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News Archive for 07/04/03

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New Cineon, DPX QT Components at NAB '07

04/03, 6:50pm

Cineon, DPX QT plugins

Glue Tools has announced that v2.5 of its Cineon and DPX QuickTime Components will be released at NAB 2007. The new release will include Playback, 3D LUTs and full integration with Apple's Final Cut Studio. The company said that "on capable systems with high speed storage, the Cineon/DPX Components can achieve playback speeds," but that on slower machines, including laptops, the ability to "scrub" through a shot, is now possible. Regardless of the system's performance, the Cineon/DPX Components enable any QuickTime application to have a Cineon or DPX frame flipper "built-in." The components enable import and export of Cineon or DPX sequences into Final Cut Pro -- without any additional processing (as well as Motion, Adobe After Effects, Photoshop and Combustion).

Apple denies violating EU laws

04/03, 5:50pm

Apple denies EU claims

Apple has denied claims that it breached European Union laws regarding the pricing of songs on its iTunes Store, following a 'statement of objections' that was sent to the Cupertino-based company as well as several unnamed major music labels -- which are believed to be the "big four" known as EMI Group, Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, and Sony BMG. "We don't believe Apple did anything to violate EU law," Apple said. "We will continue to work with the EU to resolve this matter," the company added. The Financial Times reports that the big four record labels are understood to be included in the antitrust probe. The primary argument behind the probe centers around the fact that consumers are limited to purchasing music from the local iTunes site in their own country, which effectively limits consumer choice of where to buy tracks and what music is available at a given price, according to AFX.

Mexico City mayor promises complete WiFi coverage

04/03, 5:40pm

Mexico City WiFi network

Mexico City may become one of the next major cities to have wireless on every street, according to the Associated Press. Despite having troubles simply supplying water and electricity, mayor Marcelo Ebrard claims he intends to provide WiFi coverage to all of Mexico City's 8.7 million (official) residents, and this in the near future. "The city government is giving this project the highest priority," Ebrard is quoted as saying. An agreement has already been signed with China's ZTE, which will scatter the WiFi hotspots through schools, government offices and surveillance cameras. The move is a part of Ebrard's campaign to gentrify Mexico City, bringing it into line with wealthier capitals in other countries.

Sky depicts new concept phone

04/03, 5:15pm

Sky concept phone

Korean maker Sky has premiered a new phone concept, which while unlikely to reach production, may indicate the direction of future products. The most notable aspect is its shell, which is not only angular and encased in glossy black plastic, but extremely thin -- close to a third of an inch. The screen and keypad also appear to be hidden away, revealed only by sliding up the top half. Buttons for answering and ending calls are still located on the outside, however, as is a touch-sensitive keypad, which appears to be a direct copy of that on the LG Chocolate. Click below for more images. [via Akihabara News]

New architectural releases for Mac

04/03, 5:05pm

Mac architectural aids

Four new Mac-compatible architectural applications have been released, according to Architosh. The first two belong to Interstudio, which is shipping Domus.CAD 14, and DigiCAD 3D 8.5. The former allows architects to design interiors and exteriors in 3D, without the need for first creating 2D floorplans. Domus.CAD 14 adds linear fills and extended snap functions, as well as improved import/export capacity specifically addressing DWG, DXF and AutoCAD files. DigiCAD 3D is used in photogrammetry, with the update simplifying distortion correction via a user-created lens database. Domus.CAD is available as a rent-to-own application for $360; a similar plan is offered for DigiCAD 3D beginning at $160.

Apple offers refurb Mac Pros from $2,199

04/03, 4:55pm

Refurb Mac Pros $2,199

Apple is offering refurbished Mac Pro Quad Xeon workstations at discounted prices, as well as its entire line of Apple Cinema Displays. Reconditioned Mac Pros include the Quad 2.66GHz Intel Xeon system with two 2.66GHz dual core Xeon processors, 1GB of memory, a 250GB hard drive, and an NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT graphics card (256MB) for $2,199; as well as its Quad 3.0GHz Intel Xeon model with two 3.0GHz Xeon processors, 2GB of memory, a 250GB hard drive, and an ATI Radeon X1900 XT graphics card (512MB) for $3,299. Apple's refurbished Cinema Displays currently include the 20-inch flat panel with 1680 x 1050 optimal resolution for $549, 23-inch flat panel with 1920 x 1200 optimal resolution for $749, and the 30-inch flat panel with 2560 x 1600 optimal resolution for $1,599. The Apple Store Canada is also offering the 23-inch Apple Cinema Display for CAD $899, but currently offers no other Apple-branded flat panel monitors or Mac Pro systems. [click here to access the Apple Store Canada]

US airlines to see in-flight Wi-Fi by 2008

04/03, 4:35pm

US Airline Wi-Fi in 2008

US airline passengers will soon have the option of wireless Internet in their cabins, thanks in part to developments by Colorado-based AirCell. The company says it has snapped up unused frequencies from the FCC that would let it create a Wi-Fi hotspot in airplane cabins, allowing notebooks as well as properly-equipped handhelds such as the iPhone to access the Internet mid-flight. While the service would block VoIP calls for courtesy reasons, speed would be roughly equivalent to what users can see on the ground, AirCell says.

Briefly: iPod Film Festival; BBC clips

04/03, 4:20pm

iPod Film Festival

In brief: The Flux.tv iPod Film Festival is now online with all finalist short films available for free viewing, Feral Interactive has launched its LEGO Star Wars II mini site, and the BBC Motion gallery has announced a new royalty-free collection. Transcend is producing new flash drives for ExpressCard/34 slots with various storage capacities, and MacSpeech has announced its April road show dates for the state of Florida. The second year of Flux.tv's iPod Film Festival features movies that are all less than 10 minutes long, and enables viewers to participate in a new community section by leaving reviews of films, messages from the filmmakers, and blogs by the filmmakers. Films will remain available for download until June 28th, which also marks the end of judging for the festival.

Sony VAIO C, FE get new Graphic Splash

04/03, 3:55pm

Sony Graphic Splash 2007

Sony today commemorated spring with several new additions to its Graphic Splash line of VAIO notebooks. Updating the look from the fall versions, the computer company's 13.3-inch C-series and 15.4-inch FE each get several new dye-sub designs worked into their shells. Two-tone dots in black and white or brown and turquoise are available on either system; the C gets exclusive Pink Blossom and Weathered Red patterns while the FE receives Charcoal Blossom as well as Weathered Blue.

The computers themselves are untouched with Core 2 Duos, DVD burners, and a 1280x800 display common for both. The FE series is already shipping with the custom look for $1,000, and should be followed by its $1,250 C-series equivalent on April 17th.

Moto SLVR L7c, UT Starcom 7075 surface at Verizon

04/03, 3:20pm

Moto SLVR L7c at Verizon

Verizon today picked up the SLVR L7c, the CDMA version of Motorola's well-known thin bar phone. In the carrier's trim the phone takes on an all-silver hue and gains support for most of the network's V CAST on-demand music and video downloads. It otherwise boasts the same features as the Motorola original with Bluetooth, EVDO broadband, a VGA camera, and a microSD slot for loading in media clips. Price is the emphasis with the L7c available for $70 when bought online with a two-year contract.

Also launching today is the entry-level CDM 7075, its rebranding of the UTStarcom phone by the same name. The clamshell phone's central feature is a VGA camera and an extremely low price. Verizon offers it for free with two years of service.

Nokia 6110 reaches FCC, brings 3G and GPS to US

04/03, 2:55pm

Nokia 6110 at FCC

The Nokia 6110 Navigator is likely to reach a US carrier, an FCC filing shows. The device shown at 3GSM has recently been been greenlit by the government body and is likely to be one of the most advanced phones in the country upon its future launch: the slider holds both an HSDPA modem for 3G Internet access and its namesake assistive GPS unit for maps and routes out of the box. A 2-megapixel rear camera, VGA front camera, and a microSD slot carry through from the European launch.

Nokia's FCC approval doesn't indicate a release date for the phone in the territory, but should follow soon within the next few months at a carrier such as AT&T or T-Mobile. European pricing was set at 450 ($600) for a launch this spring and points to similar costs before a service discount. [via MobileWhack]

FlipStart ultra-mobile PC ships

04/03, 2:30pm

FlipStart PC Ships

FlipStart this afternoon announced that its self-titled FlipStart PC has started shipping. The company's minuscule PC earned attention last month for compressing the full controls of a notebook into a handheld with a 5.6-inch screen, including a sharp 1024x600 resolution, a touchpad for full control of the mouse pointer, and an external Vista SideShow display for checking info when the computer is inactive.

Details remain unchanged since the March introduction: a 1.1GHz ultra-low voltage Pentium M, 512MB of RAM, and 30GB make up the base $1,999 system, which also comes with an EVDO modem for connecting to Sprint's mobile broadband network. Pre-orders are the first to ship and will be followed quickly by new sales.

Automatic Duck announces CS3 plug-in

04/03, 2:25pm

Pro Import AE 4.0 for CS3

Automatic Duck has announced the development of Pro Import AE 4.0, the next version of its plug-in for Adobe After Effects. The software imports sequences from Xpress and Final Cut Pro, seamlessly layering them with all their associated data, including audio tracks. The main addition to v4.0 is CS3 compatibility, but it will also be a Universal Binary, and support FCP multiclips. Numerous other additions include increased import options, and the display of Motion particles and replicators within After Effects. Automatic Duck will be displaying the new plug-in at the NAB 2007 expo, starting April 14th in Las Vegas; the final product will go on sale this summer for $500.

Elgato readies USB H.264 encoding

04/03, 1:55pm

Elgato Turbo 264

TV tuner maker Elgato is today branching out into dedicated video encoders with the turbo.264 USB adapter. Similar to the ADS InstantVideo-To-Go, the Elgato device includes a dedicated video encoder that can dramatically accelerate the process of converting video to the more efficient H.264 format to assist slower computers or speed up larger projects, the company says. The turbo.264 was born with Macs in mind and includes Elgato's own Mac OS X software as well as a QuickTime plugin for converting footage for most any Mac program.

Shipments of the USB encoder are scheduled to begin in late April at a price of 99 Euros ($132). An official US launch date and price point are currently unavailable.

Apps: MapSpinner, PDFpen, Nano, iCalamus

04/03, 1:55pm

MacSpinner, PDFpen

    MapSpinner 1.0 ($15) is a Web authoring utility that offers an easy-to-use "what you see is what you get" means to edit HTML image maps without writing code. Users can save image maps created in MapSpinner directly as HTML documents, or paste them into existing HTML documents. The software also features a new map wizard, layout helpers, image zoom functionality, a browser preview, and more. [Download - 706KB]
    PDFpen 3.1.1 ($50) is a $25 upgrade to the PDF editing tool for Mac OS X. The latest release enables users to start editing quicker by remembering zoom level and page position of previously opened documents. PDFpenPro 3.1.1 was also released, which can create PDF forms in addition to all of the PDF editing functionality found in PDFpen. PDFpenPro 3.1.1 respects default font size preferences when creating form fields. [Download - 7.1MB]
    Nano 1.3 (free) enhances the open-source C++ framework for developing high-performance applications that run on Mac OS X systems. The latest revision includes substantial performance improvements, offering automatic copy-on-write behavior for CoreFoundation objects and tuning performance-critical classes such as NBitVector. The update also features more than 70 bug fixes and improvements. [Download - 5MB]
    BurnAgain DVD 1.1 ($25) signals a major upgrade to the software that supports using a DVD+RW, CDR, or CD+RW like a hard disk. BurnAgain DVD adds files to a disk several times without creating multiple volumes and without erasing files in a platform independent way, and preserves all HFS-specific attributes such as resource forks. Version 1.1 brings improved performance, as well as better handling of aliases and German localization. [Download - 1.3MB]
    Syncro SVN Client 2.3 ($60 with 1-year of maintenance) updates the Subversion client, allowing users to quickly discover what happened in a project or what a user worked on during a given period of time. Syncro SVN Client 2.3 also improves integration with bug tracking tools, and adds application global ignores for universioned resources displayed in the Working Copy view. [Download - 11.3MB]
    iCalamus 1.07 ($175) is publishing software for Mac OS X. iCalamus 1.07 comes with a new plug-in called Photographerbook that is usable for typesetting and purchasing photobooks in various versions directly in iCalamus. Further improvements include a Document Template Manager, the ability to use custom Exception Dictionaries for optimized hyphenation of texts, and the ability to enter RGB color values as percentage, integer, or hexadecimal values. [Download - 22.8MB]

projectiondesign launches 720p DLP projector

04/03, 1:40pm

720p DLP projector

Wealthy home theater enthusiasts will appreciate the Action! M20 by projectordesign, touted as the only DLP projector capable of true 720p output. Despite its compact shape, it can project images to as large as 300 diagonal inches, and uses BrilliantColor technology (developed with Texas Instruments) to display 200 trillion color shades at 4,000:1 contrast. The M20 does not however use HDMI input, opting instead for DVI-D/HDCP, as well as component, S-Video and composite. Control is handled mainly through a backlit infrared remote. The projector is being sold in blue, white and gray colors, and should be available from select dealers for approximately $6,890. [via Shiny Shiny]

Vonage gets stay of execution through VoIP, Inc.

04/03, 1:15pm

Vonage Stay of Execution

Vonage could be saved from having to shut down, according to a new SEC filing. The document points to a new deal with VoIP, Inc., that would see Vonage use its new partner's IP phone network to handle calls -- effectively bypassing Verizon altogether, which had threatened to shut out Vonage from the landline phone operator with a successful court injunction for alleged patent infringements.

Although Vonage itself says that the deal isn't directly connected to the patent crisis, an anonymous tip from an employee of VoIP, Inc. has revealed that the latter will carry Vonage's calls, helping the provider stay in business despite the earlier ruling. [via Ars Technica]

LapWorks' new Desktop Stand for notebooks

04/03, 1:15pm

Aluminum Desktop Stand

LapWorks today unveiled its sleek Aluminum Desktop Stand, a desktop-only stand for Macs and PC notebooks. The portable Aluminum Desktop Stand elevates notebooks to improve screen viewing, enhance typing ergonomics, and cool the system by up to 23 percent, according to LapWorks. The stand features six easy-to-adjust elevated positions with the three lower positions designed to cool and improve ergonomics when using the laptop's own keyboard, while the three steeper inclines raise the screen closer to eye level to create an ergonomically-sound desktop workstation when using a separate keyboard. LapWorks' stand is constructed from heat-dissipating brushed-aluminum, and folds flat to 12 x 9.5 x 3/8-inches for easy storage in a computer bag. LapWorks is offering the Aluminum Desktop Stand for $60.

Sager intros surprisingly thin budget notebook

04/03, 12:45pm

Sager NP6650 Notebook

Sager has just launched the NP6650 notebook as a fresh alternative in basic notebooks. Its body is much slimmer than many others at the same price, measuring only 1.3 inches thick at its largest point and a single inch at its thinnest; the 15.4-inch widescreen system is also unique for carrying a 1.3-megapixel webcam, also packing a 4-in-1 card reader for photography.

Systems start at $599 with a 1.73GHz Celeron M, 40GB hard drive, 512MB of RAM, and a DVD/CD-RW combo writer. Any system can be customized, however, and a second-tier model with a 1.66GHz Core 2 Duo, 1GB of RAM, an 80GB hard drive, and a DVD rewriter ships from Sager at $899. [via PC Launches]

Transcend announces ExpressCard flash drives

04/03, 12:45pm

16GB ExpressCard drive

Although flash drives are nearly ubiquitous for USB, Transcend has taken the unusual step of producing new drives for ExpressCard/34 slots, such as those used on the Apple MacBook Pro. Capacities include 2, 4, 8 and 16GB, and in addition to ExpressCard machines, a USB 2.0 adapter allows connection to desktop computers or simply laptops without an ExpressCard slot. On Windows Vista systems the drives will be compatible with Microsoft's ReadyBoost memory expansion technique. Although the cards are formally announced, Transcend has yet to disclose costs or release dates.

Piranesi 5 ships for Windows, coming to Mac

04/03, 12:15pm

Piranesi 5 for Mac

Informatix Software International today began shipping Piranesi 5 for Windows systems, and announced that it will release a Mac version this summer. Piranesi is a specialized 3D paint rendering system that enables users to start with a simple CAD model and quickly create photorealistic images, or soft "non-photorealistic" images with a hand-rendered look. The software features a new user interface, as well as numerous new feature and effects. Piranesi 5 also comes with 200 new royalty-free cutout images. The application features locks to 'lock on' to a particular portion of an image, cutouts for 2D raster images or 3D models, and the ability to paint in perspective using knowledge of the 3D geometry to continuously adjust the texture to honor the scene perspective. Piranesi 5 for Windows is priced at $750.

Age of Empires III demo released

04/03, 12:05pm

Age of Empires III demo

MacSoft today released a demo version of its Age of Empires III game for Mac users. Age of Empires III is designed to offer gamers a taste of the real-time conquest in the latest chapter of Microsoft and Ensemble Studios' Age of Empires series. "Age of Empires III sets the bar for real-time strategy gaming, with amazing 3D graphics, Ageia PhysX technology, and an innovative Home City feature that lets players strengthen their economy, technology, and military. This demo allows Mac gamers to test out both the single-player campaign, Skirmish mode, and the persistent Home City feature." Players become one of eight European powers exploring, colonizing, and conquering the new world as they command rifled infantry to scatter soldiers and blast buildings with cannon fire, directing cavalry through plains while navigating naval fleets to hold strategic waterways. The game is priced at $50, and the demo is available via Macgamefiles.com requiring Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.

Logitech to ship cordless Vista mouse/keyboard combo

04/03, 12:00pm

Logitech Vista keyboard

Though the product has yet to be formally announced, Logitech is preparing to release the Cordless Desktop Wave, its first mouse and keyboard combo designed specifically around Windows Vista. The main difference is in the extra buttons on the keyboard, which launch functions such as Flip3D, Gadgets, Photo Gallery, Media Center and Windows Media Player. Flip3D can also be activated by clicking the scrollwheel on the mouse. Both components are of course wireless, and the mouse uses a high-precision laser sensor rather than an optical one. Pricing and the release date are as yet unknown. [via TG Daily]

Panasonic debuts HDC-SD3, HDC-DX3

04/03, 11:25am

Panasonic debuts HDC-SD3

While the preceding SD1, only recently arrived in North America, the HDC-SD3 is already scheduled to ship in Japan on April 25th. The key advancement is the ability to record in H.264, a codec favored in HD video, particularly that used by Apple's iPod, iTunes and QuickTime. Owners can also record in standard MPEG-4, and in either case resolution has been raised to 1080i. A 4GB SDHC card is bundled with the camera.

Coming the same day as the SD3 is the HDC-DX3, which is in many ways the same product, but uses three-inch DVD-R/RW/RAM discs and drops H.264. It should sell at a reduced price of 140,000 yen ($1,191), compared to 150,000 yen ($1,276) for the SD3. [via Impress Watch]

FinanceToGo 1.3 adds setup assistant

04/03, 11:25am

FinanceToGo 1.3 released

Fastforward today released FinanceToGo 1.3, a free update to the personal finance manager for Mac OS X. FinanceToGo offers graphs, tracks shares, imports QIF files from Quicken, manages dozens of accounts, generates reports, and can track thousands of transactions simultaneously. The latest release adds a setup assistant to improve ease-of-use when setting up new documents with default categories and accounts. FinanceToGo 1.3 adds Unicode support, and adds an 'Export Transactions' option to the File menu. The software is priced at $45, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later. Fastforward today also announced that it is offering Koingo Software's Mac Pilot -- a utility that unlocks more than 300 UNIX features -- online for 25 percent off ($15).

Sony slips out iPod dock for Bravia line

04/03, 11:20am

Sony iPod Dock for Bravia

Without fanfare, Sony has released its new Digital Media Port iPod Dock. The relatively rare concession to the iPod market links the Apple music player to the Digital Media Port of Sony's newer Bravia home theaters and receivers to both play and control its music or video through the larger system. Composite video output and the ability to charge an iPod are similarly built-in.

The dock is compatible with all fourth- and fifth-generation iPods as well as all iPod mini and nano models. Sony is taking pre-orders today and plans to ship the dock in May for $100, complementing its earlier IP001 iPod speakers.

SoftCare releases K4 Web Editor 2.1

04/03, 11:20am

K4 Web Editor 2.1

SoftCare today released K4 Web Editor 2.1, an update to the Web-based publishing software that offers low-cost access to select users without the need to install and maintain software on offsite client machines. K4 Web Editor 2.1 includes new navigation tools that enable users to access an existing article in the current layout, and supports creating a completely new article or an article from a designed template. A simple query mode allows users to find articles without defining a query by searching for a file name, issue, section, or status. Additionally, users can create specific queries with the advanced query mode to accelerate a search for the articles in use. K4 Web Editor 2.1 is available in combination with the publishing system SoftCare K4, and is usable with K4 5.6 as well as 5.7 installations. Users with valid maintenance agreements for K4 Web Editor are eligible for a free upgrade.

Toshiba rolls out nine new TVs in Japan

04/03, 10:40am

Nine new Toshibs TVs

Toshiba's Japanese headquarters has deployed nine new LCDs in the country. These are divided into two lines, the foremost being the H3000 sets. Sizes range from 32 to 52 inches, and each model has a 300GB hard drive for built-in DVR functions. Some models are also equipped with an eSATA port, enabling even larger amounts of storage through an extra hard drive. All H3000 sets are 1080p-capable except for the 32-inch version.

Only the 42-inch C3000 supports full HD, but the 26-, 32- and 37-inch models still utilize HDMI and DVI inputs, and have built-in speakers developed by Onkyo. The two smallest models should be available by late April, as should the 32-inch H3000; the 37-inch C3000 will be out in May, while all the rest of the new TVs will arrive in June. [via Akihabara News]

Motorola KRZR K1 arrives at T-Mobile

04/03, 10:35am

Moto KRZR at T-Mobile

T-Mobile on Tuesday joined the batch of US carriers picking up Motorola's KRZR K1. As leaked in a sell sheet, the T-Mobile version comes in a one-off Silver Quartz color and adds the support for stereo Bluetooth audio missing in the blue, reference model offered through AT&T. The latest edition also brings in software for T-Mobile's myFaves unlimited friend calling.

The freshly-styled KRZR will cost less than its AT&T rival, according to T-Mobile, with the phone selling either for $150 with a two-year contract (versus $200) and $300 without a commitment instead of $400.

Apple ranks last in Greenpeace report

04/03, 10:15am

Greenpeace ranks Apple

Environmental group Greenpeace International placed Apple last out of 14 companies in its list of major electronics manufacturers for environmental friendliness, reinforcing the organization's stance that Apple continues to use toxic chemicals in its manufacturing processes and that the Cupertino-based company has plenty of room to reform its recycling program for old or broken products. Apple has not stopped using several types of harmful chemicals in its manufacturing, according to Greenpeace spokeswoman Iza Kruszewska, and unlike many other companies has yet to set a timetable for phasing those chemicals out. Apple, however, rejects Greenpeace's ranking system, and said that its products are among the "greenest" on the market, according to the Associated Press.

HP goes black with new Slimline, desktop PCs

04/03, 10:10am

HP Slimline s3000

HP today unveiled both new systems and a new look for its computers, switching to a glossy black that it expects will fit well in living rooms and other areas besides the traditional desk. The Slimline s3000y is the new showcase for this design by packing a dual-core Core 2 or Pentium 4 along with a DVD burner and a desktop-class hard drive into a case HP says is a third the size of a normal PC. It ships today in a base configuration with a 3.2GHz Pentium 4, a 160GB hard drive, and Vista Home Basic for $550 but can add media-friendly extras such as a GeForce 7300-series card or a TV tuner. An AMD-based Slimline s3020n opts for a 2GHz Athlon 64 X2 but increases specs with 1GB of RAM and 250GB of storage for $580.

Click through for more PC details.

MacGourmet 2.1 adds import, export options

04/03, 9:40am

MacGourmet 2.1 released

Advenio today released MacGourmet 2.1 for Mac OS X, allowing Mac-using cooks to organize recipes, wine notes, and cooking notes via a friendly user interface. The latest release of MacGourmet adds numerous user-requested features, including many new import and export options. MacGourmet 2.1 exports to iPod notes, text, RTF, and Meal-Master formats. The update also imports RecipeML, alongside a variety of third-party application formats. A new "one step" importing service grabs recipes from popular websites, and users can open alternate recipe libraries at application launch. The upgrade is free for current registered MacGourmet users, and is available for $25 to new users. MacGourmet 2.1 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later, as well as a .Mac account or a WebDav server for publishing.

