Aabel 2.4 ($445) updates Gigawiz's application that integrates statistics, scientific graphing, and thematic mapping into a single package. The new plugin-enabled version supports the new Aabel Stats Plug-in SDK 1.0, which allows users to write their own statistical methods and use open-source code; Aabel allows statistical analysis from multiple data sources without reordering data into a single worksheet as well as dynamic data exploration using tools to walk through hierarchies of numeric or categorical data, and interactive filtering based on data patterns. [Download - 15.1MB] TranslateIt! for Mac 8.6 ($50) is a multilingual dictionary that allows users to look up words on-the-fly by simply hovering the pointer over an unfamiliar word (in any Cocoa Application) to see its translation in a pop-up window. In addition, it supports translation from clipboard, drag-and-drop translation, manual input of queries in the main window, double-clicking the translation of words in dictionary entries displayed in the main window, and English and German pronunciation guides. It will also print flash cards, offer a quick quiz, and allow custom dictionaries. The shareware is available as a 20-day trial with a 1-year license ($20). [Download - 18MB] Digieffects today announced that some of its plugins for Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro, and Autodesk Combustion are now available as Universal Binaries for native operation on Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs. The company said that versions of Delirium, Berserk, and Aurorix are now available as free updates. The company said that Universal Binary versions of Digieffects Fantazm, Buena Effects Pack, and Buena Effects Essentials will be available in early 2008. Smart Trash 1.1.2 ($10) is a shareware application that enhances the functions of the Mac OS X trash by adding several menu options including: selective file deletion, extensive logging, the ability to empty the trash on specific volumes, and more. The latest version brings compatibility with Mac OS 10.5, mproves the overall functionality, and fixes other bugs. It is a Universal Binary for native operation on both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs. [Download - 2MB] Colorate 1.2 (donationware) update the utility for creation of harmonic color palettes, aimed from hobbyst to professional designers. Colorate fully automatizes the palette generation from a particular color swatch, selected from the standard Color Panel, dragged from other application or obtained from an image through the integrated Image Analyze feature. It also lets users save the selected palettes as standard ď.clrĒ system palette files. Version 1.2 offers custom palette blending; new German, Danish and Hungarian localizations; better inner color calculations, and more. [Download - 1.4MB]
Developer ZodTTD has released a new update to gbSPhone 0.0.5, a GameBoy Advance emulator for the iPod touch and iPhone. Although it is a small increment from 0.0.4, the developer said that it is a crucial update, introducing an improved graphical user interface and enhanced sound support Ė which the author credits to help from Nes.app creator NerveGas. Some performance fixes were implemented as well, through the default frameskip settings and some dynarec tweaks. The gpSPhone project is completely open source, and is available directly from ZodTTD's website.
OtterBox today rolled out two new series of cases for Apple's iPhone, iPod touch, iPod classic, and iPod nano. The company's Defender series includes slim, rugged cases designed to keep Apple gadgets out of harms way without compromising style. The cases provide complete interaction via polycarbonate shells that snap together to safeguard the device within, while membranes protect the screen of every device as well as the iPod's click-wheel. A silicone skin encompasses the entire case as well, providing additional protection from drops and bumps. Defender cases are priced at for Apple's iPods, while Armor cases are priced at $50 for iPod touch and iPod classic vs. $40 for third-generation iPod nano (pricing for iPhone cases was unavailable).
Matias today unveiled its new Folding Keyboard, a full size USB keyboard that folds in half for easy transportation. The keys sit on dome switches which are designed to give the keyboard a responsive, tactile feel, while still being able to support the weight of the users hands. The numerics pad features a dedicated tab key, located where the clear button is, which the company says will greatly enhance spreadsheet workflow. The Matias Folding Keyboard will be shipping in mid-December for $60, and Matias is offering free shipping for all customer pre-orders.
Apple has released iPhoto 7.1.1 [9.3MB] for better compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard as well as an update to its Safari 3 browsers for Windows machines. Part of iLife '08, it is newest latest update to the consumer software for managing photos. Apple only says that the update "supports compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5, improves overall stability, and addresses a number of other minor issues." Apple also released an update to its Safari browser for Windows that addresses eight different security issues for both Windows XP and Vista, including two separate flaws that could lead to code execution. Other features in the latest beta update include new keyboard shortcuts, cookie management, NTML support, more font smoothing options, spelling/grammar checking, tooltips, LiveConnect support, and more.
Apple today released Mac OS X 10.4.11, an update to its Tiger operating system that enhances stability, compatibility, and security while introducing Safari 3 -- the latest version of Apple's Web Browser. Mac OS X 10.4.11 adds RAW image decoding support for various digital cameras which include the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50, Leica V-Lux 1, Olympus E-400, Olympus EVOLT E410, Olympus EVOLT E510, and Canon EOS 40D. The update also improves compatibility when using OpenType fonts in QuarkExpress, and enhances reliability when running VMWARE's Fusion virtualization software. The update requires Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, and is recommended by Apple for all Tiger users.
In addition to its common features, the first update to Microsoft's Office in almost four years also brings a few key additions specific to its core Excel, PowerPoint, and Word programs, some of which seem to take cues directly from developments seen in Apple's iWork suite We look at these in the second part of our Office 2008 preview.
Apple on Wednesday released a plethora of updates to its professional applications for Leopard compatibility, including Soundtrack Pro 2.0.2 [70MB], Final Cut Pro 6.0.2 [38MB], DVD Studio Pro 4.2.1 [12MB], Motion 3.0.2 [21MB], Color 1.0.2 [80MB], Cinema Tools 4.0.1 [10MB], Compressor 3.0.2 [96MB], and Pro Applications Update 2007-02 [9MB]. The updates require Mac OS X 10.4.11 or Mac OS X 10.5 and are available via Mac OS X's Software Update or via the Web.
Palo Alto-based VMware was founded in 1998, and has since developed virtualization products that it says are in use with 100% of Fortune 500 companies. It could be said that VMware has written the book on virtualization, and with Apple's recent switch to Intel chipsets, the company has a new frontier for its products and services. With Fusion's first incarnation making a solid impression on users, and outpacing several products that have been on the market for several revisions, users anxiously awaited to see what else the company had up its sleeves.
Envision, generally better known for its computer monitors, is rolling out a new line of LCD TVs called Omni. All three debut sets include ATSC and QAM tuners, as well as 8ms response times and S/PDIF audio output; resolution is limited to 720p/1080i however, and the smallest set has a viewing angle of 170 degrees or less. The top-of-the-line screen is the 42-inch L42W761, which has a 1,200:1 contrast ratio and two HDMI inputs; the 32-inch L32W761 only has one HDMI input, but actually improves contrast to 1,500:1. The L26W761 is of course a 26-inch display, and has 800:1 contrast with a single HDMI input. The L42 is due on November 23rd for $999, while the L26 and L32 are out now for $479 and $649.
Wolfram Research today announced a slew of specialized add-ons for its Mathematica 6 software designed specifically for interactivity as well as graphics and data integration. Mathematica serves as computational software for science and technology that boasts thousands of original algorithms as well as a tightly unified overall design. The company lists numerous applications that are fully compatible with Mathematica 6 which provide a broad array of functionality, from a finite-element environment to extending as well as organizing and visualizing everyday work in Mathematica.
Cambridge SoundWorks has released a new combination stereo system, the i765. The system is notable mainly for merging several major abilities into the same unit, including AM/FM radio, CD and DVD playback, and iPod docking, arguably the focus of the design. A wide variety of iPods are said to be supported, but the stereo more specifically supports Apple's new Touch, Nano and Classic models. Listeners can control their iPod through the bundled remote, and see track information displayed on the LCD.
Americans are increasingly choosing to use their Internet connections instead of their TVs, a new poll suggests. While the vast majority still prefer to watch TV broadcasts, an In-Stat study predicts that by 2010, at least 16 million American homes will be relying on broadband services more than they do their TVs. Furthermore, 30 percent of those responding to the poll said that they would be willing to drop subscription TV entirely if the same broadcasts were available online. The results of the survey may not reflect the whole of the US populace however, as respondents had to own both a TV and a broadband connection.
UTStarcom today unveiled its first wireless broadband USB modem, the UM150 (site not updated). The UM150 weighs 1.57 ounces and measures 3.61 x 1.46 x 0.65-inches. The device downloads at rates up to 3.1Mbps and upload at 1.8Mbps, running on multiple bands including CDMA 1x EVDO Rev. A and Rev. O, CDMA 1xRTT and CDMA 800, 1900MHz. UTStarcom's new modem works as a flash memory drive with 64MB of capacity that is expandable to 2GB or more via a built-in micro-SD card slot. The UM150 is slated for shipment before the end of the year (pricing was unavailable).
LG today provided early details of a new HDTV it says is the first to supply a full HD picture while also including Wi-Fi. The 52LG71 will present a 1080p picture like most competing 52-inch sets but incorporates an 802.11 link that pulls HD over a local wireless network; users will not need a separate media hub or an extender to watch their home content, LG says.
Dell today revealed that it will be one of the first major computer builders to offer Sun's Solaris operating system, continuing the former's shift away from exclusively Windows systems to Linux and other alternatives. Anyone will be able to download the free OpenSolaris operating system from Dell's website to use on their systems; some blade and rackmount servers will come with the standard, closed-source Solaris pre-installed, the companies say. The deal also lets Dell customize its systems to ensure they work well with Solaris.
One of the leading Democratic presidential candidates, Barack Obama, today published his technology platform (PDF file), which if enacted would cover a much broader range of areas than an equivalent platform proposed by Hillary Clinton. His campaign calls not only for net neutrality and speeding up the expansion of broadband, but improved math and science education, more government research spending, making an R&D tax credit permanent, and allowing the immigration of more tech workers.
Confirming a previous report from MacNN, Hewlett Packard has now confirmed Leopard support of HP printer drivers. In late September an HP representative told MacNN that Apple was asking developers to test the delivery of HP drivers through Software Update, and that those developers using HP printers verify that Leopard's built-in printer drivers were able to operate those devices. HP is telling Mac owners that they don't need to download or reinstall any additional printer software for print-only functionality, as there is full driver support for more than 1,000 HP peripherals built into Mac OS X Leopard.
Alienware has inadvertently confirmed the existence of NVIDIA's GeForce 8800M GTX graphics for high-end notebooks as well as a pair of systems of its own, according to a pair of leaks spotted on the PC builder's site. The 15.4-inch Area-51 m15x (link may be unavailable) and the 17-inch m17x will both have the option of a 512MB version of the 8800M GTX that should provide 3D performance approaching modern, mid-range desktop video cards while scaling back power enough to run in desktop replacement systems. For the m15x, this will be an optional upgrade from 8600M graphics; the larger system will have as many as two 8800M chipsets in SLI, the leak notes.
Toshiba Japan has decided to sharply cut the price on one of its HD DVD players, reports say. The HD-XF2, a 2006 player limited to 720p/1080i resolution, has just had its cost reduced to 24,800 yen, or $225. While this is not as low as the current price of some American equivalents, it still represents a drop of over 50 percent, making HD DVD much more practical as an option for Japanese shoppers. No official reason has been given, but it follows similar moves in the US, which have seen Toshiba players go on sale for $200 or less. On November 2nd only Wal-Mart sold the HD-A2 for $99, breaking the psychologically important $100 barrier. [via Akihabara News]
A malware attack against iPhone users is almost guaranteed, says Patrik Runald, the security response manager for F-Secure Security Labs. An attack is "80-90 percent likely," he comments, simply by virtue of how easily the iPhone can be hacked. "The 1.1.2 firmware was released last week and was supposed to prevent people from running third-party software," he adds, "but it took only a few hours for the hacking community to break so they could run their third party applications again."
Microsoft's new Zune line is good but meant more to compete against the last generation of iPods than the new models, according to a new review by Wall Street Journal technology columnist Walt Mossberg. While the new flash- and hard drive-based players are definite improvements over the original version released a year ago and work well, the devices are said to only truly excel when compared to Apple's 2006-era 5th-generation iPod and second-generation iPod nano. For every feature absent from comparably priced iPods, Apple has another of its own: the Zune's FM radio and larger screen (for the 80GB model) are countered by interface touches such as smart playlists, much better battery life, and a better-quality screen, Mossberg claims.
Warner Music Group chairman and CEO Edgar Bronfman has praised Apple's iTunes Store while promising "many, many more" bundles of tracks with ringtones in what appears to be a complete 180-degree stance on digital music. The executive admitted to fighting consumer demand for digital tracks, which only fueled the illegal P2P transfers online that helped to shrink CD and DVD sales at a rapid rate. Bronfman used Apple as a prime example of digital music done right, citing the company's successful iPhone with its slick user interface and easy-to-use nature.
A number of MacBook Pro owners who have upgraded to Mac OS X Leopard are encountering "dead" keyboards, discussions in Apple's support forums indicate. Primarily in the MacBook Pro forum, users are complaining that Leopard seems to be disabling their keyboards and/or trackpads, though only periodically. "Sometimes after the wake up from sleep," complains one user, "after the username/password screen, the keyboard will stop working for a few seconds, then after pressing a few keys, it will get back to work and so on, until I restart the MBP." Others have claimed dead times of a few minutes to several hours.
Microsoft is creating problems in Taiwan based on recent moves with its Xbox 360 game console, according to separate reports. Although the company already promised this summer to repair overheating models for free for up to three years, a new claim suggests the American firm is now cracking down on Taiwan repair centers and forcing increased scrutiny of Xboxes before they are returned to their owners. Microsoft is concerned that systems may either be modified during the repair processs to allow pirated games or that some systems may not need repair at all, the report notes. As a result, repairs that would normally have taken a week now allegedly require a full month and are causing frustration with gamers and retailers alike.
