MacNN has learned that Electronic Arts has (finally) begun shipping two of its much-anticipated new Mac titles: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 and Madden NFL 08. Announced in July as part of EA's recommitment to the Mac, the six titles were expected to ship in July, but only four were delivered in August: Command & Conquer 3, Battlefield 2142, Need for Speed Carbon, and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Today, the company made good on its commitment for a "September/October," time-frame by shipping Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 08 and Madden NFL 08. Built using the Cider game engine, the titles are only compatible with Intel-based Macs.
Apple today expanded upon the free content available through its iTunes desktop software. Initially only offering lectures and videos from several universities, iTunes U section will expand on these by supplying debates from the Supreme Court, radio broadcasts on the civil rights movement, among other offerings in a new category they are calling "Beyond Campus". iTunes was originally designed as a gateway for its leading online music store (and less successful video store) as well as song/video and Apple device management for users.
NEC today has announced three new LCD monitors to its Multisync 5 line-up. The new offerings consist of the 19-inch LCD195NXM, the 20-inch LCD205WNXM and the 22-inch LCD225WNXM. The displays incorporate most of NEC's higher end features, such as an integrated power supply, a four-port USB 2.0 hub, a 5ms response time, down-firing speakers, and low power consumption. Adding to personal viewing comfort, the line-up offers a four-way adjustable stand, allowing users to determine the height, angle, swivel and tilt of the display. Each model features a cable management system to prevent a messy work area.
Visual effects creator Red Giant Software today released Magic Bullet Looks. Designed to be used both in the studio and in post production, Looks is used to adjust color, tone and focus on video footage. Red Giant has included over a hundred different presets, all of which occupy any one of ten style categories. Looks is advertised as being useful for any project, ranging from weddings to production pictures. Included with the package is the LooksBuilder, which is a standalone application used primarily during filming. LooksBuilder presets can be loaded into any supported editing suite so that it provides a consistent look from start to finish.
In brief: Another UK Apple Store is set to open, Apple's Web site is 12th in a new comScore ranking, new RAID controllers measure Mac Pro drive temperature, the sixth edition of the iPod missing manual has been published, DVD Sphere is no more, and the winners of the MacMod Challenge for 2007 have been announced ... Apple Store set to open in Cambridge, UK, according to a Macworld UK report. The revelation comes from the fact that Apple's recruitment website is currently attempting to attract candidates to work at the unconfirmed Cambridge store, which will be located in the Grand Arcade shopping centre. Apple already has eleven stores situated across the UK, which are gearing up for special events surrounding the launch of Leopard.
WeatherBug has announced a new web app for iPhone and iPod Touch that streams localized weather information through Safari. Although just released, it has already become a Staff Pick, according to the Apple
Pomoto.com has released Pomoto 1.0, a new "all-in-one" solution for publishing a Web photo gallery directly from Apple's iPhoto library. The software combines a desktop application as well as a hosted online service, enabling users to easily showcase photo galleries online with a simple and intuitive publishing tool. Users have full control over photo galleries, according to Pomoto.com, and once published the galleries are available online to friends and family. The subscription-based service is priced at $3 per month or $30 per year, with free trials limiting usage to 15 days and 50 photos total. The publishing application requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
Apple is launching a free shuttle service for its employees on Monday to ferry workers between strategic points in the Bay Area and the Cupertino-based campus. The buses, which Apple is reportedly renting to provide transportation to its workers, will begin running on Monday, October 22nd. The shuttle service includes 12 stops in the city of San Francisco, several locations around Daly City, and numerous pickup/drop off points in Fremont. The high-tech buses provide seats with individual power connectors to run as well as charge notebooks while in-transit, and every bus comes equipped with Wi-Fi for internet connectivity. [Information was first noted by Italian site setteB.IT.]
Car audio specialist Alpine has just launched the B200 Blackbird II, the second generation of its unique GPS device. The revamp adds Bluetooth to the mapping unit and grants hands-free calling when the Blackbird is used either as a handheld device on foot or cradled in a windshield mount. It can still dock into Alpine's double-sized IVA-W205 head-end unit to provide GPS navigation on a larger 6.5-inch screen without taking away from the receiver's music or video playback functions.
Through an appearance for FCC testing, Pantech's C810 has had some of its details confirmed. The phone is of course a quad-band GSM/EDGE device, and also supports dual-band WCDMA, most likely in HSDPA form to support AT&T's network. A 1.3-megapixel camera is confirmed, as is the presence of Windows Mobile Standard, though the use of Windows Mobile 6 is not specified. Also not specified is what has been tapped to be one of the main features of the phone, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, sandwiched between the screen and numberpad. While seen in leaked photos, it cannot be seen in FCC images. [via Phone Scoop]
BenQ has announced a new work- and education-targeted projector, the MP771. Its primary feature is said to be its short-throw lens, which can produce a 74-inch image from as little as 3.2 feet away, making it better suited to small presentation rooms. Maximum image size is 300 inches. The projector is also capable of a brightness of 3,000 ANSI lumens, more powerful than many other mid-range projectors; contrast is rated at 2,000:1, and inputs include DVI-I, component, S-Video and composite connections, among others. Native resolution is 1024x768, but output can go as high as 1280x1024. The projector should ship worldwide sometime in November.