Divine Fiat ships Sophisticate for Keynote

04/03, 9:35am

Sophisticate for Keynote

Divine Fiat has released Sophisticate, its latest theme set for Apple's Keynote presentation software. Sophisticate consists of two themes: Ebony Sophisticate and Ivory Sophisticate. Both themes provide you with instantly interesting compositions for presentations by "employing clean blocks of space in conjunction with see through panels. With 50 different master slide layouts, Sophisticate is the perfect theme set for any upscale presentation and is ideally suited for displaying art and photography." Sophisticate includes two styles of scaleable countdown timers -- QuickTime movies that sport transparent backgrounds for a seamless look when used with any Keynote Theme. In addition, it includes the company's original scalable button objects and a new set along with a suggested color palette. The Sophisticate collection can be purchased in standard format for $32 or in professional format for $52.

Lithium offers Xserve, AirPort monitoring

04/03, 9:15am

Lithium monitoring module

LithiumCorp on Tuesday officially launched its new range of monitoring plug-ins to provide hardware and software monitoring for Xserve (G5 and Intel), Xserve RAID, Qlogic Fibre Channel Switches, AirPort wireless base stations (including the new 802.11n units) and Mac OS X Server. These new plug-ins extend LithiumCorp's network, server and appliance monitoring suite -- "Lithium" -- to provide advanced monitoring for Apple specific products. "Lithium now provides a real alternative for managers of Apple-centric server and storage deployments that need a monitoring system that can competently handle these specialized devices as well as providing solid SNMP monitoring support for all the rest of their network equipment," the company said.

MaxVision packs eight cores into ultra-tough PCs

04/03, 9:10am

MaxVision Eight-Core PCs

System builder MaxVision on Tuesday launched a pair of heavy-duty computers designed to provide as much power as possible in the harshest conditions possible. The MaxRax (pictured) and MaxCube each pack up to eight processor cores but can withstand warzone-level conditions: each has a custom-designed Baghdad Filter that keeps out 99 percent of dust. Either is toughened for military-grade shock resistance; the MaxRax is even tough enough to be mounted in a helicopter, MaxVision is keen to point out.

Sony drops PSP core price

04/03, 8:35am

Sony Drops PSP Core Price

Sony today hoped to spur sales of the PlayStation Portable by dropping the price of the Core Pack version from $200 to $170. The drop is targeted at those who want to try the PSP for the first time, especially teenagers: many younger buyers want the PSP as their only portable entertainment, Sony claims. The Core Pack is an essentialist version with just the PSP and its power pack.

The price shrink takes effect today, according to Sony; the prices on its Entertainment and Value Pack models remain unchanged.

Kyocera's MARBL lands at Virgin Mobile

04/03, 8:10am

Kyocera MARBL at Virgin

Virgin Mobile started its Tuesday by launching the Kyocera MARBL, the Japanese cellphone designer's budget take on the slip flip phone design of Motorola's RAZR. Its design is thin for the price range at 0.8 inches thick and is sold as a no-frills phone: Bluetooth and a camera are dropped for the sake of price, though polyphonic ringtones and web browsing continue on for those who need the extra level of functionality.

The MARBL should be available in retail shops and online now for $30 before topping up on credit for Virgin's prepaid service. Click through for a photo of the phone's metal-style interior.

Apple CEO touts DRM-free music, not video

04/03, 1:05am

Jobs: No DRM-free video

Despite the landmark agreement with EMI for DRM-free music, Apple may not be the same position to negotiate for video distribution without copyright protections. Based on comments at following the EMI announcement, Apple CEO Steve Jobs doesn not appear to be pushing for DRM-video, according to IDG News Service. During the teleconference, Jobs was asked about the potential of distributing video with copy protection technology: "Video is pretty different from music right now because the video industry does not distribute 90 percent of their content DRM free. Never has. So I think they are in a pretty different situation, and I wouldn't hold it to a parallel at all."

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