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Sticky Windows 2.2
An avid Mac developer has released Sticky Windows 2.2, boasting serious performance improvements as well as enhanced usability with better tab resizing. The software is designed to extend the tab browsing experience to the desktop by shrinking windows into tabs when users drag a window toward the edge of the screen. The update is free for any Sticky Windows 1.0 user, with new licenses priced at $16. Sticky Windows 2.2 requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
Refurb Mac mini $699
Mac mini systems were curiously absent from Apple's refurbished offerings in the recent past, but one model of the low-cost consumer oriented Mac has returned to the company's online store for $699 with 512MB of memory and an 80GB hard drive. Apple is also offering one refurbished Mac Pro Quad 3.0GHz Intel Xeon system for $3,299 with 2GB of memory and a 250GB hard drive, following a dry spell of its reconditioned professional systems. The Cupertino-based company's supply of reconditioned displays currently includes the 20-inch flat panel with 1680 x 1050 optimal resolution for $499, as well as the 23-inch flat panel with 1920 x 1200 optimal resolution for $749.
Watermelon Zune on eBay?
The all-but-official red Zune is, reportedly, already on eBay, in an auction slated to end by May 28th EDT. The owner explains that he received it at a giveaway at a party in Los Angeles, possibly at a Zune Masters event sponsored by Microsoft. The player itself is not being shown however, as the owner claims he wants to keep the special packaging in its factory-sealed condition. Bids are set to begin at $25 US. [via cliczune]
Universal Restaurant Game
The Restaurant Game research project at the MIT Media Lab has seen great support from the Mac community, resulting in The Restaurant Game 1.9. The Restaurant Game is a research project at the MIT Media Lab that algorithmically combines the gameplay experiences of thousands of players to create a new game, which will be entered into the 2008 Independent Games Festival. The latest release runs natively on Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary, allowing Intel Mac owners to participate for the first time. More than 4,200 people have logged in to date, and the project coordinators hafve collected data from 3,946 games thus far. The game is available for download (system requirements were unavailable).
PNY XLR8 8800U Overclocked
PNY has launched its contribution to the GeForce 8800 Ultra through a special, extreme-performance edition of the video card. While the company offers a reference board clocked at the same 612MHz core, 2.16GHz memory, and 1.5GHz shader processing of the stock model, the 8800 Ultra Overclocked pushes the NVIDIA hardware to the fastest-possible speeds without resorting to watercooling. PNY claims a significant increase to 648MHz for the core as well as added updates to 2.24GHz memory and a small 12MHz boost to shaders.
MainNav GPS watch
Though much larger than a conventional watch, the MW-705 by MainNav may be worthwhile for several reasons. It uses the new SiRFstar III LP receiver, and is able to track up to 12 satellites at once, saving power with an OLED display and an adjustable acquisition rate. Sports enthusiasts meanwhile can monitor their speed, heartrate and/or pedaling rhythm, and also check altitude and ambient temperature. Location is only displayed in terms of coordinates, but the built-in Bluetooth transmitter can send to a more elaborate device. It is not clear, unfortunately, whether the 705 will make it outside its home country of Taiwan. [via NaviGadget]
Samsung Mobile today hoped to share its design improvements more evenly by revealing the E210, a mid-to-low-range clamshell. The device borrows the engineering from the more luxurious D830 to produce a minimalist body which is also relatively thin for the range at under 0.7 inches thick. The choice of black or blue bodies with chrome trim also lends style often missing from the price point. Technology is also stepped up versus most budget phones. A 1.3-megapixel camera replaces the more commonplace VGA camera and includes 15 frames per second video recording; Bluetooth and MP3 playback through a microSD slot also lift the phone above most economy devices.
iRiver X20 on sale in US
Even though it is not available in an official sense, iRiver's X20 player is apparently being sold in the United States, by online retailer Warehouse123. The X20 has 8GB of internal memory for MP3, OGG and WMA tracks, and can also play videos, so long as they are WMV or AVI MPEG-4 files. Should built-in storage run out, owners can expand it through microSD cards.
Images are displayed on a 2.2-inch, 260,000-color screen with rotation, and options are controlled through a direction pad with an additional scrollwheel. The player is also unusual in that the headphone jack is supplemented by stereo speakers. 123 is selling the X20 for $219. [via Crave]
ATT Unity and iPhone
AT&T should have a new Unity phone plan just in time for the release of the iPhone, the company has said in an interview. Initially citing problems with converting unused minutes and requiring long-distance, AT&T spokesman Rick Welday observed that a new plan should launch within the next two months and arrive roughly in time with the Apple handset. The service is currently designed to simplify calling by giving unlimited calls from cellphones to any AT&T customer without consuming minutes, but could change to include extra services such as home DSL access, Welday says.
Sony-Ericsson W999 on GSMA
Sony-Ericsson's once-rumored W999i Walkman phone has been confirmed, courtesy of an inadvertent posting on the GSM Association's website. The slider on display is an exact match for the phone leaked in April and by its presence on the page confirms the use of HSDPA for 3G-level broadband speeds. Sony-Ericsson's characteristic two-letter keys from the P1 and earlier smartphones is also present. Still to be validated is the 2-megapixel camera at the back.
No MySpace in Apple stores
Apple has confirmed a ban on MySpace in its retail stores, according to crave. The online social networking medium allows members to communicate with one another, post photographs, and more. Apple store employees reported some visitors lingering for "hours" as they took photos of themselves with the display MacBooks and uploaded them to their MySpace accounts, effectively denying other shoppers the ability to test drive the small notebooks. "It is especially troublesome at the flagships and high-volume stores, and for a while there was no official word on how to deal with it," said one Apple Store employee, referring to loitering MySpace users. An official Apple representative did say, however, that MySpace is currently the only site blocked.
Toughbook Santa Rosa
Edging its systems closer to North America since their Japanese updates, Panasonic today upgraded two of its Toughbook models for the European audience. The 13.3-inch CF-74 is semi-rugged and includes its own handle for use in the field; nevertheless, the upgraded system will be fast using a Core 2 Duo with the 800MHz Santa Rosa bus as well as 802.11n wireless and a flash-based Turbo Memory cache. Specifications weren't included but should net an 8-hour battery life similar to the outgoing model thanks to improved power management.
MacGizmo 1.0.7 released
Hyperbolic Software today released MacGizmo 1.0.7, updating the application that allows users to see the content and other useful information of any selected items in the Finder, as well as other participating software. The latest release of MacGizmo features adds a new appearance theme, includes small overall improvements as well as additions, and fixes several small bugs. The application fully supports most common item types -- including images, sounds, music, video, text, PDF documents, Web files, fonts, folders, and applications. MacGizmo 1.0.7 is priced at $20, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
Onkyo jumps to HDMI 1.3a
High-end component maker Onkyo has announced two new AV receivers, the TX-SA605 and the TX-SA805. The major upgrade to both is HDMI 1.3a, giving the products support for HD and 7.1 surround codecs, such as DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD. This is partly possible because of 1.3's bandwidth increase to 10.2Gbps.
The 605 distributes 185W of power along seven channels, while the 805 is boosted to 230W; the 605 however is being made in silver and gold colors, while the 805 is only being produced in gold. The systems should first arrive in Japan on June 16th for 84,000 yen ($692) and 189,000 yen ($1,556) respectively. [via Akihabara News]
iPhone May Come June 20
The iPhone may have an official ship date of June 20th, according to CNBC's Thursday evening episode of "On the Money." The financial TV show claims to have received confirmation from an AT&T store manager that the device will be shipping on June 20th, arriving early in Apple's stated late June timeframe. While such reports are potentially inaccurate as the retail channel doesn't always have access to official release dates, the specificity of the date along with supporting claims from Bloomberg have garnered extra attention for the claim.
Nvidia CUDA, '9800' news
Nvidia has told an assembly of analysts that the first release of its CUDA GPGPU (general-purpose GPU) software, designed to aid support of underlying architecture, should finally reach the v1.0 level in the next few weeks. The application is currently only available in beta. CUDA is a proprietary technology that uses hundreds of small-scale processors to more evenly handle graphics; while used in the GeForce 8800, it must coded for specifically, and developer support has lagged behind.
Verey I anti-theft app
Bak2U has released Verey I, its notebook anti-theft software designed for Mac OS X. Verey I starts recording via a connected video capture device -- Apple's iSight camera -- when the laptop is stolen, sending emails to the owner's specified email address. Emails sent during theft contain important network information, including IP address and machine serial number as well as the MAC hardware address and nearby wireless networks. Verey I also limits usage of the stolen hardware by locking up the machine after a specific period of time, displaying details about how to contact the owner alongside other customizable information. The software requires Mac OS X 10.4.2 or later, and is priced at $50 with no subscriptions or annual fees.
RAZR2 Hands-On Details
New details have come to light for the RAZR2 that weren't part of the original announcement, according to one blogger who has had the chance to use the phone first-hand. He notes that while the external 2-inch display is labeled as a touchscreen, only the very bottom portion is active, limiting what can be done without flipping the phone open. The haptic feedback from the touch buttons is also simpler than suggested and vibrates the entire phone (similar or idential to the VibeTonz system) rather than centering on specific areas for a more natural effect.
AOpen miniPC Duo MP965-VDR
AOpen has taken a unique approach to Santa Rosa, deciding to implement it in a new desktop system, rather than the laptops it was intended for. The miniPC Duo MP965-VDR is shaped like a smaller Media Center PC, and combines the new Core 2 Duos (using 800MHz front-side buses) with GM965 motherboards, which rely on internal graphics. Buyers must opt for some of the lesser Santa Rosa features, such as Bluetooth, 802.11n and Intel Turbo Memory. Analog and digital TV support can be added as well. Further details remain hazy, including release dates, but the computer should be loaded with Vista Home Premium.
Sonicfire Pro 4.5 ships
SmartSound Software has released Sonicfire Pro 4.5 with "Smart Recall" and a "Maestro Tempo Display." Smart Recall makes it easy to quickly change the length, arrangement, and instrument mix of SmartSound .WAV and .AIF music files. The Maestro Tempo Display helps users quickly locate ideal tracks to drive visuals, and displays basic editing lengths to keep visuals in sync with the beat of the music. Sonicfire Pro 4.5 is priced at $200, with upgrades priced from $150. The software requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
Sony faces Blu-Ray lawsuit
In a move that may have dramatic repercussions for HD media, Target Technologies has sued three divisions of Sony -- Sony Pictures, Sony DADC, and Sony Computer Entertainment America -- over the composition of Blu-Ray discs. Target alleges that Blu-Ray violates a patent for silver-alloy reflective materials, which offer the benefits of gold without the cost.
If Target wins the case as presented, it will be granted a permanent injunction against Blu-Ray, at least in the technology's present form; the company would also collect damages with interest. A more likely outcome (based on similar cases) is an out-of-court settlement, since Sony has already invested billions of dollars with Blu-Ray. [via CNET]
Intel Metro and Macs
A computer manufacturer is set to produce Intel's Metro ultraportable concept, according to sources in touch with BusinessWeek. The magazine claims that an unnamed builder will turn the prototype into reality later in the year. This would mark a radical departure from the company's traditional concepts, which are often shown at the company's in-house Developer Forums solely as inspirations for other manufacturers rather than direct blueprints.
Spiderweb Software has released Nethergate: Resurrection, a fantasy role-playing game that sends players on an epic adventure in the lands of ancient Britain. "Explore deadly dungeons, take on multitudes of quests, and try to rediscover and master the lost art of magic. Play as the powerful Romans or the cunning Celts and experience two entirely different adventures." The game portrays Britannia as a land ravaged by war, with the savage Celt natives rising up in bloody rebellion against the Roman invaders. Nethergate: Resurrection is priced at $25.
Mouse Santa Rosa laptop
The spread of Intel's Santa Rosa platform continues in Japan with a new laptop by Mouse. The new m-Book Pro PR also marks a break by being the only 12.1-inch m-Book, and features a 2GHz Core 2 Duo T7300, with 1GB of RAM, expandable to two; likewise, the hard drive is upgradable from 80 to 120GB. Particularly noteworthy is that while it uses the basic GM965 motherboard, it has still been equipped with 802.11a/g/n. Other components include a double-layer DVD burner and a 1.3-megapixel webcam. Prices start at approximately $1,397. [via Akihabara News]
Stitcher goes Universal
Realviz has released Stitcher Unlimited 5.6, enabling users to create high-quality panoramas and 360-degree virtual tours by "stitching" images together. THe latest release runs natively on Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary, and offers HDR capabilities. A Japanese-language version is also scheduled for release later this spring, according to the company, which will join the existing English and French versions. Stitcher Unlimited 5.6 is available as part of the Realviz HDR Imaging Studio that combines Stitcher, VTour 1.2 HDR, and Photomatix Pro. Realviz Stitcher Unlimited is also available as standalone software for $600, with upgrades from Stitcher Unlimited 5.5 priced at $130. Realviz Imaging Studio is priced at $2,600.
Remote Assistant 3 for Mac
Pentax has released a Mac OS X version of its Remote Assistant 3 software for the K10D digital camera. The Remote Assistant allows users to control almost all of the K10D functions from a Mac system as well as trigger shutter release manually, at regular intervals, or specific times. The software also supports 'same time' synchronized exposures when more than one camera is attached. Remote Assistant 3 requires that K10D fimware version 1.20 or later is installed, and works with Macs running Mac OS X 10.3 or later. The update is available for free.
HP HDTV 2.0
HP is developing a new platform concept for HDTVs, according to a company speech at this week's Society for Information Display Expo. VP and general manager Jim Sanduski explained that the company was developing a dramatic extension of its MediaSmart TV concept. Dubbed HDTV 2.0, the technology would venture well beyond the local media sharing of HP's current sets as well as the Sony Bravia Internet Link. The unnamed sets will connect to the Internet through both Ethernet and Wi-Fi and should use the link to download movies directly to the TV's own storage, bypassing the PC altogether.
Toshiba Qosmio F40W
On a more positive note than its SED delay, Toshiba on Friday unveiled a smaller version of its Qosmio media center notebook made primarily with Japan in mind. The F40W trims down the flagship G45 coming to the US by shrinking the display to a more manageable 15.4 inches and also adopting a more modest 128MB GeForce 8400M GS that still provides full speed for Vista and 1080p video decoding. Some features remain the same, according to Toshiba: a 2GHz Santa Rosa-era Core 2 Duo with an 800MHz bus, 2GB of RAM, and HDMI output for TVs. A 120GB hard drive and a DVD burner are standard.
Toshiba Pushes Back SED
Toshiba announced today that its high-color SED TV sets would miss the expected late 2007 launch window. The company explained that Canon, which will produce the actual panels for the sets, says it no longer expects to deliver the essential parts on schedule due to the patent suit from Nano-Proprietary. The suit isn't fatal to the project in part due to a partial victory in court. However, no new timetable has been established in its place, Toshiba says, and both companies are also hoping to reduce the production costs to make the sets more viable challengers to LCDs and plasma TVs.
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