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News Archive for 07/03/26

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Apple TV: drive upgrade, external USB boot

03/26, 9:00pm

Apple TV: ext. USB startup

In Brief: In addition to a step-by-step drive upgrade tutorial (without third-party utilities) for Apple TV, one user has posted video showing Apple's newly launched set-top device booting off an external USB hard drive, using Menu + '-' keys to place the machine into recovery mode. Another user has managed to enable Apple Remote Desktop, the company's remote Mac management utility as well as install Apache, the open-source web server software. Users have also managed to enable SSH and AFP to remotely connect to the device via the terminal and or the Finder (respectively).

iResQ offers Apple TV storage upgrades

03/26, 6:50pm

Apple TV storage upgrades

iResQ today announced it has begun offering Apple TV storage upgrades, offering several different levels of hard drive upgrades for customers wanting more storage space for their data. iResQ, which has been performing next-day Mac-related upgrades and repairs since 1994, said that Apple TV upgrades will be performed within 24 hours of receipt at the iResQ repair facility in Kansas City (Missouri). The service will provide each customer with the appropriate shipping materials and pre-paid labels to safely transport the units to and from the shipping facility. Pricing is $210 (80GB/5400 rpm), $260 (120GB/5400 rpm), and $300 (160GB/5,400 rpm)--all of which include overnight pick-up/delivery.

Apple may credit iTunes album purchases

03/26, 6:15pm

iTunes album credit

Apple, in conjunction with several music labels, is planning to offer iTunes users credit for songs already purchased when they choose to buy an associated album within a certain time frame, according to the New York Times. Apple's current policy essentially makes customers pay twice for songs purchased individually and then as part of an entire album. The move is likely part of a larger strategy to salvage diminishing sales of entire albums, which is a direct result of consumers' ability to purchase only those individual tracks of interest, rather than an entire album to obtain the one or two songs they frequently want. "I think the album is going to die," said Radar Research managing partner Aram Sinnreich. "Consumers are listening to playlists," he said, referring to mixes of individual tracks. "Consumers who have had iPods since they were in the single digits are going to increasingly gravitate toward artists who embrace that."

Photos verify existence of Xbox 360 Elite

03/26, 5:50pm

Xbox 360 Elite photos

Pictures posted to the Chinese site TV Game Fans Club appear to finally confirm the existence of the black Xbox 360, dubbed the Elite. The cellphone photos are said to show finished Elites sitting in a Chinese factory, and also clearly indicate a 120GB hard drive. Click below to see samples. While images have surfaced for the Elite in the past, they have sometimes been suspected of being altered white 360 photos; faking the new crop would be extremely difficult. No other new details have been leaked. [via Xbox 360 Fanboy]

Samsung confirms details of r510

03/26, 5:20pm

Samsung confirms r510

Though most of Samsung's CTIA offerings have been previously seen, the company did reveal more about the r510, which has generally been shrouded in secrecy. The phone is actually closer to the middle of Samsung's product line, since its main features are a 1.3-megapixel camera and Bluetooth stereo. The candybar shell is toned cobalt blue however, and the 510 also comes equipped with voice recognition, a speakerphone and a microSD card slot. No price or ship date has been suggested. [via Crave]

Hyatt hotels, resorts offer digital music

03/26, 5:20pm

Hyatt offers digital music

Hyatt Hotels & Resorts today unveiled its new digital download music pilot program that offers unique destination-specific music collections at individual properties in MP3 format that work with Apple's iPod and other portable players. Both Hyatt's Scottsdale and Lost Pines resorts now feature music on property that celebrates the respective destination and showcases international as well as local artists. The tone, style and pace of the music adjusts throughout each day to capture the essence of the environment and guest experience, such as the tranquility of a relaxing morning massage at Scottsdale's Spa Avania or the energy and vitality of an evening at Lost Pine's Shellers Barrelhouse Bar. Hyatt plans to roll out the new program to its properties across North America and the Caribbean throughout this year.

Canada to get two HTC smartphones before US

03/26, 4:55pm

Canada gets two HTC phones

Canada now has two new HTC smartphones through one of its national CDMA carriers, Telus. The first is the Vox (pictured), also known as the S720, which has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and runs Windows Mobile 6 off of 64MB of RAM and 128MB of onboard storage. Other highlights include WiFi and Bluetooth, plus a microSD slot and a two-megapixel camera.

The other phone is the P4000, called the P4350 in its GSM incarnation. Though similar to the Vox, the 4000 has a larger 2.8-inch screen, and will support EVDO Rev. A broadband where available. Crucially, though both phones should eventually go on sale in the US, this is not expected to happen until the summer. [via Crave]

Alcatel's French phones reach US shores

03/26, 4:35pm

Alcatel Phones in US

Joining in the suite of phone releases at CTIA, Alcatel today gave word that it would bring a large selection of its previously Europe-only OT phones Stateside. Over 15 phones will be available in the US for the first time, the company says. One of the highlights is the Elle GlamPhone No. 3 (pictured) with a 1.3-megapixel camera and iPod-style directional pad for music; other phones being released include the C825, a more masculine phone with a VGA camera, and the E801, which excludes the camera entirely in the name of price but provides an ample 10 hours of talk time.

The company hasn't revealed any release dates or carriers that will deliver the phones to subscribers. Earlier plans, however, indicate that the C- and E- series phones should become available primarily through virtual networks (in the vein of Amp'd or Helio) later this year.

Parrot prepares new Bluetooth phone display

03/26, 4:05pm

Parrot 3200 LS-Color Plus

Parrot has recently announced a new Bluetooth phone display, the 3200 LS-Color Plus. The primary feature of the device is its screen, capable of 262,144 colors in 160x128 resolution, which is used not only to display text but wallpapers and visual caller ID. The Plus serves as a speakerphone as well, and benefits from what Parrot claims is a unique noise-reduction technique based on stereo mic separation. More conventional features of the display include browsable contact lists and voice commands, the latter of which can be used to both send and answer calls. The Plus should be released sometime this summer. [via SlashPhone]

Microsoft: sales of Vista twice as fast as XP

03/26, 4:00pm

Vista Sales Double XP

Sales of Windows Vista are more than growing twice as quickly as for XP, Microsoft said today. The software developer noted that over 20 million copies had been sold in only the first month, more than doubling the 17 million Windows XP had sold in two months after its release in 2001. The figures are slightly better than expected and are helped by a surprising number of users buying premium editions such as Vista Ultimate, Microsoft added.

The record contradicts the firm's own dire warnings from just a month earlier, which had told investors that expectations for strong Windows sales were "out of whack" with reality. No mention was made, however, of how many of these sales were for upgrade copies instead of systems preloaded with the new OS.

Sprint tackles iPhone, offers 99-cent songs

03/26, 3:25pm

Sprint UpStage and Store

Sprint today launched a two-pronged assault on Apple's still unreleased iPhone by releasing both a new phone and an aggressive new music strategy. Confirming earlier leaks, the UpStage is intended to be music-friendly without sacrificing calling ability, as one side features a larger screen and controls for music or videos and the other holds a 1.3-megapixel camera, the more traditional cellphone keypad, and a basic display. Up to 2GB of music can be stored on a microSD card. New in the official announcement is news of a unique battery wallet: inserting the UpStage into the case both guards it against damage and boosts talk time to 6.3 hours, Sprint says. The carrier plans to bundle the UpStage with a 64MB microSD card when it ships in early April at a price of $149 with a two-year service plan.

Call Recorder for Skype 2.0 released

03/26, 3:15pm

Call Recorder for Skype 2

Ecamm Network today released Call Recorder for Skype 2.0, adding support for recording video calls to the call recording software for Skype on Mac systems. The update also adds audio level meters alongside the ability to make annotations while recording. The application adds a simple recording window to Skype for Mac that allows users to automatically save exact reproductions of all incoming and outgoing Skype calls. The calls are saved as QuickTime files that users can convert to MP3 format or split into separate tracks for further editing and podcasting. Call Recorder uses AAC and H.264 encoding for high quality audio and video. The application is priced at $15, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later with Skype for Mac 1.4 or later. Call Recorder for Skype 2.0 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later for video recording.

