Tunewear today announced today that it is shipping the ICEWEAR for the iPhone. A clear, frosted, silicone based case, it features the company's patented ribbing, which is said to provide a strong grip while holding the unit, it protects against accidental bumps and drops. The Icewear case offers screen protection in the form of the company's clear Tunefilm. Despite offering a thick layer of resistance to damage, Tunewear states that the headphone jack, dock connector, camera lens, and all other functions remain unhindered. It is available for $30 from the manufacturer's website.
Password Repository 2.4 ($25) let users store and manage all their passwords in documents protected and encrypted. The new release includes a new field 'User ID,' drag and drop for URLs and files, auto opens ftp sites and more. [Download - 521KB] QuicKeys X3 ($80) automation software for Apple's Mac OS X. This release is updated for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, but still works with Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, a new Automator action lets you play QuicKeys shortcuts from inside Apple’s Automator allowing you to automate things that cannot normally be controlled from Automator, and includes support for new keys on the Apple 2007 aluminum keyboards has been added including new f-keys and media keys. [Download - 12.3MB] Crypto Edit 1.3 ($20) a full featured word processor for reserved documents, handling TEXT, RTF and RTFD (with images) format. It saves documents on disk always as Blowfish encrypted and is the ideal solution to manage reserved documents with formatted text and images. The text can be formatted using rules, different font,style, size, color. All the usual manipulations of fonts are available via menu and dialogs plus custom styles are available. The new release has scriptability via Applescript. [Download - 226KB] Scorecard 1.2 ($30) golf scorecard and statistics application for Mac OS X. Offers comprehensive statistics, helping users discover trends and explore aspects of their gameplay that might otherwise go unnoticed. The new release has HTML export of rounds for displaying on the web, deactivation of rounds for the statistics window to allow the user to focus on a time period or set of rounds. [Download - 1.2MB]
In brief: Starry Night is now an iPhone Web app, Intego's software is Leopard-compatible, DiscLabel has been updated and a new business design package released, MarbleofDoom.com tracks spinning beachballs of death, and Sans Digital has launched a new Web site devoted to Mac storage products ... Starry Night, the popular desktop astronomy application and a continual Top 10 OSX Widget download is now available as an iPhone WebApp. The tool will let you see the sky (planets, constellations) for any location on Earth. You can set your location by ZIP/postal code or by latitude and longitude. You can also see the sky from all directions.
Continuing the recent trend of fashionable computer accessories, Be.ez introduced a new line of laptop bags that it has dubbed "LA Dolce Vita". The bags come in three different colors, which the company calls Ristretto, Zucchero and Moka. The new line is made from original tarpaulin, and features a removable front flap, which is "invisible to the naked eye". LA Dolce Vita also has a removable compartment, which is designed to allow users to quickly switch from daytime to nighttime routines, while still using the same bag. Pricing for the bag stands at £50 (~$100 USD).
Starbucks and Akamai today announced a new business partnership that comes on the heels of reports that Apple will provide special Starbucks-centric media for patrons of the international coffee chain. Akamai says it will provide the infrastructure for this venture, which is designed to speed up the "Now Playing" feature available to iPhone and iPod Touch users. The deal will make purchasing Starbucks-featured tracks more seamless, according to the companies, by greatly decreasing network latency.
XtraLean Software today released an update to its website creation tool ShutterBug, bringing it to version 2.3. The software boasts eighteen new features and improvements, including new image rendering capabilities. XtraLean believes the new photo rendering engine will greatly increase the quality of photos that are destined for online distribution as it offers the ability to run them through several filters, such as sharpness, brightness, contrast, and saturation. Each of the settings are user-adjustable, while also offering quick-access settings with a single-click. The HTML output has been substantially improved, including faster speeds and smoother slideshows.
Apple is currently offering supplies of its consumer-oriented Macs at discounted rages, with MacBooks as low as $949 and Mac minis priced from $649. The company's Intel Core 2 Duo MacBooks currently include the White 2.0GHz MacBook with 1GB of memory, an 80GB hard drive, and a Combo DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive is available for $949; the White 2.16GHz MacBook with 1GB of memory, a 120GB hard drive, and an 8x SuperDrive DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW drive for $1,099; and the Black 2.16GHz MacBook with 1GB of memory, a 160GB hard drive, and an 8x SuperDrive DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW drive for $1,299. The Cupertino-based company is also shipping two reconditioned Intel Core 2 Duo iMac models: the 20-inch 2.16GHz iMac with 1GB of memory, a 250GB hard drive, and an 8x SuperDrive DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW drive for $1,099; as well as the 24-inch 2.16GHz iMac with 1GB of memory, a 250GB hard drive, and an 8x SuperDrive DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW drive for $1,449.
Sun is pushing its software development towards a single, monolithic version of Java that could have a significant effect on the future of cellphones, according to comments by company VP James Gosling at a press event. Though Sun has previously split its development of the near-universal platform into desktop and mobile versions, the company has confirmed that it would like to move every device to the full Standard Edition. The change would allow more advanced handhelds to take advantage of more features and would eliminate the compatibility problems that plague Java Mobile Edition, Sun says. Java ME is typically limited by default and requires extensions for more features, which prevents developers from safely writing for one mobile OS and knowing it will work for another.
An as-yet announced smartphone from E-Ten, the Glofiish X600, is reported to have had a number of important specifications leaked to the press. The phone is said to run on Windows Mobile 6 Professional, and be powered by a 400MHz Samsung CPU, equipped with 64MB of RAM and 128MB of ROM; the latter is supplemented by microSD cards. Quad-band GSM/EDGE should allow it to operate in North America, and crucially, a SiRFstar III GPS receiver is expected, granting full navigation abilities.
Microsoft is developing yet another new version of the Xbox, one which may be designed to counter sales of Sony's PlayStation 3, say inside sources. People within Toshiba -- the primary creators of the HD DVD format -- indicate that Microsoft intends to build a new console with an HD DVD drive built-in, as opposed to just offering an external drive at extra cost. The latter is reportedly selling badly, and one of the primary drives of PS3 sales has been the inclusion of Blu-Ray support, making it one of the cheapest HD movie players on the market at $600 or less.
The Mozilla Foundation today released Firefox 22.214.171.124, an update to the open-source browser. The update brings compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard -- although a few issues still exist -- and several security fixes, including two labeled as critical flaws. Released just ahead of next week's release of Leopard, the Firefox update has problems with some media plugins as well as Add-ons that contain binary components. The release notes document problems with rendering, issues when closing other tabs (when 20 or more are open), and when viewing Macromedia Flash content on Intel-based Macs. "To work around this problem, users can remove or move the PowerPC version of 'Flash Player Enabler.plugin' from /Library/Internet Plug-Ins folder," the notes added.
CrushFTP, a platform-independent file server program, has been updated to version 4.0. The program serves FTP, SFTP, HTTP and WebDAV -- which enables Mac OS X users to do file management on their server directly from the Finder. The server can also be interfaced through a web browser, allowing users to upload files and compress them on-the-fly. The latest update adds many new features, and fixes a number of issues and bugs. Some of the new features include support for private of public SFTP keys, additional WebDAV commands and compatibility options, enabling and disabling directory caching, updates to plugin functionality when previewing graphics, controlling CPU load, among others.
Comcast has been deliberately slowing down traffic for customers using file sharing apps on its network, the Associated Press confirmed today. Beginning an investigation after speaking with a Broadband Reports user who discovered the practice shortly after Comcast began testing the platform in August, the journalist group has learned that Comcast is using technology from Sandvine that interjects itself between users running specific peer-to-peer software, including BitTorrent clients as well as programs accessing the Gnutella file sharing network. The Sandvine software can detect when complete files are being traded and breaks the connection between peers, forcing a downloading user to look for an alternative.
Acer's newest desktop replacement notebook is the Aspire 9920G, a 20-inch model which should already be on sale in some European countries. Aside from its screen size, the principal attractions are its media features, which include an HD DVD drive and a TV tuner, along with a 512MB GeForce 8600M GT videocard. Buyers have a choice of 2 or 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo processors, while memory defaults to 2GB of RAM and 160GB of hard drive space. Other highlights include 802.11a/b/g/n wireless, a 5-in-1 card reader and an ExpressCard 54 slot.
Telus on Friday catered to those who need inexpensive Internet access on their phones by listing the Samsung U410 as an option for its phone network. Although it runs on the legacy 1XRTT data network rather than EVDO, the phone can still access Windows Live instant messaging, full e-mail accounts, and typical mobile web browsing. The phone is also rare in its class for including a VGA camera, assisted GPS, and Bluetooth with stereo audio as well as typical hands-free calling with a headset.
Apple has posted an official Mac OS X Leopard guided tour, leading viewers through many of the operating system's new features. Mac OS X Leopard is scheduled to hit store shelves on October 26th, is called the most impressive upgrade of Mac OS X yet. Boasting more than 300 new features. Apple's tour covers the new 3D dock, "stacks" of items that fan out automatically with one click, the Finder with integrated CoverFlow technology, Quick Look, Time Machine, Spaces, Mail, and iChat. The tour povides an intuitive, easy to understand look at some of Leopard's most unique features while showing viewers how those features work together. Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard is already available for pre-order from Apple's online store, Amazon.com, and MacMall in both individual and family packs as part of a new promo.
Dash's upcoming Express GPS unit will be the first to include dynamic, user-contributed data from the Internet, the company announced today. The device should now support a special, modified version of RSS that will capture user-submitted points of interest such as uncommon tourist spots or a recommend restaurant. It should also now support easily accessed map formats such as KML for Google Earth, the company says. Certain major websites' location-based features will also be supported, including property values from real estate site Zillow or business searches from Yahoo. A computer-accessed web portal will let users customize the information that reaches the device.
Michael Dell's recommendation to Steve Jobs that "shut down (Apple) and return the money to shareholders" ten years ago has become increasingly preposterous. At the time, Dell had a market value of $4 billion to Apple's $700 million, but the Cupertino company's market value has since skyrocketed to $150 billion, more than double that Dell's current valuation. In fact, Apple has now surpassed Hewlett-Packard in market capitalization for the first time ever. Bloomberg
Two game developers have released a flash-based multiplayer arcade-style action game called Host that works on any computer with a modern Web browser with flash capability, including Mac and Windows systems. The game, which pits up to four players against each other in real time online, features living organisms infested by larva hosts -- the players themselves -- who then control the organisms -- or blobs topped with skulls -- to bash and bomb opponents. After issuing a slew of maggot bombs and smashing skulls with other players, those left alive are free to eat the hearts of any hosts who recently perished. The game is available online for free, and artist Edmund McMillen told MacNN that the game appears to play more smoothly on Macs than on other tested platforms. [corrected number of players]
Verizon today expanded its mobile Internet options and shipped out the UM150. The USB device gives most computers a connection to Verizon's 3G network without requiring a free notebook card slot, including for areas where the upgraded EVDO Revision A network is available. Subscribers in these regions can download as quickly as 1.4Mbps or upload at 800Kbps in real-world conditions, Verizon claims. The UM150 also doubles as impromptu flash storage and holds microSD cards up to 4GB.
Macware today released a new way to clean up, optimize, and backup Mac systems. The software -- titled MacTuneUp -- is designed to prevent system instability and speed up a Mac in a few simple steps. The application quickly discovers as well as fixes problems, restores hard disk space, creates bootable disk backups, and maximizes internet as well as network connections to improve performance. MacTuneUp is priced at $30 and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later.
The HTC Polaris, first disclosed months ago in an early roadmap, is being renamed the Touch Cruise, company executives have confirmed. The phone should mark the second expansion of the Touch line, following the Touch DUAL; one of its features will be the introduction of an improved TouchFLO interface, with extra gestures such as half-turns for object rotation and complete turns for zooming in and out.
Concentrating on its Japanese home, Sanyo has announced the NV-HD880FT, a portable GPS unit also known as the Gorilla. Its name derives from its abnormally large touchscreen display, measuring a full eight inches; by contrast, many such units are less than six. Despite a thin bezel, it also manages to incorporate a 30GB hard drive, which can be used to record conventional and 1Seg TV broadcasts the unit tunes in. Dedicated program guide software is included.
Following the release of the Wild Card, Kyocera this morning served up the second edition of its wireless router for bridging cellular Internet access to a home network. The KR2 is now sleeker and relays both EVDO Revision 0 and A mobile broadband connections to a Wi-Fi network, allowing multiple computers and handhelds to get online at once without needing a land line or good reception through every part of a house. In addition to the faster EVDO linkup, the new version also adds Draft 2.0-era 802.11n for extremely quick transfers between devices on the local network. Locking down the connection is equally quicker, according to Kyocera: a button on the router streamlines setting up security on each device using Wi-Fi access.
Parliant has released the v5.3 upgrade of PhoneValet, its program for managing voicemail and other call recordings on iPods and iPhones. Using appropriate hardware connected to the landline, iPhones can have messages e-mailed to them directly in a playable format, while both iPods and iPhones can sync with recordings imported to iTunes. The iPhone and iPod touch alone, though, now have access to a Visual Voicemail-like web application, which operates in tandem with PhoneValet Anywhere to provide remote access. The speed of Anywhere pages is further said to have been optimized for the mobile Safari browser, particularly when using EDGE broadband.
Canadians may soon pay a small tax on every legal music store download, says a new measure (PDF) sanctioned by the Copyright Board of Canada. Requested by the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), the tax would apply at least 2.1 cents to every individual song download and 1.5 cents per track for complete albums. Subscription download and streaming services would themselves be charged between 5.7 and 6.8 percent of a user's monthly fees. Minimum fees would also apply for every larger download or subscription.
Deep Prose Software has released Booxter 2.0, an update to the software designed to help track collections of books, music, movies, and comic books on Macs. Booxter supports both handheld and wireless barcode scanners, as well as Apple's iSight video cameras to quickly add large numbers of items to a collection. The update adds support for managing libraries of music, movies, and comics, according to the company. Booxter is priced at $50, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later. The software will also support Apple's forthcoming Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, once the operating system ships later this month. All users who purchased Booxter licenses in 2007 will receive free updates, while other Booxter customers will receive coupons to upgrade at a discount.
Apple is likely to beat internal estimates when it releases its third-quarter financial reports on Monday, says American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu. Shoppers have bought an "unseasonably" large number of high-end products, which should bring in an estimated $6.05 billion in revenue, with an earnings-per-share (EPS) rated at $0.85 or higher; this surpasses Apple's figures of $5.7 billion and $0.65 EPS, or even the $6 billion and $0.83 EPS previously calculated by AmTech. Wu further notes that since Apple's Q207 report, stock has appreciated 26 percent versus a 6 percent gain in the NASDAQ, over and above a 51 gain in stock between Q1 and Q2.
Meizu's M8 copy of the iPhone will take even more direct cues from the Apple device with its interface, according to an update from the Chinese company's chief, Jack Wong. While stopping short of claiming similarity, the executive has published information revealing that the user interface for music will effectively duplicate the Apple phone's iPod section, including the ability to view covers while browsing albums and the alphabet strip that helps users jump to a particular letter in the catalog. The abilities to scrub through a track by dragging the timeline or to issue a star rating will also be intact, Wong notes. Minor extras like a sound spatializer effect are available.
The iPhone was the top-selling device at AT&T during the third quarter, and the fourth-ranked cellphone in the US as a whole, according to a report by research group Strategy Analytics. Approximately 1.1 million iPhones were sold through Apple and AT&T outlets in Q307, bringing the total number of units sold since the Q2 launch to 1.325 million. Q3 sales of the phone consumed 13 percent of all AT&T sales, and made it the fourth-best selling handset in the US, with its position likely to increase. "The sales trajectory we are observing with the iPhone could make it the top selling device in the US over the next 1-2 quarters," says Strategy Analytics' Barry Gilbert.
Marantz today comforted home theater enthusiasts with the VP-15S1, its new range-topping DLP unit. Although it musters a full 1080p widescreen image, a new dual iris lens boosts the projector's contrast ratio from 6,500:1 in the old VP-11S1 to a much improved 10,000:1 while also stepping up brightness from 700 lumens to 1,000. This is accomplished even as the 15S1 steps down from a 7-segment color wheel to a 6-segment model; the new wheel more faithfully reproduces colors for each segment and is also quieter than the old model, Marantz says.
Prepaid carrier Virgin Mobile on Friday officially unveiled one of its most advanced phones in the US. The Kyocera Wild Card is the second phone from the provider to have a full QWERTY keyboard for quick test messaging but is the only model to support Internet music streaming. Subscribing to Virgin's Headliner service now gives not only artist news and updates but also the music itself; 25 cents per track gives phone users the ability to stream given songs as much as they like. Kyocera's new handset is also one of the few capable camera phones at Virgin with a 1.3-megapixel sensor, and manages hands-free calling with Bluetooth.
Apimac has released a new version of its compression tool, Compress Files 3.0, that supports the creation of XAR archives. XAR, or eXtensible ARchive format, is a way to compress files that was created within the OpenDarwin project and will be also used in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard for software installation routines (replacing gzipped pax files). With the release of Compress Files 3.0, now Mac OS X users have an easy to use tool to compress files in this new format.
Apple on Thursday posted updates for its application for controlling remote desktop computers. According to the company, the Apple Remote Desktop 3.2 update (ARD 3.2) can be installed on computers that have Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later; it is a Universal Binary updater application that will upgrade Apple Remote Desktop v3.0 or v3.1 installations on an Intel- or PowerPC-based Macs. Apple Remote Desktop Admin 3.2 allows you to control or observe Apple Remote Desktop version 2.0 or later and 3.0 and 3.1 clients, while the client is necessary for all (remote) client desktops.
Now AAPL Stock: 100.35 ( -0.06 )
Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD
NBCUniversal adds Bravo, Syfy, E! to Apple TV
NBCUniversal has launched three new apps channels for Apple TV users. Bravo Now, Syfy Now and E! Now brings users access full seasons of current and past episodes of most of NBCUniversal's catalog. The Bravo Now app includes shows like "The Real Housewives of New York Cit," "Below Deck Mediterranean," comedy "Odd Mom Out" and "Top Chef." The Syfy Now app offers up shows like "The Magicians," thriller "12 Monkeys" and the reality show "Face Off." The E! Now app serves up shows like "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," "Botched," "#RichKids of Beverly Hills," Caitlyn Jenner's "I Am Cait," and "WAGS." While some content is free, most content requires users to authenticate via their cable satellite or telco TV provider. http://bit.ly/20K4Pea
Apple rolls out Arabic version of Apple.com
Apple has rolled out a new version of its Apple.com website for Arabic language users in the United Arab Emirates. The site utilizes a right-to-left reading format where it has been updated, although the upgrade is still in progress with a number of page links still in the original English language left-to-right format. Of particular note is that the site debuts an all-new custom Arabic font created by the Tarek Atrissi Design agency, giving it a highly contemporary look and feel. The new support for Arabic on its host website follows the introduction of full support for right-to-left languages in iOS 9, and the addition of Arabic support to Siri late last year. http://apple.co/20JHGIM
Adobe previews Photoshop content-aware crop
Adobe has previewed a new 'content-aware crop' feature from the next version of its Photoshop CC. The new feature is similar to its 'content-aware fill' from the current version of Photoshop CC, and potentially saves users time when cropping photos in a way that might otherwise leave blank white space in the frame. Adobe's 'content-aware' tech automatically assesses the blank space and seamlessly fills the blank space with the nearest related content in the space when a photo is expanded or rotated without the need to manually clone that part of the image. The feature allows users to move a horizon by adding more sky or ground, change the aspect ratio by adding content around the edges of the image and fill in the corners of an image when rotated during a crop. Adobe says the feature is coming soon and will be automatically available to Creative Cloud subscribers. http://adobe.ly/20JDFEu
Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for â‚¬30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]
Safari Technology Preview release 5 arrives