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AMD's triple-core Phenom
One day ahead of Intel's Developer Forum, AMD has announced its new triple-core AMD Phenom for desktops. AMD's Phenom triple-core processors are expected to be the first PC processors to integrate three computational cores on a single die of silicon and are expected to ship in the first quarter of 2008. The x-86-based desktop processor will complement AMD's Phenom quad-core processors, which the company introduced in May and remain on schedule to ship in 2007. Utilizing the Direct Connect Architecture, the triple-core Phenom features an integrated memory controller and a shared L3 cache. Like the quad-core Phenom, the mid-market CPU also supports HyperTransport 3.0 and up to 16GB/sec of high bandwidth I/O as well as Cool'n'Quiet 2.0 technology that enables independent frequency adjustments to each processor core, and the HyperTransport bus and memory controller.
Leopard could break CS3
Adobe today said that its popular applications for graphics and design professionals have not been certified for use with Apple's upcoming operating system, Mac OS X Leopard. With the final release of Apple's next-generation operating system expected in the next six weeks, Adobe said it had not received a final copy for testing. Company execs said that Photoshop, Illustrator and other Creative Suite 3 programs have not been fully tested with Leopard -- which is due out next month but available for pre-order -- and could lead to incompatibility issues for Adobe CS3 users. Apple first publicly demonstrated Leopard last June at WWDC and original scheduled for release for Spring of 2007, but later said that iPhone development would take away resources from Mac OS X and delay Leopard until October.
Universal MediaWorks 6.2
Interactive Solutions has announced a Universal binary version of MediaWorks. In addition to running natively on Intel-based Macs, the new release includes more than 100 minor improvements and bug fixes, including new menu options to export to iPhone and Apple TV. The Mac version of MediaWorks Animator now supports drag and drop of multiple files, free rotation and has a new checkbox to show an outline of the previous frame. The help system has been revised, and there is a new getting started document as well as 15-day Trial versions. The update is free for registered customers of version 6.0 or higher, and is otherwise priced at $80.
Apple boosts iPhone output
Apple's decision to cut the iPhone price $200 has resulted in a subsequent decision to boost output of the device ahead of an anticipated increase in sales. The Street reports that a source familiar with the latest info says Apple is raising its manufacturing target for the fiscal first quarter, upping its current queue of 1.54 million iPhones. Meanwhile, UBS analyst Ben Reitzes raised his iPhone sales estimate to about 3 million for the year, up from 2.3 million previously. "We believe that demand was stimulated almost immediately for the iPhone following the price cut on Sept. 5 and that international partnerships should help sales next year," Reitzes wrote in a research note Friday.
Woz at the Emmys
In brief: Apple is planning a new flagship retail store in brooklyn, the Woz appears at the Emmys with Kathy Griffin, Oranged.net Software has released a new tool called Accounted, Dejal is celebrating its 16th anniversary with discounts, Scotsys will hold a series of Mac photography seminars, and Shure's SE headphones are iPhone compatible ... Apple is planning to open a Flagship Store in Brooklyn. At this time is which neighborhood the the store is planned, but Racked posits several possibilities "Williamsburg: Can you think of a major big-box retailer with a presence in the Burg? Exactly. Which is why this has to happen. Picture the hipsters, fresh off the L Train, wandering up North 6th and into the Apple Store, firm in their decision to avoid the $40 used iPod Shuffle on Craigslist in favor of the real $99 McCoy. These are the moments of our lives. Steve, baby, make it so."
SPSS 16 released
SPSS Inc has released SPSS 16.0, a revised version of its statistical software suite of products. This release is integrated with SPSS' Predictive Enterprise Services (PES) analytics platform to direct and automate decisions. PES allows companies to analyze customers' attitudinal and behavioral data. This allows detecting fraud, potentially increasing revenues through cross-selling and up-selling, and improving overall business process efficiencies and outcomes. Also new in version 16 is a revised user interface written completely in Java, significantly expanded analytical capabilities, enhanced data management, improved programmability and greater performance and scalability in enterprise applications.
3G/GPS iPhone due in 2008
In the wake of reportedly confirmed iPhone for Europe deals and ahead of tomorrow's press event in the UK, Apple will begin shipping a new iPhone model with faster 3G support early next year while boosting output for the fourth quarter of this year, according to sources cited by TheStreet.com. The new cellular handset -- which could include global positioning capability for navigation services -- will be available some time in the first quarter of 2008, bringing high-speed internet anywhere and satisfying one of the two largest complaints about Apple's smartphone. The Cupertino-based company slashed pricing on its iPhone models on September 6th, addressing the second major concern of critics. Apple's current iPhone model uses AT&T's EDGE network, which offers internet speeds only slightly faster than a dialup connection until the phone comes within range of an accessible WiFi network. Rumors are also circulating that Apple is planning to use Broadcom's Global Locate unit to supply GPS chips in future models. Sources reportedly familiar with Apple's plans say the company is also using TriQuint to produce power amplification chips for the new iPhone.
iTunes 7.4.2 update
Apple on Monday released an update to the software for its online media store and music/video management for iPods. iTunes 7.4.2, available via the Software Update preference panel as a 38.5MB download, addresses an issue with creating ringtones using iTunes Plus song purchases and includes bug fixes to improve stability and performance, according Apple's documentation. The iTunes 7.4.1 update, released less than 10 days ago, appeared to address hacks by users that enabled them to create ringtones for free; however, users later found a modified method that allowed them to create custom ringtones without using iTunes ringtone service, which not only charges $0.99, but is also limited to a small set of songs from Apple's entire catalog.
Media Center WebGuide
Microsoft's Media Center interface is acquiring two new features that will greatly improve its usefulness online, according to news from the electronics promo group CEDIA. The Redmond, Washington developer today announced that it has struck a deal to integrate WebGuide into the software and should soon gain the ability to stream video from a home TV source over the Internet. Similar to the Slingbox, the extension lets users rely on a cellphone or web browser to remotely view shows. Users with DVRs and other recording equipment attached to the PC can also queue shows by issuing simulated remote commands, WebGuide adds. The previously $18 feature is now free and should receive future updates from its developer despite the Microsoft takeover.
HP dx, HDX laptops
Expanding beyond new entries in its dv and tx laptops, specifications have come out on two more HP systems. The HDX9100 is a successor to the current HDX9000; although it should be a desktop replacement unit, little is known other than it will likely retain the 9000's 20.1-inch size. More remarkable may be the dx6600, important for being the first in a new dx series. Limited to integrated graphics on a 15.4-inch display, its main features will come in the form of hardware abilities, such as dual-layer DVD burning with LightScribe labelling.
Apple trademarks MainStage
Apple has trademarked "MainStage," term which relates directly to the recent release of its Logic Studio software. Hong Kong's Intellectual Office today published the Cupertino-based company's trademark under application number 300953901, which was filed under international classifications 9, 16, 41 and 42. Apple asserts a claim of priority based on Trinidad and Tobago application number 38555, which was filed in June of this year. The term MainStage was used last week in an Apple press release describing the company's new software: "MainStage turns the Mac into a powerful live performance rig that produces reliable, consistent sound--whether music is being made at home, in a rehearsal space, or in front of an audience."
Limit on Cell Cancel Fees
Consumer advocate groups today began supporting a new law put forth in the US Senate that could potentially reduce early contract termination fees or eliminate them altogether for some customers. Both the Consumers Federation of America and the Consumers Union have backed a move that would scrap the fees for any subscriber who quits their contract within 30 days of signing up, allowing customers to more easily back out of a poorly performing service without incurring a penalty. The measure would also prorate the fees after the 30-day period so that customers would not necessarily have to pay the full amount to exit a contract.
HP planning new notebooks
Information has leaked through the site Notebook Italia indicating that a number of new notebooks from HP/Compaq are on the way. These include new HP Pavilion models: the dv2600, dv6600, dv9600 and tx1300 notebooks. Graphics options will include the Intel NVIDIA GeForce 8400M, GMA X3100, or GeForce 7100M. The dv9600 can also use the NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GS, and be configured with two hard drives for a maximum capacity of 500GB (2 x 250GB). The Pavilion tx1300 will only use AMD processors, and the NVIDIA C51M chipset paired. It's compact, using a 12.1" display and offering NVIDIA GeForce Go 6150. All models can be equipped with a variety of WiFi and Bluetooth chipsets. Finally, the new Compaq Presario C700 and C500 will utilize the Intel/X3100 AMD/GeForce Go 6100 chipset combinations respectively.
Nokia 8900: photos, specs
Preliminary information has slipped out for what may be the Nokia 8900, the latest in the company's line of high-end cellphones. Correspondingly, it has a high-gloss black exterior, with metallic trim around the edges; the screen also appears to be relatively large for a non-smartphone product. Another unusual design feature involves its slider mechanism, which does not slide one section over another. Instead the phone "breaks" open, revealing a centrally-located numberpad.
Samsung t429 at T-Mobile
T-Mobile today picked up a new mid-to-low range phone in its range of Samsung slider phones. The t429 aims at bringing an added level of sophistication to a frequently stripped-down field. Relatively slim at 0.6 inches, the blue handset incorporates a VGA camera and Bluetooth that let it take pictures, pair with a headset, or transfer files. T-Mobile also supplies the phone with a suite of instant messaging tools to handle AIM, ICQ, Windows Live, or Yahoo chats. Some of the voice features sometimes omitted from the class are also present, such as voice memo recording and support for use as a speakerphone.
EU targets iTunes
Emboldened by the European Court's rejection of Microsoft's appeal against a 2004 European Commission ruling that declared the company in violation of European anti-trust regulations, the EU is taking square aim at Apple's iTunes according to several reports. Starting this Wednesday, the European Commission will begin holding hearings on the pricing structure of Apple's online store. The basis of the complaint is this: Apple charges different prices to European consumers dependent on their country of purchase. The consequences for a decision against Apple in this matter could be steep: the regulators have the ability to fine companies up to 10% of their global revenue if they are found to be in violation of antitrust law.
Kensing sd200v laptop dock
Continuing a spate of announcements, Kensington has launched the sd200v, its latest laptop dock. Meant to expand the usefulness of a laptop when sitting at a desk, it connects via a single USB port, but allows users to attach speakers and up to five USB devices, such as mice and keyboards. The focus however is on a VGA port, which allows an external display; a button on the dock toggles the display between mirroring the existing laptop screen, or treating it as a second screen for an expanded desktop. Resolutions up to 1280x1024 or 1440x900 are supported.
Firm issues widget warning
Web security firm Finjan today warned users that "widgets" and "gadgets" are posing serious security risks to computer, and that the small software add-ons should be treated just like full-sized applications. Finjan points to several security vulnerabilities which were repaired by various widget vendors after the firm discreetly offered information about those issues. While Apple is listed as one of the larger platforms supporting widgets, none of the listed security vulnerabilities reported so far afflict the Cupertino-based company's Mac OS X operating system. Finjan recommends refraining from using non-trusted third-party widgets or gadgets, and suggests exercising caution when using interactive widgets that rely on external sources like RSS feeds. Recent vulnerabilities were discovered in Windows Vista Contacts Widget, Live.com RSS reader, and Yahoo! Widgets Contacts. Finjan is actively warning users to expect an increase in attacks through unsecured widgets in the near future.
Launch2net 1.6.17 released
Nova Media today released launch2net 1.6.17, adding support for 10 more mobile phones including the Sony Ericsson P1i and Nokia 6120 Classic. Launch2net is designed to turn a mobile device into a wireless internet connection tool for computers running Mac OS X. The software includes presets for mobile network operators worldwide, and the connection suite supports most mobile devices available -- including ExpressCard and wireless USB-modems, as well as PC datacards and mobile phones. The mobile connection suite also allows users to monitor data volume transferred as well as time spent online to maintain control of online costs. Launch2net is available for $105 and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later, with upgrades available for free to current launch2net license holders.
Accounted 1.0 released
Oranged Software today released Accounted 1.0 following a beta version that the company released early this month for testing purposes. Accounted is a finance management application that supports double entry accounting as well as accounts receivable/payable. The software allows users to work with split transactions or print checks, and displays several totals at the bottom of the program via a "Totals Ticker" that scrolls across the screen. Accounted supports transactions, tracks payees, automatically generates charts, tracks recurring transactions, and allows users to pay bills from Accounts Payable items. Accounted 1.0 features asset and liability accounts, several new actions in the transactions list, new interface features/options, and random sample data generation. The software is priced at $60 and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Sprint AIRAVE launch
Sprint has officially launched AIRAVE, a base station built by Samsung. Now being sold in portions of Denver and Indianapolis, Sprint claims that the product is the first commercially available femtocell, which works with a Sprint phone and a broadband connection to improve the reception of in-home wireless calls.
More crucially for some customers, calling within range of the AIRAVE is unlimited aside from the costs of the AIRAVE itself and a wireless voice plan. Moving out of range transfers callers back to the Sprint PCS network. An AIRAVE costs $50, plus $15 per month for individual subscribers, or $30 a month for families. Sprint plans to to cover all of Denver, Indianapolis and Nashville by the end of 2007, and expand to the rest of the country during 2008.
QuickerTek WiFi upgrades
QuickerTek has unveiled a complete wireless networking upgrade for Mac Pro (site not updated) systems available as either an antenna or a wireless card/antenna combination upgrade. The upgrade adds wireless connectivity to Apple's Mac Pro systems ordered without a special-order 802.11g/n card, and extends the range of those Mac Pro systems that shipped with a wireless card by up to 50 percent. The antenna upgrade moves the computer's antenna outside of the case to the outside world where it can receive as well as send more signals. QuickerTek says the upgrades are made to the same specifications as Apple's factory networking equipment, and work with all 802.11 b/g/n wireless equipment which includes Apple's AirPort and AirPort Extreme hardware. QuickerTek's antenna upgrade is priced at $130, while the card/antenna combo is priced at $180.
Wx, iPhoneWx upgrades
Two versions of the Wx weather application, which tracks multiple weather factors across the United States, have received significant updates. The main software has been upgraded to v5.1, and now includes a feature called "Pro Forecast," which provides a more detailed seven-day outlook. Included in this view is the latest National Weather Service model, combining 11 variables including temperature, cloud cover, precipitation and wind speed/direction. Wx is native for Intel and PowerPC Macs, and requires Mac OS X 10.4; the full software costs $17, but is available as a limited trial for 30 days.
Online music retailer eMusic today revealed that it will begin selling audiobooks through its web-based portal, potentially upturning the traditionally closed-off digital audiobook industry. Reflecting the company's existing approach to albums and songs, eMusic will sell a selection of books in MP3 format. This will allow virtually any computer or handheld to play the files regardless of format support and will let users copy songs freely -- a break from books offered at Audible, iTunes, and similar stores, which often apply copy-protection to each song.
SWsoft, Intel partnership
SWsoft -- the parent company of Parallels -- today announced that it is working with Intel to speed up the adoption of virtualization software. "Intel and SWsoft are collaborating to make desktop virtualization an accepted and mainstream technology," SWsoft says. "The companies have a shared vision to deliver a desktop virtualization solution that is easy to use, flexible and simple to administer while providing high levels of security and performance." Both Intel and SWsoft are working together at the engineering level to speed up Intel Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (Intel VT-d) and Intel Trusted Execution Technology (Intel TXT). The companies will work together with major OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) hardware companies as well as independent software vendors to develop virtualization-powered workstation and client computing software. SWsoft said it intends to become the industry's first virtualization software vendor to provide support for VT-d and TXT in Clients and Workstations.
anySIM iPhone unlocker
Members of the iPhone Dev Team have released another iPhone unlocking tool, anySIM (download, mirror). The program is described as fully automatic, needing only to be copied to a "jailbroken" iPhone and launched from the Springboard interface. It is also much shorter than some alternatives, needing only three to five minutes to execute the whole process. anySIM is a free download; to deter others from creating commercial imitations, the Dev Team says it will be releasing the source code within a few days.
Kensington FM transmitters
Kensington today announced new FM transmitters alongside two ergonomic notebook cases as part of a massive product unveiling. The company's LiquidFM Transmitters allow users to play tracks from an iPod or other portable media device in high fidelity through a vehicle's stereo while keeping the player charged for later use. LiquidFM Transmitters features Kensington's "ClearFM" technology to deliver high sound quality while featuring QuickSeek and RDS technology to eliminate time-consuming tuning and display song as well as artist information on compatible car stereos. The company's Contour Active Cases feature Kensington's "Contour" panel for ergonomic support while carrying a notebook, and feature clean external lines with a slim profile to please fashion-conscious users. Both the Contour Active Notebook Messenger and Contour Active Notebook Vertical Messenger are available in graphite finishes (pricing was unavailable). The company's FM Transmitters include the LiquidFM Deluxe for iPod, LiquidFM for iPod ($80), LiquidFM Plus for MP3 Players ($70), and LiquidFM for MP3 Players.
Glide Presenter 2.0 iPhone
TransMedia has released Glide Presenter 2.0, the latest version of its online presentation software that supports the iPhone. Presenter allows users to create presentations through an online operating system, adding elements such as music, video and other documents stored on TransMedia's servers; presentations can then be e-mailed, shared or discussed through other Glide applications. The iPhone version is of course formatted for a cellphone interface, but should function with the desktop version, and is able to export documents created in Glide to PowerPoint or PDF files.
Kensington today made sweeping changes to its controllers with the release of its SlimBlade series of controllers built for users who want to present media at home or at work. The releases are headlined by the SlimBlade Media Mouse, a wine-red pointer designed for home theater computers; tracking the same as any other laser mouse when on a desk, the use of a scroll ball lets it double as a remote. Dedicated media buttons also let it quickly choose tracks, play or pause, and adjust volume. Like most of the SlimBlade line, the design is notebook-friendly at 25 to 35 percent thinner than most mice and runs wirelessly up to 30 feet away from its USB receiver. It should be available in many areas today for $60 and is accompanied by a $100 Media Notebook Set that bundles the Media Mouse with a thin wireless keyboard and breakaway keypad.
Analyst ups AAPL estimate
Research firm American Technology Research is raising its estimates for Apple's performance based on strong iPhone, iPod, and Mac sales momentum. Senior research analyst Shaw Wu says the Cupertino-based company is very likely to beat its own guidance by a large sum: "Based on our checks with supply chain sources, we believe Apple is on track to beat its guidance substantially," Wu wrote in a research note obtained by MacNN. "Our sources indicate broad strength across business lines and a favorable high-end mix." American Technology Research is raising its forecast to $5.96 billion in revenue and $0.83 in earnings-per-share, up from $5.8 billion and $0.73, beating Apple's own guidance of $5.7 billion and $0.65 as well as Wall Street consensus of $5.94 billion and $0.81. Wu expects a gross margin of 32.5 percent -- up from 30.8 percent -- vs. guidance of 29.5 percent. The analyst is reiterating his 'Buy' rating with a $185 price target on Apple shares.
European iPhone confirmed?
Several reports appear to solidify details for the European launch of the iPhone. British newspaper The Guardian indicates that the press event scheduled for September 18th will make O2 the official UK carrier of the iPhone, while T-Mobile will be linked to Germany on Wednesday, and Orange will take France on Thursday. The UK deal is said to be complicated; aside from Apple and O2, independent distributor Carphone Warehouse will be allowed to sell iPhones, receiving both commissions and revenue sharing from O2. Simply in dealing with Apple, O2 is expected to give the former 40 percent of iPhone revenue, plus another percentage of the sale price.
SpiralFrog Music Store
SpiralFrog this morning kicked off the launch of its self-titled online music service, hoping to try a relatively new business model. Rather than require users to purchase music or pay subscription fees, the service is completely free; the costs of media are supported by embedded ads, according to the company. This includes both songs as well as music videos, either of which use the protected version of the Windows Media Audio and Video formats respectively to help SpiralFrog track popularity rather than to deter theft. The store currently holds 800,000 songs and 3,500 music videos from major and independent labels and frequently includes biographies and reviews for artists similar to for-pay stores.
MS Loses EU Appeal
The European Court of First Instance today rejected Microsoft's appeal against a 2004 European Commission ruling that declared the company in violation of European anti-trust regulations. The decision upheld all major points of the decision, which claimed that the American software developer had shut out competitors by simultaneously limiting access to source code for its server software as well as by bundling Windows Media Player. The Court of First Instance in particular said there was no "objective justification" for requiring Windows Media Player's inclusion with the Microsoft operating system and argued that competitors such as RealNetworks were unable to challenge Microsoft's relative dominance of digital media.
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