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SoloRecord records calls
Arcosoft, developer of VoIP call recording software, today announced the release of VONaLink SoloRecord for Mac OS X. SoloRecord works with any VoIP phone system based on the open SIP standard, such as Vonage, to record phone calls and to provide screen pops--display on the user's desktop; calls are recorded as a stereo WAV or MP3 format and the software can add an inaudible watermark to the recording for later verification that the file has not been changed. Using the caller ID of the incoming call, SoloRecord searches for the caller in Address Book, or launches custom applications to search the web or company database. If the caller is found, the information is displayed on the screen (it also supports the ability to add callers to a reject list). Users with Vonage can automatically place outbound calls by clicking in the call log within the VONaLink application. SoloRecord and ScreenPop (without recording) are Universal Binary applications that run on Mac OS X 10.3 and later. Prices are $100 for SoloRecord, and $30 for ScreenPop. Demos are available online.
Beatles not just on iTunes
Apple may soon be offering songs and albums by The Beatles, but not as an exclusive arrangement with iTunes. Contradicting several previously published rumors, Roger Friedman of Fox News reports that the popular pop band's songs and albums will be released via several different digital music services. Speaking with Neil Aspinall, head of The Beatles' label Apple Corps, Friedman learned that all 13 Beatles LPs are being remastered with the expectation of an online release "soon" and that none of them are limited to iTunes or any other specific music store. The report also claims that the recent Apple brand name agreement between the two firms includes a royalty agreement for every iTunes song or iPod bought, guaranteeing revenue for the music label regardless of perceived losses due to brand confusion.
No Apple TV delays
Apple has confirmed that it expects to ship Apple TV later this month, despite a few high profile published rumors to the contrary. The company today reiterated that it is on track to ship the set-top device for streaming video content to televisions by the end February as originally promised. "We're still planning to release Apple TV in February, as announced" an Apple spokesperson told vnunet.com. Unsubstantiated rumors of delay began after a rumor site ThinkSecret said that Apple's internal plans involved holding the Apple TV back until March. The report said that a salesman with the Apple Store confirmed that any advance orders would ship in February, but cautioned, however, that the units may not reach consumers' doorsteps until March. Apple's online store still indicates a February ship date for all new orders.
Flagship Boston store
In brief: Boston's first Apple flagship retail store is due to open later this year at 815 Boylston Street as a modern glass cube-like structure. The new store's location, however, in an area known as the "Back Bay" could pose problems for city planners as development continues. The Back Bay is highly historic, and while the new store would be within walking distance for many college students the modern design could clash with its aged surroundings, according to one report.... A survey querying 22,000 European mobile TV users revealed that more than half of respondents decided taking up mobile video isn't worth the effort. Some 45 percent of Europeans dropped mobile video due to diconnections, while 24 percent abandoned the service due to quality as well as reliability issues.
AT&T picks MediaFLO
AT&T has followed Verizon's lead and chosen QUALCOMM's MediaFLO as a source of digital TV broadcast in the US. While digital TV is extremely common on Korean and Japanese cellphones, the feature has been notably absent from North American products, which have generally substituted with downloadable clips. MediaFLO will offer those as well, and is promising fast channel change without buffering. AT&T phones and services using MediaFLO should begin to arrive in late 2007, with "advanced features" coming shortly thereafter.
The Beatles may have won more concessions from Apple, Inc. than has been publicly revealed, sources have told Roger Friedman of Fox News. Speaking with Neil Aspinall, head of The Beatles' label Apple Corps, Friedman learned that while all 13 Beatles LPs are being remastered with the expectation of an online release "soon," none of them are limited to iTunes or any other specific music store, contrary to earlier rumors of an exclusive deal struck with the iPod creator.
"[The launch] will be on all the services, not just one," Aspinall was careful to say.
Compounding the issue may be a previously secret term of the deal, Friedman alleges. A separate, anonymous source speaking with the journalist claims that the recent name agreement between the two firms involved a royalty agreement for every iTunes song or iPod bought, guaranteeing revenue for the music label regardless of perceived losses due to brand confusion. If true, the deal would place Apple, Inc. in a position similar to that of Microsoft, which was forced to pay royalties to Universal in order to carry the label's music in the Zune Marketplace.
myPower GO power source
Tekkeon today unveiled its myPower GO universal emergency power source for iPods, popular mobile phones, PDAs, digital cameras, and more. The new device uses four AA batteries and comes with multiple tips to provide connectivity to a wide range of mobile devices, adding up to eight extra hours of video playback on an iPod or up to six hours of talk time to mobile phones. MyPower GO doubles as a battery charger for four rechargeable AA batteries via a USB port. The ten tips included with the power source accommodate Blackberry handhelds, iPods, and mobile phones -- including Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson. Add-on adapters are also available for Bluetooth headsets, digital cameras, othe rmobile phones, MP3 players, and more. MyPower GO is priced at $20.
320MB GeForce 8800 GTS
Inadvertenly leaked last week, Nvidia has now officially launched a 320MB version of the GeForce 8800 GTS. The standard 640MB version remains on the market, but at $100 less ($299-349), the new card may well attract buyers who want DirectX 10 support without the cost of Nvidia's performance models. DirectX 10 ships with Windows Vista and supports Shader Model 4 effects unavailable in DirectX 9. The new GTS should already be on sale from select retailers.
Intel 80-Core CPU
Intel began the ISSC conference today by revealing the breakthrough Teraflops Research Chip. The design achieves its namesake teraflop of performance at a modest 3.16GHz by merging 80 small cores into a single processor that consumes only 62W of power, equalling the power draw of even modest desktop CPUs today. This same performance required 10,000 Pentium Pros and a gigawatt of combined CPU and cooling power a decade ago, the chipmaker says.
The TRC works by overcoming the bandwidth limits inherent to a many-core design. Where a traditional design would lose any of its advantages beyond 16 cores due to bandwidth limits, each core in the Intel chip has its own router that manages the sheer volume of traffic passing by. Such an implementation even has the side benefit of improved power management, letting the TRC selectively shut down entire cores when they grow idle.
New SanDisk mobile SD gear
One of the few of today's announcements not directly involving phones is SanDisk's introduction of the microSD Multi SD Kit. The product helps solve one of the key problems of mobile devices, which is the proliferation of three different SD formats: miniSD, microSD, and standard SD. While the only storage included is a single microSD card, the kit also bundles adapters for miniSD and regular SD slots, which can fit into phones, cameras, and other electronics. Kits will ship to the US in 512MB, 1GB and 2GB sizes starting in March.
Coming separately will be the company's first 4GB microSDHC card, which can theoretically hold up to 1,000 songs, 2,000 "high-resolution" pictures, or eight hours of MPEG-4 video. Critically, the card is not compatible with the Multi SD Kit, and cannot be read unless a device specifically supports SDHC. Owners can, however, buy a Mobile Memory Kit that steps up microSDHC to miniSDHC or regular SDHC. The release of the microSDHC card is currently only set for sometime in 2007.
Samsung takes on iPhone
Samsung is once again taking on Apple's iPhone and complementing its Ultra Smart F700 that it unveiled last week by debuting the F520. The new device trades sleekness for screen area, providing a slightly larger 3-inch touchscreen with a higher 480x272 resolution. The F520 features a two-way slider that extends laterally for a keyboard or downward for a number pad and arrow keys. The device also features a 3-megapixel camera on the back, outperforming Apple's iPhone which includes a 2-megapixel sensor. A front VGA camera permits video calls, according to Electronista, and the phone includes faster HSDPA internet access with support for less common portable media formats such as Real and full HTML browsing.
Roma Est Apple Store
In brief: The Roma Est Mall in Italy will soon be home to a new Apple Store (Italian), according to one report. The commercial center is scheduling to open its doors on March 29th, while stores inside the mall are shooting for April 5th. Given that Apple historically holds its retail store grand openings on Friday or Saturday, Apple's most likely dates for opening its latest store fall upon March 30th or 31st, according to Setteb.it.... Intel is scheduled to reveal details about a research project looking into large scale multi-core processors. The chip-maker will showcase an 80-core CPU to guide future developments in the project, which is designed to develop an understanding of how a processor will deal with communication between the various cores as well as handling calculations.... 24U Software has published a new example for FileMaker Pro in the Web Viewer section of its website, instructing visitors on how to create user interfaces with the Web Viewer layout objects to break limitations of FileMaker Pro layouts.
Samsung Ultra Smart F520
As a complement to the Ultra Smart F700 unveiled last week, Samsung today challenged Apple once more with the F520. The Korean firm's latest entry trades sleekness for screen area. A slightly larger 3-inch touchscreen affords a higher, 480x272 resolution; in exchange, the F520 grows in size to accommodate a two-way slider that either extends laterally for a keyboard or downwards for a number pad and arrow keys. Camera resolution at the back is a more modest 3 megapixels, Samsung says, but still outperforms the iPhone's 2-megapixel camera. A front VGA camera permits video calls.
Read ahead for more details and an image gallery.
$300 per iPhone to Apple
Apple could see extra commissions from its iPhone partner AT&T/Cingular, if the company is able to attract "switchers" from other mobile networks. Following an upgrade of Apple stock this morning, Citigroup analyst Michael Rollins says that the exclusive US carrier deal with Apple could include payouts of up to $300 per new subscriber. The Cupertino-based company could receive between $250 and $300 for each new subscriber it helps lure to Cingular's network, according to AppleInsider. The payouts would likely come over the life of the service contracts and represent very high-margin revenue for Apple, the analyst wrote in a research report. Previous reports indicate that the iPhone may have 50 percent gross margins.
Toshiba G900 and G500
Toshiba joined the deluge of 3GSM phone announcements on Monday by revealing two of its best-performing phones ever. The G900 competes against slide-out keyboard devices from HTC and UT Starcom with an extremely high-resolution, 800x480 3-inch display and a large suite of Internet connections. US-friendly, tri-band HSDPA mobile Internet is incorporated into the shell alongside Wi-Fi, legacy EDGE support, and Bluetooth 2.0. A 2-megapixel camera at the back as well as a VGA camera at the front round out its core hardware. Much like other phones announced today, the G900 is driven by Windows Mobile 6.
Read through for a larger photo and details of the more calling-focused G500.
Media Rage, Invoices
Media Rage 3.0 ($30) updates the collection of tools for media enthusiasts using Mac OS X. The latest release supports reading as well as writing information in AAC, MP3, FLAC, BWF, AIFF, WAVE, and Ogg Vorbis audio files. Media Rage 3.0 also reads EXIF tags from digital camera image files, supports reading as well as writing Unicode data, and more.
[Download - 5.8MB]
PresentYourApps 1.0 (donationware) lets users remove or hide the Mac OS X dock and menu bar when launching selected applications. The software is inspired by Rob Griffiths at Macworld, runs natively on Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later. [Download - 312KB]
Invoices 1.0 ($25) enables users to manage and print business invoices via an easy-to-use interface. Invoices utilizes Core Data based on an SQL-native Mac OS X engine and Universal Binary technology to run natively on both PowerPC as well as Intel-based Macs. Key features include descriptions and notes with autofill capability, functions to avoid repetitive tasks, and customizable labels as well as tax settings. [Download - 1.5MB]
Checkout 1.1 ($400) is a free update to existing users of the point of sale application for Mac that adds support for receipt printers as well as cash drawers. The application offers a clear interface, instant search capabilities, and a flexible workflow. Checkout 1.1 also fully supports USB barcode scanners, and is available in German as wella s Brazilian Portuguese and Dutch. [Download - [form]]
Samsung Ultra Edition II
Spearheading Samsung's announcements are four phones in the new Ultra Edition II lineup -- click through for a variety of images. The professional end is represented by the U600, which has a metallic finish, a 3.2-megapixel camera, and music playback supporting MP3, WMA, and AAC/AAC+. Bluetooth 2.0 and USB 2.0 connections are present, as is a business card reader, and 60MB of memory with an added microSD slot. The U700 meanwhile is variant for wealthy consumers, adding HSDPA broadband, WMA-DRM audio, and playback of MPEG-4, Real and H.263 video formats. Sacrifices come in the form of a three-megapixel camera and 20MB of internal memory.
HP iPAQ Voice Messenger
Expanding from its original niche of PDAs and full-keyboard smartphones, HP on Monday revealed the iPAQ 500 series. Its creator hopes to straddle the line between pure cellphones and larger smartphones: while as slim as the former, the 500 is driven by Windows Mobile 6 and ships with Office Mobile for viewing Excel sheets and other files on the road. A keyboard is also unnecessary thanks to deep voice support, according to HP. Instead of typing out commands or e-mail, the new iPAQ accepts voice activation for menus and commands as well as audio responses to text messages.
NexTune to open up iTunes?
A company called NexTune is claiming to have developed software that will bridge all the major DRM (Digital Rights Management) technologies protecting musical tracks to offer consumers a simple, unified means of acquiring music without locking them into one particular type of player. Apple in recent months has come under intense scrutiny -- especially overseas -- for binding iTunes Store customers to its iPod portable player and iTunes software. NexTune "puts all the pieces of the puzzle together and provides a complete user experience," according to NexTune president and CEO Michael DuKane. The company is planning to release NexTune 3.0 next month, offering compatibility with Apple's FairPlay DRM-protected tracks sold from the iTunes Store. Apple has thus far refused to license its FairPlay DRM to competitors, and has historically worked aggressively to update its protection scheme whenever it becomes compromised.
Neonode on iPhone
Neonode today at the 3GSM expo previewed its N2 touch-screen based mobile device, openly claiming that Apple's iPhone is merely "following the lead" already set by the its N1. Although much smaller than the Apple device at three inches long, the N2 -- which Neonode says is an improvement over the older N1 -- features a full 2-inch touchscreen interface alongside a 2-megapixel camera, and the diminutive stature allows control with only one hand. Multimedia tools such as MPEG-4 video recording and playback for MP3, WMA, and WAV songs are preloaded, according to Electronista, while a miniSD card slot provides storage space. The formal launch of the device is slated for spring, with an initial release due in Europe. The presence of a quad-band GSM transmitter will allow the device to roam in North America and may ultimately lead to its release on the continent at a later date.
File Buddy, Scan Again
File Buddy 9 ($40) is designed as easier to use software with improved performance, enabling users to save current settings as named configurations that are loadable on demand. The update brings several cleaning features that were previously only usable on entire volumes to individual folders, and allows users to skip confirmation messages that pop up prior to performing an action.
[Download - 2.4MB]
Scan Again (free) is a graphical front-end for the SANE (Scanner Access Now Easy) open-source routines. The software enables Mac owners to use many older scanners that are currently unsupported under Mac OS X. Scan Again searches for scanners, places the results in a popup menu, and queries the selected scanner for available options. [Download - 1.8MB]
CleanApp 2.2 ($10) updates the software de-installation tool for Mac OS X, adding an integrated recovery function that enables users to recover applications mistakenly moved to the trash in a redesigned log window. CleanApp removes various files that are created during installation of most software, such as preferences and plug-ins. The latest release also includes several bug fixes. [Download - 3.1MB]
ScreenSteps 1.0.3 ($40) is a visual documentation creator that captures screenshots, adds text, and exports to PDF or HTML formats. The application includes a crop tool, annotation tools, integrates with third-party screen capture applications such as SnagIt or Snapz, and automatically sequences captures in the order they are taken. [Download - 4.3MB]
Audio Companion 1.3.0 ($25) enhances the sound recorder, adding support for audio unit effects. The software enables users to record music via the built-in input or any sound input device connected to a computer, acting as a normal audio recorder or as a recorder that automatically splits each song into separate files. [Download - 1.7MB]
MOTORIZR Z6, MOTONAV
Motorola's 3GSM offerings conclude with three more products. Foremost is the previously announced MOTORIZR Z6, a less impressive counterpart to the Z8 which nevertheless has features such as a two-megapixel camera, 64MB of onboard memory, and support for MPEG-4 3GPP and h.263 video. The supported music codecs may be the highlight of the phone however, since despite using Linux, it supports DRM-locked WMA files, in addition to MP3, WAV, and AAC/AAC+.
The T815 and T805 are Bluetooth devices that add GPS/AGPS abilities to compatible phones. When in action, a phone has access to on-screen maps, points of interest and turn-by-turn voice guidance, further enhanced by real-time traffic information. The T815 includes MOTONAV software on a memory card, whereas T805 buyers must rely on a subscription service. Twelve months are included for free. The MOTONAV receivers are expected in the second quarter of 2007; the Z6 should ship in the first half ot the year.
Nokia 6110, 3110 phones
Finishing the Nokia phone barrage are the 6110 Navigator and the 3110 classic. Click through for a gallery. As its name implies, the 6110 is designed around GPS functions, sporting GPS and AGPS (Assisted GPS) abilities as well as maps preloaded for the area the phone is sold in. The interface is similar to in-car software meanwhile, featuring 3D rendering, turn-by-turn voice guidance, and a searchable database of routes and points of interest. Additional content such as traffic, weather and extra maps must be bought online. The phone does boast a number of non-GPS features though, such as a two-megapixel camera, and 3G video calls through HSDPA and WCDMA broadband. Standard connections are made through quad-band GSM and EDGE.
RIM on iPhone, BlackBerry
In brief: Research in Motion -- creator of the BlackBerry Pearl -- doesn't see Apple's iPhone as a threat to its BlackBerry Pearl, and company co-chief executive Jim Balsillie said the new device simply marks another competitor's entry into the smartphone market. "It's kind of one more entrant into an already very busy space with lots of choice for consumers," Balsillie said, adding that "in terms of a sort of a sea-change for BlackBerry, I would think that's overstating it.".... Research in Motion today also unveiled its BlackBerry 8800, marking the full-sized counterpart to last year's Pearl that shares the same trackball of its slimmer predecessor but offers a full keyboard for quicker typing.... Emeraldion Lodge has released its 3D IP Lookup Widget, designed to visualize the geographical location of the hosts from a traceroute output in Google Earth.
Moto KRZR K3 and W510
In another suite of 3GSM-related unveilings, Motorola today released a pair of phones whose design stems directly from that of the American cellphone maker's KRZR clamshell. The KRZR K3 is an immediate sequel to the K1 and K1m already in use across the world but adds the crucial element of 3G wireless. As revealed in a product leak, the K3 gains faster browsing through HSDPA Internet access. A forward-facing camera is also tucked into the inner body for video calls and self-portraits. The K3 is similar in most other respects to its K1 forefather and is equipped with a 2-megapixel outer camera as well as microSD storage, though it swaps the solid hues of the earlier versions for a two-tone gray scheme. A launch is planned for this quarter, although the company has not revealed whether or not the K3 will work properly in North America.
CPCC lobbies for iPod tax
Canada's Private Copyright Collective (CPCC) is again moving to tax consumers who purchase iPods in an effort to compensate artists for revenue lost to private copying. The group lobbied to add MP3 players to the tariff last year, but a Canadian Federal court struck down the notion. The Canadian Supreme Court in late July of 2006 refused to hear further arguments on the matter because the law did not explicitly include digital music players' memory and hard drives among its list of recording media, according to Reg Hardware.
Neonode N2 Introduced
Neonode stirred up controversy at the 3GSM expo this morning by previewing the N2. The Swedish firm openly claims that the iPhone is merely "following the lead" already set by the former's touchscreen N1 and says its N2 improves on the formula. Although much smaller than the Apple device at three inches long, the N2 still sports a full 2-inch touchscreen interface and a 2-megapixel camera. The diminutive stature allows control with only one hand, Neonode points out. Multimedia tools such as MPEG-4 video recording and playback for MP3, WMA, and WAV songs are preloaded. A miniSD card slot provides storage space.
Its formal launch is targeted for Spring, with an initial release due in Europe. The presence of a quad-band GSM transmitter will allow the device to roam in North America and may ultimately lead to its release on the continent at a later date. Click through for a profile shot.
New Nokia E-series phones
The premier Nokia phones at 3GSM are the new E-series models, which include the E90 Communicator (pictured), the E65, and the E61i. Click below for more images. The E90, hinted at just late last week, is indeed a quad-band GSM smartphone, and will not only support 3G HSDPA, but WCDMA and WLAN broadband as well. Also confirmed is the use of S60 and a 3.2-megapixel still camera. Nokia has announced other features for the phone, however, such as a videoconferencing camera, and support for FM radio, digital music and video, and up to 16 million colors.
RocketRAID 2314 unveiled
HighPoint Technologies is planning to ship its RocketRAID 2314 eSATA host adapter this week, featuring four eSATA II ports offering 3Gbps per port. The controller card works with up to four SATA 2 hard drives -- each offering up to 750GB of storage capacity -- for up to 3TB of total potential storage. RocketRAID 2314 supports all major operating systems including Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows 2000/Server 2003/XP/x64 Edition/Vista. The PCI-e card is compatible with x4, x8, and 16 slots, and is compatible with eSATA enclosures. The adapter also supports RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, and JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks) modes. RocketRAID 2314 ships with BIOS, Web-based RAID, and management software as well as CLI RAID management utilities. HighPoint Technologies is also offering a three-year warranty with the adapter (pricing was unavailable).
Moto Q q9 and gsm
Continuing its succession of phone launches at 3GSM, Motorola this morning revealed a duo of updates to the ubiquitous Moto Q. The MOTO Q q9 is the company's new range-topping model. As previously alluded to in a leaked presentation, the q9 adds 3.6Mbps HSDPA mobile broadband for much faster access to data. It also contains support for up to 2GB of music and videos on its microSD slot, including the seldom-seen ability to load Plays For Sure protected WMA songs. This is helped in part by its being one of the first Motorla phones to run Windows Mobile 6, the company says. A 2-megapixel camera is equally new to the company's full-size smartphone.
Read through for photos as well as details of the Q gsm and the official launch.
Disco 1.0 released
DiscoApp.com today released Disco 1.0 for Mac OS 10.4, a disc burning utility featuring a simple interface. The final release introduces a redesigned disc naming system, a completely rewritten "Discography" database engine, and improved Unicode support. Disco 1.0 includes an entirely redesigned burning process with steps that glide smoothly into place alongside pulsing progress bars. Key Disco features include full multi-session support, audio burning, disc erasing, multi-system support, one-to-one disc copies, VIDEO_TS burning, and motion sensor support. Another feature titled "spanning" allows users to span large amounts of data over multiple discs, while "Discography" is designed to seamlessly track all burns with the ability to search through previously burned files. Disco is available at an introductory rate of $15, with family packs priced at $30 and 10-packs available for $90. Disco 1.0 requires Mac OS X 10.4.3 or later.
Nokia N77 Official
Nokia on Monday made an aggressive showing at 3GSM by releasing a large mix of media and business phones. One of the most significant of these is the N77: previously confirmed in a last-minute rumor, the handset marks the Finnish company's initial phone with specific support for mobile TV. An integral DVB-H tuner lets it receive digital broadcasts across Europe and in parts of Asia; a memory buffer also permits a small amount of timeshifting with the option of pausing and replaying live shows. As is increasingly common, the phone adds a 2-megapixel camera and has extensive support for multiple AAC standards, MP3, and WMA tracks.
The N77 is currently slated to go on sale in regions that support DVB-H video as of this Spring for a stand-alone price of $481. WCDMA and tri-band GSM radios will generally limit the device to Europe and Asia. Click through for a photo as well as details of the company's YouTube deal.
Moto SLVR L9
Motorola today upgraded its designer bar phone by introducing the MOTOSLVR L9. It exchanges the metallic influence of the RAZR for the glossy style of the KRZR but also represents a major technical improvement for media playback. For the first time in the SLVR range, an FM radio is integrated and has RDS support for station ID; a dedicated button instantly brings the radio online, Motorola says. Pre-recorder MPEG-4 video as well as MP3 and multi-format AAC are also supported on microSD cards up to 2GB; MegaSIM cards which combine flash memory with subscriber info can boost the capacity by an additional 512MB. Photography has also been upgraded with a 2-megapixel sensor. The cellphone maker promises 400 minutes (6.7 hours) of active talk time.
While slated for an official launch in the Spring, official launch areas and prices remain unknown. Support for EDGE Internet as well as basic GPRS suggests that the phone may arrive in North America. Photos of the front and back can be found after the jump.
Lionsgate films on iTunes
Apple today announced that movies from Lionsgate Entertainment will be available for purchase and download from the iTunes Store starting today. iTunes can now purchase films, such as "Terminator 2," "LA Story," "Basic Instinct," "The Blair Witch Project" and "Dirty Dancing". The companies said that more than 150 titles are expected to available through iTunes this month, broadening the iTunes catalog to more than 400 titles. "We're delighted to offer these incredibly popular Lionsgate films on iTunes, and look forward to adding even more films in the future," said Steve Beeks, president of Lionsgate. "iTunes lets users download these wonderful films to watch on their computer, TV or iPod, so movie fans can take their favorite Lionsgate films with them anywhere." Lionsgate is the third major movies studio to add films to iTunes, following the addition of Paramount's catalog earlier this year. Recent data has shown that Apple has seized over 90 percent of the paid video download market.
AAPL upgraded to 'buy'
Citigroup has upgraded Apple stock to 'buy' from hold, citing "several meaningful product catalysts and expectations of significant gross market upside due to declines in flash memory and DRAM pricing." MarketWatch reports that analyst Richard Gardner kept his 12-month price target at $105. Despite some risks associated with the on-going investigation into option back dating and with the digital right management issues, Gardner said that the reward vs. risk profile of the stock has improved. "We believe clients should begin building positions at current prices, while any first-half  weakness would simply represent an enhanced opportunity to increase positions," Gardner said in a research note obtained by the publication. The stock was up nearly 2 percent to $84.70 in pre-open trading. AAPL stock is off about 15 percent since reaching its all-time high on January 10th.
BlackBerry 8800 Official
RIM today at last unveiled the BlackBerry 8800, the full-sized counterpart to last year's Pearl. The Canadian smartphone shares the same trackball of its slimmer predecessor but has a full keyboard (as with the 8700 series) for quicker typing. Its features are consciously business-friendly, RIM notes: while no camera is in place for the sake of security, a GPS receiver is built in for live maps and other geography-based software.
Contrary to expectations, no Wi-Fi is part of the initial shipping design. However, quad-band GSM with EDGE Internet is standard, as is Bluetooth 2.0 and a microSD slot. RIM has also made a concession to general use with a media player for music and songs. Specific launch details weren't given in the official announcement, but the phone is set to launch on Cingular this month for $299 with a two-year plan. Canadian customers can also expect the phone through Rogers Wireless in the near future. Click through for profile shots.
Moto RIZR Z8
Motorola launched its massive announcement campaign at the 3GSM expo this morning by releasing the MOTORIZR Z8. The new design is one of the first sliders with ergonomics in mind -- called a "kick-slider," the open phone curves towards the caller's mouth instead of sliding directly downwards. The Z8 is also one of the first Motorola phones to use Symbian instead of Linux or a special Motorola OS, according to the company.
Also the first HSDPA-based RIZR, the handset connects at up to 3.6Mbps and has the speed to stream live video. A 2-megapixel camera, support for up to 4GB microSD cards, and five hours of 3G talk time are similarly standard. The phone is expected in April is likely to be available first in Europe. Motorola hasn't mentioned whether or not the phone is capable of operating on North American GSM networks.
A larger photo follows after the jump.
'iPod Monday' bar promo
Apple has ordered a downtown Des Moines (Iowa) bar to no longer use its "iPod Monday" promotion. The Cupertino-based company sent Clint Curtis, the operator of the Lift, a cease and desist e-mail to stop using the iPod name in its weekly event where customers share music via their iPods, according to The Associated Press. According to the report, the owner is "perplexed by the letter because he has never tried to hide his use of the iPod name." The report also says that Curtis tried mailing Apple to ask the company for permission to use the 'iPod' name in his weekly event. Curtis claims that he also spoke with Apple employees and never was told not to use the name, the report said. Apple has been aggressively protecting its iPod trademark, paying one woman last year to stop using the word "pod" in the name of a protective case she designed for laptop computers; the company also also asked a Japanese company to change the name of its "gPod" pleasure product.
OpenMacGrid uses Xgrid
Leveraging Apple's Xgrid technology, MacResearch.org today announced the first wide-scale, publicly-accessible computing grid: OpenMacGrid allows anyone running Mac OS X 10.4 or later to donate their Mac's spare CPU cycles to help researchers perform intensive scientific calculations, in much the same way as projects such as SETI@Home. "Unlike other distributed computing projects, which run a single application and have restricted access, OpenMacGrid will be open for use by any scientist following submission and acceptance of a project proposal," the company said. To contribute CPU cycles to OpenMacGrid only requires users to be running Mac OS X v10.4 or later; they must enter a few details in the system preferences; however, no software installation is required. Users can monitor activity on the grid using the specially-developed Dashboard widget available free for download. Scientists wishing to leverage OpenMacGrid for their research can apply for access using an online submission form.
British firm Omnifone opened the 3GSM expo in Barcelona by announcing a new software music solution for cell phones. Offered as an alternative to non-Apple cell phones, MusicStation aims to offer an iPhone and iTunes-like experience for music playback and organization and simple music purchase--without, however, an tethered PC: MusicStation provides convenient over-the-air music downloads and purchases, challenging Apple's industry-leading iTunes interface. Central to the design is a consciously iPod-influenced jukebox program, according to the company. "Installing on top of any Java or Symbian phone, regardless of carrier, the software is built to recreate the experience of both a dedicated portable music player as well as an online store," Electronista reports. The extra layer will give an iPhone-like experience without the absolute need for a computer, Omnifone claimed. Based on a weekly-subscription model for unlimited downloads, it also automatically recommends concerts, music, and news based on listening habits as well as offers social networking features, according to the report.
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