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News Archive for 07/08/08

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iPod hoodies make their debut

08/08, 8:30pm

Hooded iPod sleeves

A British company has unveiled a new line of "hoodies" -- sleeves that resemble diminutive hooded sweatshirts -- for various iPod models. There are full-size, nano and mini versions, and various themes including "all loved up," and a number musically inspired designs. "Just like the band merchandise you find at gigs and concerts, and inspired by the incredible variety of musical tastes found on iPods worldwide, we've decided to introduce these 4 new Hoodies emblazoned with specially commissioned limited edition artwork," says the company selling the hoodies. Prices range from £10 to £13, about $20-$27.

Games: Fantasy puzzle and salon challenge

08/08, 8:10pm

Zamby and Sally's Salon

Zamby is a new fantasy puzzle adventure from Kristanix. The goal of this non-violent game is to use logic, stealth, guile, and imagination to guide Zamby through a wondrous world of light crystals, monsters, and obstacles. The developer says "The game's simple interface allows children and adults to begin playing the game immediately. Guiding Zamby through the game's 150 increasingly difficult levels, however, requires moving objects, building bridges, trapping monsters, and using logic to solve each level of the journey. Throughout the exciting encounter, Zamby discovers new things about his mystical terrain, and the challenges in his path." Zamby runs on Mac OS X 10.3 and up and costs $20 for a single user license.

Cross-References 1.0 for InDesign/InCopy

08/08, 7:55pm

Cross-References 1.0

DTP Tools has announced the release of its Cross-References 1.0 plug-in for InDesign and InCopy. Cross-References is a modular XML-driven referencing system inspired by a similar feature in Adobe FrameMaker. The tool adds cross-referencing capabilities to InDesign that the developer claims "make it a very competitive layout application in the field of technical and scientific documents." Each reference and its components can have a specific character style or style override, and can be set to appear only in selected languages. The reference source can be chosen from style filtered lists and also from apre-made Source Marker. References can be hyper-linked, and there are options for customization of formats via dialog or XML. The Mac OS X version of Cross-References for both InDesign and InCopy versions CS2 and CS3 is priced at $130.

Batteries for older PowerBooks, iBooks

08/08, 7:05pm

PB/iBook batteries

FreshBattery has introduced its Legacy Power line of new batteries for more than 1,500 older laptop models including a bevy of PowerBooks and iBooks. The company says these units will meet or exceed original battery capacity. For instance, there is a PowerBook G4 (15" Titanium) Series Legacy Power Battery priced at $95, a PowerBook G4 (17") Series Battery priced at $115, and a PowerBook G4 (15" Aluminum) "ÜberPower High Capacity Battery" priced at $100. There are also batteries for older machines, including the PowerBook G3 "WallStreet" and more. Also listed are batteries for the iBook 14", 12" Dual USB and original iBook.

Boot Camp 1.4 beta: new graphics drivers

08/08, 5:45pm

Boot Camp 1.4 beta posted

Apple has posted Boot Camp 1.4 beta, the latest edition of the company's software for booting Intel-based Macs into Windows XP Home Edition with Service Pack 2, Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2, WIndows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista Business, or Windows Vista Ultimate. The new release adds support for keyboard backlighting (MacBook Pro only), Apple Remote pairing, updated graphics drivers, an improved Boot Camp driver installer, improved international keyboard support, localization fixes and an updated edition of Windows Help for Boot Camp. The software is free in the current public beta period, and requires Mac OS X 10.4.6, the latest firmware updates, 10GB free hard disk space, and Intel-based Mac and a blank recordable CD or DVD.

Mac Pro firmware, iMac software updates

08/08, 5:45pm

Mac Pro, iMac updates

Apple today released two updates affecting its Mac Pro and iMac desktop systems. The company's iMac Software Update 1.0 provides important bug fixes and is recommended for all 20-inch and 24-inch iMacs with 2.0GHz, 2.4GHz, and 2.8GHz processors. The Mac Pro SMC Firmware Update 1.1 adjusts fan behavior in Mac Pro systems, and requires users to boot from a Macintosh formatted disk or partition. Mac Pro owners looking to update their firmware can simply reboot to automatically launch the updater application, which offers a status bar indicating the progress of the update. Apple also warns users that some USB and FireWire devices may prevent firmware updates from installing correctly. The updates follow a series of patches released yesterday after Apple unveiled its new iMacs, which improve compatibility between several Apple programs.

Refurbished iMacs priced at $849

08/08, 5:20pm

Refurb iMacs for $849

Apple yesterday unveiled its new iMacs during a special event at the company's campus in Cupertino, driving down the value of its other slightly older iMac models available online. Apple's refurbished 17-inch 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo iMac is priced at $849, and comes with 1GB of memory alongside a 160GB hard drive. Apple's reconditioned 20-inch 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo iMac is priced at $1,099 with 1GB of memory and a 250GB hard drive; while the company's 24-inch 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo iMac is available for $1,449 with 1GB of memory and a 250GB hard drive. All refurbished Apple equipment comes with a 1-year warranty as well as free shipping, and as usual Apple is offering an extended AppleCare Protection Plan for an additional $169 that lengthens the iMac's warranty to three years.

Sprint offers up free LG LX160 Bluetooth flip phone

08/08, 4:40pm

LG LX160 at Sprint

Sprint has slipped out the LG LX160 clamshell phone as a new entry offering for its network. Built to provide just enough extra features without affecting the price, the LX160 makes Bluetooth its most advanced feature and supports hands-free calling as well as tethering to a PC as a makeshift modem. The handset likewise makes better use of its legacy 1XRTT link than some starter handsets by serving up e-mail, instant messaging, and web browsing. LG omits a camera but allows the phone to receive picture messages.

Designer invents trackball MP3 player

08/08, 4:30pm

Trackball MP3 player

Designer Dae-Ki Hong has developed an original audio player concept that eschews interface conventions. Called the Ball Player, Hong's prototype does not use buttons or a clickwheel, but rather a trackball, located in the middle of a small square-shaped chassis. Listeners on the go simply roll the ball towards one of the four icons (volume up/down, track forward/back), and the player will execute the appropriate command. As the ball rolls, icons illuminate in response. For added convenience, Ball Players laid on a desk can be controlled by moving up and down or side-to-side, much in the same style as a mouse. No final products are currently planned from the prototype. [via Yanko Design]

Coraid debuts AoE solutions at LinuxWorld

08/08, 4:25pm

Coraid debuts AoE products

During this week's LinuxWorld conference in San Francisco, Coraid debuted several new AoE (ATA over Ethernet) solutions. The first two are additions to the EtherDrive Storage product line. These new 16 or 24 SATA disk (models SR1661 and SR2461 respectively) RAID appliances are now equipped with 10 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces and achieve more than 500 MByte/sec sustained throughput. The appliances come in a 3U rack mount chassis with slots for 16 hot swap SATA disks up to 1TB each. They also include a 10 Gigabit CX4 copper Ethernet interface plus dual GigE ports. Disks can be assembled into one or more volumes using RAID 0, 1, 5 or 10. The SR1661 is available now and is priced at $9,000. The SR2461 will start shipping in late September and is priced at $11,000.

Windows Vista kicked out of Olympics PCs

08/08, 4:05pm

No Vista on Olympic PCs

Microsoft's latest version of Windows is too risky to implement for the important computers managing the 2008 Olympic summer games in Beijing, said the event's computer supplier and sponsor Lenovo. The ThinkPad manufacturer's chairman Yang Yuanqing warned that a new and likely unstable OS such as Vista "could have some problems" if it were brought into an environment where reliability is important, such as tracking athlete statistics. All of the 12,000 critical systems will run the 6-year-old Windows XP, while Vista will only be allowed on shared terminals for the athletes where the danger of a crash is low, Lenovo said.

16GB Zen V Plus now in United States

08/08, 4:05pm

16GB Zen V Plus now in US

Unveiled just last week for the Singapore market, the 16GB version of the Zen V Plus is now being sold in the United States. The product is remarkable in that it has more memory than any similarly-priced flash player on the market, and in fact, it has twice as much storage as Apple's iPod nano. It also supports AVI video, in addition to MP3, WAV, WMA and Audible audio formats. The American Plus is being sold for $250; like the Singapore version, only a black-and-white color scheme is available.

Where are the EA Mac gaming titles?

08/08, 3:40pm

EA fails to ship Mac games

In June, Electronic Arts co-founder and chief creative officer Bing Gordon took the stage with Apple CEO Steve Jobs during the Worldwide Developers conference (WWDC), announcing that the game maker was moving staff members over to the Mac platform to once again release gaming titles for Mac OS X. Gordon promised that the first titles to ship for Macs would include Command & Conquer 3, Battlefield 2142, Need for Speed Carbon, and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and that those titles would ship in July. It's now more than a week into August, and none of the promised titles have arrived, nor has Electronic Arts made any announcements on the subject. Several calls and emails to EA's press department by MacNN staff have gone unanswered.

Samsung A517, T539 destined for US

08/08, 3:35pm

Samsung A517, T539 in US

Two new Samsung cellphones are said to be US-bound. The first is the A517, headed to AT&T, and notable mainly for having UMTS broadband; it also has a 1.3-megapixel camera though, as well as a microSD slot, and touch-sensitive controls on the top exterior.

The T539 meanwhile is headed to T-Mobile, but instead of using touch-sensitive controls, it has a ring-shaped direction pad, circled in green illumination. Other features are comparatively limited, as while it also has a 1.3-megapixel camera and music playback, it is merely a quad-band GSM phone and there is no mention of external storage. Prices and release dates remain unknown. [via Engadget]

HTC Advantage ships to US

08/08, 3:20pm

HTC Advantage Ships in US

HTC today revealed that its upgraded version of the X7501 Advantage hybrid smartphone is shipping to the US. As promised, the finished version runs Windows Mobile 6 Professional, which preloads Office Mobile for completing basic work using the slide-out keyboard and 5-inch touchscreen. The device additionally preserves the 3G wireless access provided through HSDPA and includes a GPS receiver that optionally links with TeleNav routing services provided by a few carriers in the region. The 3-megapixel camera, 8GB hard drive, and miniSD slot have also survived the transition.

SmartBackup 2.1 adds superuser mode

08/08, 3:15pm

SmartBackup 2.1

Freeridecoding has released a significant update to the backup program SmartBackup, bringing it to version 2.1. The tool can backup data to hard drives, network sharepoints, webDAV, usb sticks, iPods and other locations. It supports the use of Spotlight's "saved searches" as backup items or to define exclusion, allowing for dynamic sets of data. The new release can be launched with superuser privileges, has improved cleanup and archiving, improved handling of metadata, improved backup to network shares an updated interface, German localization and several bug fixes. The software is priced at 15 EUR (about $20).

Tsukumo keeps slim PC specs up

08/08, 3:00pm

Tsukumo AeroMini PC

Japanese computer builder Tsukumo is planning to release the AeroMini, another variant on the ultra-slim form factor preferred within Japan. Unlike some similar systems however, the AeroMini is well-equipped: it runs a 2.4GHz, desktop-quality Core 2 Duo processor, and it comes stock with 2GB of RAM, rather than the 512MB or 1GB typically linked with slim systems. The hard drive is a 5,400rpm 120GB model, and ports include one FireWire and four USB 2.0 connections. The tower also includes DVI output and an SD/xD/Memory Stick reader. It should ship towards the end of the month, with prices starting at 69,800 yen ($589). [via Akirabara News]

Squish beta GUI test tool released for Mac

08/08, 2:50pm

Mac Squish beta released

Froglogic today released a beta version of Squish for Mac, an automated GUI (Graphical User Interface) testing tool for Mac OS X Carbon and Cocoa applications. Squish is a cross-platform tool that allows developers to automatically test GUI applications based on a variety of related technologies like Java Swing, AWT, SWT, Eclipse RCP, Trolltech's Qt, AJAX, Web, HTML, and more. The update features automated GUI testing of native Mac OS X applications. Squish for Mac non-intrusively hooks into Carbon and Cocoa applications on the toolkit level, allowing robust GUI object recognition and identification for all controls ranging from simple buttons to complex widgets. Squish for Mac beta 1 is available via Froglogic's website (pricing and system requirements were unavailable).

Sprint to make Nokia N800 its first WiMAX device?

08/08, 2:45pm

Nokia N800 WiMAX Rumor

Nokia's N800 Internet handheld will be the first known device to support Sprint's upcoming WiMAX network, according to statements from Nokia's open-source chief Dr. Ari Jaaksi. The tablet would probably keep Bluetooth and Wi-Fi onboard for peripherals and short-range networks, but would draw on Intel's WiMAX technology to connect at 4G speeds virtually anywhere within coverage. Linux would continue as the N800's OS and would be instrumental in grafting support to the device, Dr. Jaaksi said.

Scopo Gigio 3, Layer Splitter 3 released

08/08, 2:30pm

Scopo Gigio, more released

Meta/DMA has released Scopo Gigio 3, the latest revision of its full-featured waveform monitor and vectorscope plug-in for Adobe After Effects CS3 and Adobe Photoshop CS3. The update adds YUV color space displays, single-channel displays, RGB level readouts, variable-sized screens for After Effects CS3, and more. The software is priced at $100, with discounted upgrades available to current license holders. Meta/DMA also unveiled Layer Splitter 3 for Mac, the latest version of its application designed to separate Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator layers into individual files. Layer Splitter 3 includes support for 16- and 32-bit Photoshop files, Unicode file names, full PDF support for Illustrator files up to CS3, and more. Layer Splitter 3 is available for $80 with discounted upgrade pricing for current license holders.

iPod radio, portable CD set debut

08/08, 2:25pm

iPod radio, CD boombox

iLive has announced two new additions to its 2007, iPod-compatible product lineup: a portable CD boombox and a portable radio. The radio is available in iPod-matching black, white, metallic pink, green, and blue and the boombox ships in black, white, and metallic pink. The portable radio, model iBR2807DP, features a certified iPod dock that provides charging and amplification for iPod, iPod mini and iPod nano and includes a built-in AM/FM stereo radio with digital display allow. A blue backlit 6-digit LCD display provides a digital readout of station and time. There is also built-in video/audio output. A stereo auxiliary line input permits connection to any MP3 player, cell phone or game system. The unit operates on AC/DC power and ships with its own detachable AC power cord. It carries a price of $50. The portable CD boombox, model iBCD2817DP, has similar specs but offers 2-channel stereo front-firing speakers and, of course, includes a CD player as well. It's priced slightly higher at $80.

Briefly: iMac unboxing; iMac RAM upgrades

08/08, 2:20pm

iMac unboxing, iMac memory

In brief: Photos have surfaced in the MacNN forums of a brand new iMac as it was unboxed, Other World Computing (OWC) has announced memory upgrades for Apple's new iMac systems, and MacThemes has opened up voting for its "Theme For A Week" contest. One user has posted photos of the unboxing process as a new iMac found its way onto a desk. The photos detail the new system itself as well as the revamped keyboard, and even show Apple's microfiber screen cleaning cloth that ships with the updated iMac. The forum poster offers first impressions as well, describing the iMac as "a damn sexy machine." [images added]

Nokia backs 700MHz next-gen wireless in US

08/08, 2:10pm

Nokia Backs 700MHz

Nokia and its Nokia Siemens Networks label today officially put its weight behind the open access rules for the 700MHz band auction in the US, explaining that the need for any winning bidder to expand the network and support any device will play into the company's newer wireless technology: Nokia Siemens Networks already has a base station system for cellular towers that already supports 4G speeds through WiMAX and could easily be adapted to future 700MHz connections, the company said.

Toon Boom Digital Pro debuts

08/08, 2:00pm

Toon Boom Digital Pro

Toon Boom Animation Inc. has announced the release of Toon Boom Digital Pro, an upgraded version of its animation package that offers advanced content creation, animation and compositing capabilities. The program includes a vector engine, palette management, lip-sync, true 3D space, morphing and inverse kinematics. Also built-in are kick-start programs and extensive training material. There is an Asset Library to store animated cycles, sounds, effects, characters, backgrounds, props, templates for reuse. The True 3D Space feature can be used to place elements at different depths and automatically preserve their perspective using the real-time multi-plane camera. More than 50 special effects are included, and a the real-time vector engine delivers full resolution independence. The tool is priced at $3000.

All Xbox 360s to receive HDMI out with cooler CPUs?

08/08, 1:40pm

Xbox 360 Universal HDMI

Every Xbox 360 could have HDMI video output within a month, according to a new but credible rumor. Although current buyers can only choose the Xbox 360 Elite if they need or want the all-digital format, the update would add HDMI to the standard Xbox 360 and the Core model, giving every system full support for 1080p even on HDTVs that block the resolution through component video. The HDMI upgrade would arrive simultaneously with cooler processors to maximize the impact of the upgrade, according to the report.

MS releases Vista Performance, Compatibility packs

08/08, 1:20pm

Vista performance packs

Previously rumored, Microsoft has now officially released its Performance and Reliability and Compatibility and Reliability updates to Windows Vista. While not yet on Windows Update, the patches are nevertheless official, and address issues which have deterred many users from upgrading from earlier versions of Windows. The first of the two packs deals primarily with moving large files, which in some cases has taken inordinate amounts of time. It is also said to fix poor memory management, plus screensaver problems and losing TCP/IP when coming back from hibernation.

Best Buy leak confirms Canon 40D for September

08/08, 1:10pm

Canon 40D Confirmed Sept

Canon expects to release its hotly anticipated EOS-40D digital SLR early next month, says an insider at Best Buy that leaked the camera's stocking info and UPC code. The camera is now due to reach shelves by September 2nd and is now known to have all the features previously revealed through early leaks as well as minor new additions: the 40D picks up the more recent DIGIC III imaging processor absent from the 30D and will also borrow several features from other cameras in the EOS line, ranging from the dust removal system, true spot metering, and a five frames per second burst rate.

Skyscape offers medical guidance via iPhone

08/08, 12:50pm

Medical guidance on iPhone

Skyscape today released its decision support suite for Apple's iPhone. The software allows physicians and other medical professionals to gain instant access to a broad collection of drug, clinical, lab, and evidence-based medical information as well as medical alerts streamed directly on an iPhone. "The iPhone offers unique benefits to medical practitioners including the integration of phone and Internet capabilities in a single device. This makes it an ideal platform for Skyscape's STAT philosophy, delivering the most up-to-date information when and where it is needed by healthcare practitioners." The decision support suite includes Skyscape's 5-minute Clinical Consult, Harrison's Manual of Medicine, The Washington Manual of Medicine Therapeutics, Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine, and more.

FCC: Phone carriers must allow cheap roaming

08/08, 12:30pm

FCC: Cheap roaming a must

Cellular phone carriers must allow rivals to connect to their networks for roaming purposes, and at a "reasonable" cost, the Federal Communications Commission has declared. The decision was made in response to a long series complaints made by a variety of groups, who say that the larger American carriers often charge exorbitant fees to subscribers on smaller networks -- sometimes as much as $0.79 per minute on top of regular rates. The carriers must also allow automatic connections for roaming, where equipment is compatible.

LightWave 3D hits 9.3, goes Universal

08/08, 11:50am

Lightwave3D 9.3/Universal

NewTek has announced two major changes to LightWave 3D, its 3D rendering and animation program. The first is the release of v9.3, a free update aimed at improving the rendering engine: lines can now be assigned motion blur, and two sub-surface scattering shaders have been added that should improve both quality and speed. Performance tweaks have also been made elsewhere throughout the program. The software development kit, meanwhile, has been enhanced for easier creation of custom effects and plug-ins.

TiVo Desktop update adds iPod, DivX support

08/08, 11:45am

TiVo Desktop 2.5

TiVo today released version 2.5 of TiVo Desktop, its software for synchronizing media between PCs and TiVo's recorders. The new edition brings the iPod into the fold of supported devices and will automatically import converted media files from a connected Apple media player into the iTunes library. Viewers can also now use TiVo Desktop with Windows Vista, play either DivX or XviD clips and shuttle them between the PC and a networked device, and reconvert any video already transfered across the network regardless of the profile.

Gresso unveils luxury Luna, Sol phones

08/08, 11:15am

Gresso Luna and Sol

The Russian design house Gresso today formally unveiled the two models that make up its new Avantgarde cellphone design. The Luna and Sol (pictured) continue the company's practice of using very exotic materials for its designs. The main shell is built out of African blackwood aged at least 200 years and ensures that each handset's finish is unique. The backing and main keypad are built from a scratch-resistant titanium while the front navigation key and (on the Sol) number buttons are finished with gold Roman numerals. The Luna's keypad is more conventional but still laser-etched.

Portfolio Server 8.5 integrates CS3

08/08, 11:05am

Portfolio Server 8.5 ships

Extensis has released Portfolio Server 8.5, the latest version of its creative content organization software. The major update is the inclusion of Project Sync for Adobe Creative Suite 3, which allows archiving, searching and web delivery without having to leave CS3. A user can for instance add XMP info to a Photoshop file, and all other Portfolio clients on the same network will be able to read the data. Other changes to v8.5 include faster catalog loading through Catalog Types, and a Windows Vista-compatible client. The server requires Mac OS X 10.4.4 and a network interface rated at 10Mbps or faster. It costs $6,050 with a one-year service agreement, but can be upgraded for prices starting at $3,550 with the same service terms.

Analyst: new iMacs cater to 'switchers,' students

08/08, 10:50am

Analyst on new iMacs

Apple's new iMacs will likely sell well amongst potential 'switchers' as well as college students hoping to acquire new computers before heading back to the classroom, according to American Technology Research senior analyst Shaw Wu. Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the sleek new systems yesterday during a special event at the company's campus in Cupertino, CA. "We find the new iMacs impressive with their thinner and sleeker aluminum and glass enclosure (similar to iPhone), new Intel Santa Rosa platform with faster Core 2 Duo processors, advanced ATI Radeon HD graphics, and lower price points," Wu wrote in a research note obtained by MacNN. The analyst notes Apple's timing, choosing to release the consumer-oriented iMacs during the peak of the college back-to-school buying season, and believes the company's 20-inch widescreen iMac -- priced at $1,199 -- will sell particularly well among 'switchers' from other platforms. Shaw Wu is reiterating his "Buy" rating on Apple shares with a 6-12 month price target of $185.

HTC Nike to add 3G, number pad to Touch formula?

08/08, 10:40am

HTC Nike Leak

HTC is already planning to improve on the foundations of the Touch smartphone just months after its launch, claims the source of a new leak. The Nike, also known as the 5500, would add a sliding number pad to the phone for users who would rather have physical keys for dialing, launching e-mail, or typing. The expansion would additionally bring 3G Internet access over HSDPA and UMTS and would accordingly include a small front video camera for live calls. The screen would be slightly smaller at 2.6 inches but would preserve the custom touch interface loaded on top of Windows Mobile. GPS may also be onboard, according to the tip.

JVC debuts Alneo jukebox with line-in, favorites

08/08, 10:15am

JVC Alneo S-series

JVC this morning added the Alneo S to the flash players that dominate its home market. The electronics firm breaks with some other challengers in the class by including both a line-in jack that records audio to MP3s and a pair of unique shortcut keys. One button instantly switches to a music search regardless of where the listener might be in the menus. An extra control automatically cues a playlist of up to 30 favorite tracks. Though small, the player's four-line OLED display keeps battery life up to 20 hours when playing MP3 or WMA songs.

iPhone used to make iLife '08 sales pitch

08/08, 10:15am

iLife '08 push via iPhone

iPhone owners attempting to sync with their computer after yesterday's string of Apple announcements may receive an unexpected surprise. Using desktop integration, the sync will bring up a pop-up (right, below) promoting iLife '08, and specifically iPhoto, which has features such as events, selective camera imports and one-click sharing via .Mac. The tactic is an unusually aggressive one for Apple, which has typically refrained from inserting ads into essential tasks. Users can select a checkbox to prevent the pop-up from re-appearing.

Apple debuts Voices Jam Pack for GarageBand

08/08, 9:45am

GarageBand: Voices JamPack

Continuing its barrage of releases, Apple has debuted Jam Pack: Voices, an expansion for GarageBand. The software includes over 1,500 new vocal-themed loops, divided principally between soloists (synth, Eastern, etc.), choral ensembles (chamber, Gregorian, etc.) and drum/percussion-style samples, such as beatboxing and body effects. Sample lengths can extend from riffs and ad-libs to background singing, and a number of different genres are represented, from blues through to rock and hip-hop. The pack is now on sale at the Apple Store for $100.

ASUS launches high speed, lightweight U3 notebook

08/08, 9:35am

ASUS U3 Launch

ASUS today promised the best of both worlds and released the U3. The 13.3-inch, 3.8-pound system competes head-on with Sony's VAIO SZ by offering speed not normally known for the class; though the system can be configured with as little as a Celeron M, certain models are driven by as much as a 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo. Every model is equipped with a 128MB GeForce 8400M GS and HDMI output for full HD video decoding, ASUS adds. Distinct to the U3 is a slot that can be pre-installed with any one of three add-ons: a 3G modem for cellular broadband, a GPS unit for mapping, or a Turbo Memory cache to speed up disk response.

AirPort Extreme Base Station goes gigabit

08/08, 9:15am

AirPort Extreme goes giga

While attention has been focused on the newly-launched iMacs and iLife '08, Apple quietly upgraded its AirPort Extreme Base Station overnight. The unit now has gigabit LAN and WAN Ethernet ports, but is otherwise functionally identical, having features such as 802.11n and USB device sharing. It costs $180 and is said to be shipping with 24 hours; it can also be acquired through a Teacher Bundle sold at the Apple Education Store.

Garmin unveils sport watch with auto wireless sync

08/08, 9:10am

Garmin Forerunner 50

Garmin this morning announced its second product of the week. The Forerunner 50 (link active soon) sport watch is the first that automatically synchronizes exercise info over the air. By plugging in a USB wireless adapter into a host computer, just bringing the watch within range of the system immediately sends distance, speed, and heart rate information to help keep track of a regular cycling or running routine. Sensors themselves are intelligent and automatically turn on whenever they have stats to send, according to the company. Data can also be uploaded online to share or compete with fellow athletes.

MacAlly pumps out TunePro iPod speakers

08/08, 8:35am

MacAlly TunePro Speakers

MacAlly today hoped to refine home audio with the TunePro flat-panel clock radio for the iPod. Based on NXT flat speakers that consume far less space than usual on a nightstand or tabletop, the TunePro replaces the front grilles often seen on these systems with a mirror-finish screen that blends the look of the speakers into any given room. The design also gives MacAlly freedom to hide the LED display normally so conspicuous on these sets. An intelligent alarm system wakes owners up to either the iPod, the built-in AM/FM tuner, or a buzzer and can do so gradually, slowly raising the volume rather than jumping to full power.

T-Mobile unveils Samsung Blast with BlackBerry keys

08/08, 8:10am

Samsung Blast at T-Mobile

T-Mobile on Wednesday kick-started its phone lineup with the Samsung Blast. Also known as the T729, the Korean slider is one of the few phones to implement a SureType keyboard outside of RIM's BlackBerry smartphones, speeding up e-mail and text messaging for users usually forced to use T9 input. The messaging focus is driven home with an e-mail client that supports webmail from Google and Yahoo as well as conventional e-mail, instant messaging and SMS texts.

Internal RAID card for Xserve ships

08/08, 12:20am

RAID card for Xserve

Apple has introduced a RAID card designed specifically for the Xserve. The add-on includes 256MB of RAID cache and supports hardware RAID levels 0, 1, and 5. Apple claims it can deliver up to 198MB per second throughput when using RAID 5. It also does not use a PCI Express expansion slot, and includes a built-in battery that protects the RAID cache for up to 72-hours. Even without the card, you can still use the software RAID utility built in to Mac OS X Server to stripe two or three internal drives into a RAID 0 array to increase performance or create a RAID 1 array for data protection against a drive failure. The Xserve RAID card replaces the built-in SATA/SAS controller board. To order the card with an Xserve, you must choose either all SATA or SAS drives in drive bays 1 through 3. The RAID card is priced at $999 and is available as a built-to-order option from the online Apple Store.

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