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Cisco and Apple today announced that they have resolved their dispute involving the "iPhone" trademark. After more than a month of public sparring, the companies recently agreed to several legal extensions, following the Cisco lawsuit over the iPhone trademark (in the US as well as in the UK). Under the agreement, both companies are free to use the "iPhone" trademark on their products throughout the world, according to the release. Both companies acknowledge the trademark ownership rights that have been granted, and each side will dismiss any pending actions regarding the trademark. In addition, Cisco and Apple will explore opportunities for interoperability in the areas of security, and consumer and enterprise communications. Both companies, however, said that other terms of the agreement are confidential.
e-on is shipping the professional versions of its Vue 6 rendering software. The Vue series is used to create realistic 3D landscapes, generating many aspects algorithmically (such as clouds and flora), while allowing detailed customization through paramaters and hands-on drawing. Vue 6 sports a number of enhancements, including 130 percent faster rendering, an "ultra-realistic" spectral atmosphere model, and the ability to paint instances directly onto objects. Two editions are available: Infinite is a standalone application, while xStream can integrate its output with programs like Maya, LightWave, and 3D Studio Max. The packages cost $700 and $900 respectively.
Apple has hired away a chief ad agency exec working on the Nike account to help bolster its worldwide marketing efforts. Rebecca Van Dyck, a longtime global account director on the Nike business at Wieden + Kennedy, has left the multinational agency to become the the worldwide advertising director at Apple, Wieden said today. Adweek reports that In her 12 years at the independent Wieden agency, Van Dyck worked exclusively on the Nike brand, and that for the last four years, she had global oversight for the flagship business. Her departure comes on the heels of newly landed account for Coca-Cola. Sources tell the publication that she has already started at Apple, although it wasn't clear when Van Dyck left for Apple.
Ambrosia Software has announced that it will bring DEFCON Introversion game to the Mac. The title, which was released late last year on the PC platform, enables players to assume control of a continent and fight a nuclear war with one to five opponents. DEFCON is technically impossible to "win" in the standard sense, instead challenging players to come out with fewer "megadeaths." The game also boasts a unique visual style, loosely based on the computer displays from the 1983 movie "WarGames." Enemies are either human- or computer-controlled, and different game modes are available to accommodate various types of gamers. One such mode is a slower-paced office match, while another ensures that all the players start in an alliance. The Mac port will ship in March for $25.
Apple's Safari Web Browser gained market share in January, even as Firefox dipped from its December high. Safari held 4.7 percent market share in January, up from 4.24 percent in December and 4.03 percent in November of last year. Firefox, conversely, fell to 13.67 percent in January from 14 percent market share in December of 2006. Microsoft's Internet Explorer still dominates the market with 79.75 percent share, putting Firefox in a distance second and Safari in third place in the Web browser market. Safari climbed more than 1 percent from February of 2006 to December the same year, while Firefox grew more than 4 percent during the same period. Internet Explorer dropped more than 6 percent over the same stretch, giving up some of its stranglehold on the browser market to both Firefox and Safari.
IFC Entertainment on Wednesday announced that its independent theatrical catalog will now be available on the iTunes Store, including IFC's 2007 Independent Spirit Award nominees, the premier award for the independent film community; for the 2007 Spirit Award competition, IFC Entertainment said it had received the most Spirit Awards nominations of any one film company. IFC already offers podcasts on each of the movies with behind-the-scenes looks and discussions. Available immediately via iTunes, IFC offers 13 films, six of which are nominated for the upcoming Independent Spirit Awards which will be held on Saturday, February 24th. IFC films on iTunes will be priced at just $9.99.
Samsung today used its AnyCall brand to launch the B6700, nicknamed the Card Phone. The bar phone earns its title through a short but wide stature, which isn't much larger than a credit card at 3.4 inches tall. The design recalls calculators and is even complemented by a calculator-style flip case, Samsung says. Its features are rich despite the diminutive size, with a T-DMB tuner capturing mobile digital TV and a 2-megapixel camera at the back for still shots and video. MP3 playback is also a staple. The Card Phone is actively carried by Korea's cell provider KTF in black and silver editions, though it's unclear as to whether or not it will find its way to other regions in the future. Click through for a profile photo.
CardRaider 1.1 ($20) adds support for finding Canon Raw 2 (CR2) and Panasonic Raw images to the digital photo recovery software. CardRaider is designed to enable users to recover digital photos after accidentally erasing those photos from a digital camera. The update also adds French localization and enhancements to the software's card detection and scanning algorithms. [Download - 1.9MB] Clean Text 5.0 ($25) is a tool designed to reduce text cleanup time by eliminating all text formatting and performing other functions, such as removing empty lines or unwanted spaces. The latest release runs natively on Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary, and adds user interface improvements. Clean Text 5.0 also addresses all known bugs in the software. [Download - 4.8MB] Splunk 2.2 ($2,500/year for 500MB peak daily volume) indexes and manages logs as well as IT data. The application enables system administrators as well as developers to search, navigate, alert, and report on logs and IT data from any application, server, or network device in real-time. [Download - 50.1MB] iVox 1.1 ($150) allows naturally sounding voices of the Acapela Group to be used by any Speech Manager compliant application on Mac OS X, including TextEdit and Preview or Adobe Acrobat Reader. iVox is also usable with with Mac OS X Tiger's built-in VoiceOver screen reader. The update enables Dutch and French users to hear all the VoiceOver menus and messages in their own language by using iVox together with AssistiveWare's VisioVoice. [Download - [form]] Mac Shutdown X 1.0.3 ($10) shuts down the host system on a specified event, such as when a file download in the Safari Web browser is complete or on a specific date and time. Mac Shutdown X runs natively on Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary, and warns users 120 seconds before certain scheduled shutdown events. The update offers better handling of shutdowns after a Safari download. [Download - 244KB] ClassicFrames 2 vol. 10 ($50) is a plug-in for various graphic applications such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Elements that enables users to add frames around photos. The frames provided are designed exactly like the kind used to hang up expensive paintings, according to the developer, and enables users to combine frames across multiple layers to create a wide array of effects. Volume 10 adds 70 new frames.
Logitech's 3Dconnexion today announced that its line of 3D navigation devices now supports Adobe Acrobat 3D software and that Mac support is expected later this year. With 3DxSoftware v3.1, people viewing 3D PDF content in Acrobat 3D software v7 and the forthcoming Acrobat 3D v8 or Adobe Reader 8 software can use the 3Dconnexion SpacePilot, SpaceExplorer, SpaceTraveler or SpaceNavigator products to simultaneously pan, zoom and rotate 3D models. 3DxSoftware v3.1 enables 3Dconnexion devices to control both 2D documents and 3D models. Within a PDF document, users can use the SpaceNavigator device in the non-mouse hand to pan and zoom. To manipulate an embedded 3D object, after clicking on the object with the mouse, users can pan, zoom and rotate the 3D model using the SpaceNavigator while simultaneously using the mouse to make selections and choose commands within the document and interface.
Optimus keyboard creator Art Lebedev Studio today provided an early look at the Verbarius. A natural-language clock, the Verbarius tries to liven timekeeping by expressing the time the way many people do in conversations, randomly choosing between descriptions such as "twelve thirty-six A.M." or "twenty-four minutes to one." It can also read the time in four other languages, ranging from Art Lebedev's native Russian to French, German, and Spanish. The studio also aims for a minimalist effect and hides the LCD in a solid glass block that appears to float the words in space. The clock isn't due to ship until November, when it will export for $183; the company is accepting pre-orders today, however, and is offering a discount that drops the price to $158 if ordered before September. [via Engadget]
Though preceded by products like the CAREt Handheld, Intel is expanding the use of computers in medicine with the Mobile Clinical Assistant, being tested in England but already on sale in the US. Whereas the CAREt has a small screen and a limited keypad, the MCA is a full touchscreen tablet, and adds other hardware such as a digital camera for documenting wounds, and an RFID scanner for drugs and wristbands. Aside from these uses, the tablet can also be used to make referrals and instantly view test results. The convenience is not an inexpensive one, however: a base Motion Computing model costs $2,199.
The Pantech PN-810 is about to become Helio's first texting-focused phone, a recently-exposed FCC filing has revealed. With its confidentiality agreement expired, the government application has revealed a Korean-made slider which distinguishes itself from the Samsung F520) by using three separate layers. Beyond the front layer's screen and navigation buttons, a second shelf extends to reveal a keypad for dialing while a third slides out for messages. Outside of GPS, its other features closely match the Drift, Helio's current flagship: a 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and EVDO broadband are standard. A release timeframe remains vague for the PN-810 but should approach quickly given the phone's original FCC presence in November. Larger photos follow after the break. [via Phone Scoop]
The well-known VoIP carrier Vonage may be about to leap into the cellphone business, according to BusinessWeek. Speaking to analysts in a recent financial call, the company let slip news that it would soon sell a dual-mode phone that would support both cellular networks and Wi-Fi, raising the possibility that the company could soon become a virtual network operator in the vein of Amp'd Helio while keeping its trademark VoIP access to save costs indoors or at public access points. Other details were hidden in the announcement. However, the news points to the probable use of Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) phones such as the Motorola A910, which use Wi-Fi to automatically switch between cellphone and Wi-Fi networks for cheaper calls. T-Mobile has already revealed its own UMA service set to go online later this year.
Kingston today hoped to raise the ceiling on its HyperX line of RAM by introducing its first truly high-speed 4GB RAM kits. The 4GB Low-Latency Kit uses a pair of 2GB DDR2 800 sticks that, despite their storage, still manage to cut the memory timing to a low CL4. This creates the headroom for overclockers to tweak their systems without drawing too much power, says the memory maker. The 4GB is already available from Kingston's online shop for $500, while individual 2GB sticks with the same high performance sell for $250.
MacinMind has debuted the first public beta of Radiologik DJ, a tool for DJ broadcasters who have access to digital music. Radiologik DJ, the company claims, was tested on and developed with knowledge from two different live DJ stations. It features three main players and one library player, all of which allow rapid importing through Mac OS X and iTunes. It offers live searching for quickly locating tracks and the players properly overlap for cold starts and stops--without a cross-fade. The software integrates with iTunes by registering songs as played and adjusting the last played and play count fields. It also includes a talk time counter to gauge the intros to songs.
Ergotron has announced its Neo-Flex Lift Stand with built-in lift and tilt capability. The stand is designed to accommodate both notebooks and desktop projectors, enabling users to adjust the supported device to eye level for ergonomic comfort and productivity. The Neo-Flex Lift Stand is built using Ergotron's Constant Force (CF) lift-and-pivot motion technology, allowing users to lift as well as tilt a notebook screen up to six inches or swivel it from side to side. The vented platform accommodates cooling air flow, and supports usage with or without a docking station. The Neo-Flex Lift Stand is priced at $80, and works with any portable weighing 14 pounds or less.
SoundTech today expanded its LightSnake line beyond its familiar audio gear to produce a line of strictly computer-oriented cables. The highlight of the launch is a new iPod cable: using the company's "Live When Lit" technology to its advantage, the connector charges and synchronizes any click wheel iPod while also flashing along its entire length to signal that data is being sent across the cable -- a useful way of not only locating the cable, but also for diagnosing the iPod or the attached computer. Other additions to the LightSnake line include a USB extension cable and multiple USB A-to-A and A-to-B cables for cameras, printers, and other devices that need a PC connection. Each cable will be available for $50 by the end of March.
Coraid today unveiled a free standing tower configuration of its SR1521 EtherDrive Storage Appliance (older product shown at right). The newest member of the company's high capacity storage appliances delivers networked storage over standard Ethernet, and is based on the open AoE (ATA over Ethernet) protocol. AoE is a block level storage protocol that is simpler to implement than other SAN technologies, according to Coraid, and is considerably less costly than iSCSI or FibreChannel solutions. AoE is also a non-routed protocol, negating the need for TCP/IP processing overhead or expensive network adapters. Servers can simply connect to EtherDrive storage appliances using ordinary Ethernet connections. The Coraid Storage Tower holds up to 15 standard 3.5-inch SATA (Serial ATA) drives which are hot swappable, and the SR1521T is available for $4,500. Customers are free to purchase their own hard drives for the unit, and the tower is compatible with Mac OS X.
Finnish cellphone designer Benefon this afternoon overhauled its TWIG series of GPS phones with three new models, each running Microsoft's newer Windows Mobile 6 to bring Office Mobile and "push" data to every one of its devices. Every handset is equipped with both a touchscreen and a keypad to make calling, document viewing, and navigation easier. Leading the announcements is the TWIG Totem, which Benefon says is the first world phone with faster HSDPA mobile broadband regardless of where it travels; besides GPS, it also features a sharp 3-megapixel camera and Bluetooth 2.0. Following the Totem is the TWIG Monolith, a similar design that drops HSDPA and uses a smaller 2-megapixel camera but gains Wi-Fi, as well as the TWIG Talisman, a simpler Europe-focused phone without Wi-Fi. All three are due in June. No pricing has been announced, but the Totem may find its way to North America thanks to its international support. [via GPS Gazette]
In brief: OWC has dropped prices on its Mac Pro memory upgrades and Fastforward on its software offerings, while MacForce has created a Portland Mac Creative User Group, OmniPilot preps for its Lasso Summit in early March, and one developer touts Flow, his new file transfer client.... OWC on Wednesday announced new lower pricing on Apple-qualified memory upgrades for Apple's Mac Pro Quad Xeon computers; priced as low as $166 per gigabyte, the upgrades are available at a savings of 50 percent or more as compared to factory-installed and other competitors, OWC claims. The OWC DIMM (FB-DIMM) 667MHz DDR2 72-Bit ECC fully-buffered memory modules are available in matched sets of 512MB (2x512MB for $200), 1GB (2x1GB for $340), and 2GB (2x2GB for $700) modules for up to 16GB of total memory. A cash-back rebate of up to $250 per set is also available from OWC for the trade-in of Apple factory memory. The company also offers hard drive upgrades for Mac Pro, with 500GB drives available for as low as $140.
SoundTech Professional Audio today unveiled a full line of LightSnake-powered computer accessory cables (different product shown at right) that enable users to connect printers, iPods, MP3 players, digital cameras, and more using the company's "Live when Lit" technology. The new cables allow users to see when the cable is properly connected via a constant glow, and flash when data is transmitted over the cables which takes the guesswork out of setting up USB-connected computer accessories and peripherals. The cables are constructed from 28/24-guage wire and gold plated copper contacts, featuring molded strain relief and PVC over the molding. The new line of cables includes USB-A to USB-B, USB-A to USB-A, USB-A to USB 5-pin Mini-B, USB-A to USB-A extension, and USB-A to iPod dock connectivity. Each cable features foil and a braided shield, and are each expected to ship for $50 during the first quarter of 2007.
Apple's wireless media streaming device known as the Apple TV, which is scheduled to ship this month, has at least one analyst optimistic that it will seize a formidable portion of CD and DVD sales within a few years. Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore says it's "conceivable" that the Apple TV could achieve 20-30 percent of a $26 billion market in just a few years, potentially driving $5-7 billion in incremental revenue alongside $0.50 or more in earnings-per-share for the Cupertino-based company. Apple will first profit from its near 40 million iTunes customers, according to Whitmore, with Apple TV eventually eating into the business of CD and DVD makers. The Red Herring notes that Apple signed a deal with Paramount for its iTunes Store in early January, and that Lionsgate jumped on board to offer content last week.
I-O Data on Wednesday introduced the LCD-TV241XBR-2, its new flagship LCD. The 24-inch screen replaces both a computer display and a TV at once thanks to its inputs. Though any computer can attach through DVI or VGA, the screen doubles as a full analog and digital set -- especially for game consoles such as the Wii and Xbox 360, says the firm. The layout includes a pair of RCA audio connectors each for the S-video and Japan-native D4 inputs, allowing game consoles or DVD players to leave their audio cables plugged into the 5-watt speakers while switching to another source. An integrated TV tuner further provides an easy means of receiving analog broadcasts. Characteristically for its size, the TV241 is capable of 1920x1200 when attached to a Mac or PC and will display the video of an Xbox 360 or other true HD signals at their native 1080p ratio. It ships to Japan before the end of this month for $1,016.
Another movie-focused laptop is the W2PC Mobile Home Theater, newly announced by the German division of ASUS. The high-end variant (the 7M016C) is equipped with an HD DVD DL drive and a 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo, as well as a 17-inch 1080p screen, and an HDMI port. The videocard is a Mobility Radeon X1700, and European buyers can tune into either analog or DVB-T TV. Memory includes 2GB of RAM and a 160GB SATA hard drive. The 7K017C cuts this down to 1GB of RAM and a 120GB drive, and further strips out the HD DVD drive and 1080p support. It does, however, come with a Super Multi 8x DVD drive. At present, both laptops are on sale only in Germany and Austria.
The forthcoming shipment of the Apple TV coupled with the Cupertino-based company's highly anticipated iPhone in June led research firm Bear Stearns to upgrade Apple shares. Prudential today said it met with Apple executives, revealing that the new phone maker expects to sell most of its iPhones through its own retail stores, according to AppleInsider. Apple also expects to achieve per-store sales levels similar to brick-and-mortar retailer Best Buy, according to Prudential, once the iPhone begins shipping later this year. Bear Stearns points to higher visibility with regard to Apple's business plan, citing potential expansion for the company in each of its four potential markets -- which include computers, music, phones, and likely video. The firm also maintains an earnings-per-share estimate of $0.65 on revenues of $5.2 billion for Apple's second quarter of 2007, reflecting a 47 percent sequential decline in iPods to 11.1 million and a 13 percent sequential decline in Macs to 1.4 million. The firm is guiding on earnings-per-share of $0.54-$0.56 on revenues of $4.8-$4.9 billion, according to SeekingAlpha.
Joining the fray of high-end, HD-ready laptops is Samsung, whose new M55 combines a Blu-Ray drive, a 2GHz Core 2 Duo, and a 17-inch screen capable of full 1080p resolution. This makes the computer ideal for movie playback away from the TV. The computer is well-equipped in other regards as well, having 2GB of RAM, and a GeForce Go 7600 videocard with 256MB of VRAM. Rounding out the specifications are a 120GB SATA drive, and numerous connection options, such as Bluetooth 2.0 and 802.11a/b/g. The computer has only been announced for Korea so far, but like other Samsung products it may well come to North America. [via Akihabara News]
Adobe Systems on Wednesday launched its web-based video remix and editing technology, announcing a partnership with Photobucket to integrate Adobe web-based video remix and editing technology directly into the website, giving 35 million Photobucket users direct, free access to Adobe's digital video editing tools. Photobucket is a free image hosting, video hosting and photo sharing service for users who want to host pictures and videos. The new agreement, Adobe said, marks a "new stage in Adobe's delivery of its renowned video software technologies that today underpin flagship products such as Adobe Premiere Elements and Adobe Premiere Pro." The service allows users to drag and drop music, effects, transitions and titles to videos, as well as reorder, trim and split clips. The service is offered as a lightweight Adobe Flash application available to all computers with Flash player software.
In brief: Apple has won its multiple Apertures patent, and saw its 'Cover Flow' trademark published in the U.S. BlueTraks today launched a Bluetooth hands-free kit for cars, and Microsoft apologized for serving malware via its Windows Live Messenger software and MSN website network.... Apple's multiple Apertures patent, titled "Transparent compatibility and adaptation to differing format implementations in a computer system," relates to transparently maintaining compatibility for applications with computer systems with improved display formats.
Samsung is readying an addition to its SyncMaster displays that will rely solely on USB, according to a claim by DigitalWorld. Known only as the 940UX, the 19-inch LCD would toss aside both DVI and VGA connectors to plug into a computer's USB port. Instead of relying on a graphics chipset, the display would use the CPU to power its video. This would have the advantage of allowing as many LCDs as the computer's USB ports and performance will allow, according to the French news outlet. The 940UX is scheduled for an introduction at the CeBIT show in mid-March. No pricing has leaked in advance, but the new monitor will likely run only on Windows XP and Vista systems at first due to the need for special drivers.
In an unconventional approach, Western Digital has designed its new My Book World Edition drives as consumer-level network storage. While they operate as normal external hard drives on a local basis, owners can connect them to the Internet, and use integrated Windows options to save and copy from any location without an FTP client. Perhaps more importantly, only a drive and its Internet connection need to be on for transfer to work; this means that a business traveller, for instance, could shut off his computer but still access important documents from a continent away. There are two models of the World Edition: a 500GB basic version, and the 1TB World Edition II, which can mirror a computer's contents in real-time using RAID. Both drives come with backup software, a gigabit Ethernet port, and a USB 2.0 port for added storage. The basic drive is retailing for $279; the World Edition II is $499.
StereoVision this morning began shipping the 3D VuCAM. Melding a pair of 3.2-megapixel cameras with a set of 40mm-lens binoculars, the VuCAM captures stereo images from up to 150 feet away from its subject or as close as 15 feet. The resulting 3D effect images are stored in a simple JPEG format, but can either be viewed though 3D software on a PC or directly on a 3D-capable display through an RCA output; they can also be previewed on the binoculars themselves through a pop-up LCD. Onboard memory is limited to 128MB of flash but can be bolstered by CompactFlash cards. The binoculars plug into any computer through a USB 2.0 port and should be available now for an unlisted price.
Extending its reach, S1Digital today introduced its ProLine series of media centers. Hinted at by its name, the range is intended for (but not limited to) professional installers who hope to make a home theater PC the center of a much larger custom setup. Each model can fit into an AV equipment rack and has RS-232 ports to join with a home automation system. All of them also share enough performance to play 1080p movies without trouble: a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo, GeForce 7600GT video card, and an HD DVD or optional Blu-Ray drive will play movies at their native resolution through an HDMI output. Dual HD and standard-definition tuners, 7.1-channel audio support, and a diNovo Edge Bluetooth keyboard are also standard.
Speck products today introduced a new iPod nano case, a new hard-shell case for the MacBook, and a carry case for the iPod shuffle and related accessories. Speck's new TechStyle Shuffle Puck for the iPod shuffle (pictured at right), available for $20, is a new case to keep the Shuffle safe and tangle-free. The durable hard shell exterior provides protection, while inside, the ingenious cable management system keeps the headphones wrapped up "and ready to go when you are. Simply snap the shuffle in, zip it up and toss it into your purse, briefcase or luggage for easy travel." The new SeeThru Lucid for iPod nano, now available for $25, boasts a clear, hard shell armor in a fully-functional, one-piece design that delivers all-around protection; in addition, a rubberized seal provides extra security and style. The Lucid also comes with a removable belt clip. It is available in both clear and smoke colors.
CMS Products today released its new BounceBack Professional 7.1, an update to the data protection software for Mac and Windows systems with navigational changes that make it easier to create additional backup sets. The software enables users to create a first full backup, ensuring that subsequent backups are performed automatically. BounceBack 7.1 supports six different languages which include English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. The application enables users to perform fast data recovery, quickly restore lost files, and save multiple versions of files, according to the company. BounceBack 7.1 requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later or Microsoft Windows 2000/XP, and is priced at £122.
Western Digital (WD) today introduced the My Book World Edition family of shared storage appliances, which offer consumers and home office workers to securely access their digital content and share it with family and friends from anywhere in the world as if that content were stored local to the user. The network storage solution features WD Anywhere Access, a new software solution for simplifying access to digital content, enabling the ability to retrieve important presentation and other documents remotely as well as the ability to back up laptop/notebook data from a remote location. Small workgroups also can easily share critical documents over the Internet or within a local network without the need for a separate FTP server.
MaxUpgrades has begun shipping the MaxProtect, an impact-resistant sleeve for Apple's 13.3-inch MacBook as well as 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pro portables. MaxProtect is made from Visco-Elastic Memory Foam to resist impact and shock, enveloping the entire notebook to provide padded protection on all sides. The sleeve features thick foam padding throughout the entire surface of the notebook, a two-zipper pull apart design, a protected zipper enclosure to prevent zippers from contacting the laptop, and handles for easy transportation. The MaxProtect is priced at $30.
Smith Micro Software today released Spring Cleaning 9, the latest version of its all-in-one cleaning and uninstaller software for the Mac. Featuring a new fully-integrated Graphical User Interface as well as enhanced cleaning and maintenance features, version 9 significantly improves the ability to maintain, organize and keep the Mac operating at peak performance. In addition, it offers full Universal Binary support for greater speed and performance and a new Scheduler to run regular maintenance tasks. Other new features include the ability to rebuild Launch Services and the Spotlight index, fix/repair permissions on files, a new system cache cleaner, execute important important Mac OS X scripts at convenient times, a URL history editor, and the ability to securely delete free space. Spring Cleaning is $50 and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
AT&T (still known as Cingular) has officially released the BlackBerry 8800 for its subscribers. As was promised last week, the Canadian smartphone is shipping with a slightly customized body and interface and a push-to-talk feature. The new BlackBerry otherwise holds close to the quad-band GSM, EDGE broadband support, and Bluetooth 2.0 features of the reference device. Pricing is set at the anticipated $300 when joined with a two-year service plan, but increases to $500 for those who prefer to buy the 8800 from the American carrier outside of a contract. AT&T should have the phone online and in stores today.
Cellphone maker Alcatel and Elle magazine today revealed the Elle No. 3 ahead of Paris Fashion Week. Quickly following the No. 2 edition released last year, the third model drops the clamshell design for a slider with chrome trim and a RAZR-style metal keypad. The shape also helps slim the phone down to only 0.66 inches. Modernizing the phone is also key: a sharper 1.3-megapixel camera and a dedicated row of music control keys help the phone keep pace with other media-savvy devices. An iPod-like circular control pad also features prominently. Read through for more and a larger image.
BlueTraks on Wednesday launched what it claims is a unique Bluetooth hands-free kit for cars. The BT-211 mounts into a double-sized DIN slot in a car's center column and handles almost every function of a paired Bluetooth phone, providing for hands-free calls (including voice-activated dialing) and quick access to contacts. However, its hard-wiring to the car's audio system gives it a distinct advantage, according to BlueTraks. In addition to lowering the volume during a call, the BT-211 can link to and charge a dockable iPod through a front-mounted USB port and control the Apple player through a 4.2-inch touchscreen. Most of the core features are intact: drivers can play a specific audiobook or song as well as shuffle the library or individual albums. The kit should be available through dealers this Spring for an unlisted price, and will be followed up in the second half of the year with versions ready for optional GPS mapping and satellite radio.
Nokia this morning helped launch Paris Fashion Week by introducing the Special Edition of the Nokia 7373. The collaboration with Giambattista Valli customizes both the phone and its carrying case to fit the Italian fashion designer's sense of style: the Black Chrome version (shown) turns a glossy black and comes with a black case using a crystal strap and the namesake black chromed skull for an ornament. The Powder Pink version appropriately swaps out black for pink and replaces the crystal strap with necklace-like pearls. Click through for added details and a photo of the Powder Pink model.
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Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k