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DLO iPod portable power
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters has introduced new PowerBugs -- portable power/charging devices -- for the recently announced iPod nano, iPod classic and iPod touch. The chargers let users draw power using any AC wall outlet. It offers a compact, fold-away design and includes an iPod charging cable to power any dockable iPod. The PowerBug for shuffle includes a cable specific to the second generation iPod shuffles. The company has also announced the DLO Auto Charger, available in black or white. Like the PowerBugs, the Auto Charger provides a status light to let users know their iPod's charging condition at a glance - viewable through the clear lens in the charger module. The Auto Charger glows red for charger 'power on' status, amber when it's charging and green when the iPod's battery is fully charged.
New Missing Sync debuts
Mark/Space today debuted The Missing Sync for Symbian, a new application that synchronizes contacts, calendar events, and tasks as well as music, photos, files, and video. The software enables users with Symbian-based devices from Motorola, Nokia, and Sony Ericsson to synchronize contacts and other information with Mac OS X. The Missing Sync for Symbian already supports the Motorola Z8, Nokia N95, and Sony Ericsson P1 smartphones, according to Mark/Space. Built-in support for Apple's Sync Services technology allows users to synchronize information with other Sync Services-enabled applications like Microsoft Entourage 2004 and Chronos' SOHO Organizer. The Missing Sync for Symbian is slated for shipment in the first quarter of 2008 in English, French, and German for $40. The software requires Mac OS X 10.4.10 or later with a supported Symbian handset with Bluetooth capability.
Math Blaster comes to Macs
Knowledge Adventure today released Math Blaster: Master the Basics for Mac users. The software allows children ages 6-12 to practice important early math skills by using challenging, fast-paced video game play. "Master the Basics, robots are running the galaxy, so players must fire up their energy gloves, hop on their space cycles, blast through space and master their math skills to save the universe and defend the human race. They will defeat the robots by solving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems, zipping and zooming through thousands of practice equations. Speed and accuracy will be increased as they play through three action-packed worlds and eight levels of math difficulty, gaining the confidence it takes to master math basics." Math Blaster: Master the Basics is priced at $30 (Mac system requirements were unavailable).
Navizon "GPS" for iPhone
Mexens Technology today released Navizon, a virtual GPS (Global Positioning System) for Apple's iPhone that uses Wi-Fi and cellular tower triangulation to show an iPhone owner their current location. The software adds a "Locate Me" button that allows iPhone users to see their position on a map and get directions to another destination, providing nearly the same functionality that other cellular phones offer with built-in GPS chips, according to the company. Navizon is utilizes a collaborative database where users can contribute wireless beacons' locations that let other members simulate a virtual GPS on their devices. Navizon is also available for Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows, as well as several other mobile platforms. The service is available for $25 and requires that Java is installed on the destination system.
PiP 1.0 released
Pleasant Software has released PiP 1.0, a freeware tool that enables users to show video from any Webcam on the desktop. The software integrates video as a picture within a picture, making it useful for live presentations or screencast recordings. PiP automatically places itself in the menubar after launch to reduce the number of items in the dock, and allows users to define a keyboard shortcut to smoothly fade video in as well as out. The application supports changing the video device along with its settings, and can rotate the video picture by 180-degrees. PiP is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later with a Mac-enabled Webcam.
NBC one-week downloads
NBC.com today unveiled a new service called NBC Direct that brings the network's primetime and late-night TV shows to users' desktops for a full week after the shows air. "With the creation of this new service, we are acknowledging that now, more than ever, viewers want to be in control of how, when and where they [watch] their favorite entertainment," said Vivi Zigler, vice president of NBC Digital Entertainment. "Not only does this feature give them more control, but it also gives them a higher quality video experience." A beta version of the new service will begin serving up shows to Windows users in October by providing full episodes which will expire one week after they are broadcast. A Mac version is planned at an unspecified later date. Content slated for availability during NBC's launch of the new service includes "30 Rock," "Bionic Woman," "Friday Night Lights," "Heroes," "Life," "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," "The Office," and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," according to ComingSoon.net.
Komodo 4.2 ($300) multi-platform, multi-language integrated development environment (IDE) for advanced web development. This release incorporates more useful features like auto-update, necessary features like bug fixes, and nice-to-have features like soft characters, plus improved functionality for dynamic languages. [Download - form]
PandoraJam 1.1 ($15) enables you to use the Pandora.com radio service on your Mac desktop. You can stream music wirelessly, record audio for playback on iPods, and submit tracks to Last.fm. Features desktop integration via Growl notifications, instant messenger updates and keyboard shortcuts. This release adds support for password protected AirTunes networks. [Download - 6.8MB]
iWisdom 1.50 (free) program that manages a collection of quotations or other brief insights. Tracks a rich set of data fields concerning each bit of wisdom, including author, source, year of publication, title and category. The user interface has had a major overhaul, with the addition of a split pane that allows a list of quotations to be seen side-by-side with the details of a particular, selected quotation. File backup and revert commands have also been added, to make it easier to save and optionally restore a selected version of a wisdom collection. The program's ability to import quotations from existing free-form text files has also been improved. [Download - 3.3MB]
iListen 1.7.1 ($184 with mic) speech recognition software. This release provides bug fixes to address issues that were discovered since the release of version 1.7.0. Various issues in the documentation have also been addressed, and a new QuickStart Guide has been added. Documentation can be found in the Documentation folder, which is inside the folder named "iListen," inside the Applications folder on your hard drive. [Download - 8.9MB]
QuickHelp 3.0 ($300) Support documentation tool. Help information is stored in one platform neutral XML file. The help file can include conditional topics and text to present a customized user experience based on the computer platform or product options. The help window has an expandable table of contents, web browser like navigation, index and search capabilities. The new release is a Universal Binary application that runs at native speed on any PPC or Intel based Mac OS X computer. The royalty-free viewer can present application help as a standalone application or integrated as a window within the developer's application.
Rumble returns to Sixaxis
Rumble feedback is set to return to the controller for Sony's PlayStation 3 console, according to reports. Originally a popular feature of the PlayStation 2's Dual Shock gamepad, it was taken out for the PS3's Sixaxis, due to legal threats from technology supplier Immersion. That case was settled earlier this year however, paving the way for future partnership.
A rumble-ready Sixaxis is said to already be on display at this week's Tokyo Game Show, and supported in the upcoming racing title Burnout Paradise. PS3 owners can already use earlier PlayStation controllers for rumble in PS1 and PS2 games, so long as the games themselves include this support. This was introduced with a PS3 firmware update in April. [via IGN]
Sony Ericsson goes HTC
Sony Ericsson has placed a massive order with fellow cellphone maker HTC, says the Chinese-language Commercial Times. The former will reportedly receive over one million phones in 2008, an amount so large that it should account for 10 to 20 percent of all of HTC's expected shipments for the year. HTC, creators of proprietary designs such as the Touch and TyTN II, also makes a number of reference designs for companies around the world; it has never taken ODM orders from Sony Ericsson however, who is said to be the first A-list cellphone vendor in its roster.
Data-driven site on iPhone
FMWebschool today released a new video demonstrating FileMaker driven websites on Apple's iPhone as well as a new Dreamweaver iPhone extension that enables users to quickly build FileMaker websites for the cellular handset. "Imagine a flower delivery company where the driver can simply look at his iPhone, see all of the deliveries for the day, and simply click on a Google map link to get directions. Since the delivery drivers phone is connected to their main database, he can check for any updates prior to the delivery, and can mark the delivery as complete once he has made the deliveries. The data is automatically updated in the database." Demonstration videos are available of using database-driven websites on the iPhone as well as building a website and deploying it on the iPhone.
Notebooks go WiMAX
Several companies are announcing plans to carry notebooks with Intel chips featuring WiMAX support, InfoWorld reports. ASUS, Acer, Lenovo, Toshiba and Panasonic have all agreed to support Intel's upcoming Montevina platform, which features Centrino Duo processors. The decree, coinciding with the ongoing Intel Developer Forum, contains some notable absentees: major PC builders Dell and Hewlett-Packard have not signed on, nor has Apple, which switched to Intel processors in 2006. Core 2 Duo chips figure prominently in the marketing of MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks.
Hard cases for 3G Nano
SwitchEasy today unveiled its Black Biscuit hard case for Apple's third-generation iPod nano, and announced that its "Color Biscuits" cases will begin shipping on September 28th. Biscuits and Black Biscuit are designed to offer complete protection for Apple's newest Nano with an ultrasonic welded polycarbonate window to guard the delicate screen. The Black Biscuit features a disappearing LCD screen effect, and all of the new cases boast easy slide-in construction for simple installation. An accessory kit includes a black static membrane guard for the steel back of the iPod, along with a click-wheel static membrane guard and a color matching "connector protector" to prevent damage to the Nano's 30-pin dock connector. Biscuits will ship in five colors which include "ivory white," "ruby red," "sassy pink," "pastel blue," and "green apple" for $20 each, while the Black Biscuit ships for $22.
Google On Track for Phone
Google is still developing its own cellphone for release within the next few months, claim industry connections at Taiwan's cellphone manufacturers. In spite of reports that the search engine creator was focusing only on its own operating system, the sources allege that HTC has still been tapped to produce a handset for Google and that the primary issue is the chipset for cellular Internet access, which may delay the phone's release depending on Google's final choice. While the company has so far planned to use a Texas Instruments EDGE chipset that would let it release a cellphone before the end of the year, the company has been contemplating a 3G chipset from Qualcomm that would offer much faster speeds. This could push back a release to early 2008 through licensing and patent issues, the insiders say.
Pan-euro iTunes pricing
Steve Jobs is sticking to his claim that Apple wants to charge the same price for iTunes downloads in all European countries. In a press conference for the German iPhone announcement, Jobs said "We think prices should be the same. We think anybody in Europe should buy off any store." 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.
HP Slowing PC Orders
HP is expecting troubled sales for at least some of its computers late this year, according to a recent study from Goldman Sachs. Financial analysts at the group noted that the PC maker was reportedly scaling back part orders for its systems during the late summer and fall, particularly in the company's home market of the US and for desktops. Notebooks were also affected, Goldman Sachs said. Researchers suggested that the company may have optimistically ordered more than it could anticipate selling; the company may also be anticipating lower sales due to the perilous US economic situation, the report adds.
Vodafone on iPhone impact
One of the parent owners of Verizon Wireless, Vodafone, claims that the Apple iPhone has caused little to no drain of Verizon's subscriber base, despite fears to the contrary. Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin notes that in the aftermath of the June 29th launch of the iPhone, it did in fact see enough subscribers switch to AT&T that Verizon's porting ratios went negative, instead of growing; but within a month, he tells Reuters, they had returned to normal. A similar cycle is said to have happened when Apple cut the price of the iPhone from $599 to $399.
FileMaker Pro Basics
FileMaker today released FileMaker Pro Basics, a comprehensive downloadable set of training materials designed to help K-12 educators learn the essentials of creating FileMaker Pro 9 databases. FileMaker Pro Basics is comprised of two modules each containing a PDF document with exercises and two databases -- one to perform the exercises and a second to check against tasks -- for use with individual, self-paced training or as part of instructor-led professional development training in a school or district. Users learn build and modify custom forms, enter and find data, create labels as well as letters and reports, add security to a FileMaker Pro database, and share a FileMaker Pro database via the Web. Optimized for the new FileMaker Pro 9 release, the materials are available for free alongside a trial of FileMaker Pro 9.
MacGourmet 2.2, Nutrition
Advenio today released MacGourmet: Nutrition, a new plug-in for the company's MacGourment wine and recipe cooking note organization utility that brings simple ingredient-based nutritional analysis to Mac users. The plug-in generates a nutritional estimate form recipe ingredients based on the latest information based on the USDA in a few simple steps. Advenio today also released MacGourmet 2.2 as a free update to current users. THe latest revision adds new user-requested features like a widescreen display mode, summary table views, and a new plug-in installer. MacGourmet 2.2 is priced at $25, while Nutrition is available for $10.
Rogers adopts Treo 750
Palm's Treo 750 smartphone has made its Canadian debut, and is now being carried by Rogers Wireless. The phone is the first Treo on Rogers' HSDPA broadband service, hosted in a limited number of urban areas; the company has also seen fit to load the 750 with Windows Mobile 6 Professional, which includes features such as Direct Push e-mail and Office Mobile productivity software.
The display is a 240x240 touchscreen, and its memory includes 60MB of free internal storage that can be boosted with miniSD cards up to 4GB in size. Music and other audio can be streamed to stereo Bluetooth headsets. Rogers is charging $650 CAD for the 750 without a contract, but the price can drop as far as $250 with a three-year agreement.
New third-gen Nano gear
Two companies have joined the ranks of those selling accessories for the third-generation iPod nano. iXoundwear has announced new sport and running holder caps, all matched to the particular colors of the new Nanos, and with clear windows for accessing the clickwheels. The sport caps are made of cotton twill, while the running caps are made of meshed polyester for better circulation. Shipment is expected by November 1st at a cost of $20.
Zune 2 Due for Oct 16
Microsoft's first hardware makeover for the Zune is due in less than a month, says an insider purportedly confirming earlier reports. The source says that an image displaying new models is accurate and reflects a major change in the control system for the Microsoft jukebox. All new models will drop the iPod-like circular control pad in favor of a concept called the "squircle," according to the claim: while resembling a single flat surface with rounded edges, the control will hide a four-way directional pad as well as a dome that serves as a center button. The double-shot black, pink, and red colors captured in the rendering are also accurate, the tipster says, suggesting that Microsoft has abandoned its often criticized brown color scheme.
Energi To Go for iPod
Energizer Holdings today unveiled the Energizer Energi To Go (different product shown), an accessory providing portable power for Apple's iPod. The new iPod charger makes use of Energizer Lithium AA batteries, and includes a patented intelligent control chip to maximize power transfer to the iPod. The charger features a unique flip design that serves as a stand, allowing users to prop the iPod up for viewing video. Testing by Energizer revealed more than 46 extra hours of music playback on an iPod nano and more than 32 hours of music playback on a video iPod. The Energizer Energi To Go includes a licensed Apple iPod tip and is adjustable to work with fourth- and fifth-generation iPods as well as iPod nano and iPod mini. The charger is due to ship this fall for $30 with two Energizer e2 Lithium AA batteries included.
Entrance MySQL browser
dbEntrance has released its first, namesake product, Entrance. The program is a MySQL browser, whose primary feature is the ability to view data from servers in chart form; users can select data, "paint" various data points, and pan around or zoom in and out. Once a chart is completed, it can be saved as a PNG or JPEG file, or sent directly to iPhoto. Data collected by Entrance can be taken directly from URLs, and/or pasted and imported into spreadsheet apps such as Numbers. The program also allows dragging SQL queries to the its dock icon, or dragging SQL scripts out of the software to Mail or iChat. Entrance is a Universal Binary and costs $40.
ReplayTV Personal HD
Hoping to offer an easy way for TV viewers to bring content to both their computers and their Apple handhelds, ReplayTV this morning launched its Personal HD recorder for PCs. The USB device bundles both digital ATSC and analog NTSC tuners into one device and, like newer USB tuners, will play both over-the-air HDTV signals and any analog TV source. Bundled software is the real key, ReplayTV says. The Personal HD is one of the first TV tuners to emerge with explicit support for the iPhone and the iPod touch, allowing users to schedule DVR-like recording and then transfer videos to a format that will play well on the Apple devices' widescreen displays. A unique multi-tuning recording mode is also available, according to the company: the software can preserve multiple shows at once and even supports USB devices from rival companies, such as ATI (AMD) and Pinnacle.
iVak case for iPhone
Gear4 today launched its iVak case for iPhone (site not updated) to serve as a protective shell with no seams and a smooth finish. The iVak features a built-in screen protector with touch sensitivity for complete access to all of the iPhone's vents and ports, according to Gear4, while protecting the cellular handset against the wear and tear of daily life. The case includes a concealed fold-out movie stand for hands-free viewing of video, while a detachable belt clip enables users to easily carry the phone without risking everyday bumps and scratches (pricing was unavailable).
ezGear ezArmor Classic
Having recently annnounced clear cases, ezGear is adding to its support of the iPod classic with the ezArmor Classic line. Made to fit both 80 and 160GB iPods, the cases come in silver and black, and are built of aircraft-grade aluminum to resist damage; neoprene within the cases helps hold players still. Openings, meanwhile, allow access to the clickwheel, headphone jack and USB port. Unusually, the cases include both removable belt clips and neck straps. Pricing is set at $30 for retail, but the cases can be purchased online for $25.
Monopoly Here & Now
Macgamestore.com today announced the release of Monopoly Here & Now for Mac, a modern makeover of the classic board game. "Load your account with millions, roll the dice, and move all-new tokens around the board. Buy and sell all-new properties featuring popular destinations from across the United States. Challenge your friends and family to exciting MONOPOLY fun, or play against an advanced AI with multiple difficulty settings." Players buy and sell at modern market prices, and play with tokens that are iconic to life in the present. Monopoly Here & Now is priced at $20, and runs natively on Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary requiring Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
Canon REALiS X700 and SX7
Canon on Wednesday released two multimedia projectors designed for extremely bright rooms and large environments: the REALiS SX7 and X700 both run on enhanced liquid-crystal-on-silicon (LCoS) systems that boost their brightness as high as 4,000 lumens, nearly twice that of most projectors and enough to work in almost any lighting condition. The improvement also has a particular benefit for the top-end SX7, Canon adds; the device is accurate enough to match Adobe RGB and sRGB color output, making it ideal for image editors or viewers who insist on an accurate picture. Lamps in both of the projectares are now much more durable and lasts about 3,000 hours in normal use -- about 50 percent more than earlier versions.
Apple vs. Burst: dismissal
Apple has asked the judge presiding in a patent infringement case, filed by Burst.com, to throw out the claims entirely. Burst first filed suit against Apple in 2006, charging that the latter stole patents for compressing, storing and distributing media at high speeds over a network. This in turn was a response to a reverse suit by Apple, which Burst argues was begun only when negotiations broke down over licensing patents for use in Apple's iTunes software and the iPod. Previously, Burst had managed to settle a 2005 lawsuit against Microsoft for $60 million.
BlackBerry 8820 at ATT
AT&T today announced the launch of the BlackBerry 8820 on its network, bringing the first Research in Motion smartphone with Wi-Fi to the US. Like the reference model, AT&T's edition supports most 802.11 wireless connections, including the 802.11a hotspots often neglected by other wireless phones. This gives it a true data roaming ability that isn't possible with any other BlackBerry or most other smartphones, AT&T says. The carrier's version also brings assisted GPS through TeleNav, push-to-talk service, and online music purchasing through eMusic Mobile as well as Internet streaming from XM Satellite Radio.
Sony VAIO FZ Maya Hayuk
Sony today introduced its VAIO FZ Maya Hayuk Edition notebooks, marking the first time the PC designer has provided the 15.4-inch portable in the company's signature Graphic Splash trim. The new take on the notebook includes custom artwork by its namesake New York City artist that decks the outside lid in either a nature-themed "Grow" design or the patterned "Never Stop." But unlike earlier Graphic Splash models, these changes are not just applied to the outer lid, Sony says. A custom engraving on the inside bezel is backed by a matching desktop background and a video interview with Hayuk about the design. Buyers also contribute to the Creativity Explored charity for disabled artists.
iPhone for Germany coming?
(Updated with official confirmation) Following its UK launch, Apple on Wednesday is expected to announce an agreement with T-Mobile to offer the iPhone in Germany. Supporting earlier reports, Dow Jones Newswire reports that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs will announce the company's iPhone carrier agreement with T-Mobile in Berlin at the German Telekom AG. On Tuesday, the CEO launched the new iPhone in the UK with O2, but said -- at the Q&A session following the launch -- that a faster 3G iPhone was still months away as the company balances battery life with expectations of customers. Update: Apple and T-Mobile officially announced that T-Mobile will be the exclusive German carrier of Apple's iPhone when it makes its debut in Germany on November 9.
ZeboPhoto 2.0 released
Bobby Cronkhite Software has begun shipping ZeboPhoto 2.0, an update to its multipurpose image software for the Mac. The new release is a Universal Binary. Also, image effects have been improved and many new effects have been added -- there are now more than 40 effects available. The tool includes options for adding a caption to a picture for the web, viewing slide shows and exporting images in any format that QuickTime supports. The software is priced at $25 and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
Sente: academic reference
Third Street Software has released Sente 5, a major update to the academic reference management software. The new release includes an updated interface, a new relational database engine, and significantly enhanced bibliography formatting features. The main window in Sente 5 has been completely revised, includes a new reference editor/viewer, and the underlying storage engine has been replaced to better support large libraries. On an Intel-based Mac with 1GB RAM, Third Street claims that Sente can now handle libraries with tens of thousands of references with good performance.
USB 3.0 group at Intel IDF
Intel, HP and Microsoft on Tuesday announced the new USB 3.0 Promoter Group. The new marketing and development alliance is designed to create a new personal desktop connectivity standard that can deliver over 10 times the speed of the current USB 2.0 standard. Also being supported by NEC, NXP Semiconductors and Texas Instruments, the technology will target fast sync-and-go transfer applications in the PC, consumer and mobile segments and will accommodate the growing need for standard digital connectivity and file size of approaching 25GB. The USB 3.0 standard, expected to be completed in the first half of next year, will be backward compatible with current USB products and will draw from the same architecture of wired USB. Intel said the group is "committed to preserving the existing USB device class driver infrastructure and investment, look-and-feel and ease-of-use of USB while continuing to expand this great technology's capabilities."
LINA goes open-source
The source code for LINA has been opened and released under the GPL v2. LINA enables Linux binaries to run with the appearance of being native under Windows, Mac, and Linux, without the need to recompile. The tool also provides a thin virtual layer that enables developers to write and compile source code using ordinary Linux tools. This compiled binary can then run on a variety of operating systems. For users, LINA runs invisibly in the background. Operating systems supported in this release include Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 2003, Mac OSX, Fedora 7, OpenSUSE 10.2, and Ubuntu 7.04. The LINA library currently supports C++ development. The company says that future releases of LINA will support applications written in any language native to Linux.
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