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Data Backup 3 released
Prosoft Engineering today released Data Backup 3, an update to its easy and flexible backup software for Mac OS X. Data Backup 3 enables users to backup, restore, and synchronize data with minimal effort, according to the company, and features a new user interface with the ability to backup to CDs as well as DVDs spanning multiple disks. A new fast start feature skips scanning and speeds up backups, while built-in backup sets support quick backups of the iTunes and iPhoto libraries, as well as other important data on the entire system. The software can automatically wake from sleep to perform backups, and can automatically power off after the backup completes. Data Backup 3 is priced at $60, and requires Mac OS X 10.2.9 or later.
Sync BlackBerry on Macs
Mark/Space has released The Missing Sync for BlackBerry 1.0, providing reliable synchronization for Mac users with BlackBerry handhelds. BlackBerry owners can synchronize contacts, email, calendar events, music, notes, photos, and tasks to and from their Mac computers with the new software. Tested BlackBerry models include the 7100 series, 7290, 7250, 7520, 7130, 8700, 8707, 8703, 8705, 8100 series (Pearl), and 8800 series. New licenses of The Missing Sync for BlackBerry 1.0 are priced at $40, and require Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later. The company is also offering owners of qualifying Missing Sync products, including the Palm OS and Windows Mobile editions a 50 percent off "crossgrade" price.
YouTube-like TiVo service
TiVo and One True Media today began a new video-sharing service, which allows peers to watch home movies on their DVRs. Users first upload the videos to the One True Media website, where they can be edited with online tools. A free personal channel must then be created with TiVo, to which other TiVo customers can be invited to subscribe. If they so choose they can also select a Season Pass, which will download the latest videos automatically.
The service does however have some requirements: the receiver must be using a Series 2 or 3 DVR connected to broadband Internet, and the uploader may have to pay for a One True Media subscription, if the uploads surpass 100MB. Fees begin at $4 per month or $40 per year. No extra charges exist on TiVo's end.
Axiom EP400 subwoofer
The Epicenter EP400 by Axiom is intended to bring the strength of a home theater subwoofer to smaller environments. While only 10.5 inches wide and 13.8 inches tall, the 400 still packs 500W to produce up to 116dB of sound, and can span frequencies between 23 and 150Hz. Axiom has further equipped the subwoofer with "intelligent" DSP, capable of matching driver response to an exact frequency at any point along the supported spectrum. The driver itself is aluminum and eight inches long, and has a maximum variance of no more than 1.5dB. The 400 is being sold in beech, cherry maple and black oak finishes, for $1,100.
MoboVivo comes to Apple TV
MoboVivo and its content providers today announced that the thousands of hours of lifestyle, documentary, and entertainment TV shows that were already available for iPod, PSP, and other portable device owners are coming to the Apple TV. "We are very proud to be providing a solution to Canadians and others outside of the United States," said Trevor Doerksen CEO and Co-Founder of MoboVivo. "For so many people the right shows or the rights clearances to shows make programming unavailable in their area. MoboVivo is working hard to change that." Content channels include entertainment, lifestyle, kids, education, "MoboDiva," current events, and more. Programs are available from mobovivo.com for $1.99 per full episode, and work on personal computers as well as iPods and the new Apple TV.
iPhone Shown at CTIA
Apple's iPhone has surfaced in the public eye after a long absence, photographers noted Tuesday at the CTIA phone expo. During his keynote speech earlier today, AT&T Chief Operations Officer Randall Stephenson brought out the elusive device when discussing the success of the carrier's e-mail sign-up program.
The device was tightly guarded at the event, according to the report, but Stephenson joked that a brief tryout before the presentation by FCC chariman Kevin Martin demonstrated both how easily people could adapt to the iPhone and how desirable it was compared to most other phones.
Motorola H680 Headset
As an extra announcement to match its new designer phones, Motorola on Tuesday released its H680 Bluetooth earpiece. The company hopes its headset will be different through battery life and ergonomics. Though small, the onboard battery is capable of driving calls for eight continuous hours and eight days of standby. The ear hook and cushions are also freshly engineered to keep the sound and speakers as close to the ear as possible.
The device ships with a unique case that both guards and charges the headset when plugged in, and should be available during the summer for a price to be set later.
Verizon FiOS Boost
Verizon today revealed that it had started rolling out what it says is a breakthrough for its FiOS fiber optic Internet service for the home. Updating the backend of the network, the telco has begun replacing its local backbones with gigabit passive optical networks, or G-PONs. The replacement effectively quadruples the downstream bandwidth and is even faster for uploads, Verizon says: where a single hub today shares 622 Mbps across every attached home for downloads and 155Mbps for uploads, a GPON increases the speeds to 2.4Gbps and 1.2Gbps respectively.
20m Vista copies sold
Microsoft on Monday said it sold more than 20 million copies of Windows Vista in the first month since its debut in late January, revealing that customers are adopting the new operating system at more than double the rate of its predecessor -- Windows XP. "It's a little bit better than what we were expecting," said Windows marketing group director Bill Mannion. The speedy adoption of Windows Vista comes just before Apple plans to release Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, the next generation of its own operating system that will serve as the company's answer to Microsoft and bring Intel-based Mac owners the ability to install as well as boot Windows on their Macs. Microsoft was surprised by how many Vista customers chose to purchase the premium versions of Vista, according to Reuters, as company chief Steve Ballmer said analysts' forecasts for revenue from the new operating system were "overly aggressive." Some industry watchers expect Apple to launch Mac OS X Leopard at a special event planned for the NAB convention in Las Vegas, Nevada.
OQO model 02 Ships
OQO on Tuesday revealed that its eagerly anticipated model 02 has begun shipping. The UMPC, which had first been announced at January's CES expo, is built as a potentially complete replacement for a notebook and is one of the first at its 7-inch size to ship with Windows Vista onboard as well as EVDO for Sprint or Verizon subscribers.
A base model starts at $1,499 with a 1.2GHz CPU, 30GB hard drive, 512MB of RAM, and Windows XP Home. The line peaks at $1,849 with a 1.5GHz processor, doubled memory and storage, and Vista Business. EVDO is currently a $150 option regardless of the provider.
ATT Million iPhone Inquiry
AT&T's cellular division has fielded over a million questions about the iPhone's availability, according to the company COO Randall Stephenson. The executive opened his keynote at the CTIA phone expo in Orlando by touting the sheer number of website visitors that had visited AT&T's special iPhone page and chosen to be contacted when the Apple device is ready to order.
"One million people have asked us to call when this phone is available," Stephenson said.
DLO Twister for iPod nano
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) today unveiled the new DLO Twister, a unique dual-cover fashion case for Apple's iPod nano. The DLO Twister features a one-of-a-kind twisting cover that lets users instantly switch the look of the iPod with a spin of the cover, according to the company, going from a black leather look to a Blueberry-inspired plaid. The twisting cover is hand-stitched and offers protective padding for both first- and second-generation iPod nanos, featuring supple distressed leather on the reverse side of the plaid cover. A protective shield guards the iPod screen from nicks and scratches, and the case offers full access to the clickwheel as well as controls when open. The DLO Twister is priced at $25.
SanDisk 4GB M2 card
SanDisk is expanding its smaller Memory Stick Micro (M2) line with a 4GB card, set to ship sometime after May. The company is already selling 512MB, 1GB and 2GB M2 cards, but according to estimates, 4GB should be enough to hold approximately 1,000 songs, 2,000 photos or 20 hours of MPEG-4 video. The main drawback to M2 cards is that they are compatible exclusively with Sony Ericsson phones, such as the Walkman line -- elsewhere, microSD is the industry standard.
xBack, Barcode Producer
xBack 3.7 ($10) improves the utility that allows users to replace the desktop with a screen saver. xBack brings the desktop to life by loading any Mac OS X screen saver as the background image via an easy pull-down menu in the menubar. xBack 3.7 fixes an issue with iPhoto support, and works with some Quartz Composer Animations. The software requires mac OS X 10.2 or later.
