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News Archive for 07/03/09

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Apple offers more $1,899 refurb Mac Pros

03/09, 7:15pm

$1,899 refurb Mac Pros

Apple is once again offering refurbished Mac Pros for $1,899 and up, enabling careful shoppers to purchase its top-end desktop systems at discounted rates. Refurbished Mac Pros currently include the Quad 2.0GHz Intel Xeon Mac Pro with 1GB of memory, a 250GB hard drive, and an NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT graphics card for $1,899; as well as the Quad 3.0GHz Mac Pro with 2GB of memory, a 250GB hard drive, and an ATI Radeon X1900 XT graphics card for $3,299. Apple has also updated its refurbished iMac offerings with a 17-inch 1.9GHz G5 system featuring 512MB of memory and a 160GB hard drive for $999; as well as a 20-inch 2.1GHz G5 system with 512MB of memory and a 250GB hard drive for $1,299. The Apple Store Canada is also offering a 17-inch 1.9GHz G5 iMacs for CAD$1,179 and 20-inch 2.1GHz G5 iMacs for CAD$1,519. [click here for Apple Store Canada]

Apple, iTunes are 'music's new gatekeeper'

03/09, 6:50pm

Apple new power broker

While Apple growing influence in the music industry has worried execs, a new report claims that the company has become an unexpected power broker as the popularity of its iTunes software increases. With the growing value of the digital real-estate available on iTunes, the company has chosen not sell that prime promotional space, but instead use it to barter for exclusive track offerings, discount pricing, and additional exclusive content. The Wall Street Journal reports that the one million daily visitors to the iTunes Store home page are presented with several dozen albums, TV shows and movie downloads and that of the Cupertino-based company's catalog of more than four million, only a a few dozen are adorned on home page.

Forums: iMac life, (PRODUCT) RED

03/09, 6:35pm

Forums March 9

Forums roundup: Members are discussing what the useful life expectancy for an iMac is of the current line.... Other users are discussing the intention of one poster to buy a Mac Pro to use as a Windows box, also questioning whether it is possible to remove OS X completely.... One user is looking to solve several problems with OS 9, to save the classic-bound family business.... Other members are trying to help solve issues with a Mac switcher's iBook G4, who is considering switching back to Windows.... Meanwhile, other members are discussing the poor performance of (PRODUCT) RED, which several see as a publicity stunt for companies involved such as Apple.

WR Hambrecht initiates AAPL coverage with "buy"

03/09, 6:30pm

WR Hambrecht covers Apple

Research firm WR Hambrecht has officially initiated coverage on Apple Inc., and has issued a "buy" rating with a $110 price target on shares of the Cupertino-based company. "Apple has a very impressive desktop and notebook offering that continues to grow faster than the industry and command higher average selling prices, an iPod franchise that dominates the category and represented almost half of the total company revenue in the strongest quarter in its history (December 2006), a new operating system due out shortly that is expected to help facilitate operating both Mac OS X and Windows operating system through virtualization software, an upcoming iPhone offering in the approximately one billion unit total cellphone market and numerous other products and initiatives in place and ongoing."

Briefly: iPhone at Cingular; U-Cover review

03/09, 6:25pm

iPhone alert mail; U-Cover

In brief: Cingular sets up iPhone alert mail, MacNN reviews the U-Cover Keyboard Protector, Aspyr launches a page for The Sims Life Stories, and Delkin prepares an ultra-fast CompactFlash reader. Though the iPhone is already expected to be released sometime in June, a new service from Cingular will let customers know the exact date as soon as possible. An e-mail will be sent to any interested party when the company is ready to announce an official date. Users concerned about spam and privacy should consult Cingular's policy, which does appear to protect subscribers.

FotoMagico 2 adds standalone presentations

03/09, 6:20pm

FotoMagico 2 released

Boinx Software today released FotoMagico 2, adding new ways to share photos presentations as standalone players or as Mac OS X screensavers. Users can present FotoMagico shows in the same high quality that the application can without requiring the viewer to download or install software, and without a FotoMagico license. The update makes the software easier to use, according to Boinx, and shows are rendered in real-time to maintain small file sizes when compared to HD video. Standalone players and screensavers start the show as soon as they are opened and can be configured to expire after a specified period of time or after playing a certain number of times. Additionally, the pricing for FotoMagico 2 has dropped from $80 to $50 (system requirements were unavailable).

TORQ preparing P175 Pocket PC

03/09, 5:20pm

TORQ P175 Pocket PC

A relative unknown in the realm of phones, TORQ is nevertheless developing the P175, its latest Pocket PC. It will run Windows Mobile 5.0 on a 520MHz Intel processor, and have 64MB of RAM and 128MB of ROM; the display is a 2.7-inch QVGA model with 262,000 colors. It should also be fairly modest in the realm of connectivity, supporting just tri-band GSM, EDGE broadband and 802.11b/g; other devices will link up through Bluetooth 1.2 or USB. A miniSD slot is provided for storage, though this is mainly to save photos from the 2-megapixel camera, since there is no mention of music playback. The primary advantage of the phone is likely to be price, since TORQ expects it to retail for $250-300 at an unspecified date. [via The Boy Genius Report]

Apple marketing exploits media, key tactics

03/09, 4:40pm

How Apple marketing works

Apple's marketing efforts are some of the most effective in the world, notes Jefferson Graham of USA Today. Central may be the company's ability to exploit the news media, which often covers Apple product releases as major events; the Harvard Business School's David Yoffie observes that the Steve Jobs iPhone announcement received the equivalent of $400 million in free publicity. "It's unprecedented," says Joffie. Part of the reason for this is the company's track record of invention, says Graham, but there are other less savory reasons, such as an intense campaign for product placement in movies and TV shows. Apple also casts rivals like Microsoft as enemies, and is known to value its "surprise" factor so highly that it will sue websites that reveal information prematurely. The company does however have more accepted tactics, such as memorable TV advertising, and an emphasis on spectacle when it holds public events.

Macs to get built-in video decoding, become PVRs?

03/09, 4:30pm

Mac Built-in Decode HW

Apple is preparing to outfit its Macs with hardware that would accelerate decoding and encoding video, according to Robert Cringely of PBS. The columnist claims that every Mac to be released in 2007 will at some point include a chipset that offloads the tasks of rendering videos from the CPU, guaranteeing a minimum level of quality across every system.

Imporantly, Cringely adds, the hardware will be used to let Macs double as PVRs, converting live TV into H.264 videos to be shared across other devices. The hardware could also be used to improve the quality of video chats and for streaming home TV over the Internet as with the Slingbox. These tasks could even be handled in the background without the user even noticing.

Agfa debuts 6-megapixel budget camera

03/09, 3:45pm

Agfa DC-630i Camera

Agfa has contributed its own share to the camera announcements at the PMA photo expo by unveiling the DC-630i for the US. The budget 6-megapixel camera appeals directly to first-time photographers with just enough important features to help compose their initial shots: face tracking picks out as many as three people to focus on in a shot, and potentially blurry shots are fixed through ISO-based shake correction. A 2.5-inch LCD at the back, a 3X optical zoom lens, and support for storage using SD or SDHC cards finish up the design.

The DC-630i was initially announced only for Europe, but is now set to appear in the US by April, when it should retail for $169. Click for a profile image after the break.

Flip4Mac releases Drive-in DVD storage app

03/09, 3:35pm

Flip4Mac releases Drive-in

Flip4Mac has released Drive-in, a new application enabling users to store personal DVD movie libraries on a Mac. Users can create an image of a DVD disc on a laptop or home entertainment system, preserving quality and navigation as well as special features on the original DVD for playback on Apple's DVD Player or Front Row software. Drive-in preserves the DVD's original content copy protection, allowing users to play images on any computer they own but not share those images with others. The software is designed to simplify the way users search and access videos, adding information such as DVD cover art and names of actors or movie descriptions. The software is available as a public beta that requires mac OS X 10.4 or later.

