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In brief: PC Magazine reviews the new iMac, a back-to-school Mac bundle includes WriteRoom, Mori and several other education-related apps, a clay iPhone has been sculpted out of Sculpey Premo, and the game Slingo Quest is now available for purchase ... PC Magazine has posted a review of the new Santa Rosa-based iMac. Pros: "Sleeker and thinner than the previous iMac. More recyclable materials. Energy Star 4.0. Still the all-in-one standard. Same reduced number of cables. Powerful, even in Windows Vista with Boot Camp. Up to Core 2 Extreme and 1TB drive available. [...] Good price." Cons: "No TV tuner option. Glossy screen is a bit reflective, no option for antiglare. Not quite full HD resolution. Wireless keyboard and mouse are extraóand there are better mice than the Mighty Mouse."
Epson has added four new printers to its inkjet line-up. The $160 CX9400Fax All-In-One includes an auto document feeder for multi-page faxes and can print a 4"x6" photo in 26 seconds and claims a 32 page per minute text printing speed. Meanwhile, the $90 Stylus C120 offers a black-and-white speed of 25 pages per minute in normal mode, and 10 pages per minute in color mode. It can also print 37 black and white pages per minute in draft mode, and 20 pages per minute in color draft mode. The C120 also includes a "quiet mode," which delivers slower print speeds, but reduced volume operation.
Microsoft's Mac Business Unit has released Office 2004 11.3.7, the latest version of its productivity suite for Mac OS X. The new version includes fixes for a vulnerability that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer's memory with malicious code. Specifically, this vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user viewed a specially crafted Web page. The vulnerability could be exploited through attacks on Object Linking and Embedding (OLE). Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights. The Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac 11.3.6 Update must be installed on the computer before you install the Office 2004 for Mac 11.3.7 Update.
Apple's newest iPod nano is available for $99 via the company's online store as a refurbished product. The small iPod, which features a color liquid crystal display and 2GB of storage space, comes with a 1-year warranty. Apple's current-generation 2GB iPod nano holds up to 500 songs of average size and provides up to 24 hours of music playback, measuring just 3.5 x 1.6 x 0.26-inches. The iPod ships with Apple earphones, a USB cable to connect the device to a Mac or Windows computer, and a Dock adapter to charge as well as sync the iPod. Apple tests and certifies all of its refurbished products, and offers an AppleCare Protection Plan for $39 that extends the device's warranty to three years. Apple is also offering its smallest iPod ever, the current-generation iPod shuffle, for $49 as a refurbished item with 1GB of space.
Auto manufacturer Audi has unveiled a new optional Music Interface for its A5, A6, A8, and Q7 cars that allow owners to fully integrate Apple's iPhone into the vehicle for hands-free calling and music playback. The mobile phone support offered by Audi allows users to accept or reject a call, and displays signal strength as well as the provider's name in addition to transferring the telephone directory stored on the iPhone in their respective categories -- "Work," "Home," and "Mobile." The Audi Music Interface also supports playing music on-the-go, allowing users to navigate through songs by artist, track title, playlists, and genre.
Home audio specialists Boston Acoustics on Tuesday introduced three individual speaker series for HDTVs and other home theater setups. The high-end Horizon models (pictured) are designed for flexibility and include different sizes of satellites and subwoofers. The system starts at $100 for a pair of simpler HS 40 bookshelf speakers but scales upwards to include the premium HS 460 floor-standing speakers at $400. Owners can also mix and match subwoofers between the 10-inch, 150-watt HPS10 SE ($300) to the 300-watt HPS 12HO ($500). A wireless sub, the 8-inch HPS 8Wi ($400), is available for setups where bass is needed away from the main satellites.
DJ specialist Numark is readying the iDJ2, a pro-level mixing board intended for iPods. Unlike many such boards, the iPod is treated as the primary source for all music: two can be connected simultaneously, or a single iPod can feed two different tracks. Generic USB ports allow the use of key drives, other media players, and external hard drives; the iDJ2 also has a host of more conventional line inputs, as well as XLR and RCA connections.
Electronics maker Samsung today rolled out its SMT-i8080 phone for home users that want more than just voice calling. An Ethernet connection allows the phone to participate in two-way video calls through its flip-up LCD and embedded video camera. Navigation controls directly below the LCD addtionally bring a handful of Internet features well-suited to a land line: owners can buy from certain stores and reserve movie tickets, stream audio, or watch a selection of Internet-based TV channels.
SubRosaSoft has launched FileSalvage 6, the suite of data recovery tools designed to restore files that have been accidentally deleted, become unreadable due to media faults, or stored on a drive before it was re-initialized or formatted. The latest version of the software includes support for custom file type recovery, the ability†to search for embedded files, and a new bootable DVD. Custom file types means that a user can recover a file format that is not in the current list of supported and known types by dragging and dropping a dozen or so files of the same format into FileSalvage to analyze and process.†Upon completion, the new profile will be added to the known formats.
Chinese jukebox designer Meizu today capitalized on its recent success in music by revealing the mDock, its first dedicated speaker accessory. The design is based on Fiio's PS1120 and is built for the M6 Mini Player. Like docks for the iPod or Zune, charges the device as well as pumping out stereo sound. Audio is controlled through top-mounted buttons, but whether or not a wireless remote is an option has not been announced.
Apple on Tuesday had several patents approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office, and submitted an application for another. The most notable patents in the approved group are four related to the iPod; no design details have been published, but rather just illustrations, and nothing that appears immediately different from the current generation of iPods. Prominent names on the patents include Apple CEO Steve Jobs and lead designer Jonathan Ive.
Newer Technology has announced the miniStack NAS Network Attached Storage solution, which offers the ability to share up to 750GB of storage between 20 Windows or Mac users and provides both USB 2.0 and Ethernet connections. The device utilizes Network Direct Attached Storage (NDAS) technology, which eliminates the need for TCP/IP settings. Other features include up to 16MB of data cache, the Ximeta NDAS 2011 network chipset for extra security, data transfer speed up to 100Mb/s, front panel LED status lights, a Kensington security slot, external auto-switching 100-240V 50-60Hz 3 amp UL listed power supply and a stackable design. miniStack NAS is available in seven pre-configured 7200RPM solutions, from 80GB to 750GB, priced starting at $120. All solutions include ProSoft Engineering's Data Backup 3, and Intech SpeedTools Utilities.
Motorola is set to announce more than just the RAZR2 V8 for T-Mobile, says the same source that revealed the t639 announcement. The W490 will closely resemble the W385 and most of Motorola's recent world phones and will handle basic functions while still offering the style of the KRZR. No camera or Bluetooth is present, but the device will be capable of playing music (likely on microSD storage) and should handle picture messaging, apps, and T-Mobile's own myFaves service.
MicroNet has begun selling the SR-4 Blackbird, a compact RAID array that weighs approximately 12 pounds. The unit holds four drives for a maximum capacity of 4TB, and uses eSATA-300, with a "pure" SATA II architecture inside that eliminates bridges and protocol conversions. Combined with a 16MB cache, the SR-4 can read data at speeds of up to 240MBps, and write at approximately 200MBps. Each version of the array comes bundled with an eSATA RAID controller, can be configured for RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 and JBOD setups. Mac, Linux and Windows systems are supported; costs start at $600 for a 1TB array, with an additional two-port PCIe card. The 4TB array is not yet listed.
Option today revealed that the FCC has approved its GlobeTrotter Express HSUPA ExpressCard, making it the first card of its type to be ready for the US. The card supports the 7.2Mbps maximum download speeds of today's 3G-class, HSDPA networks but adds the extra-quick upload speeds that give HSUPA its name. At peak, the card can upload a full 2Mbps versus the 384Kbps maximum of the best HSDPA networks, Option says. Travelers can also roam across different speeds and network formats, ranging from current 3.6Mbps and 1.8Mbps HSDPA networks to Europe's UMTS and the oldest EDGE and GPRS standards.
