Marware has released four new cases for Apple's latest iPod series, available for immediate purchase from Marware's website. The new iPod nano cases include the Sport Grip priced at $10, the Sportsuit Runabout -- a neoprene wrist case -- priced at $20, the Sportsuit Convertible -- which allows you to wear your iPod on your arm, your hand, attach it to a belt or shoulder strap, or carry it as a stand-alone case in your pocket or bag -- priced at $30 and the Sportsuit Relay priced at $30. The company also announced a variety of soft and hard cases for the new iPod classic. The cases include the sport Grip priced at $15, the Trail Vue -- a sporty case with a cord management bungee -- priced at $30, and the Sidewinder -- a hard plastic case with pull-out side arm for earphone storage -- also priced at $30.
Nemetschek North America has announced the latest version of its design software suite, VectorWorks 2008, consisting of Designer, Architect, Landmark, Spotlight, Machine Design, Fundamentals, and RenderWorks. The new release includes a Data Display bar that brings precision drawing into the user's line of sight, with the ability to switch quickly between mouse and keyboard inputs. A new View bar consolidates often-used viewing and organizational controls and places them within easy reach. Also included are new batch-editing capabilities, such as the ability to select and edit multiple windows and doors in walls at one time. In addition, there is a new Rotate Plan command that allows users to work on parts of a design that lie at odd angles, while still drawing orthogonally.
In brief: We've published an Odyssey Removable Hard Disk Storage System review, as well as an evaluation of the iPhone Silicone Case, Apple has filed a Video Game and Movie Database patent, Belkin has new iPod cases, and the SendStation Dock Extender for the iPod is now available in black ... We have posted a review of the Odyssey Removable Hard Disk Storage System from Imation, an easy to use storage system for the Macintosh and PC computers. Initially, you purchase a dock and one storage cartridge, you can buy individual cartridges as you need them. The initial system price varies from $249.99 to $349.99 depending on the size cartridge you choose. You can choose a 40GB, 80GB, or 120GB cartridge.
CS Odessa has announced the general availability of ConceptDraw Project 4. The newest release of the project management software adds a "Resource Usage View," enhanced Microsoft Project compatibility, a redesigned tabular project interface and a number of commonly requested usability improvements. The new "Resource Usage View" in Project 4 permits project managers to quickly ascertain a view of resource loading and task allocation for each available resource. The user interface has undergone some important changes in version 4, providing quicker navigation between projects and different status views. ConceptDraw Project 4 is an Universal Binary application and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or greater to run. ConceptDraw Project 4 is priced at $200.
NiXPS today released NiXPS 1.5, enabling Mac users to view and work with Microsoft XPS files. The Redmond-based company released XPS as its own alternative to digital documents to compete with Adobe's PDF format. NiXPS 1.5 allows Mac users to view XPS files and is built on its core NiXPS library -- which is available to developers -- which offers a wide range of XPS editing and rendering functionality. Users can add and extract pages or merge entire documents with the new software, and the latest release allows Mac users to export XPS documents to Adobe's PDF format. NiXPS 1.5 is priced at $300, with upgrades available for free to NiXPS 1.0 users.
GT Security has launched SecuriKey 2.0, updating its computer access control system by integrating AES encryption as well as multi-factor authentication support for Mac systems. "As the problems associated with data theft, unauthorized network access and stolen laptops become increasingly common, the need for a complete Mac OS security system has never been greater," said Bennett Griffin, CEO of GT Security. "SecuriKey 2.0 solves the problem with terrific capabilities that make it a robust, easy to use, and cost effective solution for companies and organizations that use the Mac." SecuriKey is available in two editions: SecuriKey Professional 2.0 -- designed for single-users -- and SecuriKey Pro Multi-User 2.0 for group security. Both editions began shipping for Mac.
The special grants that let users copy and otherwise copyrighted material could be responsible for nearly a sixth of the entire US gross domestic product, claims a study from the Computer and Communications Industry Association. The open-market group estimates that about $4.5 trillion of the revenue generated in the US, or 18 percent, rely on the fair use exceptions of 1976 that allow copies in certain circumstances. This could include anything from personal backups of music and software to educational and reporting purposes, such as capturing a TV show for a classroom or playing a song in the news. Even the music and movie industries also depend on fair use as they need the ability to copy rough edits of songs and videos, according to the study.
