issues with applications such as Word, Creative Suite, and iMovie HD. [Download - 6.4MB]

Three new Kenwood Mini-USB stereos

02/07, 12:40pm

Kenwood Mini-USB stereos

Japan is set to receive three new Kenwood stereo systems, all of which has a USB port. This enables them to pipe music to a computer for direct playback, or to copy music from the stereos' CD and MiniDisc drives. Files can also be copied to a USB flash drive. The USB models are the NDL-100MD-S and the NDL-100MD-W, which each have two 15W speakers; the base NDL-100 model drops the MiniDisc player, and also reduces the speaker power to 13W. Prices were unavailable at press time, but like many Kenwood products, the stereos seem unlikely to leave Asia.

Music execs insist on protected music

02/07, 12:40pm

Music execs stand fast

Executives from the music industry have made it clear that while they may not stick with digital rights management (DRM) as a means to protect their digital catalogs, they are not willing to abandon copy protection altogether as requested by Apple CEO Steve Jobs in an open letter published yesterday. Responding to the letter, a senior executive at one company who asked to remain anonymous said "we're not going to broadly license our content for unprotected digital distribution." Another executive said record companies are concerned that lifting restrictions on digital music might have serious ramifications on the parallel market for protected video content, according to the New York Times.

LG debuts Chocolate Platnium, European Shine

02/07, 11:45am

LG Chocolate Platinum

LG this morning unveiled two new designer phones to its Black Label series. The Chocolate Platinum (pictured) is the finished version of the previously hinted-at KE800 and is targeted as a premium version of the original. In addition to a camera upgrade from 1.3 to 2 megapixels, the Platinum is more music-friendly and gains an FM radio as well as double the internal flash, holding 256MB of songs before needing its microSD slot for expansion. Its interface is also subtler, LG claims: the screen and touch-sensitive buttons both stay dark when not actively used, presenting a clean black surface and saving battery life. No official launch date and price are set, though the phone is due first for Europe.

A full photo and details of the Shine follow after the jump.

Dvorak: Jobs is right and "is no idiot"

02/07, 11:20am

Dvorak: "Jobs is no idiot"

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is both right and acting in his best interests by making complaints about DRM, according to technology pundit John Dvorak, who issued a comment for MarketWatch. Referring to Jobs' recent open letter on the limitations imposed by DRM on music, Dvorak notes that the copy protection controls effectively kill the social element crucial to music enjoyment by preventing sharing between friends. "In the 1960s if you bought a 45 R.P.M. top 40 hit you could play it on any record player. You could take it to parties and play it. You could play it at the school dance. You could copy it to your tape recorder even," he said.

Dvorak: "Jobs is no idiot" on DRM

02/07, 11:05am

Dvorak on Jobs and DRM

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is both right and quietly acting in his best interests by making complaints about DRM, John Dvorak said today in a comment for MarketWatch. Referring to Jobs' recent open letter on the limits imposed by DRM on music, the technology pundit notes that the copy protection controls effectively kill the social element crucial to music enjoyment by preventing sharing between friends.

"In the 1960s if you bought a 45 R.P.M. top 40 hit you could play it on any record player. You could take it to parties and play it. You could play it at the school dance. You could copy it to your tape recorder even," he says.

Analyst: DRM-free music beneficial, but unlikely

02/07, 11:05am

DRM-free music unlikely

The likelihood of the big four music labels licensing their music catalogs to online stores such as Apple's iTunes store without digital rights management (DRM) protection as requested by Apple CEO Steve Jobs in an open letter yesterday is less than 25 percent, according to Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster. While such a change is unlikely, the analyst believes Apple would benefit due to increased iPod sales -- given that the iPod dominates the digital media player market. "If this unlikely scenario played out and music labels agreed to sell music DRM free online, we believe it would be positive for Apple and its market-leading iPod+iTunes ecosystem," Munster wrote in a research note obtained by MacNN. Piper Jaffray maintains its 'outperform' rating on Apple shares with a $124 price target.

Briefly: Apple VP nets $7m; DasBoot utility

02/07, 10:40am

Apple VP nets $7m

In brief: Apple's senior vice president of retail Ron Johnson has exercised 130,000 shares of Apple stock which he purchased for $23.72 per share on February 2nd for $3,083,600. The executive sold the shares on the same day at prices between $84.36 and $84.50, netting Johnson a minimum of $10,966,800.... SubRosaSoft today released DasBoot, a freeware utility enabling Mac OS X users to turn an iPod into a Mac OS X diagnostic and maintenance tool. DasBoot uses any third-party boot CD to create a bootable diagnostic device that can contain custom utilities.... WCities has released a new application that that allows users to download its PodCityGuides directly to Apple's iPod portable players. The guides include hotel reviews, trendy restaurants, nightclubs, movie information, local events, concerts, weather information, news, and more.

TabletKiosk intros Vista slate PCs

02/07, 10:15am

TabletKiosk Vista Slate PC

TabletKiosk this morning revamped its Sahara tablets to use Microsoft's newest OS. Each of the three 12-inch models is capable of running Windows Vista Business and has had its features and performance upgraded to match. All models have relatively uncommon additions like a fingerprint scanner, an eSATA connector for external hard drives, and wireless through Bluetooth 2.0 and 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi.

