Apple along with other technology giants such as Microsoft, Adobe, and RealNetworks were sent a cease & desist on Friday demanding they integrate Media Rights Technologies' (MRT) proprietary technology to prevent music streams from being "ripped." While most intellectual property lawsuits focus on infringement, the novel approach taken by MRT may be a first in the industry, according to AppScout. MRT claims that Digital Millennium Copyright Act signed into law by President Clinton, and invoked in the Grokster decision, forces companies to comply with the act and provide copy-control technologies. MRT, which took its technology to Microsoft but was blown off, says it has given each company 10 days to respond and will file lawsuits against those companies totaling more than $200 billion dollars.
Scottevest has unveiled two new additions to its "Technology Enabled Clothing" line, designed to ease the process of carrying devices like Apple's iPod. The SeV Performance Polo shirt features a zippered chest pocket and "Personal Area Network" holes that allow wearers to run cords in and out. Hidden loops keep earbuds from tangling, and the shirt is available in black, grey or olive tones. The SeV Ultimate Hoodie comes only in black but boasts 11 pockets designed for everything from music players to change and sunglasses. The front pockets seal magnetically, and the apparel offers extra holders for keys and a bottle. The hoodie also inherits Scottevest's Polo PAN and earbud features. The SeV Ultimate Hoodie is slated for shipment in June for $70, while the Polo is already available for $45.
Frustrated by users uploading videos a second time, after initial censorship for copyright violation, MySpace is cracking down with a new tool called "Take Down, Stay Down." After a copyright holder points out an offending video, MySpace is now able to not only pull the clip, but keep a digital fingerprint that enters a copyright filter. In theory, at least, this software should be able to block illegal videos before they can even be uploaded. Particularly since its acquisition by Fox, MySpace has become notoriously strict about its pages, policing them for both illegal and "offensive" material. Site managers are able not only to remove videos, but audio as well, and in some cases delete entire posts or accounts. MySpace initially served as a means for bands to promote their music and connect with fans and other musicians.
In brief: MacNN has reviewed Music Man from Mireth Technology, and Inside Mac Radio hosts are holding a free photo walk through San Francisco at the World Wide Developers Conference. MacJams.com in conjunction with BeatHive have released a free 40MB collection of Apple Loops, and a mock video has surfaced of a fictional Microsoft branded "oPhone." MacNN has reviewed Mireth Technology's Music Man ($30 boxed, $20 for download) audio software for organizing, ripping, converting, burning, and playing MP3, WMA, WAV, Ogg Vorbis, AIFF, and MIDI files. Music Man features a simple tabbed interface that lets users prepare to burn discs, play media, and more.
Germany-based T-Mobile may become the iPhone's official carrier for Europe, according to those close to the negotiations. Although it had previously been suggested that Vodafone would win -- an implication the carrier publically denied -- it's now believed that its rival at T-Mobile is favored as the sole outlet for iPhone sales in the continent. Other Europe-wide providers such as O2 and Orange were said to have been in the running but unsuccessful in reaching the later stages of contract discssions. Terms of a possible deal weren't discussed but may be different than the multi-year exclusivity agreement Apple has signed with AT&T in the US.
While Westerners tend to think of Japan as demanding the absolute best in electronics, this is often untrue when it comes to computers, since the country's superior consoles and cellphones often reduce the need for them. What they do need is space, something provided by mouse's new GSX-Slim computers. Each system fits into a mini-tower which may actually be shorter than the accompanying monitor. The base model is the 351, which reaches the low price of just 60,690 yen ($504) by using a 2.66GHz Celeron D processor, 512MB of RAM, and an integrated graphics chip. The OS is merely Vista Home Basic.
ASUS has finalized the details of its just-introduced P526 smartphone. While some details were released in advance, the finished version will still have its 2.6-inch touchscreen, GPS navigation, and quad-band GSM radio with EDGE Internet but will also make use of Windows Mobile 6 Professional, guaranteeing the inclusion of Office Mobile. 128MB of flash memory will sit onboard and can be combined with a microSD slot for AAC and MP3 songs, full-speed MPEG-4 video, or shots taken from the 2-megapixel camera.
