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(Updated with launch info) PC maker Gateway today fired a salvo at Apple with a new all-in-one home desktop that bears strong design similarities with the recently introduced aluminum iMac. Called simply the One, the design is far sleeker than Gateway's earlier Profile systems and fits the entire design within a single metal shell just 3.6 inches deep. The entire front face is black to hide the borders of the 19-inch widescreen LCD and blend into home decor, such as the living room. The One also builds on Apple's minimalist emphasis: where the iMac plugs all cables directly into the back, the One feeds gigabit Ethernet, four USB ports, and AV ports to the external power adapter to take clutter away from the desk. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are standard and eliminate the need for a wired mouse or keyboard.
Apple is using the latest builds of Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) to test delivery of printer drivers through the Software Update mechanism, based on information provided to MacNN by an HP representative; Apple is asking developers to test the delivery of HP drivers through Software Update. If developers are using HP printers, Apple asks that they deselect the HP-specific printer drivers from the Mac OS X 10.5 Installer, instead opting to install the drivers by running Software Update after the installation of Leopard is complete. This despite the fact that both the drivers on the Leopard DVD and those available through Software Update are identical.
The first reviews of Amazon MP3 store , which offers DRM-free tracks at prices that are generally cheaper than the iTunes Store, are in, and most have come down in favor of the new service relative to Apple's offering. MP3 tracks sold through the Amazon store are encoded at 256 Kbps in MP3 format, as opposed to 128 Kbps in AAC format on the iTunes Store. Most tracks are also priced at $.89 on the Amazon store, while Apple charges $.99 for FairPlay DRM tracks and $1.29 for a smaller selection of DRM-free tracks. Over 20,000 independent labels are onboard, while major labels include previous holdout artists such as Radiohead, Amazon says.
Disney Online today released Playhouse Preschool Time Online for Mac, a learning-based broadband subscription service for preschool-age children that features popular characters from the Disney Channel's Playhouse Disney programming block. The software was developed in conjunction with education experts, according to Disney, with the intent of offering a safe ad-free environment full of interactive experiences to encourage learning through play. The application is structured with personalized lessons, and updates every two weeks with new games and puzzles for children to solve. Playhouse Disney Preschool Time Online's puzzles, games, and various learning activities are led by Playhouse Disney characters who provide feedback and encouragement. The software is available for $10 per month or $50 for a year's subscription.
Adobe is offering Web developers the chance to attend a free ActionScript 3.0 training tour which starts in October and spans through 2008. Adobe says it will host training sessions for developers worldwide who use Adobe Flash, Flex, and AIR extensions and who have beginner to intermediate level programming skills. The training will be an intensive full day session led by Collin Moock covering topics like object-oriented programming, classes, objects, variables, methods, packages, conditionals, loops, operators, functions, error handling, event handling, display programming, compiling, and running programs. The tour is set to begin in San Francisco and will reach nine cities including Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, and major design markets in Europe as well as Asia Pacific. Registration is required, but the training is free, according to Adobe.
The Federal Communications Commission's chairman Kevin Martin may be revising the rules for its upcoming auction of the 700MHz wireless band under pressure from Verizon, reported insiders say. The regulatory body chief is said to be considering a special declaratory ruling that would override the rules he had already set for the auction, which would insist on open access by any device and program to the frequency. Martin agreed to the unusual reversal after intensive lobbying efforts at a September 17th meeting between himself, his staff, and Verizon executives, the sources claim.
Apple today issued updates to its iLife application suite, improving components shared by all iLife '08 applications to improve overall stability and addressing a number of other minor issues. iDVD 7.0.1 appears to benefit from the components update, while iPhoto 7.1 addresses issued encountered when moving photos between Events. The latest release of iPhoto also adds new greeting card themes and includes holiday card designs. iMovie 7.1 addresses several areas including video and audio editing capabilities, as well as performance associated with opening and switching iMovie Events and Projects. GarageBand 4.1 addresses isolated graphic display issues, improves compatibility with third-party audio software, and fixes minor problems with Magic GarageBand. The updates are available for free to existing iLife users as digital downloads.
Nokia has at last released its latest American N95, equipped with 3G. Not to be confused with the separate 8GB N95, the new model focuses just on broadband, adding 850 and 1900MHz HSDPA that should allow higher data rates on networks such as AT&T and Rogers. The phone includes other minor refinements as well, such as longer battery life, built-in assisted GPS, and a bundled 1GB microSD card to provide reasonable storage. It is currently being sold for $699 at Nokia's flagship stores in New York City and Chicago, but anecdotes note that it can be had for $50 less at MobileCityOnline. [via Symbian-Guru]
Vonage has earned at least a temporary stay on having to pay $58 million in awarded damages to Verizon in its patent dispute over VoIP phone service, according to a new ruling by the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. While the court upheld the essential verdict, it denied the damage payment as well as a proposed 5.5 percent royalty fee since it was not clear how much of these monetary figures applied to each of the three patents involved. One of the patent verdicts was also remitted as the original court misinterpreted its terms, the appeals court said.
The Japanese division of JVC has announced a new cinema projector, built to offer some of the highest specifications possible. The DLA-HD100 is 1080p24/50/60 capable, and can also be used to display in standard PC resolutions up to SXGA. Inputs include two HDMI ports plus component, S-Video and composite connections; control can be managed via RS-232C. The greatest feature however is its extremely high contrast, rated at 30,000:1, where many other top-end projectors rarely surpass 15,000:1.
With proceeds benefitting The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Target has begun offering a special edition pink iPod Shuffle that comes bundled with a free $15 iTunes gift card while retaining the standard $80 pricing. Target is donating a portion of the proceeds of each sale to the charitable foundation, up to a maximum of $25,0000. The stores began offering the special edition nanos about two weeks ago. The iPods included in the package appear to be second generation, as the newly introduced third-generation iPod shuffle (which is feature-identical to the second generation) is not offered in pink. Target is also selling the pink Shuffle by itself, without the $15 gift card, for $70.
LaCie today unveiled its Ethernet Disk mini Home Edition, a 500GB personal media server designed to save, show, sync, and share personal digital media. The server is the first commercial device to combine remote access through the internet with the ability to stream multimedia files through DLNA-compatible UPnP (Universal Plug-and-Play) media players while acting as an iTunes music server, according to the company. The Home Edition also includes specialized applications like DesktopMirror that can backup as well as restore files to the device for sharing or remote access. The device is due to ship in late October for $200.
Sandlot Games today released Cake Mania for Mac, enabling players to follow the culinary adventures of young entrepreneur Jill Evans. The time management game challenges players to help Jill open her own bakery, bring in customers, and earn enough money to re-open her grandparents' troubled business. Players can upgrade or customize the shop to attract new patrons and meet daily sales goals, including interesting locales and humerous characters. "Players keep the hungry grannies, blushing brides, and picky food critics happy with hundreds of possible cake combinations." The game is priced at $20 (Mac system requirements were unavailable).
The AU brand of Japanese carrier KDDI has announced the INFOBAR 2, a candybar phone designed by the industry-famed Naoto Fukasawa. The successor to the original INFOBAR retains the same basic philosophy, emphasizing minimalism and an extremely smooth surface; similarly, number keys are extremely large for quick dialing. Other features include a 2.6-inch OLED screen, a two-megapixel autofocus camera, and a microSD slot for storing media including music. Release is expected in late November, with four different colors: red, green, beige and silver. [via Impress Watch]
Creative today expanded its screenless player offerings and launched the Muvo T100. Unlike the shorter ZEN Stone made just for music, the T100 shares a strong resemblance with Apple's first-generation iPod shuffle and is built as much for data storage as for songs. As with the Apple player, the T100 has a removable cap that exposes a USB port for directly plugging the ZEN into a PC as an impromptu jumpdrive. Users can load music or files without software just by dragging and dropping, Creative says.