A recent patch issued by Microsoft, described by some as an unwanted "secret" update, was connected to Windows Update, the company has explained. The controversy stems from the patch being forcibly installed on Windows XP and Vista computers, despite many users having disabled automatic updating; this led to complaints in forums and the media, arguing that no company should be able to update a computer without consent. Without automatic updating, people must normally visit the Windows Update website and select which patches to install if any.
A Dutch website appears to not only have learned more about Samsung's P520, but suggested a new direction for the product's marketing. It will purportedly be released as the "Armani Phone," named after the famous Italian suit designer; this would make it an obvious competitor to LG's Prada phone, which also banks on the recognition of a fashion brand. The Armani Phone should similarly attempt to emulate its namesake style, partly through a leather case, but also by relying on a finger touchscreen as the primary interface.
Motorola will already have an upgrade to the RIZR Z8 before the end of the year, says an image allegedly found briefly on British cell provider O2's Coming Soon page. The Z10 would drop the neon green accents of its predecessor in favor of a more muted silver tone. Its camera would be the largest upgrade with a jump from two to 3.2 megapixels, though whether this would affect video capture resolution is unknown. Claims in the spec sheet would also continue the 30 frames per second video playback and 3G Internet access over HSDPA.
AT&T today publicly revealed first details for its version of the Motorola Q9h. Under the American carrier's service, he smartphone will be known as the Moto Q Global and should provide the faster 3G access over HSDPA of the reference model as well as its microSDHC support for as much as 32GB of extra storage. Unlike the stock version, however, the AT&T Q will add BlackBerry Connect for access to "push" e-mail from RIM's network as well as the existing Exchange e-mail inherent to Windows Mobile 6. Assisted GPS through TeleNav will be optional.
Redmatica has introduced Keymap 1.5, the latest release of an instrument editor for sampled instruments that offers integration with the EXS24 sampler in Apple Logic Pro 8, and adds more than 90 new features to the current arsenal. The integration with Logic is made through a new Organizer Window which shows the active editing sessions between the two applications and has the ability to send back and forth instruments The new Batch Instrument Creator creates EXS24 instruments directly out of samples. New Tune and Pitch functions are designed to retune acoustic instrument samples to the proper pitch and a Spectral Tuner analyzes and shows the spectrum of samples, suggesting a list of candidate tunings. The list of supported file formats now includes GarageBand, Ultrabeat (.ubs) and EXS24-Monolithic, a new format where each instrument and its samples are stored in a single file. Keymap 1.5 will be available starting September 19th, at a suggested retail price of 195 Euro or about $270.
AOL's next version of WinAmp is built to draw users away from iTunes, according to advance information supplied to Wired. Version 5.5 beta (link active by 4PM Eastern) will reportedly feature a look much closer to the Apple player to ease newcomers into the software while still allowing the skins and other customizable visual elements that have defined WinAmp since its release in the 1990s. It should also sync and manage music for iPods without requiring a plug-in, though like any non-Apple software the AOL jukebox won't play or transfer protected FairPlay songs due to Apple's access limits.
Apple today released its iPod touch Features Guide that offers tips on getting started with its latest iPod model. The guide features sections on the basics -- like applications installed on the device as well as connecting to the internet and charging the battery -- and playing music as well as video content. Various pages detail setting up the iPod, getting media onto the device, and safely disconnecting from a computer. Users reading the guide will learn how to play music, watch videos, set a sleep timer, change the buttons on the music screen, sync photos from a computer, view photos, and use a photo as wallpaper. Other sections cover using the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store, iPod touch settings, safety, and tips as well as troubleshooting options.
TransMedia has announced that it is bringing enhanced Microsoft Word document support to Apple's iPhone. The Glide Write 2.0 iPhone version works seamlessly with Glide desktop, according to the company, and automatically syncs as well as converts Microsoft Word documents for access on the cellular handset. "Glide provides the convenience and security of access to all of your most important documents and other digital files on your iPhone," said TransMedia chairman and CEO, Donald Leka. "So now you can work in Glide on your iPhone in one hand while you enjoy a cup of Starbucks coffee in the other hand." Glide Write 2.0 for iPhone opens and edits multiple Word documents simultaneously, and allows users to edit as well as format and preview documents on the phone with various text styles. The company charges $5 per month for 2GB of online storage or $50 per year for an additional 10GB.
