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Adobe CS3 workflow tools
MetaCommunications will hold demonstrations of its digital workflows and Adobe CS3 integration tools GraphExpo, booth 5449, September 9-12. The new Wide Format and Package Design workflows provide customers solutions containing forms and workflows to support each type of work. Additional new integrated support for Adobe CS3 enhances creative and prepress productivity by integrating Workgroups 2007 functionality directly within familiar Adobe CS3 design applications. The Workgroups 2007 suite is an integrated process and productivity management suite for creative, publishing, and prepress comprised of four modules. Included is Job Manager, a suite of financial management tools that enable users to accurately create estimates and quotes, monitor job costs and more. Also included is Virtual Ticket, a configurable project and workflow solution.
Wraptor for new iPods
mStation, the new owners of mophie, have introduced a new version of the Wraptor case for the iPod nano, classic, touch and iPhone. The case combines a crystal clear, scratch-resistant polycarbonate shock-resistant outer shell with a pop-up soft rubber cord wrap and containment for the earbuds. The cord wrap pops up to allow you to wrap your earbuds and then neatly folds down over the back of your protected iPod to keep your earbuds securely managed. The new Wraptor will be available in October for $30.
Information Appliance Associates has released a new version of its Pocketmac Windows Mobile product, allowing users to fully sync their next generation Windows Mobile 5 and 6 devices (such as the Motorola Q and the Samsung Blackjack) with Macs. The software also supports the Cingular 3125, Cingular 8125, Cingular 8525, iPAQ HW6925, iPAQ HW6945, HTC P5500, HTC S420 and more. Also, as part of this launch, IAA will be offering a competitive upgrade program, whereby users of similar synching products can get PocketMac for Windows Mobile 5 and 6 for 50% off the retail price. PocketMac for Windows Mobile 5 and 6 is a universal binary and retails for $30.
Refurb 8GB iPhones $349
Apple has added reconditioned 8GB iPhones for $349 to its online store after announcing a hefty $200 price cut on new models last Wednesday. The company's now-discontinued 4GB iPhones are on clearance for $299 as well until supplies run out. Both iPhone models feature Apple's patented multi-touch display with a full QWERTY soft keyboard, and allow users to surf the Web via the Safari browser. Every iPhone offers email access, features built-in WiFi as well as Bluetooth, and includes a 2.0-megapixel digital camera. The 8GB iPhone stores up to 2,000 songs, providing up to eight hours of talk time and 250 hours of standby time on one battery charge. The Cupertino-based company is also offering its former generation of iPod nanos in 2GB ($99) and 4GB ($129) capacities, with 4GB models available in silver, green, blue, pink, and black.
3G iPhones on the way
Wireless technology company InterDigital today announced that it has inked a seven-year licensing agreement with Apple to provide wireless technology for the company's iPhone as well as any future handsets, according to Reuters. InterDigital designs, develops, and provides advanced wireless technology to power voice as well as data communications. The company is a well known developer of wireless communications in the tech industry responsible for creating technology embedded in every 2G (EDGE), 2.5G, and 3G (HSDPA) device on the market. At least one analyst believes the new deal spans 2G and 3G cellular technologies covering bandwidth allocation as well as roaming and power efficiency controls. The analyst also thinks the deal will likely include some form of packet data coding and delivery.
Kindle, Google books
A new report appears to confirm two major developments in the world of e-books. The New York Times claims that Amazon's Kindle reader is indeed real, and should finally see a release in October. Pricing has been narrowed to $400-500, and users will be able to connect via EVDO to a special e-book store. Aside from this it will have its own web browser, and may come with some free books and subscriptions to newspapers like the Times, Le Monde or the Wall Street Journal. A keyboard and scrollwheel should simplify the interface, but the e-ink screen will not display color or animation.
O2 EDGE Upgrade
British cellular provider O2 is in the midst of adding EDGE mobile Internet access to its network, an internal memo leaked to Engadget reveals. The company's technicians are reportedly upgrading its GPRS towers to incorporate support for the protocol across its entire network and is focusing primarily on larger cities as well as areas that have been more likely to use the slower GPRS format in the past. A precise completion date was not specified, but the rollout is slated to finish within "a few weeks," according to the note.
Virgin Mobile Super Slice
Virgin Mobile will soon carry the Super Slice, an upgrade of the earlier basic Slice built by UTStarcom. The phone will be the first for Virgin Mobile America with Bluetooth, and further unlike the original Slice, the Super will have a VGA camera. Features should otherwise be relatively basic, highlights including IM, e-mail, and MP3 ringtones. The battery handles up to 4.3 hours of talk time or 11.7 days of standby. Super Slices should go on sale later this month for $60 without a contract.
TowerRAID series debuts
Sans Digital has introduced its new TowerRAID series, which includes the TR4M SATA to JBOD enclosure and the TR4U SATA to USB 2.0 JBOD / Spanning enclosure. The new TowerRAID TR4M is a compact 4-bay tower utilizing an SATA II port multiplier feature, where one single eSATA cable connects to four 3Gbps SATA II hard drives. This unit comes with a 2-port eSATA PCIe card (HA-SAN-2ESPCIE) at no additional cost, which allows the connection between two TR4M units (up to 8 hard drives) using only two cables. It supports RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5, 5+spare, spanning and JBOD. It is priced at $360. The TowerRAID TR4U is a selectable hardware JBOD or spanning enclosure that utilizes the USB 2.0 interface for storage expansion. The JBOD mode allows the computer to see each individual hard drive, while the spanning mode presents multiple hard drives as one combined drive. Various combinations of JBOD and spanning mode can be used. Both units feature hard drive bay cover, cable-less backplane, and tray-free swappable design. It carries a price of $250.
Palm Treo on Sept 12
Palm intends to release a device on September 12th that is something other than the hotly anticipated Centro, according to company representative Stephanie Richardson. The smartphone maker emphasized that while it was still on track to release a new device in Europe on September 12th as confirmed by a teaser site, the actual product will be significantly different and hasn't been revealed to the public. "Check back later for more info," Richardson said.
BlackBerry owners are experiencing their second major outage of data service in one year, according to multiple reports from readers and those on the web. Both AT&T and T-Mobile users in the US have reportedly been unable to either browse the web or use the smartphone line's characteristic push e-mail service since this morning, effectively crippling their use for most owners. Neither carriers nor the BlackBerry's creator Research in Motion have commented on the issue, though contact with T-Mobile technical support has confirmed a "slowdown" in mail delivery affecting all its BlackBerry subscribers.
In brief: Parallels Desktop 3.x is reviewed by our staff, American Express is refunding the dollar difference to iPhone customers angry over the price drop, Apple pays tribute to Luciano Pavarotti, and Steve Jobs compares the new nano to original iPod in a video ... We have posted a review of Parallels Desktop 3.x, the virtualization software that allows Windows and other operating systems to be run on top of Mac OS X at near-native speeds. The software features Coherence, a mode that allows Windows applications behave in some ways as if they belong on the Macintosh. That means that the Windows application icon appears in the Dock, and that the window of the application appears without the need for a Start Menu, Windows Taskbar, or Desktop. In this way, Windows applications look and feel like they're just another application on your Mac.
FoneLink 1.1.3 released
Nova Media today released FoneLink 1.1.3, an update to its mobile phone suite for Mac OS X that features a ringtone editor to create ringtones from any unprotected song. FoneLink allows users to browse through files on a mobile phone, copy files to and from a Mac, and transfer as well as convert music or video. The software suite includes support for converting as well as transferring contacts, events, tasks, notes, bookmarks, and more. The update manages the backup and restore of the mobile phone's data, includes general bug fixes, and adds support for new phones from Nokia as well as Sony Ericsson. FoneLink 1.1.3 is priced at $35 for new users, and requires Mac OS X 10.4.9 or later.
Sony VAIO NR Leaked
Sony is prepping a notebook it hopes will overturn conventional wisdom about the design of basic systems, according to momentarily leaked images from a German website. The 15.4-inch VAIO NR will be considerably thinner than the N series and should also have tapered edges that create a smoother designer look than the outgoing model. Every system will also be based on Intel's Santa Rosa platform regardless of performance and should take advantage of improved GMA X3100 integrated graphics; ExpressCard/34, Memory Stick, and SD card readers will also be standard.
New iPods disable TV-out
Apple's new iPod nano and iPod classic, which began shipping after company chief Steve Jobs unveiled the devices on Wednesday during a special event in San Francisco, silently disable their own TV-out functionality. Tests performed by iLounge suggest users can still display iPod content on their televisions when connected to accessories that include an Apple authentication chip -- such as the iPod iPod and Universal Dock, but many third-party accessories fail to support TV-out from the new portable media players. Only Apple-authorized iPhone developers are allowed to incorporate the Cupertino-based company's authentication chip into their iPod accessories.
Google gpay, gbuy
An older patent filed by Google, now finally published, points towards the company's deeper involvement in the cellphone industry. Originally submitted in February of 2006, the patent documents concepts called "gpay" and "gbuy," which would allow phone owners to pay via SMS messaging. A given example has a customer at a farmer's market, sending a payment offer to a vendor; he specifies the vendor's ID, and the amount to be sent. To receive the payment, the vendor must be registered with an online service, where he can also confirm that the payment has been made.
Intel OLPC Chip
Discussions are in place that could switch the One Laptop Per Child project at least partially to Intel's processors, the two companies said today. Following the firms' recent agreement to collaborate on future projects, the OLPC team has confirmed that it has been helping Intel engineers create a new chipset and processor that could meet the extremely low power draw and high sturdiness levels needed for the project, which has focused on providing notebooks to developing regions where money and harsh weather would not support normal computers. OLPC's current system, the XO, runs on a 433MHz AMD Geode
Vigor performance laptops
Vigor Gaming Computer has launched several new laptops, all targeting the mid- to high-end. The peak is the Atlantis PRO (pictured), intended to be a desktop replacement: it boasts a 20-inch widescreen, capable of resolutions up to 1680x1050. It is also equipped with a Turion 64 X2 processor, and has graphics supplied by twin GeForce Go 7950 GTX cards. Two 250GB hard drives are linked in a RAID-0 configuration. Prices start at $2,799.
The regular Atlantis is more closely targeted at gamers, with two programmable buttons, and the ability to boost storage up to 750GB through RAID-0. While keeping the same video cards, a 17-inch screen boosts resolution to 1920x1200, and the CPU is replaced with a Core 2 Duo. A base system costs $2,419.
TiVoToGo for HD
High-definition TiVo recorders will soon get the same media sharing features as their standard counterparts, a spokesman for TiVo's product marketing confirmed late yesterday. Both the high-end Series 3 and the TiVo HD will have access to TiVoToGo and multi-room viewing that lets Series 2 units share recorded shows with portable devices like the iPod or between networked TiVos. Series 2 and HD models will also have support for exchanging unprotected videos between each other, though Series 2 units "just can't play" HD video due to the processing power needed to decode the images, the agent said.
Cringely on iPhone credit
Apple CEO Steve Jobs dropped the iPhone's price by $200 to make a buck and bolster his ego, according to PBS.org columnist Robert Cringely. The price cut -- which Jobs announced on Wednesday at the end of Apple's special event in San Francisco less than three months after the iPhone's initial launch -- was "a carefully and tightly scripted exercise in marketing and ego gratification," the columnist said. "It wasn't an accident. It wasn't a thoughtless mistake. [...] In the mind of Steve Jobs the entire incident had no downside, none at all, which is yet another reason why he is not like you or me," said Cringely, who worked in Jobs' garage during some of Apple's earliest days. "Steve does things like this because he can. It reaffirms his iron grip over both Apple and Apple's customers. It's a lot about ego and a little about business, though with Steve Jobs they are hard to differentiate."
PC Mag 3G Nano review
One of the first official reviews of the third-generation iPod nano has been published by PC Magazine, generally favoring the new player. The only feature absent from the previous Nano, the magazine says, was video, and that has been solved. Owners of the new model have the benefit moreover of a larger, two-inch widescreen, with the best pixel density Apple has yet produced. The magazine also takes a positive view of the accompanying interface, which includes an improved Now Playing screen, and the Cover Flow option from the iPhone.
iPhone Price and Moto/Palm
The unexpected iPhone price cut is likely to pose a major challenge for its immediate rivals in the smartphone business, according to new financial analyst reports. While the Apple phone is still expected to sell at a premium relative to most competitors, the reduction will narrow the gap between the handset and other high-profile competitive models, many of which were expected to thrive in part due to an assumed larger gap. Palm in particular may take one of the largest hits, according to Oppenheimer researcher Lawrence Harris, as some of the company's phones are priced the closest to the Apple device and share a similar mixed-media focus.
RouteBuddy 1.4 released
RouteBuddy today released RouteBuddy 1.4, a major update to the GPSD mapping software for Mac OS X. The latest release adds support for Garmin nüvi devices as well as beta support for several TomTom devices -- including the popular "Go" and "Rider" models. RouteBUddy provides native Mac OS X support for Garmin and NMEA GPS hardware, and allows users to manage as well as display GPS data using high-precision vector-based road maps. The update allows users to import or export data in a wide range of formats, including CSV or KML for use with Microsoft Excel or Google Earth. Several crash bugs are also addressed in RouteBuddy 1.4, and an improved welcome screen is included for first-time users. RouteBuddy 1.4 is priced at $100 for new users, with maps for numerous different countries available from $40. The update is free for existing users and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
Nano, Classic tear-down
In addition to our unboxing photos, new tear-down photos offer an inside look at Apple's recently-released iPod nanos and classics, highlighting changes over previous generations. While many components are similar, such as most of the Classic's insides, the Nano now uses a fair amount of adhesive to hold together, which can make it hard to reassemble. The Classic has a thinner hard drive, and sports a new metal plate behind the display, presumed to protect against cracking. Photos after the break.
Paradise Pet Salon ships
Macgamestore.com and Toybox Games today released Paradise Pet Salon for Mac, a new game that pits players against Pet Corp. in a race to create a successful salon for animal companions. "Your pet spa is competing against the evil Pet Corp. You'll turn a small corner spa into a huge success with fast and hard work. But it's not all about speed. You've also got to plan ahead .Serve hundreds of great pets and people too so you can earn more money to improve your spa by buying upgrades and special treats for your furry clients too." The game features two different modes that include career and survival, as well as eight customizable pet shops. Paradise Pet Salon is priced at $20, and requires Mac OS X (specific system requirements were unavailable).
PowerLite Pro 1080 UB
Epson today made a surprise announcement late into the CEDIA electronics show today for its PowerLite front projectors. The PowerLite Pro Cinema 1080 UB earns the UltraBlack nickname of its title with the use of a new D7 image chipset, polarizing filter, and a 12-bit color substrate. Mixed together, these elements can produce contrast as high as 50,000:1 -- the highest in the industry, Epson says, and higher than the just introduced Sony VW200's 35,000:1 figure. Epson also promises dual HDMI 1.3 ports with deep color support and a 1,600-lumen brightness that can be useful in less than ideal movie viewing conditions.
Apple at fault in NBC spat
Demands by Apple, not NBC, may be the cause of the companies' ruptured iTunes agreement, a new report suggests. Movie trade publication Variety cites three unidentified sources, who say that Apple has told networks and studios that it would like to cut TV episode prices from $1.99 to 99˘, the same amount it charges for protected music tracks. This may have been the catalyst for the NBC decision, even though it could have have kept the $1.99 price through automatic contract renewal.
BB Curve 8310 at Rogers
Canadian cell provider Rogers today became the first North American carrier to pick up the BlackBerry Curve 8310, Research in Motion's upgrade to its first mainstream smartphone with a full-size keyboard. The upgrade adds true GPS reception with BlackBerry Maps software that both provides driving directions and pre-assigns them to contacts for future use. The Canadian edition also has full access to instant messaging through either Yahoo! Messenger or BlackBerry Messenger for fellow members of RIM's push e-mail service.
MS Win Media Extenders
A series of new network hubs for Windows Media Center PCs will bring greatly expanded features versus earlier devices, according to Microsoft and its suppliers. A new series of Windows Media Extenders from several companies will take advantage of updated hardware and software to play formats often used by hobbyists but rarely supported by network hubs such as DivX or XviD, allowing TVs and other devices across the home to play these videos without a direct connection. The new update will also allow protected HD video at a full 1080p to be distributed across a network, including wirelessly; devices that use 802.11n Wi-Fi will be able to feed as many as six HD shows across a network at once, Microsoft claims.
Apple remote patent
In brief: A new Adobe Creative Suite training series has been launched by Scott Kelby, nova media has added to the number of devices supported by its iSync plugins, Apple has filed a remote control/FM patent, there's a new set of Aquatica Mac OS X HI icons, and Wolfram is bundling Mathematica apps with RM Math ... Kelby Media Group has announced the launch of Kelby Training, a new educational resource for photographers, graphic designers, and creative professionals that use Adobe Creative Suite applications. The training program offers instruction in the form of a DVDs, online classes, books, or a one-day live seminars. Instructors include Dave Cross, Matt Kloskowski, Bert Monroy, Corey Barker, Rafael Concepcion, Ben Willmore, Taz Tally, Terry White, Fay Sirkis, and Scott Kelby himself.
MicroNet 1TB NAS
MicroNet Technology has announced a new Network Attached Storage solution that offers multi-terabyte capacity, an integrated print server, an iTunes music server and zero-touch automated backup. The new Fantom Drives G-Force MegaDisk NAS appliance is the first NAS RAID solution in the G-Force MegaDisk product line. It's based on a dual-core processor and has a built-in iTunes Server that enables sharing of MP3 and MP4 content, including content purchased from the iTunes Store that is properly authorized. Each MegaDisk NAS unit incorporates dual SATA300 disk drives with Native Command Queuing technology to optimize read and write performance. All MegaDisk NAS functions, including RAID options, are managed and monitored via a web interface.
Toon Boom Studio 4
Toon Boom Animation Inc. has announced the release of Toon Boom Studio 4, the latest release of the all-in-one animation suite. Studio 4 features a redesigned user interface for an improved workflow, as well as greater flexibility via the ability to customize workspaces. Extended animation styles import, vectorize, and animate photographs while a broader selection of brushes help users create better line styles. A new Feather Edges feature applies blurs and glows to drawings, improved motion capabilities set more realistic moves with the new peg's Orient to path feature, and advanced Web publishing options help users play back animation on the internet more efficiently.
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