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News Archive for 07/03/20

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Apps: ZeusDraw, Ulysses, PhotoFract

03/20, 8:10pm

ZeusDraw, Ulysses

    ZeusDraw 1.1 ($90) is a free update to the vector drawing and painting software for Mac users. The latest release adds blend modes, drag-and-drop editing of gradients, support for additional mail programs when emailing from within ZeusDraw, and improved bitmap as well as PDF export controls. The update also includes scroll wheel support, window size preferences, and improved update checking. [Download - 6MB]
    Ulysses 1.5 ($110) updates the Mac OS X text editor designed for creative writers. Ulysses 1.5 features an updated user interface to complement major changes made to the core functions of the program, such as a new editor with unlimited inline style formats and synchronized markers as well as paragraph levels. [Download - 6.6MB]
    PhotoFract 2 plug-in ($50) is a plug-in enabling users to create custom fractals and add them to a library. The software manages an unlimited number of layers of fractals, includes 30 basic equations for 'infinite' exploration, and supports combining blurs as well as gradients and layer modes to create unique effects.
    File Synchronization 1.4.2 ($15) synchronizes multiple pairs of files and folders automatically, copying only when a newer modification date is detected. The latest release fixes a problem that prevented registering the computer-wide license, and improves Dutch and Danish localizations. File Synchronization 1.4.2 requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later. [Download - 2.8MB]
    RAGE WebDesign 2.9 ($30) signals a major update to the HTML source code editor with an integrated Site Manager. The free upgrade adds support for Mac OS X 10.4.9, enhancements to code markers for quickly locating specific code, and includes a redesigned user interface. RAGE WebDesign 2.9 requires mac OS X 10.3. or later. [Download - 7.8MB]
    OpenMenu X Rev. 1.04 ($10) enhances the contextual menu building software for Mac OS X, bringing Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard compatibility as well as miscellaneous improvements and a bug fix. OpenMenu enables users to freely customize the Mac OS X contextual menu to open documents, applications, AppleScripts, Service Menu items, and URLS. The software also supports browsing the file system and opening or moving files or folders via the contextual menu. [Download - 6.4MB]

Briefly: Palm up for sale; top wines on iPod

03/20, 6:30pm

Palm for sale; iPod wines

In brief: Palm may go on sale by the end of the week, the best wines come to the iPod, Softpress and iView announce a discount bundle, and CandyBar gets replacement sticker icons. Though a famous developer of PDAs and smartphones in its own right, Palm may be sold to a competitor by the end of the week, according to an anonymous analyst. The company has reportedly been approached by both Nokia and Motorola, the latter of which is said to be extremely interested. The move would help keep Nokia out of the U.S. business market, and increase Motorola's competitiveness with Research in Motion, creators of the famous BlackBerry. Microsoft would stand to benefit as well, since it would increase the marketshare of Windows Mobile phones versus the threat posed by RIM and Apple's forthcoming iPhone.

New TipKalc, KolorWheel widgets for iPod

03/20, 6:25pm

Koloroo widgets for iPod

Koloroo today announced the release of the first widgets that run on any iPod with a color screen. TipKalc is an easy-to-use tip calculator with instant check-splitter. "Just spin your iPod's Click Wheel until your bill amount is displayed in the center of the screen. Everything else is automatically calculated for you. It calculates recommended 15% and 20% tip amounts, grand totals, and even splits the check up to five ways." KolorWheel is a color utility that provides scientifically formulated color schemes to match a web page, home decor, shirt or outfit, etc. Both widgets can be loaded onto an iPod from either a PC or Mac and are available at an introductory download price of $5 and $8, respectively: "You select a base color by moving your thumb over the iPod Click Wheel. A suggested color scheme is automatically displayed in the four corners. If you prefer to match your base color to a particular object, you hold your iPod next to it. Again, a suggested color scheme will be automatically displayed in the corners."

SpinPac marketing solution for Mac released

03/20, 6:20pm

SpinPac for Mac released

Spin Studio today released SpinPac, an integrated marketing solution designed specifically for Mac industry developers and companies releasing new and updated products. SpinPac offers a set of eight marketing tools and initiatives that help announce a new or updated product to Mac customers around the world, drawing attention to it. SpinPac's integrated services include one-on-one product and marketing consultation; product press release preparation; Mac and Mac OS X Universal badging paperwork preparation and submission; badging implementation consultation; Apple Retail Store inclusion request preparation and submission; product submission to Apple's Mac OS X Downloads; product submission to Apple's Macintosh Products Guide; editorial product review request submissions; and finally, a 90-day product positioning, messaging, and branding refresh service. SpinPac is priced at $2,500, and requires Mac OS X (specific system requirements were unavailable).

Amplifier promises up to 10x cellphone signal power

03/20, 5:10pm

Wilson SignalBoost

Wilson Electronics has released the SignalBoost, a dual-band amplifier that should work with any cellphone or PCS carrier. The device uses 3W of power to increase mobile output signal, strengthening it by as much as 10 to 15 times over its normal levels. To further improve performance, users can also use various antennas, or the bundled DC power connector for car cigarette lighters. The SignalBoost should function with cellular-based laptop modems as well. Sites such as AlternativeWireless are selling the device for $220.

Prices on HD DVD drives dropping dramatically

03/20, 4:40pm

HD DVD player price drop

Without fanfare, prices on Toshiba's HD DVD drives have begun dropping dramatically, note members of AVS Forum. OneCall is cutting the prices of the HD-A2 and HD-A20 to $400 and $500 as of April 1st, while the HD-XA2 is now $800, a full $200 less than its normal MSRP. The price cuts are even more severe at Amazon, where the XA2 is a full $400 below MSRP. In all cases customers can use Toshiba's offer for five free movies.

The move is likely a response to the increasing success of Blu-Ray, which has been gaining ground since January, possibly as a result of Sony's Playstation 3 console. While owners of the Microsoft Xbox 360 can buy an HD DVD drive, PS3s feature Blu-Ray built-in, giving the technology an automatic installed user-base. Sony is the primary backer of Blu-Ray.

Toshiba previews new LED-lit notebook displays

03/20, 4:30pm

Toshiba LED Notebook LCDs

Toshiba and Matsushita have together announced a new set of LED-lit displays for notebooks. The 10.4-inch and 10.6-inch, 1280x768 screens are meant for truly ultraportable computers and share all the benefits of LED backlighting, according to Toshiba. Future systems using the screens will be thinner, have improved brightness, and run longer on an existing battery. Even the durability of the system will improve due to the reduced number of breakable parts, the company says.

The screens join several other recently introduced models ranging between 8.9 and 13.3 inches, all of which are used today or will appear soon for upcoming notebooks. The 10.4- and 10.6-inch screens are being sent to computer builders today in bulk prices of $350.

3NOD intros UFO-like iPod speaker dock

03/20, 4:05pm

3NOD iPod Speaker Dock

Home theater firm 3NOD has used its time at CeBIT to reveal the A-2903 speaker system. Primarily an iPod dock, the flying saucer-shaped plays from all dockable versions of Apple's music player and for the iPod shuffle and any other digital music player through an aux input jack. Its atypical design is more than cosmetic, however: the design allows for a top-loading DVD player and an internal subwoofer to bolster the 10-watt satellites. An SD card slot at the back will load music directly, and an AM/FM tuner provides radio.

Availability and pricing of the 2903 was not discussed at the CeBIT expo. However, the company does export its products beyond its home territory and should make the iPod speakers available to other regions with the next few months. [via AVING]

Miglia launches TVMini Express

03/20, 3:35pm

Miglia TVMini Express

Miglia Technology today announced the launch of TVMini Express, The latest addition to the Miglia TV range. The small USB device transforms your Mac into a completely portable digital TV tuner and puts your recorded files directly onto an iPod. The device allows users to watch digital terrestrial TV on your Mac, record it for later viewing or export it for viewing on a mobile device, such as an iPod. TVMini Express features an integrated digital TV tuner as well as Miglia's new software and full Freeview and TNT support. The company said the device offers real-time display of what is playing on each TV channel and a two year warranty.

More black Xbox 360 details surface

03/20, 3:30pm

Xbox 360 Elite Details

More details have surfaced about Microsoft's black Xbox 360, according to online sources. To be called the Xbox 360 Elite, the console with HDMI and a 120GB hard disk will be treated first as a special edition, complete with a black gamepad and Xbox Live headset. Only a few hundred thousand will at most be produced and should ultimately result in the regular, white Premium model receiving the same features once Elite supplies are exhausted. It should also run cooler, the information claims.

An exact release date for the Elite is still unknown, but should be scheduled for late April or May. White versions of the console are expected by summer or early fall and may command an increase over their $399 equivalents today. [via Engadget]

Parallels, Boot Camp help Apple make inroads

03/20, 3:20pm

Windows helps Apple

Apple switch to the Intel-platform and its ability to run Windows (via Boot Camp or Parallels) has helped the company make market share inroads. Last year, Apple accounted for 4.4 percent of all new PC shipments in the U.S. professional market, up from 3.6 percent in 2005 and 3.2 percent in 2004, according to Gartner numbers published by The Wall Street Journal. In addition, Apple's share of total new PC shipments in the U.S. jumped to 5.4 percent last year from 4.5 percent the prior year. The report notes that ability to run Windows was critical to a recent decision by Wilkes University to migrate to an all-Mac campus, saving the University about $150,000, despite having to purchase an additional Windows license for each machine.

HTC Kaiser flip-up phone details, photos leak

03/20, 3:05pm

HTC Kaiser Leak

HTC is planning a distinctive phone that will solve the problem of typing at a desk without consuming extra bulk, a leak has revealed. Nicknamed the Kaiser, the smartphone would sit halfway between the Vox and the computer-like Advantage: the QWERTY keyboard not only slides outward but also tilts the phone's body at an angle for a more natural typing experience at a desk.

The leak also confirms certain key details by itself, including the presence of Windows Mobile 6, a 3-megapixel camera, and 3G wireless (confirmed by a front VGA camera). A formal announcement is expected within the next few months; more photos follow after the break. [via Mobile Life]

Briefly: LG hybrid DVD drive; Sanyo cameras

03/20, 2:55pm

LG hybrid HD; Xacti DV

In brief:LG is readying a hybrid HD drive for computers, Sanyo brings its new Xacti cameras to the States, TECSoft trains for AppleScript and Automator, and Tables customers get a bonus. Leaked at CeBIT, new information indicates that LG is preparing a computer drive which will be able to read both Blu-Ray and HD DVD discs; on top of this, it will be able to burn 25GB Blu-Ray discs at 4x speed, finishing in 24 minutes. 50GB discs will write at 3.5x while HD DVD discs will be read-only. The GGW-H10N is based on the Super Multi Blue hybrid movie player, and should be priced in the same $1,200 range when it ships in May.

OWC offers 2GB RAM module for MacBooks

03/20, 2:50pm

3GB MacBook memory upgrade

Other World Computing (OWC) today announced that it is the first company to offer up to 3GB of expansion memory for Apple's consumer-oriented MacBook laptops. Apple itself only offers up to 2GB of memory when configuring a brand new MacBook, and the 3GB memory upgrade option is also compatible with Apple's MacBook Pro and Intel-based iMac systems. OWC also says its memory upgrades are priced at less than half of what Apple's factory-installed memory costs, and is easy to install via a free online video installation guide as well as a lifetime advance replacement warranty. OWC customers also receive trade-in rebates of up to $55 per module on their existing factory memory, according to the company. Memory modules for Apple's MacBook are available in 512MB ($45) and 1GB ($85) capacities with a 2GB kit (two 1GB module set for $170) also available. Memory upgrades for all Core 2 Duo Intel Macs are available in 2GB ($260) and 3GB (340) capacities.

Apple details WWDC sessions

03/20, 2:35pm

Apple details WWDC

Apple has posted information on its website detailing the sessions it will offer developers at its forthcoming Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) scheduled for June 11-15th in San Francisco. The conference is primarily focused on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, which industry watchers expect to ship in April. "There's no better time to attend WWDC," said Ron Okamoto, vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations at Apple. "Mac, iPod and Apple TV offer software, hardware and content developers an unrivaled opportunity for innovation." The Cupertino-based company silently left out any mention of its iPhone, saying only that the device isn't due to ship until June and that until then the company will refrain from commenting. Apple is planning to offer more than 100 sessions and labs presented by company engineers within six technical tracks to aid developers.

Sony adds 4GB to Micro Vault Tiny drives

03/20, 2:30pm

Sony 4GB Micro Vault Tiny

Sony today revealed the 4GB Micro Vault Tiny, the smallest-ever drive from the company to hold that level of storage. Despite its size, the drive can hold almost 70 hours of music, according to Sony. The drive also comes preloaded with a Virtual Expander program that can roughly triple the amount of data stored on the drive when direct access to the files on the drive isn't necessary.

The 4GB Tiny comes in a single purple color with a unique soft pouch to hold the drive on a keychain or in a pocket, and ships now for Mac- and Windows-using European buyers at an unlisted price. A North American version is expected soon.

Black Xbox 360 with HDMI, 120GB drive true after all?

03/20, 2:05pm

Xbox 360 with HDMI True

Updated Microsoft's heavily rumored third Xbox 360 is real, according to Game Informer editor Matt Helgeson. The magazine's April issue reports that a new, top-end version of the console will ship in a home theater-friendly black and have the hardware features needed to take advantage of HD video. A now-confirmed HDMI connector would let the Xbox send audio and video to an HDTV through a single cable, including at the 1080p resolution for protected movies played by Microsoft's HD DVD add-on. Also confirmed is a 120GB hard drive to help cope with the multi-gigabyte videos from the firm's Xbox Video Marketplace.

More details and magazine scans follow after the break.

Fastmac expands iPod rehab to 2G Nanos

03/20, 1:55pm

Fastmac iPod rehab expands

Fastmac today expanded its "Just Say No To Crack" iPod rehab program to include Apple's second-generation iPod nano players. The service offers same day liquid crystal display repair or replacement of scratched or cracked iPod screens as a Do It Yourself (DIY) kit with tools and instructional videos or via a same day mail order service from Fastmac. The company uses only Apple original parts to guarantee quality as well as fit and compatibility. The iPod LCD rehab program for second-generation iPod nano is available with introductory pricing starting from $50. Each screen carries a one-year warranty and a 30 day money back guarantee.

Pat Sajack's Lucky Letters for Mac released

03/20, 1:40pm

Pat Sajack's Lucky Letters

Uclick has released Pat Sajack's Lucky Letters for Mac, inviting players to become a contestant on the new computer game show. Users spin the slot machine and guess the lucky letters to win big while keeping an eye out for the lucky chances to double the stakes. Players finish off the game by racing the clock to solve Pat's entire puzzle in the lightning round. Players who win five daily games in a row will be invited to play in a championship game, where clues and answers are tougher to guess and the rewards are raised. The game features three different modes which include the classic game show Lucky Letters, Lucky Ten, and the multi-player game of Lucky Players. "In Lucky Players, you and your friends compete to buzz in first to answer the clues and win the most money. Therešs brain tickling excitement for all in Pat Sajakšs Lucky Letters game!" Pat Sajack's Lucky Letters is available for $20 via Macgamestore.com, and requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later.

Palm to be sold this week?

03/20, 1:30pm

Palm May Sell This Week

Smartphone developer Palm may be sold to a competitor by the end of the week, according to an anonymous financial analyst speaking with Unstrung. The trade news site claims that investment firm Morgan Stanley is keen to have any one of four buyers close a deal by this Thursday -- including offers from Motorola and Nokia.

Motorola is particularly interested, according to the report, as a successful buyout would not only help to keep Nokia out of the US business market but would also help it compete against RIM, whose BlackBerry smartphones frequently dominate the workplace.

Velocity Micro CableCARD-ready Media Centers

03/20, 1:25pm

CableCARD Media Centers

Velocity Micro is preparing to ship what should be the first-ever Media Center PCs with CableCARD support -- essentially, special PC Cards that replace the set-top boxes used by many digital TV providers. The technology will filter through AMD's TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuner, which also tunes in QAM, ATSC and NTSC signals. Two specific models will carry the TV Wonder: the CineMagix Pro Cinema, which uses an AMD CPU as well, and the Intel-based CineMagix Grand Theater. The computers are also unique in that they will ship with an optional 2x Blu-Ray burner. They should go on sale in early April, and will start at $1,755 for the Pro Cinema and $2,195 for the Grand Theater. [via DailyTech]

Macessity ships BookShell for MacBook

03/20, 1:25pm

Macessity ships BookShell

Macessity today introduced its new BookShell for MacBook, a hard clear case that protects Apple's portable notebook while showing off the laptop. The sleek and shiny armor serves as a shell while maintaining a slim form factor to fit into a sleeve or briefcase. The BookShell features a two piece snap on design, unfettered access to interface ports on the MacBook, thermal relief with an 80-slot ventilation system on the bottom piece, and skid resistant rubber feet. Macessity's BookShell for MacBook is already shipping for $35.

AOC puts out two HDCP-savvy, budget widescreen LCDs

03/20, 12:55pm

AOC Vista Computer LCDs

Envision this afternoon shipped a pair of computer LCDs under its AOC label ready for protected videos. The 22-inch 212Va-1 and its 19-inch equivalent the 912Vwa-1 both have HDCP encryption support, letting them play movies from certain protected Blu-Ray or HD DVD discs without degrading the image resolution. The LCDs are also smart enough to properly display 720p and 1080i images from game consoles and movie players that work with DVI, Envision notes, and have bbeen Vista-certified.

The new screens also claim 5ms pixel response times suitable for fast-action scenes as well as 800:1 and 700:1 respective contrast ratios. The displays ship starting today at $299 for the 22-inch panel and $189 for its 19-inch equivalent.

Nokia 7088 pictures surface?

03/20, 12:40pm

Nokia 7088 pictures?

Approved earlier this month by the FCC, alleged photos of the Nokia 7088 have appeared at Hungarian site Terminal.hu. Though it has an usual aesthetic in its control pad, it otherwise appears to be a fairly low-end slider phone, operating only on CDMA networks with no sign of broadband data connections. Likewise, the screen is limited to 128x160 resolution and 65,536 colors. A GSM version is a possibility but by no means confirmed. The phone may also run the Symbian S40 OS. No prices or release dates have been suggested so far. Click below for larger photos.

Microsoft debuts budget wireless laser desktop

03/20, 12:30pm

MS Wireless Laser 4000

Microsoft on Tuesday brought its cordless desktops to a wider audience with the Wireless Laser Desktop 4000. As suggested by its name, the combo connects through RF wireless to a PC and upgrades the company's earlier optical 4000 model with the company's Wireless Laser Mouse 5000 for better mouse pointing.

Like the company's newer add-ons, the keyboard also includes shortcut buttons for Windows Vista. A Gadget button quickly accesses the operating system's mini applications for weather or stocks, while a LiveCall button speeds access to live text or AV chats. The entire set will arrive in April for $80.

Analyst: Apple TV to see slow start

03/20, 12:20pm

Slow Apple TV start?

Apple's new Apple TV set top box designed to stream media wirelessly from a computer to a TV is likely to see an initial sales spike from die-hard Apple fans, according to research firm Piper Jaffray, followed by a slowdown as general consumers find out what the device does and warm up to its usage. "As was the case in the early days of the iPod, Apple resellers in our checks expect Apple TV will need to be more fully understood by consumers before it turns into a major contributor," said Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster. "Almost all (95 percent) resellers in our sample said they expect Apple TV will have a minor impact on business in the near term (the next 1-2 quarters), with Apple faithful buying in an initial surge and others spending some additional time figuring out what Apple TV is." Munster noted however that most Apple specialist stores are optimistic about the long-term prospects for Apple TV, but are aware that it may take some time for the product to find itself in the eyes of the average consumer.

Tango adds video calls to regular phones

03/20, 12:05pm

Tango video phone adapter

8x8 has started shipping the Tango Video Terminal Adapter, meant to complement its VoIP phone services. The difference with the Tango is that users can plug it into a standard home phone, enabling video calls using the existing hardware's keypad and audio equipment. The secret is that the Tango also connects to an Ethernet port, through which it streams H.264 compressed video. Users can also make voice-only Internet calls. The Tango's camera is a 0.25-megapixel model that swivels 180 degrees, and displays its images on a five-inch LCD, through which users can also access a graphical interface with phonebook and settings menus. 8x8 is selling the adapter for $250 along with a $25 monthly phone plan.

DigitalPersona keyboard with fingerprinter reader

03/20, 11:20am

DigitalPersona U.are.U

Though only sold with the company's Pro software packages, the DigitalPersona U.are.U Fingerprint Keyboard may make things simpler for governments, businesses and other institutions that ask for extra security at each computer. It not only integrates a reader directly into the keyboard, it simplifies the process by eliminating the need for swiping the digit, and (depending on settings) can be used to automatically log-on to computers and networks, or lock and unlock operating systems. Only Windows 2000, 2003 Server and XP Professional systems are supported. Both the Pro Workstation and Pro Kiosk packages cost $169.

DLO hits with HomeDock, TransDock micro for Zune

03/20, 11:15am

DLO HomeDock for Zune

DLO pledged its allegiance to the Zune today and released two new accessories for the fledgling player. The HomeDock for Zune is like its iPod equivalent in putting the Microsoft device's music, movies, and photos on to a TV screen. Owners control tracks with a wireless 18-button remote. The dock connects to any TV with an RCA input and will charge the Zune, also synchronizing it with a PC when connected by a USB cable. It ships now for $100.

The company also began shipping its previously announced TransDock micro for Zune. A small FM transmitter, it plugs into the 12-volt port found on many cars and plays the Zune's music while keeping the jukebox charged. An auxiliary input lets the dock also stream audio from an iPod or other audio sources. It should also be available today for $70.

Sofa Control 2.0 supports 40+ applications

03/20, 11:00am

Sofa Control 2.0 released

CASE Apps today released Sofa Control 2.0, its software that enables users to control any application on the Mac with the Apple Remote. The latest release supports more than 40 applications out of the box, adding advanced support for popular software such as VLC and the Democracy Player. A specialized Front Row-inspired user interface enables users to access application specific menus or select movies and documents, while a virtual mouse makes it possible to access rarely used functions along with a simulated keyboard. A customizable menu includes system level functionality such as a sleep timer, system volume, and display settings. Sofa Control 2.0 also offers support for presentation software such as Keynote, PowerPoint, Acrobat, and VoodooPad while enabling users to highlight important parts of a presentation via the remote. Sofa Control 2.0 is a free upgrade for registered users that requires Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later, and is priced at $15 for new licenses. [Download - 1.8MB]

Motorola intros 3G pro handheld, GPS portable PCs

03/20, 10:50am

Motorola MC70 and ML910

Motorola this morning tackled the normally cautious world of business computers by releasing a new handheld and a pair of pro notebook PCs. The MC70 handheld (shown) is one of the first shock-proof PDAs to come equipped with third-generation wireless, sporting EVDO (instead of the 2.5G EDGE format) for getting Internet data to its 3.5-inch touchscreen without having to use a local network. The device also stacks up against other PDAs with 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for access where it's safe to use them, Motorola says. The MC70 is already shipping with the new EVDO pack at prices ranging between $2,845 and $3,195 depending on the necessary gear bundled with the device.

Macs may surprise 'street' in March quarter

03/20, 10:50am

Macs may surprise street

Apple's Mac sales in the March 2007 quarter may well surpass Wall Street estimates, according to Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster. "Over the last several days we have spoken with 20 Apple specialist resellers," Munster wrote in a research note obtained by MacNN. "With two weeks left in the quarter, most (85 percent) of the resellers in our checks expect March 2007 Mac units will fall slightly (5-10 percent) from December 2006." Wall Street consensus however believes Apple's Mac units will fall around 10 percent quarter-over-quarter in March 2007. "Based on our checks with Apple specialist stores, we are more confident in Apple's Mac unit number for the March 2007 quarter," the analyst noted. In checks with 20 Apple retail stores, 85 percent of resellers expect Mac sales in March 2007 to decline slightly vs. December 2006, while the other 15 percent expect Mac units will remain flat quarter-over-quarter. Resellers generally define "lightly decline" as a 5-10 percent drop from December 2006 to March 2007. "We believe, therefore, Street estimates are achievable and may be slightly conservative."

Epson updates retro-styled R-D1

03/20, 10:35am

Epson updates retro R-D1

Epson has updated its retro-styled digital camera, the R-D1. First released in 2004, the camera mimics rangefinders from the 1960s and '70s, but is actually based on the modern Bessa R2. This extends to the Color Skopar lens, although the new R-D1s comes with a 28mm f/3.5 lens rather than the R2's 50mm f/2.5, and uses a Leica L mount rather than an M. Upgrades over the R-D1 include a 6.1-megapixel sensor and a reduction in weight to 5.7 ounces. This technology does not come cheap however, as the camera is selling in Japan for the equivalent of $2,566. A variety of secondary lenses are available. [via Impress Watch]

Analyst: Leopard likely to ship in mid April

03/20, 10:30am

Leopard to ship mid April?

Apple will likely ship Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard in mid April, according to research analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray, offering an answer to Microsoft's Widows Vista which shipped in January. Munster also noted little-to-no Mac purchase delays as a result of Leopard's impending launch. "We believe Apple's new OS, Leopard, will likely be released in mid April," the analyst said. "Slightly more than half of the resellers in our checks said Leopard related purchase delays are having a slight negative impact on Macs, while slightly less than half said Leopard is not having any impact on Macs." Munster reiterated findings that many professional users are still awaiting Adobe's release of CS3, slated for next week. Piper Jaffray maintains an 'outperform' rating on Apple shares with a $124 price target.

AnyTrack keeps tabs through GPS, cell networks

03/20, 10:00am

AnyTrack GPS-100

AnyTrack today launched the GPS-100 (pictured at right) for both everyday users and businesses that want to track people or their vehicles. The card-sized box contains both a GPS receiver and a cellular transmitter; using CDMA cellphone networks, the device can relay its position indoors when interference would block normal mapping. Checking its whereabouts only requires a computer with secure Web access. Battery life is also long at up to three weeks on standby, AnyTrack says.

The GPS-100 itself is typically available for $229 but is currently being sold for $199. Its accompanying tracking service requires either $15 or $20 per month depending on how often the owner wants to check locations, with the basic Lite plan offering 15 checks per month and the premium Frequent plan offering 50.

WiebeTech ships v4 Combo drive adapters

03/20, 9:55am

v4 Combo Adapters ship

WiebeTech today announced that it is shipping v4 Combo Adapters that offer easy access to Toshiba ZIF (ADA-TOSH-ZIF) flash disk storage devices and Disk on Module (DOM) IDE devices (ADAv3-DOM). The company will showcase the new adapters at FOSE from March 20-22nd in Washington D.C., as well as at the CyberCrime Summit on the same days in Kennesaw, GA. The Combo Adapters are designed to work hand-in-hand with the WiebeTech ComboDock v4 or Forensic ComboDock, and each adapter features a sled connector for attaching the required drive. No new drivers are needed for plug-and-play use on any recent operating system, according to WeibeTech, and the adapters work with backup as well as forensic imaging software. The company today also introduced the v4 Combo Adapter Kit no. 4 with a total of eight v4 adapters to image nearly any drive. The v4 Toshiba ZIF adapter is priced at $150, while the v4 Disk on Module (DOM) adapter sells for $100. The v4 connector kit ships for $750.

PS3 update with background downloads, folding debuts

03/20, 9:35am

PS3 1.6 Update Official

Sony today confirmed that it would release its anticipated 1.6 PlayStation 3 Update on Thursday, adding some of the most heavily requested features to the recent game console. Background downloading is one of the most important changes, the company says. As with an update last year to the Xbox 360, the PS3 can now download games, movies, and other content in the background, queuing up as many as six files while browsing the web or playing media through the main console interface. Owners will also have the option of running Folding@home on idle systems, using the specialized Cell CPU to help solve protein folding problems roughly 20-30 times faster than a normal PC.

Myst Online: Uru Live comes to Intel Macs

03/20, 9:30am

Myst Online: Uru Live

GameTap today announced the release of "Myst Online: Uru Live" for the Mac platform in tandem with its latest content additions. Using technology from TransGaming Inc., Intel-based Mac users can now take part in the same massively multiplayer "Myst Online: Uru Live" experience as their PC counterparts, including all of the regularly added features, destinations, and missions. The company said that Mac users can experience the adventure and puzzle-solving elements and "visually-stunning" worlds of "Myst Online: Uru Live" via TransGaming's Cider portability engine which enables PC games to run on the Intel-based Macs. Additionally, new content and upgrades to "Myst Online: Uru Live" will be simultaneous and transparent to users on both Mac and PC platforms.

QuickTime Trojan Horse affects MySpace users

03/20, 9:20am

QuickTime Trojan Horse

A Trojan horse exploiting a flaw in Apple's QuickTime multimedia software is infecting MySpace.com users' computers, collecting confidential information, including passwords, several security companies said today. Although the flaw was patched earlier in March by Apple with the release of QuickTime 7.1.5, many users have not upgraded, according to Computerworld. "The attack is reminiscent of one late last year that plagued MySpace users and forced the popular social networking site to shut down hundreds of profiles," the publication wrote. "Like that December exploit, today's leverages the QuickTime 'HREF' function, which allows movies to contain URLs or JavaScript that load Web pages into a browser. [However] rather than issue a fix to all QuickTime users then, however, Apple took the unusual step of letting MySpace itself link to the blocking code. In other words, only MySpace users were protected."

Quark debuts Canadian Ed. of QuarkXpress 7

03/20, 9:10am

QuarkXpress 7 for Canada

Quark today announced that it will release a new Canadian edition of QuarkXPress 7, the flagship software for multi-channel page-layout and design. QuarkXPress 7 Canadian Edition will include English and French manuals, spell check and hyphenation functionality and will start shipping to distribution partners in the second quarter of 2007. The company said that QuarkXPress 7 Canadian Edition will provide user interfaces in both French and English, allowing users to switch freely between these languages and use fully localized menus and windows in QuarkXPress. In addition, it supports spell-checking and full text authoring, following specific hyphenation and justification rules for French, U.S. English, and International English.

New Sanyo Xacti DV cameras to see US shores

03/20, 9:05am

Sanyo Xacti CG6 in US

Sanyo on Tuesday officially confirmed the US release of two new Xacti models recently announced for Japan. The CG65 is Sanyo's first DV camera to capture footage in the efficient H.264 format: thanks to support for the recent SDHC format, it can record up to 10 hours of NTSC (640x480) video on an 8GB card. Also present are gyroscopic sensors to stabilize the image, a 10X optical zoom lens, and the ability to capture 6-megapixel still images while recording videos.

The more mainstream CG6 shares all the same features save for H.264 recording, according to the company; it opts instead for larger MPEG-4 clips that provide up to eight hours of video. The CG65 and CG6 will both go on sale in April at prices of $400 and $330 respectively.

Hitachi intros new TVs with removable hard drives

03/20, 8:35am

Hitachi Wooo 01 TV

Hitachi this morning launched the new Wooo 01 line of flat-panel TVs. Focusing primarily on recording, most models come with an internal 250GB hard drive as well as dual sets of analog and digital TV tuners to record one show while watching another. The flagship XR models in each line also add support for Maxell's new iVDR removable drives: designed to be interchangeable between TVs, PCs, and other devices, the hard disks slot in without any cables to add as much as 160GB extra storage or to copy unprotected videos to and from the set. Studios such as Warner Home Video are even offering limited-run 40GB drives preloaded with protected movies, Hitachi says.

Apple ships Apple TV, delivery on Mar 23

03/20, 2:00am

Apple ships Apple TV

Following a series of delays, Apple early Tuesday morning began notifying customers that it has shipped Apple TV, its set-top device device that brings an iTunes library -- movies, TV shows, music, and podcasts -- plus movie trailers from Apple.com on any compatible television. The company provided customers who placed early orders with a packaging tracking number and a delivery date of later this week. The shipment notice, using FedEx delivery services, indicated a March 20, 2007 ship date with an estimated arrival of March 23. Apple has also updated the Apple Store to reflect a 3-5 day shipment for new orders. Initial tracking details report that package data has been sent to the carrier and that expedited delivery would use FedEx Direct IP distribution (which the company has used many times in the past for direct factory-to-customer delivery), but no further data was available.

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