Virgin America has announced a deal with AirCell, a data and voice provider for aviation, to bring broadband Internet to all of the former's aircraft sometime in 2008. The access will primarily be delivered via Virgin's Red entertainment system, and allow users to check e-mail, browse the web, or even connect to an office network. Crucially for some travellers, Internet will also be accessible from any device that supports the 802.11 Wi-Fi standard, such as laptops and cellphones.
Wacom today brought its Bamboo line of computer tablets from Japan to the US, hoping to spread pen input to a wider audience. The Bamboo Fun is a new addition targeted explicitly at home users who might previously have avoided tablets but now want one for sketching or editing photos; the device comes with four large, friendly programmable buttons and ships in softer colors like blue and white as well as the more conservative black and silver. Small and medium versions will also be available depending on the need, Wacom says.
Nikon has announced that its upcoming COOLPIX S51c camera, due later this month, will come with a special subscription offer to promote its wireless functions. Users will be able sign up for a free six-month period of T-Mobile's HotSpot, a series of about 8,500 Wi-Fi points located in places such as airports, Borders, Kinko's and Starbucks. This will then allow people to send photos and video directly from the camera, using Nikon's my Picturetown service to guide the photos towards e-mail, websites like Flickr, or owners of BlackBerry phones.
A new mobile shopping service has been launched by Sprint Nextel, going beyond the convention of selling downloads like music and ringtones. Simply dubbed Mobile Shopper, Sprint has lined up over 30 online stores to provide stock, such as eBags, Target and Shoes.com. These companies are selling their normal physical products, which are ordered via cellphone, but delivered via mail. To use Mobile Shopper, users must visit the website and associate a credit card and shipping address with PIN and phone numbers; only the latter two are then needed to make a purchase. Notably, Sprint is imposing no other costs on the service other than regular data fees. Any revenue Sprint receives will come from the stores it has partnered with.
Amazon's widely expected Kindle reader (pictured) could have a fixed release date and a service to match, according to a claim from French newspaper Les Echos. The trade publication backs earlier claims that Amazon will offer an eBook store in the US by October 15th that will sell both traditional eBooks and at least some newspapers, suggesting a simultaneous release of the increasingly likely Amazon device. No confirmation has been made of the expected subscription service, though the business model "isn't any different" from Les Echos' physical newspaper model, according to the report.
eTeks today released Sweet Home 3D 1.0, a free open-source application designed for drawing plans of a home -- including laying out furniture -- and viewing the result in 3D. Sweet Home 3D is aimed at users who want to quickly design an interior by drawing the walls upon the image of an existing plan, changing the color of the walls, adding furniture to the plan from a catalog organized by categories via drag-and-drop, and change the size as well as the orientation/elevation of each piece of furniture using the mouse. The software allows users to view changes in the plan simultaneously in a 3D view, either from an aerial perspective or from a visitor's point of view. Sweet Home requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and is available in English as well as French.
As promised, Recosoft has launched the first version of PDF2ID, a document conversion tool. It operates as a plug-in for Adobe's InDesign CS2 and CS3, importing PDF files while retaining their correct layout; it reforms elements such as paragraphs and images, and can also regroup elements, apply styles, and reproduce aspects such as tables and annotations. Users can further specify which elements they want, so that only text is carried over, or just images and annotations. The software is optimized for multi-core processors to avoid bogging down on newer Macs. PDF2ID for Mac OS X costs $250.
The second collaboration between Samsung and Danish electronics firm Bang & Olufsen is due in just over two weeks, according to a new teaser site. The Serenata, also known as the F310, is set to be launched by approximately October 1st. Samsung's lone preview image also suggests information hinted by a previously leaked product shot, including the rounded slider design and an iPod-like scroll wheel that hints at a music focus different from the original Serene, which was intended almost exclusively for calls.
