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Popcorn 3 review
In brief: Evidence that Leopard will ship on October 26th appears on Apple's online store, a fix for the iMac Boot Camp problems will soon be issued, we've posted a Popcorn 3 review, a Pro Tools 7 tutorial has debuted, and an Investment tools Web site comes to the iPhone ... It appears that Apple is indeed gearing up to ship Leopard on October 26th. MacRumors discovered that if you (recently) tried to order Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) from the online Apple Store, the estimated ship date is October 26th, 2007. The company subsequently updated their store and changed the ship date for Tiger back to "Within 24 hours". Meanwhile, Amazon is taking pre-orders for Mac OS X 10.5, priced at $129. Amazon indicates only "This product is expected to ship sometime in October."
Canada iPhone trademark
Comwave Telecoom Inc, a Toronto based company, is claiming trademark rights to the name "iPhone" in Canada -- a dispute that could further delay the introduction of Apple's mobile device there. Comwave is a company that markets a collection of voice-over-internet services and products under the name iPhone. The firm has filed a complaint with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) over Apple's trademark application for the same moniker. The president of Comwave, Yuval Barzakay, told CBC News that sharing the trademark would "not be practically possible [...] because of the reach and extent of Apple's brand marketing," adding "The force they put into marketing would quickly make the brand Apple's and not ours. It's a case of hijacking the brand. If I asked people on the street who owns the iPhone trademark in Canada, they'd all say Apple. And their product isn't even in the market. So co-existence is not possible."
TuffWraps for new iPods
XtremeMac has announced the TuffWrap Plus line of protective silicone cases for all current iPod models as well as the iPhone. All cases include protection for the display and controls. The new TuffWrap Plus line is now available for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPod classic and includes a removable belt clip that doubles as a kickstand to allow for video viewing. They also include built-in protection for switches, a protective door for the dock connector and side ridges for a secure grip. The iPod nano versions include a removable hard plastic screen protector and a carabiner that easily attaches the case to a backpack or purse.
Little Shop of Treasures 2
Macgamestore.com today added Little Shop of Treasures 2 for Mac by Real Arcade to its list of available titles. The game challenges players to help the shoppers of Huntington find the items they desire, earning enough money to restore and re-open Uncle Roy's gas station. "Search for well-hidden items in a wide variety of Huntington's shops -- including the Import Shop you opened in Little Shop of Treasures and your newly restored Gas Station!" Little Shop of Treasures 2 features two different game modes, and a unique hint feature. The title is priced at $20, and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
TotalView debugger update
TotalView Technologies today unveiled an update to its TotalView Individual Edition Debugger for Mac OS X that supports source code debugging on quad-core machines. The software allows developers working on Mac systems to either completely debug an application on a workstation or maximize productivity by beginning debugging activities before transferring to scarce large-scale development machines, according to TotalView. "TotalView is a comprehensive source code and optional memory debugging solution that dramatically enhances developer productivity by simplifying the process of debugging parallel, data-intensive, multi-process, multi-threaded or network-distributed applications," the company said. TotalView Individual Edition Debugger for Mac OS X is priced at $850 for the quad-core version and $560 for the single and dual-core version.
Apple honors Gore
Apple is paying tribute to Al Gore's shared win of the Nobel Peace Prize today with a message posted to its home page that reads: "Al has put his heart and soul, and much of his life during the past several years, into alerting and educating us all on the climate crisis. We are bursting with pride for Al and this historic recognition of his global contributions." Gore was chosen to share the award with the United Nations Panel on climate change, in part for his efforts on the Oscar-winning film "An Inconvenient Truth," which was produced using Apple's Keynote presentation software.
Sony VAIO G in Europe
Sony today spread the availability of its VAIO G2 notebook to Europe. The 12-inch, ultralight (2.2-pound) notebook now runs on an ultra-low voltage Core 2 Duo but is capped at 1.06GHz versus the 1.2GHz model available in Japan. Nonetheless, the system also has the choice of a 64GB solid-state hard drive that greatly improves load times and extends battery life; Sony has revised its estimates slightly to give the G2 an 11.5-hour runtime when put into its most energy-efficient mode and using a high-capacity battery. A normal, lighter battery peaks at seven hours, according to Sony.
AT&T Vu and Vu2?
AT&T's version of the CU920, a relative of the Prada phone, may already have more specfic release information. An accessory vendor is claiming to have learned that the 920 (misidentified as the Prada) will ship to AT&T in the first quarter of 2008, overshooting a December 2007 release date. It will furthermore be given a different name under its new carrier, the "Vu2."
Preceding or accompanying the release of the Vu2 will of course be the "Vu," what is said to be a modified LG Shine. AT&T is reported to be altering the Shine's user interface, a statement that may be supported by other accounts. These changes are claimed to have delayed the Vu past an intended September release date, though no new date is given. [via JAVOedge Blog]
Xbox 360 Arcade Box Leak
Microsoft's Xbox 360 Arcade replacement for the Core system has received even further confirmation today, courtesy of an inside source sending a photo to Ars Technica. The console is known to not only include a 256MB memory card and five preloaded games (including Pac-Man and Uno) but will also upgrade the entry-level system to a wireless gamepad. HDMI output is also likely to appear, though the system will continue to bundle an RCA video cable to keep its costs low.
iPhone-like MS patent
Microsoft has filed a continuation application for an existing patent describing a user-interface similar to the one used by Apple's iPhone. Microsoft's application, titled "Extensible, filtered lists for mobile device user interface," aims to provide an improved user interface for mobile devices by providing access to data as well as services from multiple software applications through a group or list of items. "Each group or list can include multiple items, which can be associated with data or tasks from multiple applications," the patent filing reads. "The set of groups of items can be both customizable and extensible to allow users to locate and utilize data and tasks relevant to the particular user. The set of item groups can provide users with a filtered view of content available through the mobile device, enhancing access to subset of data and tasks available on the mobile device."
i-mate JAMA 101 & 201
Smartphone specialist i-mate has announced two new JAMA devices, the 101 and the 201. The former is the more advanced of the two, if only because it uses Windows Mobile 6 Professional. It also has a 2.4-inch touchscreen however, and features Bluetooth and a two-megapixel autofocus camera with flash. 128MB of ROM can be supplemented by microSD cards. Limitations comes mainly in the form of a 300MHz Samsung processor, and the lack of Wi-Fi or UMTS, instead having just tri-band GSM/EDGE. Talk time is four hours with a standby of slightly more than six days.
Telus HTC Touch and S640
Telus today surprised the North American market by releasing two of HTC's more desirable phones in Canada, ahead of any official US launch. The HTC Touch takes the popular GSM touchscreen phone from Europe and adapts it to CDMA networks. In Canadian form, the device is also set to run at 3G speed with EVDO and will run even faster with an impending EVDO Revision A software upgrade, Telus says. It shares the same 2-megapixel camera and Windows Mobile 6 Professional interface as the original Touch and should be available now for as little as $150 Canadian with a three-year plan or $500 without any contract.