Microsoft announced on Tuesday at its TechEd IT Forum that UNETsystem plans to release both Mac and Linux versions of its Anyclick for NAP (Network Access Protection) software next year. Avenda Systems will release the Avenda Linux Network Access Protection Agent to extend NAP technology to network nodes running Linux, according to eWeek.com, and Celestix Networks has already developed an appliance to provide the NAP policy-enforcement platform. The new offerings are slated for shipment just after Windows Server 2008 ships in February of 2008.
Qualcomm today introduced a new chipset platform for cellphones that it hopes will make integrating 3G Internet access as well as HD video and other features that normally require expensive or battery-draining secondary hardware. Nicknamed Snapdragon, the basic design includes a 1GHz processor and a 600MHz DSP chip that can handle both the connection and media playback at the same time. On GSM cellular networks, the QSD8250's main processor handles HSPA connections as quick as 7.2Mbps downstream and nearly 5.8Mbps upstream; its CDMA counterpart, the QSD8650, supports EVDO up to the upcoming 4.9Mbps Revision B standard.
In spite of speculation to the contrary, China is unlikely to carry iPhones in the near future, some executives from the country suggest. One executive, China Mobile CEO Wang Jiangzhou, yesterday claimed that his company was in talks with Apple for carrying the device; this pushed Apple stock up 10 percent, and China Mobile's up by nine. This is now being challenged an anonymous senior telecom executive, who tells Reuters that Apple will have a problem with Chinese SIM card technology, which is normally unlocked. Apple has so far insisted that iPhones be attached to a single domestic carrier, and has in fact twice undone attempts to unlock the American version.
Expanding the number of computers that can access its most advanced 3G networks, AT&T today launched its simply-titled USBConnect 881 adapter. The external device made by Sierra Wireless plugs into most computers and provides them with access to AT&T's newly opened HSUPA network, which promises both faster download speeds and a greatly improved upload speed. As with the earlier PC Card, AT&T expects real-world downloads between 600Kbps and 1.4Mbps and uploads from 500Kbps to 800Kbps. It can also access this and slower HSDPA on any one of three bands for true roaming, AT&T says. Fall-back support allows it to run on quad-band EDGE or GPRS when 3G service is no longer available.
Adobe has announced the call for entries for the eighth annual Adobe Design Achievement Awards, while Crestock Stock Photos has announced this year's Crestock Photoshop Contest. Contestants interested in the ADAA will have until May 2nd, 2008 to submit qualifying entries through its web page. The annual Adode awards honor student graphic designers, photographers, illustrators, animators, digital filmmakers, developers and computer artists. This year, the company added several new categories in three media areas, including Interactive Media, Motion Media, and Traditional Media.
Nokia on Wednesday aimed at cementing its position in smartphones and launched the N82. Considered a sequel to the popular N95 slider by the company, the bar phone is designed to be multi-talented but focuses around photography. Its 5-megapixel camera is backed by autofocus, a Carl Zeiss lens and a Xenon flash that help it capture photos closer in quality to a dedicated camera. It can also capture relatively high-resolution video and make video calls on supporting networks, Nokia says. Increasing its similarity with the N95, the N82 incorporates a GPS receiver with Internet assists and Wi-Fi for local networking.
Chronos today announced an update to its label creation software, SOHO Labels 3, and have dubbed it the official successor to SOHO Labels & Envelopes. The software can now print CD and DVD labels, jackets, and inserts, as well as direct-to-disc printing with hardware that supports the feature. SOHO Labels can now print to Seiko and Brother label printers, and can produce letterheads that can be applied to letters, envelopes, and labels. Chronos is selling SOHO Labels on its website for $40, with an upgrade available for existing customers for $20.
Premium laptop bag manufacturer Booq recently unveiled a new product lineup, the Boa Slimcase. The bags support laptop sizes ranging from 13 to 17 inches, and are designed to fit Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro computers. The Slimcase is available in both portrait and landscape formats, and features a weather-resistant ballistic nylon exterior, as well as a silky red interior. Booq has also included a padded carrying handle and removable shoulder strap for comfort, while the high density foam padding and non-scratch lining protect the laptop throughout the day. Pricing for the Slimcase starts at $105, scaling to $135, depending on size.
AMD on Wednesday announced the new ATI TV Wonder 650 Combo USB for Mac (AMD product page), a new HDTV solution for Mac users. ATI TV Wonder 650 Combo USB for Mac integrates two TV tuners to receive off-the-air ATSC/HDTV broadcasts as well as analog television programming. Almost one month after the PC product launch, the ATI TV Wonder 650 Combo USB for Mac transforms Mac desktops and notebooks into TV entertainment systems, with full personal video recorder (PVR) functionality. Using the included ATI tvPORTAL TV application for Mac, users can watch, pause, or record high definition TV. The company also claims that analog TV is "made brilliant" on the Mac with "sharp, true-to-life analog TV images." The software also offers a full-featured Electronic Programming Guide to help schedule and manage TV recordings.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl