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iJailBreak your iPod touch
Thirteen-year old hacker "AriX" has released an updated version of his iPod touch hacking utility: iJailBreak 0.3 offers an easy, automated way for users to crack Apple's device and install third-party applications, well ahead of Apple's expected February launch of official third-party applications. iJailBreak 0.3, available under the GPL, now offers support for PowerPC-based Macs and the ability to install iPhone Apps to your iPod touch. It also offers an integrated update system so that users can be automatically notified of updates to the application (as well as automatically download and install those updates).
OtterBox for iPhone
OtterBox, known for its water-proof cases, has announced a new case for the iPhone. Unlike most of the company's other cases, the iPhone case is not completely sealed off, and hence it is only billed as being water-resistant. The case is made from hard plastics which are wrapped in a soft silicone cover and the screen is covered by a special patented touch-screen membrane which still allows full operation of the iPhone.
TalkPlus has announced compatibility of its services with the iPhone. These include global virtual numbers, advanced call-management features and low-cost international calling. The virtual phone-number service enables subscribers to create additional phone numbers on their mobile phones for placing and receiving calls. Each number comes with its own voice mailbox and customizable greeting. The service also allows users to make calls that display the caller ID of any pre-authorized phone number, such as a subscriber's office phone. From now through Dec. 31, 2007, the service will be free for the first month and $10 per month thereafter (excluding international toll charges).
MachFive 2.0 ships
Motu today began shipping MachFive 2.0, a major upgrade to the universal sampler instrument software. MachFive 2.0 features 32GB of included sounds, unlimited parts per instance, a new graphics engine, and full-screen editing as well as programming. A new modular synthesis architecture accompanies keybroup layering with rule-based switching, while a complete built-in mixer complements a total of 47 effects -- including convolution reverb. The software also includes the "LoopLab" groove slice engine, sample time-stretching, unlimited multi-point envelopes, and stand-alone operation. MachFive 2.0 is available for $500, with upgrades priced at $200 for registered MachFive 1 users.
and Skooba Backpack
SOLO has debuted the Vintage Bucket Tote, a vertical leather bag that comes with espresso-colored leather and antique brass details. The reinforced padded laptop section holds up to a 15.4" laptop, and includes a Kingfisher Blue lining. The open top keeps the computer compartment concealed with a protective Velcro flap, and a snap-close security strap. The tote is priced at $100. Skooba Design, meanwhile, has introduced a series of new cases including the "Skooba Shuttle," laptop backpack with a system of air-filled cells in the laptop compartment, acting as tiny shock absorbers. Other features include an audio pocket with headphone wire port, padded and ventilated back panel with contoured shoulder straps, dual shock-absorbing top carrying handles, a multi-compartment accessory organizer. The backpack is priced at $140.
Few women execs at Apple
Apple is among many of the largest public companies headquartered in California cited for having very few women in top executive roles by a study conducted at UC Davis. The study found that 122 of the 400 surveyed companies -- 30.5 percent -- listed no women executives or board members in their annual reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission. According to the study, overall, women held only 10.4 percent of board seats and executive positions. Top executives are defined as those listed as members of the companies' executive teams in their SEC filings: the CEO or president, chief financial officer, chief information officer and chief operating officer, etc. [Via Science Daily]
Tango Studio iPod speakers
XtremeMac has introduced a new audio system for use with the iPod. Calling it the Tango Studio, the company advertises full-range stereo sound, which is powered by two 3-inch loudspeakers. Designed for the budget-minded iPod owner, it lacks the subwoofer of its more expensive sibling, the Tango. However, the Studio is more compact which allows for more versatile placement. The unit features a built-in FM tuner, an auxiliary line in, a remote, a retractable dock connector, and a simple no-frills look. The LCD, which displays the FM station, volume level or input source, shines through from behind the cloth speaker grill. Controls are also located on the top of the sound system, in case of a misplaced remote.
iPhone TIFF exploit detail
The details of a TIFF rendering security exploit for the iPhone -- which has been used to unlock the device and "jailbreak" it so that the filesystem can be read and written to -- have been published by hacker HD Moore, along with a revised, more robust version of the exploit. The vulnerability affects the iPhone's Safari browser, its e-mail program, as well as by the iTunes software and can be sent via e-mail or embedded in a Web page. It works on OS's 1.0, 1.0.1, 1.0.2 and 1.1.1. Moore told Computerworld that Apple has to leave a way to restore an iPhone back to previous versions of the firmware, which means that the bug will always be exploitable on the devices even if Apple patches it in future releases.
Hackers unlock iPhone 1.1.
Hackers have posted a working iPhone unlock for Apple's latest revision -- iPhone Update 1.1.1 -- to the hackint0sh forums. The talented individuals have created a means of once again removing the iPhone's dependence upon Apple's exclusive cellular carrier, AT&T, by enabling the device to work with any SIM card -- the small storage medium that retains all the data of a particular wireless subscriber. The latest unlocking method comes after slew of curious iPhone owners set out to obtain read and write file access to the devices, while some reached a further goal of unlocking the handset for use with non-AT&T cellular service.
Sony and KDDI Music Deal
Japanese cellular carrier KDDI and Sony this week announced a plan they hope will bolster their influence in the digital music industry, particularly against Apple. Beginning in December, owners of Sony's software and Walkman music players can freely transfer the music to many of the phones on KDDI's Au service, regardless of whether the devices are made by Sony-Ericsson. Subscribers will hopefully be encouraged to buy from KDDI's Chaku Uta Full online music store knowing they can easily play their purchases when their cellphones are offline, according to the companies.
IDC PC Share Est Fall 2007
Apple is poised to take the largest gains in US computer marketshare over the summer, according to a new estimate from research group IDC. The study predicts that the Mac producer will have shipped roughly 1.13 million computers in the country between July and September, staying roughly on par with rivals HP and Toshiba in terms of year-over-year growth but gaining in overall share to 6.3 percent -- a significant climb from 5.7 percent during summer 2006 and 1.1 more total share than next-best Toshiba. If proven accurate by official quarterly shipment results expected in the next few weeks, the change would help cement Apple's third-place position in its home territory.
Cellular misnaming 'taxes'
In discussing a proposed bill to limit the severity of cellular cancellation fees, a panel of the US Senate is bringing to light serious ethical problems, Reuters reports. Among these is a practice of some unidentified companies to label charges as "taxes," when they are in fact just corporate fees. The bill -- sponsored by senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Rockefeller (D-WV) -- is partly targeted at this concern, and would require companies to avoid the term "tax" except where the charge is mandated by government regulations.
Verizon Juke Ships
Verizon today began shipping the first of its four promised media phones, the Samsung Juke. The device is the first of the ultra-narrow swivel phones to launch in the US and holds 2GB of built-in flash that can be sideloaded over USB and listend to with a stereo Bluetooth headset. The VGA camera is also known to include a special night shot feature that boosts the light levels in dark scenes to reveal hidden details.
Group Logic has announced ExtremeZ-IP 5.1, the Windows-based server solution to properly support all releases of the Mac operating system, from Mac OS 9 to the upcoming Mac OS X 10.5. The new release marks the debut of Zidget, a dashboard widget which enables users to discover and access their print and file servers. Group Logic claims the widget allows users to completely eliminate AppleTalk from their network. The new release also includes the ability to define and enforce file naming policies, allowing automation of the disk space management.
Eizo 2569x1600 LCD monitor
Display specialist Eizo has announced a new, extremely high-resolution LCD monitor, the SX3031W-H. Sized at 30 inches, it is capable of resolutions up to 2560x1600, well surpassing the 1080p limit of most screens. Part of the purpose of this is to support its dual DVI-D inputs, which allow the monitor to display two different video sources side-by-side, at resolutions up to 1200x1600 each. Eizo further claims that the LCD covers the whole of the NTSC color range, with a brightness of 260cd/m2, and a contrast ratio of 900:1.
Virtual 62" iPod screen
Vuzix Corporation has begun shipping the iWear AV920. The AV920 delivers a 62-inch "virtual screen" through twin 640 x 480 high resolution LCD displays. Compatible devices include iPods, cell phones, portable DVD players, and gaming consoles. The device includes an AccuTilt viewer that pivots up to 15 degrees up and down allowing for use with or without glasses. The speakers on the AV920 can be moved out of the way or removed completely for users that want to plug in their own headphones. The AV920 also supports iWear 3-D movies. The iWear can connect to almost all NTSC or PAL audio/video device with video out capabilities. It carries a starting price of $350.
iStopMotion 2 complete
After two years of development and a lengthy public test phase, iStopMotion 2 is ready for Apple's forthcoming Mac OS X Leopard operating system. The stop-motion animation software features virtual stages that allow animators to place objects into a pre-recorded background, as well as "rotoscoping" which supports loading a video that guides animators in the animation. The update also enables users to record a certain number of frames in real time, and boasts support for high-definition (HD) cameras. The software comes in three varieties designed for different users which include the Home edition ($50) for families, the Express edition ($100) for serious hobbyist animators, and a pro version ($500) for animators who aim to or who already earn a living with stop-motion animation.
TiVo External Disk Support
TV recorder maker TiVo today quietly slipped out a software upgrade for the TiVo HD and TiVo Series 3 that adds support for external storage to the DVRs. Using the external SATA port that has been present but unused on the devices since launch, the 9.2 update lets users plug in any hard drive that passes TiVo's standards to expand the available recording time beyond the 32 hours of HD for the Series 3 and 20 for the simpler TiVo HD. No special setup is needed beyond restarting the DVR for it to recognize the extra space, according to users who have received the update.
virio laptop bag review
In brief: Apple UK and British resellers are planning a series of Leopard-related events, We've posted reviews of beatunes and the viro laptop courier bag, DVD-based Shake training has been released, all of Koingo Software's products are now Leopard-compatible, and a "Powered by SampleTank" promotion has launched ... Apple is planning a series of UK events for the launch of Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) on October 26th. The company's retail Web site reads ""The world premiere of Leopard, the biggest upgrade to Mac OS X, takes place on 26 October. On that big day, the Apple Retail Store is the place to be. Join us from 6pm to 10pm and be the first to experience the world's most advanced operating system." Macworld UK reports that Apple is also offering the first 500 people visiting their local store a free limited edition Leopard T-shirt. Individual resellers are also holding special events. Square Group will mark the launch with an iPod touch prize drawing and a £10 discount on Leopard.
Onkyo HT-SP900 Theaters
Onkyo today removed the covers from two complete home theater sound systems that are designed as much to add support for portable devices as HDTVs and CD players. Both the 7.1-channel HT-SP908 and 5.1-channel HT-SP904 bundle the firm's RI Dock that pipes sound from most recent dockable iPods directly through the main receiver. Listeners can also attach a Sirius or XM satellite radio tuner to pick up their digital signals. The DVD player is also far more aware of portable formats, says Onkyo. Beyond scaling DVDs and other videos as high as 1080p, the disc reader can also recognize DivX and WMV clips and play music in AAC, MP3, and WMA forms.
Nokia announces N810
With early information having leaked just hours prior, Nokia has officially announced the N810, its new flagship Internet tablet. The greatest change is the addition of a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, allowing users to forego typing via the touchscreen, though this option should still be present. The direction pad has also been moved to the left side of the slide-out panel, making room on the front for a VGA camera that enables Gizmo video calling. VoIP calls can be made via Skype.
Best Buy Axes Analog TVs
Large-scale retailer Best Buy today said it would stop selling standard-definition TVs at all of its stores, becoming one of the first stores of its size to drop the format entirely. The company expects to sell only flat-panel HD and ED (enhanced definition) sets and will completely halt sales of analog sets, which normally ship in bulkier CRT forms, by the start of November. Some stores have already removed the sets, Best Buy said. Owners of older sets who need access to digital TV shows will be able to buy converter set-top boxes starting early next year.
Toshiba A200, A210 laptops
Toshiba says it has decided to rebrand its Satellite Pro line of notebooks, targeting "mobile professionals" with machines that have essential features but reasonable prices. The first fruits of this strategy are the A200 and the A210, which together share many common elements; among these are 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, DVD SuperMulti drives, and 120GB, 5,400rpm hard drives. Both models are also sized at 15.4 inches, with a native resolution of 1280x800, and come loaded with Windows XP Professional instead of Vista.
Jobs embraces iPhone apps
Apple boss Steve Jobs today offered his official blessing of third-party iPhone and iPod touch applications in an open letter to the public, and has promised to bring a software development kit (SDK) to interested developers by February of next year. The word comes after numerous hackers leaped at the chance to run their own software on the cellular handset following its launch in late June. Some hackers simply created 'jailbreak' methods to gain read and write access to the filesystem of the iPhone, while others took their efforts to another level by unlocking the device and enabling it to work with cellular carriers other than Apple's exclusive partner -- AT&T. [updated]
Upgrading to Leopard
Mac owners looking to upgrade to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard when the operating system hits store shelves on October 26th may want to consult Apple's system requirements as well as the company's upgrade program details. Leopard will run on any Mac with a PowerPC G4 867MHz or faster processor, according to Apple, and requires at least 512MB of physical memory (RAM) alongside a minimum storage capacity of 9GB and a DVD drive to read the installation media. Apple notes that some Leopard features require a compatible internet service provider, warning that fees may apply and that some features requiring the company's .Mac service may also incur further fees. Mac owners looking to pre-order Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard can do so via Apple's Online Store ($130), and Amazon.com -- which is notorious for not charging sales taxes -- is already taking Leopard pre-orders for $110.
Clearwire WiMAX PC Card
Long-range wireless provider Clearwire today released its first mobile pre-WiMAX card, providing customers of the company's 4G-level Internet access with more freedom than has been available with a full-size modem. The adapter fits into a PC Card slot and provides nearly the same connection speeds as the more stationary device: in most coverage areas, the card can match the same 1.5Mbps downstream speeds as one of Clearwire's fixed connections and is still several times faster than dial-up on the fringe of access, running at a minimum 256Kbps.
Apple's 200th retail store
Apple will soon mark a psychologically important event by opening its 200th retail store, a report indicates. The new outlet will open in the SanTan Village shopping center in Gilbert, Arizona, on the important date of October 26th, the same day as the launch of Mac OS X Leopard. It will also have been just over six years since the debut of the first Apple Store in Virginia, with an average one new store opening every 11.7 days. Apple generated $1 billion in sales within four years of the Virginia opening, a record-breaking speed. The company has been looking into several major expansions within the last month; these include upcoming Australian stores, 10 affiliate outlets in India, a potential store in Chicago, and possible fourth and fifth New York City stores.
Nokia N810 In Works
Nokia is on the verge of releasing a crucial sequel to its N800 tablet, according to official shots sent out ahead of the official release to ITT. Named just the N810, the design will add a slide-out QWERTY keyboard that also moves the directional pad away from the main display; the move will both let users browse and write more quickly than possible with the still-included touchscreen keyboard but will occupy less space than the old design. The new form also permits a front-facing camera for video chats and continues to include a microphone for VoIP calls through sites like Gizmo or Skype.
MySpaceIM with Skype
Skype today announced it had struck a deal with MySpace that would see its Internet telephone service link up with MySpace, giving the social networking site's members an easier way of communicating with each other without having to use text. The feature lets MySpace users either bring their existing accounts or link an existing Skype account to the latter's VoIP network, letting any MySpace member potentially call another as long as they know the other's profile name. A special version of MySpace's instant messaging app named MySpaceIM with Skype will let users of the IM network call each other in person for those that would prefer not to use the dedicated Skype tool. To prevent spam or unwanted attention, MySpace page owners will have the choice of limiting Skype calls to friends on either the social page or on Skype itself.
Unlocked French iPhones
French carrier Orange will sell the iPhone in both locked and unlocked versions for the country, a company spokeswoman says. Béatrice Mandrine, elaborating on yesterday's launch date announcement, explains that while a standard version will be tied to Orange and cost €399 ($560), shoppers will also be able to buy an unlocked iPhone for an as-yet unspecified premium. An official announcement of its cost is expected to be made in November, some time before the November 29th release; Mandrine has declined to say, meanwhile, what revenue arrangements Orange may have made with Apple in lieu of sharing cellular fees.
HTC Touch at Sprint
Sprint this morning officially unveiled its version of the HTC Touch, providing the third-largest carrier in the US with its own touchscreen-focused device. Like the version that shipped to Telus in Canada last week, the Sprint edition connects to CDMA networks and connects to the Internet at 3G speeds through EVDO. In American form, however, the gesture-based TouchFLO interface now provides access to specialized Sprint audio and video content as well as the normal communication and media tools found in Windows Mobile 6: listeners can buy songs from Sprint's online store or stream radio and Internet TV stations, including the recently launched SEE entertainment and sports channel which runs only on Sprint's service.
Samsung White-LED Display
Samsung today unveiled three LCDs that it says will improve the vividness of characteristically dull notebook displays, including the company's first-ever small white-LED display. A 15.4-inch display with the same 1440x900 resolution as the MacBook Pro now has a pure white LED panel that more efficiently boosts image quality while also lowering the typical power draw. The panel can reach dynamic contrast ratios as high as 10,000:1 while consuming just 2W of power in demanding conditions; the power use is 40 percent lower than the already more efficient LED backlights on the market today, Samsung claims.
iTunes Plus cuts official
Though having first disclosed the information yesterday in a Wall Street Journal interview, with the results being felt almost immediately on the iTunes Store, Apple has now officially announced its price cuts for iTunes Plus. The company says that all tracks in the subsection are now just 99 cents, while still retaining their 256Kbps, DRM-free AAC encoding. Previously, Plus tracks cost $1.29. Apple also confirms that it has begun adding music from labels beyond EMI, namely indepedents such as Nettwerk, Sub Pop, Beggars Group and The Orchard. This is said to have created the "largest DRM-free catalog in the world," wording that may be a challenge to the likes of the Universal Music Group.
Analysis firm Pipper Jaffray believes that Apple will be missing a marginal amount of revenue from the sale of unlocked iPhones when it reports quarterly results for its fourth (September) quarter on October 22nd. A Piper Jaffray report estimates that Apple sold 1.05 million iPhones in the September quarter (for a total to date of 1.32m including June), and further speculates that Apple receives $3/month for every AT&T subscriber that buys an iPhone, and $11/month for every non-AT&T subscriber who purchases an iPhone (with AT&T service) over the life of the 24 month contract. Hence the firm estimates that Apple will report AT&T revenue share of $10.6 million for the September and June quarters combined.
SanDisk E3 8GB SDHC
SanDisk this morning served serious amateur photographers and professionals with the release of the Extreme III SDHC 8GB. The flash card offers both the capacity for a large number of high-quality photos from a digital SLR camera while also delivering the speed necessary for burst shooting or video capture. Officially rated as Class 6 for a minimum 6MB per second write speed, the Extreme III is capable of at least 20MB per second in both directions, SanDisk claims. Such performance is also said to be helpful with the bundled MicroMate USB 2.0 reader that gives every Mac and Windows user a quick way of loading content which is small enough to accompany the card itself.
BlackBerry 8310 at ATT
AT&T this morning became the first US carrier to pick up the BlackBerry Curve 8310, upgrading the home-oriented smartphone with real GPS mapping. Using either BlackBerry Maps or AT&T's optional TeleNav subscription, users can plot automatic driving directions or find their way on foot while still having access to 'push' e-mail. Like the Rogers version, it also upgrades the 2-megapixel phone with a full headphone jack, an improved media suite on the phone and for PCs, and an easily accessible microSD slot. AT&T's version is unique in supporting both the provider's Mobile Music access and offering a push-to-talk function for immediate conversations.
The Sims 2 Bon Voyage
Aspyr Media on Tuesday announced that it will publish the sixth expansion pack for The Sims 2: The Sims 2 Bon Voyage. Expected to ship in December 2007, The Sims 2 Bon Voyage -- licensed by Electronic Arts and is being developed for Mac by Aspyr Studios -- will cost $35 and requires The Sims 2 for Mac OS X to play. "Whisk your Sims away from their everyday routines and take them on exciting trips to three exotic locations! Whether relaxing on a lush tropical island in a luxury suite, camping with the family on a pristine mountaintop, or exploring the culture of the Far East, your Sims will enjoy new activities to relax and rejuvenate them."
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