Epson intros first 'mainstream' 1080p projector

03/26, 2:20pm

Epson Home Cinema 1080

Epson this afternoon gave a boost to its PowerLite projectors through the new Home Cinema 1080. The 3LCD system is the most affordable 1080p projector ever at $2,999, Epson claims, and can beat direct-view sets at their own game: the 1080's 14-lens system can display an image a large as 120 inches in the right room.

The new PowerLite is also one of the only 1080p projectors in the world (second only to Epson's own Pro Cinema 1080) to have HDMI 1.3 input for higher color depths from HD sources. Its contrast ratio is said to be the same, strong 12,000:1 as the earlier premium model. Shipments for the Home Cinema 1080 start in April.

Apple removes FCP crossgrade ahead of NAB

03/26, 2:20pm

FCP crossgrade removed

Apple has quietly removed the Universal crossgrade for its Final Cut Pro Studio software from its website. The move comes ahead of the NAB electronic media show in Las Vegas, Nevada, where some industry watchers expect Apple to release an update to its Final Cut Pro software. The crossgrade had been available for 12 months prior to its removal, and "expired" last week, according to one Apple representative. Another source also reports that Apple will likely introduce both Mac OS X Leopard and an eight-core Mac Pro -- Apple's top-end professional desktop system -- to accompany a Final Cut Pro upgrade at the event. Apple has already sent email invites to video production professionals to attend a special event at NAB in The Venetian Hotel and Casino; Apple has in the past consistently unveiled new products or services at such scheduled events.

All Nike running shoes to work with Nano

03/26, 2:00pm

All Nike shoes, iPod nano

Nike executives have confirmed that the company is planning to make all of its running shoes compatible with its Nike+ technology by the end of 2007, allowing runners to track their workouts using Apple's iPod nano portable player. "I think there is a real renewed sort of energy and focus around product," said Nike president and chief executive Mark Parker. Nike's chief made the announcement during the unveiling of the company's third-quarter results, revealing a soft year with some specialty mall stores and a segment that was down overall -- in part due to companies such as Foot Locker and Finish Line reporting degraded sales.

LG confirms plasma, LCD sets with wood casing

03/26, 2:00pm

Flat TVs w/wood casing

While many televisions used to be encased in wood from the 1950s through to the 1980s, that trend has all but died except for the most expensive sets, such as the newly announced ones by LG Korea. The top of the line is represent by a 60-inch, 1080p plasma model, priced at a considerably high 9,181,105 won ($9,790).

There will however be more reasonably-priced sets designed by Reddot, including 50- and 42-inch plasmas, and 42- and 32-inch LCDs. Separately-released 42- and 37-inch sets will have built-in hard drives for DVR functions. No release schedules have been produced, but the sets are unlikely to come to North America in their current form. [via Akihabara News]

Stealthy Sony-Ericsson Z750 brings mobile buying, 3G

03/26, 1:50pm

Sony-Ericsson Z750

As its second phone unveiling today, Sony-Ericsson has launched the Z750. In much the same vein as the earlier Z310 and Z610, the Z750 has a mirror-like finish with a hidden OLED screen that only lights up for incoming calls or other phone uses. This is also the company's first HSDPA phone, Sony-Ericsson says, and uses its 3G-level wireless to speed both Web and media streaming but also to handle the new features brought about by its new Java software layer: mobile payments, photo blogging, and quickly scalable maps (thanks to SVG graphics support) are some of the tricks made possible by the update.

Click ahead for extra details and a gallery of the phone in Phantom Gray.

Sony-Ericsson readies hot W580 Walkman slider phone

03/26, 1:15pm

Sony-Ericsson W580

Sharing in the CTIA announcements, Sony-Ericsson this afternoon added the W580i to its lineup. Pitched as a streetwise device, the 0.55 inches thick phone is one of the first Walkman sliders available outside Europe and uses its design to get attention: sliding it open or hitting the Walkman button triggers light effects along the edges. It also packs in a pedometer that calculates calories and distance, and comes with both a 512MB Memory Stick Micro for AAC/MP3 songs and an FM radio for when stored music runs out.

Read ahead for launch details and a photo of the phone in its subtler Urban Gray paint scheme.

Pantech shows off five phones at CTIA

03/26, 1:05pm

Five new Pantech phones

Increasingly prevalent in the States, Pantech is using the CTIA expo to preview five new phones. The preeminent models are the C600 and C710, which are described as 3G models capable of Bluetooth stereo and various other high-end functions. The 710 is the most powerful of the two, boasting stereo speakers, a 1.3-megapixel camera, and a client for video-sharing.

The next step down is the C510, which drops a speaker and 3G abilities such as video sharing, but can still record videos, and play MP3 files with benefit of front-mounted controls. The C150 will have MP3 downloading and a VGA camera, while the C3b is an upgrade to the existing C3, merely adding Bluetooth. While some images of the phones are available (see below), Pantech has not yet announced carriers or release dates.

Apps: Morph Age, Contactizer, EasyWMV

03/26, 12:30pm

Morph Age, Contactizer

    Contactizer 3.1.3 ($120 per seat) helps users manage, share, and organize personal as well as business information. The update adds an option to not produce a warning and always save changes, includes a new people picker shortcut, and adds country as a criteria for contact smart groups. The latest release also brings several bug fixes. [Download - 20MB]
    PasswordWallet 4.0.4 for Mac, PasswordWallet 4.0.3 for Palm, SmartWrap 2.7, and MutantMaker 1.1 ($20, $15, $18, and $40) is a series of free updates to the four applications. PasswordWallet for Mac provides a secure place to store various information such as usernames and passwords; PasswordWallet for Palm serves the same purpose for mobile PDAs; SmartWrap analyzes email as well as text to detect paragraphs and lists, rewrapping that text naturally within a document or message; and MutantMaker helps researchers performing site directed mutagenesis screen potential mutants with restriction enzyme digests, rather than costly sequencing. [Download - 2.3MB, 44KB, 1.5MB, and 1.1MB]
    Morph Age 3.1 ($100) updates the application for morphing and warping images as well as movies. The latest release allows users to render high resolution images at up to 16000x16000 via an improved rendering pipeline. Morph Age 3.1 also brings Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard compatibility and support for Quick Look under Leopard. [Download - 11.6MB]
    EasyWMV 1.1 ($15) converts or resizes WMV, ASF, AVI, MPEG, MOV, FLV, NSV, and VOB files. Resulting videos are saved in the MPG or MP4 formats, and users can tailor the output for iPods using H.264 encoding where possible. Version 1.1 adds support for FLV and NSV video formats, as wella s optimizations for multi-core and multi-processor systems. The application runs natively on Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary, and requires Mac OS X 10.2 or later. [Download - 3.9MB]
    YummySoup! 1.1 ($20) is a simple recipe management and sharing application, integrating with a user-contributed online library. The update adds support for the Apple Remote in the full screen view with text-to-speech capability, and includes a consolidation button for grocery lists alongside .Mac backup and restore functionality. [Download - 2.1MB]

CyberTouch ships 24" touchscreen monitors

03/26, 12:15pm

24-inch touchscreen LCDs

CyberTouch has announced a new line of touchscreen LCD monitors, the Orion 24s. Named after their size, each is in a widescreen 16:9 ratio, and is actually based on an existing monitor from NEC or Samsung. Resolutions up to 1080p (1920x1200) are supported, and CyberTouch has further enhanced the screens with a polycarbonate layer that resists chemicals and abrasions. The professional audience of the Orions is reflected in their mounting options, since they can either be placed on a desktop or attached to a wall using a VESA mount. Serial and USB versions are available, and they are compatible with any current Mac, Windows or Linux system, except for those running Windows Vista. Prices start at $2,880 for the Samsung monitors and $3,450 for the NECs -- wallmounts, however, cost $125 or $185 depending on the particular monitor.

HTC brings Shift UMPC, Advantage to US

03/26, 11:45am

HTC Shift and Advantage US

HTC made its own contribution to CTIA today by revealing the Shift, its first entry into ultra-mobile PCs. With a 7-inch touchscreen and a slide-out keyboard, the device initially resembles most of its rivals but reflects its company's cellphone heritage: HSDPA provides 3G mobile Internet and is bolstered by a quad-band GSM radio for phone calls. Its keyboard also tilts to let the main display sit upright on a desk. HTC also promises Wi-Fi, a 30GB hard drive, and a front camera for video calls. The Shift should be available preloaded with Vista in Europe and the US during the summer.

Click through for details of the US Advantage and a gallery.

The Sims 2 Family Fun Stuff coming to Mac

03/26, 11:20am

Sims 2 Family Fun Stuff

Aspyr Media today announced that it will publish The Sims 2 Family Fun Stuff for Mac, the first The Sims 2 stuff pack to be released to Mac users. Aspyr also said it plans to release other The Sims 2 stuff packs in 2007, followed by The Sims 2 Glamour Life Stuff in the summer of this year followed by The Sims 2 Happy Holiday Stuff in the fall. "Add excitement to your Sims' family with this all-new collection of furniture, clothing, and décor. Decorate the home with an assortment of cool new furnishings, including upscale living room items and adventurous bedroom sets. Dress your Sims in matching attire for an amusing day out with the family. With 60 new items from castle beds to cruise ship replicas, your Sims now have more stuff for family fun." The Sims 2 Family Fun Stuff is currently under development, is expected to hit store shelves in April, and is available for pre-order for $20.

Sprint to carry its first Sierra Wireless modem

03/26, 11:20am

Sierra modem at Sprint

Sprint will soon be carrying its first modem from Sierra Wireless, the AirCard 595U. While a PC Card version is already in use at Verizon, Sprint's model is a USB modem, which should enable virtually any computer to take advantage of it. It will also connect to Sprint's larger EVDO Rev. A network, which should in theory deliver speeds up to 3.1Mbps. Plans for the 595U should see it ship in April, costing $50 with a two-year contract and a $50 mail-in rebate. [via Gearlog]

LG unveils VX8700, 570 music phones for US

03/26, 11:00am

LG VX8700 and 570 Phones

LG today revealed a pair of music phones for the US. The previously leaked VX8700 is now official and is meant to merge the brushed metal looks of the Shine with the earlier, Chocolate-based VX8600. The 8700 gains a sharper 2-megapixel camera but measures only half an inch thick, and switches to a strip-like external display.

Launching at the same time during the event is the 570. It trades down to a 1.3-megapixel camera in exchange for external music controls and a built-in FM transmitter for beaming sound to a car or home radio; owners can also switch the phone component off completely for longer music play time. Neither it nor the VX8700 have received formal release dates, though the 8700 is known to be in the works for Verizon and either phone may be available for Sprint.

Adium 1.0.2 fixes bugs, improves speed

03/26, 10:45am

Adium 1.0.2 released

The Adium Team has released Adium 1.0.2, an update to the free open source instant mesasging client for Mac OS X that supports all major text-based chatting networks. The latest release offers 25 improvements including crash fixes, improved AIM file transfer, enhanced speed in the integrated chat transcript viewer, and improved interaction with iTunes. Additionally, the Adium Project is participating in the 2007 Google Summer of Code, and is accepting student applications until the Summer of Code deadline on Monday, March 26th 2007 at 5:00 p.m. PDT. Students accepted into the Google Summer of Code will receive $4,500 for a summer internship writing open source code. Adium 1.0.2 is available for free, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.

Sunconnection ships VP200SD media player

03/26, 10:40am

Sunconnection SC-VP200SD

Sunconnection has released the successor to the SC-VP128SD, the VP-200SD. Although the two media players are virtually identical, having similar screen and memory sizes, the 200 has a more formal and stylish appearance, and upgrades the camera to include flash and resolutions up to 1600x1200. It's also capable of recording 320x240 video at 30fps. Curiously, music playback has dropped the WMA format, and is now limited to MP3. Sunconnection has just begun shipping the VP200SD for 12,800 yen ($109). [via Impress Watch]

Samsung Ultra Music to become UpStage in US

03/26, 10:20am

Samsung UpStage Phone

Samsung's US-bound F300 Ultra Music will get a rebranding on its way to Sprint, a leaked Flash demo for the cell provider has shown. The device will come to the carrier as the UpStage to reflect its unique approach to music playback: unchanged from its ITA launch last year, the handset has a large screen and touch controls on one side for media playback, and phone controls with a smaller display on the reverse face.

A 1.3-megapixel camera, a Bluetooth, and a microSD slot round out the features. The rechristened Ultra Music shoudl make its appearance at CTIA this week and will be available shortly afterwards. A full photo is available after the jump. [via Engadget]

Wonder Warp releases 'Otis' puzzle game

03/26, 10:20am

Free puzzle game released

Wonder Warp Software today released Otis, a freeware puzzle and strategy game for Mac OS X. The new title, whch is based on the classic game known as Chain Shot, offers visual effects as well as multiple levels of difficulty. Players are challenged to remove all of the blocks from the game board b y clicking on groups of two or more blocks with the same color. "Clear as many blocks at once as possible to score higher, but only through careful maneuvering can you clear the entire board." The game is written in Cocoa with a focus on design and interface. Otis 1.0 is available for free, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.

Koingo releases Alarm Clock Pro 8.0

03/26, 10:00am

Alarm Clock Pro 8.0

Koingo Software has released Alarm Clock Pro 8.0, the latest release of the alarm and time management system that can automatically take and email security screenshots. Alarm Clock Pro 8.0 also adds Apple Remote support alongside a live "Chronoindex." Users can configure the software to periodically send security screenshots to an email address, randomize the iTunes playlist, offer reminders abot holidays or special occasions, perform system actions, and automatically send out birthday cards or text message daily tasks to a cellular phone. Alarm Clock Pro 8.0 runs natively on Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary, is priced at $20, and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.

Mac OS X Leopard nearing 'final candidate'

03/26, 9:55am

Leopard dev wrapping up

Apple's Mac OS X Leopard -- which circulated to select developers -- is nearing completion, according to one analyst report. Shaw Wu of American Technology Research says the developer builds of Leopard indicate that the company is on track to ship the next generation operating system in the "spring" time frame, which runs from March 20th through June 20th. However, the analyst relayed concerns that the company has yet to publicize the promised "secret features" of Leopard. The company is expected to highlight Mac OS X Leopard at this year's annual developer conference in June. "We believe these concerns are over done and believe that Mac OS X Leopard will ship on time in the "Spring" time frame, or Apple's June quarter," the analyst wrote in research note to clients. Apple has also reportedly denied the rumored delays in Mac OS X Leopard.

iStyles unveils leather cases for 2G Nano

03/26, 9:50am

iStyles 2G Nano cases

iStyles has unveiled its Classic Leather Cases for Apple's second-generation iPod nano. "The Classic Leather Cases are stylish and slim premium luxury leather cases for the iPod nano second-generation. The classical styling of the case enhances the look and feel of the iPod nano, while the slim low-profile fitting maintains the sleekness and elegance of the device." iStyles' new cases come in six various colors matching those colors of Apple's second-generation iPod nano which include black, blue, green, pink, red, and white. Each case is priced at $15.

EVDO mobile broadband to hit 9Mbps in 2007

03/26, 9:45am

EVDO 9Mbps in 2007

Chipset maker Qualcomm on Monday revealed that it will introduce an even faster version of EVDO mobile Internet access. While the company's EVDO Revision A has only just launched in the past few months through Sprint and Verizon, a new version -- simply titled EVDO Rev. B -- is already set to debut this year. The technology uses both a new mobile chipset (the MSM7850) as well as software updates to earlier chips that give an average 9.3Mbps download speed versus the 800Kbps of today.

Apple denies Mac OS X Leopard delays

03/26, 9:20am

Apple denies Leopard delay

Apple has denied circulating rumors of delays in Mac OS X Leopard, its next-generation operating system. A report by Michael Gartenberg of JupiterResearch says that Apple has confirmed Leopard will ship in the "spring", contrary a rumor floated by the somewhat unreliable Asian Digitimes publication. Last week, it claimed that Apple was going to delay the release of Leopard--until possibly October--to allow Leopard to support Windows Vista via Boot Camp. "The rumor mill is wrong again," Gartenberg wrote in his blog. The company, however, in February flatly denied delays in shipment of its revolutionary Apple TV set-top until just a few days before launch, despite published reports to the contrary. The much-anticipated device, formally introduced in January at Macworld Expo, was delayed by just over three weeks and began arriving in customers hands last week.

Jobs is "ultimate CEO", worth $16b to AAPL

03/26, 9:10am

Jobs is "ultimate CEO"

Apple's co-founder and chief exec Steve Jobs is described as the "ultimate CEO who matters," according to a new survey by Barron's magazine. The annual ranking of top CEOs from around the world identified the corporate leaders who have "top-notch reputations" in the financial community and would be missed by investors if they unexpectedly left their jobs. "The ultimate CEO who matters is Steve Jobs, a co-founder and guiding force at Apple. Jobs' departure probably would result in a greater loss of stock-market value than the loss of any other CEO in the world. Jobs might be worth 20 or so points to Apple shares, roughly $16 billion. No wonder the company last year seemed eager to minimize Jobs' role in Apple's options-backdating problem. Apple continues to out-innovate Microsoft, which spends about 10 times as much on research and development." The report says that 21 of the 30 CEO returned to the list from 2006, while two of those departed, Steve Reinemund of PepsiCo and John Browne (due to retirement). Other prominent chief executives included Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway) and Rupert Murdoch (News Corp.).

Stylized LG AX8600 launches with Alltel

03/26, 9:05am

LG AX8600 at Alltel

Alltel this morning took its turn at unveiling an exclusive handset and launched the AX8600. The LG-made flip phone stresses its bold color and comes in any one of three colors, including the pictured Apple Green as well as Marine Blue and Gold. Regardless of the look, each has external music keys, a 1.3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and a microSD slot for storage. Completely unique to Alltel is the use of its custom Celltop widget-style interface for checking data on the road.

Ready to ship, the AX8600 is on offer for as little as $100 with a two-year plan but can also be had for $280 from Alltel without a contract.

802.11n wireless upgrade for Mac mini

03/26, 8:55am

802.11n for Mac mini's

QuickerTek on Monday introduced new 802.11n wireless networking for Apple's Intel Mac Mini owners. QuickerTek's 802.11n Mac mini upgrade is a complete solution that not only provides an 'n' card, but also provides a second antenna - required to get all of the speed that 802.11n wireless can offer. The company says the wireless networking card is made to the same specifications as the Apple factory 'n' card and installs into the AirPort card slot - replacing the stock AirPort card. The 'n' wireless upgrade works with all 802.11/b/g/n WiFi equipment including Apple AirPort, AirPort Extreme and the latest 802.11n version of AirPort Extreme. The user-installed Mac Mini wireless upgrade includes the 802.11n wireless card, tools and illustrated installation manual - everything users need to complete the upgrade on their own. An Apple-compatible driver installer is also provided. The $180 upgrade is backed with a one-year warranty on parts and labor. (A company-installed option is available for $250.)

Moto RAZR sequel in the works?

03/26, 8:40am

Moto RAZR 2 in Progress

Motorola is finally planning a direct sequel to the Motorola RAZR, according to Bengal Boy and supporting information from industry tipster Boy Genius. The highlight of the chrome-accented phone is a two-inch external display that will provide far more information than usual without opening the clamshell. Also expected is a large 512MB of internal flash to go along with a microSD card slot and a Linux-based OS instead of the proprietary Motorola software from the original.

No release date has been given for the device, but it may make an official appearance at this week's CTIA show and should be available for both CDMA- and GSM-based US carriers soon. [via HowardForums]

Helio's two-way Ocean slider phone debuts

03/26, 8:15am

Helio Ocean

The US virtual network operator Helio provided an early start to the CTIA mobile phone expo with the introduction of the Ocean. Known as the Pantech PN-810 during its time at the FCC, the device is one of America's few dual-mode slider phones that both shifts one direction for dialing and another for text messaging. The design keeps the size small compared to other text-centric phones, the carrier says.

More specs and a gallery follow after the break.

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