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Finale PrintMusic 2008
MakeMusic has announced the release of Finale PrintMusic 2008, an upgrade to the company's music notation software that provides support for the Windows Vista operating system, compatibility with files made with Finale 2008 and several new features, including a powerful new mixer; the ability to import and export TIFF graphics; new Document Styles for easy personalization of new scores; a new Selection Tool; and improved cut/copy/paste/insert for better workflow. The company also said the update brings improved music scanning, an updated Setup Wizard, and expanded Documentation. PrintMusic is available for $100; while upgrades from any earlier versions of PrintMusic are $30. Five seat LabPacks are also available.
Quark debuts QPS 7
Quark on Monday announced the launch of Quark Publishing System 7 (QPS 7), its next-generation collaborative workflow system. Designed with a new open, standards-based architecture, QPS 7 integrates with existing business systems and a variety of publishing solutions to help simplify editorial, creative and production processes. QPS 7, announced at the ifraExpo and conference in Vienna, brings support for QuarkXPress 7 and QuarkCopyDesk 7 using a re-engineered Java-based core. It features an updated roles-based user interface that simplifies daily tasks; brings certification with HSQL and Microsoft SQL; delivers advanced Web-based editing features; offers more export options (including PDF and XML); and features full-size previews and thumbnails of QuarkXPress layouts and QuarkCopyDesk files.
Amiga CEO on OS5, Mac OS X
Amiga CEO Bill McEwen has declared that his company's OS5 will be better than Mac OS X, insisting that the forthcoming operating system has much to offer while refusing to give any details. Amiga's OS5 is well underway, according to McEwen, who promised to serve up a press release before the end of 2007 offering details on Amiga's secret project. "Details for OS 5 will be made public in the fourth quarter of 2007, and then you will have a much clearer understanding and I will let you decide if what I know to be true is accurate," the executive said. OS5 is said to scale to its host hardware, allowing the system software to run on anything from mobile phones to consoles and servers. Amiga is currently fighting a legal battle over OS4, but McEwen said OS5 is ahead of schedule as he reiterated forthcoming announcements in the fourth quarter of this year.
Norco 5-bay LAN storage
Norco has unveiled the DS-520, a home server NAS (Network Area Storage) device designed to provide a versatile platform for building home server and NAS based on an Intel ULV Celeron M/Pentium M processor. Five hot swappable SATA II drive bays ease the process of adding drives as well as capacity, while three eSATA and four USB 2.0 ports enable users to add external drives as well as a variety of other accessories. Eight individual SATA channels provide expansion capacity of up to 8TB, according to Norco. The DS-520 comes preloaded with Windows Home Server, Linux, Open BSD, or other open source NAS software like OpenFiler and Samba -- which Mac OS X communicates with out of the box. The DS-520 is priced at $650.
iPod scam in Texas
Two Texas Target stores have served as scenes of embarrassment for the brick-and-mortar retail chain after an angry mother discovered rocks inside the box that was supposed to contain a shiny new $350 iPod. The box, which weighed as much as the iPod it was supposed to contain, was destined as a birthday gift to her teenage daughter. Upon returning to the store, Target employees believed the story but said they were sold out of that particular iPod model and that the woman was not allowed a refund in cash because she had purchased the device on her Target card. Driving with her daughter to another Target store in Grand Prairie, they used their store-only credit to purchase another iPod after Target employees forbid them to open the box before purchasing the device. Opening the supposed iPod in front of Target employees revealed yet another helping of rocks with no portable player in sight.
Leopard to make $240M?
The impending release of Mac OS X Leopard could prove to be financially lucrative, says an analyst with the market research firm Piper Jaffray. Gene Munster notes that Leopard is being released at the end of the first month of a financial quarter, like the previous version of Mac OS X, Tiger; Leopard however will benefit from a much greater Mac OS X installed base, consisting of 23 million users versus 12 million. Since Tiger accrued $125 million in its launch quarter, with a 15 percent uptake in the space of just six weeks, Munster estimates that Leopard will add $240 million to Apple's Q4 2007. Looking forward to January's Macworld expo, Munster also predicts that Apple will release one of two products: a rumored touchscreen PDA somewhat larger than an iPhone, or a possible subnotebook.
Fujitsu LifeBook V1010
Fujitsu today broke away from its usual focus on business users by unveiling the LifeBook V1010. The system pushes costs down by using components Fujitsu has normally avoided in favor of faster but often pricey business-oriented parts: it uses a 1.86GHz Pentium dual-core, 1GB of memory, and an unusually large 120GB hard disk that provide practical speed without eating significantly into the price. A 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo version is also available for those who need faster performance or 64-bit software.
Philips intros SA9345
Philips has released a new media player targeting the lucrative mid-sized market. The SA9345 holds between 2 and 4GB, and has a 1.8-inch color screen; its main attractions are likely to be touch-sensitive controls, and size, at just over a third of an inch thick. It plays MP3 and WMA audio files, as well as FM radio and WMV video. The last is limited to 24fps, but software is provided for conversion from formats including AVI, MOV, MPEG-1/2/4 and even VOB (DVD) files. The 4GB player is claimed to play up to 20 hours of audio or two hours of video, although according to a conflicting report, music may be limited to 10 hours, possibly on the 2GB model.
Hitachi CP-A100 Projector
Hitachi today upgraded its 3LCD projectors with the CP-A100, a projector designed for professionals and schools but also useful for most any presentation. The flip-up design is capable of casting a 60-inch image from as close as 1.4 feet; this lets users cast a genuinely visible image without creating a shadow or having to choose an awkward position for the system. Ethernet is built-in and is integral to the design, especially in a boardroom or classroom. An E-Shot feature lets a notebook or other nearby PC send four photos over the network to display them without using external storage; administrators can directly steer one or more of the projectors or else keep track of details such as lamp life without having to visit the A100 in person.
Optimus Maximus FCC
Art Lebedev Studio's long in development Optimus Maximus keyboard has cleared the FCC and will also include an ample amount of storage for its unique design, the company said in its newest project blog entry. The wireless keyboard has successfully passed both the CE and FCC tests needed for the hardware to be sold in the US, allowing the Russian company to export its design. As part of the news, the company also announced that it would ship the Optimus with a 512MB, 150X speed SD card to store all the icons that will appear on each key's individual OLED display as users change programs and keyboard layouts. Users can swap out cards if they need to swap layout sets between computers or if they have many programs to run.
SecuriKey 2.0 released
GT Security has released SecuriKey 2.0, bringing Mac users integrated AES data encryption to protect vital data. SecuriKey is designed to offer an intuitive interface that provides meaningful security without getting in the way. Setup is quick and easy, according to the company, while usage is as simple as plugging a SecuriKey Token into a USB port and typing a password for full access. Removing the token switches the Mac back to a login window to protect information from others.
iPhone 'bricking' lawsuit
A resident of California, Timothy Smith, is the primary plaintiff in a new class action lawsuit filed against Apple, according to reports. Smith and his attorney, Damian Fernandez, say that the iPhone violates the Cartwright Act, because Apple "prohibits iPhone consumers from using and purchasing a cell phone service other than through AT&T." The lawsuit also specifies that unlocking a cellphone is legal under both normal copyright law and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which has an exemption protecting the practice.
Gateway ML6230 at Best Buy
Best Buy intends to get a headstart on "Black Friday" Thanksgiving sales by selling a Gateway notebook below $300, according to the retailer's flyer for some areas this week. The retailer intends to price the retail-only ML6230 for $299 after an immediate discount -- halving the price of the already inexpensive system, the ad reads. The 15.4-inch system is basic and ships with a 1.6GHz Celeron M, 512MB of RAM, and Vista Home Basic but also includes an 80GB hard disk and a DVD burner. A 4-in-1 card reader and 802.11g are also standard despite the price.
Google Phone OS vs Win Mob
Google's mobile phone project is actually a software-only project meant to compete against licensed mobile OS competitors like Symbian or Windows Mobile, says a purported insider from the industry speaking with the International Herald Tribune. While some had projected that the result would be an actual device, the new report dismisses notions of Google-branded hardware; any hardware seen by earlier sources was a demonstration model made as a proof of concept, according to the new report.
iPhone 1.1.1 jailbreak
iPhone/iTouch Dev members, who have been working steadily for weeks, say they have discovered a way to "jailbreak" iPhone 1.1.1 (i.e., to enable file-level access to the OS on the device). The developers are quick to note however that the jailbreak is nowhere near ready for official release, rendering many applications inoperable until they are recompiled and disabling the iTunes Store without "major hacking." Apple launched the iPhone in June with a policy that allowed only Web-based applications to run on its cellular phone, but hackers quickly found ways to circumvent this restriction which they termed jailbreaking and began feverishly writing "native" applications for iPhone which ran using the device's trimmed Mac OS X operating system. Apple in turn released a statement warning iPhone owners that unlocking their handsets for use with other carriers could damage the devices, rendering them inoperable. Shortly after the press release spread Apple issued an update -- iPhone 1.1.1 -- which rendered numerous unlocked iPhones useless.
Apple tops brand survey
Apple is enjoying the top spot amongst college students between the ages of 18-24, according to Anderson Analytics' third annual fall brand survey of college students. Some 17 percent of those students ranked Apple as the no. 2 overall best brand, and rated Apple's iPhone and new iPod versions as the no. 1 and no. 2 most anticipated products, according to AdAge.com. Surveyed pupils also say iPods and Apple products in general rank no. 1 and no. 2 in product recommendations, while Apple's TV commercials ranked as the sixth most popular. The college group is one of the smallest demographically in the U.S. with around 18 million projected by the U.S. Census this year, but it is also one of the most influential, according to the survey.
RIAA victory to be fought
Jammie Thomas, the defendant who recently lost her file-sharing case initiated by the RIAA, says she is appealing the $220,000 verdict. Thomas has been fined $9,250 per track for sharing 24 songs via Kazaa; she denies even having a Kazaa account however, and is now challenging the verdict based on one of the instructions given to her jury. Instruction 15 suggested that Thomas should be found liable if she made the songs available through a file-sharing network, "regardless of whether actual distribution has been shown."
Envision this afternoon fought to lower the barrier for entry into HDTVs with the L32W661, a 32-inch display geared towards students and others who might not have the space or money for larger screens. It should ship for $649 but will be one of the few in its class to offer meaningful input and image quality; in contrast to the earlier W698, the W661 brings dual HDMI inputs that gives users space for an HD DVD player or a PlayStation 3 without disrupting their main TV link. Envision also musters a 1,200:1 static contrast ratio and a 178-degree horizontal viewing angle that prevents color shifts for multiple viewers.
Seagate Momentus PSD
Seagate on Monday grew the variety of its notebook drive line with the Momentus 5400 PSD, the company's first ever hybrid storage. The 2.5-inch drive's rotating storage is backed by 256MB of flash memory that caches frequently accessed data, including before boot time. Cutting the amount of disk access nearly cuts typical power consumption in half, from 0.78 to 0.45 watts; it also significantly reduces startup times, letting even the characteristically slow Windows Vista jump from 40 to 32 seconds despite the notebook drive's 5,400RPM rotation speed.
Two games in 360 bundles
In a bid to lure holiday buyers, Microsoft says it will soon add two games apiece to variants of its Xbox 360 console. Accompanying the standard Xbox 360 (formerly known as the Premium or Pro) and the Elite will be "Forza Motorsport 2," a realistic racing simulation, and Activision's "Marvel Ultimate Alliance," a top-down superhero action game. The bundle should take effect by Hallowe'en, and is estimated to be a $90 savings over buying the games and consoles separately.
Samsung SyncMaster 245T
Samsung this morning launched a new high-end computer LCD aimed at pleasing both home theater users and home users moving up to larger displays. The 24-inch SyncMaster 245T continues the trend of including HDMI input with larger screens but also a more friendly environment for playing game consoles and HD movie readers. Motion Picture Acceleration purportedly helps improve image quality for movies and similar sources; a unique picture-by-picture mode also splits the view into two halves to let users watch shows over one source without interrupting web browsing or other activities on another connection.
No spite in iPhone 'brick
Despite accusations to the contrary, Apple did not deliberately attempt to sabotage iPhone hacks in its controversial v1.1.1 firmware update, one writer argues. A Wired commmentator observes that when the original Mac was released in 1984, it had no expansion slots, an oddity in an era of computers aimed at hobbyists. The system was oriented at regular people, and Apple, it is said, wanted to avoid the known problem of lockups and reboots caused by expansion hardware. Although modern hobbyists may not like it, this same philosophy may be driving iPhone development.
Read-only ZFS for 10.5
Apple has confirmed that Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) will have limited support for ZFS (Zettabyte File System). "Apple will provide limited ZFS support in Leopard," said company spokesman Anuj Nayar. "It will only be available as a read-only option from the command line." In a Computerworld Apple said it was exploring ZFS as a file system option for high-end storage systems, noting the read-only status of the filesystem's inclusion in Leopard. Apple said ZFS will not be the default filesystem in Mac OS X 10.5, and that it will incorporate its well-known HFS+ as the default file system -- which falls in line with industry skeptics who said using ZFS as the default file system for Leopard made no sense.
Vonage Settles Sprint Suit
(Updated with final terms) Vonage and Sprint together announced on Monday that they had settled their ongoing patent dispute for $80 million, including $35 million for infringement allegations, $40 million for future licenses, and $5 million for unknown services. The deal tentatively allows Vonage to avoid paying the $69.5 million it would have owed Sprint for patent costs alone after the latter successfully argued that Vonage's VoIP calling service infringed on more than 100 patents relating to switching between IP and analog phone networks. In return, Vonage will license the relevant Sprint patents and so escapes any future legal confrontations between the two companies.
40GB for PS3 on Nov 2 Leak
Sony's recently announced 40GB PlayStation 3 is coming to North America just under a month after the Ruopean release, according to an anonymous industry source. Supporting claims by a major retail buyer, the tip would have Sony release the model in the US on November 2nd for $399. This would be slightly later than the October 28th date purported by a Best Buy leak but would otherwise confirm expectations. Like the European model, the US 40GB system would also remove PS2 backwards compatibility, two of four USB ports, and a multi-format card reader.
$1 mil wanted Half-Life 2
Half-Life 2 might not have been ported to Mac OS X because Valve Software, whose co-founder Gabe Newell last week said that Apple isn't serious about gaming, demanded a $1 million advance from any firm that wanted to port the game. A new report from IMG claims that Apple met with Valve regarding a port, and the developer insisted that that anyone who wanted to port Half-Life 2 to the Mac had to pay the hefty sum (for a small Mac developer, anyway) up front. Half-Life 2 never made it to Mac OS X, though users have had success running the title on Intel-based Macs under Windows in Boot Camp and without Windows using CrossOver.
Sub-$200 video glasses
22Moo has unveiled a new range of video eyewear and Bluetooth accessories for Apple's iPod and iPhone that includes a pair of sub-$200 35-inch video glasses, a 3D supported portable DVD player with video glasses, Star-Trek-inspired high resolution video eyewear, and an A2DP dongle bundle with a stereo Bluetooth headset for iPod and iPhone owners. The Argo MP/3G-2 is a new type of compact personal display that uses a unique optical system to offer the equivalent of a 35-inch screen at a six foot distance, boasting 0.3 megapixels (320 x 240) of resolution designed to compliment a video iPod or Microsoft Zune with a direct connection. The device works with numerous other gadgets that support an AV output, including game consoles like the Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox or the Nintendo Wii. The MP/3G-2 is lightweight, and features a detachable light shield as well as earphones. 22Moo's Argo MP/3G-2 eyewear is priced at $200.
Apple stock to hit $225?
Although having only broken the $160 mark on Friday, Apple's stock value may yet go as high as $225, one analyst predicts. The company will announce its fourth-quarter results on October 22nd, and revenues of $6 billion are predicted, with earnings-per-share (EPS) of $0.83; yet more optimistic appraisals suggest revenues between $6.2-6.3 billion, with $0.87 EPS. By September 30th, 2008, concensus suggests these figures may climb as high as $29.7 billion with $4.48 EPS, due to several ongoing developments.
Moto i425 at Boost Mobile
Boost Mobile today upped the style of its handsets with the launch of the Motorola i425. The device is the provider's thinnest ever at 0.47 inches thick but still offers the walkie-talkie instant calls that the company says are extremely popular on its iDEN-based network. It also offers many of the features of better phones on other networks with mobile web access, multi-network IM chat, and assisted GPS navigation. Users can also load true music ringtones rather than the simpler MIDI tones.
American cellular carrier Alltel today launched Alltel Wi-Fi, a new service specifically for users who want to bring their short-range wireless devices online in public places. The plan teams up with Boingo Wireless and lets any user of a Wi-Fi-equipped notebook or smartphone connect both to Alltel's own locations as well as "thousands" of North and South American hotspots. The Internet connections peak at speeds up to 2.4Mbps and provide a real alternative to EVDO cellular access, according to Alltel.
Dell XPS M1530 Leak
Dell is close to releasing a new notebook with many of the same audience and features as the MacBook Pro, according to a new leak made by Engadget. The XPS M1530 would be the first 15.4-inch system in the Texas-based PC maker's performance line since the launch of the original XPS, but would be targeted at users equally interested in thin-and-light systems as in performance: the complete chassis should weigh as little as four pounds without a battery, according to the report. It will also optionally sport a 1440x900, LED-backlit display similar to that of the MacBook Pro that should both cut down on the overall thickness of the display as well as improve battery life and color accuracy.
Altec iMotion Zune system
Altec Lansing has introduced its new iMotion iM414 Zune speaker system. Listed as "coming soon", the company promises immersive, crystal-clear sound using full-range custom-designed speakers surround effect technology, and bass enhancement technology that delivers advanced bass -- without a subwoofer -- via the twin bass-enhanced neodymium speakers. The portable system can either be AC or battery-operated for up to 24 hours of battery life and can charge the Microsoft Zune via the built-in dock.
New iPhone commercials
Apple this past weekend began airing new iPhone commercials touting the company's popular mobile device. The "real world' commercials feature a monologue delivered by a satisfied user about a particular iPhone feature in front of a black backdrop. Likely drawn from solicited user submissions, the simple testimonial-style commercials began airing throughout the US on Sunday afternoon and feature "life changing" stories; the commercials end with the user walking away from the backdrop -- which is revealed to be on the side of a street. The backdrop showcases the familiar signature white Apple logo as well as a closing plug for the Apple's exclusive US network partner: "Only on AT&T".
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