Be.ez has announced the 17" LEVertigo a custom fit notebook bag for the MacBook Pro. The LEVertigo is designed to house laptop as well as documents and accessories. The Vertical design allows the bag to be close to the body at all times, and with complete protection with velcro-secured padded flap. Be.ez says "Featuring a cross-shoulder carrying style, Beez LeVertigo 17 fitly clings to your body while maintaining its vertical status throughout your journey. With this unique vertical design, you can carry your notebook and favorite accessories on the go without being weighed down." The case measures 392 x 265 x 26mm.
Microsoft has introduced two new wireless notebook mice the Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000 and the Wireless Notebook Laser Mouse 7000. The former requires no transceiver or extensive setup process and uses a high definition laser. It operates on the 2.4GHz Bluetooth spectrum, is ambidextrous and comes with a carrying case. The mouse also features various power features like a battery life indicator on the unit, an on/off button and three-plus months of battery life. The Notebook Laser Mouse 7000 offers similar functionality and specs, but also features a button to access Windows Vista's Flip 3D feature, letting users flip through open windows. Other software features include a magnifier tool and back button. There is also a snap-in transceiver on the bottom of the mouse that turns the device off when snapped in. It boasts six months of use with one battery.
Macally has announced the BTCUP, a full-channel FM transmitter with a cup holder design for listening to various iPod models while in the car. It features integrated Bluetooth hands-free functionality to connect with Bluetooth-equipped mobile devices keeps the iPod upright, giving the driver full access to the spin wheel and offering a clear view of the screen. In addition, the BTCUP features a backlit LCD display that shows the current channel. Powered through the cigarette lighter, the BTCUP supports third- through sixth-generation iPods, iPod with Video, iPod Photo, first- and second-generation iPod nano as well as the new iPod classic and the new iPod nano. The Macally BTCup also charges the iPod when docked. It can access the full FM spectrum (88.1MHz to 107.9MHz) to utilize the clearest channel available and will automatically access the last used frequency when turned on. The unit will be available for purchase in the fourth quarter of 2007 at a price of $120.
Microsoft could soon implement a new watermarking system for music that would discourage piracy without restricting the usefulness of the music, according to a newly granted patent. Titled "Stealthy Audio Watermarking," the patent originally filed in May 2004 would use audio analysis to automatically place a digital signature inside the sound itself. Encoding software on a server would either look for gaps in the energy levels of a given track or create an uneven "chess" pattern, inserting data bits in areas where they are unlikely to affect the sound. Authorized software could then piece together a signature from the resulting information, identifying who bought a given track without requiring a separate digital rights layer that might restrict which devices can play the audio file.
Owners of analog TVs should be able to hold on to them past a looming deadline, the Federal Communications Commission has ruled. While analog TV broadcasts will be officially ended in the United States as of February 2009, a panel voted five to zero to require cable company support of analog TVs until at least 2012, and possibly beyond. This may impose a significant financial burden on the cable providers, since over-the-air broadcasts will be divided solely between digital SD and HD; the only solutions will involve either converting to analog before streaming -- reducing available bandwidth -- or providing conversion hardware to each subscriber.
Native Instruments today announced a trio of products consisting of KONTAKT 3, GUITAR RIG 3, and new KOMPLETE software bundles. KONTAKT 3 is the latest version of the company's industry-leading software sampler that includes a high-resolution audio engine with comprehensive sound shaping capabilities, unique KSP script programming, and universal sample format compatibility. The latest revision of KONTAKT offers a new instrument library offers more than 1,000 ready-to-play instruments, including six themed collections titled "Band," "Orchestral", "Synth", "Urban Beats", "Vintage" and "World" based on over 33GB of high-quality source material. KONTAKT 3 is due to ship in October for $450, with updates for owners of KONTAKT 2 available at $150 each.
TRENDnet has launched a new 802.11n router, the TEW-633GR Wireless N Gigabit Gaming Router. Three antennas carry the wireless signal, which supports speeds up to 300Mbps over an indoor distance of 500 feet. Range extends to 1,300 feet outdoors. For added security, the wireless can be protected with a firewall, encrypted with WPA2-PSK, or shut off entirely. Four gigabit LAN ports allow use when wireless is not an option. The "Gaming" moniker refers to the prioritizing of lag-sensitive online titles, as well as 24 preset hosting and port triggering configurations. The 633GR is Mac, Windows and Linux compatible, and should soon be available in retail stores.
Sportline today shipped a new flagship for its Solo 900 exercise watches that is claimed to be the first of its kind. The Solo 960 is the first of its kind to include both a motion-based pedometer and a heart rate monitor without demanding any straps or other external devices. Runners can now track distance, calories, and other factors over the course of days or weeks while also checking the performance of their heart at the same time. The system is stable enough to accurately capture all the data even while on the run, Sportline says.
An anonymous source indicates that an unusual HTC phone is headed to T-Mobile. Called the Juno, it is said to run Windows Mobile, but with a "wow screen and interface," which the source adds is most likely the TouchFLO interface found on the namesake Touch phone. Somewhat resembling the iPhone's concept, TouchFLO lets users control a device through finger gestures on a large touchscreen. More remarkable may be the keypad, which is described as a QWERTY keyboard, but more closely resembles the SureType scheme used in RIM's BlackBerry phones. The compressed layout of BlackBerries allows relatively high-speed typing without occupying as much space as a full keyboard. The Juno is currently pegged as a T-Mobile exclusive, and is expected to ship in mid- to late October. [via Boy Genius Report]
Palm's shareholders today greenlighted its recent plan for partial buyout of the company by private equity firm Elevation Partners, giving the company a 25 percent stake in the smartphone maker for about $325 million. Palm in return would pay about $9 per share, or $940 million, to shareholders to compensate for their reduced influence on the company. The deal would sharpen the company's performance through "renewed innovation and focused execution," according to Palm chief Ed Colligan. The company has recently been struggling to upgrade its lineup under current conditions, having just canceled the Foleo smartphone companion and running all of its non-Windows smartphones on aging PalmOS 5 software.
AudioLobe 2 ($20) audio speed and pitch processing for Mac OS X. This release allows video files to be opened too, currently supports QuickTime (mov), MPEG4 (mp4 and m4v) and AVI video formats, and all previously-supported audio formats. It also adds left and right channel power levels, which are updated as the audio is played. [Download - 1.8MB] SampleTank 2.5 ($300) industry-standard sample workstation. Acoustic and Electric Pianos, Strings, Brass, Winds, Vocals, Orchestral sounds, Organs, Percussion, Drums, Basses, Guitars, Synths, Loops, Ethnic samples and more. This release has 33 high-quality effects taken from IKs award winning T-RackS, CSR and AmpliTube. Billable 1.2 ($35) service and invoice tracking application. Now features: better email support, new calendar-based date pickers, a new quantity service type, AppleScript support, ability to write verbose service descriptions in the new per-service note field, and a feature to mark invoices as due on receipt rather than a specific day. [Download - 2MB] Cinematize 2.0.1 Pro ($130) DVD re-editing tool. This release includes several new features such as full MPEG-1 audio decoding capability, the ability to save still images directly from Cinematize 2 Pro, support for Apple TV movie file output, and various user interface improvements as well as some fixes. [Download - 1.4MB] ProTA 3.1 ($130) stock market charting and technical analysis software for Mac OS X. Version 3.1 is now a Universal Binary, running natively on both Intel Macs and older PowerPC Macs. On Intel Macs, ProTA and ProTA Gold 3.1 operate 2-4 times faster than previous versions. Scanning a stock market database for securities meeting a user- defined criteria is now 3 times faster. [Download - 16.8MB]
Unsanity has released ShapeShifter 2.5, a significant update to the haxie that lets you change the overall appearance of your Mac using 'themes'. This update addresses a problem with Apple's Pro applications (Aperture, Logic, Final Cut) and some Cocoa applications, and now works with the Safari 3 beta. There are also miscellaneous bug fixes for theme loading and tweaking. In this release, Cocoa pull-down menus use the correct text color when pressed, guiTweak presents a more informative error dialog when an insurmountable error prevents tweaking from concluding properly, and the program properly handles OS versions with a release number greater than 9 (e.g., OS X 10.4.10). ShapeShifter is priced at $20.
Motorola today launched a new range of colorful license-free walkie talkies for simple two-way radio communication. The company's TLKR T3 and T5 (site not updated) feature a practical hanging loop that enables a wide range of ways to carry as well as use the devices, which are designed for young people who enjoy being connected to friends, according to Motorola. The T3 comes in a pack of two that each feature eight channels for selecting the best frequency, up to 20 hours of battery life, a 5km range, a sleep function, and channel scan/monitor functionality. The T5 includes all of the aforementioned features -- minus battery life -- while adding 121 codes to channels for enhanced privacy alongside a 6km range. Both walkie talkies are slated for shipment in October, though Motorola has yet to confirm pricing for either model.
Sony Japan has announced four new Blu-Ray recorders, set to ship on November 8th. All four are equipped with AVC/H.264 encoders, which allows burning material from AVCHD cameras. Critical to their appeal however is the inclusion of hard drives: the BDZ-X90 holds 500GB, while the BDZ-T70 and L70 hold 320GB, and the BDZ-T50 fits 250GB. The X90 records in both BD-R/RE and DVD-RW, and features 1080p60/24 through gold-plated HDMI, in addition to two digital and two analog TV tuners.
