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YouTube Auto Blocking
Google will soon automatically block illegally uploaded movies on YouTube in the near future, a member of the search engine firm's legal team said on Friday. In a courtroom defending itself against Viacom's $1 billion lawsuit, the lawyer explained that Google and YouTube had developed a form of video fingerprinting that could automatically identify clips based on their similarity to a certain profile, screening illegally copied segments from reaching the site's public pages. The process takes a few minutes but would complete in time to have a meaningful impact on copyrighted works, Google claimed.
Linksys brand to cease
The CEO of Cisco, John Chambers, has told members of the European press that the company soon intends to eliminate the Linksys name. Speaking at a roundtable event, Chambers said that the Linksys brand had reached "end of life," and would gradually be replaced by new consumer products bearing a redesigned Cisco motif. "It will all come overtime into a Cisco brand," Chambers said. "The reason we kept Linksys' brand because it was better known in the US than even Cisco was for the consumer. As you go globally there's very little advantage in that."
Mattel I Can Play Guitar
Mattel and its partners today dropped more details about the upcoming I Can Play Guitar, its new combination learning tool and toy for kids and even adult newcomers to music. Similar in spirit to Guitar Hero, the instrument avoids conventional strings and relies on a video game with on-screen cues. Instead of buttons, however, players put their fingers over specific positions on the fretboard to trigger notes. The system is much closer to actual guitars while still color-coding the positions to help those intimidated by the real-world instrument. Songs are loaded through cartridges plugged into the guitar itself.
Servoy 3.5 released
Aha! debuts for iPhone
CS Odessa's web-based visual logic game Aha! has been optimized to work on the iPhone. The game is played by clicking on groups of similarly colored spheres to remove them from the board. The larger the number of items removed, the greater the reward in points. The point is to reconfigure the board on a constant basis to make it so that more like-colored spheres will end up next to one another. CS Odessa says "The Aha! game is easy to play but challenging game that features two different skins with attractive animations, and adjustable difficulty levels," adding "Aha! game was redeveloped for iPhone by ConceptDraw MINDMAP team. Believe it or not there is a connection between Aha!, the iPhone and ConceptDraw MINDMAP. All three of them can be used together in creative and innovative ways. It is easy to build a mind map of Aha! winning strategies in ConceptDraw MINDMAP, and then determine the validity of your logic by playing." The iPhone-optimized release is completely free, and also works over the internet with Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera browsers on Mac OS X and Windows platforms, making use of AJAX rather than Java.
MainNav MH350 GPS
The MH-350 by Taiwan's MainNav attempts to combine aesthetics with essential GPS functions. Immediately noticeable is its rounded, white exterior, with similar buttons on a nearby control pad; despite this, it is mainly controlled through a 3.5-inch touchscreen, for which a stylus has been supplied. The unit is limited to an extent by 32MB of ROM and 64MB of RAM, with a 266MHz Samsung processor, but it does have a SiRFstar III receiver, and it stores most of its content on SD/MMC cards. A fold-out antenna is located on the rear. Pricing and release plans are not currently public. [via NaviGadget]
GE Cell Fusion
General Electrics on Friday began shipping its distinctive Cell Fusion home phone. Taking a different approach to bridging cellphone calls inside the house than T-Mobile's Hotspot@Home, GE chooses to establish a Bluetooth link to a separate cordless phone. Owners place the cellphone wherever it gets the best signal and then sit the base station within 30 feet. The cordless phone then connects over a separate DECT signal to make calls over a much greater range than the cellphone would normally allow. This works regardless of the cellphone plan and is especially useful for those with free call time in their plans, GE boasts.
TechTool Pro 4.5.3 ($100) maintenance tool that helps recover, repair, and optimize your Mac. Includes options to check critical computer hardware, repair hard drive problems and monitor computers in the background for impending problems. The new release has updated Volume Structures and Optimization routines, updated Volume Journaling feature for Intel-based Macs, integration of the TechTool Pro 4 Security Patch, added compatibility for new Macintosh models up through June, 2007 and other minor changes and feature enhancements. [Download - 25.6MB]
MacGizmo 1.0.8 ($45) allows you to see the content and other useful information of any selected items in the Finder and of other participating software programs. Currently fully supports most of the common kinds of items that populate a disk, like: images, sounds, music, video, text, pdfs, web files, fonts, folders, applications and many more. The new release adds a button in the main window that allows the application to be put to sleep and fixes a bug that caused crashes when certain types of files were selected. [Download - 2.7MB]
MacFamilyTree 4.5.0 ($50) genealogy application. This release adds a new report "Birthdays", showing all persons with birthdays within the next 12 months and optional display limited to only living persons. HTML export has been improved by adding a time stamp, allowing a better identification of exported data. This release also fixes an issue regarding the search functionality, which could lead to a potential crash of the application. Finally, some errors in the "Events" report have been fixed. [Download - 12MB]
MacPractice voice, text messaging All of the MacPractice products, MacPractice MD for physicians, MacPractice DDS for dentists, MacPractice DC for chiropractors, and MacPractice 20/20 for optometrists , now include communications ability enabling text, email, and voice messaging. For each patient for each appointment, offices may choose to communicate using a combination of text message, email (with or without voice recording), and/or phone, according to the patient's preference, at a cost of less than $.15 per reminder.
iSale 4.2 ($290) eBay auctioning solution for the Mac. Includes tools for creating, tracking and managing your auctions. The new release adds 30 new templates, supports the ever-popular Picasa Web Albums - Google's free online picture service, and can group, print, export and delete multiple auctions all at the same time rather than doing so one-by-one. [Download - form]
Buffalo Wi-Fi Gamer
Buffalo has said it will soon bring out the Wi-Fi Gamer, a new wireless router made explicitly for console players who want simplified Internet access. It borrows the company's definitive AOSS (AirStation One-Touch Secure System) feature to automatically establish a secure WEP wireless link with most modern consoles by pressing a top-mounted button and choosing a setting on the game device itself. Network names and password are then shared automatically between each new console with no manual setup involved, Buffalo says, allowing kids or mindful parents to allow play online regardless of changes to the access key.
Inteset hybrid HD servers
Inteset, a maker of home entertainment computer hardware, has become one of the first companies to provide a hybrid HD player in its media centers. Specifically, buyers can now pick an unidentified Blu-Ray/HD DVD player as an option in its Maximus and Denzel Media Servers, which let users store and play up to 6TB of music, movies and photos. The servers further have dual HDTV and SDTV tuners, and support for 7.1 surround-sound through codecs like DTS-ES and Dolby TrueHD. To play HD movies, however, buyers will need the included PowerDVD Ultra software. Prices are available by contacting a local dealer.
iPhone suit filed
The first class-action lawsuit related to Apple's iPhone has been filed, with the plaintiff alleging (falsely) that the battery enclosed in the iPhone "can only be charged approximately 300 times before it will be in need of replacement, necessitating a new battery annually for owners of the iPhone." As reported by Gizmodo, the iPhone's battery is actually designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity after 400 full charge and discharge cycles. The suit, filed in OakBrook, Illinois, also makes the claim that Apple sold some 500,000 iPhones in the first week after its launch -- Apple stated in its quarterly earnings report that 270,000 iPhones were actually sold in the first weekend. The suit also alleges that the fact that the iPhone's battery is sealed and not user-replaceable was "undisclosed to the public" prior to the device's release; another falsification.
More Dell Linux PCs
Dell is planning to expand its range of Linux-based PCs, according to Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu. Dell launched its first Linux PCs in May, featuring Ubuntu preloaded; Shuttleworth claims that Dell has so far been happy with the demand, and plans to introduce new Linux systems in the near future. "What's been announced to date is not the full extent of what we will see over the next couple of weeks and months," he tells Reuters. "There are additional offerings in the pipeline."
Motorola has continued its unofficial announcements today with the unveiling of the MOTOROKR T505. Much like the T305 and T605, the palm-sized speakerphone mounts in a car and provides hands-free calling with most Bluetooth phones. New to the T-series are the extra music features, Motorola notes. Music phones and some portable media players can beam their music through the T505, which adapts the signal to true stereo sound in either wired speakers or across FM to the car's audio system. Drivers also have quick access to a play/pause button to stop music before making an outbound call.
iPhone AC adapters failing
It appears that a number of wall power adapters (AC) for iPhones are failing. A post by Jason D. O'Grady reports that Rob Parker from the PowerPage podcast reported that his iPhone AC adapter, O'Grady and his wife all experienced an inability to charge their phones with their AC adapters. O'Grady writes: "tested both with other iPhone USB cables, iPod USB cables, with and without the iPhone dock and in several known-good power outlets. Nada. Both phones charge fine when connected via the cable to our Macs so I'm pretty confident that it's the bricks." Meanwhile, an Apple Discussions thread harbors several reports from other iPhone owners that are experiencing the problem. For most, simply connecting the iPhone to power via USB results in successful charging.
Razer Diamondback Update
Razer has unveiled the next generation of its Diamondback mouse, updating the company's signature gaming controller to reflect newer technology. The third generation includes a new 1800 dots-per-inch optical sensor that achieves laser-like tracking without the extra cost. Sampling occurs at 6400 frames per second and supports movements of up to five feet in the same space of time without losing precision, Razer says. Gamers can also dial back sensitivity for sniping or regular software. Gripping the mouse is also easier through a rubberized texture that replaces the smooth plastic of before.
Zune Scorpio Delay Leak
Microsoft's upcoming "Scorpio" sequel to the hard disk-based Zune has suffered a critical setback, says an unconfirmed report. Originally intended to reach factories by August 31st, the 80GB device is said to have suffered a late production glitch that would easily sever a connecting cable attached to the Zune's mainboard. A new S-shaped cable has reportedly solved the problem but also pushed back initial production by weeks, potentially jeopardizing Microsoft's intended holiday season launch.
Bonjour for Windows 1.0.4
Apple has released Bonjour for Windows 1.0.4, an update to the company's zero-configuration networking software that enables automatic discovery of computers, devices, and services on IP networks. Bonjour uses standard IP protocols to allow devices to automatically discover each other without the need to enter IP addresses or configure DNS servers. Bonjour for Windows 1.0.4 requires Microsoft Windows 2000/2003, Windows XP, or Windows Vista. Apple recommends users make sure that the latest Service Pack is installed using Windows Update, and a 64-bit version of Bonjour is also available for users running 64-bit versions of Vista.
TriCaster Studio ships
NewTek has begun shipping TriCaster Studio, its turnkey portable live production and virtual set system designed to provide all the capabilities of a live remote production truck. TriCaster Studio features component video, balanced audio, six video inputs with advanced switching features, live virtual sets, multiple upstream effects, dual virtual VCR's, and more in a 16-pound enclosure. The defile supports AVI, DV, MPEG-2, DVD, QuickTime, and MP4 file formats which makes it compatible with Mac OS X as well as iPods and PlayStation Portable devices. NewTek's TriCaster Studio is priced at $10,000, and can record up to 20 hours of AVI.
MSI GX600 gaming laptop
Micro-Star has announced a new gaming laptop, the GX600. Unlike the existing GX610, which is AMD-based, the 600 will run on an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, with an added MSI function: by engaging the Turbo button, the speed of the system can be raised by approximately 20 percent. Alternately, the button can be used to start Power-Saving mode, increasing battery life by 15 percent.
The 600 should be more powerful in general, as its maximum RAM limit has expanded from 2 to 4GB, and the video card is a 512MB GeForce 8600M GT rather than a 256MB Mobility Radeon HD 2600. The 15.4-inch screen retains resolutions up to 1680x1050. No pricing or release schedules have been published. [via DigiTimes]
HANNspree debuts XV LCDs
HANNspree, traditionally known more for its standard-definition sets, is pushing further into the HD realm with its new XV series. While neither its 32- or 37-inch screens have digital tuners, or are 1080p-capable, they have native resolutions up to 1366x768, and are equipped with two HDMI and two SCART ports, among more conventional inputs such as component. Response time is said to be a quick 8ms. The top-end 37-inch set (pictured) has 500cd/m2 brightness and a 1,200:1 contrast ratio, and can also be wall-mounted using a standardized VESA system. Misco is now selling a 32-inch set for £300 ($615). [via Tech.co.uk]
Moto i335/i602 for Sprint
Sprint's iDEN-based Nextel service is set to receive two new phones that could inject appeal into the often business-only lineup, a Motorola press event has revealed. The i335 (pictured) will run solely on the iDEN network but should also add a relatively stylized, textured design; the front and sides are rubberized with an elevated keypad that helps pressing buttons simple with gloves. A second phone, the ic602, will stand as a more affordable alternative to the top ic902 and should have a second CDMA radio for calls placed on Sprint's regular network. A VGA camera and 1xRTT Internet access will provide basic but useful media functions on the CDMA side, Motorola notes.
PhoneValet comes to iPhone
Parliant today released PhoneValet Anywhere for iPhone, delivering home and office voice mails to iPhone's Safari Web browser. "PhoneValet Anywhere extends PhoneValet Message Center's capabilities to remote Macs and PCs via a standard Web browser," said Kevin Ford, Parliant's president. "When we saw iPhone we decided to further refine PhoneValet Anywhere's interface and functionality to allow the fast-growing iPhone nation to listen to PhoneValet voice mail messages, return calls, view recent calls and view/edit notes on call details. iPhone users accustomed to Apple's visual voice mail will have a very familiar experience." PhoneValet Anywhere for iPhone automatically converts PhoneValet voice mail files into a format that the iPhone recognizes. PhoneValet Anywhere for iPhone is a server upgrade priced at $60 with unlimited users for existing PhoneValet Message Center 5.x customers.
iPhone and Black Hat 2007
Apple is facing pressure to fix a security problem with the iPhone in a matter of days, commentators say, to protect both customers and its reputation. The company has less than a week before briefings begin at the Black Hat 2007 conference, where members of Independent Security Evaluators plan to reveal the details of its iPhone exploit announced on Monday. Simply by loading a malicious webpage or forum post, according to ISE, users may accidentally grant a hacker complete access to their iPhone, even to the extent of allowing camera use.
Find It! for iPhone
InfoSpace today released Find It! for Apple's iPhone, allowing owners of the new cellphone to access the company's Find It! service for free. InfoSpace Find It! is a local search application that distills millions of listings into six categories tailored to the on-the-go user, including: Dine Out, Go Out, Shop, Travel, Health, and Services. The iPhone edition of Find It! features a custom interface designed for use with the iPhone's touch screen, allowing users to gather directory information with a few taps. An extensive content library enables users to find nearby events, local entertainment, and more than 15 million other points of interest, according to InfoSpace. Refreshed listings keep content updated weekly, removing outdated listings to keep the data as relevant as possible.
Reviews, NAPP adds session
In brief: MacNN has reviewed LightZone from Light Crafts as well as the Spire USA Torq laptop backpack, The National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) has promised to feature new sessions at its annual west coast Photoshop World Conference & Expo, and Peachpit Press has released Apple Pro Training Series: Final Cut Pro 6: Beyond the Basics. MacNN has reviewed Light Crafts' LightZone ($250), a Java-based photo editor for Mac and Windows systems that works with light levels and contrast based on light values as well as shapes. MacNN has also reviewed Spire USA's Torq Backpack ($170, shown at right), a laptop backpack that features water bottle holders, a waist strap to reduce back strain, padding to protect the laptop inside, and customizable space to stow various other items.
Euro Claims Intel Monopoly
The European Commission today officially filed objections against Intel, accusing the American chipmaker of abusing its lead in the market to hurt rivals such as AMD. The non-binding allegations claim that Intel has not only offered substantial price cuts to system builders that offered most or all of their systems with Intel CPUs but has actively sabotaged attempts to offer AMD systems, in some cases paying to have systems based on Athlons and other AMD chips delayed or canceled altogether. Some bulk processor sales were also made below cost to prevent AMD from competing, the EC says.
Aperture to Picasa
Aperture to Picasa Web Albums 1.2 ($25) is a tool that automatically uploads images processed through Aperture to Google's Picasa Web Albums service. Users are able to generate new albums, translate Aperture keywords into Picasa tags, and log in faster using Keychain. The new version uploads images based on the order in which they were selected, and solves upload errors cause by large volumes of files. Aperture to Picasa is a Universal Binary that requires Mac OS X 10.4 and Aperture 1.5.3.
[Download - 6.1MB]
PulpMotion 1.2.5 ($45) is used to design and share slideshows incorporating photos, videos and music, which can then be published as webpages, screensavers or iPod videos. The v1.2.5 upgrade adds the ability to export video to the iPhone, as well as support for multiple iTunes libraries in the media manager. The software now also has better compatibility with Final Cut. It requires Mac OS X 10.4 and QuickTime 7. [Download - 89MB]
Desktop Transporter 2.5 ($30) gives users remote access to other Macs, whether through a local network or via the Internet. Version 2.5 has had several improvements, such as bookmarks for use with Bonjour, and the ability to wake up sleeping systems. Administrators can incorporate the program into AppleScripts, and sharing desktops should be easier as a result of NAT-PMP support. Desktop Transporter is a Universal Binary for Mac OS X 10.3.9. [Download - 1.8MB]
HoudahGeo 1.2 ($30) "pins" photos to the locations they were taken, with the option of exporting the data to EXIF tags or KMZ (Google Earth) files. While no GPS device is required, one can be used to help automate the process. The v1.2 upgrade can now "reverse geocode" to try and determine the name of a photo's location, and can assign the same waypoint to multiple images in one step. The interface, meanwhile, has received a substantial overhaul. Mac OS X 10.4.8 or higher is required. [Download - 7.3MB]
iSale 4.2 ($40) creates, tracks and manages eBay auctions, with options such uploading to directly to Picasa or monitoring auctions through an iSale widget. The update adds 30 new templates, with items such as international flags and highlighted auction titles. iSale runs on systems with Mac OS X 10.4 and iPhoto 5 or higher. [Download - Size Unknown]
DropWaterMark 4.0.0 ($17) deters intellectual property theft by watermarking photos and other images posted online. These marks can incorporate options such as the images' unique EXIF and file data, and visual touches such as rotation, transparency and customizable fonts. The latest release introduces shadowing, bevelling and embossing. Both Mac OS X and Classic versions are available. [Download - 4.8MB]
Apple and Energy Star
Many computer makers can no longer receive the blessing of an Energy Star label, according to new guidelines set out by the US government. New conditions that took effect last week are meant to encourage use of more efficient power-supplies and CPUs as well as enhanced sleep modes, but have set out conditions that most current desktops and notebooks can no longer meet; only 125 computers on sale in the US qualify, according to federal government charts. While the labeling does not bar computers with the label from being sold in the country, the lack of approval may bar some computers from government offices and other locations where low power requirements are necessary.
iRiver Siren PN100
iRiver's newly-acquired brand Siren today launched the PN100. The 3.5-inch touchscreen unit is relatively advanced with 3D modes that both point out the distance between cities on longer trips and points out the lanes needed for particular routes. Media playback is also an option for files stored in the free space of an SD card, but adds video support well beyond most devices its size. QuickTime's MOV format and the mobile 3GPP standard are viewable in addition to AVI and MPEG-4 clips, iRiver says. The small device also packs MP3, WAV, and WMA audio playable through either built-in speakers or a headphone jack.
New iMac Keyboard
(Updated with new info and photo) The heavily rumored new iMac keyboard may prove to be a reality. Confirming earlier claims, the design shown in photos is exceptionally thin and uses individually isolated keys similar to the MacBook or Sony's VAIO TZ; the entire design is less than 1cm (0.39 inches) thick and requires extrusions just to hold the USB ports, according to the photos. Apple has also changed the keyboard layout, adding F17-F19 keys and a Function key that modifies the role of the F-keys similar to past Apple notebooks. Several of those keys now control basic media play functions, display brightness, and MacOS features such as Dashboard and Expose.
Picasa Web Albums 1.2 ($25) an Aperture plug-in that automates the process of uploading photos from Aperture to your Picasa web albums. It has support for creating new albums, automatically uploads Aperture keywords as Picasa tags and multi-threading for responsive user-interface. The new release has faster album loading, accurate ordering of image uploads, and better error handling. [Download - 6.1MB]
PulpMotion 1.2.5 ($45) tool for designing and sharing videos and slidedows that integrate personal photos, videos and music. The new release has the ability to export video for the iPhone, ability to have multiple iTunes libraries in the media manager, extended compatibility with Final Cut, improved the quality of images in exported videos and the ability to access individual sample images from videos stored in iDive[Download - 89MB]
Desktop Transporter 2.5 ($30) remote desktop solution. The new release has bookmarks, allowing users to connect to remote Macs that are not located on the local area network and available via Bonjour. Sleeping Macs can be woken up over the network or over the Internet as long as they are physically connected to the local network. Administrators managing a whole network full of Macs also now have the ability to scale the thumbnail pictures in the Bonjour browser for a better overview. [Download (demo) - 1.8MB]
HoudahGeo 1.2 ($20) One-stop geocoding for the Mac without a GPS camera. The new release has reverse geocoding, which can determine the name of the location where a photo was taken. Google Maps functionality now features bookmarks, and GPS import connects via Bluetooth to Wintec WBT-100, WBT-200 and WBT-201 devices. There is also Waypoint geocoding, which allows HoudahGeo to assign the same waypoint to multiple images in one step. [Download - 7.3MB]
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