EasyFind 4.0 (free) find-file utility. The new release comes with a revised user interface that presents all available options more clearly arranged, remembers recent searches, and shows the file creation date in the results list. The results list can be sorted by creation or modification date, folders can be dropped into the EasyFind window to search just the contents of this folder, and all windows can be minimized at once now. Also, file types and HFS creator codes for searching email files have been added and the underlying search methods are more robust and handle words separated by spaces or non-white separators more consistently. [Download - 820KB]
Sapiens 1.0.1 ($20) an application launcher that helps you access all the applications in your Mac. Activated by moving the mouse in a circle. Predicts the applications you will want to launch and lays out the applications' icons. In this release, performance has been improved. [Download - 931KB]
FUNDimensions 7.1 ($2500) fundraising software. This version offers two new event attendance reports for the Event Manager module, and a Report Editor for creating custom reports, exports and graphs of Event Manager data. There are also various improvements to the interface and queries throughout the database software. [Download - form]
WebcamTweaker 1.2.5 ($16) Record video messages or take pictures to be seen with iPod or sent by email. Includes a series of effects: Bump, Glass, Pinch, Black & White, Bloom, Crystallize, Dots, Halftone, Pixel, Pointilize, Thermal, TV, Warhol, XRay, Balls, Christmas, Crazy Heart, Cube. The new version include better support for third party USB UVC webcams and Leopard compatibility. [Download - 1.8MB]
ClipSaver 2.2 ($15) utility that immediately saves clipboard text disk. In this release: ClipSaver can now be started and stopped via a menu option; the clipboard is now cleared when ClipSaver is started; adds support for Windows Vista. [Download - 4.2MB]
CutX Content Filter
Mac Shutdown X 1.2 ($10) a small utility designed for Mac OS X to shutdown the Mac after a big file download or at the time you specify or on other events. It can help a user start a download of big files over the net and have the Mac automatically turned off when the download is finished in the night. The new release can manage Speed Download, Firefox, Camino, and Netscape downloads. [Download - 148KB]
Call Recorder for Skype 2.2 ($15) adds a simple recording window to Skype for Mac, allowing users to automatically save exact reproductions of all incoming and outgoing Skype calls. Calls are saved as QuickTime files, which can be converted to MP3 format or split into separate tracks for further editing and podcasting. The new version adds a new side-by-side recording option, brings Leopard compatibility, and fixes some minor issues. [Download - 1.8MB]
CutX Content Filter 4.0 ($30) allows you to block unwanted websites from display in Safari web browser. Adds a menu to the web browser with various new options. If a website is blocked the user is informed by a message and the page is not loaded. This release has a new engine, the possibility to block a list of website, and the ability use rules located on a remote server (useful to setup multiple computers). [Download - 4.1MB]
Solve Elec 2.1 (free) educational electricity and electronics software for circuit analysis and resolution. Analyzed circuits function in direct current and may contain usual components such as supplies, resistors, diodes, transistors and amplifiers. The new release has equivalent circuits drawing and formulas : equivalent resistor, Thevenin and Norton equivalent. [Download - 7.5MB]
ComicBookLover 1.3 ($25) enables you to easily view, collect and organize digital comics. Find comics by browsing cover art. Create smart lists. Edit information quickly with auto- completion. This update brings support for viewing comics with an Apple Remote, use of the sudden motion sensor in recent laptops, and easier creation of cross-over reading lists. In addition there is preliminary support for Leopard (Beta 9A527) as well as various user interface improvements and bug fixes.[Download - 3MB]
NEC VersaPro UltraLite VC
NEC today stepped up its claims of long-term performance with a new variant on the VersaPro UltraLite Type VC. The VY10A C-4 version of the 12-inch notebook achieves an almost unheard-of 14.5 hours of battery life in the right situations; a combination of an ultra-low voltage 1.2GHz Core 2 Duo, a good battery, and a power saving mode are responsible for the feat, NEC says. A system can also weigh as little as 958 grams (2.1 pounds) and is just over one inch thick while still sporting a semi-rugged outer casing.
WebKit for Windows Mobile
In brief: You can get a free iPod -- with a $3,500 plane ticket, OWC is offering 32GB memory kits for Mac Pros, a team has ported WebKit (the foundation for Safari) to Windows Mobile, equinix's products are Leopard-compatible, and Pixar has licensed several patents to Luxology ... Eos Airlines has announced that every guest who registers and purchases a round-trip ticket October 15th through October 26th will receive their choice of an Apple iPod or bonus Club 48 points. Eos Guests booking round-trip travel at fares of $3,500 and above will receive the option of an Apple iPod Touch (8 GB) or 35,000 Club 48 points. Guests booking round-trip travel below $3,500 will receive the option of an Apple iPod Nano or 20,000 Club 48 points. Travel must be completed between October 24, 2007 and January 31, 2008.
LG CU920 Coming to ATT
AT&T is poised to launch a second full touchscreen phone that will compete with the iPhone, says a source leaking photos of the device to Gizmodo. The American carrier is expected to receive the CU920, a close relative of the Prada and KU990 available so far only in Europe; like either predecessor, the phone will be dominated by a touchscreen and have little more than call and answer buttons on the front. However, the CU920 will have support for American-standard 3G over HSDPA, the insider claims -- potentially giving the LG device an advantage over the iPhone, which uses the slower EDGE protocol.
Tech chief reviews iPhone
In brief: A list of applications that work with iPhone 1.1.1 has been posted, The Weather Channel offers and iPhone Web app, an IS manager with a Fortune 500 company has reviewed the iPhone, an iPhone site/phone number directory debuts, and 50 new custom wallpapers for the iPhone have been created ... A forum poster has published a list of native applications that work the iPhone under firmware 1.1.1. Among the working apps are Apollo, Chat, FiveDice, iFlickr, iShare, Installer - v2.63, iPhoneSimFreeApp, Lights off, Lockbox, Mines, and more. Apps that don't work include Customize and Sketches.
Sony 7.1-channel headset
Sony Japan is nearing the release of an extremely high-end set of wireless headphones, the MDR-DS7000s. A successor to the 5.1-channel DS6000s, the 7000s now simulate 7.1-channel surround sound, using a separate decoder box that supports AAC, DTS, DTS-ES and Dolby Pro Logic IIx. The box also has inputs for two optical audio devices and a single analog source, and can support several headsets simultaneously. Users are nevertheless more free from base stations, as the 7000s have been upgraded with onboard controls for volume and surround modes, as well as an AC adapter that allows direct charging.
Leopard training ramps up
Apple is gearing up for a forthcoming Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard release, which the company promised to deliver this October, by expanding its training of technical support reps at all levels both locally and overseas. AppleInsider reports that AppleCare technical support staff around the world received instructions to follow specific training modules on several of Mac OS X Leopard's most essential components. First tier 1 and tier 2 techs have access to self-paced training modules, with four initial training modules spanning Mail.app as well as Parental Controls and Boot Camp.
N95 Google Maps GPS
Nokia's popular N95 smartphone today received a specialized version of Google Maps Mobile that promises features absent from other devices, including the iPhone. The updated version is now native to the Symbian Series 60 OS used on most of Nokia's smartphones and explicitly recognizes the N95's GPS unit. Users can pinpoint their exact locations and receive driving directions that change depending on the position, unlike Apple's implementation. The utility will additionally save locations directly to the phone's contacts to find them again more easily, Google says.
Xbox 360 Arcade confirmed
Photos of retail displays appear to confirm the existence of the Xbox 360 Arcade, a new low-cost version of Microsoft's game console. While the current low-end model, the Core, had its price cut to $280 in early August, it has been seen as increasingly irrelevant, as it comes with a wired gamepad and no default games or storage. The Arcade by contrast will come with a 256MB memory card, and a wireless controller like that for the standard and Elite 360s.
Fujitsu laptops, desktops
Targeting the company's Japanese home, Fujitsu is launching several new notebook and desktop PCs. Of the former, the high-end is represented by the FMV-H8250, which has a 15.4-inch display with a native resolution of 1920x1200. Inside is a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo T7700, running on an Intel Q35 Express motherboard.
The A8250 (pictured) represents a dramatic drop, moving to 1280x800 resolution, and a 1.73GHz Celeron M 530 processor. The B8250 shrinks to a 1024x768, 12.1-inch display, and also relies on a 933MHz Celeron M 523 chip; as an ultra-low voltage notebook though, battery life should be extended. The H8250 and A8250 will ship in late November at prices of 346,500 ($2,944) and 152,250 yen ($1,293), while the B8250 should be ready later this month for 202,650 yen ($1,722).
Syphone beta released
Micromat has released Syphone beta, a public test version of its freeware utility designed to work with Apple's iPhone. The application does not need to alter the iPhone in any way, but allows users to view as well as save and back up SMS text messages. Syphone beta supports archiving and viewing SMS conversations, including those already deleted from the iPhone. The software allows users to import/export SMS text messages, view messages offline in an iChat-like interface with a variety of colors, open Address Book contacts, and view the number of sent/received messages for each contact on multiple iPhone handsets. Syphone beta is available for free, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
CLC Bio update in works
CLC bio today announced a forthcoming November release of CLC Bioinformatics Database that will enable users of CLC bio's DNA, RNA, and protein sequence analysis software to store and work on sequence data in a secure and shared central relational database. The software aims to raise the bar for what users can expect from a database system, and the development team has focused heavily on eliminating classic obstacles like different operating systems as well as limited support for database formats. CLC Bioinformatics Database is scheduled to ship in November (pricing was unavailable).
Universal Music Group is attempting to form a subscription service whose primary purpose would be to unseat iTunes from its comfortable position at the top of the digital music industry, according to a claim from BusinessWeek. Called Total Music, the service would break from the traditional model of selling music by receiving direct control from labels themselves: Universal at a minimum would offer a subscription rate of $5 per month but would ask cellphone carriers and device makers to subsidize the cost themselves, effectively providing some users a free, unlimited service. Though it would initially add to up-front costs, the reduced need to buy albums would more than offset the expenses of a subscription, Universal reckons.
Apple service lagging?
Apple's rapid growth in recent years may be coming at the cost of actually keeping customers happy, say some observers. While sales of Mac computers are escalating at three times the speed of PCs, and the iPhone is already seizing a good share of the cellphone industry, Apple is now dealing with a more diverse group of buyers, extending beyond the "cult" following it has had since the 1980s. "The customer base is now more diverse, including students and mainstream consumers, and it's harder to satisfy as a whole," says Lopo Rego, a marketing professor with the University of Iowa.
iPods to hold on to HDDs
At least some iPods will continue to feature hard drives for a while to come, according to commentators. Research firm iSuppli yesterday described Apple's iPod classic as a "stopgap" player, built only because it is currently more economical to use hard drives for mass storage than flash, which is found on every other iPod. This view is opposed by Dave Reinsel, program director for Storage Research at the analysis firm IDC. Reisnel notes that demand for HD video and other memory-intensive content is bound to increase, and that there is simply no alternative to hard drives for users who want to carry a lot of media with them.
BenQ concluded its week with news of the T33, a new music-oriented slider phone designed for ease of use above all else. A side music key automatically cues up the music player regardless of where the user might be in the interface, helping manage AAC and MP3 tracks. The number pad also implements a unique, wave-like design which is said to be easy to use for dialing while also being fashionable. MicroSD cards up to 2GB hold the phone's pre-recorded media as well as photos or AVI and MPEG-4 videos captured using the 2-megapixel camera. An FM radio tuner is also available as an alternative source of entertainment, BenQ says.
ASUS and BenQ iPhone Clone
Taiwanese companies are planning to hop on the touchscreen phone bandwagon to capitalize on the iPhone's perceived success, claim anonymous industry contacts. ASUS and BenQ, which have typically focused on limited 'feature' phones or else smartphones with traditional number pads, are both said to be developing primarily touch-driven phones for professional users. Windows Mobile 6 would be standard, and the feature set would skew towards higher-end features like 3G Internet access and GPS navigation, the sources alleged. It was too early for definite specifications, though the report would have the ASUS and BenQ devices on shelves within the first half of 2008, roughly a year after the iPhone's announcement and launch.
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