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The Missing Sync: iPhone
Mark/Space on Monday announced The Missing Sync for iPhone. Expected to ship in the fourth quarter 2007, The Missing Sync for iPhone will provide data migration of contacts, tasks, events and photos from Palm OS, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry smartphones, as well as the ability to archive, browse and search iPhone Call Log, SMS text messages and Notes. Missing Sync's new the migration assistant includes the software and step-by-step on-screen guide needed to bring existing contacts, tasks, events and photos from supported Palm OS, Windows Mobile or BlackBerry smartphones to the Mac and iPhone. Once migration is complete, instructions are included to safely clear data from the previous device, making it ready to responsibly pass on.
Relocking your iPhone
Although Apple today said it would void the warranty on iPhones damaged by the unlock process (or subsequent iPhone updates), users may be in luck with a new re-locking process outlined by one reader (but not yet tested by MacNN). The unlock hacks are not undone by a full software store; the re-lock process is still in flux and comes with the appropriate warnings to users until finalized, allows users to restore their phone, so Apple's forthcoming update -- due later this week -- does not render it inoperable: "It is believed the above proceedure will relock your iPhone and prevent it from being made permanently unusable by the upcoming firmware update. There is no gaurantee [sic], however, and I take no responsibility for your iPhone if the above procedures do not work for you and your iPhone gets hosed."
802.11n for Wi-Fi analyzer
Berkeley Varitronics Systems today announced the addition of 802.11n networking support to its latest Yellowjacket B/A/G analysis system. The update adds full 2.4GHz and 5GHz spectrum analysis sypport for Wi-Fi packet analysis of b, a, g, h, and now 802.11n packets. The new functionality includes antenna selection, spatial multiplexing, link adaption, RIFS usage, beamforming, reverse direction responder, calibration, CSI/steering, and high throughput related information. Yellowjacket B/A/G also distinguishes greenfield access points, and determines 20MHz as well as 40MHz support alongside LDPC coding capabilities. BVS is including the upgrade for free with new units shipping in the fourth quarter.
Radioshift for Mac
Rogue Amoeba today released Radioshift, an application that automatically records internet and AM/FM radio for later listening. The software allows users to explore and listen to more than 50,000 radio listings from around the world, and supports subscribing to as well as recording any radio program. Radioshift works with RealAudio, Windows Media, QuickTime, and MP3 streams and includes a built-in Radio Guide to help browse the mass of radio listings. "With a single click, audio can be subscribed to right from the guide. The audio will then be automatically recorded whenever it airs, with no difficult setup required. Radioshift records in the background and has audio ready for listening at any time." Radioshift is priced at $32 and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
Logitech V470 Review
Logitech pitches the V470 ($50) as a simple alternative to the trackpad for heavy-duty notebook users who cannot guarantee an ideal mousing surface: courtesy of laser tracking, the mouse is unlikely to freeze up on overly uniform surface as with many optical mice, which are still standard in the notebook realm. However, it remains to be seen whether Logitech has remedied the interference issues that sometimes plague Bluetooth mice -- and whether the market is ready for a basic Bluetooth laser mouse.
EyeTV 2.5 Update released
Elgato today released EyeTV 2.5 Update with Wi-Fi access for Apple's iPhone and iPod touch devices, as well as the ability to record from Live Buffer. EyeTV 2 television software allows users to record content that is temporarily stored via timeshifting, and includes a one-click button for easy export of recordings to Apple's iPhone and iPod touch. The latest release of EyeTV includes Freebox IPTV support, one-click iPhone export, and more. The update is available for free to current EyeTV 2 users, according to Elgato.
Unlock may void warranty
Apple on Monday officially said that it will not cover under warranty iPhones that have been damaged due to circulating unlock hacks, but stopped short of voiding the warranty of all hacked phones -- including those that have third-party applications installed. The company said that unlocking an iPhone may render an iPhone useless after applying future software updates: "Apple has discovered that many of the unauthorized iPhone unlocking programs available on the Internet cause irreparable damage to the iPhone's software, which will likely result in the modified iPhone becoming permanently inoperable when a future Apple-supplied iPhone software update is installed."
MoS iPod dock/stereo
Club and music/electronics brand Ministry of Sound has begun selling a new iPod stereo system, the MOSMC1319P. The highlight of course is a dock, which feeds iPod audio to two, 10W RMS speakers, detached from the body of the main deck. The system can also play all major CD formats, complete with 30-track programming, and stream radio using a digital FM/MW PLL tuner with 40 presets. A secondary USB port allows non-iPod devices to be connected. The Ministry selling 1319Ps for £90 ($182), but there is no indication as to which iPods are supported (other than 5G video). [via Shiny Shiny]
Google Calendar for iPhone
Google today rolled out an update to its web-based Google Calendar service designed to help iPhone users. The Google Calendar team, along with the mobile team, released an upgrade to the Calendar interface on the iPhone, according to the company's blog: "It is now tailored for the iPhone, and you can now see your different calendars in distinctive colors." iPhone users can simply visit the website on their device to see the new Calendar interface. Meanwhile, another new report indicates that users can bypass the credit check performed by AT&T during the iPhone activation process. The iTunes-based activation process allows users to activate -- and optionally switch their phone number from a different carrier -- but (usually) requires a social security number to perform a credit-check.
Google and MS on Facebook
Both Google and Microsoft are seriously considering investing in social networking site Facebook, according to an unverified claim from the Wall Street Journal. The business publication cites unnamed sources who say that either company would like to obtain a small controlling stake in the Palo Alto-based web firm, offering them partial control over the site's direction as well as significantly boosting Facebook's financial value. Microsoft's stake would be worth between $300 to $500 million and could boost the overall value to at least $10 billion, say the sources. None of the companies involved have volunteered to comment, and the report alleges that Facebook may decline either offer to maintain its full independence.
Nvidia pushes embedding
Graphics maker Nvidia is tomorrow expected to launch a new series of embedded chips, a move which will put it in direct competition with Intel, says Reuters. Nvidia currently owns 62 percent of the embedded market linked with AMD processors, but less than one percent of the Intel market; Nvidia hopes to challenge this with new Intel-ready processors, specifically the GeForce 7050, 7150, and non-GS 7100.
These chips should in theory have as much power as some low-cost dedicated cards, but come in desktop computers priced between $400 and $600. Supported Intel CPUs will include the Pentium, Celeron and Core 2 lines, plus the Penryn processors due on November 12th. No costs or computer builders have been mentioned.
New York Facebook Probe
New York State today revealed that it was investigating Facebook over privacy concerns, alleging that the social website is not doing enough to shield contact information and other details of users. A study conducted by the state government suggests that the company's claims of security appear to be contradicted by actual results, with information sometimes exposed to the public. Complaints from Facebook members about privacy have also sometimes gone unheeded, according to state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. In some cases, sample accounts posing as teenagers or children were approached by sexual predators, he noted. Facebook has not commented on the claims but said it would respond soon.
Hacked iPhones rejected
Users who have hacked or modified the software on their iPhones may be denied warranty service, according to new reports. Users have noted iPhones brought in for service at Apple retail locations are being denied service if their phones were hacked to add third-party applications or unlocked to run on networks other than AT&T. ifoAppleStore reports that at least one person experienced a situation where an Apple Store Genius blacklisted a hacked iPhone for future service or return, but was finally able to arrange to return the iPhone under the 14-day policy after paying the 10 percent restocking fee. While MacNN contacted a few retail stores locations to find a consistent answer, our calls and emails to Apple PR went unanswered.
Vertu Ascent Ferrari 60
Luxury cellphone maker Vertu has introduced another Ferrari phone, likewise intended to promote the car company's 60th anniversary. The Ascent Ferrari 60 is based on the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, and comes preloaded with both ringtones and wallpapers of the car; to further the effect, it is built with a titanium shell, and has a leather back made of the same material as a Ferrari seat. Detail extends down to the screws, which are the same Philips type used in Ferraris.
Mio C320 GPS in the US
Mio today announced that it would bring the C320 to the US, offering one of the least expensive widescreen GPS units in the country. The 4.3-inch touchscreen should allow even more cost-conscious drivers to navigate while using a split-screen view that displays detailed turn data or location info alongside the conventional map. The American version includes 1GB of built-in flash storage with full maps of all 50 states and 1.7 million points of interest. An SD card slot provides additional room for maps of Canada and other destinations. Battery life is rated at a longer than average 4.5 hours.
(Updated with launch info) Samsung today officially confirmed its collaboration with Armani to produce a new cellphone that reflects the fashion designer's sense of style. Simply called the Armani-Samsung luxury mobile phone but known internally as the P520, the device is a direct challenge to both the iPhone and LG's Prada phone with the same emphasis on a touch-driven interface. The 2.6-inch display's only physical controls on its front face are call answer and end buttons; dialing, contacts, and other data are handled exclusively through software. The black, chrome-ringed look is destined to "achieve an iconic status," Samsung claims.
Woz on iPhone price drop
Apple co-founder Steve 'Woz' Wozniak says company CEO Steve Jobs' decision to slash the price of its recently-launched iPhone nearly two months after it hit store shelves was "too soon" and "too harsh." "Nobody expects a product to drop that much in price in such a short time," Woz said. "Steve Jobs and everyone expects technology to drop in price. The first adopters always pay a premium. I am one of them. I am used to that. But that one was too soon, too harsh." Apple's chief unveiled the iPhone in January at the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco, and the device hit selves in late June. Jobs slashed the iPhone's $599 price down to $399 in one fell swoop during a special event on September 5th, angering early adopters and prompting the executive to announce a $100 Apple Store credit for those customers who eagerly purchased the device just after launch.
Citigroup upbeat on Macs
Apple's September quarter is looking to be very strong based on sales of its new iMacs, according to one analyst. Citigroup analyst Richard Gardner on Monday raised his earnings estimates and price target for Apple, saying he expects the company sell more Macs than expected during the quarter ending on September 30th. The price target was raised to $180 from $160, helping push Apple's stock higher by three percent to 148.78 -- near an all-time high. Gardner raised his forecast for Mac unit sales for the September quarter to 2.17 million units from 2.0 million, citing “stronger than expected iMac momentum following the August 7 product refresh," according to Barron's Blog.
Apple terms "indecent"
Major record label Vivendi today chastised Apple for its "indecent" contract terms between Universal Music Group and the iTunes Store. "The split between Apple and (music) producers is indecent [...] Our contracts give too good a share to Apple," said Vivendi CEO Jean-Bernard Levy. Vivendi says it currently receives €0.70 of the €0.99 charged by Apple in Europe, and is demanding a new pricing model that would make new releases cost more than older works, according to a Reuters report. Levy assured reporters at a gathering in France that the largest record label is speaking with companies other than Apple to "ensure that music is better remunerated." Universal cancelled its long-term iTunes contract in early July, deciding instead to offer its catalog of tracks on a monthly basis and with an "at will" capacity. [corrected: Another panel member, not Warner Music Group, said that music labels could remove their music catalogs from the iTunes Store in one swift "decapitation" move. Warner has clarified that it did not threaten to remove its music catalog from Apple's iTunes Store.]
Sony VAIO AR600
Without an official announcement, Sony today launched its AR600 series desktop replacement notebooks. The new 17-inch system improves performance while also improving the AR's usefulness as a complete TV replacement. A new version now ships with a CableCARD tuner, giving users the option of tuning into encrypted cable HDTV shows. All models also provide the room to record this content: dual 160GB hard drives provide room for hours of HD video without impacting regular computer use. Standard GeForce 8M-series video further helps the new VAIO decode HD video almost entirely in hardware rather than software that taxes the CPU and affects battery life.
Samsung i550 GPS phone
Previously the subject of informed speculation, Samsung has now confirmed the existence of the i550 GPS phone. Aside from a built-in GPS receiver, its main highlight is likely to be its 3.2-megapixel camera, which is equipped with both flash and autofocus. The phone is also capable of EDGE and UMTS/HSDPA broadband, and connects locally via Bluetooth 2.0 or a USB 2.0 cable.
Music is another important focus, as the phone has a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, as well as a built-in FM tuner. Digital music should be storable in 150MB of internal memory, which can be augmented by microSD cards. The i550 is expected to ship in November; a North American release is unlikely however, as the phone's broadband operates in the wrong frequency. [via Unwired View]
Boost adopts Motorola W385
Sprint's "youth" brand, Boost Mobile, has agreed to adopt the W385 by Motorola. More crucial may be the phone's inclusion in Boost's Unlimited plan, which while restricted to sections of California and Texas, prices unlimited local and national calls at $45-55. Currently only two phones are eligible for Unlimited, the W385 among them. Both models have a free first month of calling.
The W385 includes hardware features such as Bluetooth, GPS and a VGA camera, but benefits mainly from Boost software such as the Hookt chatroom client, and loopt, a tool which locates friends as well as shares photos and events. The phone is on sale now for $130.
Virgin Digital Shuts Down
Virgin today announced that its online music store Virgin Digital is to shut down over the course of the next few weeks, signifying the end to the relatively short-lived attempt to compete in the direct download arena. While the company has already phased out its US service last year in a deal that saw customers transferred to Napster, UK customers will now have until September 28th to access the site without a subscription and will see a complete shutdown by October 19th. Anyone with a subscription in effect for longer than a month will receive a refund, though song credits will expire at the store if left unused, Virgin said.
Fever Frenzy for Macs
Rainbow Creatures and Legacy Interactive have released a Mac port of Fever Frenzy, a puzzle game in which players control hospitals coping with funny medical conditions, such as bipolarbear disorder or third-degree sideburns. Each patient must be diagnosed and cured, and as players progress through forty levels divided between four hospitals, the game gradually adds more responsibilities. Later levels have gamers fixing beds, reuniting children and parents, and playing end-of-hospital minigames. Characters can be upgraded with special abilities. The full version of Fever Frenzy costs $20, but a trial version can be downloaded for free.
iRAPP 1.1 adds Mac server
Code Rebel has released a new version of iRAPP, a program which allows PC owners to run software from their Mac systems. When running, users can view Mac- or PC-only desktops, or combine the two for a "fused" look. Images and text can be swapped between operating systems, and any devices attached to a Mac can be accessed by PC users. The major addition to v1.1 is the Workgroup feature, which enables the use of a Mac as a Terminal Server, permitting several users to connect to a machine at once. With the new technology comes a new pricing scheme: a single-user license costs $80, but additional users cost $80 per PC. The PC client requires Windows 2000, XP or Vista, as well as a 1.8GHz Pentium 4; Macs must be running Mac OS X 10.4.8 or higher on an iMac, Mac mini, MacBook or Mac Pro.
BenQ T800 Camera
BenQ on Monday released the T800, an upgrade to one of its most advanced cameras. The new compact is said to be the slimmest 8-megapixel camera with a touchscreen at 14.7mm (0.59 inches) deep, and uses its 3-inch display to control most editing functions as well as features that would be impossible with a traditional directional pad, such as painting or writing over top of an image. Also rare is the inclusion of two special ISO sensitivity modes for different shots. Where native shots can be taken up to ISO 1600, an ISO 2000 boost engages for a special portait mode. An ISO 6400 mode is also available for shooting movies in low light without compromising the native 640x480 MPEG-4 format.
GroMobile 1.2 released
Braid Art Labs has released GroMobile 1.2, a free 3D desktop Gizmo payer. GroMobile 1.2 enables Mac users to place simple games, puzzles, and kinetic sculptures anywhere on the desktop using real time "Prime-Definition" rendering to make Gizmos appear modern and sleek. The first release comes with five Gizmos, according to Braid, and a new revision of GroBoto is scheduled for release in October that allows users to create custom Gizmos. GroMobile features real time physics, shadow casting, scalable 3D scenes, full anti-aliased transparency masks, and gameplay using any combination of the mouse and keyboard. GroMobile is available for free, and requires Mac OS X.
New Adobe Elements apps
Adobe has released new Windows editions of its Photoshop and Premiere Elements packages, saying that Mac versions should debut in early 2008. The focal point of Photoshop Elements 6 is Adobe's Photomerge technology, which allows users to combine faces and bodies from different images to improve group photos. The software also introduces a new Quick Selection Tool, and a Guided Edit mode which suggests means of improving a photo. Lastly, Photoshop CS3's black-and-white converstion tool makes an appearance, and the interface as a whole has been enhanced with more tabs and a streamlined Organizer.
Sony Xplod iPod HD Units
Sony this morning released a trio of Xplod head-end units for cars that emphasize portable devices as much as CDs for audio. The new CDX-GT models all optionally support the iPod as well as digital radio through an HD Radio tuner or a satellite receiver. With a special iPod connector cable, most dockable iPods can connect directly to the stereo and use the 13-line LED display to control and play the Apple jukebox while charging it at the same time. A front auxiliary input provides a line-in connection for just about any music player with a headphone jack, Sony adds.
MySpace Mobile Web
MySpace today announced a new, free version of its social networking site, dubbed MySpace Mobile Web. The service allows almost any cellphone with a web browser to access the majority of the features of MySpace without requiring the paid clients and special software that are often needed to use the service on the road. Users can send or receive messages, handle requests, and update their blogs; the entire service is kept minimal and can even disable profile pictures or other images when bandwidth is too much of a concern, MySpace says.
Leopard nearing final
Participants in Apple's Developer Connection can now download a new preview build of Mac OS X Leopard (10.5), one which may be the first release candidate. Build 9A559, a 6.5GB download, is said to have only two known issues, in contrast to other builds distributed earlier in the summer. With a public release of Leopard due at some point in October, Apple must finalize the operating system within weeks, and so may be considering its latest version as a possible final build. The Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard pre-release version for developer testing currently lists system requirements as a G4 867MHz or faster processor, which makes several older Mac models incapable of running the forthcoming operating system.
Starbucks gives 50m songs
Starbucks on Monday announced that it will giveaway more than 50 million free songs to help promote the new "Now Playing" iTunes service that will roll-out in 600 New York and Seattle locations around the US (announced earlier this month). Starbucks said it would introduce the digital music experience across all of its U.S. company-operated and licensed stores by offering its customers the "Song of the Day," a free digital music promotion that will offer 1.5 million songs each day across its 10,000 Starbucks locations. The promo will run from October 2 to November 7 -- during which customers may receive "Song of the Day" iTunes cards for a complimentary song hand-selected by Starbucks Entertainment. The company also announced plans to sell iTunes Digital Release Cards as well as Starbucks Card Plus Two, a limited edition re-loadable Starbucks card that will offer two extra songs when it is registered online.
OLPC Give 1 Get 1
The One Laptop Per Child project today hoped to jumpstart the growth of its XO notebook through the Give 1 Get 1 program, a new effort that brings the portable to North America for the first time. The limited-run deal lets Americans and Canadians buy one of the systems for themselves while also contributing to the non-profit effort: an identical system is sent to a developing country and replaces one of the systems that would otherwise be paid for by the OLPC team itself. Both systems share the same ruggedized chassis, mesh-based wireless networking, and support for power through a hand crank or solar power. The Linux operating system and integrated video camera also make it as useful for chat or eBook reading as it is for learning, the OLPC group says.
BB 8320 at T-Mobile
T-Mobile today launched the BlackBerry 8320, RIM's enhanced Wi-Fi version of the Curve. The 802.11g wireless support allows it to both connect to the Internet without a potentially costly EDGE cellular connection, but also to tap into the company's HotSpot@Home service. The 8320's support of Unlicensed Mobile Access allows users to make calls for free at home or while at a public access point without consuming service plan minutes; users can even wander back on to the cellular network mid-call or vice versa once at home. T-Mobile's own version supports the company's myFaves support for calling any one of five friends for free regardless of their carrier.
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