LCD display partnership LG-Philips today promised to tackle the challenge of shrinking LCD displays even further by demonstrating a new screen for HDTVs that would shave much of the bulk without sacrificing the features. The improvements reduce the thickness of a 42-inch screen to just 19.8mm (0.78 inches) -- roughly 40 percent thinner than a typical set and valuable for fitting a TV in a shallow cabinet or on a wall, LG-Philips says. The smaller frame also drops the weight by 10 percent. This is possible despite using a more conventional fluorescent backlight and a fast 120Hz panel that refreshes twice as fast, eliminating much of the blurring and ghosting found in older sets.
Two personal finance applications were updated this week: Money 2.4, and Personal Finance, which is also at version 2.4. The changes range from bug fixes to feature additions throughout both applications. Jumsoft's financial assistant application, Money 2.4, brings the ability to manage investment portfolios and accounts, as well adding security features to the Smart Accounts area. QIF and OFX format handling has been improved, and bugs that were resident in account transfers that used two different currencies were also resolved. The developer has stated that it has also done a small number of miscellaneous bug fixes. A new license for Money 2 can be purchased for $40.
TLA has released DragThing 5.9, an update to its popular dock utility for organizing launchable apps, folders, and files. Version 5.9 has been released today. Sporting a brand new, Leopard-inspired look, DragThing has been updated to be compatible with the new operating system. In addition, the company has implemented some visual, such as adding mirror effects to icons, and three additional themes designed around the Leopard appearance. The update also brings enhanced functionality: users are now able to insert and rearrange icons in their docks without needing to make room for them first, EXIF data is now shown in a file preview, and they have retained the ability to browse through the contents of a folder through the use of contextual menus.
A new technology should dramatically increase the density of hard drives, Western Digital claims. The company says it has developed a combination of perpendicular magnetic recording and tunneling magneto-resistive heads to push density to 520GB per square inch, an amount even higher than that recently announced by Hitachi, and far beyond most common drives; Western notes that its 250GB Scorpio model has 200GB per square inch. The company expects to eventually put 640GB on a single platter by 2010, and release a 3.5-inch, 3TB drive the same year, beating Hitachi's anticipated 4TB unit to market.
Fujitsu on Thursday catered directly to the mid-range home user with the introduction of the LifeBook A6110 in the US. The 15.4-inch system makes 802.11n Wi-Fi standard on all but the most basic model and makes 1GB of Turbo Memory cache standard on the top model to help boot and response times. Fujitsu's signature Point and Write touchpad is also available on the high-end portable: students and others can use an included stylus to draw on the surface to draw diagrams or sketches without the need for a stand-alone tablet.
Yet another class-action lawsuit targeting Apple has been filed against the Cupertino-based company, this time in Quebec's Superior Court. Lead Plaintiff and Montreal law student David Bitton is suing Apple because the company's 8GB iPod nano offers 7.45GB of actual storage capacity, rather than the full 8GB as advertised. Apple sells the 8GB portable player for $200, but lists its definition of 1GB as 1 billion bytes, as displayed on the company's iPod comparison Web page: "1GB = 1 billion bytes; actual formatted capacity less." The lawsuit, however it may appear on the surface, could be taken seriously if Apple's legal history is considered, according to the Montreal Gazette.
A new study from ChangeWave reports that the iPhone is surging in terms of both customer satisfaction and market share. The firm reports that, among its 3,654 respondents, the iPhone holds a 2 percent share -- which has increased by 1-percentage point since the last survey in July. ChangeWave calls this "solid growth in line with previous expectations." Furthermore, an astonishing 16 percent of respondents who plan to purchase a cell phone in the next 6 months say they'll buy an iPhone, placing Apple at the top among all manufacturers. Authors of the study also say that the iPhone appears set for a stellar debut when it launches in the coming months in Europe and Canada.
Intel will use the start of 2008 to shift its Celeron processor line to dual-core models, claim PC business insiders. The Santa Clara, California-based semiconductor firm is allegedly due to launch a new E1000 series for the budget desktop CPU that would double the number of cores without significantly affecting clock speed. The initial processor, known as the E1200, would be clocked at the same 1.6GHz as the current Celeron D 420 and would share both the 800MHz bus and 512KB of Level 2 cache of the single-core model. Costs would be kept down by continuing to use the outgoing 65-nanometer Conroe CPU design instead of the more efficient, 45-nanometer Penryn design for imminent Core 2 and Xeon processors, according to the report.
Sony-Ericsson is set to bring its successor to the popular W880i to North America with full 3G access, according to a product image briefly spotted by the Swedish magazine Mobil. The W890 would represent a minor cosmetic change with buttons that are easier to hit, but would also include support for the 850MHz frequency band for both GSM calls and for its HSDPA Internet access, giving the phone full support for cellular broadband in Canada and the US. UMTS access at 2,100MHz would co-exist to support European data networks.
Worldwide computer sales measured 68.5 million in the third quarter of 2007, a 14.4 percent growth over the same quarter last year, says the technology research firm Gartner. The group specifically notes that growth was fastest in the combined region of Asia and the Pacific, where it rose 23.4 percent, while Europe, the Middle East and Africa together rose 16.4 percent. The US market is said to have disappointed forecasters, gaining just 4.7 percent instead of 6.7; an unusual point in the data however is Apple, which is listed as having an 8.1 percent share of the US market, up from 6.2 a year prior. This conflicts with data recently published by IDC, which suggests movement from 5.7 to 6.3 percent, a much shallower boost in performance of 15.9 percent versus Gartner's evaluated 37.2.
Apple is ready and waiting to unveil a revamped Mac Pro using Intel's forthcoming Penryn processor, according to a report from AppleInsider. The Cupertino-based company is allegedly already prepared to roll out the new professional desktop systems, and is waiting on Intel's ability to ship its new 45-nanometer CPUs. Refreshed Mac pro models will features 8-core configurations with two quad-core "Harpertown" Intel processors boasting front-side bus speeds of 1.6GHz alongside 12MB of L2 cache. Intel's new Xeons are expected to begin arriving in mid-November, and will feature clock speeds of up to 3.2GHz, according to the report.
The US Patent and Trademark Office has today disclosed a small collection of applications by Apple, generally connected to pre-existing technology. Among these are two filings for design trademark protection on the iPhone, which would be considered International Class 009. Under this it would be associated with "handheld mobile digital electronic devices for use as a mobile phone, digital audio and video player, handheld computer, personal digital assistant, electronic organizer, electronic notepad, electronic calendar, calculator, and camera, for sending and receiving electronic mail and other digital data, and for accessing the Internet."
AU Optronics today revealed that it had developed a new form of multi-touch display that could dramatically reduce the thickness of current versions. Known as an "in-cell" design, the process weaves the touch-sensitive surface directly into an LCD's surface and would eliminate the need for separate layers that add to the thickness, including protective glass. A 4.3-inch, 480x272 resolution example screen is just 2.2mm deep while still recognizing multiple input points, the company says. The absence of glass also cuts down on glare and improves the perceived image quality outdoors.
Industrial Color today released its Globaledit Export Plug-in for Aperture, designed for professional photographers using Apple's Aperture software who need to share massive photo libraries and collaborate with creative teams via the internet. The plug-in aims to ease the process of securely uploading image collections from Aperture 1.5 into Globaledit Industrial Color's online digital workflow system. Once uploaded, image collections are globally available for editing, talent approval, image distribution, and contact sheet creation. Users can also perform image markups as well as retouching notes, FPO and layout creation, metadata services, fulfillment services, and long-term archiving. Industrial Color is showcasing the new plug-in today at the Digital Photography Masters exhibition at M Project Gallery in Tribeca, New York (pricing was unavailable).
Despite an apparent leak weeks before, Verizon today officially unveiled the Samsung i760. One of the first smartphones from Samsung to arrive at the provider, the handset is based around a unique diagonal keypad layout that allows quick access to numbers even when the slide-out QWERTY keyboard is in use. Windows Mobile 6 Professional drives the phone and is controlled by a stylus-based touchscreen that helps edit and view documents in Office Mobile.
Online retailer Amazon.com is currently presenting a special offer for shoppers who pre-order Mac OS X Leopard. Customers who add the new operating system to their cart can now receive a $20 rebate if they also order Parallels Desktop 3.0, the Nova Development program which allows users to run Mac OS and Windows in a single workspace, or simply view Windows file systems from their Mac desktop. The offer expires October 31st; Amazon is selling Parallels for $70, while a single-user copy of Leopard is $109, already a $20 a discount on Apple's standard price. Amazon is charging $189 for the Family Pack edition of Leopard, a $10 reduction off Apple.
Motorola today launched its ROKR Z6 slider in two forms to capture more users in the US than just those using it as the RIZR Z6tv with Verizon. The Alltel ROKR Z6m expands the music phone with both looks and software. In addition to a tattoo-like back shell and keypad as well as green lighting, Alltel's model adds support for XM Radio Mobile, giving access to 20 of the satellite radio provider's stations over the Internet. The carrier's unique Celltop interface is also available for checking news, weather, and other quick info in widget-like cells.
Fox-owned social networking site MySpace today used the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco to confirm that it was opening its platform to developers. While the company has almost always allowed users to add new components to their profile pages by pasting HTML snippets, the upcoming change should allow the creation of programs that work with the MySpace infrastructure itself and can be easily added by a user to their existing profile. This would admittedly be similar to Facebook, according to MySpace, but would include better integration with ads and other revenue sources to provide a strong source of income for app developers.
Accessory maker PDO has announced two new sets of iPod cases, the Aluminum V2 for Classics and the Aluminum N3 for 3G Nanos. The V2 is said to be the only aluminum case that covers both the screen and the clickwheel, the former with clear plastic, the latter with a colored silicone layer that still allows interaction. The inside of the case is lined with neoprene for shock protection, while openings permit access to the dock connector, hold switch and headphone jack. Accessories include a neckstrap and swiveling belt clip. The case is available in silver with a black clickwheel cover, or in black with blue, black or red clickwheel covers. It should ship towards the end of October, though pre-orders can be made now for $30.
AT&T today began upgrading its 3G network with a significant boost to upload speeds courtesy of High Speed Uplink Packet Access, or HSUPA. An improvement on the HSDPA access already available today, the connection significantly improves download speeds to between 600Kbps and 1.4Mbps in real-world conditions but should be even faster with upstream connections, effectively doubling speeds to between 500Kbps and 800Kbps. The speed approaches that of a land-based Internet connection and could be crucial for any user hoping to upload large files or stream video, AT&T says. HSUPA should be part of the network today but will not be commercially available until sometime later in the fall.
Sony today confirmed the US release of the 40GB PlayStation 3, the lowest-cost version of the console to date. Like the European version announced earlier, prices are reduced both through the reduced storage as well as half the USB ports and the removal of the multi-format card reader. Backwards compatibility with the PS2 has also been scrapped, Sony says. Wi-Fi remains from high-end PS3 models. The 40GB edition will be available in the US on November 2nd for $399 and will be accompanied by a price drop on the 80GB model to $499.
Apple has released three new iPhone TV ads touting the revolutionary device as part of its recent new aggressive marketing campaign. Available on the internet, the television ads use the same customer testimonial-style monologues as its previous set of ads -- with each customer relating his personal iPhone experience in front of a black background. The new spots focus on ease of use of the internet, the ability to easily snap and email photos, and the ability to stay connected via the internet. In "Delay" Bryce, an airline pilot, confesses that he used his iPhone to check Weather.com to reverse a flight delay on his plane.
SimpleMovieX 3.5 ($30) lightweight Mac OS X movie editor. With a feature set roughly similar to QuickTime Pro, SimpleMovieX extends editing capabilities to other popular video formats AVI, Google Video, MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4. The main advantage of native editing is speed and quality, since no re-encoding is required to save edited movies. This new version adds a redesigned timeline, now using in/out/playhead model and can create MPEG-4 files with chapter markers, to be enjoyed on your iPod or iPhone. [Download - 4.3MB] iToner 1.0.1 ($15) This update of the highly popular iPhone custom ringtone transfer tool continues support for iPhone OS 1.1.1, along with other bug fixes and improvements. Exempt from per-ringtone fees, iToner lets you easily transfer your own MP3 or AAC audio files to your iPhone, and enjoy them as custom ringtones. [Download - 5.4MB] Risky Business SOS v2007.081 ($100) designed to simplify and guide a company through the task of documenting their Safe Operating Procedures (SOPs). The new release has a new Excel report "List All Hazards and Risk Assessments". It also implemented a new, extra cost MacSOS remote backup service for licensed single user customers. [Download - form] Bookends 10.1 ($100) full-featured bibliography/reference and information management application for professionals and students. This release includes the following enhancements: a highly configurable, interactive, and editable concise view, can display up to 7 fields in the list view, and display e-mail references and their attached pdfs via Apple Mail. [Download - 25MB] Domainer 1.0 ($40) a new application for web site owners, marketers and investors to track and manage their domain names. RAGE Domainer allows web site owners to centralize domain details, as well as those of their competitors, with one easy to use application. Domainer also provides an overview of a domain's value through various popularity measures including Google PageRank, AlexaRank, incoming back links, and social tags. [Download - 9.6MB]
Sony has announced the the HDMS-S1D Digital Photo Album, a compact device that features an 80GB hard drive and connects to a high definition television via HDMI to display images. Photos can be moved to the device via flash memory card formats, CD, DVD, USB or Ethernet and organized by date, special occasions such as birthdays and travel (using pre-selected icons), or different photo albums. Also included is the photo managing x-Pict Story HD software, which creates slideshows directly on the device. Up to five background songs can be placed. The software also allows for connection to a compatible printer.