Models start at $1,795 with a 1.06GHz ultra-low voltage Celeron M, 512MB of RAM, and a 60GB hard drive in the base Sahara i412T model; a step up to the i440T increases the speed significantly to a low-voltage 1.83GHz Core Duo with 1GB of memory and an 80GB hard disk. Most special of the collection is the flagship i440D, the company notes: where the first two versions have a passive touchscreen that requires a stylus, the i440D's screen is an active digitizer that can switch to finger input and registers pressure sensitivity on its own. It ships for $2,295 in March alongside the rest of the new Sahara models. [via SlashGear]

Italy joins movement against iTunes, DRM

02/07, 10:00am

Italy joins music movement

Following an official response to Apple CEO Steve Jobs' open letter on digital music, senior advisor Torgeir Waterhouse of the Norwegian Consumer Council told MacNN that Italy is joining other European countries in applying pressure to Apple and the iTunes Store. According to Altroconsumo -- the largest consumer association in Italy that prints it's own periodical magazine with tests as well as reviews -- Italy is hoping to achieve an online music market with no barriers. Altroconsumo has formally contacted the Italian Antitrust Authority, the Italian trade ministry, and the minsitry for the economic developement that Apple reviews its DRM policies for a more open model that could serve as an example for other operators and major music players, according to Macity.

iRobot rolls out bomb robot with gamepad controls

02/07, 9:45am

iRobot PackBot 510

Roomba creator iRobot today released its toughened PackBot 510. Although meant for bomb disposal, the updated PackBot features controls deliberately modeled after console gamepads, making it possible for even relatively inexperienced users to steer the robot and grab explosives.

The robot is also much more powerful than its original, the robot maker claims. It moves 30 percent faster, lifts twice the weight, and holds items with three times the gripping force. These improvements help it remove explosives from harsher terrain without a potentially fatal drop. iRobot is shipping the 510 model in April to military and police units internationally; the US Army already expects to use the upgraded model in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Amazon to offer videos to TiVo users

02/07, 9:25am

Amazon Unbox on TiVo

Apple continues face pressure by third-party video download services, including a new service from Amazon and TiVo and Wal-Mart's multi-studio digital video store. TiVo, best known for its digital video recorders, has partnered with the leading online retailer Amazon.com to offer "Amazon Unbox on TiVo," a service that will provide TiVo subscribers with the ability to rent and purchase movies and television shows. Confirming reports from last September, the "soon-to-be-launched service" will include content from studios and networks including CBS, Fox Entertainment Group, Lionsgate, Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Warner Bros. Entertainment.

TiVo lands major Amazon Unbox video deal

02/07, 9:15am

TiVo Gets Amazon Videos

Online retailer Amazon and TiVo today revealed Unbox on TiVo, a new service that will see the former's movies and TV shows available to watch directly from a TiVo Series 2 or Series 3 video recorder. The solution is different than the Apple TV and other media streaming hubs because it doesn't require an explicit link with a PC: Unbox shoppers can buy a show from any computer and have it download directly to the TiVo instead, Amazon says. Similiar to the Xbox 360, Amazon's store will also remember the sale and let the owner download the video again should it be deleted to clear space. Videos will also be above the quality of a Series 2 box, according to the two companies.

The new ability requires a broadband connection and will download a typical two-hour movie in half that time at 5Mbps. Availability is currently limited to beta testers; however, TiVo is currently accepting signups to let its subscribers know when the service will be widely available, which is said to be soon.

Apple stores coming to Sydney, Fresno (CA)

02/07, 8:55am

Apple stores in Australia

Apple is finalizing plans to build its first official retail outlets in Australia, with at least one set for Sydney, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. In addition, Apple may be planning to open a shopfront in Melbourne; however, the company would confirm or deny the plans. "We have submitted concepts for the store we'd like to build in Sydney and are working with the city to gain their approval," Apple spokesman John Marx told the publication. This week the company also announced plans to open its newest UK-based store in WestQuay of Southampton at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 10th and another US store in Honolulu, Hawaii and yet another report indicates the company has plans to open a new retail store at the Fashion Fair mall in Fresno, California based on advertisements for positions at the company's website other job sites.

NI updates Massive 1.1 software synth

02/07, 8:40am

Massive 1.1 software synth

Native Instruments on Wednesday released MASSIVE 1.1, a new version of its next-generation software synthesizer. The update expands MASSIVE's high-resolution synthesis engine with versatile Virtual Analog Oscillators and a distinctive new filter model, and adds a wide range of other improvements to the KORE-enabled flagship synthesizer. The new Virtual Analog Oscillators complement the existing Wavescanning oscillator section with a rich additional waveform spectrum for typical analog sounds, the company said. "With pulsewidth modulation and oscillator sync, the new oscillators enable a vast range of impressive classic and modern synthesizer sounds." MASSIVE 1.1 also includes additional wavetables and noise oscillator modes, a new randomize function for envelopes and modulators, and a wide range of usability improvements, as well as an expanded sound library with over 140 additional presets. Version 1.1 is now available as a free download for all registered users, while the full version is $340.

Samsung intros customizable world phone

02/07, 8:25am

Samsung B660 World Phone

Samsung continued its string of phone announcements by announcing a new flip phone under its Anycall name. Called the B660, B6600, or B6650 depending on the provider, the clamshell is one of the Korean company's few phones to revolve around faceplates. All of the front save for a small stripe down the center is covered by a removable front panel, which can be swapped out for either a conservative or an exotic look, ranging from silver to a denim print.

Much like yesterday's B680, the B660 is intended for the mainstream with a 1.3-megapixel camera, MP3 playback, and (in Korean form) DMB digital TV broadcasts. However, the company plans to expand the phone's use beyond its native country with releases in other regions. Specifics weren't released but will likely involve replacing or scrapping DMB support in favor of other standards. Click through for photos.

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