Copyright © 2015
With the release of the iPhone expected next month, a new interview reveals that "customer experience" helped bridge the gap between Apple and AT&T on many iPhone-related issues and Google applications may be available for the iPhone. Digging for more color on the (high) price compared with other devices/phones, the interview reveals that Google may be releasing its software as "widgets" for the phone and that the (high) price could be justified because it may replace three devices--your iPod, cell phone, and Blackberry/Treo.
One Mac developer has released ScreenRecycler 1.0, a utility designed to turn a second computer into a second screen. ScreenRecycle uses VNC as a transport protocol, enabling the software to work with PC and Linux systems as well as Macs. ScreenRecycler runs natively on Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary, and uses Apple's Bonjour technology to automatically set up the network to enable another screen with no configuration. Once the connection is established, the extra display appears in the system preferences pane and is adjustable as any other screen. The software is priced at $30 and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later, as well as a VNC client.
In brief: Software arrives for watching YouTube videos on the Apple TV, MacNN reviews a battery for the iPod video, Iconkits produces new collections, and baseball fans witness unusual changes at the iTunes Store. Though it is possible to manually convert YouTube videos for the Apple TV, a plug-in called A Series of Tubes allows users to browse popular categories (Recently Featured, Week's Most Viewed, etc.) without the extra effort. It does however require v0.5 or later of Perian on the settop, and Tubes is installed through software such as ATVLoader.
An avid Mac developer has released an Apple TV plug-in SDK (Software Development Kit) titled BackRow Developers' Kit. The project includes the headers for BackRow framework, iPhotoAccess framework, and QuartzComposer frameworks -- all of which are required to run appliance plug-ins as well as the BackRow Test application. A project template for Xcode provides everything necessary to start a custom appliance plug-in, creating the Info-plist with the required elements as well as Appliance and ApplianceController classes with links in the appropriate frameworks. The SDK is available for download, and several BackRow programming tutorials are posted on the developer's website.
Showing at the Automotive Engineering Exposition, Toshiba has revealed two new technologies which may soon find their way into commercial products. The biggest of the two may be a car-based HD DVD player, the first of its kind, developed in conjunction with Alpine. The few facts known about it include the existence of a working prototype which is large in girth, and that a public release should happen sometime in 2008. The second technology is a unique LCD display that integrates an optical sensor for each pixel. This means that rather than relying on standard touch technology, it can be controlled by finger shadows during the day, or finger reflections when operated at night. The display also uses no film coating, improving cost, brightness and contrast. No timeframe has been set for commercial use, but Toshiba is reportedly eager to put the LCD into production. [via Tech-On]
TagBot 1.1 ($20) tags and filters files by user-created keywords, which can be assigned by right-clicking in Finder, or dragging a file to the TagBot palette. Double-clicking on a keyword shows all the associated files. Version 1.1 allows users to tag folders and Safari bookmarks, and now has better support for MailTags and Address Book. The app is a Universal Binary for Mac OS X 10.4. [Download - 4.6MB] iShowU 1.34 ($21) captures and records whatever is displayed on screen, as well as all audio, whether from programs or a microphone. The mouse cursor can be disabled, and video can be in any format supported by QuickTime, including H.264 and Apple Anumation. The v1.34 update allows a much broader variety of audio settings, and will automatically tweak video size to be a multiple of 32. The performance of high framerate recording has also been dramatically improved. [Download - 7.3MB] RapidoSerial 1.1 (free) organizes a backup of all the serial numbers, license files and other critical information associated with purchased software. The v1.1 update allows the database to be encrypted through a password, and an assistant simplifies adding software. The user interface has been updated as well, and several bugs have been fixed. Mac OS X 10.4 or higher is required. [Download - 1.4MB] ChangeShortName 1.3 (donation) bypasses the normally difficult process of changing a Mac OS X account's short name, which is distinguished from the long name adjustable in System Preferences. The app runs a Unix script which can also be accessed separately, and may be able to repair problems caused by a manual name change. The latest version has been rewritten in Cocoa with a new interface; as a result, it is no longer compatible with Mac OS X 10.2. Users must instead be running Mac OS X 10.3 or later. [Download - 424KB] HoudahGeo 1.1.1 ($30) links photos with the coordinates at which they were taken, storing the information in EXIF tags, or exporting it to KMZ files for viewing images within Google Earth. If paired with a log from a GPS receiver, coordinates can be inserted automatically. Version 1.1.1 has a separate image preview window, and can send photos directly to Flickr. An image-loading crash bug has been eliminated. Mac OS X 10.4.8 is required. [Download - 5.1MB] FriendSaver 0.93 (free) is a screensaver program that pulls photos from a user's Facebook friends; any photo tagged with a friend's name will be inserted. New photos are downloaded automatically, and users can filter what's displayed by both name and gender. FriendSaver is a Universal Binary for Mac OS X 10.4 or higher, and is also dependent on a broadband Internet connection. [Download - 213KB]
DontCrac[k] & Nomad Factory have released the new Nomad Factory Blue Tubes Effects Pack, the third such pack designed for use with any VST - RTAS/AS and AU audio sequencer host. Designed by musicians for musicians, the Blue Tubes Effects Pack is a collection of six high quality plug-ins processors with a "Dual Analog Chorus," "Analog Phaser," "Vintage Oilcan Echo," "Tempo Delay," "Stereo Imager," and an "Analog Valve Driver." Designed to improve the quality of digital sound recordings, the bundle aims to recreate the warm sound qualities of classic analog hardware. The Blue Tubes Effects Pack is available for $230, and is also available as part of the Blue Tubes Bundle V3 for $400 containing the "Equalizer Pack," "Dynamic Pack," and "Analot TrackBox."
ActiveState has released its Tcl Dev Kit (TDK) 4.0 as well as Komodo IDE 4.1, and announced the winers of the Komodo Extensibility Challenge at RailsConf 2007. Tcl Dev Kit 4.0 is the latest revision of ActiveState's multi-platform toolkit for creating and deploying professional Tcl applications, providing essential tools for building self-contained installation-free executables. Komodo IDE 4.1 is a multi-platform, multi-language IDE for dynamic languages and Ajax technologies that features the most advanced Ruby and Rails editing as well as debugging in any development tool, according to ActiveState. Tcl Dev Kit 4.0 is available for $300 until June 22nd, while Komodo IDE is priced at $300.
Microsoft is already ahead of its shipment targets for the Zune, Microsoft Entertainment head Robbie Bach has revealed today in an interview. The executive noted that Microsoft has sold "a little over a million" of the 30GB players by late May, putting it ahead of the million-unit target set for June. Zunes also have a "pretty typical" attach rate per player for songs bought from the Zune Marketplace, Bach said, though the company hopes to expand its online shop beyond its traditional layout. He further hinted that the Zune's Wi-Fi could be used in the future for more than just Zune-to-Zune sharing after eventual software upgrades.
Sony is not only playing catch-up with the iPod, but also with the Apple's enormous success in retail. Apple, which has about 180 stores and is enjoying tremendous success in retail sales numbers, continues to expand its retail store division, which generated sales of $855 million and contributed more than $200 million in profits. Sony, on the other hand, is struggling to attract visitors and "doesn't get retail," according to several retail consultants. "Sony doesnít get retail. The [Sony] stores are not energized and not shop-able."
Although already contributing to Intel's Santa Rosa platform, BenQ is expanding its offerings through the Joybook S32. A compact laptop, its screen measures 13.3 inches, and it forsakes a dedicated graphics card for an integrated X3100 chipset. It also forsakes processor power, since the CPU is an 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo; as it is a Santa Rosa laptop however, it does benefit from an 800MHz front-side bus. RAM can be configured between 512MB and 2GB, while the hard drive can be sized between 80 and 160GB; the optical drive can be either a 24x combo model or an 8x Super Multi. Bluetooth 2.0 and 802.11a/g/n come standard. The S32 is being built in black and white, and should ship to Asia by the end of June. [via PC Joint]
Toshiba today introduced the Gigabeat Vx01 series, a new upgrade to its video-focused media player line but also one of the last devices to use Microsoft's Portable Media Center interface. The handheld sends off the interface quietly discontinued in 2006 by providing extra storage of 40GB and 80GB (versus 30GB and 60GB) for music and video, including protected WMA 10 and lossless WMA 9 tracks; it also includes a new 4-inch widescreen display with a full 16.7 million colors. Japan-only buyers also get the advantage of an improved 1Seg digital TV broadcast tuner with better reception and programming guides. Sound quality takes a step upwards through treble compensation, Toshiba says.
Verizon used its Memorial Day holiday to announce that the BlackBerry 8830 World Edition has begun shipping to its retail shops. The smartphone not only brings the 8800 design to Verizon's CDMA network but is also the provider's first device to support roaming on European and some other international networks thanks to a dual-band GSM radio; owners can subscribe to the carrier's $65 Global BlackBerry Service to also receive the device's trademark push e-mail anywhere they can connect to the service.
Dell plans a radical overhaul of the XPS M1210 notebook for its jump to Intel's Santa Rosa architecture, an anonymous tipster claims. The 12-inch gaming portable will not only rely on the faster CPU but should use GeForce 8400M video and will be one of the first Dell notebooks to support unified shaders in DirectX 10 or OpenGL. Ergonomic changes will be even greater, the source boasts. The use of LED backlighting will improve color and help slim the overall case design substantially. Other changes will bring the weight down from 4.4 to 4.0 pounds and introduce a slot-load DVD rewriter in place of the tray loader used today.
The iPhone is in everyday use by engineers, according to one Silicon Valley-area blogger. A visit to a local restaurant in the southern San Francisco Bay area caught an Apple employee using the device openly, browsing the web and taking photos with the 2-megapixel webcam; the employee readily admitted to being involved with the development team, according to the writer. Whether or not the device was still in a late testing phase was uncertain. The screen was nevertheless said "crystal clear" even from two feet away and was housed in a body identical to the model shown at Macworld in January.
Carphone Warehouse has begun selling the Nokia 8600, a new phone that translates the 8800 Sirocco's design to a mid-range device. As shown through early ads, the handset draws on the sliding keypad cover of the 8800 but uses a unique smoked glass shell that shows the keys underneath; predictions for the internals were also validated and very close to the higher-end model. A 2-megapixel camera, EDGE Internet access, and music playback either for MP3 files (through 128MB of onboard memory or microSD) as well as FM radio. Bluetooth with stereo support helps for wireless headphones and speakers.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.99 ( -0.02 )
Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded Herm√©s face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL
Google off the hook in CAPTCHA labor suit
US District Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a proposed class-action suit against Google, that alleged that Google secretly was given an economic gain without user knowledge. The suit alleged, correctly, that the second word in Google's CAPTCHA service was used as a crowd-sourced word identification for Google's book-scanning project. The judge ruled that the suit as filed had no facts to support a "reasonable consumer would expect to receive compensation" for the seconds it took to complete the form, and in addition, the free Gmail account provided more than offset any labor penalty incurred by the user. http://bit.ly/1o06Cir