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Pandigital six-inch frame
The newest photo frame on the market is Pandigital's six-inch model, again expected at March's upcoming PMA expo. The key feature of the product (not pictured) should be loading options, since users can either transfer files directly via USB, or indirectly through a six-in-one media reader. Memory Sticks, CF cards and SD/MMC/xD cards can be used. Onboard memory is 128MB, while maximum picture size is 410x234. MP3 audio should be supported as well, along with AVI, MPEG-1 and MPEG-4 video clips. The screen is capable of 350cd/m2 brightness and 300:1 contrast. The frame should ship later this month at a price of $115.
Bandwagon backs up iTunes
Xackup has launched bandwagon, an online iTunes backup service offering unlimited storage. Bandwagon is designed for music lovers who forget to use rsync, ftp, or CDs + DVDs to backup music. The service is automatic, and features menubar controls with selective backups or full restorations. A queue manager supports free choice of which iTunes items are scheduled for backup, and users can pick artist icons from 'Alanis' to 'the Woz.' Bandwagon is $70 per year for unlimited storage until February 28th before midnight (PST), or $1 for a 30-day trial with unlimited storage. The service will cost $100 per year after February 29th, according to Xackup.
Maple 11 ships
Maplesoft has begun shipping Maple 11, the latest version of its flagship software for solving complex mathematical problems and creating rich technical documents. The latest revision of Maple features enhancements to its smart document interface, strong computation engine, and connectivity capabilities. The smart document environment automatically captures all technical knowledge in an electronic form to integrate calculations, explanatory text and math, graphics, images, sound, and more. Maple 11 is priced at $1,900 for a professional license, which includes the Maple Toolbox for MATLAB and MapleNet alongside a one year subscription to the Maplesoft Elite Maintenance Program. Users who purchased Maple or upgraded between January of 2007 and now have already received the same package based on Maple 10, which allows an automatic upgrade to Maple 11. Academic licenses for Maple 11 are priced at $1,000.
Analyst: Apple tops Cisco
[digg this] The resolution between Apple and Cisco over the disputed iPhone name yesterday appears to have gone Apple's way, according to independent tech analyst Rob Enderle. The two companies agreed to several legal extensions following the Cisco lawsuit over the iPhone trademark, and under that agreement both companies are free to use the iPhone trademark on their products throughout the world, but will dismiss any pending actions regarding the trademark. Cisco and Apple will explore opportunities for interoperability in the areas of security, consumer, and enterprise communications, according to the publicized terms. "It looks like Cisco caved," Enderle said, adding that the pledge of interoperability talks "looks like the typical promise that Steve Jobs has no intention of keeping."
Puretracks abandons DRM
In brief: Puretracks has abandoned DRM in its music service, Campus MovieFest is giving away Macs and iPods, Samsung is targeting the MacBook, and Avid has published sneak preview videos of Xpress Pro 5.7. Canadian online store Puretracks will soon strip DRM from music on select independent labels, such as Nettwerk and Beggar's Banquet. While this represents only 50,000 of Puretracks' 1.3 million songs, the company says it will increase the number of DRM-free tracks weekly, eventually adding major-label content where possible. The move makes Puretracks one of the first big online music stores to carry but later abandon DRM, a move recently suggested by Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
Large format CCD scanners
Paradigm Imaging Group today introduced its new line of imagePRO large format CCD scanners, offering optimized color imaging performance with a wide color gamut and 1200dpi optical resolution. The company's Gx 42m HD and GxT 42m HD Monochrome scanners are designed to capture a dynamic range of black and white photos as well as CAD drawings at speeds up to six IPS, while the Gx 42c HD and GxT 42c HD Color models provide wide color gamut scanning at speeds up to .75 IPS. Paradigm is also selling its Gx 42e HD and GxT 42e HD Enhanced Color scanners, providing enhanced wide color gamut alongside faster color scanning for up to three IPS (pricing was unavailable).
LG VX8700 Details
LG is planning a stylized successor to the VX8600, known simply as the VX8700. A new leak has illustrated the clear influence of the Shine on the device, which is expected to directly replace the Chocolate-influenced model already in use. The clamshell phone would toss aside the external music buttons of the 8600 but may gain the 2-megapixel camera spreading quickly across LG's cellphone range. Bluetooth, EVDO, and a microSD slot will stay in place.
Also confirmed by the leak is news that the VX8700 will be carried by Verizon in the US, almost certainly replacing its immediate ancestor when it goes on sale at an undetermined point in the future. Its price tag should also compare closely to the original at $130 with a two-year service plan. Click through the break for the complete photo. [via Crave]
10X Blu-Ray Burners
A breakthrough in lasers could result in far faster Blu-Ray and HD DVD recording, according to research published today by Nichia. A new blue-violet diode from the Japanese firm would supply as much as 320 milliwatts of power, more than doubling the 130 milliwatts of today's blue-laser burners used to write to both next-generation storage formats. The refinement should let a disc burner spend less time on each bit of data, the company says. Where even faster Blu-Ray drives today record at 4X on a single-layer disc, Nichia-inspired drives could finish a 50GB dual-layer disc at 10X. Still unreleased four-layer discs would write at 2X.
Full-scale production of the lasers should start by the first half of 2008, with the drives themselves following soon afterwards. Nichia warned, however, that the technique will still demand that discs themselves be improved to take advantage of the added performance. [via CDRinfo]
Pandigital 6-inch Frame
OCZ catered to its core audience of overclockers on Thursday and introduced Reaper HPC Edition, some of its fastest-ever stock memory for PCs. The DDR2 memory achieves its 1066MHz and CL5 latency timings due to its new, namesake heatpipe conduit. Much as with silent-running PC and video card coolers, the heatpipe draws extra heat away from the RAM without resorting to fans. Such added cooling is combined with a smart controller that not only improves overclocking, but also lets the Reaper HPC boot right away at the rated settings on NVIDIA SLI-based mainboards without BIOS tweaks, the company says.
Reaper HPC will launch first as a 2x1GB memory kit for PCs that need dual-channel memory. Neither ship times nor pricing are available.
ASUS P526 Phone Details
ASUS today made official details of its latest P series smartphone. Recently introduced as part of the Taiwanese firm's 3GSM lineup, the P526 has integral GPS for mapping and is uncommon among ASUS phones for supporting quad-band GSM, allowing it to roam both in its Asian home and in North America. The P526 will also be ASUS' first Windows Mobile 6 phone and as such gets immediate access to Office Mobile as well as full HTML e-mail and push data.
Launch information is still a mystery but should be clarified by the phone's public appearance at CeBIT early next month. [via NaviGadget]
DragThing 5.7.2 ($30) enhances the custom dock application for Mac OS X, fixing bugs and adding three new dock themes -- titled "Anodised Aluminum," "Black Ice," and "Minimalism." The update enables users to paste clipping items directly into other applications by opening them, and reverts the DragThing sound code back to using QuickTime for playback.
[Download - 7.1MB]
fgrab 1.0b3 (beta) is a utility designed to capture everything on the screen, saving the output as a QuickTime movie. The software comes bundled with FastCut, a real-time video editor, and the third beta marks the first stable release. Both FastCut and fgrab require Mac OS X 10.4 or later, and run natively on Intel-based Macs as Universal Binaries. [Download - 140KB]
DiscLabel 4.1.2 ($33) enables users to create, print, and share CD labels as well as jewel case inserts and DVD covers. The software imports the iTunes track list and iTunes track information into a printable label design, and supports browsing through the iPhoto library to place chosen pictures from iPhoto into a jewel case insert design. The update eases the process of resizing objects by adding more grab handles, and supports rotating objects via the grab handles. [Download - 14.1MB]
PasswordWallet 4.0.2 ($20) provides a secure place to store usernames, passwords, PINs, and combinations. The latest release is a complete rewrite from the ground up with Cocoa, streamlining the user interface and improving the "conduit." The update also adds a warning for corrupt or incomplete keyboard layouts when auto-typing, and fixes a problem where the editor window wouldn't activate correctly after the auto-typing palette was dismissed. [Download - 2.5MB]
Faber Electroacoustics Toolbox 1.1 ($700) serves as a modularized, multi-channel dynamic signal analyzer and data acquisition platform for the Mac. Faber Electroacoustics Toolbox 1.1 features whole and one-third-octave real-time spectral analysis using digital Butterworth bandpass filters, and supports calibrated sound level measurements in whole as well as one-third-octave bands. [Download - 8MB]
SoundSource 1.2 (free) is a rewrite from the ground up of the tiny tool for Mac OS X that enables users to switch audio input and output sources with a single click. With the system setting, users can also transfer system beeps to a secondary audio source. The update improves performance, and requires mac OS X 10.3.9 or later. [Download - 688KB]
LG Prada Headset
LG today revealed a new Bluetooth earpiece to match its iconic Prada phone. Though details are scarce, the headset is unique in applying its parent phone's design philosophy more directly. A hidden LCD shows battery life, volume, and other essentials only when necessary, seemingly disappearing completely into the black shell when no longer in use. The call button similarly blends into the headset while switched off.
The communicator is planned for a May launch in its European home. Prices are undetermined, but should command a premium over less ornate headsets. [via MobileKorea.tv]
Pentax, Fujifilm cameras
Pentax and Fujifilm joined Canon in the slew of camera announcements on Thursday, writes Electronista. Pentax revealed a pair of compact point-and-shoots, the Optio A30 being one of the camera maker's most media-centric models to date. Capturing still shots at 10 megapixels, the A30 is also the newest DivX-capable camera from Pentax and records in the ubiquitous codec at full speed in 640x480. The new Optio improves on its A20 predecessor by raising the ISO limit to 1600 at full size and offering a special ISO 3200 boost at half-resolution. 3x optical zoom and active shake reduction are carried over from the previous model. The A30 is scheduled for March at a price of $350.
Raymarine SR50 Sirius
Raymarine has bolstered its existing marine satellite gear by releasing the SR50 SIRIUS for its C-series line of boat navigation displays. Unlike last year's SR100, the SR50 can be used for both leisure and weather detection. All 130-plus Sirius satellite radio stations are accessible, says the marine navigation firm. Even so, every feature of Sirius Weather is still available, including WSI NOWRad radar and sea conditions. Information can either fill the screen or appear in a picture-in-picture window alongside the ship's essential information.
The SR50 will be available in the US this April and will cover almost all of North America. No price has been set, but the device should fall significantly below the $1,455 base price of the C-series navigator. [via OrbitCast]
Canon PIXMA photo printers
Canon has introduced three new PIXMA printers, says Electronista. Professionals will likely prefer the portable iP90v, which has a maximum color resolution of 4800x1200dpi, and a speed of up to 12 color pages per minute (ppm) -- though a lab-quality 4x6" photo should take about 81 seconds. The printer also has a built-in infrared port, and can print directly from cameras using PictBridge, or any Bluetooth device using an optional accessory. Other kits exist to extend battery life or charge the printer in a car. The iP1800 and iP3300, meanwhile, are cheaper printers and have similar or better performance, but are also tethered to a desktop environment. The 3300 can print a 4x6 in 47 seconds; the 1800 will print the same in 70 seconds, with a top color speed of 16ppm. The iP90v will cost $250 and ship in April; the 3300 and 1800 will arrive in March, priced at $80 and $50.
X360 Wireless for PCs
Microsoft has just begun shipping the Wireless Xbox 360 Controller for Windows, giving gamers their first chance at using the cordless edition of the console gamepad on a suitably equipped PC. The pad works with computers by attaching a separate 2.4GHz receiver to the computer through USB, replicating the Xbox 360's unique wireless standard. The gamepad is fully interchangeable with the versions sold for the console and retains support for both the wired and wireless headsets, Microsoft says. The built-in vibration feedback will also kick in when supported by a given title.
The wireless controller officially requires a Windows XP system and is available for $60. Inidividual receivers are also available for those with the previously Xbox 360-only wireless controller for $20.
Puretracks dumps DRM
A Canadian online store, Puretracks, has announced its intentions to sell DRM-free music from select independent labels, says the National Post. Most notable among these are Nettwerk -- home to Delerium, Sarah McLachlan and the Barenaked Ladies -- and Beggar's Banquet, who count Thom Yorke and The Strokes among their numbers. This represents only 50,000 of Puretracks' 1.3 million songs, but the company says it will increase this number weekly, eventually adding major-label content where possible.
The move makes Puretracks one of the first big online stores to carry but later abandon DRM, a move recently suggested by Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The iTunes Store still uses FairPlay, and many users have complained about Microsoft restrictions imposed through PlaysForSure and Windows Media Player 11. The liberation of these fronts is likely dependent on record labels, who have been notably split on the virtues of copy control: EMI has been attempting to go DRM-free, while Warner believes limits to be essential.
Samsung Aura Notebook
Samsung is on the verge of releasing a new designer notebook line, according to newly leaked information. Called the Aura, the range is consciously minimalist and takes on a completely black thin shell, targeting the same aesthetics of the MacBook. The design choice extends to emphasizing its 5.2-pound light weight and removing the logos that normally clutter notebooks. The introductory Aura R20 will specifically compete with Apple, according to early details. A 14-inch glossy widescreen shares the same 1280x800 resolution, but is bolstered by ATI's recently announced Xpress 1250 -- a new chipset said to dramatically improve on typically slow integrated graphics. A 60GB hard drive and DVD rewriter will be standard.
More information and a gallery follow.
MacDental Ed released
MacPractice today released MacDental Ed, its "chair-side" patient education and communication application. The software features more than 400 presentations with 3D illustrations, 3D animation, and clinical examples. "Dentition and Anatomy" is the first of 15 DVDs providing dental information in fully animated movies designed for a dental reception area. The narrator explains the bite, eruption sequence of the teeth, and tooth anatomy. The DVD plays in a Mac or standard DVD player, and comes free when users purchase MacDental Ed or MacPractice DDS by March 15th. MacPractice is planning to demonstrate MacDental Ed and MacPractice DDS at the Chicago Midwinter Meeting from February 23-25th in booth no. 1047. MacDental Ed is priced at $1,900, or $1,600 if purchased with MacPractice DDS by March 15th. The company is also offering personalization with a dental practice's information for another $100.
In brief: Apple has filed for an "Objective-C" trademark, Google patched a vulnerability in its desktop search tool, Nova media has updated its iSync phone plug-ins, and SubRosaSoft has announced a free MacForensicsLab training CD. Apple's "Objective-C" trademark names the technology Apple used in the creation of Xcode 3.0 for Mac OS X Leopard. The trademark application (no. 77108817) is being filed under International Class 009 for computer software, and the documentation notes that the trademark was first used in commerce at least as early as December 1st of 1984. The technology, according to Apple, is now in use in such commerce as proven by a screenshot.
Canon PIXMA photo printers
Important photographs still need to be printed, and for that Canon has introduced three new PIXMA printers. Professionals will likely prefer the portable iP90v, which has a maximum color resolution of 4800x1200dpi, and a speed of up to 12 color pages per minute (ppm) -- though a lab-quality 4x6" photo should take about 81 seconds. The printer also has a built-in infrared port, and can print directly from cameras using PictBridge, or any Bluetooth device using an optional kit. Other kits exist to extend battery life or charge the printer in a car. The iP90v will cost $250 and ship in April.
Conversely, the iP1800 and iP3300 are cheaper and have similar or better performance, but are meant to stay on a computer desk. The 3300 can print a 4x6 in 47 seconds; meanwhile, the 1800 will print the same in 70 seconds, with a top color speed of 16ppm. Both printers will arrive in March, priced at $80 for the 3300 and $50 for the 1800.
Fujitsu US-Bound Plasmas
Fujitsu this morning took its first tentative steps into the American market for full HD sets by announcing its new AVIAMO line of plasma sets. The entire line is designed to resemble jet-black Japanese lacquer frames and uses aluminum, rather than cheaper plastic, as its foundation. Each set in the current lineup also maintains a high reference for quality, Fujitsu boasts. The 37-inch, 50-inch, and 65-inch models are all capable of a baseline 1080p resolution. Dual HDMI inputs and RS-232 home automation support also pervade the entire line.
Thought of as a premium brand, AVIAMO is set to go on sale this Spring for appropriate prices, starting at $5,000 for the 37-inch model and peaking at $18,000 for the large 65-inch version.
New Canon LCD projectors
While not they're not coming to PMA, Canon has also used the day to debut three new compact projectors. Native resolution on the line is limited to XGA (1024x768), but SXGA and UXGA (1280x1024 and 1600x1200) are supported in compressed format, and the high-end LV-7265 supports DVI-I input in addition to the component, VGA, composite and S-Video options of the LV-X7 and the LV-7260. The projectors are otherwise fairly similar, the main differences being brightness and contrast: the X7 has 1,500 lumens and 500:1 contrast, whereas the 7260 has 2,000 lumens and 600:1 contrast, and the 7265 pushes to 2,500 lumens. The products will be out in early March, at prices of $999, $1,199 and $1,499.
Canon intros new cameras
Canon today in preparation for the PMA Expo introduced its new flagship camera (shown at right), four additions to its point-and-shoot PowerShot series, and the PowerShot TX1. Canon's flagship model, the EOS-1D Mark III is the fastest camera of its kind, according to the company, boasting dual DIGIC III processors to offload much of the image processing and transfer work. The EOS-1D Mark III shoots as quickly as 10 frames per second, achieving bursts of up to 30 RAW shots or 110 JPEG images. The chips also improve image quality while allowing sensitivity of up to ISO 3200 in normal shooting, rising to ISO 6400 in a special mode for low-light shots and ISO 50 for improved shots in brighter areas.
Fujifilm's PMA camera line
Fujifilm's expo offerings are concentrated mainly on compacts -- click through for a gallery. Leading the pack is the FinePix S700, which may be limited to a seven-megapixel sensor, but has the advantage of 10x optical zoom, an "intelligent" flash system, and an ISO sensitivity range up to 1600. By contrast, the A820 and the A900 are limited to 4x zoom, and a top ISO rating of 800. They do however have 8.3- and nine-megapixel sensors, respectively. All three cameras use combination SD/xD card slots and Fujifilm's Picture Stabilization technology. The S700 will be out in April, while A820 and A900 should be out in May, and will cost $180 and $200. No price has been listed for the S700.
Pentax A30 and W30
Pentax joined in the slew of camera releases on Thursday by announcing a pair of compact point-and-shoots. The Optio A30 is one of the camera builder's most media-centric models. Capturing still shots at 10 megapixels, the A30 is also the newest DivX-capable camera from Pentax and records in the ubiquitous codec at full speed in 640x480. The new Optio improves on its A20 predecessor by raising the ISO limit to 1600 at full size and offering a special ISO 3200 boost at half-resolution. 3X optical zoom and active shake reduction are carried over from the previous model.
The A30 is scheduled for March at a price of $350. Read through for more news as well as larger images.
ProPhase 1.0 released
Katsura Shareware today released ProPhase 1.0 for Mac OS X Tiger, its professional digital audio software tool that displays detailed information on the phase, levels, and mono compatibility of stereo audio signals in real-time. The software provides a phase display with four different XY plot types as well as gain control, and enables users to monitor peak as well as RMS levels. ProPhase includes line, dots, and rainbow plot modes with linear and logarithmic scales to show phase display. Users can measure meter levels with a sum/difference meter or a correlation meter alongside clip indicators and label text. ProPhase is priced at $100, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
Wilkes University goes Mac
Apple is continuing to make strides in the education market, despite some recent negative remarks by Apple CEO Steve Jobs regarding teachers' unions. Bolstering reports of Macs rebounding on college campuses, The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that Wilkes University, a higher education institution located in Pennslyvania has announced that it plans to get rid of all its Windows-based computers in the next three years and replace them with Macs. "The university has an enrollment of less than 5,000, and any student who wants to use a PC will have to bring his or her own." University officials also plan to convert its existing computing infrastructure to Macs, the report said. The Wilkes computer labs, which now house 1,700 computers of both varieties, will be made all Mac in a project that is expected to cost $1.4 million.
Vyper exo MacBook Pro case
Booq has expanded its Vyper line of laptop carrying cases with a sleek, molded semi-rigid ballistic nylon bag designed for everyday use with Apple's 15- or 17-inch MacBook Pro. The 4-inch-thick Vyper exo features a rugged black exterior with accent color stitching as well as custom buttons on the inside. Multiple pockets provide storage for files, pens, an iPod, a cellular phone, and laptop accessories. Vyper exo is comprised of a semi-rigid high density foam with a water-repelling 1682D cross-weave ballistic nylon exterior. The laptop compartment is lined with non-scratch fabrics and is virtually molded around a MacBook Pro for a Vyper-style snug fit, according to Booq. The new cases are shipping for $175 for the 15-inch 'M' model and $200 for the 17-inch 'XL' case.
Canon TX1 HDV Camera
Canon topped its camera announcements today by revealing the PowerShot TX1. The camera breaks from tradition by merging the features of still photo cameras and HDV camcorders. While part of the PowerShot line and capable of 7.1-megapixel images with face detection, ISO 1600, and post-shooting red-eye correction, the TX1 also has the features of a motion camera and can capture 720p widescreen video at full speed. The camera will even snap full-quality stills while recording movies, Canon adds. Its shape is similarly vertically-oriented and makes room for a 10X optical zoom lens with image stabilization.
Despite its new video emphasis, the TX1 uses more convenient SD cards for storage and supports SDHC for memory beyond the previous 2GB barrier. Its price is also closer to photo than video cameras, reaching $500 when it ships to stores in March. Click through for a larger image.
iPods used as "black box"
Pilots may soon rely on the iPod for the operation of their aircraft. A new report indicates that the hugely popular iPod media player may become an integral part of one airplane manufacturer's airplane design. The iPod could become a flight data recorder (FDR) following an announcement by US light aircraft manufacturer LoPresti Speed Merchants to introduce the device in the cockpit of its Fury piston aircraft, Flight reports. The Florida-based company is planning for "full integration of the iPod into the Fury's avionics systems." The report says that the iPod will serve as a digital data recorder, a.k.a as the "black box"--often used to help determine the cause of plane crashes/tragedies.
Canon SD and A Series 2007
Continuing its announcements in advance of the PMA trade show, Canon on Thursday unveiled four cameras for its point-and-shoot PowerShot line. The SD1000 and SD750 both designed as much for style as function, Canon says: either model has the option of a black tone around the lens, emphasizing the signature PowerShot look. The cameras are also the Japanese firm's thinnest optical zoom models, shrinking to 19.4mm (0.76 inches) in the case of the SD1000. Each model has a 7.1-megapixel sensor and 3X optical zoom, also using single DIGIC III processor to clean their images and boost normal ISO sensitivity to 1600.
The SD1000 will ship with a 2.5-inch LCD, optical viewfinder, and traditional SD-series control for $300; the SD750 drops the viewfinder in exchange for a 3-inch LCD and a new touch control dial for $350. Both are due in late March.
Click through for photos and more details.
Canon EOS-1D Mark III
Canon launched its campaign for the PMA expo by introducing the EOS-1D Mark III, its new flagship camera. The new pro digital SLR is the fastest of its kind, according to the company: dual DIGIC III processors offload much of the image processing and transfer work, allowing the camera to shoot as quickly as 10 frames per second and achieving bursts of up to 30 RAW shots or 110 JPEG images. The chips also improve image quality and allow sensitivity up to ISO 3200 in normal shooting, jumping to ISO 6400 in a special mode for low-light shots and ISO 50 for better shots in bright areas.
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