Logitech today strengthened its PlayStation 3 accessory lineup with a pair of chat peripherals. The MediaBoard Pro enhances the peripheral maker's wireless keyboard with a set of media keys that streamline accessing the PS3's home menu, music and video controls, and web browser shortcuts. It also comes in a glossy black that matches the Sony console, Logitech says. The scrolling trackpad and notebook-style thin keys carry over from the original MediaBoard. Logitech plans a release in October for $80.
Pure Digital has launched its latest camcorders, the Flip Video Ultra series. The focus of the cameras is on sharing, to which end they have on-board software for uploading to YouTube, AOL, and other video websites. Users can also perform simple editing and cataloguing of clips, as well as one-click e-mail transfers to peers. Remaining features are mainly cosmetic, namely a compact size, and five different colors: black, white, purple, orange and green. Zoom is limited to 2x digital. The cameras are both Mac and PC compatible, and are shipping in 1GB (30min.) and 2GB (60min.) formats for $150 and $180.
FileMaker has released an updated version of its Business Productivity Kit, aimed at providing small businesses with tools for tracking sales, contacts, product info and other information through a database. The new Kit for FileMaker Pro 9 synchs with live web content, and introduces the Web Viewer, which provides links to contacts' websites, and can display maps to customer locations. Auto Resizing keeps forms adjusted to window size, and Conditional Formatting in the inventory module can be set to produce visual alerts. The BPK is free, but requires FileMaker Pro 9 ($300).
Confirming a recent FCC leak, wireless carrier AT&T today became the first North American provider to pick up the Nokia 6555. True to expectations, the phone runs on the US company's HSDPA network at 3G speeds; a CV button immediately switches the device into AT&T's video streaming services, and a committed MEdiaNet key accesses constantly updated Internet news feeds. The carrier-specific phone also taps into MP3 and WMA subscription services from eMusic and Napster as well as live audio streaming across the Internet from XM Satellite Radio.
Loopbag has begun shipping a new backpack designed to carry portable notebooks like Apple's 13-inch MacBook alongside other important gear. The new Vanguard Backpack is designed around Loopbag's patented "Total Opening" frame, with one waterproof zipper that runs around the entire bag to produce a harmonious round shape as well as a peculiar design. The bag allows users to access the contents from anywhere -- via the main pocket or secured back pockets -- while hiding the zipper's pullers. Environmentally-friendly "Airguard" nylon offers a soft cotton-like touch and a matte aspect that is waterproof to protect contents in the multiple pockets from potentially damaging weather conditions. Loopbag's Vanguard backpack is priced at $130, and is available from kolobags.com. Loopbags also introduced accompanying Messenger and Street bags in the same style.
Following quickly in the wake of the free iUnlock application published by the iPhone Dev Team, another coder claims to have developed a graphical interface based on the same code. Although it still requires a program such as iBrickr to "jailbreak" an iPhone, users can then download and install the proper application, which should run through many of the steps automatically. It requires the v1.02 firmware, and takes over 20 minutes to complete, since it must flash the firmware again to function. Some users may have to press the Home button and restart their iPhones to get a working signal. The GUI is currently in beta, and so is slower and potentially buggier than eventually planned.
BodyGuardz has unveiled a "scratch-proof" transparent skin for Apple's iPhone, offering protection for the cellular handset without covering up the device in a case. BodyGuardz protectors are made from the same materials used to protect the front of automobiles from stones and other abrasive elements, covering the iPhone in a thin film. The skin requires no special care or maintenance, and each pack includes two Complete BodyGuardz skins. The new protective cover for Apple's iPhone is available for $25, and the company also offers skins for the MacBook Pro as well as various iPod models. BodyGuardz says it is also planning to ship protection for the iPod touch on November 3rd.
Acer's LCD display division today shifted away from its budget focus courtesy of a completely new LCD line. The P-Series displays emphasize high contrast ratios above all else; the budget 19-inch P191Wd starts off at an already high 2,000:1, climing to 2,500:1 for the 20-inch P201Wd and 22-inch P221Wd, and topping out at 3,000:1 for the premium 24-inch P241Wd. Every model also includes HDCP encryption support for full HD videos, either over a native HDMI input for the 24-inch screen or DVI for the three smaller models. A designer look is also the focus with a glossy, black bezel present on every model along with relatively inconspicuous controls.
Microsoft today launched a pair of USB webcams that it promises are ideal for sharing photos as well as video. The desktop-minded VX-7000 2-megapixel camera and its notebook sibling, the 1.3-megapixel NX-3000, are each intended to snap high-resolution photos and exchange them through a new feature known as Photo Swap: a single on-screen button snaps and sends a photo in the middle of a Windows Live chat, saving the trouble of preserving and manually transferring each shot during a video session. A similar button automatically uploads photos to Windows Live Spaces, and a hardware button streamlines bringing up a new contact by presenting a list of online contacts immediately in the middle of the screen.
