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Apple Chicago store
Apple Inc is planning a major new store on State Street in Chicago as part of the Block 37 project. ChicagoBusiness reports that Joseph Freed and Associates LLC, the developer of the retail and residential portion of the project, is in talks with Apple regarding the site. Other retailers currently negotiating to build storefronts at the new location include Coach, Puma, J. Crew and Zara. Apple is reportedly looking at leasing up to 6,000 square feet of ground-level space fronting State Street for the new store. Apple already has a store on Michigan Avenue.
Retail events for Leopard
New Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard launch details from its retail stores reportedly confirm the circulating October 26th ship date for Apple's Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard operating system. In order to prep for the release of the delayed OS, Apple has reportedly scheduled a series of launch events at 6 pm on the day of its release and plans to keep stores open until midnight as part of its launch, according to ifoAppleStore. It is, however, unclear whether Leopard has been declared "golden master"--the "GM" release is the release manufacturers use as a template for their final selling CD)--but the new report indicates that a few store construction projects have been pushed back to accommodate the launch of its newest operating system.
Io HD for 10-bit editing
AJA Video is now shipping Io HD, a tool that delivers HD editing to the MacBook Pro and Mac Pro Pro via a Firewire 800 (IEEE-1394b) interface. The device natively supports Apple's ProRes 422 video format in hardware, and includes a similar feature set to AJA's industry-leading KONA lineup; 10-bit hardware-based up-conversion, cross-conversion, and down-conversion, performed in real time. The new unit also works with a new AJA-built driver, supporting features such as core audio, and very low latency. Included are SD/HD analog inputs and outputs, SD/HD digital I/O including HD-SDI and HDMI, as well as RS-422, Genlock, Balanced analog and AES audio, and even LTC time code connections. Io HD is available now at $3500.
Picasa 1.1 and iPhoto '08
Google has released version 1.1 of the Picasa Web Albums Uploader, which adds support for Apple's new iPhoto '08. This release also installs and updates via Google Updater to ensure that you are running the latest version and is built on the public Google Data API interfaces and the Objective-C GData Library, whereas previous releases used a private API to talk with the Picasa Web Albums serve. The Picasa team says "This will make it easier for us to keep up with Picasa Web Albums' new features. For example, the iPhoto export plug-in now can convert keywords in iPhoto to tags in Picasa Web Albums."
USB Fever has introduced an 8-in-1 FM transmitter for the iPod/iPhone. The device features a remote control, charger for the cradled device, FM music playback, a 3.5mm line-in, and a frequency display on LCD with Backlight. The main unit is nearly 180° adjustable in the cigarette adapter, - High quality Stereo output, and features TDTT: (Two Dimensional Tuning Technology), which scans radio frequency quicker and more accurately rapidly switches from coarse tuning to fine tuning. You can store 10 pre-set memorized channels, and output to the full FM frequency (87.5M~108MHz, 0.1 intervals). The unit is priced at $40, and available in black and white.
Details of Apple/CEH suit
More details have emerged regarding the Center for Environmental Health's lawsuit against Apple over hazardous materials allegedly included with the iPhone. The suit is based on a Greenpeace report from earlier this month that shows the presence of PVCs and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in the handheld. Specifically, the CEH complaint alleges that the iPhone headphone cables contain DEHP (Di-ethylhexyl Phthalate) and DBP (Di-n-butyl Phthalate). CEH says that usage of the headphones results in human exposure via dermal absorption directly through the skin, ingestion via hand to mouth contact after touching or using the product, and ingestion when consumers "place the products in their mouths during normal use."
LG-Philips 1mm Bezel LCD
Joint venture LG-Philips LCD on Monday unveiled a new LCD technology that the company says could result in larger screens on many more devices. By integrating the driver circuitry into the LCD panel itself rather than requiring a separate board, the screen can reduce the practical size of the bezel surrounding the screen to just 1mm (0.04 inches) thick. This allows for an LCD 10 percent larger than in the past in the same physical area, LG-Philips says.
NEC debuts new thin client
Mainly targeting businesses, NEC has launched a new "thin client" desktop PC, the US110. The computer is small enough to fit in a person's hand, and jettisons most normal features, including optical drives and a substantive hard disk; instead, it is meant to connect to a virtual private network (VPN), where files and programs are kept in earnest. It does however have enough memory to run Windows CE, and enough processor power to handle functions such as VoIP or playing back MPEG and WMV video files. Ports allow the connection of sound, monitor and various USB devices. The 110 should be available in Japan October 29th for 49,000 yen ($418) before tax. [via Impress Watch]
Led Zeppelin on iTunes
Iconic rock band Led Zeppelin has announced plans to offer its music online beginning in mid-November. Starting November 13th, original Led Zeppelin tracks will be available via the iTunes Store for download either individually for $0.99 each or as complete albums, according to Macworld UK. The band's offerings due to launch on iTunes next month include Led Zeppelin; Led Zeppelin II; Led Zeppelin III, its untitled fourth album; Houses of the Holy; Physical Graffiti; Presence; The Song Remains the Same; In Through The Out Door; Coda; How The West Was Won; and Mothership. "We are pleased that the complete Led Zeppelin catalogue will now be available digitally," said band guitarist Jimmy Page. "The addition of the digital option will better enable fans to obtain our music in whichever manner that they prefer."
Streaming music to iPhones
Dot.Tunes is bringing streaming music to iPhone and iPod touch owners via two new plug-ins designed to interact with its audio server application, enabling users to access a complete iTunes library via Wi-Fi. The company's plug-in for Apple's iPod touch provides a custom Dot.Tunes interface on the iPod that supports viewing all movies as well as videos, and enables users to play any track from an iTunes music library on a networked computer. A similar plug-in for the iPhone offers the same functionality on the cellular device, effectively removing the storage capacity limit of either device when users are within range of a wireless network.
Fabrik Pro, Duo Pro update
Fabrik has updated two parts of its SimpleTech backup line, the Pro Drive and the Duo Pro. The latter takes its name from its twin hard disks, allowing it to perform in both RAID 0 and 1 configurations; enabling RAID 1 lets a user keep working within moments of a default drive's failure. The new Duo Pro supports capacities up to 2TB, and introduces a combo eSATA/USB 2.0 interface for extra flexibility. Prices start at $400 for 1TB, but raise to $800 for 2TB.
Toxic lawsuit hits Apple
The Center for Environmental Health today announced that it is suing Apple over its iPhone cellular handset. The suit is based on a report by Greenpeace, which revealed hazardous materials in the construction of the smartphone. Greenpeace earlier this month announced the results of tests conducted by its UK labs, showing the presence of PVCs and brominated flame retardants (BFRs). The report claims that half of 18 internal and external iPhone parts contain brominated material, including the device's antenna. The suit's demands are as yet unclear.
Zune 2 Battery Life Shown
Microsoft's new Zunes have been tested and should have the same audio performance as their equivalent iPod models but run lower in terms of video, according to an update from Zune marketer Cesar Menendez. Both the Zune 4 and Zune 8 flash players will manage up to 24 hours of continuous music playback using 128Kbps Windows Media files, but a shorter four hours of video with 500Kbps Windows Media videos versus the five of an iPod nano playing H.264 clips at the same resolution. The Zune 80's larger battery will afford 30 hours of music but will be limited to the same four hours as its smaller counterpart. Apple's 80GB iPod classic and both iPod touch models are estimated at about five hours of video playback. Wi-Fi was switched off in both Zune tests, according to the report.
Broadcom All-in-One 3G
Communications chipmaker Broadcom today revealed that it had developed the BCM21551, the first major cellphone processor to include both 3G cellular data access as well as other technologies in a single chip. The chip is ready for current and near-future mobile Internet access with connections to HSDPA networks (such as AT&T, Rogers, and some European networks) peaking at 7.2Mbps in ideal downloads, and the fast-upload HSUPA at up to 5.8Mbps; new, however, are the inclusion of a radio receiver for picking up calls as well as an FM radio tuner and an integrated Bluetooth module. These give any future phone using the chip true high-speed Internet connections without requiring a separate processor and the increased size or reduced battery life that often comes with the extra hardware, Broadcom says. Legacy access to GPRS, EDGE, and other legacy connections are also built in.
ASUS R300 photos
First previewed alongside the R600 in September, the R300 navigator by ASUS has finally had photos and individual specifications revealed. As previously suggested, the unit has a 3.5-inch touchscreen, and a 400MHz Samsung processor; loading data is handled primarily through microSD, though it also has a Mini-USB port, and it can perform hands-free functions through Bluetooth 2.0. An FM radio tuner is built-in, and users can also load AAC, MP3 and WMA audio, as well as MPEG-4/H.263 videos.
Free Quark products
In brief: Unlocked iPhones are on sale in France, Lynda.com is offering 3ds Max training, the price of Infovox's iVox has been permanently dropped, Pasteboard 7 gets QuarkXpress 7 support, and Quark is giving away products as part of a new promotion ... A firm is reportedly selling unlocked iPhones in France for the price of 999 euros according to a report in LeMonde. The manager of the store selling the phone has claimed that the offer is "entirely legal" and is provided with a France-compliant warranty. "He said, however, that it is highly inadvisable to perform an update via the iTunes software, at risk of (breaking) the iPhone." The store, Leclerc of Frouard, which operates franchises, has gotten the batch of iPhones via an unnamed American wholesaler.
Moto RAZR2 V8 at T-Mobile
T-Mobile today became the first carrier in the US to pick up the RAZR2 V8, the rarest version of Motorola's thin clamshell phone. The new design is limited to 2.5G Internet access over EDGE but compensates with 2GB of built-in flash memory that helps the device fulfill its media-savvy role. Two songs and a one-month trial for Napster's subscription music service help users get started, T-Mobile says. Unlike the V9 or V9m, the V8 is also the only RAZR2 to run Motorola's more advanced, Linux-based MAGX interface instead of the older Synergy code and should run more smoothly while elegantly handling more features.
Symphony S210 debuts
SALAGAR Sonics took wraps off the Symphony S210 self-amplified speaker at the 2007 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. The new speaker incorporates SALAGAR X-ACT active digital crossover/controller technology with four switch selectable programs to optimize (according input and input source and room setting) the frequency response and sensitivity of the speaker. It also includes Class D amplification from ICEpower, a division of Bang & Olufsen. A separately sold SALAGAR BL-1 Interface accepts input from iPods and other MP3 players, adjusting input from mini-jack connections. This bypasses the loss of signal volume and dynamics normally inherent with direct connections. The Symphony S210 is available direct in five different woods and eight standard automotive grade paint finishes at $8,000 per pair. Speaker stands sold separately and range from $175 to $700 per pair. The SALAGAR BL-1 Interface is priced at $150.
Canon DSLR Lenses
In advance of the PhotoPlus Expo, Canon today expanded its EF telephoto lens line to include models geared alternately at indoor and outdoor photographers using the company's EOS digital SLRs. The EF200mm f/2L IS USM includes its namesake large aperture of f/2 to adequately focus on a subject in the low light of an indoor environment at long range. This can be extremely useful for both indoor sports or portraits, Canon says. A second model, the EF800mm f/5.6L IS USM, replaces an earlier EF600m f/4L lens and is built for professionals who need high detail at even more extreme distances.
Intel 4-Core Mobile Demo
Intel today at its Developer Forum in Taiwan demonstrated one of the first working examples of its mobile quad-core processor as well as new cooling technologies that will help run the chip in the future. Part of the chipmaker's Penryn architecture, the chip was shown in early form running the recently launched game Enemy Territory: Quake Wars at high speed during an opening speech by Intel mobile VP Mooly Eden. The CPU required larger-than-normal cooling equipment given the rough state of the processor, but was stable despite its 847 million transistors and a typical peak usage of 45 watts versus the 35 of today's Core 2 Duo processors, the Intel executive said.
Large-screen 1080p Olevias
Syntax-Brillian, best known as a budget brand, has formally announced the introduction of two new large-screen LCDs in its Olevia line. At the top is the 265TFHD (pictured), sized at a massive 65 inches; the set is 1080p compatible, and features a thin bezel with removable speakers as needs dictate. The design of the set is strictly focused: other highlights include a QAM tuner for decoding cable HD, RS232 networking support, and a collection of ports such as two HDMI and two component inputs. Firmware can be upgraded via USB, though this is apparently the only use for the connection.
Long-life Epson OLED
The Japanese division of Seiko Epson says it has developed a new OLED technology with a much longer life, which it has already implemented into a prototype display. OLED is said to offer advantages such as fast response, large viewing angles and extreme contrast; one of the main problems however has been battery life, which while sufficient, has been less than that on CRT, LCD or plasma screens. Epson's new eight-inch screen should theoretically last over 50,000 hours, more than 13 years if viewed 10 hours per day; by contrast, Sony's upcoming XEL-1 TV set previously pushed the limit to 10 years.
Nokia today made the surprise announcement of the 2135, one of Nokia's few handsets to both run on CDMA phone networks and to ship to the US instead of developing countries. An emphasis on simplicity means the device largely strips the media features in the name of cost and ease of use; without Bluetooth or a camera, the most advanced elements are a speakerphone and a 60-second voice memo recording function. Talk time is rated at 3.5 hours but is supported by a long 11 hours of standby, Nokia says. Its phonebook is comparatively large for entry phones at 400 entries.
KeyCue 4.0 ships
Ergonis Software has released the latest version of its shortcut application, KeyCue 4.0. KeyCue is run alongside other applications, and is used to automatically detect and display all possible keyboard shortcuts, organizing them into a "cheat sheet" for convenient reference; shortcuts are clustered by menu headings, and users can pop up the cheat sheet simply by hitting the Command key. Appearance can be customized through various themes. Version 4.0 adds two critical changes: primary is the ability to click on shortcuts directly, turning KeyCue into a hotlink interface. The software is also now compatible with Mac OS X Leopard, due later this month. KeyCue requires at least Mac OS X 10.4 and costs $28 for a single license.
Apple subnotebook near?
Apple is once again set to beat Wall Street expectations when it reports its financial results on October 22nd, according to several research firms, and is closer than ever to unveiling an ultra portable subnotebook that could incorporate the multi-touch technology found in its iPhone and iPod touch. At least three industry analysts are predicting a better-than-expected quarter for Apple resulting from as many as 1.2 million iPhone sales, shares of cellular service revenue from AT&T, and climbing Mac shipments. Lehman Brothers today raised its price target on Apple shares to $190 from $160 based on expectations of strong fiscal fourth-quarter results, and late last week Morgan Stanley raised its price target on Apple's stock to $180 from $150 while noting a potential surge to as high as $225 from the company's operating leverage alongside the potential launch of an ultra portable subnotebook.
Moto and Sony-Erisson Team
Motorola today announced that it was buying a 50 percent stake in UIQ, the phone interface behind some of Sony-Ericsson's more advanced phones such as the P1 and W960 (pictured). Although financial terms were unavailable, the deal gives Motorola joint control of the software and lets it co-develop enhancements that filter into its own phones, such as the already available RIZR Z8. The move also accomplishes the larger goal of making UIQ truly platform -independent, Sony-Ericsson says: other phone makers will receive an equal licensing scheme if they want to use the OS on their own devices.
iJailBreak opens up Touch
A 13-year-old coder going by the alias of "AriX" has released iJailBreak, a tool meant to automate the process of hacking the iPod touch. Two previous pieces of hacking code are used: first is the TIFF exploit developed by "Niacin" and "Dre," while the second is iPhuc, a program meant to grant command-line access to an iPhone via desktops. Once run, iJailBreak can be used to simplify the installation of unofficial software on a Touch. iJailBreak is covered under v2 of the GNU General Public License, and available for download from Google Code; currently at v0.2.1, the app will only run on Intel Macs with Mac OS X Tiger, but a PowerPC version is said to be in development.
Nokia Ships N95 8GB
Nokia this morning began shipping the N95 8GB and also introduced a special model at the same time. A new Spider-Man 3 edition takes advantage of the relatively large storage to pre-load a full copy of the recent movie on the phone; the larger 2.8-inch screen and the built-in speakers make it an ideal fit for watching movies on the road, Nokia says. The bundle also brings movie-themed alert sounds, a wallpaper, and access to downloadable content in some areas. With 8GB of space, the features still leave room for other media clips.
Greenpeace vs. iPhone
Apple's iPhone is not in keeping with CEO Steve Jobs' promise to "green" the company, says Greenpeace. The environmental group claims that tests conducted by its UK labs reveal the presence of PVCs and brominated flame retardants (BFRs), both potentialy dangerous compounds. Of 18 internal and external parts, half of them are said to contain brominated material, including the antenna. The PVC in the headphone cables, meanwhile, contains toxic forms of phthalates, chemicals used to increase the flexibility of plastic.
Hitachi CPP-GMR Drives
Hitachi's Global Storage division on Monday revealed a new technology in its labs that could quadruple the amount of available storage in just a few years. Called current perpendicular-to-the-plane giant magnetoresistive (CPP-GMR), the invention shrinks the drive head to between 30 and 50 nanometers versus the 70 of today's best shipping drives. It also compensates for the signal noise problems that would come along with the reduction, Hitachi says. A new magnetic film, improved patterning, and noise reduction make sure the drive can write as it normally would at the larger size, eliminating a density barrier that many have believed would be impossible to break with today's tunnel-magnetoresistive (TMR) drives by allowing smaller data bits on the drive without interference.
ATI TV Wonder 650 Combo
AMD's graphics division ATI today introduced a trio of new TV tuners, all of which are aimed at bringing digital TV to a wider range of home theater PCs. The company's TV Wonder 650 Combo USB is designed to accept dual sources and will record either one analog or digital signal while playing the other, including unencrypted HDTV. The device also sports a ClearQAM tuner for picking up unprotected digital cable. It also has an FM tuner to pick up radio, the company says. AMD packs a custom media center interface for Windows as well as Internet access to DVR functions with the $149 tuner, which ships today.
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