D-Link is planning to unveil a competitor to the Apple TV that provides the same basic purpose -- streaming media wirelessly from home computers to the television set-top -- at about the same price: $300. The device will likely become only the second such media streamer (behind the Apple TV) that supports 802.11n wireless networking, offering enough bandwidth for delivering rich content to high-definition sets quickly. Reuters reports "D-Link already sells these media devices, but they run at slower speeds than the Apple product, which is ahead of the rest of the industry. (Company spokesman Les Goldberg) said the new product will sell for $300, the same as the entry-level Apple TV model and go on sale in the United States during the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter -- before it starts selling it in other countries."
Griffin has announced an udpated line of iPod cases for the back-to-school season. The new Tempo for Shuffle, in pink, is Griffin's sport armband for the second generation iPod shuffle. It's priced at $15. The Streamline for nano, in pink, is a sport armband for the iPod nano, with no bulk. It's priced at $30. The Reflect for nano, in pink and blue, is a hard-shell case that has been polished to a reflective finish. The finish hides the screen from prying eyes until the iPod screen lights up. It carries a price of $25.
PC Magazine has posted a review of Final Cut Studio 2, the latest version of Apple's professional video-editing suite. Besides Final Cut Pro 6, the suite includes Motion 3, which lets you create and manipulate three-dimensional graphics in the video frame over time; Soundtrack Pro 2 for altering the audio portion of your project; Color, which lets you maintain color consistency throughout your video; Compressor 3, which performs the encoding to a variety of formats and DVD Studio Pro 4 for creating and burning DVDs of the resulting movies.
The Glance desktop sharing service has increased its session size to 100 guests, with no change in price. The tool allows organizations and individuals to hold online training sessions and webinar events from any PC or Mac. It includes "StreamShaping," which allows guests on fast connections get the fastest possible updates. Those on slower networks see updates as fast as their connections allow. Guests connect instantly using their favorite web browser. The session host can then show slide presentations, websites, software applications and more. Previously, Glance subscribers were limited to 15 guests at a time. Glance Personal is priced at $50 per month.
Apple's is offering deals on various hardware via its online store, which include $849 MacBooks as well as $1,099 iMacs and $2,199 Mac Pro desktops. The company's least expensive reconditioned notebook available is the White 1.83GHz Intel Core 2 Duo MacBook with 512MB of memory, a 60GB hard drive, and a Combo DVD-ROM/CD burner for $849. Apple's refurbished 20-inch 2.16GHz iMac with a 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 1GB of memory, a 250GB hard drive, and a SuperDrive DVD/CD burner is also available for $1,099. The company's high-end Mac Pro workstation is also available for $2,199 (down from $2,499) with two 2.66GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors, 1GB of memory, a 250GB hard drive, and a SuperDrive DVD/CD burner.
Universal's bid to try DRM-free music may simply be a way of testing how well the music label can survive in digital sales without relying on iTunes, according to a new report. Though Universal has now explained that the omission of the Apple store from the trial is to use it as a scientific control, Gizmodo's Matt Buchanan notes that Universal has omitted multiple larger music stores that could serve as better evidence of what selling unlocked songs might accomplish.
A purported sales flyer for the North American N95 reveals some apparent design changes. It will for instance drop the 2100MHz frequency from HSDPA, relying exclusively on the 850 and 1900MHz bands. The battery however has been upped in power to 1,200mAh, and the bundled memory will be a 1GB microSD card, rather than the 512MB one common to Europe. RAM is being increased to 128MB, and the back of the phone is black, with an absent shutter slider in order to clear space for the new battery. The flyer does not mention final prices or release schedules. [via Symbian-Guru]
Finnish phone maker Nokia has begun a semi-public beta of a social networking site, InfoWorld reports. Called Mosh, it is used by mobile subscribers to upload and download items such as images, videos and ringtones, which can then be tagged for search or kept in a personal collection. In spite of its association with Nokia, Mosh is open to anyone with an approved e-mail address; the only advantage of a Nokia phone is the ability to download a client that provides faster access. File sizes can be as large as 100MB, but Nokia recommends downloading from a PC, since items can then be transferred directly to a phone without incurring data fees. No date for the complete opening of Mosh has been set.
Nokia could be releasing its high-speed 6500 classic phone in the US, according to hints found in an FCC filing. Although no product shots or names are included, the device in testing includes both HSDPA Internet access and Nokia's recently added micro-USB connector for rapidly transferring files, features which so far have only surfaced in the 6500 line. Bluetooth is also confirmed.
BenQ has just unveiled a completely new series of computer LCDs it promises will blend style as well as performance. The E-series abandons the display maker's utilitarian roots with a deep black casing, stealth-mounted 2W chin speakers on most models, and ambient LED lighting for dark rooms. Every display is fast enough for movies with a 5ms pixel response time and relies on BenQ's custom Senseye image processing technique to automatically balance colors either for absolute accuracy in an sRGB mode or boosted colors in movie and photo modes.
message2net 1.2.3 ($13) interface to store and sort all SMS messages. It supports Apple's Address Book and SIM-cards for easy contact management. Allows you to send, receive, answer, forward and archive SMS-messages on a Mac OS X computer using a connected mobile phone. The new version supports many recent mobile phones, offers interface improvements and the ability to send SMS to standard PSTN phones, if supported by the phone and network provider. [Download - 4MB] FlightCheck Pro 6.0.2 6.0.2 ($500) preflighting solution for desktop publishing apps. The new release has a modified QuarkXPress reader which will handle certain files previously listed unrecognized or locked, improved the initial scan time for certain PDF files, and adds a progress bar to the page layout window. Also, colors are now reported as used in Illustrator CS3 files (.ai and .eps files). [Download - 18.8MB] LaunchBar 4.3.2 ($20) search and productivity utility. The new release comes with a brand new look, includes new features like Instant Open (hold the last abbreviation key to open an item), Instant Send (for quickly sending selections to LaunchBar and beyond), text items, a convenient Calculator, Fast User Switching, Google Maps integration, improved support for third party apps (Firefox, Camino, iTunes, Cyberduck) and much more. [Download - 1.2MB] DEFCON 1.4.3 ($25) online, multiplayer strategy game inspired by the 1983 cult-classic film, WarGames; "evokes the tension, paranoia and suspicion surrounding the Cold War era." This release fixes a potential exploit where fleets could be made to sail through land masses if sent to certain hotspots and made improvements which should help with problems creating games on a local network. [Download - 61.3MB] Freeway 4.3.3 ($110-290) Web site design tool that generates clean and efficient code. This update includes changes to text imaging, improvements in Photoshop import, and support for Safari 3 Beta. Freeway 4 is now also Leopard-ready. The update is free to all registered users. Freeway's rewritten text imaging takes full advantage of Apple's excellent font scalar and is now consistent with all Apple applications. Softpress has also improved the implementation of bi-directional text, an important part of its ongoing support for generating multi-lingual web sites. [Download - form]
Joining Verizon and Motorola itself, Sprint has issued photos and release plans for its version of the RAZR2. The company will, of course, use the CDMA-based V9m; sales should start online and by phone on August 22nd, while retail outlets will get the phone on September 4th. Through the EVDO-based Power Vision network, the phone will have access to several services, among them Sprint TV, which includes 50 channels split between live and on-demand programming. Complementing this will be Power View and NFL Mobile, the latter adding live information updates to its broadcasts.
Dell is about to release one of its most powerful notebooks to date as a mobile workstation, according to French enthusiasts who have leaked its details and photos. The Precision M6300 will directly take over from today's M90 and should represent multiple firsts for most any notebook maker, including the option of a full 8GB of memory on systems running 64-bit editions of Windows. Processor options will also venture beyond what Dell ships today at up to a 2.6GHz Core 2 Extreme. A 256MB Quadro FX 1600M is certain to provide fast 3D but will scale up as high as a 512MB FX 2600M or 3600M with future upgrades, according to the claims.
Quickly following the Verizon announcement, Motorola today revealed that the RAZR2 will be available for every major cell network in the US, letting users keep to their existing carrier rather than switch to take advantage of the new device. The GSM-based V8 will be available at T-Mobile, while the 3G-capable, red-tinted V9 will be available at AT&T. Subscribers to CDMA networks will receive the V9m and will include Alltel, Sprint, US Cellular, and Verizon. Aside from network support, all versions will be identical in hardware features and should only change in terms of software.
Two new class action lawsuits have been filed against Apple: one regarding the potential for identity theft allegedly set forth by information contained in online store receipts, and the other claiming that Apple's power adapter design infringes upon two patents for a similarly functioning device. AppleInsider reports that two Miami-Dade County citizens, Angely Maria and Todd Narson, have begun a class action suit in a local court that claims Apple has "recklessly disregarded" consumers' rights to have credit or debit card information kept secret under a section of the US federal government's Fair Credit Reporting Act. That act disallows companies to display a customer's credit or debit card's expiration date, as well more than the last five digits of the card's number. The suit alleges that receipts from Apple's online store have shown more information than allowed under the FCRA.
Samsung was revealed today to be on the verge of releasing two phones for American CDMA cell providers. The A513 (pictured at right) is said to be a close cousin of the GSM-based A717 but upgrades the camera from 2 to 3 megapixels in addition to the changeover to EVDO mobile Internet access. Whether the camera will swivel for self-portraits and video calls is unknown, but the device will take a strong media focus when it arrives at Helio in the near future, according to the report.
Zoho today released Zoho Viewer, an application that allows users to view, share, and embed important documents. Users can upload a Microsoft Office, PDF, or other document to Zoho Viewer and receive a link to that document. Users can share the link with others, who can view the document from their Web browsers. The software also allows users to embed documents into any other Web page, and the company has promised to provide API access to Zoho Viewer for application providers who need convenient document viewing capability. The service is available for free, and is designed to eliminate the need for email attachments by allowing users to upload documents directly to share with intended recipients.
Toshiba and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission have asked for a recall of some 1,400 Sony batteries, used in Toshiba laptops. Though no injuries or deaths have been reported, the defective batteries are in danger of overheating, to the point that they may actually ignite nearby materials. The recall is limited to specific model numbers of its Tecra A7 and Satellite A100/A105 systems, and only those built between January 1st and April 30th of 2006. Affected owners should contact Toshiba for a free replacement battery.
Presenting at this week's LinuxWorld conference, Palm has revealed more details about its Foleo smartphone companion, which should be the company's first product to use its new Linux-based operating system. It uses a 416MHz Intel/Marvell processor, and also has a dedicated graphics processor, the Marathon 2700G. This should improve the speed of the graphical interface. In terms of wireless support, the Foleo handles WEP, WPA and 802.1x Enterprise security configurations, but does not have software for Bluetooth file transfers, instead turning over the responsibility to third parties.
USBFever.com today rolled out its iPhone KickStand Crystal Case, a protective case that supports the cellular handset like a photo frame either horizontally or vertically. The iPhone KickStand Crystal Case includes a removable belt clip that, when absent, provides an opening for a neck strap. The case offers cut-outs for access to all of the iPhone's key buttons and ports, conforming to the iPhone while guarding the screen from dust and scratches. The iPhone KickStand Crystal Case is priced at $17.
Fujitsu has announced the RakuRaku IV, the latest in its line of phones aimed at Japanese seniors, as well as those who just want extreme ease-of-use. In simple terms, this involves features such large buttons and a 2.6-inch LCD, which in turn uses large fonts; it also uses noise reduction to enhance the user's voice, and sound leveling to improve reception quality. Unlike similarly-themed North American phones however, the IV boasts a camera, a GPS receiver and mapping software, complete with navigational alerts.
Intriguing Development today released iRemember 2.1, an update to the company's digital scrapbooking software for Mac OS X. The latest release greets new users with printed tutorials that help to create layouts in minutes, and adds iPhoto Photo Book sizes to the Scrapbook Setup dialog. The update boasts significantly improved undo support, better JPEG output, and more than 25 additional enhancements that improve speed as well as ease of use. iRemember is priced at $40, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later. Upgrades are available to existing iRemember 2.0 users for free, while iRemember 1.x license holders can upgrade for $10.
An industry commentator is arguing that sales of Apple's Mac computers are on the verge of a dramatic increase, moving past the 10 percent mark to 15 percent, 20 percent or even more of the market. A confluence of factors is cited: at a basic level, Macs are said to be easier to recommend in the current era, because they require far less technical support compared to machines running Windows; beyond issues with spyware and malware, the Mac OS interface is generally easier to use.
Apple's iPhone on Monday will have its own "ultimate guidebook" titled The iPhone Guide. The book, authored by tech author Scott Kelby and gadget guru Terry White, is said to be the first iPhone book in print. The iPhone Book's layout provides one full page for each topic discussed, and includes full-color photos to demonstrate covered topics. The title covers numerous topics from setting up wireless internet to watching videos, and is designed as the ultimate "how-to" guide for the iPhone. The iPhone Book is priced at $25, and will ship from online retailers like Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com this coming Monday, August 13th.
Samsung's recent power outage at six of its flash memory factories may have been remedied relatively quickly but is causing problems for companies producing microSD cards for cellphones and other handhelds, say people familiar with the region's memory chip business. At least some of the factories involved were producing the extra-small chips said to be needed for microSD cards made by Taiwanese companies, and the sudden drop in stock has forced multiple manufacturers to let their factories sit completely idle while they wait for fresh supplies.
Equinux today released MediaCentral 2.6.3, an upgrade to its media center solution that adds more than 25 new IP TV feeds for a total of over 350 channels. The newly added channels include ABC, CBS, the Discovery Channel, MTV, Comedy Central, Rocketboom sequels, Macworld videos, and more. The latest release also includes European offerings like EuroNews, as well as several local technology and entertainment channels. MediaCentral 2.6.3 offers increased stability, improved performance, and increased compatibility with Apple's iTunes 7.3.2 software as well as several IP TV channels. In addition to various IP TV feeds, the application provides access to movie trailers, YouTube videos, music, movies, a Skype interface, iPhoto slideshows, and online albums like .Mac or Flickr. MediaCentral 2.6.3 is priced at $30 for the personal pack single, $40 for the personal pack pro, and $60 for the personal pack jumbo.
Apple has released a software update designed to enable the use of special functions labeled on the new keyboards that ship with its revamped iMac systems. One Apple Store in the state of New Jersey reportedly set up demonstration iMacs without proper keyboard mappings, ultimately disabling many of the functions that the new iMac aims to make easier. Volume control, eject, brightness, and media transport controls apparently failed to operate on the demo iMacs, according to one blogger. Apple's new update likely remedies this issue, negating the need for new users to seek council from more experienced friends or colleagues to remap the special functions. The update is available for free as a 32.1MB download, and requires Mac OS X 10.4.10 or later.
Adding to the ranks of high-end iPod audio, Onkyo today unveiled its CBX-Z10 and CBX-Z20 speaker docks. Either merges both a CD player and an iPod cradle so listeners have the choice of new and old formats from the same device. Although driven by modest 10-watt stereo speakers, the company's in-house AERO system uses passive acoustics inside the cabinet to enhance bass response while also bringing out more detail in vocals and other higher ranges. The Z20 in particular also has a larger cabinet design that further amplifies the sound and includes an extra damper to cut down on vibration.
In brief: LifeShaker attempts to change up to-do list programs, SmartSound introduces more video soundtracks, and MacPractice keeps up to current standards. Funky Cloud has released the first public beta of LifeShaker, an atypical approach to to-do list programs. Rather than display items in a normal list or tree format, nine goals are presented in a grid, which can be "shaken" to bring new goals to the fore. Goals can in turn be broken into steps, but the program will only display the next available step in the grid, in an attempt to make tasks less intimidating. The beta is free, but expires on September 6th.
Two new television adverts for Apple's iPhone have surfaced on the company's website titled 'Instead' and 'Amazing.' Both spots depicts an iPhone in the hand of an actor as the narrator offers subtle suggestions to potential cellphone owners. "Here's an idea. Instead of carrying an iPod and a phone, why not carry an iPod with all your favorite music and your favorite movies in your phone?" The second ad, Amazing, details the iPhone's built-in YouTube support as well some of the more standard feature. "It's amazing what fits in a pocket these days. Your favorite music, all your email, today's newspaper, endless entertainment, and of course a phone." [images]
Verizon on Friday officially became the first North American carrier to release the RAZR2. The CDMA-based V9m that Verizon will use lets the provider offer multiple 3G Internet features, ranging from downloads for the V CAST music store to assisted GPS through the carrier's VZ Navigator service. Verizon also promises to allow instant messaging and video streaming but has not provided full details.
Apple has quietly deployed My iTunes, a series of Flash-based web widgets designed to track a user's preferences. Unlike those from sites such as Last.fm, it does not track songs actually played, but rather items like a person's most recently bought music and videos, as well as the most purchased artists in general. Another category lists music and videos that a user has given four- or five-star reviews. The widgets can also be displayed in three different sizes and five different shades, allowing them to better fit into site designs.
Microsoft today rolled out its new Windows Live SkyDrive service, a major reworking of the company's Live Folders online storage. The revamped site is likened to an Internet hard drive and is meant to remove the complexity associated with these services in the past; users can drag and drop as much as 500MB of files to a SkyDrive web page as though it were part of their own system, Microsoft says. Images now also display thumbnails that eliminate the guesswork in downloads, and any user has access to a list of recently visited public SkyDrives.
Universal Music Group announced late yesterday that it will sell at least some of its music catalog online without copy protection over the course of the next few months. Considered an experiment by the major music label, the project will run between August and January and will gauge the effect that removing digital rights management (DRM) has on both sales and on piracy. There are no immediate conditions applied to the success of the test, but the company has implied that it will extend the test or make the DRM-free option permanent if the results prove worthwhile. The latter decision would likely make a significant impact on the music industry, as Universal is the largest global music label and could create a ripple effect for smaller labels.
Onkyo USA has has launched its first HD-DVD player, the DV-HD805, which takes advantage of high-bit-rate audio streaming via an HDMI version 1.3a connection that matches Onkyo's line of A/V receivers. HDMI version 1.3a enables "Deep Color" technology, which is purported to improve color tones and achieve finer color gradation. Other features include support of variable frame rates, including playback at 24 frames per second, which is the native frame rate of original sources for most HD content. There's also an Ethernet port that allows access to HD-DVD spec network capabilities and the ability to download any future firmware updates.
CS Odessa has announced updates for two of its most popular programs. ConceptDraw version 7.2, the newest version of the company's vector drawing and diagramming software package, has new extended user drawing capabilities and context sensitive help for any of the drawing tools selected for use. "Dynamic Help", which is a special "Inspector Pane," presents to users information about the drawing tools they are using. There are also improved HTML and Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) exports. ConceptDraw 7.2 is free for registered users of ConceptDraw 7.0 and 7.1. Owners of version 6.2 and earlier can upgrade for $150.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R