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News Archive for 07/05/07

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Apps: PopChar X, Papers, RF Toolbox

05/07, 6:25pm

PopChar X, Papers

    PopChar X 3.2 ($45) is a free upgrade to the software for inserting special characters into the text of any application. The update adds options to highlight recently-selected characters and to hide the small "P" in the corner of the screen. PopChar X 3.2 also improves compatibility with QuarkXPress and Adobe InDesign. [Download - 1.7MB]
    Papers 1.0.2 ($40) enhances the application designed to support scientists in finding as well as organizing research texts on Mac systems. The update ensures EZproxy support works correctly, offers more reliable file renaming as well as database repair, and boasts improved manual editing and matching. [Download - 7.2MB]
    oXygen XML Editor 8.2 ($225 for pro, $275 for enterprise) allows MarkLogic 3.2 users to debug XQuery code based on the new MarkLogic Server 3.2 XQuery debugging API. oXygen 3.2 brings ISO Schematron support covering ISO Schematron embedded in XML to the XML editor. [Download - [form]]
    Sticky Windows 2.1.1 ($16) is a an application designed to extend the tab browsing experience to the desktop. The latest iteration enhances compatibility with third-party software, fixes a cursor freeze bug, and improves compatibility with Microsoft Office. The update also ensures that hiding an application won't release its tabbed windows. [Download - 989KB]
    Luscious SMS Plugin Designer Beta 0.1 (early bird $22, $35 afterward) enables users to create plug-ins for Luscious SMS without any programming knowledge. Users simply define which input fields are required -- such as username and password -- and click a button to submit a form. The plug-in designer also offers advanced users the ability to customize the JavaScript source. [Download - 9.7MB]
    RF Toolbox 3.3.0 ($20) runs natively on Intel-based Macs as a Universal binary, and adds a resistor color code calculator. RF Toolbox is an antenna design package for amateur (ham) radio operators and othe rradio enthusiasts, taking users step by step through the design of various antenna types including Dipole and helical. [Download - 3.9MB]

Canon wins second round in SED bout

05/07, 6:00pm

Canon wins second SED bout

Canon has successfully defended itself against a second charge relating to SED displays. In the first lawsuit, a US District Court ruled against Canon, saying that by sharing SED information with Toshiba, it had violated an exclusive agreement with the technology's source, Nano-Proprietary. Nano also filed a fraud accusation however, which has just now been defeated on the basis that the company suffered no real damages as a result of Canon's actions. The latter is in fact intending to appeal the first ruling, which broke the agreement and allowed Nano to lay claim to the $5.5 million Canon paid. [via DigiTimes]

Canon adds two new compact photo printers

05/07, 5:05pm

New Canon photo printers

Canon's Dutch division has announced two new printers in its Selphy photo-printer line. The CP740 and 750 will replace the 720 and 730, respectively, and introduce some new features, such as new printing modes and automatic red-eye correction. The printers are similar in many regards, but the 750 is clearly the dominant of the new ones, as it has a larger, 2.4-inch LCD screen, as well as more printing modes: these include the ability to trim an image in-printer, and apply color effects such as sepia, slide film and black-and-white.

Flash Zune demoed to little effect?

05/07, 4:55pm

Flash Zune Downplayed

The rumor surrounding the possiblity of a new Zune player has turned out to be partially true, say those familiar with the device. Although it had been hinted that the device would be announced today, a new Zune is reportedly being shown to developers to help with their development. The actual product release will follow later, the contact says.

AT&T: iPhone greases branding wheel

05/07, 4:30pm

ATT on iPhone Branding

AT&T is banking on the iPhone as the ticket to saving its rocky switch from Cingular to AT&T, according to observers of the provider's latest investment gathering. Analysts from UBS Investment Research have noted that AT&T blames at least some of its poor results for the opening quarter of 2007 on the awkwardness of the change in name, which has many users still assuming the Cingular title. The Apple device is seen by AT&T as a "branding event" that will cement the name in people's minds, says UBS.

HP to offer hybrid HD computer player

05/07, 4:10pm

HP to expand HD options

Hewlett-Packard will be one of the first major PC builders to sell systems containing a hybrid HD drive, writes PC World. Although specific computers and prices have yet to be mentioned, the company says it intends to incorporate LG's GGW-H10N, better known as the Super Multi Blue. The drive is able to read both Blu-Ray and HD DVD discs; it can only write to CD, DVD and Blu-Ray however, the last at 2x speed.

HP is promising that computers with the drive will have HDMI outputs, and use HDCP-compliant GeForce 8000-series video cards. The latter will decrease CPU usage with PureVideo HD, and will also be specially modified by HP, with optimized chipsets and closer integration of CyberLink's movie software. The H10N should be available in HP machines as of four to six weeks from today.

HP readies slender convertible tablet

05/07, 3:15pm

HP Compaq 2710p Preview

Early details have slipped about one more of HP's upcoming Compaq business notebooks. While few core specs have appeared for it, the HP Compaq 2710p will challenge Gateway's E-155C as one of the thinnest convertible tablets available and should also be one of the most media-friendly. Support for 802.11n wireless as well as an optional webcam will make the PC useful both for videoconferencing at work as well as chats at home. Performance is bound to be powered by a Santa Rosa-based Core 2 Duo.

Kingston ships notebook SD reader

05/07, 2:45pm

Kingston MobileLite

Kingston on Monday grew its media reader line with the advent of the MobileLite, a new card reader built just for the portability and small size of notebooks. Its housing can accept any of nine SD-based formats ranging from full-sized SDHC cards to standards for cellphones and music players such as MMCmicro and miniSD or microSD. Plugging the device into a USB port lists as many as three separate drives and lets files shuttle between cards as well as to the attached computer.

Ambrosia, Bit Blot to bring Aquaria to Mac

05/07, 2:30pm

Aquaria coming to Mac

Ambrosia Software today announced an exclusive agreement with Bit Blot to release a Mac OS X version of Aquaria, the winner of the 2007 Independent Games Festival's Seumas McNally Grand Prize. The side-scrolling underwater action adventure game features an innovative and intuitive mouse control system, enabling players to guide the main character through a massive hand-crafted fantasy world teeming with undersea life. Players encounter hundreds of different types of plants and animals, exploring many in-game miles of hidden caves and lost ruins. "We're extremely excited to be bringing Aquaria to the Mac, and there's no one we'd rather work with than Ambrosia to make it happen," said Derek Yu, chief artistic officer of Bit Blot. The game will run natively on Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary, but the company has yet to issue a release date and system requirements are still unavailable.

Koreans get a practical camcorder phone

05/07, 2:15pm

Samsung SCH-B750

Exemplifying the divide between Western and Asian cellphones, South Koreans will soon be able to buy the SCH-B750, Samsung's latest camcorder phone. One of the key features is the ability to actually control it like a dedicated camcorder: recording buttons are on the side, and the display twists horizontally as well as vertically, falling into the same position as a normal viewfinder. The image sensor meanwhile is rated at an unusually high three megapixels, and comes paired with an autofocus lens.

The phone also has an S-DMB broadcast tuner, and options for panoramas, night recording and business card recognition. It can play MOD, VOD and MP3 files, and uses a TV output for further recording and playback opportunities. Storage defaults to a microSD card. Unfortunately, no prices or release dates have been attached. [via AVING]

Viewsonic ships high speed 19-inch widescreen

05/07, 2:15pm

Viewsonic VX1932wm

Viewsonic today released the VX1932wm. The 19-inch LCD is a counterpart to the already released VX1935wm that promises a faster 2ms response time than the 5ms of the current display, boosting its performance in games and movies. Viewing angles are also wider at 160 degrees in any direction; brightness is rated at 300cd/m2, while contrast is relatively sharp at 700:1. The monitor also picks up HDCP support for encrypted videos from Blu-Ray and HD DVD and the same 3W stereo speakers for built-in audio.

Didi & Ditto First Grade honored in New York

05/07, 1:40pm

Didi & Ditto honored in NY

Kutoka Interactive has announced that its Didi & Ditto First Grade: The Wolf King "edutainment" CD has won the highest award during the 2007 Interactive & Alternative Media Awards of New York Festivals. Didi & Ditto won top honors when it received the first of the three Grand Awards, the most highly regarded award at the international competition. Didi & Ditto First Grade: The Wolf King is the crusade of two beavers trying to save their county from the hands of the mean Wolf King and his evil Lieutenants. The second installment in the series incorporates educational activities designed for the first grade level, targeting children ages five to seven. The title also won the Gold World Medal in the edutainment CD category, according to the company.

Belkin ships Nano cases, helps fight cancer

05/07, 1:30pm

Belkin helps fight cancer

Belkin International has unveiled its new pink Sport Armband and "Hope" Remix Metal cases for Apple's iPod nano, and revealed that 10 percent of all proceeds will go to support Komen for the Cure to help fight breast cancer. Belkin's Sport Armband for iPod nano is hand washable and features "stitchless" construction with a water-resistant exterior. The "Hope" Remix Metal for iPod nano is made from clear acrylic and brushed metal, featuring a soft-touch click-wheel protector. Both cases protect first as well as second-generation iPod nanos, and both are priced at $30.

Zonbu prepares ultra-cheap Linux PC

05/07, 1:20pm

Zonbu ultra-cheap Linux PC

Undercutting the likes of Koobox, a company called Zonbu is readying a self-named Linux computer that is in some ways cheaper even in its most expensive configuration. To achieve this, the computer does away with a fan, and has only 4GB of internal flash memory; files are instead stored on Zonbu's servers, with monthly access plans beginning at $13 for 25GB, and ranging up to 100GB. Software comes in the form of over 23 free applications, such as Firefox, the OpenOffice suite, and unspecified programs for music and videos.

The system will cost $99 with a service plan, but will be "unlockable" for $250. According to Zonbu, the monthly fees are mostly compensated for by the computer's low power consumption, rated at 15W. The company intends to begin shipping products in the summer. [via Gizmodo]

Stock Investment Guide 2 released

05/07, 1:15pm

Stock Investment Guide 2

Churr Software has released Stock Investment Guide 2 for Mac OS X, a new tool for performing fundamental stock analysis of publicly traded companies. The Stock Investment Guide provides users with tools to retrieve historical stock data for a company, analyze historical growth trends, project earnings, and determine buy/hold/sell ratings. Users can view historical price graphs, research company news as well as competitors, view SEC filings, and retrieve earnings estimates. New features include an improved semi-logarithmic stock data graph, an integrated Web browser for stock research, a new report generator, and an updated user interface. The package also includes the Portfolio Analysis Review and Comparison Analysis Review software, and is priced at $70 (specific system requirements were unavailable).

Apps: CrushFTP, Global Hotkey, starQuiz

05/07, 1:00pm

Crush FTP, Global Hotkey

    CrushFTP 4.2.2 ($30) is a multiplatform FTP utility with options such custom event actions, a monitoring widget, and the ability to automatically compress downloaded folders. The software includes server apps for SFTP, WebDAV SSL, and WebDAV HTTP/HTTPS. The latest revision consists mostly of bug fixes, and is less likely to report false positives in statistics. The update also keeps track of the number of unique IP addresses in its user IP report. [Download - 5.3MB]
    Global Hotkey 1.4 (donationware) performs essentially any action in Mac OS X via universally-assigned hotkeys. Users can launch applications, open folders, or even put a Mac to sleep. Some options may require writing simple AppleScripts, and Global Hotkey 1.4 runs natively on Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary. The update also fixes problems with F15 and F16 keys. Source code for the earlier 1.2 revision is included. [Download - 1.1MB]
    Cocoia Timezones (free) is a small utility designed for installation on a fifth-generation iPod or iPod nano that allows users to quickly determine what time it is elsewhere in the world through a visually attractive interface. Users can set any timezone as a default, and the application automatically displays the difference between that and the currently selected region. The software is currently in free public beta; the final version will be $4, and will offer more themes as well as a personalized overlay and smooth map motion. [Download - 3.3MB]
    Elastic Window 1.3 ($90) is a set of REALbasic classes that allow developers to scale controls proportionately to a window, no matter users decide to resize it. The update featurtes more robust handling of window initialization, supporting control adjustment through programming in the Open Event. The class set requires REALbasic 2006 Release 3 or later and is normally priced at $200. [Download - 230KB]
    starQuiz 3.5 ($40) designs on-screen tests for students in essay, short answer, or multiple-choice question form. Creators can enhance tests with numerous options which incolude URLs, time limits, pictures as well as video, and administer tests locally or online. Test givers can also supply questions and answers in a randomized order to prevent cheating, and teachers have access to a variety of statistics recorded after each test. [Download - 17.3MB]
    Accordance 7.2 ($40) enables scholars and/or practicing Christians to examine of a number of Biblical texts in multiple languages and translations. The latest version introduces the "Import Bible" feature, allowing users to add new languages and translations which (if properly formatted) are searchable and comparable side-by-side with standard KJV and NIV texts. Additional changes include enhanced interface customization, as well as the ability to input Greek using the appropriate keyboard. [Download - 7.7MB]

ASUS preps game notebooks for Santa Rosa

05/07, 12:40pm

ASUS G1S and G2S Leak

ASUS will also join the series of PC makers with notebooks based on Santa Rosa, according to new leaks. The G1 and G2 gaming portables will be some of the first to get the faster Intel technology in the form of the G1S and G2S. Either system will have 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo processors and better storage, including 2GB of RAM. Intel's 802.11n wireless chipset will also be onboard.

Unlike the earlier models, however, the new PCs will be determined by size rather than their video chipsets. Both upgrades will use a 256MB GeForce Go 8600 for better game performance, with the main difference being the 15.4-inch, 1680x1050 display of the G1S and the 17-inch, 1920x1200 display of the G2S. The latter will also have slightly larger storage with its hard disk jumping from 160GB to 200GB.

The Sims 2 Glamour Life Stuff coming to Mac

05/07, 12:35pm

Sims 2 Glamour Life Stuff

Aspyr Media today announced that it will bring The Sims 2 Glamour Life Stuff to the Mac. The second The Sims 2 stuff pack for Mac will follow the release of The Sims 2 Family Fun Stuff which the game publisher releasd in April, and the company revealed plans to release other The Sims 2 stuff packs in 2007 starting with The Sims 2 Happy Holiday Stuff in the fall. The Sims 2 Glamour Life Stuff for Mac enables Sims to indulge in a glamorous lifestyle via a collection of luxurious furniture, fashionable clothing, and detailed décor. The Sims 2 Glamour Life Stuff will soon be available for pre-order for $25, requiring The Sims 2 game.

Akimbo quits hardware, ponders Apple TV

05/07, 12:15pm

Akimbo Quits Hardware

Akimbo is quitting the hardware business, the company announced today. The video provider said it will axe its RCA video player to focus instead on its new Internet TV initiative as well as getting the company's basic technology into other devices, hoping to make Akimbo synonymous with Internet TV.

"We simply want to be in everyone's box," said CEO Thomas Frank.

Graphisoft to ship ArchiCAD 11 in mid-May

05/07, 12:10pm

ArchiCAD 11 due in mid-May

Graphisoft has announced that it will ship ArchiCAD 11 in mid-May, the latest release of its virtual building modeling solution. The update offers improvements in coordination, control, and virtual building functionality to enhance design, collaboration, and drawing generation. Virtual trace allows live coordination among all model views, drawing views, and layouts. Visual compare extends the functionality of virtual trace by enabling users to find differences between model and drawing views in the ArchiCAD work environment as well as drawings imported from external consultants. The International, German, and U.S. editions of ArchiCAD 11 are due to ship in mid-May, while localized versions are scheduled to ship shortly afterward (pricing and system requirements were unavailable).

Samsung tweaks Ultra phone with mobile TV

05/07, 11:40am

Samsung Ultra mobileTV

Samsung's AnyCall label today launched the Ultra mobileTV, also known as the B640. An upgrade to the F500 Ultra Video, the new phone brings in support for DMB digital broadcast TV and appropriate controls on its video side. The swiveling keypad's use as a stand is particularly useful for watching TV shows, Samsung says. TV-out also pipes video to a larger screen at home.

Remote Buddy RC2 adds onscreen keyboard

05/07, 11:25am

Remote Buddy RC2

IOSpirit has released Remote Buddy RC2, an update to its remote control enhancement software that adds a full virtual onscreen keyboard and mousespot presentation tool. Remote Buddy enables users to directly control applications as well as system functions via "Behaviors," which are automatically selected based on the current system status. The latest release emulates a virtual Apple Remote to control applications such as iAlertU which usually require a built-in IR receiver, and supports using multiple Apple Remotes with different configurations as well as otherwise unavailable hardware features of internal receivers. The software supports the IR mousemode of the Nintendo Wii remote, as well as more than 70 applications and system functions. Remote Buddy RC2 is priced at $14 for a single seat, and requires Mac OS X 10.4.6 or later.

HP's pro Santa Rosa notebooks outed with X2600, more

05/07, 11:00am

HP Pro Santa Rosa Notebook

HP's Compaq pro notebooks for Intel's Santa Rosa architecture have been exposed and reveal several new graphics chips yet to be announced. All but one of line will have the same base 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo with an 800MHz bus, but will also have their choice of new AMD or NVIDIA video: the 15.4-inch HP Compaq nc8510p will have 256MB Mobility Radeon X2600 for faster general 3D, while its premium 8510w parallel will have the choice of either AMD's FireGL V5600 or NVIDIA's Quadro FX 570M with 256MB of memory for more advanced workstation editing. The 17-inch nc8710p/8710w will come with either the more basic 256MB Quadro NVS 320M or top-end 512MB Quadro FX 1600M.

Rumor: New Zune to be announced today?

05/07, 10:45am

New Zune coming today?

Although unconfirmed, Microsoft may be planning to reveal a new Zune player later today, according to iLounge. If the report is true, the player will be premiered at an event in the company's home city of Redmond, Washington, in either a full preview or a simple initial announcement.

The actual nature of the potential product is unknown; while Microsoft has in the past declared its intentions to expand into flash memory and better wireless abilities, the company could also just be introducing long-requested software functions, such as podcasts. The possibility of a Zune phone has effectively been defeated. Microsoft had been expected to make some sort of presentation on May 1st, but this clearly fell through.

Briefly: review; iPhone coming June 15th

05/07, 10:30am

Review, iPhone launch date

In brief: MacNN has reviewed the Vyper exo M laptop case by Booq Bags, an official letter apparently sent to all AT&T employees targets June 15th for Apple's iPhone launch, photos have surfaced of Apple's third retail store in New York which is under construction in the Meatpacking District, and Apple's new ProCare plan has come to Japan as well as Italy one week after its initial launch in the U.S. MacNN has reviewed Booq Bags' Vyper exo M ($175, shown at right) water resistant laptop case made from ballistic nylon material with dual cloth handles on either side. The case is just over four inches thick when closed and zipped, but can carry as much as some of the larger cases on the market. Booq's new case accommodates any laptop measuring 15-inches or less, and features two open pockets on the exterior of the laptop flap to carry a cellular phone or iPod.

Samsung brings Q1 Ultra to US with 3.5G wireless

05/07, 10:15am

Samsung Q1 Ultra Hits US

Samsung on Monday confirmed that its next-generation Q1 Ultra ultra-mobile PC will at last reach the US. Despite the change in territory, the Ultra still has the option of an HSDPA modem for connecting to cellular Internet access at high speeds; the VGA front camera and 1.3-megapixel rear are still present for video calls and recording, Samsung adds. The Americanized version also receives a processor upgrade to Intel's new A100 processors at either 600 or 800MHz, netting a longer 4.5 hours of real-world use.

Canon rolls out direct DVD HD vidcam

05/07, 9:45am

Canon HR10

Canon followed its PowerShot upgrades thos morning with the release of the HR10 HD camcorder. The camera maker labels the new entry as one of the easiest ways to capture HD video: owners can record footage at up to the full 1920x1080 resolution of HD directly to mini DVDs, allowing rough edits to be played immediately from Blu-Ray and DVD players that support AVCHD (H.264) movies. Also new to Canon's HD home user cameras is a specially tuned 2.7-inch LCD which the company says is viewable at up to 135 degrees off-center and has a much-improved color range for accurate previews.

Jobs makes TIME 100 List for third time

05/07, 9:20am

Jobs makes TIME 100 List

Apple's chief executive has made The TIME 100 for the third time. The much adored CEO of Apple is now a media mogul with unprecedented influence -- by leveraging Apple's industry leading iTunes -- in the music and media industries. Listed among the "Builder's & Titans", Jobs is ranked No. 95 and is lauded for the upcoming revolutionary iPhone, Apple TV, skyrocketing Mac marketshare, and his leadership role in the evolution of DRM-free music, and more. Jobs was ranked No. 11 in the online reader poll, behind the likes of Rain, Stephen Colbert, Sanjaya Malakar, Kiefer Sutherland (most recently of 24 fame), and U2's Bono.

13, 15-inch MacBooks to get LEDs?

05/07, 9:15am

MacBook LED Suppliers

Both of Apple's notebook lines will be the first to receive the LED backlights promised by Steve Jobs, according to sources speaking with Taiwan-based part suppliers. Display makers AU Optronics and Chi Mei have reportedly sent LCDs for both the 13.3-inch MacBook and 15.4-inch MacBook Pro to Apple for certification, one of the final steps before actual production. The LCDs use LED backlighting supplied by Coretronic and Kenmos, the sources said.

PC Mags posts "love", "hate" Apple articles

05/07, 9:00am

PC Mag loves, hates Apple

Following serious questions about the magazine's editorial integrity, PC World has posted the two -- now infamous -- "love" and "hate" articles about Apple. Last week, the magazine's editor-in-chief abruptly quit when the company's CEO (Colin Crawford) insisted editorial and reviews be toned down for the company's advertisers. The articles include some criticisms about Apple, including the Cupertino-based company's quest to runaround First Amendment protections afforded to journalists, the company's highly "secretive" product launch strategies, its arrogance after shipping iPods with a Windows worm, the nearly ubiquitous "iAnything" nomenclature, etc. Sublimed product design, the Mac OS, reliability, Apple's progressive DRM-free music stand, Windows on Mac, are among the 10 things PC world loves about Apple.

Canon intros high-end PowerShot cameras

05/07, 8:35am

Canon S5 IS and SD850 IS

Stepping up the performance of its high-end compact cameras, Canon today released two new models built on its DIGIC III chip and image stabilizers. The PowerShot S5 IS is the long-awaited replacement for the S3 which boosts resolution from 6 to 8 megapixels and uses the newer DIGIC processor for face detection in portrait shots and ISO 1600 sensitivity. The 12X optical zoom camera also has a new flash hot-shoe for better control of lighting and a larger 2.5-inch swiveling LCD. Software also sees an upgrade with a MovieSnap mode that captures full-resolution stills while recording VGA resolution movies. It ships in early July for $500.

Apple airs new "Get a Mac" TV ad

05/07, 8:35am

New "Get a Mac" TV ad

Apple has begun airing a new "Get a Mac" television ad, highlighting the "driver" issues related to upgrading to Windows Vista. The familiar Mac and PC motif shows the PC trying to "get out" by slamming his shoulder into the wall after realizing that he needs new drivers following a Vista upgrade -- while Mac tries to calm PC down. The newest ad, which began airing on US television earlier over the past day or so, is not yet available on Apple's website, but was spotted by users on YouTube (below).

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