Briefly: X-Session Pro promo; iSync plug-ins

03/09, 3:25pm

X-Session Pro promo

In brief: M-Audio today announced that all X-Session Pro owners are eligible to receive a free copy of Torq LE, nova media has released iSync phone plug-ins 3.3.9 with support for Samsung phones, and Duel Systems has begun shipping its unique DualAdapter that plugs into ExpressCard 34 or 54 slots to treat externally connected PC cards as though they were native devices. HoMedics has unveiled the iSoundSpa clock for iPod, and Creative has launched two new iPod speaker docks in Japan. M-Audio is offering all X-Session Pro owners a free copy of Torq LE, a light version of its Torq DJ software. X-Session Pro owners can head to the X-Session Pro page on m-audio.com to register and download the software for free.

Panasonic plans dip into entry-level digital SLRs

03/09, 3:10pm

Panasonic Entry DSLR

Panasonic intends to launch a digital SLR camera targeted at a wide audience, the company's camera planning manager Ichiro Kitao said at the PMA photography expo. The firm hopes to expand its Lumix SLR cameras beyond the pro-oriented $2,000 L1K by introducing a low-cost model for photographers just moving beyond fixed-lens cameras. Its features will be at least as powerful as the L1K in most areas, Kitao said: a 10-megapixel sensor, live preview LCD, image stabilization, and a dust removal system are certain to be part of the camera. It should also ship with a Leica lens and support the Four Thirds mounts used by Olympus lenses.

Arcam rDock goes to extremes for quality

03/09, 2:30pm

Arcam's audiophilic rDock

Home theater designer Arcam today launched the rDock. As an alternative to other cradles for the iPod, the rDock is claimed to be the first to truly satisfy audiophiles. Its construction and materials are influenced by dedicated home stereo gear, and include a pre-amp as well as a low-interference power supply. The iPod's power is also carefully managed to preserve audio quality -- since even recharging the iPod can interfere, Arcam says, the charging system automatically shuts down when the battery is full. Despite this, listeners can also connect any dockable iPod to more sources through increased output options, including native RCA stereo output as well as RCA and S-video jacks for image-capable iPods. The rDock should be available in the UK now for the equivalent of $231.

Celrun intros do-all GPS unit with digital radio, TV

03/09, 2:25pm

Celrun FDN-2700 GPS TV

Celrun promised a multi-talented device on Friday with its upcoming FDN-2700 GPS unit. While a 7-inch touchscreen mapping system designed primarily for cars, the system also incorporates a tuner for both digital TV from DMB-based channels and digital radio from DAB stations and will even display the entertainment alongside navigation to keep one from interrupting the other. The receiver also accepts TPEG terrestrial broadcasts for live traffic alerts. An SD card slot loads map information and serves as a loading point for MP3 songs.

Listed only as "coming soon," no prices or launch dates have been made available. The 2700 is likely to remain in its native Korea without significant changes. The company has not explained the choice of an Apple logo for its media playback section. [via AVING]

Electric Image Animation System v6.6.1

03/09, 2:00pm

EIAS v.6.61 released

EI Technology Group has released version of 6.6.1 of the Universal Binary version of the Electric Image Animation System (EIAS). The update, now available for immediate download, takes advantage of the advancements in the new generation of Intel-based Macs for "astonishing speed and performance" improvements over previous EIAS versions on both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs. "The speed improvement of Electric Image Animation System 6.6 on the new Macintosh Intel computer is simply astonishing," remarks Matt Hoffman, Vice President of Development . "Now with our update to 6.6.1 we have the speed and stability customers expect from our animating and rendering software. EIAS continues to be the world's fastest rendering engine all the while producing some of the most breathtaking imagery in 3D." It is a free update for v6.6 users and is available for $700; upgrades are $100 for v6.5 users. Customers with versions prior to 6.0 may upgrade for $400.

Arcam readies audiophile iPod dock

03/09, 1:55pm

Arcam Audiophile iPod Dock

Home theater designer Arcam today launched the rDock. As an alternative to other cradles for the iPod, the rDock is claimed to be the first to truly satisfy audiophiles. Its construction and materials are influenced by dedicated home stereo gear, and include a pre-amp as well as low-interference power supplies. The iPod's power is also carefully managed to preserve audio quality. Since even recharging the iPod can interfere with audio quality, Arcam claims to have learned in a study, the charging system automatically shuts down when the battery is full.