Energi To Go, Energizer's brand for portable power supplies for handheld devices, has introduced a new extended portable power solution for the iPod. Powered by two Energizer e2 Lithium AA batteries, the device claims to provide 46 hours of music playback on the iPod nano and more than 32 hours of music playback on the iPod with video. It includes a licensed Apple iPod tip and is adjustable so that it's compatible with iPod (with and without video) and iPod nano. The MSRP for Energizer Energi To Go iPod Portable Power Source is $30 and includes the charger and two Energizer e2 Lithium AA batteries. Energizer says it will be available at "mass, drug, consumer electronics, and airport retailers" this fall.
T-Mobile USA's impending 3G network is about to receive its first phone, according to newly leaked company material. Rather than use HSDPA similar to AT&T's network, the Samsung t639 (shown) will connect to T-Mobile's 1700MHz UMTS service and deliver comparable high-speed Internet access anywhere within the carrier's own coverage. The clamshell design will be similar to many of Samsung's mid-range phones with a 1.3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and media playback from a microSD card.
Apple remains the industry leader of customer satisfaction despite falling 5 percent in the eyes of consumers since the second quarter of 2006 according to the American Consumer Satisfaction Index. The Cupertino-based company along with Dell helped to drag down the entire PC industry 3 percent in total. Apple's score now stands at 79. Dell, meanwhile, continues to experience customer service problems that have pushed the company back near the bottom of the PC rankings with a score of 74. HP improved 1% to 76, though its Compaq division is the worst in the industry at 73.
Cowon today announced that both its D2 (pictured) and iAudio 7 have jumped to 16GB of capacity, doubling the amount of storage compared to earlier models. The storage allows either system to hold as many as 4,000 songs and is a better fit for more or longer video clips in the case of the D2. The iAudio 7 reaches the benchmark with 16GB of memory built-in; reaching the goal for the larger-screened but thinner D2 touchscreen player requires a combo pack that ships a D2 with 8GB of built-in memory plus an 8GB SDHC card, according to Cowon.
The Russian cellphone retailer Mobitronix has leaked information about two upcoming Samsung phones, the F310 and the F330. The former (right) is also known as the Bang & Olufsen Serenata, and is suitably focused around music, with a massive 4GB of built-in memory. Aside from music however, the phone should also be able to play MPEG-4 files on a 240x240, 262,000 color touchscreen. Connection options should include tri-band GSM, as well as 2100MHz EDGE or HSDPA, albeit with a maximum speed of just 1.8Mbps.
T-Mobile's American division has reportedly leaked details about a re-release of the Pearl, one of the most popular phones in RIM's BlackBerry lineup. Internally, the new T-Mobile version is ultimately unchanged, but as of September 4th, the phone will come in three different colors: "Ruby Red," "Boiled in Blue" and "Glitterin' Gold." These should complement the existing Blazing Black and Whiplash White models. Pricing for the new colors has not been revealed, but it is unlikely to exceed the costs of current phones, which range from $150 to $350 depending on the discounts available. [via Boy Genius Report]
Zagg today unveiled RockStic, a portable speaker system designed for Apple's iPod that aims to provide high sound quality with complete portability. RockStic's compact size makes it easy to use at home or on-the-go, utilizing battery power for mobility. The speaker system is housed an a durable aluminum enclosure, and includes a charging dock that works with all dockable iPod models. Zagg's RockStic features a line-in port to support other digital players, and includes a full-function remote control alongside an AC power adapter and a media cable. The RockStic is available for $50 at an introductory price (normally $70) in silver, black, and bright pink.
The iPhone's previous restriction to AT&T phone service may have been fully broken, according to claims made by forum members testing out utilities. A combination of a blank TurboSIM card ($80), utilities such as AppleSaft from Bladox, and SSH access let users remotely enter the phone over Wi-Fi and tell it to write the SIM with valid information from another carrier, effectively placing the phone on any GSM cellular network with full incoming and outgoing calls. Basic GPRS data (but not EDGE) also works, claim some users.
Apple has introduced new content from John Lennon (iTunes link), the late ex-Beatle and solo artist, to the United States iTunes Store. Musically the collection now includes the vast majority of his solo work, among it original albums such as "Imagine," "Plastic Ono Band" and "Walls and Bridges;" people can also buy compilations such as "Lennon Legend" and "Working Class Hero." Finally, a number of music videos have been introduced, for songs such as "Imagine," "Mind Games" and "Happy Xmas (War is Over)." Most albums are $10, while all six videos are $2.
A coder by the name of Dallas Brown has released a free, preliminary version (v0.0.3) of iPhone Finder, a program that attempts to emulate the functions of Finder or Windows Explorer, making an iPhone's content easier to browse. The code is actually based on the iPhone NES Emulator, which allows users to play old 8-bit Nintendo games. Also included in iPhone Finder is a program launcher, which extends beyond the iPhone's basic icon system.
An independent coder has released Frotz Z-Machine Interpreter 0.1, a free application for Apple's iPhone that runs games based on the Z-Machine platform -- used primarily in text adventures by Infocom like the classic title Zork. Players usually control games by typing in simple verb-noun combinations such as "open chest" or "go north" as they navigate such titles as "Adventure" and "Rogue." Installing Frotz requires a "jailbroken"/sshd-enabled iPhone, as well as the ability to copy a new folder onto the device. "Jailbreaking" an iPhone effectively removes the read-only mode set by Apple to prevent iPhone owners from modifying their phones.
Samsung today revealed that its Yepp line will grow to include a new touchscreen player that the company hopes will take on Apple's iPod nano. The YP-P2 will include a three-inch LCD with touch as the near-exclusive control scheme; like the iPhone, the only physical controls needed are a lone front button and side-mounted controls for power and volume. The expanded screen serves as an ideal platform for watching MPEG-4 or WMV videos at a native widescreen ratio, Samsung says. Other rare features are also standard, such as Bluetooth for wireless headphones and a file browser for manually clearing files from the player.
Apple has expanded sales of the iPhone beyond its website, retail stores and AT&T, and is now including them in its Authorized Business Agent program. Agent customers still, ultimately, receive their products from Apple, but they purchase from an online, third-party storefront, for which the vendor receives a small fee each time a product is sold. Vendors also get access to business coupons and Apple marketing material. One of the first companies to sell the iPhone in this manner is Digital Design Solutions, based in Atlanta, Georgia. Prices are identical to any other location. Update: Apple has since removed the iPhone from the Apple Authorized Business Agent Stores online. (cont.)
Fujitsu today launched two extra-small notebooks, including its first UMPC for North America. The LifeBook U810 was first introduced in Japan, and straddles the line between UMPCs and convertible tablets with a 5.6-inch screen that either folds out for conventional typing or swivels around for handwriting and other gesture-based commands. The system approaches normal notebook resolutions with a 1024x600 display and packs Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and a fingerprint reader.
Logic3 on Tuesday unveiled "the first" dedicated, portable speaker system for use with Apple's popular iPhone. The i-Station Traveller for iPhone offers a black gloss finish and silver trim--to match the look and feel of the iPhone. It can expand to accommodate the iPhone either vertically and or horizontally between the two speakers. Without the iPhone, users can slide the speakers together for easy storage/transport--the compacted system measures just 170mm. The mobile stereo system features two 35mm neodymium drivers, which the company claims can generate an combined output of 4 watts. The system also features specific technology to reduce TDMA noise (the sound emitted from mobile phones). The new i-Station Traveller also works with iPods and any gadget with a 3.5mm jack and includes a 3.5mm-to-2.5mm stereo converter as well as a velvet-finish case. It is powered by four AAA batteries and will be available soon for £30.
The duo behind Delicious Monster claim to have developed the first game to load natively on the iPhone, Lights Off. Players are tasked with toggling light patterns in a grid, searching for just the right combination to shut the lights off completely. To ensure the game holds variety, there are over 200 levels. The game has, notably, been built using Apple's UIKit framework, the basis for the YouTube and Google Maps iPhone apps; but because Apple does not officially support third-party programs, custom tools have been used, and installing Lights Off requires modifying the preloaded software. Downloading the game is free.
Serving travelers for whom every drop in size and weight is important, InFocus on Tuesday released the Work Big IN12. The projector uses newer, compact DLP techniques to slim down the unit to 1.7 inches tall and 3.9 pounds while still delivering a 1024x768 native resolution suitable to computers and to rescaled DVD and HD video input. Presenters also have many options for placing the projector in a room: thanks to a 2X zoom, wide-angle lens, the IN12 can sit less than three feet away from the screen. InFocus claims the system is bright enough for many rooms at 2,000 ANSI lumens of brightness and an 1,800:1 contrast ratio.
Nokia on Tuesday issued a product advisory for more than 46 million batteries that could potentially explode while being charged. While approximately 100 incidents of overheating reported globally, it claims that no serious injuries or property damage have been reported and is offering free product replacements. The advisory affects Nokia-branded BL-5C battery manufactured by the Japan-based Matsushita Battery Industrial Co., Ltd (a.k.a. Panasonic) between December 2005 and November 2006; none of its other 250 million Nokia-branded BL-5C batteries are affected, the company said. The BL-5C, which is one of 14 different battery models used in Nokia products, is manufactured for Nokia by several suppliers, including Matsushita/Panasonic.
Sony-Ericsson today launched the K770i, its latest Cyber-shot phone. Also nicknamed the "Victoria," the handset revolves around making its camera as simple to use as possible. The 3.2-megapixel sensor is supported by auto-focus, 3X digital zoom, and an LED flash; completely unique to the K770 are several light-up icons on the keypad in camera mode that provide shortcuts to common camera adjustments without having to memorize the interface. Photos are likewise editable on the phone itself and are easily transferable thanks to a standard mini-USB connection and PictBridge printing support.
Logitech on Tuesday released the V470 wireless mouse for notebooks. The mouse is close in spirit to the V450 but swaps RF for Bluetooth, permitting many notebook computers to take advantage of the higher precision of a laser sensor without needing an external dongle. The pointer supports Bluetooth 1.2 and intelligently hops between frequencies to avoid choppiness when Wi-Fi is also switched on. Running time is also reportedly long at four months of regular use before requiring a fresh set of batteries.
In brief: Apple ranks 7th in commercial audience, a teardown of Apple's newly released jam pack for GarageBand, 3Dconnexion adds Adobe reader support, and Chronos offers a Summer sales event ... One of Apple's iPod commercials ranked 7th and 8th, respectively, in TiVo's ranking of audience size for total and time-shifted viewing in June. For total viewing, the iPod commercial ranked 7th for the May 29th showing of "House," with a rating of 10.1. All other top-ranked commercials also aired during "House," and those ahead of Apple include Wendy's Restaurant, Bank of America Consumer Services, AT&T Wireless Service, Warner Bros Oceans Thirteen Movie and Diet Coke Soft Drink.
Andrew of the blog sho'fr has posted detailed instructions and a pictorial for installing a Mac mini in a 1998 Corvette. On why he decided to install a Mac mini rather than integrating an iPod, Andrew says it allows unlimited music storage, better/safer usability while driving (large touchscreen display vs iPod display), GPS capabilities, handsfree cell phone with play-through the audio system, automatic Wifi synchronization of a primary music library to the car and "plain ol' geek factor." The installation makes use of a Xenarc 700TS 7" touchscreen LCD display costing $360, which offers auto power on when it receives a video signal and 800◊480 native resolutions via VGA input, and USB touchscreen output making for easy connection to the Mac mini. A $100 power supply, various pieces of audio equipment and some software packages were also used in the installation.
Apple is continuing to aggressively expand its retail presence outside of the US, following what company execs call an "outstanding quarter" in which sales increased 33 percent from the previous year. The Register reports that the company has has begun recruiting staff to run its first Australian Apple Store, which was officially announced for earlier this year after reports surfaced in early February. The company is also looking to hire for new several new stores in the UK, including Exeter, Milton Keynes, Glasgow, Reading and Brighton. It already has nine stores throughout the UK.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN