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News Archive for 07/05/30

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Apps: viAllOver; EagleFiler; MacScan

05/30, 6:00pm

viAllOver, EagleFiler

    viAllOver 0.2b (donationware) is a Universal Binary input manager designed to make Mac OS X text and scroll views behave more like the vi text editor. The update adds support for movement as well as search commands in scroll views similar to the 'less' command, and offers a system preference pane for configuration as well as installation or removal of the input manager. Line pasting also works more like vi alongside several fixed commands. [Download - 161KB]
    EagleFiler 1.2 ($40) is a utility designed to make managing information easy. The software enables users to archive as well as search mail, Web pages, PDF files, word processing documents, images, and more. The latest release improves speed as well as responsiveness, and supports copying from one library to another via drag-and-drop. [Download - 6.8MB]
    MacScan 2.4.1 ($25) updates the anti-spyware package for Mac systems designed to detect, isolate, and remove spyware, keystroke loggers, and trojan horses. The latest release adds blacklisted cookie scanning to remove tracking cookies without losing saved usernames or passwords. [Download - 3.7MB]
    Mac Shutdown 1.1 ($10) shuts down a Mac on a specified event, such as when a Safari file download completes. Users can launch the application via iCal, and can customize shutdown times usin ga setup manel with new control elements available under Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. [Download - 192KB]
    Zoorender Benchmark widget (free) allows users to test the Maya rendering power of a Mac. Clicking start will begin the benchmark, and upon completion the results are sent directly to Zoorender.com's render results database. Users can compare their times to other Macs and PCs around the world by visiting the database. [Download - 284KB]
    Page Control 1.1 ($60) is a free upgrade to the plug-in for InDesign. The latest release fully supports InDesign from Adobe CS to CS3, and resizes thumbnails to reflect the proportions as well as position of the pages. Page Control 1.1 also supports automatic updates, and allows users to de-activate the plug-in for easy license transfers. [Download - 3.8MB]

D5: Jobs on iPhone, YouTube on Apple TV

05/30, 5:35pm

D5: Steve Jobs

Giving his first significant appearance since the Macworld Expo in San Francisco where the iPhone was unveiled, Apple CEO Steve Jobs was interviewed by Walt Mossberg at the D5 "All Things Digital" executive conference in Carlsbad, California. While keeping tight-lipped about any upcoming product releases or changes, Jobs did drop some hints about where Apple's entertainment devices are headed -- in particular hinting that we may soon see YouTube integration on the Apple TV. He also commented on the tremendous growth in Mac shipments that has occured since making the transition to Intel processors. All things Digital has posted a more complete transcript and is expecting to post a video.

Refurb Mac Pros priced from $2,199

05/30, 5:20pm

Refurb Mac Pros

Apple is offering refurbished Mac Pro systems with Intel Xeon processors at discounted prices, as well as current-generation iPods with video capability at below-retail rates. Apple's reconditioned Mac Pros currently include the Quad 2.66GHz system with 1GB of memory, a 250GB hard drive, and an NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT graphics card with 256MB of video memory for $2,199; as well as the Quad 3.0GHz model with 2GB of memory, a 250GB hard drive, and an ATI Radeon X1900 XT graphics card with 512MB of memory for $3,299. The company's supply of current-generation iPods includes black and white models with 30GB ($199) and 80GB ($279) of storage capacity.

Averatec launches 1579 ultraportable in US

05/30, 4:40pm

Averatec 1579 in US

Averatec today brought out a lower-cost alternative in ultra-compact laptops through the 1579, an 11-inch all-in-one. The released system matches its leaked specs by using a 1.06GHz ULV Core Duo to extend battery life to four hours in spite of the small size and a weight of 3.4 pounds. Averatec also finds room for larger notebook storage, packing both a DVD-RW drive and a 120GB, 5400 RPM hard disk into the frame.

Blackmagic ships Intensity Pro capture card

05/30, 4:35pm

Blackmagic Intensity Pro

Blackmagic has officially begun shipping the Intensity Pro, a high-end video capture and playback card. It is capable of displaying 1080i HDMI input in real-time, and further accepts component and S-Video signals, as well as analog audio when not using the HDMI digital connection. The card itself is a 1x PCle Express board, and can be used for real-time mixing in tandem with a second Intensity product, and the bundled On-Air 2.0 software. Effects can also be applied through Adobe Premiere Pro and Apple Final Cut Pro. The card is Mac and Windows compatible, and available today for $350. [updated]

YouTube coming to Apple TV in June

05/30, 4:35pm

YouTube coming to Apple TV

Apple today announced that it will allow Apple TV users to wirelessly stream video content from Google's YouTube service to their televisions starting in June. The Cupertino-based company said YouTube will be available as a free software update in mid-June, while Apple boss Steve Jobs revealed that the full YouTube catalog will be available on Apple TV in the fall, according to MarketWatch. The company began shipping the Apple TV in March, with industry analysts projecting various results as the device develops and consumers learn more about what the Apple TV actually does. Apple also announced that it is offering a new 160GB Apple TV build-to-order option.

Apple offers 160GB BTO option for Apple TV

05/30, 4:35pm

160GB BTO for Apple TV

Apple today announced that it is offering a new Apple TV build-to-order option with a 160GB hard drive. The new larger hard drive offers four times the storage for up to 200 hours of video, 36,000 songs, 25,000 photos or a combination of each. Apple TV, which delivers content to widescreen TVs and home theater systems, offers HDMI, component video, analog and optical audio ports and uses high-speed AirPort 802.11n Wi-Fi wireless networking to auto-sync content from one computer or stream content from up to five additional computers. Apple TV with a 160GB hard drive will be available tomorrow for a suggested retail price of $400. The company also announced that YouTube for Apple TV will be available as a free software update in mid-June.

AT&T: iPhone hype "too low"

05/30, 4:20pm

ATT iPhone Hype and Screen

AT&T feels it worthwhile to drum up anticipation in the few weeks ahead of the iPhone's release, the company's COO (and future CEO) Randall Stephenson said at a conference today. The executive was convinced that the Apple device would be a "game changer" for the cellphone business and make many customers -- and operators -- rethink their approach to phones. Many casual users were now more receptive to smartphones and other multi-purpose devices than they were in the past, Stephenson said, which reportedly merited far more publicity and praise than had already been given so far.

NitroAV intros eSATA 3Gbps PCIe controller

05/30, 4:05pm

NitroAV eSATA controller

NitroAV today unveiled its latest eSATA PCIe host adapter, offering four ports with transfer rates up to 3Gbps for Mac, Linux, and Windows systems. The controller is specifrically designed for the PCIe bus, boasting an 8x physical lane with a 4x/8x electrical PCIe host connection. The card is compatible with 4x, 8x, and 16x PCIe slots and supports 10-bit uncompressed HD data as well as 8-bit and 10-bit SD video workflow, according to NitroAV. The 4-port NitroAV SATAStar Series host adapter is priced at $200, and offers support for multiple RAID levels as well as Sil3726 and Sil4726 SATA port multipliers.

Magma Effects brings Core Image to CS3

05/30, 3:50pm

Magma Effects goes CS3

RogueSheep has released v1.1 of Magma Effects, its plug-in for Adobe InDesign. The primary upgrade is support for InDesign CS3, but it is also the first version to be provided as a Universal Binary, improving performance on Intel Macs. The plug-in exploits Apple's Core Image technology; using it, owners can apply special effects and enhancements to any bitmap image within InDesign. Effects range from simple brightness and contrast adjustments to bump and glass distortion filters. The software is $50 per license, or free as an upgrade; Mac OS X 10.4.1 or later is required.

SendStation ships thumb-sized iPod adapter

05/30, 3:45pm

PocketDock AV ships

SendStation Systems today began shipping its PocketDock AV, a compact thumb-sized iPod adapter providing connections for USB, line out audio, and composite as well as S-Video. The device allows users to sync, charge, and attach an iPod to a home stereo system. The PocketDock AV includes a 4-in-1 cable for USB and AV connections to reduce cable clutter, and comes in black with a design that works with most iPod cases. The PocketDock AV is priced at $40, and works with any dockable iPod model -- including the current-generation video iPod and iPod nano players.

Study: Vista no more secure than XP

05/30, 3:40pm

Vista Security Vs XP

Most of Microsoft's efforts to lock down Vista were wasted, according to a new study. Although built on the more secure Windows Server 2003 platform and including new features such as User Account Control to prevent some automatic infections, the new OS shows "little or no security gains" compared to its five-year-old predecessor Windows XP. Systems using the default security tools were connected directly to the Internet in the study and were found to be roughly as vulnerable to attack, including both direct attacks and web-based exploits

Screentime for Flash 3.5 released

05/30, 3:30pm

Screentime for Flash 3.5

Screentime Media today announced Screentime for Flash 3.5 for Mac OS X, a tool designed for creative professionals to aid in the creation of rich and entertaining screensavers. Screentime for Flash enables Flash developers to utilize the power of Adobe Flash CS3 and Screentime's exclusive ActionScript extensions to create screensavers, while the update builds on the lighter and more full-featured screen saver installers. The latest release also offers better Mac OS X integration, and improves support for Intel-based Macs. Screentime for Flash 3.5 is priced at $250 for new users, with upgrades available for free to users who purchased or upgraded in the past year. Upgrades for other users are available for $100. Screentime for Flash requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later.

Sony intros whole-house HD video systems

05/30, 3:00pm

Sony Whole House HD

Sony this afternoon switched its attention to home theater with the launch of new house-wide theater install systems. The rack-mounted NHS line receives the largest upgrade with three models all built for piping HD video around new homes. Each can address as many as 13 different zones, playing either HDTV or a single Blu-Ray movie complete with 7.1-channel audio through HDMI; the system also handles music through an 80GB hard disk, XM satellite radio, and AM/FM. The entire system is controlled through keypads located at each zone and can be triggered from almost anywhere in the home using a touchscreen remote, the company says.

Palm Foleo official, coming to iPhone?

05/30, 2:15pm

Palm Foleo Official

Palm has at last unveiled the Foleo, one of the world's first smartphone companions. As hinted by a last-minute slip, the Foleo serves as a more powerful way of managing e-mail and work: a 10-inch LCD and a full QWERTY keyboard provide extra space for editing Microsoft Office documents or checking messages. Owners can regularly synchronize files back and forth to ensure that they stay current when the Foleo is left behind. New in the official release is the confirmation of Internet access. The Foleo can browse the web or check e-mail using a custom version of the Opera web browser and a mail client; the connection can be made using either a Bluetooth link to a phone with cellular Internet or through its own Wi-Fi. A USB port and an SD card slot provide room for peripherals and extra storage, while a headphone jack allows listening to media without plugging into the phone itself.

First DRM-free "Free song of the week"

05/30, 2:15pm

Free DRM-free song

Apple is already offering its first DRM-free "Free song of the week" on its iTunes Store via the new "iTunes Plus" audio format. The free track, titled "Lightning" by Eric Church, prompts iTunes customers to choose between the classic DRM-protected AAC file or the iTunes Plus format when users attempt to download the file. The Cupertino-based company unveiled iTunes Plus earlier today, bringing support for DRM-free music tracks featuring high quality 256Kbps AAC encoding for higher quality audio to its online storefront.

First 7-megapixel camera from DXG

05/30, 2:10pm

DXG 7MP compact camera

The Taiwanese company DXG is pushing farther into the digital camera realm with the DXG-711, a seven-megapixel compact with 3x optical zoom. It can also interpolate images up to the 10-megapixel level, and record 30fps, 640x480 video, as well as audio memos in the MP3 format. The camera has only 32MB of onboard storage, but can expand to 2GB through a microSD slot. More restrictive is the camera's ISO sensitivity, which peaks at 400, requiring virtually all indoor shots to use the camera's flash. Fifteen different preset modes do, however, include "Face Chaser" and "Blur Reduction." DXG is selling the 711 directly and at retail for $150.

Apple market cap hits $100 billion

05/30, 1:40pm

Apple worth over $100b

Apple shares soared to nearly $117 today following positive research reports from analysts, bringing the Cupertino-based company's total worth to more than $100 billion. Morgan Stanley research analyst Katy Huberty said Apple's operating leverage is still underappreciated by investors, according to a report published AppleInsider, and raised her price target on Apple shares from $110 to $150 while entertaining the possibility of shares rising as high as $225 over the next year. To achieve such a price increase, Apple will need to appreciate its U.S.-based Mac market share to 5 percent by 2007 and 6 percent in 2008, Huberty says. Additionally, Apple's iPhone will need to penetrate the global market with 24 million sales in 2008. Analyst Matthew H. Kather of WR Hambrecht and Co. also raised his price target for shares of Apple $125, estimating that the company will have gross margins of 33.5 percent for the June quarter and predicting new Macs at WWDC.

Script Timer 2.5 brings Automator support

05/30, 1:30pm

Script Timer 2.5

Script Timer 2.5, a new release of the script scheduling application from Apps & More Software Design, has been released. The tool lets you schedule the execution of AppleScript, perl, and shell scripts, as well as Automator workflows (OS X 10.4 and up only), and applications. Scripts can be scheduled to run based on time intervals, upon system events (power on/off, sleep), and more. The new release includes the ability to schedule scripts at log out time, the ability to schedule Automator workflows to run just before sleep and just before log out, and the addition of an optional scheduling engine status monitor to allow the user to quickly determine the state of the scheduling engine and to control it. The software is priced at $12 for a single copy, and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or higher (runs natively on Intel based Macs)

Business Card Composer 4.3: Text to Curve

05/30, 1:25pm

Business Card Composer 4.3

BeLight Software has released Business Card Composer 4.3, an update to its application for creating business cards. calling cards and badges. Among the enhancements in this release are a Text to Curve feature (using Export options) that transforms document into vector image, alleviating some font compatibility issues. An adjustable export to EPS added, image cropping directly in the document, and an option to align on first selected object is added (Inspector Alignment Tab), have also been added. The software is priced at $35 and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.

Microtek ships ScanMaker s450

05/30, 1:25pm

Microtek ScanMaker s450

Microtek has begun shipping the ScanMaker s450, an inexpensive flatbed scanner designed for the home. It is particularly aimed at those with photo film libraries, since it has an adapter for 35mm negatives and slides, and software called ColoRescue that attempts to resaturate faded photos. The bed itself scans images as large as 8.5x11.7 inches, and has a resolution of 4800x9600dpi with 48-bit color. For convenience, buttons on the front of the 450 allow users to scan directly to print, e-mail, OCR and PDF. The scanner is Mac and Windows compatible, and is being sold for $100 at retailers such as Fry's and Office Depot.

LG demos 22-inch LCD with HDMI, TV tuning

05/30, 1:20pm

LG M228WA

LG today pushed further into hybrid LCDs with the M228WA, a 22-inch computer display designed to also stand in as a TV in tighter spots. An HDMI input is built-in for accepting feeds from digital sources, including 1080p signals from HD DVD players or game consoles such as the PlayStation 3; an analog TV tuner also pipes in TV from conventional sources without the need for a separate cable box. Outside speakers are also unneeded: a chin-mounted six-watt stereo will play audio from any other source, including those connected to the component, RCA, and S-video inputs for analog video. PC users receive a third benefit in the form of USB video support, according to LG's claims. A USB port on the display can add another screen without extra video outputs or a second video card.

AAPL target at $125, new Macs at WWDC

05/30, 12:55pm

New AAPL price target

Analyst Matthew H. Kather of WR Hambrecht and Co. has raised his price target for shares of Apple Inc. to US$125, and estimating that the company will have gross margins of 33.5% for the June quarter due to stable pricing of DRAM and NAND memory, used heavily across the company's product lines. Kather is also targeting WWDC -- where he expects to see new Macs -- and the iPhone launch as major catalysts for growth in the remainder of 2007.

Fujitsu updates business drives to extreme speeds

05/30, 12:50pm

Fujitsu 15,000rpm HDDs

Targeting the enterprise level, Fujitsu has launched four new lines of hard drives that push the respective speed limits of their sizes. The centerpiece is the 2.5-inch MBC2 series, which has speeds of up to 15,000rpm -- a rarity in the business world, and unseen in consumer laptops. The drives further use SATA and the recently-developed SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) interface, which increases reliability and maximum bandwidth.

Equally new is the 3.5-inch MBA3 series, also rated at 15,000rpm, and the 2.5-inch MBB2 line running at 10,000rpm. The MHW2 BK series (2.5 inches) is closer to the consumer level at 7,200rpm, but is designed for 24-hour operation.

Elgato Turbo.264 encodes video for iPod, iPhone

05/30, 12:50pm

Elgato's Turbo.264 chip

Mobilygen today revealed that Elgato Systems' Turbo.264 hardware encoder utilizes the company's MG1264 Codec chip. The Turbo.264 is designed to assist various Macs by encoding movies for use with iPod, Apple TV, and the forthcoming iPhone, as well as Sony PSP units and other video playback devices. Mobilygen's MG1264 Codec chip is designed into the Turbo.264, enabling the Mac-compatible USB stick to encode any movie into H.264 video format. The Turbo.264 stick speeds encoding up to five times faster than the software equivalent, according to Mobilygen, and simultaneously frees up the Mac's CPU for other tasks. Elgato's Turbo.264 launched last week for $100.

Sharp intros full-screen 3G slider phone

05/30, 12:45pm

Sharp 913SH for SoftBank

As part of SoftBank's summer phone collection, Sharp has released the 913SH. Considered one of the first "full face" sliders, the 913SH moves the arrow pad normally found on the top shell to the bottom to make room for a large 2.8-inch LCD as well as hidden, touch-sensitive controls for music and video playback. It also represents one of the more advanced 3G-capable phones, according to SoftBank. A 2-megapixel camera at the back is more common, but the use of HSDPA Internet access and newer hardware lets Sharp integrate a front 1-megapixel camera -- one of the largest ever of its kind -- for live video calls and recording clips.

New Office revisions challenge Mac users

05/30, 12:10pm

Office, Mac challenges

Microsoft's introduction of its Office 2008 -- due to ship later this year -- signals the end of VBA script and macro support, effectively axing the transparent cross-platform compatibility of Windows and Mac clients that rely on Visual Basic for applications, scripts, and macros. Additionally, Microsoft's recently released Office 2007 for Windows introduced a new file format -- OOXML or Office Open XML -- which is incompatible with Office 2003 on Windows systems as well as Office 2004 on Mac OS X installations. That new format is also planned as the default file format for Office 2008, forcing Microsoft and other companies to scramble for solutions in offering at lease some compatibility for future Office users, according to eWeek.com.

Samsung develops new slider smartphone

05/30, 11:40am

Samsung i620 phone

Samsung is said to be developing a new smartphone called the i620. Though nominally related to the i600, it is considerably different stylistically, since it is not only a slider but clad in metallic colors, and equipped with seamless frontside buttons. The direction pad, meanwhile, has been flattened out into a wheel. Features are otherwise very similar, such as HSDPA, Wi-Fi, and a VGA front camera; the only real upgrade is the rear camera, which has jumped from 1.3 to two megapixels. No regions or dates have been attached to the phone, but since it is merely a GSM tri-band unit, it will likely remain in Asia and Europe. [via Unwired View]

Mindjet releases MindManager 7

05/30, 11:25am

MindManager 7 released

Mindjet today released MindManager 7, as well as its new Project Management Jetpack and online map gallery. MindManager 7 is designed to optimize both individual and team productivity with Microsoft Office integration, easier browsing in a redesigned Microsoft fluent UI with logically grouped tabs, and saved queries as well as views. New map styles and galleries provide faster formatting, while enhanced ScreenTips accompany a new way to select topics with rules that users can save and apply as filters. Printing enhancements include support for printing large maps across multiple pages, headers as well as footers, borders, enhanced import/export capabilities, and more. MindManager 7 Mac is available for $130, with upgrades priced at $70 (system requirements were unavailable).

Early details of Palm Foleo leaked

05/30, 11:10am

Palm Foleo Leaked

Palm's mystery device to be announced today has been revealed, courtesy of a press release that surfaced early. To be called the Foleo, the device will be the world's first smartphone companion: the device synchronizes with a Treo or other phone to work on e-mail or office documents, providing the extra workspace when necessary while giving the opportunity to leave the companion at home or work when its features aren't necessary. The Foleo will also be Palm's first Linux handheld and will use the open nature of the OS to provide hooks for new software; besides compatibility with non-Palm devices, the Foleo should also have an Opera web browser and other software available upon its release.

Last.fm acquired by CBS

05/30, 10:50am

Last.fm acquired by CBS

The popular Last.fm website, based in the United Kingdom, has been bought by the American CBS Corporation for 140 million, or $280 million. The site's current management will remain in place however, and CBS is said to be averse to changing content. Last.fm allows users not only to see what they and their friends are listening to, but participate in related forums, and listen to personalized music streams. It is these community and syndication aspects that CBS is after. "Last.fm is one of the fastest growing online communities out there," says CEO Leslie Moonves. "Their demographics also play perfectly to CBS's goal to attract younger viewers and listeners across our businesses."

QiGO intros unique Internet Content USB keys

05/30, 10:40am

QiGO Internet Content Keys

QiGO used the opening of the D: All Things Digital conference today to unveil its Internet Content Key, a distinctive take on the traditional USB flash drive. Each variety of the Key is designed to automatically launch a media suite simply by plugging the drive in; unlike most drives, however, the QiGO Keys are Internet-connected and can enable dynamic content that changes over time: music and videos from a band can change as new singles are released. Subscriptions and other services are possible since each drive is unique and doesn't require a registration to work. Other Keys can play online games and will even create a "walled garden" for kids, the company says. Plugging in a game, for example, could allow younger users to play online while blocking out the rest of the Internet.

Lenovo revs V200 notebook with Santa Rosa tech

05/30, 10:10am

Lenovo V200 Santa Rosa

Lenovo has quietly updated the V200 with Intel's fresher Santa Rosa platform, making it only the third system after the N200 and T61 to receive the upgrade. The V200 is one of the PC maker's smallest systems with a 12-inch widescreen but includes faster chips, offering either a 1.8GHz or 2GHz Core 2 Duo on an 800MHz bus as well as a GMA X3100 graphics chipset for full DirectX 10 support in Vista Home Premium. A higher-end version also includes draft 802.11n Wi-Fi.

Maroon 5 album breaks iTunes sales record

05/30, 9:55am

iTunes sales record broken

A&M/Octone recording act Maroon 5's sophomore album, "It Won't Be Soon Before Long," has broken an iTunes Store sales record amidst predictions of a chart-topping debut week. The Grammy-winning band sold over 101,000 albums via iTunes in one week including more than 50,000 digital pre-orders that provided fans with two exclusive tracks and a Ticketmaster pre-sale offer. "Maroon 5 fans broke an iTunes record, making 'It Won't Be Soon Before Long' the no. 1 most popular album upon week of release," said James Diener, President of A&M/Octone Records.

Pioneer intros pair of external, internal DVD burners

05/30, 9:45am

Pioneer X122 and R200

Pioneer today launched two DVD writers for the home but made with backups in mind. The DVR-X122 is both the company's external offering as well as the fastest of the two launched today. The drive plugs into the USB 2.0 port on most PCs and burns single-layer DVD-R discs at 18X, making it one of the company's fastest drives. It can also burn dual-layer discs at an unusually high 10X speed for write-once discs, Pioneer says. PCs with internal IDE connections can use the DVR-R200; while slightly slower at 16X (single-layer) and 8X (dual-layer), the drive gains LightScribe support for creating labels directly on the disc surface.

Adobe offers ColdFusion 8 beta

05/30, 9:30am

ColdFusion 8 beta posted

Adobe Systems today announced the public beta of Adobe ColdFusion 8, its software designed for developers building dynamic Web sites and Internet applications. ColdFusion, the company claims, addresses day-to-day development challenges to increase developer productivity, integrates with complex enterprise environments, and delivers rich and engaging application experiences for users. The ColdFusion 8 public beta is a feature complete preview, allowing developers to immediately experience building Internet applications using the software. Leveraging Adobe Flex technology and Ajax-based components, ColdFusion 8 enables developers to design and deploy rich, engaging applications by integrating complex environments into intuitive interfaces. The ColdFusion 8 public beta is immediately available at Adobe Labs.

BlackBerry Curve lands at AT&T

05/30, 9:00am

BlackBerry Curve at ATT

AT&T on Wednesday launched its version of the BlackBerry Curve, the first version of RIM's new smartphone available anywhere in North America. The provider stays close to the original model with the 2-megapixel camera, Roxio media player software, and support for GPS through TeleNav software. New to the AT&T version is a cosmetic change to the interface as well as support for AT&T Music's downloads and streaming from services such as eMusic or XM Satellite Radio's online division.

Apple debuts iTunes U on iTunes Store

05/30, 8:40am

iTunes U on iTunes

Apple today announced the launch of iTunes U, a dedicated area within the iTunes Store featuring free content such as course lectures, language lessons, lab demonstrations, sports highlights and campus tours provided by top US colleges and universities including Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Duke University and MIT. "iTunes U makes it easy for anyone to access amazing educational material from many of the country's most respected colleges and universities," said Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of iTunes. "Education is a lifelong pursuit and we're pleased to give everyone the ability to download lectures, speeches and other academic content for free."

Samsung intros 4GB all-in-one phone memory

05/30, 8:35am

Samsung moviMCP

Samsung this morning unveiled the moviMCP, a multi-chip package that it says could spur the growth of music phones. The package is the first to combine multiple types of memory specifically geared towards cellphone use: alongside 128MB of RAM and 256MB of flash dedicated to core phone operations, the chipset includes 4GB of general flash storage for music, movies, and other data. This could virtually eliminate the need for the expansion slots found on many cellphones, according to Samsung. It would also drastically reduce the size of some devices by consolidating the external memory chips into one small chipset.

Apple launches iTunes Plus, DRM-free music

05/30, 8:35am

Apple launches iTunes Plus

Following the early morning release of iTunes 7.2, Apple on Wednesday launched iTunes Plus, which brings support for new DRM-free music tracks featuring high quality 256 kbps AAC encoding for higher audio quality. The new higher-quality, DRM-free songs are available immediately for $1.29 per song. iTunes Plus currently includes EMI's digital catalog of outstanding recordings, including singles and albums from Coldplay, The Rolling Stones, Norah Jones, Frank Sinatra, Joss Stone, Pink Floyd, John Coltrane and more than a dozen of Paul McCartney's classic albums available on iTunes for the first time.

Apple's iTunes 7.2 supports DRM-free music

05/30, 2:50am

Apple releases iTunes 7.2

As expected, Apple today released iTunes 7.2 (Windows), an update to its popular music jukebox and video management software for both Mac and Windows. Available via the Mac OS X Software Update, the 29.2MB enables users to preview and purchase iTunes Plus music--new higher-quality, DRM-free music downloads from participating music labels--although the iTunes Store itself has not been updated with DRM-free music. The Cupertino-based company, which announced the deal with EMI in April, will allow users to upgrade their current music and Apple's help documentation notes that songs without DRM protection, called "iTunes Plus," have no usage restrictions and feature higher-quality encoding.

Microsoft Surface: multi-user touch table

05/30, 12:10am

Surface: touch table

Microsoft has officially debuted "Surface," a new umbrella brand for computers that can recognize physical objects (via barcode scanning) and react to human touch. Eschewing mice and keyboards, the first Surface platform uses a 30" table-like screen that is meant for simultaneous multi-user input. "From digital finger painting to a virtual concierge, Surface brings natural interaction to the digital world in a new and exciting way," said Microsoft.

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