I.R.I.S today rolled out its IRISCard 4 family of A6 color business card readers, which it claims are the smallest and fastest available. The device is compact and light, powered by USB to quickly scan business cards and store the information for later. Smart tools allow efficient contact management via search, sort, and export functionality. The device takes just six seconds to scan a business card in its standard configuration (400 dpi), while a fast scanning mode (300 dpi grayscale) scans at speeds of up to 3 seconds per card. The latest revision of the IRISCard brings USB 2 connectivity alongside support for 600 dpi color scanning and enhanced software. The IRISCard 4 works with Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows systems, recognizing business cards from 217 countries. The IRISCard 4 Mini is priced at $130, while the IRISCard 4 Pro is available for $200. The IRISCard 4 Corporate and Corporate for Microsoft Dynamics CRM are priced at $300 and $350, respectively.
Although the iPod touch has yet to be released online or to retail, PC Magazine has posted an early review, giving the player a lucrative five-star rating. The Touch is described as an iPhone stripped down to essential perks: its touchscreen is identical, as is the interface, which lets users quickly browse their albums through Cover Flow, as well as the web via Wi-Fi and the Safari and YouTube browsers. A new option on the Touch is the "double-click," which lets users double-tap the Home button to display music controls over any other window, even if the screen has gone dark.
SanDisk on Thursday expanded its storage options with its first ExpressCard flash drives. Simply titled the Express series, the new cards are designed to shuttle data at the speeds needed for high-end HD video and still cameras where SD and even CompactFlash would be too slow. It should be the first card to meet the jointly-developed SxS rating from SanDisk and Sony that guarantees high transfer speeds for video, according to the former company. Sony's
Members of the British press are receiving a mysterious invite to an Apple UK event, accounts say. Sent by e-mail, the invite contains very little information; primarily it directs people to Apple's Regent Street store in London, where a press conference will be held September 18th, starting at 10AM GMT (5AM EST). Instructions are given for transporation and parking options. The only indication of the conference's subject is a one-line header, "Mum is no longer the word."
Alltel today began carrying the RAZR2 V9m, becoming the third to carry the CDMA-based phone in the US. The provider's version of the phone is unique through its support of Alltel's Celltop interface, which lets users constantly check news, weather, and other information through widgets built into a centralized interface. Ten widgets are included with the RAZR2 with more downloadable afterwards, Alltel says. The specialized version of Motorola's clamshell also uses the relatively fast EVDO Internet connection to stream XM's online radio and combine with the phone itself for assisted GPS through a TeleNav subscription.
The recent iPhone price drop won't have a significant effect on any of Apple's rivals in the cellphone industry, according to HTC chief finance officer Hui-ming Cheng. While the cut was significant, the reality was that Apple's $399 price was still $100 to $200 more than many of its rivals after factoring in carrier subsidies, Cheng said. The executive made the remark in advance of the release of multiple high-profile phones from HTC which are likely to match or beat the iPhone in terms of price after discounts, such as Sprint and possible T-Mobile editions of the Touch. The touchscreen device has often been described as the most direct challenger to the iPhone given its touchscreen emphasis and a worldwide release.
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Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE
French show carries on with iPhones
Following a prolonged power loss in a French TV studio, the crew was able to use a combination of limited studio lighting and a number of iPhones to continue taping the Saturday episode of talk show On n'est pas couché ("We're Still Awake"), using the resulting footage in the first edited episode. The Plus-model iPhones used for the impromptu shoot completion were either iPhone 6 Plusses (which shoot in 1080p) or 6s Plus models (which can shoot in 4K). The decision to use the iPhones to complete the show was made after a power outage at France 2's studio stretched to more than three hours. http://bit.ly/299wqDt
Scrivener for iOS to arrive in late July
For some long-time Scrivener users, to quote Paul Simon, "these are the days of miracle and wonders." As it marks its 10th anniversary in business, developer Keith Blount has announced that the long-awaited iOS version of his creative-writing tool Scrivener is to be submitted to the App Store, following strong praise from beta-testers. The program, expected in late July, will sell for $20 and work with both the iPad and iPhone. When we interviewed Blount last January, he added that Scrivener 3 for Mac would follow along shorty afterwards. http://bit.ly/2901XLE
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