Spain's Mosquito SW has released the v1.1 update to Colorate, an application for generating harmonious color palettes for professional or amateur use. Palettes are created automatically, using swatches selected from the Color Panel, dragged in from other programs, or analyzed from a submitted image. The output can then be added to the Library or saved as a CLR file. Version 1.1 allows users to tweak any of the 12 color patches, and can pick custom colors for hex notation. Spotlight support allows easier search for palette files, and the "web-safe" palette will recalculate on the fly. Colorate is technically free, but Mosquito asks for a donation in exchange.
Lenovo on Wednesday rolled out the ThinkCenter A61e, a new desktop for eco-friendly users. The tabletop system is no larger than a phonebook and is made of as much as 90 percent recyclable material. Its active energy consumption is also low through the use of 45-watt AMD Athlon 64 X2 and Sempron processors: the efficiency is such that the system can be powered exclusively through a solar panel, according to Lenovo. An 85 percent efficient power supply and 90 percent recyclable packaging also contribute to its green status.
Apple has announced that its latest retail store, built in Deer Park, Illinois, will open Saturday, September 15th at 10 AM, with select members of the press being allowed in an hour earlier. Visitors will as usual be able to test all of Apple's latest products, including the iPhone, the 20- and 24-inch aluminum iMacs, and the new video-enabled iPod nanos. The store will also feature the Genius Bar help desk and One to One training sessions, along with various workshops, organized around topics such as iWork, iLife and the iPhone. Store hours are 10AM to 9PM between Monday and Saturday, and from 12PM to 5PM on Sundays.
Apple on Wednesday introduced a long-awaited upgrade to its Logic audio production suites. Logic Studio replaces Logic Pro 7 as the company's professional editor and is the first to include MainStage, a live performance tool for both rehearsals and stage sessions; on-screen controls link directly to faders, knobs, and other hardware controls on mixing equipment. The app provides an easier-to-read display for the dim light of a concert environment and a set of pro templates that encourage experimentation with new sounds. Studio also revolves around Logic Pro 8, a new version of Apple's primary music editor that switches to a more intuitive single-window interface and enhanced features such as a snap-to-transient selection, time stretching, and sample-accurate editing straight from the Arrange window. Quick Stripe Comping that generates an ideal take and dynamic channel strip creation are also staples of the new core program, Apple says.
After months of development, participants of the unofficial iPhone Dev Team have finally achieved their own software unlock of the iPhone (download mirror). Unlike efforts from groups such as iPhoneSIMfree and UniquePhones, however, the Dev Team version is being distributed for free, and has already begun to spread rapidly across the Internet. Sources claim that the unlock has been independently tested and verified as working.
Microsoft is preparing the Mobile Memory Mouse 8000, a laptop mouse which combines several important features. Above all is 1GB of internal memory, allowing owners to treat the 8000 as a USB flash drive. The mouse also offers not one but two wireless options: Bluetooth or 2.4GHz, the latter through the same USB port that allows file transfer. A switch flips between the two. The USB connector further offers magnetic charging through a direct connection.
Palm today launched back into competition with Apple and rivals through the Treo 500v. Geared for the everyday user rather than Palm's more typical business crowd, the 500v focuses on standard e-mail, instant messaging, and web access; but unlike most phones in its range, the refreshed Treo is said to run at 3G speeds over UMTS to deliver a more broadband-like Internet connection. The upgrade is also the first Treo anywhere in the world to sport a 2-megapixel camera, which in the new phone can provide stills with up to 2.5X digital zoom or capture video. Onboard storage is larger at 256MB, with 150MB available to the user and a microSD slot providing more space for music and movies.
Logitech this morning launched the Pure-Fi Elite, the new top end of the company's still-young iPod speaker dock range. Catering to users looking for a bookshelf speaker replacement, the system produces 80 watts split across two 1-inch tweeters and two 4-inch woofers, cleanly separating treble and bass. Users can also tweak the sound field to add a 3D spatialization effect or enhance higher and lower end frequencies. Like the company's generalized AudioStation, the Elite also brings a large LCD that displays track progress from an attached iPod or tuning info from the built-in AM/FM radio.
ezGear has introduced the clearCase Classic for the Apple iPod Classic. The clearCase Classic is a crystal clear case that provides a full 360 degree view of the device, and is made of ultra-clear acrylic. It has openings on the bottom for access to the dock port, an opening on the top for the earphones and access to the hold button, and an opening for the click-wheel. The front of the clearCase flips open for installation and removal of your iPod. The case comes with an integrated removable belt clip and removable neck strap. Available for both the 80GB and 160GB iPod Classics, the clearCase is priced at $25.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
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,Â Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard DiskÂ Drive,Â 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
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl