German developer MapMemo has released the third edition of its self-titled program, which links files to locations on maps, charts, drawings and photographs loaded within the software. Maps can be imported from route-planning applications, and private files can be hidden in their own layer. MapMemo 3 adds several features: key among these is printing, whether directly to paper or to a PDF file. Users can also send data to a special export map, which has an indexed list and is accessible to Linux and Windows users. Finally, the program can now combine multiple maps through layers, and annotations can be made through a new marking layer. MapMemo 3 costs $25 and runs on any Mac with Mac OS X 10.3 or higher.
Research firm Caris & Co. today raised its price target on Apple shares from $110 to $115 based on predicted higher iPod sales in the June quarter over the March quarter. Firm analyst Shelby Seyrafi says he sees iPod units in the quarter growing to 11.9 million units from 10.5 million in the first quarter, while his previous forecast predicted a decline to 10 million units, according to Barron's. Checks from the hard disk market reveal strong demand for Apple's fifth-generation video iPod, according to the analyst, which likely accounts for between a quarter and a third of total iPod shipments. The analyst further suspects Apple's guidance for the June quarter as conservative, and sees upside for the iPhone. Caris & Co. raised its earnings-per-share estimates to $3.52 from $3.43 for the September 2007 fiscal year.
Mophie has begun shipping the Bevy, an unorthodox case for Apple's iPod shuffle. The case is made primarily from sturdy transparent polycarbonate, rather than foam or leather, and attaches to keys through a loop and keyring. Interestingly, the case includes a bottle opener that requires users to remove the iPod shuffle before use. The opener is a part of a stainless steel insert available in matching blue, pink, green, orange and silver colors. Grooves in the polycarbonate make it easier to wrap as well as store earbuds, and each color of the Bevy is priced at $15.
Research firm UBS met with Apple today to discuss the component cost environment & margin implications, prospects for Mac momentum, status of the iPhone, and the sustainability of Apple's iTunes franchise. "Apple seems very upbeat about prospects for the iPhone, Macs and Apple TV," wrote UBS analyst Ben Reitzes in a research note obtained by MacNN. "While the iPhone launch in June should garner significant attention, we believe that investors should also focus on prospects for continued Mac momentum with new products and the ability for Apple TV to become more of a DVD player replacement over the next few years." The analyst also believes UBS estimates could prove conservative, given Mac momentum and new products leading into 2008. UBS is estimating $0.70 on revenue growth of 20 percent to $5.22 billion in the third quarter of this year. UBS holds a price target of $133 on Apple shares, and is reiterating its "Buy 2" rating.
The Japanese division of Planex has released the tall and thin MZK-04G, an ideal router for users who regularly download gigabytes of data at a time. Critical to this are two features: a pair of USB ports are used to add external hard drives, and the router itself is preloaded with a BitTorrent client, enabling it to download files overnight without keeping a computer on. There are four gigabit Ethernet ports, and the wireless side supports similar speeds, transmitting at up to 997Mbps. The 04G is currently being sold in Japan at an "open" price; Planex does sell products in the United States, but the new router does not appear to have arrived yet. [via Akihabara News]
Pioneer today used Europe as the venue for its new eigth-generation plasma sets. Nicknamed the "Project Kuro" line, the range depends on Pioneer's latest panels, which emphasize especially deep black levels: the four 1080p-native 50- and 60-inch sets released today manage an exceptional 20,000:1 contrast ratio, with the highest-end models also sporting an enhanced digital comb filter for stronger color. Most models further claim an Optimum mode that adjusts the panel for better viewing in daytime. A DVB-T tuner for nearly every set handles European over-the-air digital broadcasts.
Fujitsu will have a tablet PC to go with its fixed-screen LifeBooks, according to a newly uncovered FCC filing. Though the case design will go unchanged, the LifeBook T4220 will upgrade the company's 12-inch convertible PC with Intel's range-topping 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo on an 800MHz bus. Wireless is also extensive with built-in Bluetooth matched by an 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi adapter. Memory and the choice of storage are unavailable in the filing. However, the appearance of the system suggests a close launch that may occur as soon as this month. [via PC Joint]
As companies like HP attempt to make tablet PCs more consumer friendly, MobileDemand is heading in the opposite direction with its new xTablet T8600. The computer is one of the few "ruggedized" tablets in existence, and is built to US military's 810F standard, although the only government client so far is FEMA. The 8600 is further said to be the only rugged tablet with a numeric keypad, making it easier to do things like calculate bills. The system uses a 733MHz Centrino M processor running Windows XP Tablet, and supports 802.11a/b/g wireless, as well as cellular broadband through third-party EDGE and EVDO modems. The display is a large 8.4 inches and is capable of resolutions up to 800x600. Slots are provided for CF and PC Cards, and users can optionally buy accessories for scanning barcodes and magnetic stripe cards. Prices are not being made available to the public.
Rounding out Sony-Ericsson's updates today is the DS980, its new Bluetooth headset for those who often balance calls and music. The update to the accessory streams music in full stereo thanks to A2DP support and the extra bandwidth of Bluetooth 2.0. In-canal earbuds are also used with silicone tips to block outside audio, while the main body itself will automatically filter sounds during calls to clean the outgoing voice. Multiple devices are supported at once for notebooks and media players that can recognize the new earpiece.
Microsoft's Mac Business Unit (MacBU) has issued an update to Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac, offering several improvements to security as well as stability. Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac 11.3.5 includes fixes for vulnerabilities that an attacker could use to overwrite the contents of a computer's memory with malicious code, and provides all of the improvements released in previous Office 2004 updates. The update applies to Office 2004 Standard Edition, Office 2004 Student and Teacher Edition, Office 2004 Professional Edition, Word 2004, Excel 2004, PowerPoint 2004, and Entourage 2004. Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac 11.3.5 requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later. [Download - 59.5MB]
Kohler today branched out from its usual bath and kitchen accessories with the SoundTile, its new speaker system built with just for showers. Designed to be as unobtrusive as possible, each satellite fits coaxial speakers from Polk into a 4-inch square frame that stays near-flush with the shower wall. The stainless steel shell and grill keep water from entering the enclosure without blocking sound. A hole at the bottom is also strategically placed to drain water before it can damage the speakers themselves.
Photos have surfaced today which show HTC's future Elf and Kaiser in complete detail. Having changed slightly from its initial appearance, the Elf (shown in main photo) now adopts an iPod-like white and pushes simplicity over sheer features: a 2.8-inch touchscreen is the near-exclusive control method that replaces both a number pad and a keyboard. A 2-megapixel camera has been newly confirmed as part of the device, though Internet will be relatively modest with EDGE Internet in North America and UMTS in Europe.
In brief: Apple is preparing to host the grand opening for its newest retail store at 500 Baybrook Mall in Friendswood Texas, and AppleScript Pro Sessions has announced that AppleScript Product Manager Sal Soghoian will appear as a guest speaker at the training event in Denver, Colorado. Iconfactory has expanded its offerings of scalable vector icons with the release of several sets for the Harmony as well as the Satin stock icon families, and during the month of May TheMacPak will offer its first mystery bundle of 10 games and applications. Apple's newest retial store in Texas is due to open on May 12th, offering a Genius Bar as well as Apple's new "Personal Shopping" appointments and "One to One" customized personal training.
While cellphones tend to be thought of as a non-issue for the blind, modern phones can pose a serious problem, as their advanced functions often depend on LCD menus. The Canadian GSM carrier Rogers Wireless is now carrying the 6682RVI, a Nokia phone pre-installed with software called Nuance TALKS. TALKS reads screen content back to a user, including options, battery status, and perhaps most importantly, e-mails and text messages. Voice recognition allows owners to respond in kind. For convenience, the reading synthesizer's volume and speaking rate can be adjusted. Rogers is now selling the 6682RVI for $200 with a three-year contract. [via SlashPhone]
Panasonic on mid-Tuesday put the new Strada nav unit (known as the NVD905U) for frequent long-distance drivers. As with a few high-end GPS receivers, this entry chooses a 30GB hard drive over the DVD-only systems often found in cars. The storage is both faster than the optical format, Panasonic says, and gives a far richer map: in North America, the Strada covers 12 million points of interest as specific as individual ATM units. Especially detailed maps are provided for 86 US cities.
Along with its S500 phone, Sony-Ericsson today has also unveiled a trio of phones targeted alternately at high-end pros as well as the entry level. The P1 (shown) tops the additions as the smartphone in the line. Though shaped like a bar phone, it includes the features of more complex devices such as a touchscreen with handwriting recognition for notes. VoIP is explicitly suppored on Wi-Fi for making calls without depending on costlier and sometimes fragile cllphone networks.
Philips has announced a new remote control that dwarfs virtually any universal remote currently in production. The Pronto NX PowerLite (TSU9600) has its own VGA touchscreen display, and has an elaborate interface that organizes content not by hardware, but by activity; under the Live TV section for instance, users can select a channel's icon directly. The remote can be programmed for any IR-controlled AV device, and numerous other devices as well through a WiFi extender. Buyers with complicated setups can get the Serial Extender, a rack enclosure with four IR and four RS232 ports. The remote by itself is extremely expensive, however: it is $1,836, and geared towards home automation systems. [via Geekzone]
German-based nova media has begun selling the Globetrotter Express 7.2 Ready ExpressCard modem specifically touted as compatible with Apple's MacBook Pro. The card's primary feature is tri-band support for some of the fastest HSDPA networks: whereas most cellular modems only support 3.6Mbps downloads, the Ready takes its name from its capacity for speeds up to 7.2Mbps. Upload speed, however, is a comparitively slow 384Kbps. The modem also connects to 3G UMTS networks, and where neither UMTS or HSDPA are available, it can fall back to quad-band EDGE and GPRS, rated at 220Kbps and 80Kbps respectively. Mac users also utilize launch2net, an application that simplifies modem installation and connection. The Ready is already available for $410.
Living-e has released MAMP and MAMP Pro 1.6. MAMP is a free utility eases the process of installing and running the Apache Web server, PHP, and MySQL on Mac OS X systems; the Pro version is priced at $50, and includes MAMP while also allowing users to create local as well as remote tests, and features easier configuration of MySQL. Version 1.6 includes several upgrades, including Apache 2.0.59, MySQL 5.0.37 and PHP 5.2.1 (plus PHP4). The programs also support APC alongside the new XCache from lighttpd. MAMP and MAMP Pro are Universal Binaries for Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
The South Korean division of LG has leapt onboard as the next company to announce laptops running Intel's Santa Rosa platform. Of the five X-Notes the highlight is the likely the 15.4-inch R500, which has the option of 2.0 or 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo chips, as well as 802.11n wireless and 120 to 160GB of hard drive space. Graphics are supplied by a 256MB GeForce 8600 GS, which has not yet been formally unveiled by Nvidia.
Apple this year is ranked as the sixth most desirable employer in the Fortune list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. Google topped the list, with Microsoft trailing Apple in the no. 7 spot, according to Fortune. Research firm Universum surveyed MBA candidates on where they would most like to work, revealing more interest in the west coast of the U.S. and increased focus on lifestyles over big paychecks. Of MBAs who offered their top five most desirable workplaces, 10.78 percent chose Apple. Some 9.75 percent of women surveyed placed Apple in their top five most desired workplaces, while 11.65 percent of men mentioned Apple in their top five.
The cellphone producers at E-Ten today stepped up their performance with the X500+, a major update to its mid-range device. The X500+ earns its title through a VGA screen, which E-Ten says is the first to reach a shipping smartphone. Its 640x480 resolution gives far sharper movie playback and 2-megapixel photography than most phones without adding to the price through excessive features, the company says. The LCD's crispness also helps with a major upgrade to Windows Mobile 6 Professional, which can view Office Mobile documents more clearly; adding contacts is also easier through an in-house scanning tool that can add contacts simply by snapping a photo of a business card.
NVIDIA this morning gave a lift to normally slow integrated graphics with two additions to its GeForce 7-series cards. Its GeForce 7200 GS (pictured) is thought of as a drop-in fix for users who want faster 3D and Windows Vista performance than soldered-on integrated video can provide but without resorting to costlier upgrades. The PCI Express board can run up to 50 percent faster than the best integrated chipsets available, NVIDIA estimates. The card also inherits all the 3D shader support of the 7-series family and will also accelerate HD video performance. Cards using the fanless 7200 GS chipset should be on sale today through online hardware stores and PC sellers for under $50.
Roxio has released Roxio Crunch, an application for converting computer-based video entertainment for viewing in the living room through the Apple TV. The software supports a broad range of personal video content including DVD video, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and DivX files. Roxio Crunch also enables users to view favorite content on-the-go with pre-defined options for output to iPod, as well as Apple's forthcoming iPhone. Roxio Crunch is available for $40, requiring Mac OS X 10.4.9 or later with QuickTime 7.1.5 or higher and iTunes 7.1.1 or newer.
Sony-Ericsson on Tuesday released te S500. A new slider built with the US in mind, the previously leaked model comes in a relatively warm green or gold and is imagined as part of the life natural life cycle: the menu themes and hidden lighting change between day and night and will adapt between seasons. The 2-megapixel camera is only revealed when the phone is open to keep the lines clean and the lens safe. Sony-Ericsson also promises strong music with AAC and MP3 music played from a Memory Stick Micro slot, which can reach wireless headphones or speakers thanks to stereo Bluetooth support.
The largest ticketing company in North America, Ticketmaster, has announced a free music promotion in conjunction with Apple's iTunes Store. Between Memorial Day (May 28th) and Labor Day (September 3rd), every concert ticket purchased will earn one free track from the iTunes Store; additionally, each ticket purchased from Ticketmaster.com will come with a ten-song digital sampler. The exact contents of the sampler are unknown, but the company aims to promote a mix of new as well as more familiar artists.
LG claimed today to have launched the world's first HDTV-native fridge, the LSC27990. Known also as just the HDTV Refrigerator, the side-by-side fridge has a 15-inch LCD on one door with an ATSC tuner for picking up HD broadcasts in the kitchen. LG's appliance is also one of the more connected devices in the kitchen with a four-inch LCD above the dispenser that can display weather, recipes, or calendars independently of the TV. A USB port also allows uploading a photo collection to the display for a miniature photo album. The appliance designer hopes to have the titanium-colored LSC27990 in stores by the end of the spring at a price of $3,999.
Apple has unveiled three new 'Get a Mac' ads starring Justin Long and John Hodgman. Two of the new spots focus on complications with Microsoft's recently released Windows Vista operating system, while the third highlights the company's Genius Bars located in its retail stores. "Choose a Vista" features PC spinning a colored wheel to land on one of the numerous versions of Windows Vista, only to "Lose a Turn" when the wheel comes to a complete stop. "Party is Over" details a disgruntled PC at a party with other PCs in business suits under a flashing Vista sign. After upgrading his graphics card and memory, Hodgman still finds himself unable to use some of his softare and peripherals. "Genius" features a Mac Genius answering several of Hodgman's questions, including how much PC loathes Mac on a scale of one to 10.
Kenwood this morning released the MNA-350, a two-DIN head unit for small cars or other vehicles where multiple receivers are impractical. A GPS receiver is built-in and has a fixed, 3.5-inch display for navigation no matter what else is taking place with the stereo; an SD card slot lets the mapping component add new maps without affecting the rest of the system. Controls and an LED display on the right can play CDs (including those with AAC, MP3, or WMA songs), FM radio, or attached iPods without interruption.
James Associates has released MacElevation DVDs 1.0, providing digital elevation data for use with its MacGPS Pro software. MacElevation DVDs 1.0 is available for each U.S. state, adding digital elevation data to any waypoint, route, or track generated in MacGPS Pro. THe software also adds altitudes that are missing when GPS data is transferred from some GPS receivers. MacElevation is priced at $10 per state and requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later.
Axiom today put a spin on bookshelf speakers with its Algonquin system. The company's latest audio hardware takes the unusual approach of converting a luxury living room set for use on patios or other areas which have in the past been limited to portable stereos. The 175-watt satellites have waterproof seams to guard against rain; subtler changes have also been made to the core design, such as an angled, grilled bass port that won't let in water or insects and gold-plated posts to prevent rust. The system is light enough at 9 pounds to be carried inside in a hurry for particularly bad weather.
Concrete specs for Samsung's Aura Q45 notebook have surfaced, based on an early leak. The glossy black notebook was previewed in March at CeBIT but had its performance largely unrevealed; new information, however, points to performance unusually strong for a 12-inch ultraportable. Based on Intel's Santa Rosa, the system should ship with a 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo on the faster 800MHz bus. Graphics are quick through a 128MB GeForce Go 8400. Samsung should also have ample memory and storage with a minimum 1GB of RAM and a 160GB hard disk.
Samsung is readying a third music player to its current roster, an official Czech catalog shows (PDF). The YP-U3 will update Samsung's iPod shuffle-like player with an FM tuner, complete with RDS support for track information on the 1-inch OLED screen. Storage also gets a boost with up to 4GB of MP3, OGG, or WMA songs. Battery life is still long for the device's small dimensions at 15 hours. With no official announcement, the U3's prices and release date are unknown. A worldwide release is expected soon with 1GB, 2GB, and 4GB capacities in three colors. [via dapreview]
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive, Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl