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iPod skin with battery
A new line of iLuv silicone cases for the iPod with video that offer built-in backup batteries. The manufacturer, easyishop, claims that the battery provides a charge that almost doubles the iPod's standard life, to about 42 hours. The silicone skin is also designed so that it does not have to be removed in order to synchronize with a computer, and allows access to the Click Wheel and Hold switch.There is an included USB charger. The skin is available in black and white and is priced at ú45 or about $90.
Aquafadas has released PulpMotion 1.2, a new version of the slideshow and presentation tool. This release has added soundtrack options for the video during playback. There is also a substantial performance increase in the media manager, allowing quicker scrolling through thousands of images. In addtion, users can now export a player animation as a screensaver. Support for external cameras and microphones has also been added. The animations produced with PulpMotion can be emailed through an interactive postcard, loaded onto an iPod, used as a personalized screensaver, exported as high quality QuickTime movies, or published to a website using iWeb. The tool is priced at $45.
DAVE 6.2.2, ADmitMac 3.2.2
Thursby Software has updated both DAVE and ADmitMac to versions 6.2.2 and 3.2.2, respectively. DAVE is a cross-platform file and printer sharing solution that uses TCP/IP instead of AppleTalk. ADmit Mac allows Panther and Tiger users to take advantage of all the directory services provided by Microsoft's Active Directory, NT, and Apple's Workgroup Manager. The new releases include numerous performance enhancements as well as increased functionality for support of Microsoft's latest Vista operating system. Specifically, DAVE 6.2.2 resolves an issue where some Windows shares do not show mounted on the desktop, but are listed in /Volumes and another problem where insufficient privileges error is reported when trying to copy or move files. In ADmit Mac 3.2.2, WINS can be disabled in the Setup Assistant and certificates may be used instead of passwords for authentication when joining a Mac to a domain. Both of the updates are available free of charge for customers running the latest release of the software.
Pulsar II Microphone
M-Audio has released the Pulsar II microphone that is designed to deliver sensitivity for for high frequencies. Designed primarily for studio and stage applications, the new mic uses a 6-micron Mylar evaporated-gold diaphragm and a solid brass (rather than metallized plastic) backplate, purportedly delivering more natural sound. In addition, the Pulsar II is thermally treated to yield an additional 2dB SPL over the model's predecessor. There is a -10dB switchable attenuation pad enables users to capture higher SPLs, and 12dB/octave high-pass filter also reduces low-frequency rumble and the potential for overloading mic preamps with low-frequency signals. The Pulsar II is currently shipping and carries an a price of $200. The boxed matched pairs are currently expected to ship in the third quarter of 2007 at $400.
VectorWorks CAD, iCalamus
VectorWorks CAD 12.5.2 (varies) is hte latest revision of the VectorWorks CAD product line which spans across the entire suite of industry-specific VectorWorks products. THe latest release resolves some recurring issues that some users experienced with VectorWorks 12.5+, and improves on several technologies. The update is available for free to all registered users of the latest 12.5 versions.
Graph Paper Maker 1.6.0 ($20) lets users create custom sheets of graph paper with complete control over the graph characteristics. Version 1.6.0 adds the ability to create sheets of axonometric, trapezoid, and hexagon graph paper. The software supports a dozen standard paper sizes, labels for X as well as Y axes, and more. [Download - 1.4MB]
Password Repository 2.2 ($25) is an application designed to manage general use passwords stored inside protected documents that are accessible only by the intended user. The latest release adds a new email field to store messages used for registration, and includes a new open URL function. [Download - 311KB]
Crazy Eggs 1.1.5 ($20) is a puzzle game that tests reflex speed and hand-eye coordination as players try to help a dinosaur collect the eggs he has lost. Players click the mouse to link two identical eggs, clearing them if the line between them is less than four 'beelines.' Crazy Eggs offers three gameplay modes which include casual (no time limit), classical, and arcade. [Download - 10.4MB]
iCalamus 1.09 ($175) enhances the desktop print application with LinkBack support, enabling iCalamus to recognize when users have placed objects from a linkBack supporting program -- such as Barcody -- in a document. The latest release also introduces multiple paste functionality, 'paste in place,' and drag-and-drop support. [Download - 23.8MB]
TaskTime4 4.3.5 ($20) aims to provide a straightforward method of tracking time spent on jobs done for clients. THe software generates invoices that users can email, print, and save to disk. The update brings new date formatting that is determined by the user's system settings, and requires Mac OS X 10.1 or later. [Download - unknown]
LG J10HD cinema system
LG is readying the J10HD, a home theater system that uses cues from the Chocolate mobile phones -- these include a glossy black exterior and touch-sensitive buttons. The J10HD delivers 75W on two stereo channels, plus another 150W through a subwoofer; 5.1 sound can be simulated. Attractive to a modern audience should be the 80GB hard drive, which gets its music from CDs ripped directly from the DVD player, or radio programs recorded by the user.
900MHz 3G Wireless
Governments should open up frequencies for 3G cellular Internet, cellphone makers belonging to the GSM Association have said today. The group wants political bodies in various countries, particularly in developing countries, to allow use of technologies such as HSDPA and UMTS on the more common 900MHz frequency instead of 2.1GHz, allowing more countries to have access to faster Internet access through their cellphones. The network band often costs less to use and would get more subscribers in a given area, making it less expensive in the long run.
Sharp powerline networking
The Japanese division of Sharp is expanding its support of powerline networking with two adapters, the HN-VA10S and HN-VA40S. Each supports the HomePlug 1.1 standard, which enables users to network devices in their home at speeds of up to 85Mbps, without wireless or long strings of Ethernet cable. Data is encrypted using 128-bit AES.
Despite the relatively new technology, users should be able to quickly install and connect the adapters within minutes. The VA10S has one Ethernet port and should go on sale August 24th for approximately 20,000 yen ($161); the VA40S expands to four ports for roughly 24,000 yen ($193). [via Impress Watch]
iPhone Lineups Begin
Lineups for the iPhone are already beginning, says a photographer who has already spotted a queue. At least two unnamed men have already formed the start of a line at Apple's Fifth Avenue store in New York City, complete with stanchions (metal crowd barriers) that suggest official awareness of the visitors' places in the line. The advance line up is the earliest known so far for an Apple launch, beginning more than four full days before the official release of the handset on June 29th at 6PM.
IOGEAR biometric mouse
IOGEAR has begun selling the Personal Security Mouse with Nano Technology, a biometric input for USB-equipped PCs. By relying on the fingerprint scanner located on the top, users can restrict access to their Windows logins, as well as files, folders and website passwords. Perhaps most unusual about the mouse is its target audience, which has moved beyond businesses to include families; five different users are supported as a result. Aiding this is a special nano-coating of silver and titanium dioxide, which is said to reduce the amount of bacteria and fungi that might settle onto the device. IOGEAR is selling the Personal Security Mouse for $90 from its website and requires PCs using the controller to run Windows 2000, XP or later.
iPhone shipment arrives
In brief: The first shipments of Apple's new iPhone destined for retail sale this Friday at 6:00 p.m. have arrived in the U.S., Intel has unveiled its first Core 2 Duo chip with a 1.333GHz bus, Age of Empires III (AoE III): The WarChiefs has reached store shelves, and MYOB has created as well as filled a new position titled Product Manager - Mac Products. The first bulk shipments of Apple's iPhone hit U.S. shores via a Hong Kong-based air courier this weekend. The valuable gadgets were greeted by armed personell, broken down and loaded onto ground vehicles for further transportation, according to AppleInsider.
Clark 64 Core CPU
A new processor design may make many-core CPUs a practical reality in the near future, according to research stemming from Maryland's Clark School of Engineering. Professor Uzi Vishkin and his PhD student assistant Xingzhi Wen say they have developed a new management method that overcomes the efficiency roadblocks of today's technology, allowing nearly anyone to write programs that can use many cores at once. The view of the processor from a developer's end is so simple that even local high student schools have been given a prototype to write test programs, the Clark School says.
iLive high-end iPod stereo
The new IHT3807DT by iLive is distinguished from other iPod-ready stereos by being considerably more feature-complete. It is first of all a 2.1-channel system, equipped with a subwoofer for better low-end response; True 3D and SRS TruBass further enhance output. The dock meanwhile is a motorized drawer, and should be able to charge and play any type of iPod -- including minis, nanos and shuffles, the last of which is often ignored by electronics makers. The stereo connects to a computer through a USB cable, and video can be broadcast through composite or S-Video ports.
Fujitsu H264 HDTV Broadcas
Two Japanese TV stations have successfully made the first HD broadcasts between each other using the H.264 video format that could change the way TV is sent, their hardware partner Fujitsu announced today. All Nippon Network and TV Asahi together used a new encoding technique combined with Fujitsu's IP 9500 encoder box to squeeze normally large HD video into half the bandwidth. The technique allows the TV to be sent from station to station even across public fiber optic lines where the much larger MPEG-2 would be impractical or impossible, Fujitsu says.
$200 million iPhone launch
The iPhone could bring in up to $200 million in revenue for Apple and AT&T on its first day of availability according to some analysts. Based on the fact that there are 162 Apple retail stores and 1,800 AT&T outlets, there will be almost 2,000 stores pushing the iPhone. Speculation holds that stores will receive 100 to 250 phones. Based on the notion that all stores will sell out, Apple stands to sell some 392,000 iPhones. With an average price of $550, that's $216 million in revenue on the evening of June 29. TheStreet reports "To put that in perspective, Wall Street analysts expect Apple to post third-quarter revenue of $5.28 billion -- which works out to around $59 million a day. So the iPhone alone could do more than triple the revenue the company typically brings in in a given day. Some analysts have calculated that given the iPhone's lush margins, every 1 million iPhones equals 6 cents per share bottom-line profit. So June 29 looks to be worth $2 million in profit, or about 2 cents a share."
HyperStudio update coming
Software MacKiev has announced that the company recently purchased Roger Wagner Publishing along with the HyperStudio trademark from Sunburst Technology. Wagner, who founded Roger Wagner Publishing in 1978, is collaborating with Software MacKiev on a new generation of HyperStudio products. A new edition of the software, HyperStudio 5, is planned for release in late Summer of 2007 following a preview version that will demo next week at the National Educational Computing Conference in Atlanta (booth 316).
Intel Core 2 Duo E6750
Intel today released public details of its first home processors specifically built for its recent 3-series ("Bearlake") platform. Like the Xeon 5300 released last fall, the 2.66GHz E6750 and 3GHz E6850 each sport a faster 1,333MHz bus (versus 1,066MHz) that helps shuttle data from the two cores to the main system. Each carries the 4MB of level 2 cache used on Intel's faster dual-core chips and supports all the features, including 64-bit code as well as virtualization.
SageTV 6.2 unveiled
SageTV has unveiled SageTV 6.2, an update to its self-titled software for Mac that enables users to watch, pause, and record TV programs on Mac systems. The update along with SageTV Media Extender will also allow users to view Mac-based photos, music, and video files on any TV in the home. SageTV 6.2 promises to offer Apple TV as well as iTunes integration, delivery of Google Video to the TV, support for digital video broadcasts, playback of unencrypted DVDs from the hard drive, and access to live TV on an iBook from anywhere in the world (system requirements were unavailable). SageTV Placeshifter connection licenses are available for $30 each, while SageTV Media Center 6.1 ($80) and SageTV Media Center with Placeshifter license combo ($100) are also available.
JVC 88-series LCDs 2007
JVC used the relative quiet of Monday to launch four LCDs in its 1080p Series TV range that push the level of quality for relatively small but full-featured sets. Beyond the full HD resolution listed for the sets, every model includes dual HDMI 1.3 inputs that support extra color from the right Blu-Ray and HD DVD players and a freshly redesigned remote that can be programmed to navigate other home theater equipment, such as DVD players. JVC's latest Genessa video decoder chip is onboard for color and noise correction, as is a USB port for playing photos directly from a flash stick or hard drive.
ID2Q7 comes to Intel Macs
Markzware today released InDesign to QuarkXPress 7 (ID2Q7) as a Universal Binary that runs natively on Intel-based Macs. The conversion tool allows users to easily convert InDesign content into a new QuarkXPress document, offering speed advantages on newer Macs by taking advantage of the Intel processor-based systems. The XTension for Quark provides a way to migrate content into a different work environment while saving hassles related to re-scanning, re-keying, and reformatting. ID2Q7 is priced from $200, and requires QuarkXPress 7. Free upgrades are available for InDesign to QuarkXPress 7 2.x users.
iPhone Data Plan Leak
The iPhone will launch this week with a special data plan attached to it, according to high-placed source with access to AT&T. The contacts claim that the provider has decided to create a custom plan for the device, known internally as the "iPlan," that will enable all its features without requiring a premium. Current details reportedly call for a price between $35-45 per month that would offer unlimited Internet access over EDGE as well as a minimum of 2,000 SMS messages. The plan may even grow to include unlimited texting, the source says.
O2 Helen in the works?
Phone carrier O2 is said to be readying a previously unseen product, the Helen. According to the Arabic-language site ce4arab, the phone is a successor to the Xda Stealth, and should run Windows Mobile 6 off a 520MHz processor with 64MB of RAM and 256MB of ROM. Extra storage comes in the form of microSD cards. Broadband comes in the form of EDGE and UMTS, the latter allowing video calls from a VGA front-mounted camera; a two-megapixel unit on the back performs more standard functions.
Fujitsu LifeBook FMV-T8140
Fujitsu is preparing the FMV-T8140, a 12.1-inch tablet/laptop PC that is notable for several reasons. It is for instance extremely light, weighing just 3.3 pounds compared to other laptops closer to four. It is also able to fit 16 or 32GB of SSD (flash) storage, or alternately, 30 to 80GB of regular hard drive space. The default battery life is a lengthy 7.5 hours, but Fujitsu claims this can be extended to 11.3 hours through a separate battery pack.
Mac OS X, Vista on PCs
In brief: A new guide as surfaced explaining how to install Mac OS X 10.4.9 on an Intel or AMD Windows machine while dual booting with Windows Vista, Apple is preparing to open its Woodland Hills retail store at 7021 S. Memorial Drive in Oklahoma, and Apokalypse Software has acquired the productivity applications Mori and Clockwork from Hog Bay Software. A guide has surfaced online describing the steps necessary to install Mac OS X 10.4.9 on a non-Mac system using an Intel or AMD processor. The guide further offers support for dual booting between Mac OS X and Windows Vista, but warns that downloading a pre-patched version of Mac OS X 10.4.9 install image is illegal and that the installation procedure for Mac OS X on a PC is illegal for most people anyway.
Kaplan SAT Prep for iPod
Apple has released a new game for its video iPod titled Kaplan SAT Prep 2008, which the company says has helped more than three million students score higher on admissions exams and get into the nation's top colleges and universities. "Kaplan's effective program of practice, review, and test-taking strategies has made Kaplan the best-selling test prep software brand. Now, Apple is bringing Kaplan's exclusive test-taking strategies and tips to the iPod so you can prepare for your college admissions any time, anywhere." The game requires a fifth-generation or newer video iPod with iPod Software 1.2 or later.
Viewsonic VAx16 LCDs
Viewsonic today used the opportunity of an education expo to update its Value Series LCDs with three new models. The two high-end models, the 19-inch widescreen VA1916w and the standard-ratio VA916, each bring dynamic contrast to a segment that rarely gets such an option: the backlight can automatically dim to raise the contrast ratio up to 2,000:1 for bolder colors. Each is also quick enough for games and movies with 5ms pixel response, according to ViewSonic's estimates. Brightness is rated at 300 nits. A third display, the 17-inch VA1716w, relies on a static 500:1 contrast ratio and 250-nit brightness but adopts the widescreen format for movie watchers or two-page spreads.
Holt Biology 2008 on iPod
Publisher of secondary education Holt, Rinehart and Winston this week has released a new interactive online edition of Holt Biology 2008 at the National Educational Computing Conference in Atlanta. The resource offers audio readings as a direct read of the student edition, allowing users to listen to a textbook in English or Spanish on an iPod or other digital music player. Students can also view biology concepts in action with animated tutorials illustrating processes such as diffusion and osmosis. Additional resources include highlighting, annotating, Live Ink Reading Help, a multilingual glossary, scientific and graphing calculators, the periodic table, and a complete set of student and teacher resources highlighted at point-of-use in the chapter. The Holt Biology online edition is available as a one-year or six-year subscription or in tandem with the bound hardcover edition (pricing was unavailable).
OS X update brings popping
Apple's latest system update, which brings Macs running Mac OS X Tiger to version 10.4.10, appears to either uncover or cause a strange 'popping' sound in some of the company's desktop and portable systems. Afflicted users who experience pops at various intervals as well as just prior to sounds playing have flocked to Apple's own support forums seeking answers to the annoying issue, which has thus far affected Intel-based Mac minis as well as Intel-based iMacs and Apple's Intel-based laptops. Several users even report problems with older G5 systems, although these reports are far less frequent.
NEO 2 adds wireless
AlphaSmart has announced an upgrade to its NEO educational computer, the NEO 2. As with the original NEO, the primary purpose of the NEO 2 is classmroom tasks such as keyboarding, writing and quizzes, with Internet access being deliberately removed -- since it may lure students into games, web browsing or instant messaging. The NEO 2 introduces wireless interaction by way of an RF transmitter, which on a simple level enables tasks such as printing remotely, but can also be used for assigning quizzes and receiving instant feedback. Schools will be able to order the computer in August, although the Accelerated Reader SmartApplet will only gain wireless quiz support in March of 2008.
BetUS Bets on iPhone
Online gambling firm BetUS has calculated some of the odds for the iPhone's success, the company revealed today. Giving the same attention to the device that it normally would to sports, the betting house has calculated several factors that could determine its success or failure. Certain outcomes are already fairly likely, BetUS says. Stock value is 1:2 likely to spike by 10 percent or more the next trading day. Odds are also 5:6 that the phone will sell 12 million units in 2008; these chances also carry over to the iPhone's sales in the first month, which BetUS claims are equally likely (5:6) to climb over or dip under 1.2 million units in July.
Scenario Poker for iPhone
Claiming to be one of the first third-party developers to target the iPhone, Scenario Software has announced v2.6 of Scenario Poker, its Texas Hold 'Em tournament game. Though the current v2.5 of the game is a widget for the Mac OS X Dashboard, the upcoming release (due after the iPhone debut on June 29th) will be as a "Web 2.0" application, with another desktop widget version to follow. Players of Scenario Poker compete in three-round shootout tournaments with up to 27 computer opponents, losing only when all chips are gone. The widget costs $10 to unlock, and for a limited time the same activation code will be applicable on the iPhone.
Plaxo today revamped its sync platform with Plaxo 3, a new version of its tool that brings contacts and calendars to multiple systems. The new version unifies not only Internet-only services such as Google Calendar and Yahoo but also disparate Mac OS X and Windows systems: Address Book, iCal, and other services from the former can pair up their data with Windows systems running Outlook or Windows Mail as well as many smartphones. A new feature dubbed the Sync Dashboard helps expand the number of platforms in sync just by adding new endpoints; users can also now use a feature titled Plaxo Pulse to make sure all platforms are up to date on friends' Flickr photo updates, Amazon lists, and contact changes.
Dell Latitude D430 Leak
The final details of Dell's Latitude D430 have been revealed, courtesy of the inadvertent posting of a Taiwanese product page [since pulled]. Confirming some early details, the 12-inch widescreen ultraportable jumps from last year's Core Duo to the latest 1.2GHz, ultra-low voltage Core 2 Duo and 802.11n Wi-Fi. Buyers will also be able to replace the 1.8-inch rotating hard disk with a 32GB solid-state drive for rougher conditions or extra reliability.
NY Magazine: Jobs at peak
A new article raises the question of whether Apple CEO Steve Jobs has reached the peak of his performance in business, and is about to head downhill. Chronicling Jobs' history, New York Magazine observes that one of Jobs' primary strengths has been maintaining a narrow focus, something which he may be losing with the release of first the Apple TV and then the iPhone. More important, says the magazine, is that Apple has always attempted to do everything in-house, which has allowed Jobs' understanding of consumer desire to flourish. With the iPhone, Jobs is now dependent on another company -- AT&T -- to deliver the signature Apple experience.
Seagate Barracuda 1TB
Seagate this morning took the wraps off the Barracuda 7200.11, the company's first one-terabyte hard drive and one of the few to follow in the wake of Hitachi's 7K1000. In addition to reaching the current storage peak using only four platters versus five, the disk is the fastest high-capacity drive to date, the storage maker says. Sustained transfers hold out at 105MB/sec, making the single drive faster than some external RAID-striped drives. Power use is low at 8W idle, and combines with the four platters to cut down on the heat that damages drives in long-term use. A business version, the Barracuda ES.2, adds an SAS connector alongside Serial ATA as well as advanced power management tools.
Nokia E61i and E65 in US
Nokia on Monday said that it has started shipping the E61i and E65 (pictured) to the US, marking the first time the E-series smartphones are easily available in the country. Both bring customized software for getting work done and also for synchronizing the phones when put on a company network; nevertheless, both also pack 2-megapixel cameras, music and video playback, and microSD for storage. Either phone can also use Wi-Fi for connecting to the Internet when built-in EDGE support (and WCDMA for some areas) is impractical, the company says.
Epson Perfection V200
Epson on Monday announced the Perfection V200 Photo, its newest consumer USB 2.0 scanner featuring a high-quality 4800 dpi optical resolution and featuring the ability to scan photos or film with just one touch. Users can scan 3D objects with Epson's unique high-rise 180-degree lid and enjoy features such as photo restoration and Advanced Digital Dust and Scratch Correction. The Perfection V200 Photo features 4800 dpi optical resolution with 48-bit color scanning and 3.2 dynamic range for high quality scans of images, documents and objects. It offers four convenient front panel one-touch buttons for users to scan, copy directly to e-mail or produce PDFs as well as offers precision film scanning to create enlargements up to 14"x21". The innovative high-rise lid can accommodate oversized and 3D objects, while a built-in transparency unit to scan 35mm slides and negatives is also included.
Digieffects acquires Buena
Video plugin developer Digieffects today announced the purchase of Buena Software from Toolfarm. The Buena Software plug-ins for Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro and Apple Final Cut Pro offer creative image processing and color manipulation to 3D depth effects and include: Au Naturel ($150) for 32-bit per channel floating point linear RGB color space editing; Depth Cue ($200) for realistic depth effects to 3D layers; Swatch Buckler ($50) for a floating color palette in After Effects; and Effect Essentials ($250) for various video effects. Digieffects said it would streamline the product line-up and offer new, lower prices effective immediately: both Effect Essentials and Au Naturel will be combined into a single package called the Buena Effects Pack ($200); Depth Cue ($200) will be available for the same price; and Swatch Buckler (AE 4/6, not Universal) is now available as a free download.
SanDisk Cruzer Contour
SanDisk today revealed that it has begun shipping the Cruzer Contour, its self-proclaimed unique spin on USB flash drives. Made for a premium feel with glossy black and metal, the drive's signature feature is protection for the USB port that avoids the use of caps or switches: sliding the main body back and forth exposes the connector by itself. The flash stick is also fast with an 18MB/sec write speed twice as fast as any of the company's earlier in-store drives, and is also faster at reading data, reaching 25MB/sec.
Samsung 64GB SSD Ships
Samsung this morning revealed that it has started shipping its new 64GB SSD, the first 1.8-inch drive with its capacity to reach PC builders. Announced at CTIA, the drive uses a 51 nanometer process to achieve the record density and brings with it all the advantages of flash-based disks. Startup and average load times are faster, Samsung says; the drive is also skip-proof and is set to last longer than the average rotating hard disk. Power consumption is a small 0.4 watts and helps improve battery life by as much as 20 percent.
AT&T preps for "iDay"
The largest mobile carrier in the US is preparing this week for the much-hyped iPhone launch event--almost two-years in the making: "iDay", as the company calls it, is Friday and the company has gone to extraordinary lengths to make the launch successful. In addition to shipments of the first iPhone accessories to its retail stores, AT&T told employees that the company will be providing updated information on a regular basis during the week leading up to the June 29th launch. "As the exclusive service provider for iPhone, we're iReady and very product to play a key role in one of the most highly anticipated consumer product launches ever..and we hope you feel the same way," the company wrote in its "The Countdown begins" memo to store employees.
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