Listeners can also hook up any dockable iPod directly to more sources through increased output options, including native RCA stereo output as well as RCA and S-video jacks for image-capable iPods. The rDock should be available in the UK now for the equivalent of $231. [via Tech Digest]

FastMac debuts PowerBook, iBook AC adapter

03/09, 1:30pm

FastMac AC adapter debuts

FastMac today unveiled the expansion of its TruePower line with a 65-watt AC adapter designed specifically for Apple PowerBook G4 and iBook laptops. The TruePower adapter provides constant wattage output that meets or exceeds Apple-branded adapters, according to FastMac, and features a built-in LED indicator. The compact design is compatible with all PowerBook G4 Titanium and Aluminum 12-, 15-, and 17-inch models as well as iBook G3 and G4 laptops. The TruePower adapter will begin shipping next week, and is available for pre-order for $36. The adapter comes with a 1-year warranty and a 30-day guarantee.

Google developing location-based search for phones?

03/09, 1:25pm

Google Phone Search Patent

Google may be on the verge of introducing a search technology that could tie into the next generation of phones, according to a recently discovered patent granted to the Web developer. Officially titled "Nonstandard locality-based text entry," the technique would have a phone's Google search tool determine what the owner is looking for based on cues from the hardware itself, such as a GPS receiver or the internal clock.

A device could recommend several options for nearby stores and change those recommendations based on the time of day. Search and text messaging histories would also become relevant by helping the engine recommend particular locations or services.

Purdue scientists invent world's first 'tricorder'

03/09, 1:15pm

World's first 'tricorder'

A new device developed at Purdue University should finally allow mobile, non-invasive substance analysis, much like the tricorders used in Star Trek, says EETimes. The unnamed prototype is essentially a portable mass spectrometer, the key innovation being the use of an ion trap, which lets users place the scanner next to the target. Current spectrometers often require samples to be physically inserted. The Purdue device is also substantially lighter, weighing a mere 20 pounds compared to 300-pound units in some airports, and still fits a hard drive and Windows-based control system. If mass-produced it could also cost as little as $2,000, Purdue scientists say, and be used in everything from food testing to medical scans. The first commercial rollout of the device is in progress, but is only intended for laboratories.

Palm hires ex-Apple engineer

03/09, 1:00pm

Palm hires ex-Apple man

Palm, a manufacturer of smarphones which could lose considerable market share to Apple when the iPhone ships in June, has hired former Apple engineer Paul Mercer to create a new line of products. While details of the new products remain secret, the recent recruiting effort suggests a direct response to Apple's iPhone. Mercer, who was swooped up by Palm just three weeks ago, is best-known for designing the Finder interface in the Mac OS 7 operating system. Mercer also founded Pixo, the company whose software backbone was responsible for the initial interface behind the iPod, according to Electronista and the New York Times. The 3GSM cellular phone expo in Barcelona last month is rumored to have centered around Apple's forthcoming handset, despite the Cupertino-based company's lack of attendance at the event.

iPods may oust hi-fi CD players

03/09, 12:55pm

iPods to oust CD players?

Apple's iPods and Mac systems playback music with better sound quality than hi-fi CD systems, according to AVI's Ashley James. James cautions that Apple products are nowhere near perfect, but notes that "there are some CD players from prominent manufacturers that are miles worse. They're so bad that from the moment they're on -- if you came into this room with one of these CD players I'm telling you about -- you'd know there was something wrong with it. You wouldn't know what it was, but you'd just say 'that's bloody terrible'." The difference in quality and convenience is apparently causing CD players to lose market share, according to James. Further issues affecting sales of CD players include failed copy protection schemes, as well as the tendency for CD player mechanisms to fail.

Initial iPhone sales may fall short

03/09, 12:40pm

Initial iPhone sales

Apple's iPhone, which is due to launch in June, could fall short of heightened expectations in the near-term due to its small potential market, according to Forbes.com. The market for the iPhone is, at first glance, quite appealing with worldwide handset sales expected to top more than 1 billion in 2007, but Apple's goal of selling 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008 could prove to be wishful thinking. A closer look at the handset market shows the iPhone's price as too high for many customers, placing it right alongside other smartphones like the BlackBerry that account for just 10 percent of handset sales. Additionally, Apple's choice to offer the iPhone exclusively through Cingular further narrows its potential customer base, enabling only those users whose contracts are near expiration and die-hard fans willing to cancel current contracts for a penalty as likely customers. Nevertheless, Apple could create its own market as it did with the iPod in 2001, or generate enough buzz around the iPhone's features to create a "must have" mentality in the minds of customers who wouldn't have normally spent $499 or even $599 for a smartphone.

Square One handles routing and file-server tasks

03/09, 12:15pm

Square One router/server

The Square One by Quad Micro Works is a part of the growing trend of file servers aimed at home users. The difference, however, is that the Square can also be used as an 802.11g router and print server; knowledgable users can turn it into an FTP or Apache web server. The Square is Vista and Mac OS X compatible, and holds up to 320GB, which can be accessed either via wireless or through six Ethernet ports. Camera users will appreciate the eight-in-one card reader, which enables the likes of CF and SD cards to be accessed from anywhere on a network. The server should be available now for an average cost of $399, though Amazon is selling it for $385. [via Gearlog]

Wing Inter develops stealthy pen MP3 player

03/09, 11:50am

N007 MP3 Pen

Wing Inter today launched the N007 MP3 player. Reflecting the spy origins in its name, the device is a fully functional ballpoint pen but separates to reveal a full music player with MP3, WAV, and WMA music support; a nub at the top of the cap navigates tracks, while small LEDs on the side indicate its status. The pen also works as a surreptitious voice recorder and and as a data drive, the company adds.

Several versions are available that vary by storage. A 128MB model sells for $104 in Korea to those who only need a handful of files, while a 2GB edition at the top of the range retails for $209. All models come with earbuds and a coreded remote. [via AVING]

AirPort Extreme dual-band support explored

03/09, 11:35am

AirPort dual-band support

Apple's recently released 802.11n AirPort Extreme Base Station is capable of serving both 2.4GHz and 5GHz radio bands, but offers better performance in one mode and improved range in the other, according to a new study. Apple's AirPort Extreme is one of two wireless routers that implement the new 802.11n standard, maintaining backward compatibility with 802.11b/g and 802.11a standard to support legacy wireless clients. According to eWeek's recent review, Apple's router does not implement channel bonding in the 2.4GHz band, thus restricting clients to using only 20MHz channels while 5GHz clients can use a full 40GHz client. "In 5GHz mode, each client would receive and transmit at the 300M bps link rate, while 2.4GHz clients could attach at only a maximum rate of 144M bps."

Treo 750 caught running Windows Mobile 6

03/09, 11:20am

Treo 750 Running WM6

Palm's Treo 750 is set to receive at least a software upgrade, a photo leak has revealed. The update would see the latest smartphone from the company running Windows Mobile 6, giving it a copy of Office Mobile and the option of editing documents without needing to buy extra software through a carrier or from Microsoft.

Whether or not the phone has received any hardware changes hasn't been revealed, though the leak points to the same 300MHz processor and free memory as the current model. The source also indicates that the example version is a 750v, possibly leading to an initial launch with European carrier Vodafone. Release dates are unavailable; click through for the complete images. [via Mobility Today]

Web page manufacturing system launches

03/09, 10:55am

Web page creation system

DutyCrew today launched its new Web page manufacturing system designed to help users build independent standalone websites with ease, consistency and flexibility. The software enables users to insert images as well as links to multimedia files -- including flash, MP3, and video. Uploading website components is automated, and navigation is sorted out for users while offering the flexibility to move pages and menu components unhindered. Users can export and import sites between machines as well as platforms, and can retain FTP passwords alongside server details The software is already available for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger users, comes with a backup mechanism, and is priced at 26 with a 2/month subscription fee. DustyCrew notes that its software is under development for other platforms, including Linux and Microsoft Windows 2000/XP/Vista.

Apps: Backwards Machine, Caboodle, iVox

03/09, 10:50am

Caboodle, iVox, AudioLobe

    Backwards Machine ($35) is a cross-platform plug-in that reverses continuous audio in real-time. It reverses and overlaps snippets of the incoming audio to produce an ongoing backwards effect as well as smoothly cross-fades between forward/backward versions of the incoming audio. It can also play the input audio backwards, twice, adding a slight vibrato during the second playback. It supports VST format for Windows and VST and Audio Unit formats for Mac OS X (Universal). [Download - 1.5MB]
    Dejal Caboodle 1.1 ($15) is a useful application to collect text, images, and other content. Users can arrange the items in an outline-like hierarchy, and include both structured fields and free-form text and pictures in each entry, along with web links, lists, tables, PDFs, etc. It supports encryption of sensitive information, searching, and now import/export in several formats and enhanced printing functions. [Download - 2.7MB]
    AudioLobe 1.2 ($20) allows you to independently alter the playback speed and pitch rate of audio files. "If you are a musician or interested in audio this means you can slow down complex sequences of audio without the vocal or instruments sounding unintelligible." All the features of AudioLobe are available in demo mode and it supports AAC (the format commonly used by iTunes, MPEG4 audio, m4a), MP3, AIFF, CD files, AIFC (AIFF Compressed), and WAV file formats. [Download - 1.5MB]
    Infovox iVox 1.1 is a new version of its voice synthesis system that enables users of Mac OS X who suffer from visual impairment and dyslexia to vocally access written information. Version 1.1 can be used on PowerPC- or Intel-based Macs and now offers a selection of new voices such as American Spanish and Canadian French in addition to the other languages available : American English, British English, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Flemish, Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian and Swedish. Infovox iVox requires Mac OS X 10.3.9. [Download - form]
    SearchBlox v4.0 (starting at $600) brings replication support and a completely re-designed AJAX-based Admin Console to the high-performance Content Search Software. The new release also supports hit highlighting of search terms in HTML and PDF documents. The J2EE Web Component supports major J2EE Application Servers (BEA Weblogic, JBoss, Websphere, etc.) and is also available as a standalone server for Windows, Mac OS X and Unix/Linux. A free edition is available can index up to 1000 documents. [Download - options]

Kingston Amber Alert drive helps track missing kids

03/09, 10:50am

Kingston Amber Alert Drive

Memory maker Kingston has teamed with Global Security Alerts to create the AMBER Alert Child ID Kit. This converted 512MB DataTraveler USB flash drive includes software that stores all of a child's relevant information -- including photos, personal info, and Internet account IDs -- in a single location. The drive helps worried parents quickly get relevant information to police and others if their children ever goes missing and will automatically update itself to make sure that Internet-based information remains current.

Individual drives ship now for $30, but both involved companies encourage ordering in bulk to protect children and drop the price to $24 each when buying two or more. [via Popgadget]

Bose dashboard mount does music, GPS

03/09, 10:45am

Bose Media System

Bose forthcoming Media System is a dash-mounted system that combines GPS and music functions, with a stronger emphasis on the latter. It can for instance play CDs and FM or XM radio, but more importantly, it has a 30GB hard drive which can store up to 200 hours of audio. Users can also connect and control devices such as phones and iPods using Bluetooth or USB 2.0. The primary control scheme is a pair of proximity-sensitive dials -- as users move their hand to one or the other, the dash automatically switches interfaces. It also sorts music (songs and stations) by genre for faster selection. No pricing or release dates have been set, except that the first car to use it will this year's Ferrari 612 Scaglietti. [via Navigadget]

O2 launches XDA Graphite with 3G wireless

03/09, 10:20am

O2 XDA Graphite Launched

British cell provider O2 today officially launched the XDA Graphite. Its bar phone shape belies the smartphone components at work: Windows Mobile 5 runs the device and supports both push e-mail and pocket versions of Excel, Outlook, and Word for viewing files away from the office. The Graphite is also a true 3G wireless phone that connects to the Internet through UMTS for both web browsing and video calls using the integrated front VGA camera. Bluetooth 2.0 and a rear 2-megapixel camera are also part of the package.

The graphite is on sale now through O2 and can be had for free depending on the service plan. The device was FCC-approved last year, but may require changes to see service in the US. [via Pocket-lint]

Palm hires ex-Apple man to tackle iPhone

03/09, 9:55am

Palm Tackles iPhone

Palm is concerned enough about the iPhone to have hired a designer to improve its efforts, accorind to the New York Times' John Markoff. The fellow California-based company has recruited a former Apple engineer, Paul Mercer, with the intent of creating a new line of products. Although the details of the new project remain secret, according to Palm spokeswoman Marlene Somsak, Markoff notes that the hire took place just three weeks ago -- suggesting a direct response to the iPhone's anticipated impact.

Jets'n'Guns Gold adds levels, ships, more

03/09, 9:50am

Jets'n'Guns Gold released

Rake in Grass has released Jets'n'Guns Gold, a new version of the classic arcade shooter game that adds higher resolution graphics and doubles the length with more than 20 new levels. Jets'n'Guns now features over 40 levels in total, boasting seven new customizable ships and 17 new weapons. The latest iteration of the game also includes 70 new enemies, secret levels, and new comic screens, music, medals, and ranks. Players have up to 10 warbirds to choose from and can equip weapons varying from 'crazy guns' to 'ultimate devastators.' The gold edition of Jegs'n'Guns is available from Macgamestore.com for $30, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.

magicJack promises super-simple VoIP

03/09, 9:10am

magicJack VoIP Adapter

Telecom vet Dan Borislow today filled in early details of the magicJack, his similarly-titled company's new adapter and service hybrid. The goal is to simplify VoIP to the point where almost anyone can use it, the firm claims. Once subscribed, the only setup needed is plugging the adapter into a USB port and any analog phone into the adapter: the device automatically installs and configures itself within a minute and is ready to use from then onwards. It currently supports only Windows but will be followed by a Mac version.

NTT intros mobile Internet-based video phone

03/09, 8:40am

NTT FOMA Video Phone

NTT DoCoMo late Thursday took advantage of its home country's mobile broadband to launch the FOMA video telephone. The device connects to NTT's FOMA-based cellular Internet to deliver video calls on a 7-inch touchscreen that also doubles as the main interface for dialing. The system is made for the elderly or sick who may need to show their physical condition to a doctor, NTT says. A wireless remote bundled with the video terminal helps to this effect: a single red button is pre-assigned to a given number so that an owner can quickly dial a number in case of an emergency.

The phone has just become available in Japan as of today for an unlisted price.

DuelAdapter preserves PC Cards in ExpressCard era

03/09, 8:10am

DuelAdapter ExpressCard

Duel Systems recently began shipping its unique DuelAdapter. Simply designed as a way to use PC Card devices in newer portables, the adapter plugs into either an ExpressCard 34 or 54 slot and treats externally connected PC Cards as though they were native devices. Most any 16- or 32-bit card will work as though it were a native device (including EDGE and EVDO mobile Internet cards) and will run at full speed due to the ExpressCard bus, the company says.

The adapter installs on any ExpressCard-equipped computer using Mac OS X 10.4.8 or Windows XP and sells today for $99. A secondary adapter is also available for reading CompactFlash, SD, and other flash memory formats. [via Engadget]

Jobs ranks No. 132, has 'cultish celebrity status'

03/09, 12:05am

Jobs ranks No. 132 list

While "only" ranking No. 132 on Forbes's annual list of richest billionaires, Jobs has quite a following. A new report, released along the magazine's annual billionaire listing, says that while the top billionaires are rich, they do not enjoy the fame of some lower ranked billionaires. "Names like Marriott and Benetton may be household words," the report says, "but the tycoons behind these brands nonetheless live in relative obscurity--billionaires next door whose faces are all but unrecognizable to the masses. Only a tiny fraction of billionaires hit it big on both counts, enjoying enormous wealth and fame." The article says Jobs, Apple's CEO and founder, is of "nerd-fame" and enjoys cultish celebrity status among fans of Apple. Jobs, worth $5.7 billion, has been "touted as a creative mastermind thanks to Apple's uber-successful launch of the iPod and this year's announcement of the much-anticipated iPhone."

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