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Apple kills Sherlock
Apple has quietly killed Sherlock in its latest revision of Mac OS X, Leopard, according to several reports. Although it has not been officially announced, installing Leopard seems to delete the application from a users' machine, and all mention of the product has vanished from the company's website. Apple is most likely abandoning Sherlock in favor of providing its functions through Widgets, as is evident with the new Movies widget. Sherlock's advanced search functions were replaced with the integration of Spotlight in Mac OS X Tiger; Spotlight, integrated with the Finder in both Tiger and Leopard, is Apple's built-in search function that indexes metadeta on-the-fly on a users' hard drive, and allows precise searches to be performed.
YouTube and Leopard
In brief: Leopard was a hot item on P2P networks, a new ScriptPak for RouteBuddy has been released, YouTube sports some nice integration with Leopard, REAL World 2008 speakers are sought, and a Lightweight online remote control has debuted ... InformationWeek reports that the release of Leopard was anticlimactic for P2P users who have been downloading Leopard in various forms of beta for about a year. In fact, the highest traffic occurred after Apple distributed the release candidate in September. "At that point, the number of Leopard downloads was comparable to those of the most popular movies and songs." Interestingly, however, Apple's refusal to use anti-piracy technology may actually have helped it in terms of sales. "People downloading illegal pre-release copies often say in chat rooms and discussion forums that they plan to buy a legitimate copy, which was not the same for Windows Vista thieves."
iPhone plans for Germany
Following the official announcement in September, T-Mobile and Apple today announced three rate plans for users of the iPhone in Germany, starting at €49 per month. Called "iPhone Complete" plans, all three include unlimited data, Visual Voicemail and access to T-Mobile's more than 8,000 Wi-Fi HotSpots in Germany. Apple's popular device is scheduled to go on sale on November 9 and will be sold in Germany through Telekom Shops of Deutsche Telekom and the T-Mobile website and will require a new 2-year T-Mobile rate plan; it will be available in an 8GB model for €399 including V.A.T. Apple has already announced that it has sold more than 1.4 million iPhones since its June 30th launch and that over 250,000 devices were sold to unlockers who used third-party hacks to enable the phone on other GSM networks.
LG Shine (Telus) review
Although the Shine is, in various forms, one of LG's signature phones, it is a relatively recent arrival to North America, and its latest incarnation is a version for the Canadian carrier Telus. Electronista had an opportunity to test this new variant, and see whether the Shine lives up to its publicity.
Just on picking up the phone, it is impossible to avoid how stunning it looks. While it already shares a lot of design elements in common with the Motorola RAZR, such as extreme thinness and an antenna "lip" towards the bottom, LG has gone farther by building most of the body out of a brushed, highly reflective metal.
Check Off 3.7 (donationware) menu-bar based to-do application. The tool allows creation of groups of items, and each item can have its own note for more information. This release fixes compatibility issues with Mac OS X Leopard as well as resolves many user reported issues. [Download - 605KB]
Chronos Apps (Leopard) Chronos LLC has announced that its entire product line is now compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. SOHO Organizer, SOHO Notes, SOHO Business Cards, SOHO Labels and Envelopes, SOHO Signs, iScrapbook and F10 Launch Studio have all been updated to run on Apple's latest operating system. The Leopard-compatible versions are available for immediate download.
Speed Download to 4.1.16 ($25) download manager designed to be a unified hub for almost all downloading and file transfer activities. Version 4.1.16 includes key improvements such as Leopard compatibility, and is a recommended update for all Speed Download 4 customers. Also included is a revamped Speed Download Enhancer. and better memory management. [Download - 6.9MB]
PopChar X 3.3 ($43) tool for inserting umlauts and special characters into the text of any application. The new version is ready for Mac OS X 10.5 ("Leopard") and comes with a new magnifier tool that provides an enlarged view of characters to clearly show all subtle glyph details, including their position relative to the baseline. Besides a number of other improvements, the new version also delivers automatic font selection for all components of iWork '08. [Download - 1.7MB]
PhoneDirector 1.2.5 ($40) For the Nokia 6230, 6230i, 6233, 6234, 6300, 6500, 7280, 7380, 8600, 8800. Phonebook editing, uploading, deleting, backup, export (extended phonebook with more numbers and texts is supported). SMS reading from the phone, sending, replying, forwarding, deleting, archiving. The new release features Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard compatibility. Also has tools for adding, editing, export and import of calendar and To-Do events. [Download - 17MB]
PhoneAgent 1.4.3 ($40) solution for Sony Ericsson T610, T616, T630, T637, Z600, K700i, K750i, K790i, K800i, K810i, W800i, W880i mobile phones. This release has phonebook management - editing, uploading, deleting, backup, export (extended phonebook with more numbers and texts is supported). Also included is SMS management - reading from the phone, sending, replying, forwarding, deleting, archiving. [Download - 19MB]
imeem, a social network where users can share music, videos and other media on profile pages, will be offering a significant chunk of EMI Music's music and video content through an ad-supported online service. Artists such as Radiohead, Coldplay, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, 30 Seconds to Mars, Norah Jones, Interpol, KT Tunstall, Daft Punk, Joss Stone, the Beastie Boys and others are included. The move is significant because many included bands, such as Radiohead, rarely offer their music in single-track format, preferring to stick with full album sales. The EMI/imeem partnership is the latest in a long string of efforts to dethrone Apple's iTunes as king of the digital download purchase heap.
Fujitsu ScanSnap S300
Fujitsu today released what it hopes is one of the most powerful portable scanners ever: the ScanSnap S300 is less than a foot long and weighs just 3.1 pounds but can scan full color documents at 600 DPI, including two-sided pages; up to 16 effective pages can be captured depending on the settings, Fujitsu says. Though these speeds demand AC power, the S300 will still run at half speed if connected solely through a USB port. The device automatically feeds images itself and is intelligent enough to recognize black-and-white or color pages, misaligned images, and different page formats without any help from the user.
FCC ends cable exclusives
The Federal Communications Commission has announced that it may soon put an end to exclusive deals for cable companies servicing apartments. In a measure backed by AT&T and Verizon, expected to be approved on Wednesday, thousands of contracts guaranteeing exclusive building rights will be ended, paving the way for increased competition. The move should -- in theory -- drop prices, which have in some cases risen by as much as three times the rate of inflation with the last 10 years. Exclusivity is also far more likely to impact minority apartment dwellers, since while a quarter of all Americans live in buildings with 50 or more people, 40 percent of Hispanic- and African-Americans do.
Parallels beta update
Parallels today released a new beta version of Parallels Desktop for Mac that improves the virtualization software's compatibility with Mac OS X Leopard. The revision adds a large performance boost to Windows XP as well as Windows Vista virtual machines, according to Parallels, and fixes very minor issues that cropped up in the final version. The update also allows users to migrate a Boot Camp partition to a Parallels virtual machine using Parallels Transporter. The company is celebrating the launch of Leopard by offering customers who purchase Parallels 3.0 a free $20 Apple Gift Card, while users upgrading from Parallels 2.5 to 3.0 receive a $10 Apple Gift Card. "Its our way of spreading the congratulations around to the entire Apple community." [updated]
NBC CEO on Apple
NBC president and CEO Jeff Zucker has expressed his views on the formal relationship between his television network and Apple, which is set to expire this December. NBC canceled its contract with Apple after negotiations fell apart between the two firms. NBC asked for the freedom to experiment with pricing on some of its hit shows, and requested a share of Apple's hardware revenues -- which NBC says saw an extravagant boost as a result of its content coming to the iTunes Store, according to Variety.
Leopard 2nd Take
When we first tested Leopard, initial impressions of the new OS were very favorable, and many of these initial observations hold over after days of extended use. The OS continues to not just run quickly but also upgrades the performance of a few previously sluggish components, especially Spotlight. We've discovered a few pleasant upsides to Leopard since then; however, we've also found a few potential showstopping bugs that may have early adopters think twice.
Linksys offers new routers
Linksys has debuted a duo of new routers, one sporting Power over Ethernet capabilities, and the other utilizing QoS and offering two phone ports. The new Wireless-G Access Point with Power over Ethernet includes the company's proprietary "RangeBooster" technology, which is purported to offer improved performance and "effectively double network size and increase throughput by 35 percent." Also included are 802.11F Roaming and auto-channel Selection. Security protocols include WPA2 Enterprise, 802.1x with Radius Authentication, HTTPS secure control, MAC Address Filtering and DES/3DES/AES Encryption. There are also multiple BSSIDs and 802.1q VLANs for keeping network traffic separate. The Business Series Wireless-G Access Point with Power over Ethernet (WAP2000) will have an estimated street price of $170.
Intel 45nm Core 2 Extreme
Intel has officially revealed the Core 2 Extreme QX9650, a processor built on the 45nm Yorkfield/Penryn platform. The CPU, the first Penryn chip to be announced, is said to be a dramatic improvement on past quad-core processors such as the QX6850, and incorporates features such as SSE 4 instructions, hybrid gates built with hafnium, and 12MB of L2 cache, and increase from the earlier 8MB limit. In applications which support SSE 4 -- which does require specific coding -- users should receive a performance boost. The processor is by default clocked at 3GHz, and has a 1.33GHz front-side bus. Intel says that a November 12th release date is planned, although no prices have been published. [via Ars Technica]
Pantech Duo at ATT
AT&T this afternoon released the Pantech Duo, the carrier's first true dual-mode slider phone. Initially known as the C810, the handset follows the same style as the Helio Ocean and lets users either slip out a lateral QWERTY keyboard for messaging and browsing in landscape view or else a vertical number pad for quickly placing a call. Unlike its CDMA rival, the Duo runs on Windows Mobile 6 and allows for basic document editing with Office Mobile. The Duo should also be faster through built-in HSPA access that downloads at up to 1.4Mbps in real-world conditions, according to AT&T.
Leopard apps, enhancements
Mac developers and hardware manufacturers are working hard to offer compatibility for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard following the operating system's shipment last Friday. Servoy announced that its entire array of products -- including Servoy Developer, Servoy Server, Servoy Smart Client, Servoy Web Client, Servoy Runtime Edition, Servoy Offline Edition, and Servoy MultiDeveloper Server -- offer full compatibility with Leopard. Equinux today released a Stationary Pack with more than 100 templates to personalize emails using the stationary feature of Mail in Mac OS X Leopard, and the developers of OsiriX 3.0 medical imaging software have released a 64-bit preview version of OsiriX Viewer that runs exclusively on Leopard with built-in iChat Theater as well as CoverFlow for DICOM files.
ASUS Eee PC US Prices
ASUS has solidified prices for the Eee PC in the US as well as its launch date, according to a leaked product sheet outlining details of the release. The company expects to launch three models that should vary significantly from the Taiwan release earlier this month. A top model, dubbed simply the 4G, will contain just half the memory and storage at 512MB and 4GB respectively but will include the webcam scrapped from the Asian edition; 4G Surf and 2G Surf versions will also be available and will drop some features to lower their respective prices, though these details are so far unknown aside from the use of 2GB in storage is certain on the 2G Surf. A reduction in memory to 256MB and the removal of the camera are possible.
Leopard install freezes
UPDATE: Apple has now acknowledged issues with Leopard installation that can result in an everlasting blue screen after the install has taken place. Blaming the problem on "third-party 'enhancement' software," namely Unsanity's APE (Application Enhancer) and its included haxies, Apple says the problem can be resolved by either reinstalling Leopard (recommended), or using the Terminal to uninstall APE and its haxies. The first fix requires performing an Archive and Install installation of Leopard. Archive and Install moves your existing Mac OS X system files to a folder named "Previous System," and then installs a new copy of Mac OS X on the selected volume. Apple says "After installation, verify each third-party software product is compatible with Leopard before reinstalling it, especially any application 'enhancement' software."
Multinational carrier 3 is nearing release of the Skypephone, a mobile device dedicated to eBay's VoIP service, Reuters says. Although phones centered around VoIP are not unusual, the Skypephone is the first to be sold by a standard phone carrier; typically, VoIP devices are sold either by independent makers or by VoIP-only companies such as Vonage. The phone also retains the features of more advanced cellphones, offering everything from games and a mobile web browser to watching TV and downloading music from the 3 MusicStore.
Lenovo Y410 in the US
Lenovo today surprised the North American PC business by releasing one of its previously Asia-only notebook models for the US. The Y410 adapts the China-made, 14-inch portable to the Western market and is one of the first American models to include the Shuttle Center control for playing back music and movies without booting the main system. Its lid-mounted 1.3-megapixel webcam is also unique among low-cost notebooks in allowing users to lock down their systems using face recognition rather than passwords or a fingerprint reader.
Sharp AQUOS P Series
Sharp today introduced a completely new line of LCDs designed equally for computers and TV watching. The AQUOS P series is designed as much to sit on a desk as in a living room and is one of the first HDTV lineups to offer full 1080p video at small sizes; the 22-, 26-, and 32-inch sets all display up to 1920x1080 using either DVI, VGA, or one of the two available HDMI inputs. An integrated digital TV tuner and two 5-watt speakers allow the sets to operate independently of any outside device but can be used with a picture-in-picture mode to let users run a computer while keeping track of a TV show.
Ars criticizes Leopard
Mac OS X Leopard is in general a fantastic operating system, but hurt by its new look, ArsTechnica writes. The publication's new review praises the "internal" changes of the OS, such as Time Machine backup and the tough-but-necessary migration to a 64-bit codebase, but complains that several changes to the interface are unnecessary or even detrimental to usability. With the exception of custom programs such as Garage Band, for instance, all programs are now required to use the new "slate gray" appearance, which is said to be not entirely unattractive but in conflict with items such as Aqua-like dialog buttons.
Motorola on Monday launched its new MOTOROKR T505 speakerphone designed both for hands-free calls and for music. The device clips to the overhead visor of a car and is designed to almost entirely avoid the need to reach for a cellphone while driving. In traditional mode, the T505 supports any handset with hands-free calling support and includes a microphone, an internal speaker, and vocalization of incoming caller ID. However, cellphones, Mac OS X Leopard systems, and other devices that support Bluetooth's A2DP profile can pair with the speakerphone to beam full stereo audio for music through to the car's built-in FM stereo; a play/pause button lets users quickly stop tracks to begin a call of their own, while music is automatically frozen for incoming calls.
Hulu Private Beta
NBC-Universal and News Corp today began the private beta of Hulu, their joint venture into web-based movies and TV. The service represents a break from both paid download stores and most free web-based sites by replicating the conventional TV model online: new ads are inserted in the place of the spots that would otherwise be left to traditional TV stations for both movies and TV shows. Hulu is also independent of any one provider, the founding companies say. While Fox shows like The Simpsons and NBC's The Office will be available, MGM and Sony have also promised their own movie and TV content.
MacKiev Leopard updates
Software MacKiev has released free Leopard compatibility updates for Kid Pix Deluxe 3X for Intel Macs, The Print Shop for Mac 2.0, and World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia. The updates also add support for Apple's iLife '08 application suite, and include numerous other enhancements, according to the company. All three updates for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard are available as free downloads to registered users. New licenses are available for 2007 World Book ($50), The Print Shop 2.0 ($70), Kid Pix Deluxe 3X ($40), and 3D Weather Globe & Atlas ($40). Educational discounts are also available to customers purchasing six or more copies.
Online iPhone/iPod break
Simplifying hacks of v1.1.1 iPhones and iPod touches even further, beyond applications such as iJailBreak, a new website called Jailbreakme (iPhones/iPods only) offers a solution to unlock Apple's latest devices without first docking them to a computer. Upon directing Safari to the site, users are prompted to read directions and install AppSnapp, after which the necessary "Installer.app" icon will appear on the Home screen. The site is so far reported to be safe and easy to use.
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT
NVIDIA today is releasing the GeForce 8800 GT, a new mainstream version of the company's fastest video card series. The chipset takes advantage of an improvement in the manufacturing process to allow much of the speed of top-performing cards with the single slot and cost of older cards. The new core is built on a 65-nanometer process (versus 90 nanometers) and runs far more efficiently: typical power use is 105 watts versus roughly 185 watts for a top-spec 8800 GTX, NVIDIA says. The GT can also potentially outperform the GTS by including more shader units to process pixels and vertices (112 versus 96) and faster clock speeds, boosting the core from 500 to 600MHz and reaching an effective 1.8GHz memory speed compared to the 1.6GHz of the GTS.
iPod touch TV ad
Apple has posted a QuickTime version of the new user-created iPod touch television ad that began airing on Sunday evening. Based on student-created advertisement that was posted to Youtube, the ad spot was made "broadcast-ready" by Apple's advertising agency, TBWA/Chiat/Day, according to an online report. The commercial features a fast-paced overview of the portable player song with "Music Is My Hot, Hot Sex," The spot's creator, Nick Haley, is an 18-year-old student and Apple fan in the UK who created the content and uploaded his video to YouTube.
Leopard running on PCs?
Only days after the official launch of Mac OS X Leopard, the software is already said to be running on PCs based on Windows. Members of OSx86 Scene claim to have hacked the OS, and are providing detailed install guides and troubleshooting. Leopard is reported to be partially crippled without Mac hardware, however, most notably in the lack of Wi-Fi support, which may render the OS useless for some.
T-Mobile this morning inaugurated its second exclusive series of phones after the Sidekick. The HTC-designed T-Mobile Shadow is imagined as a smartphone for users who would rather not have the size and software of a phone meant for business. Its slide-out keypad borrows the SureType keyboard design of the BlackBerry Pearl to speed up text messaging; a scroll wheel also helps quickly scroll through music and message queues as well as scrub through videos. The Shadow also embraces Wi-Fi for wireless along with EDGE; the device is not set up for HotSpot@Home calling but sees improved data speeds, T-Mobile notes.
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