[Download - 947KB]
Barcode Producer 4.3 ($150) updates the barcode generation suite for Mac OS X with bar width reduction. Barcode Producer 4.3 features bar width adjustment to compensate for "dot gain" or "ink spread" anomalies from certain output devices. Users can set the option to any value to ensure optimal scanning performance, and the application supports custom colored barcodes using CMYK or RGB color values for both the barcode itself and the background area. [Download - 10.7MB]
Mac Restart X 1.1 ($10) restarts a Mac on a regular basis, at scheduled times, or via iCal events. The software uses the new Calendar control available in Mac OS X 10.4, and warns current users before a restart occurs. Mac Restart X 1.1 doesn't cause slowdowns when running in the background, and uses native Mac OS X Date, Time, and Calendar controls. [Download - 122KB]
Firedoodle 0.5b (free) is a Firefox Web browser add-on that enables users to treat every Web page as a whiteboard. The software is designed for jotting ideas, creating reviews, and random doodling. Registered users can also save highlights or placemarks that don't disappear when Firefox closes. [Download - Firefox add-on]
DiskLibrary 1.4 ($30) is designed as an easy-to-use media cataloging application for Mac OS X 10.4. The update adds support for XMP metadata, as well as the ability to import DiskTracker 2.3 export files. The latest release also adds duration as well as dimension tags for movie files, improves CDFinder import functionality, and includes several bug fixes. [Download - 2.2MB]
EazyDraw 2.3 ($20 for 9-month license, $100 for permanent license) enhances the easy-to-use vector drawing application for Mac OS X. The latest release includes User Libraries with a new tool mode that allows users to create custom tool palettes. Custom palettes can include standard EazyDraw tools or graphic tools created by users, and ClarisDraw import is improved to include palettes that streamline many drawing tasks. [Download - 16.1MB]
UTStarcom at CTIA 2007
UTStarcom today joined in the fray of phone announcements with three of its own. Leading the group is the pictured GSFT779. As with ZTE's D-Series, the 779 has a Fastap keyboard for quickly punching out text messages on what would otherwise be a regular number pad. Other specifications weren't mentioned specifically in the announcement but are known to include a camera and a relatively slim, 0.6-inch clamshell design. It should be available primarily Central and South America by the second half of this year.
Catch an image of the phone as well as details of the remaining two after the break.
Worldspace Radio sued
An American firm has filed a lawsuit against Worldspace, a satellite radio provider that services most of the world outside North America, including Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The class action suit was launched on the part of investors, who are together accusing executives of violating federal securities laws -- specifically, deliberately omitting or falsifying information about Worldspace's operations. The public was allegedly deceived about the company's performance, and as a result, stock prices are said to have been artificially inflated. The trial has yet to begin; investors have until May 15th to file with The Paskowitz Law Firm as a plaintiff.
BBC Motion Gallery, QT
The BBC Motion Gallery has announced the adoption of QuickTime 7 on its website, enabling customers to purchase archive clips in Apple's native format. The BBC Motion gallery offers media professionals access to more than 500,000 hours of video footage covering a wide variety of content from natural history and sports to art and music. BBC Motion Gallery preview clips now take advantage of the efficient H.264 video codec in QuickTime 7, delivering high quality video at low data rates for clearer video in smaller files. BBC Motion Gallery previews in QuickTime 7 will also contain a rich body of metadata, searchable via Spotlight in Mac OS X 10.4 or later. "Apple continues to develop industry leading tools to service digital video professionals and QuickTime 7 is no exception. BBC Motion Gallery is tapping into the strengths of this video format to offer premiere quality online preview clips with more robust search capabilities than ever before," said Simon Gibbs, managing director of BBC Motion Gallery.
BlueAnt motorcycle headset
BlueAnt has taken the unusual step of producing the InterPhone, a Bluetooth headset designed specifically for motorcycle riders. The device attaches to both full- and open-faced helmets, and (with the aid of voice commands) enables completely hands-free use of a cellphone, which is essential given the danger of pulling away from the handlebar.
Fitting the difficult environment of its use, the InterPhone is built to be water-resistant and windproof, with further DSP processing done to reduce echoes and ambient noise. Owners can ride with the the headset at speeds up to 80mph, and treat it as an intercom if other InterPhone users are within 490 feet. The device is out now for $189.
Illustrator, Flash updates
Adobe today updated Illustrator CS3 and Flash CS3 in conjunction with updates to Dreamweaver CS3, Fireworks CS3, and Contribute CS3 as well as Photoshop CS3, InDesign CS3, and the entire Adobe CS3 family. The company today announced that its Photoshop CS3 software is due in April, which is expected to boost Intel-based Mac sales due to pent up demand from professional users. Adobe Illustrator CS3 allows users to create sophisticated artwork for virtually any medium with industry-standard drawing tools, flexible color controls, and professional type controls. The latest release of Adobe Illustrator CS3, now a Universal Binary, offers Live Color, integration with Adobe Flash, improved operating performance, a control panel, and an eraser tool. The update also features new document profiles, a crop area tool, an isolation mode, and Symbols for Flash. Adobe Illustrator CS3 is available for pre-order for $600, with upgrades priced from $200.
IOGEAR 2x HDMI switch
Despite evidence to the contrary, IOGEAR is claiming it has the world's "first" HDMI hub that automatically selects active input, eliminating the need for remote or hands-on control. Its 2x1 Automatic Switch does remain in the minority however, and enables two HDMI devices to share the same input on an HDTV set. Resolutions up to 1080p are supported, and LEDs on the front panel indicate which source is being used. The 2x1 is on sale today for $170.
Apple TV upgrade
In brief: TechRestore has begun offering a storage upgrade service for the new Apple TV, Native Instruments has released its new TRAKTOR Tutorial DVD, tickets are available for the 6th Annual NAB FCPUG Network SuperMeet, and EmiratesMac User Group (EMUG) is inviting Apple fans in the UAE to attend a demonstration of the Apple TV. Faronics is offering its intelligent energy management software in five global languages, and Malleable Devices has unveiled a new dual charger that replenishes the battery life of two mobile devices simultaneously. TechRestore is offering an overnight storage upgrade service for the new Apple TV that brings up to 160GB of storage capacity to the set top box device. Pricing for the new service, which ranges from $100 to $220, includes all parts and installation.
Kyocera at CTIA 2007
Japan's Kyocera used CTIA today for an aggressive leap into the business of designer phones. The E5000 (shown) stands out for its devotion to an often-neglected part of clamshell design: the hinge. Instead of a merely utilitarian joint, the E5000's link is a curved S-shape built out of stainless steel. The phone is also geared towards music and brings touch-sensitive external music controls to the shell as well as stereo Bluetooth, a 1.3-megapixel camera, and EVDO access. It should be ready for CDMA-based carriers in the US and elsewhere by this fall.
More phones and a gallery follow the jump.
M-Audio Session KeyStudio
Avid's M-Audio division has relased the Session KeyStudio bundle, designed to provide PC users with an quick, inexpensive, all-in-one method of creating music. The package combines a 49-note USB keyboard with the company's Session software, which in its KeyStudio version can create complete songs using multi-tracking and over 2GB of pre-recorded loops, such as drums, bass guitars and pianos. While not nearly as powerful as Avid's famous Pro Tools setups, the KeyStudio does have the unique advantage of being priced at $99 while including all necessary hardware.
Palm Treo 750 with HSDPA
Palm on Tuesday announced that it would update its Treo 750 smartphone to Windows Mobile 6. In addition to bringing some of the new software inherent to the new OS to existing owners -- such as faster web browsing and Office Mobile -- the upgrade will actually enable a new feature for those using AT&T's phone service, Palm says. Applying the update will streamline connecting to the US provider's HSDPA mobile broadband from the touchscreen, giving it faster speeds in the process.
The smartphone maker hasn't revealed a price or a specific launch date for the update, which should be available worldwide later this year.
New Samsung technologies
In addition to phones, Samsung is using the CTIA expo to promote three new general technologies it has developed. The most attention-grabbing may be a new 1.8-inch, 64GB flash drive, which is expected to be used primarily in notebooks, camcorders and GPS receivers, but may well migrate to other devices such as media players. Samsung is one of the key memory suppliers for the Apple iPod.
Samsung has also developed what it calls the world's smallest 8.4-megapixel CMOS sensor, though no measurements have been given. The company further says that its image quality is as good as any CCD sensor, while still consuming a tenth of the power. As such it is expected to be used in compact cameras and camcorders, as well as mobile phones, where it would be substantially sharper than the majority of its rivals.
Apple TV on Macs
The customized version of Mac OS X used on the Apple TV will boot on other Macs, users have confirmed today. Taking advantage of news that the customized version of Mac OS X is portable to other hardware, one owner of the media hub has successfully used the software on an external USB drive and run the OS from a MacBook rather than the Apple TV's native components -- including authorization and streaming. The launch indicates that many of Apple's drivers for graphics, networking, and other elements are intact. (More details and a video follow after the break)
ZTE D-series 3G Phone
Normally limited to its Chinese home, ZTE today said it would launch its D-Series phones in the US. The firm hopes to manage the frequently overwhelming amount of text typing needed on today's phones by using Digit Wireless' US-made Fastap keyboard technology: letter keys are wedged between the numbers and raised to make it possible to quickly draft an e-mail or an SMS message without a larger keyboard.
The phone also promises 3G-level speeds through EVDO, a 1.3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and media playback for MP3 songs and MP4 videos. ZTE is readying the D-Series for US carriers in April and should see an official release in the following months. A full photo is waiting after the break.
Adobe updates Web apps
Moto World Phones CTIA 2K7
Following the news of its updated RAZR and ROKR phones, Motorola today has also announced several clamshell phones aimed at a world audience. The CDMA models are headlined by the W385 (pictured): the design takes the KRZR's shape to a wider group with a more affordable VGA camera and without the EDGE or EVDO Internet access that frequently adds to the price. In return, it gains GPS to help navigate on a walk or a road trip. The other CDMA-based device, the W355 shifts the focus to music with an FM radio and a loud speakerphone.
Both devices are set to ship during the spring. Click through for details of Motorola's GSM phones, including a gallery of selected models.
Adobe CS 3 Production Prem
As part of its Creative Suite 3 announcement, Adobe on Tuesday announced the new version of its video editing and post-production application suite, Creative Suite 3 Production Premium. It includes both Universal Binary (After Effects CS3 Professional, Photoshop CS3 Extended, Illustrator CS3, Flash CS3 Professional, Device Central CS3, and Bridge CS3) and Intel-only applications (Premiere Pro CS3, Soundbooth CS3, and Encore CS3) as well as two Windows-only applications as well as OnLocation CS3 for direct-to-disk recording and Adobe's Ultra CS3 keying tool. Encore CS3 offers DVD and Blu-ray Disc authoring and SWF export to the Web, while Soundbooth offers audio-editing for film, video, and Adobe Flash software projects.
Sanyo SCP-7050 for Sprint
Sanyo on Tuesday unveiled its SCP-7050 phone for Sprint's more active users. The 7050's rubberized outer shell makes it the first Sanyo phone to survive US military-grade dust, shock, and vibration standards; its controls are also designed such that the buttons are usable even with gloves on, the company says. Fully autonomous GPS is part of the package and works whether other phone functions are in use or the cellphone drops off of Sprint's network.
Multiple other concessions are in place for outdoors owners or field workers: a mobile contact sync feature automatically creates backups of the contact list on Sprint's servers to retrieve them if the phone is lost, and a large speaker helps keep the phone hands-free during a hike or rough work. Sprint will offer the phone in early April for $150 alongside a two-year contract.
Parliant PhoneValet 5.1
Parliant Corp today began shipping version 5.1 of PhoneValet Message Center, its Mac telephony product for small businesses, homes, and home offices. PhoneValet's software and hardware platform turns a Mac into a virtual call center with automated attendant, unlimited voice mail call tree, call blocking, recording, logging and screening, automated dialing and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) capabilities. It offers full Address Book integration, using standard telephone lines. Version 5.1 improves the automated attendant by allowing a user-selected number of rings to answer on specific lines at specific times of day.
Moto RAZR MAXX Ve and Z6m
Motorola launched the second day of CTIA with a series of new phones, including one exclusively for a US carrier. The RAZR maxx Ve is designed solely for Verizon and adapts the features of the original for its CDMA network: EVDO broadband and GPS are onboard for Internet and location-based tools respectively, while the phone also gets a 2-megapixel camera upgrade versus the earlier RAZR V3 and a large, 1.7-inch external screen with touch controls for music.
Adobe Photoshop CS3
Ahead of its NYC launch event/webcast on Tuesday, Adobe today formally announced Photoshop CS3 and Photoshop CS3 Extended, two new editions of the professional industry standard for digital imaging. Photoshop CS3 software is called a "major upgrade," offering new innovations in editing power and productivity for designers and photographers as well as an entirely new version, Photoshop CS3 Extended that brings tools for 3-D, motion graphics, image measurement and analysis for professionals in architecture, engineering, medicine, and science. Photoshop CS3 and Photoshop CS3 Extended will be available as stand-alone applications or key components of Adobe's expanded Creative Suite 3 family. The software will be available as a Universal application for both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs. Photoshop CS3 brings new features for advanced compositing, including the ability to automatically align multiple Photoshop layers or images based on similar content, while the new Auto-blend Layers command blends the color and the shading to create a smooth, editable result.
Adobe InDesign CS3
Adobe today announced InDesign CS3 software, the latest version of its professional page layout program. InDesign CS3, available as a stand-alone application or as a component of Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Premium and Standard editions, will be available as a Universal application for both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs. The application will be highlighted at its NYC launch event/webcast on Tuesday. InDesign CS3 offers new features including Multi-file Place, expanded Quick Apply, Advanced Find/Change, and fast frame fitting, eliminate time consuming and repetitive design tasks; new table and cell styles allow users to quickly format an entire table or apply design to a regional area, such as a header or footer. It also delivers standards-based XHTML export to Adobe Dreamweaver CS3, enabling print content to be repurposed for web publishing.
Adobe CS3 due in April
Adobe today announced the much-anticipated release of its Creative Suite 3 product line. As the largest release in Adobe's history, the rollout features six all-new configurations of Adobe Creative Suite 3- Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Premium and Design Standard editions; Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Premium and Web Standard editions; and Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium. Finally, the company also announced Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection, which combines all of Adobe's new design and development applications in a single box. Adobe Creative Suite 3 offers design and development tools for virtually every creative workflow and combines the Adobe and Macromedia product lines to offer tools for print, web, mobile, interactive, film, and video production. Photoshop CS3, InDesign CS3, Illustrator CS3, Adobe Flash CS3 Professional, and Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 will all be all Universal Binary applications for native performance on PowerPC and Intel-based Macs; they are scheduled to ship in April.
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