Case-mate and Dr. Bott today introduced CarryMe, a "fun and stylish" way to carry an iPod video. "Simply slide your iPod into this multi-colored leather pouch, and you're sure to make a statement," the company said. An elastic band wraps around the case, adding a fun pop of color while securing your music player. The innovative carabiner on CarryMe allows you to securely fasten your case to just about any bag or belt, showing off your style in a practical way. The CarryMe fits both the 30GB and 60/80GB models. It is available in black and white (with red band) and orange and white (with blue band). The CarryMe retails for $17 and can be purchased through the Case-mate Web site or via the Dr. Bott Reseller Network.
Forums roundup: Members are discussing recent rumors concerning an upcoming iMac redesign, which is reported to occur within the upcoming months.... Other users are discussing the hopes of one user for Apple to switch away from Intel and integrated graphics, instead using cheaper AMD processors and non-GMA graphics.... One user is wondering how to remove OS 9 from their computer, after deciding to stick with OS X.... Other members are offering advice as to the best solution for replacing a failed hard drive in a PowerBook G4.... Meanwhile, other members are taking part in a long-running thread covering the shipping delays of AppleTV and the device release.
Despite wide-spread rumors to the contrary, Google today down-played rumors that it is developing and manufacturing a mobile phone, clearing the air of speculation that the world's largest company would battle Apple and its forthcoming iPhone in the intensely competitive mobile handheld market. Instead of producing handsets, to which several previous reports had alluded, the Mountain View-based company said it would be more logical to form partnerships with existing handset makers. Recent reports speculated that Google was shopping around an existing phone design to original device manufacturers in Asia.
If trends continue, laptop computers will begin outselling desktops by 2011, says the research firm IDC. While the desktop market is expected to grow by 3.8 percent year-on-year, with a short-term burst provided by Windows Vista, these figures are still outweighed by laptop estimations, pegged at 16.1 percent per year. Last year saw laptop shipments increase by 26.3 percent to 82 million, while desktops were relatively stagnant, growing by less than two percent to 140 million. The trend may be attributable to two factors. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, the number of Internet users with home wireless doubled between 2005 and 2007, encouraging increased use of computers away from a central location. Meanwhile, notes the BBC, wireless is also becoming more prevalent in public locations, and many workers are now travelling enough that they can justify the cost of a laptop. [via BBC News]
Aspyr Media today released Star Wars: Empire at War demo 1.0, a single-player demonstration version of an epic struggle to control the galaxy. Players can start by playing the optional interactive tutorial to learn important game concepts that serve as a guide to victory or skip the tutorial and begin playing immediately. "As the commander of the Rebel forces on Hoth, you'll battle for control of the Outer Rim in the Vergesso Asteroids and attempt to liberate Tatooine from the grip of the Empire. Han Solo and Chewbacca, with the Millennium Falcon, are ready to lead your space fleet and invasion forces as you go up against Tie Fighters, Star Destroyers and their arch rival Boba Fett. May the force be with you!" The Star Wars: Empire at War demo 1.0 is available for free, and requires Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later with at least a 1.8GHz Intel-based Mac and 512MB of memory.
Keynote Theme Park has released Nation Elements: Americas for Apple's Keynote presentation software. The first in a new series includes 39 Nation Plates from North and South America containing several elements that help in the layout of slides that need to represent national content. Resources produce seamless continuity throughout a presentation with the new theme, according to Keynote Theme Park, rather than requiring users to create slides that look disjointed due to collecting material from desperate locations. Each nation includes high-resolution "Aqua" Orbs, Border Keynote Shapes, Location Maps, Accent Fills with Reflective Covers, and National Symbols. Each item is scalable and remains high quality, with 23 demo slides and explanations included. Nation Elements: Americas is priced at $20, and requires Mac OS X with Keynote 3.0 or later.
The upcoming Magic380 by Mango Research (not pictured) is a unique GPS unit for two reasons: aside from being one of the rare devices to be usable both handheld and in a car, it calculates position entirely through software, eliminating the need for a baseband processing chip. This is said to actually improve performance, despite the absence of dedicated hardware. What it does have is NXP's swGPS Personal program, and a 32-bit Samsung processor, with ports to accept add-ons such as real-time traffic input. The size of the touchscreen is unknown, but if it resembles the Magic377, it is estimated to be about 3.5 inches.
BrowseBack 1.3.1 ($30) updates the Web history visualization tool for Mac OS X, offering improved interaction with system sleep and logout functionality as well as reduced resource use while loading Web pages. The application stores a PDF document of every website visited, making the pages accessible through a unique interface with thumbnails of recently visited pages. [Download - 4.2MB] A Better Finder Attributes 4.4.5 ($15) enables users to change Finder attributes that are normally off-limits, such as creation and modification dates. The update adds the ability to batch adjust the Exchangeable Image File (EXIF) time and date that JPEG pictures were shot to compensate for timezone errors or incorrectly set camera clocks. A Better Finder Attributes 4.4.5 also fixes a problem that affected international users. [Download - 2.2MB] Advanced Web Ranking 5.1 ($60) serves as a tool that helps check website positioning on all major search engines. The latest release features redesigned HTML reports that comply with the W3C HTML 4.1 Strict standard, and adds the ability to customize the HTML reports using CSS style sheets. The update also enables users to show or hide charts in HTML printable reports, and adds the ability to choose the chart size. [Download - 16.2MB] A WorkLife FrameWork 1.1 ($150, $100 for academic) is a set of enabling and creative tools that enable users to take greater advantage of what the Mathematica FrontEnd has to offer. A WorkLife FrameWork 1.1 generates a confirmation dialog when the DateTag button is clicked, and changes the $MaxDiaryResourcesDirectoryBackups parameter from 50 to 30. The update also adds the EmailFindDialog function and places a corresponding button on the Email Palette to open the new dialog. [Download - [license agreement]] Photomatix Pro 2.4 ($100) is a utility designed to increase the dynamic range of photographs, offering exposure blending as well as tone mapping. The update adds an option for reducing ghosting artifacts in generated HDR image, as well as a slider to adjust Gamma when tone mapping with the details enhancer. The latest release also offers undo and redo functionality of the last settings applied in the tone mapping window. [Download - 7.2MB] Black Ink 1.0 ($25) is an application designed to ease the process of downloading and solving puzzles from the internet. The software's interface and advanced puzzle solving tools includes an on-screen editor, and supports printing out puzzles to solve on-the-go. Blank Ink requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later. [Download - 3MB]
Known more in North America for its laptops, Lenovo has revealed its first Windows Mobile 6 phone for the Chinese market. The ET600 is a Pocket PC using the Professional edition of WM6, but is otherwise relatively standard, featuring 64MB of RAM, 128MB of ROM, a two-megapixel camera and a microSD slot. Connection options appear to be relatively limited however, since while it does have Bluetooth, it's a tri-band GSM phone with no sign of broadband or 802.11 WiFi. Though the phone may make an appearance in other Asian countries, it's unlikely to arrive in North America. [via mobile.163.com]
Dedicated Blu-Ray movie players have reached the $500 price level for the first time, an online listing has revealed. Amazon is now selling the Samsung BD-P1000 for $500, undercutting the official $900 price by a wide margin for the 1080p-native device. The Samsung unit is also the first to match the price of the previous record-setter, Sony's PlayStation 3, which currently sells at a loss to compete with Microsoft's Xbox 360. Word of the cut arrives just a day after news of Toshiba HD DVD price drops, prompting speculation that the rival disc formats are beginning a new price war to maintain their hold. HD DVD has recently been struggling as the PlayStation 3 has spurred relatively higher numbers of Blu-Ray movie sales. [via TG Daily]
MSI has unveiled a new series of notebooks it hopes will win based on style. The 12-inch, widescreen S262 YA stands out with the choice of multiple colors for the lid: Aegean Sea Blue, Fresh Grass Green, and Marguerite Rose Pink are some of the options, the system builder says. The updated S262 also comes standard with a Core 2 Duo, a DVD rewriter, and a 3-in-1 card reader but weighs only 4.4 pounds due to its small stature, MSI points out. Exact pricing depends on the configuration and country; however, it should be available soon in many of the regions MSI serves, potentially including the US. [via PC Launches]
A poster to Esato claims to have acquired pictures and specifications for a new Sony Ericsson phone. If real, the phone is either the W890i or the W910i, and is a slim slider with a two-megapixel autofocus camera. The design is also reported to share the metallic style of the W880i, which should arrive in North America by the middle of 2007. 3G and non-3G versions may be available, which (if again true) would likely be to cater to markets where broadband services are inadequate. No other details are available -- click below for larger photos. [via SlashPhone]
Motorola is the prime candidate for buying Palm, an anonymous investor in the Treo manufacturer said on Wednesday. The source claimed that Motorola was now leading the pack of four companies that had been previously been competing to buy Palm, and confirmed that the former could be ready to announce a $2 billion deal as soon as Thursday. Although Nokia had reportedly been leading the bids in recent days, the shareholder said, both Motorola and Palm have realized that they both stand to gain from a merger by fending off major competitors, singling out Apple as Palm's greatest fear.
BeLight Software today released Swift Publisher 2.0, an update to its page layout application for designing and printing flyers, newsletters, brochures, booklets, and more. The latest release brings 20 new designs, adds a master pages option, and improves working with images. Swift Publisher 2.0 also supports tables, changes the user interface, and adds Art Text integration. The Master pages option allows users to create a common background for several pages, and a new imposition option prints dialogs to arrange brochure pages automatically. A Text to Curve feature transforms documents into vector images, and tables are supported alongside an added panel to preview and manage pages. Swift Publisher 2.0 is priced at $55, and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Skype has discovered a relatively untapped ruling that could force cellphone manufacturers and carriers to open up their devices to voice over IP and other software, according to a report from yesterday's Von Show. A petition made by the software developer to the FCC points to a 1968 ruling which allowed a radio device named the Carterfone to link a two-way radio to the phone network. The legal decision set a precedent which ultimately allowed dial-up Internet access and fax machines to be used on phone networks regardless of the exact owner. No company has so far taken advantage of this freedom for services on cellphones, Skype said, arguing that the habit of Verizon and other US carriers locking out third-party sofwtware was no different than blocking specific TV models from watching a given program.
In brief: MacNN reviews iLuv's iPod battery, 3Dconnexion prepares a Mac SDK for its controllers, prices drop for OWC's Quad Interface systems, and NewerTech batteries become RoHS-compliant. MacNN contributor Lee Meredith has reviewed the i603 by iLuv, a battery booster for the 30GB iPod video. Owners can increase music playback to as much as 42 hours, and video playback upwards of six. It comes in black or white, and uses a silicone case to protect its chrome shell from damage. A bundled AC adapter can be used to charge an iPod away from a computer. iLuv is selling the product from its website for $65.
Apple is offering refurbished Intel-based Mac minis for as low as $479, as well as reconditioned second-generation iPod shuffles for $49. The Cupertino-based company has updated its refurbished offerings to include the Mac mini 1.5GHz Intel Core Solo for $479 with 512MB of memory, a 60GB hard drive, a Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) drive, and built-in AirPort Extreme with Bluetooth 2.0 capability. Apple is also selling reconditioned 1.66GHz Intel Core Duo Mac minis for $519 with 512MB of memory, a 60GB hard drive, a slot-loading Combo drive, and built-in AirPort Extreme with Bluetooth 2.0 capability; as well as its 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo Mac mini for $699 with 512MB of memory, an 80GB hard drive, a slot-loading SuperDrive with double-layer support, and built-in AirPort Extreme with Bluetooth 2.0 capability. Refurbished current-generation iPod shuffles are currently limited to the 1GB silver model for $49, which stores up to 12 hours of music and includes Apple Earphones with a dock.
Danger is creating a messaging-focused version of the Sidekick phone for T-Mobile, according to new details. To be called the Sidekick ID, the device will drop hardware unrelated to its core abilities: Bluetooth, a digital camera, and the microSD card slot used to store music and images will disappear for the sake of pricing. The ID will still maintain much of the top-end Sidekick 3's advancements, the source says. Beyond the version 3's trackball, the budget Sidekick should have improved software and will be preloaded with T-Mobile's myFaves for reaching favorite contacts. Crucially, the price should be half that of the full Sidekick, shipping for $150 with a two-year plan when it becomes available in the spring. The full image is available after the jump. [via CrunchGear]
AMD (formerly ATI) has substantially improved its upcoming next-generation Radeon card, according to a set of new photos and tests. Photos have surfaced showing that the R600, to be known as the Radeon X2900 XTX, will no longer need the extra-long board seen in earlier leak while still containing 1GB of memory and an 800MHz core speed. The card is also faster than NVIDIA's GeForce 8800 despite its unfinished software drivers, the leak reveals. Using 3DMark 06, testers have successfully reached a score of 9700, edging out the more refined GeForce 8800 GTX by 200 points. While pricing remains unknown, the new Radeon is expected to ship in small numbers by mid-April (possibly in time for the Mac Pro) with larger quantities arriving in May. More photos can be found after the break. [via VR-Zone]
Exabre today launched the Mac version of The Filter, its music recommendation software that creates playlists from an iTunes library according to several seed tracks selected by users. The software makes playlists according to user mood or activity, and updates them daily to iPods. The Filter works when users highlight one or two songs that typify a listening style, generating a playlist by scanning the library using artificial intelligence to analyze music tastes and cross-referencing with those of other users and musical trends. The Filter is designed to improve at judging personal music tastes with more usage, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later on a G4 or better Mac with 512MB or more of memory.
AV specialist Monster has launched a series of cables specifically targeted at the newly-shipped Apple TV. While not functionally different from most cables, the iTV series does use a gray-on-white motif, and supports all the ports an Apple TV dock can use, which includes component and HDMI 1.3 video, as well as analog and fiber-optic sound outputs. Each product also has a Duraflex protective jacket, and in the case of the fiber-optic cable, an inner jacket said to reduce disruptive internal reflections. The other cables use contacts plated with 24-karat gold. The HDMI cable is the most expensive at $60; the component cable is $40, while the audio cables are priced at $30 for fiber-optics and $25 for analog.
The W3 Consortium recently announced a renewed HTML Working Group effort, and Apple has joined the group while extending an invitation to WebKit community members. "The HTML Working Group has an unusually open process, meaning that anyone can join," an Apple blogger wrote. "If you are part of the WebKit community and interested in helping to define the next generation of HTML, Ian Hickson has instructions for how to join." Apple is also ramping up its participation in other W3C working groups as well as other standards bodies related to Web technology, according to the company. "If you are interested in helping with any of this work, get in touch and we might be able to get people invited to these other groups."
Pharos has finally begun selling its first smartphone, the PTL600. First announced in January, the phone is notable for focusing primarily on its GPS functions, since it includes a SiRFStar III receiver, and millions of points of interest preloaded in its software. Owners can even get directions to Outlook contacts. The phone is also loaded with mobile versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint, among other Microsoft applications, and can use its microSD slot to load music and videos. Rounding out the hardware is an FM tuner, EDGE broadband, a two-megapixel camera, and wireless in the form of Bluetooth 2.0 and 802.11b/g. Pharos is also selling another version of the 600 called the 600E, which is different only in that it contains no GPS software, requiring buyers to find their own. Newegg is selling the 600 for $700, and the 600E for $540. [via Ubergizmo]
Apple is planning far more than just the introduction of new creative software at its NAB event, according to T3. The publication cites a well-placed source who claims that the Mac creator will introduce not only an expected upgrade to Final Cut Studio but also the hardware and operating system that will take advantage of its technology. Both Mac OS X Leopard and an eight-core Mac Pro will make their official debut at the April 15th presentation, the informant says. Although unverified, the information correlates with earlier revelations. Apple's UK branch recently leaked Mac Pro details on its website, and PiperJaffray analyst Gene Munster recently estimated Leopard's release during the same mid-April window. No mention was made of whether Final Cut Studio would see a benefit from the new OS X update.
In brief: Sir Elton John has revealed plans to make his entire music catalog available exclusively via Apple's iTunes Store starting next week, Apple has begun inviting video production professionals as well as members of the media to a special event at next month's National Association of Broadcasters Conference (NAB) in Las Vegas, Mozilla has released Firefox 184.108.40.206, and OWC has lowered pricing on its OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro FireWire 800/400+USB2 RAID line of external storage solutions. Sir Elton John has agreed to offer his entire catalog of 400 tracks through Apple's iTunes Store starting March 26th, where it will remain exclusively available until April 30th before the tracks are made available through other services. Elton John had already offered some albums on iTunes, but is adding more than 30 albums to the online store to coincide with the global release in physical and digital formats of a new 18-track compilation from the artist titled "Rocket Man The Definitive Hits."
Console gadget maker SplitFish today aimed at gamers making the transition from PCs to the PlayStation 3 with its freshly announced FragFX game controller. The USB-based controller splits up the traditional gamepad design into a mouse and wand combination. A mouse on the right-hand side helps with aiming in first-person shooters such as Resistance and has the familiar PlayStation buttons on its side for those games that require them. Switchable sensitivity lets it dial down movement speed for precise movement.
Transcend is shipping the JetFlash 2A, a USB 2.0 flash drive with the unusually large maximum capacity of 16GB. Transcend estimates that this is enough to hold roughly 4,000 songs or 150,000 photos. Aside from being compatible with Windows Vista's ReadyBoost feature, the drive also comes with Transcend's JetFlash elite software, which enables options such as AES encryption and automatic data backup. Amazon is selling the 16GB version for $224. [via Shiny Shiny]
Ultra-mobile PC specialist TabletKiosk has unveiled the TufTab, a UMPC hardened against the conditions often found in construction work or simply by everyday users who regularly travel with the handheld. The rubberized case is resistant to dust, rain, and vibration and includes a fingerprint reader for security-conscious owners. A single model will be available, the company says. The v7112XT will emphasize longevity with a 1.2GHz ultra-low voltage Via C7 processor and 1GB of RAM to reduce disk access. A 40GB hard drive and 802.11g Wi-Fi are also built-in. TabletKiosk hopes to ship in mid-April at a base $1,699 price with Windows XP. Choosing openSUSE Linux, a relatively rare option for UMPCs, drops the price by $75.
The new DVR Xpander by Apricorn is an option for people who find their DVRs filling up too quickly. By attaching and formatting an Xpander, users can add up to 500GB of storage, amounting to 280 hours of standard-definition programming or 60 hours of high-definition programming. This amount is roughly halved with the less expensive 250GB version. While the Xpander is not compatible with every DVR unit, it should operate with any DVR that has an eSATA port, such as the TiVo Series 3, or the Scientific Atlanta 8300 -- commonly issued by Cox and Time Warner. The 250GB Xpander is on sale for $129, while the 500GB disc is $199.
Dell on Wednesday introduced a brand new desktop PC, the EC280. The computer is the first to result from the company's Global Consumer initiative and is geared towards the Chinese market, where many are buying computers for the first time: the system ships with Windows XP Home instead of Vista, and uses a 1.2GHz Celeron M to reduce the cost and trim both the cost and case size to a minimum. A base system with currently ships for the equivalent of $336 but includes 512MB of RAM, an 80GB hard drive, and a DVD reader; a $388 version halves the storage and memory but includes a 17" CRT. Either can be ordered today and ships by March 23rd.
Adobe has announced that its new CS3 pro software -- which is due to launch next week in New York City -- offers "significant performance gains" when running under Apple's Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard -- which at least one industry analyst expects to ship in mid-April. Adobe's forthcoming release of Creative Suite 3 is expected to bolster Intel-based Mac sales due to pent up demand from professional users waiting to purchase new Apple hardware until a native version of Photoshop surfaces. CRN noted in early March that Adobe and Apple had finally fixed a "Tiger Pause" issue that would cause the professional imaging software to freeze for up to several seconds every half a minute, and today cited "significant performance gains" as claimed by Adobe for CS3 on Intel-based Macs. Adobe has said its latest professional software will run smoothly on both Mac OS X Tiger and the as yet unreleased Mac OS X Leopard.
Crooked Arm today began shipping Gladys 1.0, a utility for FileMaker Server administrators that automatically monitors FileMaker servers and generates custom notifications. Gladys can monitor FileMaker server availability on both Mac and Windows systems, as well as specific file availability and account status. Administrators can configure Gladys to provide information notifications directly on screen, via email, or as a text message. The software can also run AppleScripts, and offers full support for password protected FileMaker Servers. Gladys is priced at $200 for a single-server license with five agents or $500 for a pro license with an unlimited number of agents. Site licenses are available for $1,000, and the software requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
PlayFirst today announced Mystery of Shark Island, a new hunt-and-seek adventure set amidst an alluring beachcomber backdrop. In the game, players transport themselves onto the sands of Shark Island described as "an arcane archipelago yielding the mysterious relics of an unknown civilization. To solve the riddle players must scour each sandbar or tide pool and collect sea shells, rocks, gems and artifacts hidden in the sand. Picking up the right treasures will start to unravel the island's mysterious past, but all progress could be lost with the next incoming tide." It offers two gameplay modes: story and arcade as well as 50 levels taking place across 10 islands and five types of beaches. It requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later and is available for $20 or as a 60-minute trial.
LG this morning added to its rapidly expanding Shine phone lineup with two models for avid TV viewers. Both the Shine TV and Shine Folder TV add support for Korea's homegrown T-DMB standard for watching digital broadcasts on the road; each stows a compact aerial inside its body but keeps its earlier dimensions. The two also feature the same 2-megapixel camera and 2.2-inch main display of the original, with the Folder also gaining a 1.1-inch external LCD. Click through for added details and a larger shot of the Shine TV Folder.
InfoSonics today unwrapped its verykool cellphone range. Made by Korea's VK Mobile, the line is built for GSM networks in the Americas and almost all center around music and other media playback. Topping the line is the i700 (shown): the slider design packs dedicated music controls below its 2.2-inch screen and packs a 2-megapixel camera as well as 32MB of free internal memory with room for more through microSD cards. More details and photos follow after the jump.
Apple today officially announced that it is now shipping Apple TV, just days after the company began sending customers shipment confirmations. The wireless set-top device, expected to first reach consumers on Friday, can play iTunes content from a PC or Mac on a widescreen TV, including movies, TV shows, music, photos and podcasts. The "simple and elegant" solution allows users to quickly browse and view their entire collection of digital media from across the room using the included Apple Remote. The device, analysts say, will lead Apple's digital revolution, but may see slow adoption until consumers more fully realize the potential of the device.
NEC has quietly introduced its LCD2470WNX display for performance and pro users. The 24-inch screen is one of NEC's first to handle HDCP encryption for protected videos and has passed certification for Vista. The display maker also touts an extremely flexible stand that both pivots the display for portrait mode and adjusts for angle and height. A thin bezel also helps the 2470WNX fit into multi-display setups. The screen itself is said to have strong performance, with a 1,000:1 contrast ratio and a 6ms response time. A special dynamic video mode automatically adjusts color for different programs to help artists and video editors. NEC further equips the 2740WNX with DVI/VGA inputs and a USB hub, and lists the display as available now for $820 in black or silver.
T-Mobile today officially ended speculation by carrying the RIZR Z3. The release comes more than a week after an expected mid-March product launch revealed in a leak, but otherwise confirms that the phone will arrive with all features intact: a 2-megapixel camera, a microSD card slot, and Bluetooth with stereo audio suppoort all come with the device. Specific to T-Mobile are support for its My Album quick link to the phone's media library and myFaves support for more easily calling friends. Significantly, the T-Mobile version of the RIZR is not just the carrier's most advanced Motorola phone but also the first official use of the phone in North America. The handset reaches stores today for $100 with a two-year service plan or $250 by itself.
The Wall Street Journal has the first review of Apple TV, the company's wireless set-top box that began shipping earlier this week, concluding that "Apple TV performed perfectly in Walt's house over a standard Wi-Fi wireless network with a Pioneer plasma TV and six different computers -- three Windows machines from Hewlett-Packard and Dell, and three Apple Macs." The device, which connects wirelessly to up to six home computers and then with a cable to a widescreen TV, runs a modified version of Mac OS X, with a "carefully limited set of functions" and has the most notable limitation of not being able to download content directly from the internet, according to the review. It also notes that users cannot adjust volume from Apple's simple remote and that it only supports televisions with Component or HDMI inputs. [subscription required]