Picture Switcher 2 ($30) application to view and interact with your desktop pictures. Leverages Core Image to allow users to apply effects to their desktop pictures, allowing them to customize their desktop even further. †It features easy access to a user's pictures, a new placement that will scale the picture proportionally, user settable keyboard shortcuts that among other things will allow users to change the picture with a single keypress, Automator support, Applescript support for changing the picture and its options, and more.[Download - 2.3MB] ConceptDraw Project 4.1 ($200) project management software solution. New to Project 4 is the expanded ability to export critical project information to MS PowerPoint for project review sessions and updates.† By using the new export wizard in 4.1, project managers can export vital project summary information, specified Gantt chart project timelines, as well as a visual overview the effectiveness of a projectís resource usage.† [Download - form] MovieChapterizer 2.3 ($380 for ten users) provides the ability to add chapters to videos and sound files that can be played in QuickTime Player, including formats such as mov, avi, mp3, H.264 (high-definition), AIFF, etc.† This brings to life a rarely-used and very useful feature in QuickTime Player by providing an easy-to-use interface for adding chapter names to any chosen frame in a video or position in a sound file. This release adds the Digital Video (DV) format to the types of video files supported and fixes a bug that affected creating chapters with MP3 and AIFF audio files. [Download - 3.3MB] QuickSnap 1.2 ($15) screenshot utility for Mac OS X. This release adds French, German and Spanish language localizations to the software. It also includes a fully re-written manual in PDF format and adds Mac OS X 10.5 'Leopard' compatibility. Also fixes an error when choosing 'Open at login' option in the Preferences. [Download - 4.3MB] A Better Finder Rename 7.9.3 ($20) comprehensive file renaming solution for the Macintosh. The new version improves the readability of the instant preview window by adopting an iTunes-like layout. The new version also refines the multi-step user interface along with other minor improvements. [Download - 1.9MB] QuickSnap 1.2 ($15) screenshot utility for Mac OS X. This release adds French, German and Spanish language localizations to the software. It also includes a fully re-written manual in PDF format and adds Mac OS X 10.5 'Leopard' compatibility. Also fixes an error when choosing 'Open at login' option in the Preferences. [Download - 4.3MB] Invoices 2.0 ($35) program to create, manage and print invoices. New in this release the possibility to choose for any invoice to create two different type of format: 1) Plain Item invoice 2) Tabled items invoice. The user can select for any invoice the better format for the content to be inserted Also new is a redesign of various interface area, a better filter content functions and more. [Download - 684KB] PasswordWallet for Mac 4.1 ($20) password storage and retrieval utility. The new release adds contextual menus, new window backgrounds, more options for password generation, improved support for launching local applications and documents, a new "Find Duplicates" option, font size preferences, more reliable URL opening, an improved conduit, a handful of bug fixes, and iPhone and Web page export, sold separately. [Download - 2.4MB]
Dell today announced that it would be the first major computer maker to pursue carbon neutrality across the entire company, hoping to offset the impact of its products on the environment. The Texas-based firm promised to take stock of its greenhouse gas emissions and actively reduce or eliminate the pollution where possible, including the use of renewable energy and purchasing carbon offsets where technology would not allow the company to avoid causing damage. This would include even minor details such as offsetting the costs associated with employee travel, Dell said.
Nokia today said that it had chosen to use Intel's WiMAX chipsets in its hardware, paving the way for future handheld devices from the phone maker that use the standard. As part of a deal to test the compatibility of its own devices and network equipment with Intel's, the Finnish company said it would use Intel's upcoming mobile chipset, known as "Baxter Peak," in a future version of its Internet tablets like the N800 to provide multi-megabit download rates at long distance. The technology should allow the handheld to stream movies or music without having to reduce quality to accommodate slower speeds, Nokia said.
Canon has announced a new SELPHY photo printer, the ES2. Central to the design is a simple interface, which is mainly viewed through a three-inch LCD, and adjusted with a combination of buttons and a scrollwheel. Reducing complexity further is support for Canon's "Easy-Photo Pack" cartridges, which lets users load ink and paper at the same time. Print sizes can range from a 2x3-inch credit-card format to a borderless 5x7; the latter prints in approximately 52 seconds. Standard resolution is 300dpi.
NEC has announced a new entry into its MultiSync 70 line of LCDs, the LCD2470WVX. Measuring 24 inches in a widescreen format, the monitor is capable of resolutions up to 1900x1200, and supports the full range of HD ratios through an HDCP-compatible DVI-D port. Owners can also connect the monitor through VGA input. One of the primary features of the monitor is actually its stand, which lets users pivot, swivel and tilt the display for whatever alignment works best, including pure vertical. A thin bezel makes it more suited for multi-monitor use.
Apple's iPhone and iPod touch may have prefigured the release of a new PDA-like device that rekindles the spirit of the Newton, according to "well-respected" sources speaking with AppleInsider. The report claims that Apple plans to leverage the multi-touch input technology in a considerably larger design than either of today's models; though similar in shape, it would be roughly 50 percent larger than either existing touchscreen device and would have a sharper 720x480 resolution. Users may also have access to input tricks not seen on the iPhone or iPod, such as dragging and dropping information or cutting and pasting text, the sources claim.
The operator of the notMac Challenge, a competition to create a free replacement for Apple's paid .Mac service, says that it has received a solution for testing, developed by Ben Spink. The client is now available for download (DMG file), and includes a "lite" version of CrushFTP. Following the rules of the competition, the software runs on Mac OS 10.3 and 10.4, and replaces both the local and remote halves of the equation, while still automating functions through a graphical interface. The server end must be a custom WebDAV unit. Testing of the client will finish on September 30th.
Apple has added two TV shows from NBC to its iTunes Store despite a recent fallout between the television network and the Cupertino-based company. Reports surfaced late last month that NBC would no longer offer its TV shows via iTunes as a result of differing views over Apple's resistance to altering pricing. While the contract between Apple and NBC runs through the month of December and videos will not disappear until after the deal expires, the removal of Apple's largest television content provider could deal a hefty blow to its iPod/iTunes business. [corrected]
Apple has overhauled its online store new "Shop" categories, accessory subcategories, a "Popular Accessories" section, and a new "Staff Picks" area. New "Shop" categories which include "Shop Mac," "Shop iPod," and "Shop iPhone" aim to ease the process of browsing as well as purchasing hardware and software products from the Cupertino-based company's online store. The revised Apple Store Online features "Mac Accessories," "Mac Software," "iPod Accessories," and "iPhone Accessories" sections to help shoppers find the right extras for their Apple purchases. The new "Staff Picks" area lists all of Apple's own favorite products ranging from its iPhone Bluetooth Headset to its 30-inch Cinema Display and its iWork '08 software suite. The company now also lists top sellers in Mac, iPod, and iPhone categories listed by sales rank, with current chart toppers listed as its MacBook, iPod nano, and iPhone.
Sharp today launched a slew of AQUOS-themed digital video recorders designed for the most adamant of home theater enthusiasts. The BD-HDW20 is the first to combine a Blu-Ray drive with a full 1TB of storage. Viewers can now capture as much as 127 hours of HD video and record to a disc that will play at the full resolution. With support for writing 50GB dual-layer discs, even movie-length shows can be recorded, according to Sharp. The new AQUOS is also one of the first to explicitly support Blu-Ray's newer Low-to-High (LTH) blank discs which cost less than normally pricey BD-R or rewritable BD-RE discs. Dual digital TV tuners as well as a single analog tuner let users record a show in one format while viewing another; twin FireWire ports provide capture from some video cameras.
A recent British startup company, TruPhone plans to demonstrate its recently announced native VoIP dialer for the iPhone to an audience of 350 delegates at DEMOfall 07 in San Diego, CA. The demonstration will comprise of two iPhones connected to Wi-Fi on the DEMOfall 07 stage.†A VoIP call will be initiated from one handset, routed via Wi-Fi and the Internet to Truphone's servers, and then back again to the access point and onwards to the destination handset. The company says that today's event will be a live demonstration only and is not a commercial launch of Truphone on the iPhone, adding that the solution does not need to unlock the SIM in order to operate its service for the iPhone.
Sanyo today introduced the HD700 as a new, lower-cost entry into its budding HD camcorder line. The stylized camera enters as an alternative to the older HD2 and the range-topping HD1000. While relying on a 5X optical zoom lens in place of the 10X model from the HD2, the HD700 compensates by using the same, single-chip enhanced processor as the 1080i-capable HD1000 to produce better images at its native 720p without consuming much power. At just four watts, the camera records at 720p for up to two continuous hours or 80 minutes with many common adjustments, Sanyo says. The new entry also shares the same 2.7-inch preview LCD as the HD1000 and captures in H.264 (AVC) to store up to two hours, 46 minutes of full-resolution footage on an 8GB SDHC card.
VMware has released the v1.1 beta of Fusion, its Windows virtualization software for Mac OS X. The new version adds host of important changes, most notably "experimental" DirectX 9.0 rendering. This may enable compatibility with more games and other 3D applications, though VMware cautions that no shaders are supported in this mode. The software now also has improved USB functionality, and specifically support for the iPhone, allowing users to sync the device with Microsoft Outlook. The Unity mode, meanwhile, has been improved in several ways by itself, such as through increased compatibility with the 64-bit edition of Windows XP, and both the 32- and 64-bit editions of Vista.
HP's gaming PC label Voodoo PC on Wednesday rolled out its first notebook to use the full Intel Santa Rosa platform. The 15.4-inch Envy M:152 is a full Centrino Duo system and comes with 802.11n Wi-Fi standard. It can also scale up through the full Core 2 mobile range and tops out at the 2.6GHz Core 2 Extreme, beating out many systems its size in terms of sheer CPU speed. Voodoo PC similarly loads the system with a 512MB GeForce 8600M GT to drive games as quickly as possible without case heat becoming a concern. The M:152's choice of components and cooling is actually quieter than most ENVY systems, Voodoo PC claims.
An Apple shareholder has gained limited access to confidential documents pertaining to the company's options backdating scandal, but will not be able to share the documents with the public or other shareholders. Refusing broader access, California Superior Judge Jack Komar said at a hearing in San Jose Monday that he would order Apple to turn over to the Boston Retirement Board minutes from the meetings of Apple's board of directors and board committees from 1997 to the present, according to the The Mercury News. The report says that the judge also said he would order Apple to give the retirement board records relating to how it accounted for the stock options it handed out during that period. However, documents protected by other privileges such as attorney-client privilege will not be available for examination.
T-Mobile this morning revamped its Sidekick messaging phones with two new models, both of which break new ground for the series. The Sidekick LX (pictured) is the first ever to bring a wide, 400x240 screen to the series and is said to borrow elements of Sharp's experience with its AQUOS HDTVs to provide higher picture quality. It can also create a personalized mood for messaging at night: users can customize ambient lighting around the front face. T-Mobile bundles the LX with a 128MB microSD card to store photos taken with the 1.3-megapixel camera as well as other data.
FlipStart Labs has introduced the FlipStart Snap Camera, a snap-in accessory for the the FlipStart PC that attaches to the device's lid. The camera can take five megapixel photographs as well as VGA-quality video with a built-in digital zoom function. There is also an included software package that enables features such as editing and remote monitoring. The FlipStart compact PC is equipped to run on the Sprint EV-DO network, and is priced at $1500. It has a 5.6-inch screen, including a sharp 1024x600 resolution, a touchpad for full control of the mouse pointer, and an external Vista SideShow display for checking info when the computer is inactive. The new camera attachment is priced at $150.
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Swift benchmarking suite goes open-source
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well. http://bit.ly/1W8u0EU
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram is now rolling out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in version 7.1.5 of its iOS app. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app; additionally, some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X
Bambooti wooden skins for MacBooks
Bambooti has introduced premium wooden skins for Apple laptops that allow users to customize any design or logo directly on the case. Each Bambooti skin is handcrafted from sustainably managed forests, and are hand sanded and spray-finished to create an ultra smooth exterior. Bambooti's wooden skins start at $65 on the fully-funded Kickstarter which includes a custom design or logo of the user's choice that will be engraved on the product. http://kck.st/1PhE6Sb
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes ¬≠Power Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO
Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