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250k iPhones for unlockers
Apple estimates that 250,000 iPhones were sold to people who had the intention of unlocking the mobile handsets so that they could be used with wireless providers other than AT&T, with which the iPhone is locked into a multi-year exclusive contract. The estimate came from Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook during Apple' fourth quarter earnings conference call, where the firm also revealed that it had sold about 1.4 million iPhones to date. On October 17th, hackers posted a working iPhone unlock for Apple's latest revision -- iPhone Update 1.1.1.
Apple's best Sept. quarter
Apple on Monday reported its best September quarter in history, beating many analyst estimates as well as Wall Street consensus to send company shares soaring more than 2.3 percent after the market closed. Apple earned revenue of $6.22 billion with the help of more than 2.16 million Mac sales -- which broke the company's record for the most Mac sales in a September quarter by 400,000 units. Overall, Apple generated more than $24 billion in revenue and $3.5 billion in net income during the fiscal year 2007. Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer cited "record results" in his introductory comments, adding that this was the "highest September quarter revenue and earnings in Apple's history."
Hazel 2.1 ($22) watches whatever folders you tell it to, automatically organizing your files according to the rules you create. The latest release has Leopard compatibility. It also features expanded file type filtering and new actions for creating aliases and revealing files. In addition, Hazel 2.1 provides numerous fixes and performance improvements. [Download - 1.6MB]
Meal Planning 3.2 (free) helps you adjust ingredient portions and make a shopping list for menu items and events. Version 3.2 is compatible with information prepared for older versions. You can now add a recipe note for each menu item and use a calendar window to make notes about when you plan to have menu items. You can also organize Meal Items using Categories (i.e., Appetizers, Entrees, Deserts, etc.) and drag the meal items into the appropriate Categories. Meal Planning prepares lists of ingredients for each event and prepares a consolidated shopping list. [Download - 2.7MB]
Pomoto 1.0.1 ($3/month) way to publish your iPhoto library to the web. This release includes some new features, but these features were so missed in the last version that we might as well call this a bug-fix release. Here's a brief look at the most important changes: support for iPhoto Smart Albums, support for iPhoto 7 Events, handles iPhoto libraries that contain aliases, more robust photo loading. [Download - 2.2MB]
iWisdom 1.5.1 ($10) desktop program that will help you manage and maintain a list of quotations and insightful ideas. In this release, a problem with use of inline HTML was corrected, Markdown was added as an export format, and unique numeric IDs are now assigned to each wisdom item and used to generate relatively brief URLs. [Download - 3.3MB]
iToner 1.0.4 ($15) iToner lets you easily transfer your own MP3 or AAC audio files to your iPhone, and enjoy them as custom ringtones. This update of the tool offers improved support for iPhone OS 1.1.1, along with other bug fixes and improvements. [Download - 4.7MB]
SubEthaEdit new format
TheCodingMonkeys today released SubEthaEdit 3.0, an update to its text editing and text collaboration software. Highlighted in this release is a new file format -- made especially for multiple users working on the same document -- that preserves all author-inserted metadata, offering pick-up-and-go functionality for work that is in progress. The new format uses industry-standard SSL encryption for all users connected to a file. A new Statistics window shows project-specific data, showing details such as what user has contributed or deleted the most from a document. The Bonjour and Internet windows have been consolidated into a common Connections window, simplifying the interface. New users can purchase SubEthaEdit for 30€ (~$40), with a promotional 2-user pack available for 40€ (~$55).
LithiumCorp update 4.9
LithiumCorp today released an update to its server monitoring software, Lithium 4.9 and also announced that it is releasing a large part of the source code as open-source, in order to stimulate third-party development and customization. Lithium is a utility used for network maintenance, offering administrators a graphically rich and versatile view of their infrastructure, panning a variety of standards and connection protocols. LithiumCorp said it has given the application a complete facelift, and the developer promises a more complete user experience. Pricing for new customers starts at $400 for the 25-user package.
New Difusi cases for nano
Difusi today has unveiled its new case line-up for the video-capable iPod nano, which are priced between $20 and $40. The product line includes four new cases, called the Prop, Flip, Sleeve, and the re-designed nanoValet. Difusi touted the quality of its latest offerings, advertising high-quality leather, stainless steel, and shatterproof plastics. The cases are billed as having a scratch-free design, providing "top to bottom coverage" for the new Nano.