Electronics maker Hacha has announced that it will produce a new media player focused almost entirely around its display. The PA20 will revolve around a 3.2-inch touchscreen that will be used both to watch MPEG-4 video clips and to control playback. Other specifications are unknown, but the device will most likely include MP3 playback and photo display support. The PA20's release date, pricing, or availability outside of its home country of China are unknown, but should be revealed by the company soon. [via MP3 Players]
Verizon is about to release a new phone that provides navigation for a low cost, according to new details that have surfaced online. The Samsung U410 will be relatively simple as a standard phone with Bluetooth, a VGA camera, and a 96x96-resolution external LCD. However, the clamshell handset will also have assistive GPS support for use with the carrier's VZ Navigator service, including spoken directions around the US and markers for points of interest such as banks and restaurants. Internet is handled through a multi-network IM client as well as basic RTT access.
Apple is offering reconditioned PowerBook notebooks and various iPod models at reduced prices. Refurbished G4 laptops currently include the company's 12-inch 1.5GHz PowerBook with 512MB of memory, an 80GB hard drive, and a SuperDrive for $1,199; 15-inch 1.5GHz PowerBook with 512MB of memory, an 80GB hard drive, and a Combo Drive for $1,249; and its 15-inch 1.67GHz PowerBook with 512MB of memory, an 80GB hard drive, and a SuperDrive for $1,299. Refurbished iPods currently include the current-generation iPod shuffle with 1GB of storage capacity for $49; first-generation iPod nanos in 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB capacities available in various colors for $102, $149, and $199, respectively; and Apple's current-generation video iPods available in black or white with 30GB and 80GB storage capacities for $199 and $279, respectively.
Shortly after introducing its Aspire 5290 media notebook, Acer has followed up with the first of its newly remade ultraportables. The TravelMate 6292 applies the shock-resistant magnesium case and unique curved keyboard to a 12-inch widescreen system with Intel's Santa Rosa-based Core 2 Duo at the heart, including the 802.11n wireless chipset and Intel's relatively faster X3100 integrated video. In a very rare addition to small portables, the new TravelMate will also have the option of an HD DVD drive for movie watching. Acer includes a webcam for communication and gives the choice of a Bluetooth VoIP phone for Skype and similar Internet calls. Battery life will range from 5 hours on a standard battery to 12 hours with the combination of stock and extended batteries.
Processor giant AMD today staged a press event, aimed at promoting several pieces of upcoming hardware. The highlight was the company's upcoming Phenom FX CPUs, which were demonstrated in a Quad FX configuration, linking two quad-core processors. Although indications suggest that the units were clocked somewhere between 2.2 and 2.6GHz, AMD refused to say exactly what the specifications were, possibly to ward off any countering tactics by Intel.
Gear4 today marked the release of the HouseParty Blu, an iPod speaker dock with the important addition of an onboard Bluetooth receiver. The technology lets the 30-watt stereo play music from A2DP-supporting cellphones or any other source using the wireless standard while still freeing up ports on the main system. Gear4 also includes a minimalist touchscreen for controlling playback as well as a remote that can separately navigate the speakers as well as the iPod itself. A line-in jack provides a hook for the iPod shuffle or other wired-only music players without Apple's Dock Connector.
Health Tracker 3.1.0 ($20) enhances the application that tracks and graphcs health related measurements. Users can blood glucose levels, weight, measurements for various body parts, personal percentage of body fat, and other variables. The update runs natively on Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary, and adds several enhancements to the graphing display. [Download - 2.9MB] Labels X 1.8.2 ($10) is a free update to all registered users of the file labeling enhancement utility that enables the software to work on a large number of systems after a reboot. Labels X enables users to apply various color tints to files or folder icons, as well as the file or folder name. [Download - 3MB] 1Passwd 2.4 ($30) is a password manager that works within a Web browser. The update brings support for Apache login windows as well as Graphical License cards. 1Passwd adds anti-phishing protection as well as automatic form filling capability to Mac OS X, and the upgrade is free to all 1Passwd customers. [Download - 4.5MB] Petal Palace 1.1.5 ($20) updates the 3D falling-blocks game with more responsive in-game mouse control. Petal Palace challenges players to pick flowers by arranging t hem in lines to ensure the palace isn't overgrown. The latest revision includes some minor improvements, and fixes a bug in the "Extra Markers" display. [Download - 3MB] BabyaTV (free) is a professional video capture application that saves output to Apple's QuickTime .mov format for use in iMovie, iDVD, Final Cut Studio, or on websites. Users can select the recording device stream format, set record device master as well as per-channel gain, and assign audio channel labels to source channels. [Download - 191KB]
Garmin has just revamped its GPS units with the Rino HCx series of map radios. Tailored to hikers and others who need to keep in touch out in the field, the 520HCx and 530HCx each have a color mapping display for location spotting in the wilderness but also have a two-way radio; the communication not only helps keep in touch within a 14-mile radius but also uses spare bandwidth to pinpoint other Rino users in range, preventing friends from getting lost.
Asian manufacturer Teclast is preparing a media player that should dwarf any of its rivals in terms of sheer performance, assuming initial reports are accurate. According to the Chinese site iMP3, the T39 will use as much as 16GB of flash memory, which is twice the capacity of Apple's largest flash-based player. It is also said to have 40 hours of battery power, although this could drop sharply when playing videos or Flash games. Teclast will additionally be selling 2, 4 and 8GB versions of the product, and it should support MP3, FLAC, WAV and WMA audio files, as well as AVI and WMV video played at 30fps. The display is a 2.6-inch touchscreen capable of 262,000 colors; miscellaneous features include a dictionary and an FM tuner/recorder. No release schedule has been made public. [via dapreview]
Dell's Linux systems won't be able to run Windows out of the box, according to Ubuntu Linux developer Canonical. Company head Mark Shuttleworth has said that his firm will deliberately avoid shipping Dell's version of Ubuntu with the WINE Windows emulator, saying that the ability to run many programs for the Microsoft OS in quick emulation would prevent users from actually using Ubuntu Linux on its own merits.
Salling Software today released Salling Clicker 3.5, a major update to the company's two-way remote control software. Salling Clicker allows mobile phones and handheld computers to control popular applications such as PowerPoint and iTunes on Mac and Windows computers. The new version adds innovative new features, support for the very latest handheld devices, and other enhancements. The latest revision also expands its Wi-Fi connectivity to support smartphones based on the Windows Mobile and Symbian operating systems. Salling Clicker 3.5 for Mac includes support for Apple's Front Row software, eliminating the need to bring an Apple remote when travelling. The software also boasts enhanced support for iTUnes, PowerPoint, EyeTV, and Keynote. Salling Clicker 3.5 is available for $24, requiring Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
Although they are most likely rebranded from an unknown company, Korean carrier KTF has just revealed two new slider phones. Akihabara News is comparing the EV-W200 to the Samsung U600, and it has Bluetooth, a two-megapixel camera and support for video calls, presumably backed by some form of 3G broadband. The EV-K200 scales back to a 1.3-megapixel camera, and drops video call ability entirely. Like many Korean products, both phones have MP3 playback and preloaded dictionaries. No prices or launch dates have been published, but a gallery of photos can be seen below.
BenQ has taken part in the suite of Santa Rosa notebook introductions with a solitary addition to its Joybook line. The S41 is a 14-inch sequel to the 13-inch S31 with a much improved emphasis on video performance. Beyond the change to a 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo with the faster 800MHz bus, the system has unusually strong 3D video for the size class with a GeForce 8600M GS that easily outpaces the Intel graphics of its predecessor. The PureVideo decoding also easily relieves the CPU of the burden of decoding HD video and lets the portable play even 1080p videos through an HDMI output. Every system also comes equipped with a 1.3-megapixel webcam.
Details have emerged on more Acer laptops using the Gemstone design and Intel's Santa Rosa platform. Aside from the Aspire 5920, the company will also be releasing 5720, 7720 and 9920 systems. The 5720 is a 15.4-inch model, but unlike the 5920, has the option of either integrated graphics or an ATI card. The 7720 (pictured) increases screen size to 17 inches, and inserts an unspecified Mobility Radeon with 256 of RAM. The 9920 meanwhile is a colossal desktop replacement laptop, sized at 20 inches, and featuring a GeForce 8600M GT with 512MB of RAM -- twice that in the 5920's card. The system will also ship with an HD DVD player, as well as a choice of two hard disks. No exact prices or release dates have been suggested. [via notebook italia]
Microsoft and SanDisk today revealed that they will work on a new replacement for U3 smart drive technology that could customize virtually any PC by plugging in a drive. While today's U3 drives are mainly used for launching portable apps such as security tools and browsers, the new, unnamed format will let drive owners personalize the environment. Plugging a drive into a PC should customize the Windows interface as well as carry over other personalized settings. Security won't be compromised, SanDisk promises: Microsoft's TrustedFlash is onboard and will guard the programs from attack as well as ensure that all private data leaves the host PC when the drive is removed.
Apple notebook retail sales in the month of March reached 9.9 percent in the U.S. even as the company's desktop Mac retail sales ranked fifth overall with 7.7 percent of sales, according to Bloomberg. The Cupertino-based company likely increased sales via its "Get a Mac" ad campaign alongside new Intel-based Macs that can run Microsoft Windows via Boot Camp beta software. Apple reported during its quarterly financial results in April that half of customers who purchase Macs from its retail stores had not previously owned a Mac, and that its retail efforts were much more lucrative than anticipated. Apple's retail laptop share beat out Compaq (which garnered 8.5 percent of sales in March) but still trails Gateway, which accounted for 13 percent of notebooks sold.
A researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, John Zimmerman, has developed a clock meant to keep children in bed, rather than wake them up. Children often have an abundance of energy that allows them to wake up early, disturbing parents still trying to sleep; the Reverse Alarm Clock calculates moonset and sunrise, and uses this information for some simple symbology. When the clock's moon is lit, children are expected to stay in bed. When the moon is off, they are allowed to get up, but should avoid making any noise. Finally, the sun indicator shows that children must get up, which is helped by wakeup music picked earlier by the children themselves. Music can also be set for going to sleep. Unfortunately for parents, there are no current plans for a retail clock.
Toshiba ended its week with the introduction of the Gigabeat U102/U202. Released less than a month after the ship date for the U101/U201 series, the flash players have matured their design with brushed metal, a return to Toshiba's signature cross-shaped directional pad, and subtler menu buttons tucked underneath the 1.1-inch OLED. Features are otherwise a match to the earlier versions with an FM tuner/transmitter that can be used to play or record radio, including sharing one's own library with friends. Playback of MP3/WMA/WAV is possible for up to 20 hours in addition to JPEG photos.
A new study presented by a 17-year-old Michigan high school student found that Apple's iPod portable media players can cause pacemakers -- small cardiac implants designed to monitor the hearts of people at risk of heart failure -- to misread heart pacing or fail entirely. The study which tested the effect of iPods on 100 patients with a mean age of 77 outfitted with pacemakers found that the portable players caused electrical interference 50 percent of the time when the iPod was held 2-inches from the patient's chest for 5-10 seconds, according to Reuters. The study examined iPods exclusively, and the results were presented to a meeting of heart specialists on Thursday. iPods caused pacemaker interference when held 18-inches from the chest in some cases, and in one particular instance caused the pacemaker to stop functioning entirely.
HANNspee's computer display label HANNS.G this morning announced the immediate availability of five new LCDs. The line emphasizes widescreen even at the basic level, with two 17-inch, 1440x900 displays with 500:1 contrast and 8ms response in black (HW-173DBB) or silver (HW-173DB0); the company also has a trio of 19-inch displays, including two widescreen models (HG-191RPB and HW-194DJB) with a quicker 2ms pixel response and two-watt integrated speakers as well as a single standard-ratio model, the 8ms HS-191DPB.
Nokia plans a full attack on the iPhone and other media-savvy devices this year, according to a pair of reported leaks. The N81 (pictured, left) should focus chiefly on music and games: 8GB of flash memory will store music and software, with a native 3.5mm minijack providing headphone output without an adapter. The slider is said to be one of the first N-Gage gaming phones outside of the original and will have dedicated game keys along with music playback controls. Nokia's future handset would also be equipped with rear 2-megapixel and front CIF-resolution cameras for photos, videos, and chats.
Helio this morning shipped out the Ocean to both its online and retail stores. Announced back in March, the rare dual-action phone and QWERTY keyboard slider is set to bring multiple novel software features to back its hardware, including a unified message center for e-mail and IM, as well as an idle mode search that starts hunting for data through Google and other sites the moment the user starts typing. Pricing remains unchanged and the device goes on sale today for $295 through Helio's own outlets; EB, Gamestop, and other third-party retailers pick up on the Ocean as of May 21st.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.74 ( -1.09 )
Fiat Chrysler adding Siri Eyes Free
On Friday, automaker Fiat Chrysler issued a software update for selected 2013-2015 model cars to allow Siri Eyes Free, the precursor to the more fully-featured CarPlay, to be compatible with the vehicles' infotainment systems, including steering wheel control. The 2013 through 2015 model Ram 1500/2500/3500, the 2013-2015 Dodge Viper, the 2014-2015 Dodge Durango, the 2014-2015 Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, and the 2015 models of Dodge Challenger and Charger, Jeep Renegade, and Chrysler 200 and 300 can be upgraded through the Unconnect touchscreen, visiting the Uconnect site and entering their 17-digit Vehicle ID, then downloading the update to a USB drive. Installation can take up to 45 minutes, and can only be done while the vehicle is in park. http://bit.ly/23f0sby
Tor Myhren starts as VP of Communications
After an initial announcement in December, Apple on Friday added former Grey Group chief creative officer Tor Myhren to its leadership roster as VP of Marketing Communications, placing the well-known ad exec in charge of Apple's advertising and Internet marketing efforts, as well as having a hand in packaging design. He will report directly to CEO Tim Cook, and is replacing the retired Hiroki Asai, who left Apple after 18 years with the company. Myhren is expected to continue Apple recent push into more "lifestyle" marketing rather than product-centric ads, such as the well-remembered "I'm a Mac" campaign from last decade. http://apple.co/1Wwf0Dd
Marseilles Apple Store to open May 14
Apple has officially announced its newest retail store in France, which is to open in the southern port city of Marseilles in the Les Terrasses du Port shopping center on May 14 at 10AM local time. It will be the 19th full retail store Apple has opened in the country, or 20th if one includes the Apple Watch-only boutique at Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Apple is said to be planning a new showcase Paris store to be located on the Champs-Élysées. http://apple.co/1pP77vO
Maps adds Flyover, Suggestions locations
Apple has updated Maps to include Spotlight Suggestions for Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, allowing users to search both internally and across the web on both Mac and iOS devices for data in Spotlight. In addition, the company has added Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Akron, Ohio to the 3D Flyover feature, offering computer-enhanced aerial views of the two areas -- and has activated real-time traffic information for Thailand, which will augment services like reminders to incorporate estimated travel times for appointments, as an example. The company recently added Nearby searches to five countries, and rolled out transit directions for Montreal in Canada and Portland, Oregon. http://apple.co/1Lh1Zel
Verizon gives last offer, issues workers ultimatum
Verizon has offered striking workers its "last, best and final offer" following 10 months of protracted negotiations with union leaders. The latest offer comes on the back of 36,000 Verizon employees taking strike action two weeks ago. The proposal includes a 7.5 percent wage rise, better benefits and voluntary retirement incentive offers. The striking workers, mainly on from its fixed line operations, have claimed that Verizon has outsourced 5,000 jobs to workers overseas and that it has been deliberately hiring low-wage, non-union contractors. Verizon recently posted revenue of $32.2 billion for the March quarter. http://cnnmon.ie/26AmwSv
CarPlay comes to Porsche 718 Cayman
Porsche has revealed that its new 718 Cayman series will be the latest vehicles in its range equipped with support for Apple CarPlay. The new Porsche models joins the recently announced 718 Boxster, the 2017 Macans and the 2016 model of the 911 in offering support for Apple's iOS in the car interface. Both are fitted standard with an eight speaker sound system and the Porsche Communications Management (PCM) system. The entry-level Cayman starts at $53,9000, while the faster S variant starts from $66,300. Although already on sale, the won't reach US dealers until late November. http://prn.to/1Tj1EW7
Macphun offers free Photos filters
Image editing software maker Macphun are offering a free set of up to 30 photo filter effects to extend the range of filter options available to users of Apple's Photos app for OS X, which replaced the previous iPhoto program. The first 15 filters are available after installing the software, and includes filters such as "Ancient Canvas" and "Twilight," while users who sign up for the Macphun newsletter will unlock the other 15 effects. The extension integrates directly into Photos, and include sliders for finer control of the effects and a masking brush. http://bit.ly/1VEgQD6