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One in four look to iPhone
Apple's iPhone may revolutionize both the consumer and business smartphone market--with more than one in four consumers indicating that are interested in purchasing the iPhone. The iPhone, which one CEO believes may double smartphone sales, is one of the two leading devices for smartphone buyers, according to a recent survey. While Blackberry manufacturer Research in Motion (33%) holds a small lead over Palm (29%) in consumer market share of smartphones, Apple has already influenced would-be-purchasers. "In a startling finding, our April consumer survey shows one-in-four (26%) potential smart phone purchasers say they'll opt for the iPhone - immediately catapulting Apple into a first place tie with industry leader Research in Motion (26%)," ChangeWave announced on Thursday.
Apple 6th in InfoTech100
Apple ranks no. 6 on BusinessWeek's Information Technology 100, the magazine's ranking of the "top tech performers." The ranking scheme starts by looking at financial data from Standard & Poor's Compustat. To qualify, companies had to have revenues of at least $300 million. Companies whose stock price has dropped more than 75 percent, whose sales shrank, or where other developments raised questions about future performance, were eliminated from contention. The remaining group of companies was ranked on four criteria: return on equity, shareholder return and revenue growth. Amazon ranked number 1, AT&T (Apple's partner for the iPhone) is no. 7, and Microsoft is no. 9. In addition to ranking 6th overall, Apple also ranked 7th on the list of best shareholder returns, with its stock gaining 102.8 percent in the 12-month period ending May 31st 2007.
iPhoney: Web app simulator
Marketcircle has released iPhoney, a new iPhone simulator for Web designers. The Mac OS X application is designed test iPhone-enabled Web 2.0 applications and compatible Web sites. iPhoney will open any Web site that works with Safari (Safari 3 works best), simulate the iPhone user agent to test browser redirection scripts, and rotate Web sites in either portrait or landscape orientation. The tool is also pixel accurate to the iPhone, which has 160 pixels. But since most Mac displays offer between 72 and 96 pixels per inch, iPhoney looks about twice the size of an actual iPhone. The developers say that they soon plan to make iPhoney open source, though a date for that change has not yet been announced.
SoftCare K4 5.8
SoftCare has released version 5.8 of its editorial workflow system SoftCare K4. The new release adds support for Adobe Creative Suite 3 as its primary new functionality. The company has also released an XML Exporter module for K4 version 5.8. K4 allows multiple users to edit content in the same layout simultaneously. It also aports automatic notification when layout, article or pictures have changed and offers version control, workflow routing, and status tracking. Editors can edit their articles in a layout view or without any layout.
Panasonic on Thursday afternoon grew its fixed-install projector line by two with brighter, longer-lasting DLP models ideal for large rooms and theaters. Both the standard-ratio PT-D5700U and widescreen PT-D5100U swap in a new, AC-power lamp (versus the DC of earlier models) that puts out 6,000 lumens of brightness -- significantly more than their 5,000-lumen predecessors and about three times more than the average home projector. This in tandem with an improved 10-bit color processing technique also helps clean up HD video signals while sharpening them, Panasonic says. The change in current also has the side benefit of putting less stress on the electronics and ups the useful life of the lamps to 3,000 hours when using a darker, low-power mode.
Snapz Pro X 2.1.0 released
Ambrosia Software has released v2.1.0 of Snapz Pro X, its desktop recording program. The software allows users to record any on-screen image, whether as a still picture or a QuickTime video, the latter of which can be full motion and accompanied by system audio and/or microphone voice-over. Ambrosia claims that its capture engine is 20 times faster than any rival. The new version is the first to become a Universal Binary, and has been further refined to be compatible with the WWDC release of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later is required. The full software costs $70, but can be purchased as an upgrade from Snapz Pro 1.x for $20.
Rogers HSDPA Expands
Canadians can now have access to HSDPA-based 3G wireless through Rogers in several major cities, according to unofficial reports. Although the carrier has made no formal announcements of expanding its network beyond a Toronto debut, users in Calgary, Edmonton, London, Montreal, and Ottawa have all mentioned their phones detecting the presence of the networks in parts of the respective cities, indicating a build-out of the faster cellular Internet access beyond its original location. Signals can be intermittent and reveal that the upgrade is still in the early stages, subscribers say. Completion of the core network is expected in earnest by early 2008.
HTC phone details emerge
The online retailer CTI Miami has obtained information on a variety of upcoming HTC phones, which may be of particular interest to subscribers on CDMA networks. A notable example is the Vogue, which is a CDMA version of the Touch, often compared with the Apple iPhone for its large touchscreen and similar interface gestures. Also being converted is the Excalibur, which will become an upgraded model called the Iris (S640), complete with a two-megapixel camera, 256MB of ROM and assisted GPS.
Zune 11 Percent in May
Microsoft's share of the music player market is continuing to climb, according to preliminary details of a new study published by market researchers NPD. The group notes that the lone 30GB Zune held 11.3 percent of the US market for hard disk-based players in May, a modest but significant increase from the 9.9 percent seen in January. Reasons were not given but the increase in sales is widely believed to be the result of both special edition pink, red, and Halo 3 Zunes as well as store discounts over the course of the spring, which dropped prices to as low as $199 at some large retailers.
Microsoft Multi-Touch PC
Microsoft can apply the multi-touch technology stemming from its Surface computer table even to notebook computers, the company has revealed in a demo video. Researchers at Microsoft's Cambridge, UK location have modified a standard Dell notebook to include infrared detectors behind the screen, achieving the same effect as the cameras in Surface without the associated size. The technology can apply the same dragging, pinching, and tapping motions and applies them to an otherwise standard Windows Vista install which still accepts normal input, researcher Steve Hodges demonstrates.
iStat menus, PathsElements
Friend Photos 1.0 (free) a Facebook photo screen saver for Mac OS X modeled in the style of Apple TV's photo user interface. The screen saver module allows users to view photos as a slideshow and filter by sex or relationship status. You can view random photos or advance through entire albums with tags and captions.[Download - 248KB]
PandoraJam 1.0 to build 27 ($15) allows users to listen to the Pandora.com radio service on the Mac OS X desktop. Can stream music wirelessly, record audio for playback on iPods, and submit tracks to Last.fm. Also features integration via Growl notifications, instant messenger updates and keyboard shortcuts. The new release is also compatible with Safari 3 Beta and adds an option for users to select the recording folder. [Download - 6.8MB]
ReelBean 2.94 ($15) movie converter and player application. It can convert videos to formats including iPod, Apple TV, QuickTime, MPEG4, H.264, AVI and others. It also plays over 50 formats of video and audio and can extract individual video and audio tracks into new files. Other features include a scene selection drawer, a video transparency slider, a playback speed controller and more. [Download - 4.6 MB]
iStat menus 1.0 (free) lets you monitor your system from your menubar. Eight highly customizable menu extras let you monitor almost every aspect of your system, including: CPU, memory, disks, network, temperatures, fans, Bluetooth battery levels and date and time for various locations. [Download - 2.4 MB]
PathsElements 1.0 ($25) designed to add missing functionality to Adobe Elements, especially paths. Comes as a selection plug-in. The app features a set of different paths function, bezier tool, ability to create rounded rectangles, stars, tables all in vector format for precise and easy re-editing.
MetroPCS adopts ZTE C88
While phones designed in China tend to remain in that country, US carrier MetroPCS has decided to adopt the C88, created by ZTE and recently submitted to the FCC for approval. One unusual aspect is its aesthetics, which involve copious amounts of gloss on both the keypad and the exterior, unlike many other budget-level phones; similarly, its closed shape mimics the Motorola RAZR. The phone is also notable for storing unspecified media on microSD cards, and having a USB port to sync with a computer; a camera, two color displays and stereo Bluetooth round out known features. MetroPCS has not indicated when the C88 will be available for purchase. [via Phone Scoop]
Samsung Sens Q70
Samsung today showcased a new addition to its Sens notebook line. The Q70 is based on Intel's Santa Rosa platform and shares in the faster Core 2 Duos using an 800MHz bus, 802.11n wireless, and GMA X3100 video in base models while staying small with a 13.3-inch screen; more advanced versions also pick up a GeForce 8400M graphics chipset. Its hybrid glossy black and brushed-metal shell also houses Bluetooth, a 6-in-1 card reader, and a DMB tuner for watching over-the-air digital shows.
DLO TuneStik with Remote
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) today unveiled its TuneStik with Remote, a combo wireless FM transmitter with an RF remote control for iPod playback and control in the car or anywhere an FM radio exists. The TuneStik features a 30-pin pass-through dock connector that enables users to combine the device with nearly any other iPod accessory, adding an RF remote with a 40-foot range and an FM transmitter to that accessory. The TuneStik snaps on to the iPod dock connector, enabling users to find a frequency on an FM stereo to match that of the iPod using the TuneStik remote control. The device offers four programmable presets, and syncs as well as charges the iPod. The TuneStik with Remote is priced at $60, and works with any dockable iPod model.
NVIDIA GeForce 8400 GS
Quietly releasing its new card simultaneously with the Tesla platform, NVIDIA today added a new budget card to its home-friendly GeForce 8 series. The GeForce 8400 GS drops the price of entry to the more advanced unified shader graphics of the line by sharing the 16 shader processors, 450MHz core clock speed, and 800MHz (effective) DDR2 memory of the GeForce 8500 GT but halving the bandwidth to a 64-bit interface. While slower for 3D, the card includes NVIDIA's PureVideo HD for accelerating the entire HD video decoding process for Blu-Ray, HD DVD, and other videos encoded in H.264, MPEG-2, or VC-1. It also provides the full DirectX 10 support recommended for Windows Vista, NVIDIA says.
MS: We patch faster
In a posting to his blog, Microsoft executive Jeff Jones is claiming that in 2006, Microsoft was faster at patching security flaws in Windows that Apple for Mac OS X, and other manufacturers for various Linux flavors. According to his calculation (based on the vendor's own security advisories) the average risk period for Windows was 29 days while the average risk period for Mac OS X was 46 days. SuSE Linux Enterprise stood at 74 days with Red Hat Enterprise Linux's at 107 days and Sun Solaris at 168 days. Of interesting note, however, is that (according to Jones) Windows XP SP2 required more high severity fixes than Mac OS X: 44 compared to 35. Jones based the "days of risk" data. When all threats were considered, the risk-day level was virtually equal for Mac OS X and Windows XP.
MacTranslator supports PHP
Excel Software today began shipping MacTranslator 2.0, the latest release of the company's software that generates graphic models from source code. The major update (different product shown at right) adds PHP support and namespaces for other languages to organize captured code design. MacTranslator generates models and dictionary information from legacy source code, class frameworks, open-source projects, and other reusable code assets. The application aims to provide a fully automated, step-by-step process to quickly create diagrams and dictionary information that documents an unfamiliar project. MacTranslator is a Universal Binary priced at $500, requiring Mac OS X 10.1 or later.
Samsung today refreshed one of its better-selling designs using modern components: the S480 is based on the E700 that has sold 10 million plus units worldwide but upgrades its look and feature set. In addition to large internal and external LCDs, the camera steps up to 1.3 megapixels and is accompanied by Bluetooth as well as an MP3 player for music. The flip phone is also equipped with thoroughly modern wireless, linking to the Internet through EVDO and making wireless payments through supporting networks.
iRiver W10 Teaser
iRiver on Thursday teased with information about the W10, its unique blend of Internet and media jukebox functions first mentioned at at CES this year. The pocketable handheld brings familiar media player functions to the table such as MP3/WMA audio, MPEG-4/WMV video, and an FM radio tuner; courtesy of Wi-Fi, however, it also shares Internet access and uses a specialized positioning system to simulate GPS mapping by judging the location relative to Wi-Fi hotspots. New in the updated page is mention of voice over IP; the 3-inch touchscreen uses an interface similar to the iPhone's for calling and taking messages, according to iRiver.
Sotec DS3040 desktop
Japan's Sotec Direct has launched the DS3040, a new compact PC. Its tower is so small, in fact, that it is not much larger than many "thin client" computers. Cost is another advantage; with a 17-inch LCD, it can cost just 74,800 yen ($605). Base specifications include a 2.66GHz Celeron D processor with 512MB of RAM, along with an 80GB hard drive and a DVD combo drive. Video is supplied through an intergrated Intel chipset.
The default operating system is Windows Vista Home Basic, but buyers can upgrade to Home Premium, or downgrade to XP Home; similarly, the display can be swapped with a 19-inch model. Running until June 28th is a free offer to upgrade the hard drive from 80 to 160GB. [via Impress Watch]
iPod To Computer Transfer
iPod2Computer has released iPod To Computer Transfer Pro 2.5, a utility for exporting audio and video from your iPod to Windows-based PCs. The program also allows quick synchronization of iPod's contents with iTunes. The interface resembles that of of iTunes, can can display iPod's contents in several ways, including by playlists. There are also sorting options, allowing you to view files according to title, duration, album, artist and genre. Supported iPod models include Video, Mini, Nano and Shuffle. The primary benefit over synchronization through iTunes is that the tool allows users to save the iPod's library back to the PC (two-way transfer). It also includes music backup options. iPod To Computer Transfer Pro runs under all versions of Microsoft Windows. A free 1.5MB download of a restricted-functionality version is available.
Pantech TV IM-S230 phone
Sky, the Korean high-end division of Pantech, has announced a new slider phone called the TV IM-S230. Key to its appeal are three features: the first is a minimalist yet luxurious aesthetic, concentrated on an elaborate metal direction pad. The S230 is also conspicuously thin for a slider, measuring less than 0.4 inches thick even when closed. Lastly, it has a DMB TV tuner, which is not common in Korean sliders of the same general shape. Other hardware advantages include a 2.2-inch screen and a 1.3-megapixel camera; software features include MP3 playback, a document viewer, and an electronic dictionary. Given the phone's branding, it is unlikely to leave Asia. [via Akihabara News]
HP Printers Summer 2007
Matching its camera releases, HP on Thursday expanded its Photosmart printers with two photo-oriented models and a full all-in-one unit. The D7260 and D7460 draw on six inks to print a 4-inch by 6-inch photo at full quality as quickly as 10 seconds, HP estimates. Standard images can also print at a rate of 34 pages per minute in black and white and only slightly slower at 33 pages per minute in color. Each also has a 3.5-inch touchscreen for basic PC-free image editing and a multi-format card reader for loading photos directly from a camera. The D7260 ships in August for $149; the premium D7460 adds Ethernet and wireless networking and launches at the same time for $179.
TV ad: YouTube on iPhone
Following the announcement earlier this week, Apple has begun airing a new commercial touting the availability of YouTube videos on the iPhone. The commercial, which was spotted on ESPN on Thursday morning, says that while users may be surprised by some of the content on YouTube, users may be most surprised by finding YouTube on a phone -- the iPhone. Ahead of its launch on June 29th, Apple has continued to aggressively market the device on US television, despite reports that most AT&T locations will likely sell out within the first 48 hours. The company earlier this week bolstered the specs of iPhone battery as well as replaced the plastic screen; it also revealed other details via its website.
iPhone Developers Camp
In brief: Adobe plays host to an iPhone development conference, MacNN reviews the Luna iPod alarm clock, Apple-free iPod software is compared, and Poser gains new controller support. Although the iPhone is still eight days away from release, the iPhone Developers Camp has already been scheduled for July 6th to the 8th, at Adobe's San Francisco offices. The goal of the meeting is to help produce web applications for the iPhone, as well as optimize standard websites for the size and capacities of the device. Attendees will be able to watch demos, listen to presentations, and participate in development projects. Because the Camp is non-commercial and being organized by volunteers, admission will be free.
HELIOS UB+ ships
HELIOS SOftware has announced the new UB+ suite, which includes WebShare UB+, a secure remote file management platform, with an AJAX-based interface and new file searching capabilities. The tool allows administrators to present a personalized interface for each remote group or user. There is also a web-based branding editor for selection of UI elements including company logos. Action scripts allow custom processing of files, and integrate with HELIOS ImageServer, PDF HandShake and PrintPreview for remote image conversion, PDF preflighting, and print job proofing. Other features include on-the-fly ZIP compression/decompression and server based file search via SQL database. The software requires 4 MB of RAM per active client under Mac OS X,
Apple Theft Power Patent
Apple may use power adapters to help prevent the theft of portable devices, a patent granted today shows. The company has developed a concept which would selectively disable the power adapter for an iPhone, iPod, MacBook, or similar hardware when it becomes clear that the device is no longer being used with permission, forcing the battery to run dry or limiting device functions themselves until certain conditions are met. Triggers could be as simple as a timer but could also include more complex situations such as wandering outside of a set geographical area, according to Apple. The power supply could also be set only to work with a general device class or even the system that originally came with the adapter, Apple says.
iPhone retail launch info
AT&T is expecting its retail stores to sell out of iPhones in 24-48 hours, but says it will take mail orders for delivery within 3-5 days of the launch date, according to a new report. AT&T also said it would limit iPhone sales to customers to prevent hoarding, but did not provide any other specific details. The USA Today reports that all 1,800 AT&T outlets will be carrying the device, noting that the world's largest carrier has hired an additional 2,000 employees for the launch at its retail stores -- most of which are expected to close for 90 minutes prior to the official launch time of 6 pm. The company, however, expects to extend retail store hours at most locations until 10 p.m. to accommodate the expected influx of customers. [updated]
NVIDIA today added a third desktop graphics series to its lineup. The Tesla is the first graphics chipset explicitly built for both graphics and high intensity, general-purpose computing. Programs written for the chip maker's CUDA software platform can not only use its 3D performance (drawn from the GeForce 8800 and Quadro FX 5600) but also repurpose the shader processors for advanced math. The massively parallel nature leads to tremendous gains in performance compared to regular CPUs, NVIDIA claims: in science, calculations have seen speed boosts from a relatively small 45X to as much as 415X in processing MRI scans for hospitals. Increases such as this can mean the difference between using a single system and a whole computer cluster to do the same work, the company adds.
FileWave 3.0 ships
FileWave today unveiled the latest version of its software management suite for Mac OS X: FileWave 3.0. FileWave offers distribution, installation and configuration of software in multi-platform environments. The new release brings further performance enhancements and more administrative flexibility, enabling simultaneous login by multiple administrators as well as audit logging of administrator actions and access privileges for each administrator account. The latest release also enhances the user interface, including new icons and a cleaner look. FileWave insists that new customers will benefit from the ability to mass deploy the FileWave Client on first-time installation. Version 3.0 also brings performance improvements with login and server updating. Windows and Linux versions are expected to be released in the coming months. [corrected]
Laptop drive upgrades
TechRestore has begun offering larger capacity drives as part of its overnight hard drive replacement service. The company now offers 200GB and 250GB drives for MacBook and MacBook Pro models, enabling users to easily and quickly upgrade their Mac laptops. The service offers drive upgrades within 24-hours: it includes installation of the new drive into the users laptop as well as data transfer from the old hard drive onto the new drive -- an exact clone of the users data is transferred to the new drive. As an added security measure, the customers old drive is returned to them with their upgraded laptop, TechRestore said. Nationwide door-to-door pickup service is available for the service. Both upgrades are available immediately for $380 (200GB, 7200 rpm drive) and $300 (250GB, 5400 rpm).
HP Photosmart Summer 2007
HP kicked off its summer on Thursday by launching several new Photosmart point-and-shoot cameras, including one with the largest touch interface to date. The 8-megapixel R937 (pictured) is controlled chiefly through a very large 3.6-inch touchscreen that helps edit and sort photos before they leave the camera; owners using the camera with Windows Vista or other photo editing tools can tag photos with keywords. On-camera editing also provides for slimming, spot removal, and red-eye correction, HP says. The camera comes with 3X optical zoom as well as digital anti-blur adjustment, and should be available in August for $300.
Apple responds to EU
Apple has finally responded to the European Commission's request for a response relating its antitrust concerns over the pricing of iTunes songs. The commission, which had extended the deadline earlier in the month, verified that Apple had filed a response by the midnight deadline on June 20th, but declined to provide details on the response or possible action. "They answered yesterday and we are studying (the response) carefully at this point,' a commission spokesperson told Thomson Financial. According to the report, the commission is concerned that the iTunes business model in the European market prohibits users in one country from downloading music from a website intended to serve another and that those restrictions create pricing differences for users in different parts of Europe.
SlingPlayer Mobile WM6
Sling Media today launched a new upgrade to SlingPlayer Mobile that adds support for Windows Mobile 6, letting upgraders and more recent cellphones such as the HTC Mogul stream TV from a Slingbox to their handheld over an Internet connection. Beyond the compatibility boost, the pocket player also gains some functional improvements, the company says: more devices are controllable from phones, while the remote control has also seen a visual refresh. Users of the British version also get a customized language and channel logos.
ZEN Stone MP3 Plus player
Creative Technology today introduced its Creative ZEN Stone MP3 Plus player, a featherweight 2GB MP3 player with FM radio, a clock and stopwatch, voice recording and more. The company, which also debuted a complementary portable speaker system, claims the new 2GB player can store up to 1,000 songs and that it offers a battery life of up to 9.5 hours. Like the Creative ZEN Stone, the Creative ZEN Stone Plus comes in six high-gloss colors: black, white, red, blue, pink and green, and features a smooth contoured design, so "it feels naturally comfortable in your hand."
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