Q4 by the numbers
Posting revenue of $6.22 billion and net quarterly profit of $904 million, Apple surpassed analyst estimates to deliver a blockbuster fiscal fourth quarter that included tremendous growth in Mac and iPhone sales, and and a steady high volume of iPod shipments. In the quarter, Apple shipped 2.164 million Macs, including 817,000 desktops and 1.347 million portables. This compares with 1.610 million Macs in the year-ago quarter (624,000 desktops and 986,000 portables), or 24 percent growth. Europe showed stunning growth, with Apple shipping 499,000 Macs in the region compared with 342,000 in the year-ago quarter; an increase of 46 percent in units.
Apple Q4 numbers breakdown
In yet another successful quarter, Apple on Monday said it shipped a record number of Macs -- about 2.1 million, which was well ahead of both Gartner and IDC estimates. The company said that the record quarter beat its previous record by over 400,000 units or by about 25 percent. Helped by its new iMac, the company shipped 817,000 desktops, a 31 percent year-over-year increase and also shipped 1.35 million portables, more than 37 percent more than the year-ago quarter. Unit ales in Europe skyrocketed by 46 percent over the year-ago quarter, while the US grew by 24 percent compared with the year-ago quarter. The company also saw its retail division sell 46 percent more Macs.
AT&T admits U-verse drop
AT&T is confirming recent, widespread outages of U-verse throughout all the 33 regions where it is available, the Associated Press writes. The IPTV service went down entirely for many customers on Sunday morning, and while AT&T managed to shortly return some local channels -- in addition to larger cable news and sports networks -- it was not until Sunday night that AT&T could resume full service to all areas. In some cases, customers were required to reboot their cable boxes.
Zune Wisin and Yandel Leak
Microsoft's first artist-specific Zune will aim at Latin music fans, according to Billboard. The Redmond, Washington-based company will reportedly try to spice its lineup by producing a limited-run version of one of its players by preloading an advance copy of the musicians' album as well as music videos, photos, and a customized look. The choice of the successful but niche group "is a statement" that shows Microsoft cares about a wider audience, according to the company's multicultural marketing chief Javier Farfan.
Apple reports $904m profit
Apple on Monday posted revenue of $6.22 billion and net quarterly profit of $904 million, or $1.01 per diluted share for its fiscal 2007 fourth quarter ending September 29, 2007. These results compare to revenue of $4.84 billion and net quarterly profit of $542 million, or $.62 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 33.6 percent, up from 29.2 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 40 percent of the quarter's revenue. Apple shipped 2,164,000 Macs, representing 34 percent growth over the year-ago quarter and exceeding the previous quarterly record for Mac shipments by 400,000. The Company sold 10,200,000 iPods during the quarter, representing 17 percent growth over the year-ago quarter. Quarterly iPhone sales were 1,119,000, bringing cumulative fiscal 2007 sales to 1,389,000.
US avoiding Intel probe?
The Federal Trade Commission is deliberately avoiding a probe of US chip giant Intel, one Democrat politician charges. In August, Sen. Charles Schumer of New York teamed with Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (also D-NY) to ask for the FTC investigation, on the basis that Intel is said to be offering rebates to computer builders who refuse to buy rival AMD products. The FTC replied in September by saying it could not disclose any investigations, and on Monday a Schumer spokesman accused the FTC of "slow-walking" concerns, according to the Associated Press.
eMachines AMD Fall 2007
Gateway's starter label eMachines today revealed two desktops aimed at increasing the baseline performance for the entire lineup. The T5234 will cost no more than $485 before a rebate but will hold the most storage of any eMachines system yet at 320GB; it will also provide dual-core performance to an audience used to single-core systems with a 2.1GHz Athlon 64 X2, eMachines says. Built-in GeForce 6150 SE video and 1GB of system memory should also provide it enough power to drive Vista Home Premium's more elaborate Aero Glass interface.
Boot Camp beta gone
After warning users that its beta Boot Camp software for running Windows on an Intel-based Mac will expire at the end of October, Apple has pulled the Boot Camp beta download from its Web site. The company says that the license to use Boot Camp Beta 1.2 or earlier expires on September 30, 2007 and that the Boot Camp Assistant Beta will no longer open after expiration. Some versions of the beta software have already expired and the latest version will expire when Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard ships in October.
YummySoup! 1.6 released
HungrySeacow Software today released YummySoup! 1.6, an update to the recipe organization and sharing softaware that brings an intuitive new way to import recipes from any website. The update supports automatic Web imports for AllRecipes.com; Deliaonline.com; Epicurious.com; FoodAndWine.com; FoodNetwork.com; LightAndTasty.com; MarthaStewart.com; RachaelRayMag.com; VegetarianTimes.com; and Yum-O.org. HungrySeacow says the list will continue to grow with future releases. YummySoup! 1.6 is priced at $20, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
Apple second with students
SurveyU.com recently surveyed one thousand students about which computer they relied on for their schoolwork. According to the survey, Dell is the most popular, with Apple coming in second, but the results show that Apple is poised to take first place. With 23 percent of the vote, Apple is ten points behind Dell, but maintains a seven point lead on the next runner-up, Hewlett-Packard, even when taking into account the PC manufacturer's daughter companies -- Compaq and VooDoo. Apple has a large lead, however, in the other polled statistics, with 44 percent of students saying their next machine would be an Apple, and more than 80 percent of Apple users bought their computers through the company's student program. Dell took second place in those particular categories, with only 21 percent saying that they would subsequently by a Dell and 30 percent saying their purchased their computer through the student discount program. respectively.
Nokia N81 gone global
Nokia has announced that the both the regular (microSD) and 8GB versions of its N81 gaming phone should now be available "globally." While this term is vague, it would seem to include North America; the phones were already available in Europe, and are known to be FCC-approved in quad-band GSM form, with single-band WCDMA. The primary attraction of the N81 is the yet-to-be-launched N-Gage gaming service, but the phones should already include demos of FIFA 07, Space Impact Light and Asphalt 3: Street Rules, which will be unlockable as soon as N-Gage is opened to the public.
HP Pavilion Wi-Fi Issue
HP's Pavilion notebooks have been suffering from a critical problem with their wireless access that the company has yet to publicly acknowledge, say users reporting the issue on the official support forums. Users of both the 15-inch dv6000 and 17-inch dv9000 series portables have reported their Wi-Fi chipsets disappearing from Windows, forcing users to connect with Ethernet. Reinstalling Windows and updating the notebook's firmware have not provided a fix, according to customers. A replacement mainboard is said to be the only probable solution.
ATI Radeon HD 3800 Leak
AMD is planning to revamp its ATI-branded graphics card line with new mid-range models next month, claims a leak from the Chinese division of enthuisiast site Tom's Hardware. To be called the Radeon HD 3800 series, the graphics chipsets will reportedly improve performance chiefly through a die shrink: all models will be built on a 55-nanometer process versus the 65 nanometers of today's Radeon HD 2400 and 2600 cards, allowing cards built on the technology to run faster without generating extra heat. Unlike past releases, these mainstream cards will still have a full 320 "stream" processors to handle pixel and vertex units. The memory pathway will also be 256-bit, or twice as wide as the outgoing Radeon HD 2600, according to the report.
10.5 orders double 10.4
VARs are reporting that pre-orders for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard -- available from the Apple Store, Amazon (with Parallels Bundle), and MacMall (for delivery on Oct 26th) -- are double what they were for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger according to a report from CRN. The reasons: dissatisfaction with Microsoft Vista, the fact that this is the longest period of time between major releases of Mac OS X, and Leopard's new features. Patrick Brown, CEO of Brown Computer Solutions, said "We've probably doubled the backorders of Leopard, compared to what we did with Tiger. With the Intel Macs, Apple has significantly increased the installed base. We do expect a very successful launch."
Microsoft gives in to EU
Microsoft today announced that it will not appeal an antitrust decision made by the European Union in 2004, bringing an end to three years of struggling by the Redmond-based company to evade hefty fines. European Union competition commissioner Neelie Kroes today said Microsoft's decision will have "profound effects" on the software industry, according to Reuters, and stated that the repercussions will start now and continue for "years to come." The software giant paid around $700,000 in 2004, followed by a whopping $400 million last year for failing to comply with the European Commission's demands. "It is a victory for the consumer," Kroes said.
Wireless carrier critic
Lashing out at the wireless carrier cadre, Walt Mossberg says that the United States federal government has been duped into allowing AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and others to lock consumers into terms unprecedented by any other industry. Mossberg makes an analogy to the desktop computer market: you don't need the permission of your ISP to replace a Dell PC with a Sony PC, for instance. You don't need to pay a fee to switch your Web browser or switch to a new music download service. But these overbearing rules due apply to the wireless industry, a state of affairs Mossberg says "limits consumer choice, stifles innovation, crushes entrepreneurship, and has made the U.S. the laughingstock of the mobile-technology world, just as the cellphone is morphing into a powerful hand-held computer."
HP Notebooks Get Sprint 3G
HP today announced that multiple notebook models would soon have the option of embedded 3G cellular Internet access from Sprint, allowing the devices to connect to Sprint's EVDO Revision A network at several hundred kilobits per second without a separate network adapter consuming a card slot or USB port. The upgrade will affect models as small as HP's Compaq 2710p convertible tablet (pictured) and should scale up to the 14-inch Compaq 6510b, the 15.4-inch 6910p, as well as the Compaq 8510p and 8510w desktop replacements at 15.4 and 17 inches respectively.
Dell systems at Staples
Dell has announced a pact with the office supply chain Staples, which will soon carry its hardware, the company says. As of November 11th, Staples will begin carrying Dell desktop and notebook PCs, as well as various monitors and printers, along with associated ink and toner. Available at launch will be the Inspiron 1721 and 1521 notebooks, the desktop Inspiron 530, and two widescreen LCDs, in 19- and 22-inch sizes. Printers will include the 1320c laser model plus 948 and 926 inkjets.
While Dell already has an extensive retail presence, this has not typically been felt outside of dedicated electronics shops; its biggest push this year has been into Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores, which share the same owner.
ATT Suing Vonage
AT&T is joining in the series of lawsuits against Vonage, according to a newly published government filing. The voice-over-Internet provider is now known to have been sued by AT&T on October 17th regarding a patent for connecting a traditional phone to an Internet service; the complaint follows two years of unsuccessful negotiations with Vonage to license the patent, AT&T says. Vonage chief counsel Sharon O'Leary vowed that her company would continue to work for an "amicable" negotiated solution and avoid a court battle.
Samsung ultra-thin LCD
Korea's Samsung has unveiled a new, prototype LCD panel which should be one of the thinnest in the world, the company claims. Premiering at the FPD International expo this week will be a 40-inch screen that is only 0.39 inches thick, approximately the same dimensions as many 10- to 20-inch desktop monitors. The bezel has also been reduced to 0.58 inches instead of a normal 1.2, making the screen more closely resemble a mounted painting instead of a TV. Color reproduction covers 92 percent of the NTSC spectrum, while its brightness is aided by an LED backlight, still keeping power consumption under 90W. No timeframe for a commercial TV has been set out.
LG 32-inch plasma TV
LG has announced the imminent launch of the 32PC5RV, its latest plasma TV. The set is distinguished by its 32-inch size, which LG claims will make it the smallest plasma TV in the world; by contrast, most sets with the technology measure at least 37 inches, and are frequently closer to 50, making them too expensive for the average person. LCDs and CRTs have no such limitations.
The company is releasing minimal details on the set other than the fact that it uses 16:9 widescreen, and its response time is 0.001ms, which should allow fast response in action scenes. HDMI and component inputs are available, and SIMPLINK technology should allow control of multiple devices through one remote. The 32PC5RV should availble in Brazil by the end of the month, with releases in North America, Europe and elsewhere coming in November.
Eternal Storms has released v4.0 of GimmeSomeTune, its general iTunes utility. The program mainly downloads album art and lyrics for songs, but also adds things such as special hotkeys and appearance customization. The new version allows art downloads directly from Amazon and the iTunes Store, as well as lyrics from two more websites, lyricwiki.org and lyricsdownload.com. Support has been implemented for Mac OS X Leopard and the Last.fm social networking site, plus users can now control various functions through their remote control. Versions of GimmeSomeTune are available for Mac OS X 10.3.9 or 10.4 and higher; the software is free, but donations are encouraged.
Hitachi Deskstar P7K500
Hitachi on Monday morning turned its attention to the environment and released the Deskstar P7K500, a new range of desktop hard drives focused on conserving power. The design is made for environmentally conscious hobbyists and computer designers and uses smarter power management to tangibly improve the active and idling power consumption. Active power use drops to as little as 6.4 watts for a single-platter drive and 8.2 watts for a two-platter model; when a drive is inactive, power use drops to as little as 3.6 watts, Hitachi says. The drop amounts to as much as a 59 percent reduction versus a typical desktop drive and can result in either more available power for other components in a system or else lower overall power use.
Hikona high-res PDF export
Kona Software has released Hikona, a relative of the company's existing KonaPDF tool. Like KonaPDF, Hikona generates PDF files from QuarkXPress documents, running them through Acrobat Distiller; Hikona outputs these files at higher resolution however, making them ready for press printing. Files are further linked to all their Quark Print settings, including resolution, bleed and registration marks, though Distiller must be adjusted to determine quality.
AT&T May Bid for 700MHz
AT&T is strongly considering an investment in the soon to be opened 700MHz frequency band when it becomes available through an FCC auction in January, company chief Randall Stephenson has admitted at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. While the company has opposed the rules of the auction, which demand that any winning bidder allow any supporting device and program to run on a future network, Stephenson noted that the extremely long range of the 700MHz band could outweigh any perceived challenges to its existing business model, which relies on locking customers into specific devices and restricting third-party software that sometimes competes with AT&T's paid services.
Epson PowerLite 720
Epson on Monday removed the covers from its first PowerLite home theater projector to provide HD video well below the $1,600 mark. The PowerLite Home Cinema 720 offers virtually the same image quality as the premium Home Cinema 1080 at a more modest 720p resolution; the three-LCD chipset allows for similar 10-bit color processing and a 10,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio that is only slightly behind the much more expensive model. It can also produce a 1,600-lumen brightness that tops most other devices in the class, Epson claims. The banding artifacts that sometimes creep up in images are gone thanks to 1,024 different grayscale levels.
Chem biz defends iPhone
A group representing the chemical industry has announced its support for Apple in defense of new criticisms from Greenpeace, accusing the company of continuing to use toxic chemicals in the construction of the iPhone, reports say. The Bromine Science and Environmental Forum (BSEF) claims foremost that none of the chemicals used are banned under any environmental laws, although Greenpeace points out that phthalates are restricted from use in child products in Europe. BSEF further argues that the brominates in the iPhone are essential, as they protect against fire in an era of self-combusting batteries.
SanDisk Ships Sansa TakeTV
After a premature leak through online stores, SanDisk today formally launched the Sansa TakeTV. Though it assumes the same brand as the company's portable jukebox devices, the TakeTV is designed as a substitute for the Apple TV and other media hubs for users who simply want to bring video from their computer to a TV without special network setup. The core player connects directly through USB and allows any Linux, Mac, or Windows user to load videos simply by copying them through the file system; a portable, modular video cradle and remote allow users to navigate footage directly from a TV without the burden of a full media hub, SanDisk says.
Jobs: Regular OS upgrades
Apple will likely continue its current upgrade strategy for the Mac OS, says Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Speaking with the New York Times, Jobs notes that the Friday release of Mac OS X Leopard will form the basis for another cycle of continuous operating system upgrades, possibly lasting as long as a decade. "I'm quite pleased with the pace of new operating systems every 12 to 18 months for the foreseeable future," Jobs comments. "We've put out major releases on the average of one a year, and it's given us the ability to polish and polish and improve and improve."
Samsung Mobile today launched what it says is a genuinely unique offering in media phones. The previously leaked G800 slider includes a 5-megapixel camera sensor like the N95 and other high-end phones but teams this with a genuine 3X optical zoom lens. Combined with xenon flash and software features like face detection, the hardware allows users to properly focus on subjects in a photo without the pixelated effects that stem from the digital zoom found on nearly every other phone, the company says.
Napster Mobile at ATT
AT&T on Monday announced that it would launch Napster Mobile, the company's first copy-protected digital music service. The extension brings access to the same catalog as the PC-oriented store and, while costing twice as much per track at $2 each, allows users to download the same song twice; a song already loaded on the PC can be downloaded through EDGE or HSPA to the phone rather than having to copy from one device to the other, AT&T says. A Five-Track Pack for $7.50 per month will offer the same features at a relative discount.
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