Griffin Technology today announced its new, pocket-sized FM transmitter for iPod: its new iTrip Pocket now available and shipping, brings all the functionality as other products in the iTrip family as well as a few innovative new features--in a new, smaller form-factor. iTrip Pocket lets iPod users listen over the FM radio in their car, without encumbering wires. Barely bigger than the dock connector it plugs into, iTrip Pocket is designed to perfectly match the profile of the 2nd generation iPod nano, though it also works with other dock connector iPod models. iTrip Pocket broadcasts the audio signal from the user's iPod to any user-selected FM frequency, sharing the music with the whole car. iTrip Pocket FM Transmitter for iPod (4042-NTRPDA) is priced at $50.
iStyles has launched its 2007 collection of iPod sleeves that feature more exotic materials and a multi-purpose slit pocket. Each sleeve is available in limited quantities and is homemade using specially selected materials on the outside, while sleeve insides are covered with micro-fiber cloth which protets as well as polishes and cleans iPods stored within. The slit pocket is multi-functional to hold earphones or other small objects, and iStyles assures customers that no animals are harmed in the creation of its Sleeves -- all materials are synthetic. iStyles sleeves are priced at $10.
Seen for years as a bastion of free expression, the Internet is quickly becoming restricted by governments worldwide, says a group called the OpenNet Initiative. While less than a handful of countries were engaged in "state-mandated net filtering" in 2002, OpenNet claims that five years later, there are at least 25 governments blocking content, out of a total of 41 countries surveyed. Three reasons for censorship tend to dominate the group's report: maintaining political power, alleged security issues, and enforcing perceived morality.
LG on Friday shipped the KP202, a compact flip-phone for GSM networks. Its highlight is a VGA camera with a relatively rare continuous-shot mode that can capture three images in a row for parties, sports, or other spur-of-the-moment scenes. Onboard memory is reportedly a large 64MB and helps for storing full polyphonic ringtones and still photos.
The Chinese company Haier has developed an LCD with an extremely unusual feature, a printer port. Although the L47A18 also has a pair of USB ports, those wanting to print photos or movie stills from the TV can apparently send them directly to a full-size, dedicated printer, rather than a compact machine. The TV is a 47-inch set, and also has a card reader that should make local printing more attractive. Resolutions up to 1080p are supported, with two HDMI ports being present on the back. The A18 should already be on sale in China for the equivalent of $2,666. [via T3]
Freenex today rolled out its VITAS 7000 GPS system for travelers who need maps and entertainment in a single device. Like most high-end systems, it relies on a 7-inch touchscreen and has secondary entertainment functions such as MP3 and movie playback, a 3D navigation mode, and an FM transmitter for broadcasting its sound to a larger car stereo. The 7000's addition comes through digital TV, Freenex explains. A DMB tuner can not only pick up digital broadcasts and claims a distinct picture-in-picture mode: owners can place either the TV feed or the map in a separate overlay at different sizes, letting passengers watch shows without interrupting the driver's route.
The momentous faux email that send Apple's stock price plummeting down more than $5 and prompted a retraction from its original publisher (Engadget) is now the subject of dispute by Apple officials. According to a report from eWeek, Apple spokesperson Natalie Kerris flatly denies the claim that the email triggering the inflammatory story originated internally. Kerris also reiterated earlier statements indicating that the iPhone is on track for a June launch, while Leopard is still scheduled for October with a public beta of the new operating system due during the week of Apple's Worldwide Developer conference (WWDC), starting June 11th.
The law offices of Peter Polischuk and Robert Dreher have filed suit on behalf of a class of plaintiffs alleging that Apple made "false claims" about the superior display capabilities of the MacBook and MacBook Pro. Class participants purport that the following marketing claims were made by Apple: "a nuanced view simply unavailable on other portables; "TFT display with support for millions of colors;" Aperture as "the ultimate photographer's workstation" Those claims are, at least in part, constituent of deception and misrepresentation, according to the plaintiffs, who claim that instead of adhering to the aforementioned degree of refinement, MacBook and MacBook Pro displays have been prone to flaws like "grainy" or "sparkly" quality, banding in gradients, and distracting lines of distortion.
Santech became one of the earliest regional PC builders to join in the launch of notebooks with Intel's Santa Rosa and faster NVIDIA video as their basis. Forming the foundation is the T34, which in spite of its 13.3-inch screen is driven by a new 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo and uses a 256MB GeForce 8400M GS for full-speed visuals in Windows Vista. The PC house also boasts 1GB of RAM, 802.11n wireless, and the option of either a 160GB 5400RPM drive (for the T3410) or a 100GB 7200RPM drive (for the T3420).
Japanese manufacturer BlueDot has released a new portable TV which is extremely compact, even by the standards of the region. The BTV-400 has a four-inch screen, but is only 4.9 inches long -- and perhaps more crucially, it is only 0.4 inches thick, making it easy to fit into a pocket. The set also weighs a mere 4.2 ounces. Viewers can make use of an electronic program guide, and watch 1Seg mobile broadcasts within Japan. The 400 is on sale in black, white or red for 30,000 yen, or about $247. [via Akihabara News]
Creative is about to make another attempt at upsetting Apple in the mid-range flash player business, as shown by a photo snapped at a Singapore retail shop. The Zen Wav will have a smooth, rounded metallic (or metal-like) shell similar to the iPod nano. By using the small directional pad borrowed from the Zen V line, however, the company will integrate a pair of speakers to provide public listening without a speaker dock. Also divulged in the leak is a 1.5-inch screen for displaying photos and videos, an FM radio, and recording for either its voice microphone or a direct line-in jack.
Korean display maker Dahan today showcased one of the largest-ever screens to feature a multiple-input touchscreen. The DH1000W can range between 100 and 220 inches, and has been shown at 120 inches in size as proof that its rear-projection system works. As with the iPhone, the display accepts multiple touch and can use the feature both in custom-written software as well as resizing windows and navigating the interface in Windows 2000 or XP. Adding the technology doesn't significantly affect responsiveness, according to the company, with pixel lag holding to a 10ms average.
Toyota has teamed up with a marketing firm to launch a new campaign that will push its iPod Integration Kit, which is slated for availability this summer. The campaign will back Toyata's kit across 35 European countries, according to howdo, with the strapline of "Coming soon to a glove box near you." Toyota's iPod Integration Kit enables users to plug an iPod into a vehicle's glove box and use the steering wheel or standard audio system to control Apple's portable player. Scosche Industries earlier this month announced that it is already shipping a radio replacement interface for Toyota vehicles alongside a Toyota auxiliary input iPod interface to integrate full iPod control. [corrected]
Dell's upcoming XPS 720 gaming tower has been all but exposed today through a service manual. Previewed through the company's own IdeaStorm submission, the aluminum chassis will be available in the company's standard silver standard case or the glossy black model reserved for the water-cooled H2C. Choices will be similar to today's models with the choice of CPUs ranging from the mainstream Core 2 Duo to the quad-core Core 2 Extreme. NVIDIA's GeForce 8800 GTS and GTX cards will form the backbone of graphics; in a rare addition to mass-produced PCs, the 720 will have a separate 300W power supply for its graphics to allow dual-card setups without causing undue strain on the main system.
Another new Sony Ericsson phone has received approval by the Federal Communications Commission, namely the M610i -- codenamed the Lizy. It is a tri-band GSM phone with 3G UMTS broadband, but there are no photos available, and few other specifications exist, other than the fact that it will support Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. More can be gleaned from the fact it should be related to the M600i, a phone generally designed for business users. It runs the Symbian OS, and supports push e-mail and document editing, as well as AAC and MP3 playback. There is 60MB of internal memory, with a Memory Stick Micro slot providing extra storage. [via Unwired View]
Danger's Sidekick messaging phones should be receiving native GPS support, according to the company's own job postings. A search for a software engineering intern reveals that the company is looking for help to "formalize the Java Native Interface and glue layer for binding the BT serial support as a GPS provider of data," the company says. The technique refers to adding support for a Bluetooth-enabled GPS device such as an in-car system or a handheld, letting the phone find its location without an internal receiver.
An act proposed by a hearing in the US House of Representatives could change the definition of broadband, and have potentially far-reaching consequences, writes Ars Technica. Though both corporations and the government appear to be in favor of a national broadband plan, the Broadband Census of America Act (BCAA) is being formulated to determine just which areas need improved Internet access. The current controversy is over what the FCC considers broadband versus practical reality. At present the organization says that broadband is 200Kbps; this is challenged by the current draft of the BCAA, which would start broadband at 2Mbps, a faster speed in many cases than outlying ADSL services. The Act would also redefine which areas have broadband, since at present, even a single access point qualifies a ZIP code.
Newer Technology (NewerTech) today unveiled the Guardian MAXimus, its first low-cost FireWire and USB 2 external RAID 1 storage solution. The Guardian MAXimus provides "live activity" backup/data redundancy via RAID 1 hardware mirroring to provide uninterrupted full data accessibility in the event of a hard drive failure. A front panel LED display provides drive access as well as status information, and the system guards against data loss by writing the same information in real-time to two separate drives for a mirrored copy of all data. The Guardian MAXimus offers up to 1TB of storage with 64MB of drive cache total, and utilizes a custom Oxford 924 based bridge solution. Ports include two FireWire 800, one FireWire 400, and one USB 2.0 "B" that works with USB 1.1 systems.
The Prada phone by LG is available in the US as an unlocked device, according to a new review. While its February launch as a tri-band GSM device largely excluded the phone from an official launch with a US carrier, the touchscreen phone is known to work with both AT&T and T-Mobile in San Francisco and other areas that support the phone's 1900MHz band. All of the features of the Prada remain intact, including its 2-megapixel camera, AAC/MP3 playback, and MPEG-4 videos.
Apple has launched a new recycling program for educational institutions looking to get rid of old equipment in its ongoing effort to become a "greener" Apple. The company is offering schools ranging from K-12 to Universities the chance to dispose of old computers from any manufacturer along with associated peripherals at no cost, and requires no purchase to participate in the program. Apple imposes no limit on the number of systems to recycle, but asks that schools register between May 10th and June 30th of this year. Educational centers must have all products to be recycled collected by June 31st, according to Apple, and must recycle a minimum of 25 systems. Schools can sign up by accessing a specific link on the company's website.
Apple revealed in a meeting with Bear Stearns analyst Andrew Neff that customers will be able to purchase the company's forthcoming iPhone at 2,000 retail locations after the device launches in late June. Apple's retail chief Ron Johnson and the director of Mac product marketing Tom Boger told Neff that those locations would consist only of Apple and AT&T retail stores, according to AppleInsider. "Apple affirmed its goal of June release for iPhone and expressed confidence in meeting its target of 10 million unit shipments in 2008 given iPhone's superior user experience, which Apple referred to as 'transformational,'" the analyst wrote. Neff added that Apple is focusing on making its iPhone stand out from the cellular phone crows by improving all areas of the user experience, including those at the sales counter.
Colorware, which has been offering custom-colored iPods for some time, has turned its attentions to the Microsoft Zune. While the player can already be had in black, brown, white and pink colors, Colorware offers a much greater palette, and shoppers can have the body, back, wheel and button all painted separate tones. Customers can further choose between metallic or solid paint, and the coating is said to be scratch-resistant. There are two ways to get a custom Zune: a new player costs $325, but buyers can also send in an existing player, which cuts the base price down to $74; in either case details cost extra. [via cliczune]
Philips' most recent contribution to the iPod realm is the AJ300D, a new dock that meshes with a clock and AM/FM radio. Its compact yet monolithic shape contains 6W speakers, and it also relies on Panasonic's "wOOx" technology, which is said to improve the depth and power of bass. Owners can wake up to either radio or an MP3 player; it is designed mainly for any iPod except the shuffle, but it also fits players in Philips' Go Gear line. Other audio sources can be heard through an auxiliary input. The remote is also noteworthy, since it has five buttons which let listeners jump straight to a particular radio station. The dock can be bought for approximately $80. [via SCI FI Tech]
Apple is currently offering its white 1.83GHz MacBook with 512MB of memory and a 60GB hard drive for $849; as well as its white 2GHz model with 1GB of memory and an 80GB hard drive for $999. Reconditioned MacBook Pro notebooks have also returned to Apple's online store after a lengthy dry spell. Refurbished MacBook Pro models include the 15-inch glossy 2.16GHz with 1GB of memory and a 120GB hard drive for $1,599; 15-inch glossy 2.33GHz with 2GB of memory and a 120GB hard drive for $1,999; 17-inch 2.16GHz with 1GB of memory and a 120GB hard drive for $1,999; and the 17-inch 2.33GHz with a glossy or standard display, 2GB of memory, and a 160GB hard drive for $2,299. The Apple Store Canada is also offering a rejuvinated supply of MacBooks and MacBook Pros, with prices ranging from CAD $959 to $1,129 for MacBooks and CAD $2,249 to $2,599 for MacBook Pros. [click here to access Apple Store Canada]
Americans will receive a special version of the HTC Herald, according to photos of the newly unboxed device. Rebranded as the T-Mobile Wing, the finished device (shown at left) undergoes a radical change to a much more stylized navigation button layout and a textured blue shell instead of a smooth black. Owners will also see Windows Mobile 6 Professional preloaded on the phone, giving them Office Mobile as well as better web browsing. A 2-megapixel camera and EDGE support will be unchanged from the model already released in Europe as the Xda terra.
In a somewhat unusual step, the Japanese division of Panasonic is using two popular figures to promote a special edition of the Lumix DMC-FX30. Not only does the camera bear the ubiquitous image of Hello Kitty, already found on other cameras, it also has an "A" symbol for Ayumi Hamasaki, a Lumix spokeswoman and one of the country's most famous singers. The camera itself is a 7.2-megapixel model with 3.6x optical zoom, covering a 28-100mm range, with an anti-shake stabilizer to reduce blur. The LCD screen measures 2.5 inches. Though there is only 27MB of internal memory, the camera is one of the few that supports both SD and SDHC cards, which should allow as much as 32GB of removable storage. The special edition is "coming soon" according to the online shop mu-mo. [via Impress Watch]
Dell at its Hybrid Business conference yesterday demonstrated what will likely be the future of its computer LCDs with an unnamed concept. The panel uses the recently established DisplayPort video standard to transmit both video and data across a single cable. The technology allows every aspect of a display -- including the demonstrator's speakers, webcam, and touch-sensitive controls -- to run without clutter. It also eliminates a lot of the back-end processing hardware that adds to the bulk of most LCDs, Dell says, allowing the new 0.5-inch thick display to "float" behind a pane of glass rather than depend on a metal or plastic shell. Display resolutions can also be much higher at 3840x2400 without resorting to dual links, as with DVI.
In brief: A security flaw has surfaced in Adobe's Version Cue software that can result in a disabled firewall, and the previous owner of babelcompany.com reports that the user who managed to obtain the domain name babelcompany.com has removed his copyrighted content as well as any misleading references to Impression. Speck is giving away a free ToughSkin to customers who order at least $20 worth of merchandise, and Aquafadas has released two new themes for Pulpmotion titled TimeMachine and Bouncing. Adobe Version Cue disables the Mac OS X personal firewall to set up certain ports that allow controlled access through the firewall service during installation on a Mac system. Unfortunately the firewall is not re-enabled once the setup is complete, according to one security tracking service, leaving certain systems open to attack.
Samsung on Friday rounded out its LCD TVs with its 19-inch LN19R71B display. One of the smallest TVs in the company's wineglass-inspired Bordeaux range, the screen uses dual acoustic chambers to hide its 6W stereo speakers while providing the expected sound. All of Samsung's typical image quality boosts are present, including DNIe for scrubbing noise from the signal and boosting color details: Samsung claims a 600:1 contrast ratio which is strong for the size. An 8ms response time is quick enough for movies and games.
Nokia this morning finished the week with the introduction of the 3109 Classic. Thought of as a balance between the basics and useful features, the phone includes Bluetooth and a microSD slot for its built-in music player but strips out any sort of digital camera; the choice suits both those who don't want to pay for the excess of a camera or businesses where photography could be a security risk, Nokia says. The phone also boasts other slightly above-basic features such as an e-mail client and speakerphone. Battery life is rated at 4 hours of active talk time and 16 days on standby.
Owners of Apple's 24-inch iMac can now enjoy the greater speeds and enhanced range of 802.11n wireless connectivity via QuickerTek's new upgrade. The 802.11n upgrade is made to the same specifications as the Apple wireless networking card, according to QuickerTek, and comes with a second antenna to complete the MIMO functionality. The upgrade works with all common Wi-Fi equipment, including 802.11b, g, and n as well as Apple's AirPort gear. The company offers a user-installed upgrade for $180 alongside its installation upgrade service for $200 plus shipping. The upgrade requires Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later, is supplied with QuickerTek software, and is backed by a 1-year warranty on parts and labor.
Bucking the trend for phone releases in the West, Canadian cell provider Fido today announced that it was the first to pick up the Nokia 6300 in North America. First introduced for Europe in a fall preview, the device brings the media focus of more recent Nokia phones to a candybar platform with an FM radio, AAC/MP3 music playback, 135MB of built-in memory, and a microSD card. A 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and EDGE are also stock.
Chipmaker AMD today launched one of its first clear challenges to Intel's Core platform. Codenamed "Puma," the platform is a combination mainboard and CPU which will both be much faster than today's hardware while also fine-tuning battery life. A new CPU architecture, nicknamed "Griffin," will be one of AMD's first explicitly tailored for mobile use. In contrast to the current Turion 64 X2, which is fundamentally an Athlon converted for notebook use, "Griffin" will have completely independent power levels for each processor core as well as the HyperTransport system links; the system can lower clock speeds and power draw whenever the system idles or is put into a power-saving mode.
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