Be Light Software has released an update to its new software for Mac OS X that lets users design house, office, apartment, and other interiors with realistic 3D walk-throughs. The new update, Live Interior 1.2, adds multi-level grouping functionality, 50+ new objects and 50+ new materials, interface changes and improvements. The update is free for all Live Interior 3D users. Other additions include align and distribute options or 3D objects added, improved light intensity control and light parameters for lamps and fireplaces and "Consider Collisions" and "Make Screenshot" buttons in the 3D Toolbar.
Freeverse and Felt Tip Software have announced "Tuna Pitch" a free app and widget to help you tune your guitar or other instrument. The tool includes five built-in presets including the standard EADGBE tuning, reference tones, and the option to set all six strings to any note. It also sports a high-contrast, expandable window. Also released today was Sound Studio 3.5.3 the latest update to the popular audio recording and editing program for Mac OS X. This update features a customizable toolbar with new buttons including rewind and fast-forward, a new document window layout with Leopard style gradient edges, new Automator actions, faster window redrawing and more. This update is free to all registered owners of Sound Studio 3. Sound Studio is priced at $80.
Real Arcade's Rainforest Adventure is now available as a Mac OS X Universal Binary. "Follow a path of puzzling fun through a vibrant rainforest in this colorful new challenge. Swap tropical game pieces to make matching groups of three or more and turn the board to gold in more than 120 brain-bending levels. Show off your puzzle prowess and create perpetual cascades by creating matches while new game pieces are falling into place." The game features South American backdrops, power-ups, and and is designed for all ages. The new game requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later and is priced at $20. A free demo is also available for download.
Apple today released iTunes 7.3.1 for Mac OS X and Windows, an update to its A/V playback, organization, and cataloging software that fixes a minor issue related to iTunes 7.3 accessing the iTunes Library. The previous update brought iPhone activation functionality to iTunes, and added the ability to sync iPhones with iTunes. iTunes 7.3 also enables Apple TV owners to share digital photos from any computer in the home, according to the Cupertino-based company.
A collection of images, and one in particular, seem to reveal a new Nokia smartphone. Speculation by Engadget suggests that it is a successor to the N800, which has a similar screen; the phone also, however, bears similarity to rumored N99, as linked to patents and CG art. The new device clearly has a larger LCD display, and since there are no controls immediately surrounding it, it may have an enhanced touch interface. A front-mounted camera is another noticeable difference. One factor clearly separating it from the N800 is the presence of a physical QWERTY keyboard. Electronista will bring more details as they become available. [via Unwired View]
Apple today released QuickTime 7.2 for Mac and Windows, an update to the multimedia software that addresses critical security issues and delivers full-screen support for viewing in QuickTime Player. The update also brings enhanced H.264 codec support, and includes numerous bug fixes. Apple recommends the update for all QuickTime 7 users, but warns that upgrading will disable the QuickTime Pro functionality in prior versions of QuickTime -- including QuickTime 5 and QuickTime 6. Users choosing to install the update must purchase a new QuickTime 7 Pro key to regain QuickTime Pro functionality. Security issues fixed by QuickTime 7.2 prevent unexpected application termination, arbitrary code execution, or the disclosure of sensitive information when users view a maliciously crafted movie or SMIL file, or visit a malicious website.
LG's next version of the Prada phone may also be one of the company's most powerful handsets to date, based on text embedded in an XML file as well as through separate photos. The touchscreen KU990 will reportedly be much stronger in terms of video capture with a 5-megapixel camera instead of the earlier 2-megapixel sensor, and will gain a flash to assist in dark shots; the device will have the power to capture macro still images and even record QVGA (320x240) videos at a 4X speed of 120 frames per second, which may help capture slow-motion footage.
IOSpirit has released v1.1 of Remote Buddy, software used to control Macs from a distance. The key feature is the addition of the AJAX Remote, which allows users to run Remote Buddy via the web, and specifically on the iPhone. The interface mimics the icon-based scheme of the iPhone, and is further formatted for the device's size. Users can control anything from movie and music playback to presentation software and EyeTV recording. Remote Buddy costs $27, and runs on Mac OS X 10.4.6 or later.
Sony today added a new social networking element to its still in development PlayStation Home service, extending the normally PS3-only service both to cellphones and the web. Owners of Sony-Ericsson phones such as the W880 will see an extra feature in their crossbar interface that lets them upload photos and other content to their personal spaces in the 3D world, appearing as portraits. A social networking website will join up with this feature to let users browse these visuals (including captures of the space itself) and chat from any computer.
Sony today revealed that the PSP will see its first physical changes since the handheld's introduction in 2004. The new model is 19 percent thinner than the model in stores today; the update is also a full third lighter than the outgoing version. While technical features are largely unchanged, the new version loads games from Memory Stick or UMD much more quickly and also lasts longer on a single battery charge, according to Sony. The device also gains a video output to play games on a larger screen at the same resolution.
The new M80 by Canon marks an increasing attempt to push photo drives beyond professionals. It is nevertheless suited to pro work, as it can hold up to 80GB of content, and is designed with the familiar interface (hardware and software) of Canon's EOS series of DSLR cameras. Slots are present for CF, SD and SDHC memory cards. The prosumer side becomes noticeable mainly in the 640x480, 3.7-inch LCD, as well as the ability to handle other media: MP3 music and MPEG-2/4 videos can be played. The M80 should launch in Japan by the end of July.
Not normally known for its music devices, Packard Bell today introduced the FunKey Town, its flash-based player for the street. The company builds the player around a scratch-resistant aluminum chassis but also a silicone skin that both improves the user's grip and softens the blow for a potential drop. A hook latches the player on to a back or around the neck, while a retractable USB 2 plug lets it attach to a PC for sync without exposing the port to damage or requiring an easily misplaced cap.
An independent coder by the name of Nate True has devised a way of gaining remote desktop access to Windows via the Apple iPhone. After loading a Windows PC with a modified copy of TightVNC, an open-source remote desktop, users need only browse to the 5800 port of their computer's IP address and enter a password. Zooming and panning gestures let users view different portions of the screen, while tapping will bring up a menu to execute an equivalent mouse command -- such as left-clicking, scrolling the mousewheel, or dragging-and-dropping. To enter text into programs, users simply select Text Input from the same menu, which will bring up the iPhone's normal keyboard.
In brief: Apple has filed for a series of new trademarks in Europe, RIM's CEO appears to feel threatened by the iPhone, the CEO of one Baltimore-based company surprised workers yesterday by purchasing each employee an iPhone, and Point In Space has announced FileMaker Pro 9 hosting. MacNN has discovered a series of new Apple trademark applications that were filed earlier this month in Europe. Those trademarks include two new entries noted as "Owner: Apple" and "SMS 6." Other more mainstream trademark filings include the iPhone, Rough Cut (associated with Final Cut), Visual Voicemail, and the Safari/icon symbol.
We've rounded up 10 of the best iPhone applications, many of which were developed at the iPhone Developer Camp in San Francisco this past weekend. App Marks web desktop/application launcher for the iPhone that organizes your favorite web applications, widgets, and sites. Simply tap an appmark to launch it or use the toolbar to rearrange, add, or remove appmarks. To add your own favorites, tap the "+" button and enter the title and URL. To remove appmarks, tap the "Edit" button and tap the red "-" marks. Tilt is a motion controlled game for the iPhone. To play simply rotate the phone to feed Flip who likes to eat falling leaves and butterflies. Uses the iPhone's accelerometer to change gameplay.
Nokia today revealed a software update for the N800 Internet tablet that adds Skype calling as well as the latest version of Adobe's Flash. The former extension turns the normally browsing and e-mail oriented device into an Internet phone wherever it can find a Wi-Fi hotspot and lets users either chat for free with other Skype users as well as make SkypeIn or SkypeOut calls from and to real-world numbers with Skype's normal service plans. The process doesn't require a PC to setup the account, according to Nokia.
Dell has removed the highest-rated overclock option for its XPS 720 H2C quad-core, watercooled gaming system, the company said today in its official blog. While the system had launched with speeds as high as 3.73GHz, the Texas-based PC builder has found that there are too few of Intel's 2.93GHz Core 2 Extreme chips that will run at the rated speed. The choice was made to make sure that buyers had a reasonable chance of receiving a system on time rather than waiting for chips that could pass muster, Dell said.
XM today officially launched the CommanderMT, a new receiver for its radio network which is designed for unintrusiveness. A universal connection ensures that the radio works with most existing first- and third-party car stereos with inputs, including integrated units that may not be removable from the vehicle itself. All relevant track info is visible through a four-line monochrome display, including signal strength and other channel-independent information. XM's device earns its MT name through use of the company's Mini-Tuner slot, which provides a SIM card-like ability to install and remove a subscription module without it being tied to any one radio.
Creative today stepped up its attempts to draw share from Apple, SanDisk, and other media player makers by dropping the prices on its Zen V and Zen V Plus flash-based players. The Zen V becomes one of the lowest-cost, fully controllable players with a 1GB version of the core Zen player selling for 1GB, $10 less than the Zen Stone Plus; the high end of the line is also much less expensive than rivals, selling at $170 for the 8GB model versus $250 for competitors.
Apple's total worth as a company with regard to the stock market has already surpassed both Dell and Oracle, and stands a strong chance of overtaking IBM and Intel, according to SeekingAlpha research analyst Georges Yared. "Apple's market cap is a robust $114 billion, up from $45 billion one year ago. Apple passed Dell, with a current market cap of $64 billion and Oracle, whose market cap is $100 billion," Yared said. "Next in sight for Apple is Intel and IBM, whose market caps are $145 billion and $161 billion respectively. I believe Apple will pass up both companies within the next 18 months." Yared bases his prediction on the fact that both IBM and Intel show "nominal" growth potential, and questions each company's ability to produce double digit growth over the long term.
Nintendo today unveiled three accessories for the Wii that will help with specialized game types. The Wii racing wheel grafts on to the existing Wii controller and provides a more natural feel; the device is built for the upcoming Mario Kart for Wii in mind but will work with other racing games such as Excite Truck. The Wii Zapper, in turn, is meant for games such as Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles and creates a rifle-like shape for more precise aiming in first-person shooters and other action games. Both devices will be available either packaged with Mario Kart (for the wheel) and Resident Evil (for the Zapper); the Zapper will also be priced at $20 as separate device, though no pricing or stand-alone release has been revealed for the race add-on.
NewsLife 1.0 ($17) RSS news reader with a clean minimal interface. Allows you to click the date that appears beneath each article's summary to immediately view everything published on that date from your feed library. There's also a news bin where you can drag a bunch of articles you want to deal with in one go. The program requires Mac OS X 10.4. [Download - 1.2MB] MacBreakZ 4.4 ($30) Personal Ergonomic Assistant designed to promote healthy and productive computer use by reminding the user to take a break. Based on your actual keyboard and mouse use and the time you have spent in front of the screen, MacBreakZ suggests rest and microbreaks at appropriate intervals. The new release was entirely re-implemented in Mac OS X's native Cocoa environment now ignores the "fake" user activity produced by Apple's DVD Player application and allows users to enjoy their DVDs without interruption. [Download - 5.2MB] What ToDo 1.2 ($30) task management application for MacOS X. Geared toward the popular work-life management system Getting Things Done, and designed to be flexible enough to be used for your own personal to-do system. You can assign a context, like errands or email, to each action and view all the actions that can be completed in given context.. Includes .Mac syncing, Extensive Drag and Drop support, Export to XML, Quicksilver integration and Automatic update. [Download - 1.8MB] Sticky Windows 2.3 ($16) extends the tab browsing experience to the Desktop by shrinking your windows into tabs when you drag a window towards the edge of your screen. By clicking on the tab the user can show and hide the window. The tab can be created by dragging a window to any edge of the screen (Sticky Windows also supports multiple screens). In this release, stability is improved, no more sporadic crashes, improved performance, tabs work nicely with applications in fullscreen mode (such iPhoto, DVD player, VLC, etc...) and there are UI improvements. [Download - 1.8MB] SyBrowser 8.3 ($90) can query Sybase, OpenBase, MySQL, PostgreSQL and ODBC databases hosted on OSX, UNIX, Linux, and Windows servers. Offers Point and Click generated SQL, Database, Table, Column lists and an ER Diagramme module. In this release the autocomplete list is now loaded much faster (The table and column info is now cached at startup via a thread. This process is now much quicker as well as no longer blocking typing). Also, Microsoft SQL is no longer supported in Mac OS X. [Download - 7.5MB] PreFab UI Browser 2.0.5 ($price) assistant for Apple's AppleScript GUI Scripting and Accessibility technologies. It helps you to explore, manipulate and monitor the User Interface elements of most Mac OS X applications running on your computer. The new release fixes a bug introduced in version 2.0.4 that disabled the Command-W keyboard shortcut for closing subsidiary windows and that also disabled keyboard navigation in the main browser view. These features now again work as intended. [Download - 1.3MB]
Education specialist LeapFrog has released the ClickStart My First Computer, an attempt at bridging simpler electronic teaching tools with more mature computing. The heart of the system is a console that plugs into a TV, and operates using cartridges for each program: four included programs include Letters, Counting, Animal Facts and Phonics Skills. Unlike other such systems however, the ClickStart comes with a wireless, paired-down QWERTY keyboard, and even a mouse that can be converted for left- or right-hand control. The console is now selling for $60, with a separate, character-branded cartridge library costing $20.
Polar on Wednesday released two sports trackers that it says give everyday cyclists a chance to train like athletes: both the CS400 and the CS600 with Power track altitude, distance, and lap times as well as body conditions such as calorie consumption and heart rate. The CS600 will also track the bike itself, Polar says: a 2.4GHz wireless link gauges the energy put into pedaling as well as efficiency and the balance between left and right pedals. Despite the finer nature of the monitoring, however, the extra data works with most bikes and doesn't require changes to individual parts.
Samsung's previously-revealed SCH-B710 has finally come to fruition, and now has some specifications attached to it. The rotating display is a 2.2-inch QVGA screen, and in addition to displaying DMB TV, the phone plays audio and video files stored on microSD cards. Though there is no front-mounted camera for video calls, it does have a standard 1.3-megapixel model on the back. The only wireless feature is Bluetooth. Notably, Samsung has added a silver color for the phone, an alternative to the original white version. The product is being carried in South Korea by SK Telecom. [via Akihabara News]
Easyishop.co.uk has begun selling the Cygnett Groovetoons iPod Alarm Clock, a line of bedside alarms colored to match the various second-generation iPod nano models. The clock displays the current time, charges the Nano on a constant basis when docked, and features a snooze button with adjustable volume. Time is displayed via the backlit LCD screen of the iPod nano, which makes it viewable during the day or at night in the dark. The Cygnett Groovetoons iPod Alarm Clock ships in five different colors to match Apple's newest iPod nanos, and works with first-generation iPod nanos as well. The alarm clock is priced at $65.
Koloroo has released its first free application designed for any iPod with a color screen. The software, titled MystikBall, is designed to offer answers to life's hardest questions right on an iPod. "Should I quit my job? Should I eat another Twinkie? Should I turn myself in? Just ask the questions and leave the hard work to MystikBall." Users simply ask a yes or no question, close their eyes, and spin a finger around the iPod's click-wheel to produce an answer. The software features animated bubbles, dark liquid, and a glowing theme. MystikBall 1.0 is available for free as "Careware," providing users who download the software perform an act of kindness.
WorldSync has released a minor update to fmDataGuard, bringing the version to 1.0v2. The software is used in conjunction with FileMaker Pro, foremost ensuring regulatory compliance with standards such as Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA and PCI DSS. It is also useful for logging data changes in general, and can perform rollbacks on a database, or restore it after crashes or corruptions. The update mainly addresses compatibility with the
Toshiba today catered to home theater fans in its home country with the Regza H3300. At either 46 or 52 inches in size, the LCD sets include a slot for a removable SATA hard drive and bundle a 300GB drive in the box. The disk lets the TVs schedule recording of unencrypted video from the analog or digital tuners; if space runs low, an external SATA port allows the set to record more, Toshiba says. The panels also refresh at 120Hz and wipe out motion artifacts even at a native 1080p resolution. Audio is provided on every model through a pair of 10W, chin-mounted speakers.
Ecamm Network has released iPhoneDrive, an application enabling iPhone owners to use the cellular handset as file storage. iPhoneDrive features a familiar Mac OS X interface to simplify the process of transferring files between a Mac and an iPhone, offering drag-and-drop support between the iPhoneDrive window and the desktop. The application stores any type of data, is priced at $10, and requires Mac OS X 10.4.10 with iTunes 7.3 or later and a Mac with USB 2.0 connectivity.
Vision Effects has begun shipping the third edition of Shade/Shape, a program that converts 2D illustrations and animations into 3D models, complete with lighting, reflection and bump-maps. Version 3.0 makes several important changes: among these are better multithreading for increased rendering speed, and unclamped floating-point processing in After Effects 7.0 or later. Users can also decide to add bump-mapping after reflection-mapping, or drop ambient and diffuse intensities below 0 for effects such as shadow passes. Finally, normals have been enhanced with edge detection and altered -1 to 1 normal-mapping in Shade From Normals. Shade/Shape 3.0 costs $90 in full, but only $30 as an upgrade and $20 in a render-only license. Mac OS X 10.2.8 or higher is required.
Reseach firm JP Morgan yesterday made headlines when a Taiwan analyst announced his prediction that Apple would unveil a smaller iPhone taking after the company's top-selling iPod nano, but the firm's U.S. headquarters has released a second report with lower expectations for the Cupertino-based company. Taiwan-based JP Morgan analyst Kevin Chang yesterday predicted that a $300 iPhone will ship before the end of 2007, but senior analyst Bill Shope from the firm's U.S. head office says that Chang's sources aren't corroborated and that his prediction would contradict Apple's historical approach of waiting until a new device becomes necessary for the market, according to AppleInsider.
Samsung this morning upgraded its L-series point-and-shoot cameras with three new models that all add more resolution and better software-based image processing to the equation. The 8.2-megapixel L83T (pictured) adds the company's self-developed Advanced Shake Reduction technique that stabilizes the image in programming without a significant sacrifice in quality; rather than boost ISO and add noise, the system detects movement and alters the image itself in response. A Wise Shot mode also uses the feature to produce ideal night shots: the method snaps one picture with ASR and one with flash, letting the user pick whichever generates the best quality.
Apple has announced that it will host the call for its third-quarter earnings report on July 25th. While recent reports suggest that the company should do fairly well, some newly introduced factors may skew the exact figures. The most anticipated of these may be results from the iPhone, but due to its June 29th release date, only revenues from the first three days of sales can be counted. Furthermore, accounting for both the iPhone and the Apple TV is set to be handled differently: Apple is aggregrating the results over a two-year period, this mainly because of the subscription revenues it expects from AT&T.
TiVo's hinted-at Series 3 Lite is real and exists in prototype form, according to a series of new leaked shots. The device will be closer in style to earlier TiVo models rather than the Series 3 but should have many of the same HD DVR features; the cost reduction will primarily come through the CableCARD implementation, which will include dual slots for tuning and recording but will limit one of the slots to a one-way card, which will prevent it from using channels that require an interactive stream. The remote will also not be as high-quality and elaborate as for the full Series 3, the source says.
Digg.com has launched Digg iPhone Beta, an iPhone-compatible version of the Digg.com user-driven news website. Digg.com founder Kevin Rose alongside two associates sat down last weekend to white-board the Digg iPhone application. Rose told the developer that he would purchase an iPhone for him if the application was completed within 48 hours, according to the company founder's blog post. That developer finished the job, offering features like native iPhone-like story scrolling with mini permalink pages that include the top five comments. Digg iPhone Beta allows iPhone users to login and digg stories, supports "pagination," and allows visitors to jump to any topic. Digg.com has also promised top stories 24 hours a day, seven days a week in a forthcoming version of Digg iPhone Beta.
Belkin today introduced the N1 Vision, a wireless router it claims is the first with an interactive display. A large LCD on the front lets the network's operator keep track of both Internet and local networking info: transfer speeds, a list of active computers, and even a guest access key for the wireless network are visible without having to delve into the browser-based admin utility, the company says. Capable of the draft 2 spec for 802.11n wireless, the router includes a three-antenna MIMO setup for ideal reception up to a theoretical 300Mbps and a uniquely vertical design that takes up minimal space on a desk.
Synchronica has released an update to its Mobile Gateway software, currently at v3.0, which now includes support for the Apple iPhone. The software synchronizes phones with Microsoft Exchange servers to retrieve e-mail -- importantly, however, it does not require an organization to configure IMAP, the protocol accepted by the iPhone. Rather it makes use of Outlook Web Access to send messages directly to the iPhone's mail client, where it is also integrated with the address book. Licenses for Mobile Gateway start at $1,650 for five users.
HP Labs today unveiled a new technology it says could change color matching items while shopping, especially clothing and makeup. The new system would use a buyer's cameraphone and a specialized color chart to develop recommendations. Owners would take a self-portrait with the chart in view and send it to the store as an MMS, HP says; once the image is adjusted to compensate for lighting, the store's servers would then compare the pixel colors of the user's face against the skin tones of other people and make recommendations for goods based on a color-matched catalog.
Apple has chosen Wintek to supply touchscreen panels for an upcoming video-capable iPod, say sources in the Taiwan supply chain. The local electronics maker, which produces small LCDs for cameras and other handhelds, is reportedly set to ship capacitive touchscreens without specific software controls or integrated circuits to accompany them, allowing Apple to integrate the panels with an iPod music player whose controls would resemble that of the iPhone.
You Software has announced the immediate availability of version 1.5 of You Control. This update offers a variety of new features and enhancements to a number of the modules including improved file information and handling in the File System module, integration between the Address Book module and Google Maps, an uptime monitor in the CPU Monitor module and an enhanced iTunes module for better display when listening to tracks from internet radio stations and shared music. The new release is also tested extensively with the latest build of Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). You Control is a collection menu utilities that allow you to create custom menus designed to extend functionality and usability of Mac OS X. You can place your user-created menus in a variety of locations, including the Menu Bar, any corner of your monitor screen, or you can pop your custom menus up anywhere on the screen using key commands you specify. The software is priced at $30, but version 1.5 is a free update for all registered users.
In addition to showcasing more than a dozen new gaming titles, Microsoft on Tuesday evening announced yet another special edition of its Xbox 360 gaming console as well as HD movie content from major movies studios for its internet-based Xbox Live marketplace; however, users were disappointed as there was no announcement of the much-anticipated Xbox price cut (to counter Sony's move earlier in the week). At its E3 keynote, the company announced the new Halo 3 Special Edition Console--which expected to ship this September without the Halo 3 game title bundled--as well as an expansion of its Xbox Live Marketplace to include standard and high-definition content and movies for rent--from Disney and its movie studios, including Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Miramax Films, and Hollywood Pictures. Microsoft also demoed some very popular gaming titles, including two that are available now: Sonic the Hedgehog Classic and Golden Axe.
Announcing that every game it demonstrated would be released this year, Microsoft ushered in an impressive wave of new Xbox 360 and PC titles from third-party developers and previewed new gaming technologies during its E3 press conference in Santa Monica tonight. HIghlights included Halo 3 (which will be accompanied by a new themed console), Grand Theft Audio 4, Call of Duty 4, Assasin's Creed and more. In the bragging rights section of the presentation, Microsoft said it has sold over 5.5 million Xbox 360s to date, a figure that purportedly gives it the widest installed base of any same-generation console.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.2 ( -0.98 )
Kohls Apple Pay integration with loyalty program
Kohl's customers are now able to pay for their purchases with Kohl's Charge and simultaneously earn loyalty program Yes2You Rewards in conjunction with Apple Pay. The service is currently available in approximately 250 Kohl's stores and is expected to be in all Kohl's stores nationwide later this month, making Kohl's the first retailer to deliver a one-tap checkout that integrates both its private credit card as a form of payment and a loyalty program with Apple Pay. http://yhoo.it/21wEUI6
AirMap iOS app for drone operators
Provider of airspace information and services for unmanned aircraft AirMap announced today the release of the AirMap app for iOS and Apple Watch. Operators can now access low-altitude airspace advisories, create flights, file digital flight notices to over 80 airports, and manage unmanned aircraft. Building on the success of AirMap's Digital Notice and Awareness System (D-NAS), the AirMap app brings to iOS devices a fully integrated airspace management solution for recreational and commercial drone operators. The app is free. http://apple.co/21wCadD
BlackBerry video calling available on iOS
BlackBerry has made its video calling feature available to Android and iOS users. The company reports limited availability of the new cross-platform feature for now, citing "because this is the first time we're launching BBM Video calling, and we want to monitor performance, gather feedback, and iron out any kinks that may arise before we roll it out globally." http://blck.by/1ruu4pC
Apple loses iPhone brand exclusivity in China
Apple has lost its exclusive rights to the 'iPhone' brand in China, the Beijing Municipal High People's Court has ruled. According to Quartz, Chinese company Xintong Tiandi is now free to continue selling its non-smartphone "IPHONE" branded products, which include smartphone cases, among other leather goods. The Chinese court ruled that Xintong Tiandi, which registered the "IPHONE" trademark in 2007, could continue to use the trademark because Apple did not start selling the iPhone in China until 2009. Apple also could not prove that Xintong Tiandi's ongoing use of the trademark would cause Apple material harm. The latest ruling by the Chinese government follows its recent decision to shut down the iTunes Movies and iBooks Store. http://bit.ly/1SNhRmB
Bowers & Wilkins bought by EVA Automation
High-end UK audio equipment maker and fixture in Apple retail stores Bowers & Wilkins has been bought out by a California "smart home" tech firm, EVA Automation. Fomer Bowers & Wilkins owner Joe Atkins will continue as CEO of the joint venture, with EVA Automation founder Gordon Yu acting as executive chairman. The two companies said the merger will combine EVA's AV technologies and Bowers & Wilkins' acoustic engineering talents to grow the now-combined firm. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and it is expected that the Bowers & Wilkins brand name will continue. http://yhoo.it/1SLt6zj
Micromat MacCheck released for free
Micromat, the developers of TechTool Pro, today announced a new troubleshooting utility called MacCheck. The new product can perform a series of critical tests on Macintosh systems, helping to isolate what might be wrong with a particular computer. The program quickly tests many of the critical systems in a Macintosh computer, including RAM, I/O, Volume Structures, Partition Maps, Batteries, and RAID systems. MacCheck is being offered free of charge and is available for download immediately from the Micromat website. http://bit.ly/1SKFwaV
Hyundai Sonata 2016 gains CarPlay
The 2016 Hyundai Sonata can now be upgraded to incorporate Apple's CarPlay mobile technology, which augments the built-in infotainment system in the car to incorporate many iPhone features, such as Apple Maps and Siri voice control of navigation and other smartphone functions. The upgrade is accomplished through an SD card owners can obtain from their local Hyundai dealer. Although not disclosed, the upgrade was said to cost "a small fee" when it was initially announced in December of last year. http://bit.ly/1TJzK8f