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ARC system for DAW
IK Multimedia today announced the Advanced Room Correction system for DAW-based studios, a kit designed to reduce distortion caused from environmental acoustics. The kit consists of a professionally calibrated microphone, measuring software, and a plugin that functions with any DAW-based software. Co-designed by Audyssy, IK Multimedia advertises that the ARC system will drastically improve the sound of any kind of monitor in any sort of room, regardless of quality level or mixing environment. The ARC system is currently available through IK Multimedia's network of distributors, selling for $700, or $500 for a crossgrade for registered IK users.
Three Leopard books
Que Publishing recently introduced two new books for Leopard users - "Easy Mac OS X Leopard" and "Mac OS X Leopard On Demand" - while Sams Publishing unveiled the "Mac OS X Leopard Phrasebook". "Easy Mac OS X Leopard" is written by Kate Binder, featuring fully illustrated steps with bolded and highlighted areas signifying what a user is to do to follow along with the book. "Mac OS X Leopard On Demand", by Steve Johnson, uses real world examples to provide context for the instructions it gives. The books take users through the Finder, iApps and several other programs, in addition to networking and maintenance. Both books are currently available, with "On Demand" selling for $40, and "Easy Leopard" for $30.
Remote Buddy 1.8
IOSPIRIT today released Remote Buddy 1.8, a new version of its wireless remote control software, adding compatibility for the EyeTV remote controls. Users can control many different applications from Remote Buddy, such as iTunes, DVD player, iPhoto, VLC, and presentation software, but can also browse the hard drive, surf the web, or change system settings - the software contains support for over 100 applications and system parameters. Using the latest version, EyeTV owners can fully configure the key layout of the remote, providing access to the entire computer. Remote Buddy is available from the IOSPIRIT website for 20 Euros (~$30 US).
Icewear for iPods
Tunewear today unveiled three new additions to its Icewear line of iPod cases, introducing models for the iPod touch, Classic and Nano. The Icewear is made of high density ribbed silicone which provides a sticky tactile feel, and is designed to absorb shocks and bumps from accidental drops. The case offers complete access to the iPod's controls and ports, and features the company's clear Tunefilm to protect the screen and scrollwheel. Tuneware says that the Icewear for the iPod touch and Nano are currently available from the company's web site, with the Icewear for the iPod classic shipping during the first week of December. Prices for the Icewear range from $20 to $30, depending on which model is purchased.
Orange iPhone details
Unofficial reports have indicated what French iPhone customers can expect from the wireless plans that Orange will be offering in conjunction with the impending release. MacGeneration reports (1 | 2) that the data will be virtually unlimited - for services such as visual voicemail, emails and internet - but Orange says that it reserves the right to limit the data plan to 500MB per month. The company supposedly has upwards of 20,000 handsets available for the launch, which it will have the most stock through its stores on the Champs d'Elysées, in Lyon Cordeliers, and the Marseille Orange Center, with the number of handsets being between 500 and 1000 per shop, while the vast majority of its other stores having between four and 30. Pricing for plans will range between 50 and 120 Euros.
Refurb Macs, $5 gift wrap
Apple is offering a wide variety of reconditioned Macs alongside $5 gift wrap for iPods, iPhones, Apple software, and select accessories. Signature gift wrapping features a white gift box with a bright red ribbon and a personalized greeting card. The Cupertino-based company's online store currently lists numerous refurbished MacBook Pro (from $1,699-$2,399) and MacBook models ($899-$1,249) alongside a slew of Mac Pro workstations (from $2,199-$3,399) in various configurations. As always every refurbished item is guaranteed good-as-new, comes with a one-year warranty, and ships for free.
Cowon Q5W coming to US
Cowon today announced that it will bring an almost entirely intact version of its Mac- and Windows-compatible Q5W media player to US shores after previously limiting the device to southeast Asia. Adding the W to reflect its wireless abilities, the handheld will strip out Korea-only DMB digital TV tuning support but will have both 802.11g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0 to browse the web (including with Flash animations), access other online content, and gain stereo audio support respectively.
Year Zero Remixed Bonus
Having previously made master tracks available on his website, Trent Reznor is offering a bonus DVD with Nine Inch Nails' newest album release, Y34RZ3R0R3MIX3D (Year Zero Remixed), that includes every track from the original Year Zero in multitrack sessions. The files are all pre-formated for both Garageband and Ableton Live, and are generic WAVE files sampled at 16 bit/44KHz. Y34RZ3R0R3MIX3D's bonus DVD also comes with a demo version of Ableton Live so that fans can immediately start mixing if they don't have access to Garageband. The new album is also being offered as a digital download, and as a five-sided vinyl set, neither of which come with the master tracks. Y34RZ3R0R3MIX3D is available now for $20.
Qualcomm suit dismissed
Qualcomm has won a temporary victory in its legal battles with Nokia, Reuters reports. The United States' International Trade Commission has thrown out one lawsuit brought by Nokia, which would have seen Qualcomm's chips barred from being sold in the States on the basis that they violate several of the former company's patents. The judge presiding over the case was first presented with a dismissal motion on October 18th, but Nokia fought for a review, which has only just been concluded.
Creative ZEN 32GB Slip
Creative may be the first mainstream portable media player producer to offer a flash-based jukebox with 32GB of memory, based on an unintentional slip-up on the company's website for its home country of Singapore. An entry for the Creative ZEN shows a 32GB version of the handheld alongside the usual 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB versions. This would potentially supply as many as 8,000 standard-quality songs despite the device's small size using Creative's estimates.
Leopard battery, keyboard
Apple's release of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard appears to have brought with it battery drain and intermittent keyboard freezing issues, which are plaguing some MacBook and MacBook Pro owners. Numerous posts in Apple's support forums for both notebooks detail an issue that essentially shuts down the keyboard at random intervals, and affected owners report having to restart or wake their systems if the problem doesn't resolve itself in good time. Trackpads and external keyboards still function normally, however, as noted by AppleInsider.
T-Mo Sidekick Slide Fix
The cause of the Sidekick Slide's seemingly random reboots has been confirmed and will let the Danger/Motorola produced messaging phone return to shops, T-Mobile has announced today. The failures, which prompted a halt to sales, are now known to be triggered by poor battery contacts; sliding the screen out to type on the keyboard sometimes loosens the contact and forces the device to shut off momentarily. The problem can be fixed both on new production runs as well as through an unnamed solution for existing customers that keeps the contact in place, T-Mobile claims.
Sony CEO: Blu-Ray will win
Reacting to observations on his comments that the HD war is in a "stalemate," Sony CEO Howard Stinger now insists that Blu-Ray will ultimately win. The format has the "the momentum and the scale" needed, Stringer says, particularly because it has the exclusive support of movie studios such as Disney, Fox, MGM and Lionsgate. Warner Brothers releases in both Blu-Ray and HD DVD, while only Universal and Paramount have stuck to HD DVD.
iMac for 800 at Frys Sale
The electronics retail chain Fry's sold its current-generation 20-inch iMac for less than $800 ahead of Thanksgiving and "Black Friday", according to an ad that has appeared in an issue of San Jose's Mercury News. The image claims to have a new, factory stock 20-inch 2.4GHz model for $794, or just over half the $1,499 asking price for the standard system. This price will be in effect for just the one day, Fry's claims. [corrected: the sale was a one-day sale only on Wednesday, November 20th, according to Fry's]
Study: 24-25m iPod sales
Apple may have already sold between 24-25 million iPods during its December quarter, according to Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster. Citing new NPD data to back the estimate, Munster is predicting 23.5 million iPod sales for Apple's December quarter, which falls above Wall Street consensus of around 23 million shipments. "We see this as a positive data point, and we note that we have conservatively factored in an avg monthly contribution for October of 15 percent vs. the 3 year average of 12 percent due to the innovative new iPods released in September," the analyst said. Piper Jaffray reiterated its "Buy" rating on Apple shares with a $250 price target. [corrected]
ATT Black Friday 2007
AT&T will join many electronics stores the day after Thanksgiving and sell several of its best-known phones with a large 50 percent discount, a leaked flyer reveals. The carrier will draw attention primarily to smartphones with the GPS-equipped BlackBerry Curve 8310 selling for $100, while the Pantech Duo reaches the same price. A handful of 3G conventional phones such as the Moto RAZR2 V9, Samsung A737 slider, and the Sony-Ericsson W580i will also see a temporary price drop. These simpler phones will sell for $150, $25, and $25 again respectively, the flyer notes.
UK Retailers Against DRM
The insistence by major music labels on digital rights management (DRM) for online stores is having a damaging ripple effect on retail music shops as well, says the head of Britain's Entertainment Retailers Association, Kim Bayley. The executive notes that while physical stores still see high profile releases and seasonal increases, the hesitation by buyers leery of either restricted direct downloads or higher-priced CDs is neutering the effect. The holiday rush is coming later this year while even a record-setting album this month has failed to offset an 11 percent drop in CD sales this year, official UK charts say.
KeynotePro, Sonoma '08
KeynotePro today released Sonoma '08, its newest set of themes for Apple's Keynote presentation software. Sonoma '08 aims to blend classic print-inspired styling with a color-neutral framework. The themes are designed to propel imagery, color and type forward while maintaining a consistent, structured feel. "The result is a theme that not only allows you to make your quick-change customizations via a palette change or placing a photo: the design actually encourages you to take that approach to another level, mixing shape-based solid color blocks or contrasting photographic palettes into a diverse array of color and texture," the company said. Sonoma '08 for Keynote is priced at $20, and is available in a bundle with two other Standard Edition themes for $50.
Vizio dominates LCD market
California's Vizio remains the dominant maker of LCD TVs in North America, despite heavy advances by its main rival, according to a report from the research firm iSuppli. Vizio sets accounted for 13 percent of all LCDs sold during the third quarter, a mere 0.2 percent better than South Korea's Samsung. The latter has managed to dramatically boost its share, jumping from 10.8 percent in the second quarter to its current 12.8; this pales next to Vizio's recent climbs however, since the company only lept to prominence in the second quarter, beating out established heavyweights such as Samsung, Sharp and Sony. The latter two are currently third- and fourth-placed in iSuppli's rankings.
Logic review, LaCie
In brief: MacNN has reviewed Apple's Logic Express & Logic Studio professional software, LaCie has increased the duration of its product warranties, and Apple ranked as the 12th top Web property for the month of October. Two days remain for Pomoto's 'Turkey Special' promotion, and Created Equal has released TeachMac/TeachIt 5 with support for iPhone as well as Apple TV via a $10 subscription. MacNN has reviewed Logic Express & Logic Studio, Apple's pro audio applications that emphasize ease of use with a single screen and templates.
BlackBerry to mimic iPhone
The next generation of Research in Motion's BlackBerry phones may more resemble the iPhone than any of its current products, one analyst claims. Expounding on earlier rumors, Carmi Levy of AR Communications argues that future 9000-series phones will detach completely from RIM's business roots, which are represented by the signature SureType keyboard on every current BlackBerry. This allows the phones' users to type much faster than they do on many competing devices. But, says Levi, "The 9000 is supposed to be a touchscreen device, very similar in form factor to the iPhone. Which means that it is not an enterprise-friendly device."
BB Pearl 8130 at Alltel
Alltel today became the latest US carrier to pick up the BlackBerry Pearl 8130, the first version of the slim smartphone for CDMA networks. While coming in black similar to the Sprint version, Alltel's model and takes advantage of the phone's central GPS feature for any number of navigation services rather than the carrier's; users can plot driving routes with phone designer Research in Motion's own BlackBerry Maps or pay for a subscription service such as TeleNav, the provider emphasizes.
Free 3D Hearts Deluxe
Casual Mac game development and publishing firm Feeverse has re-launched its Macfun.com website and is offering visitors a free copy of the 3D Hearts Deluxe card game. Macfun.com originally launched as a home for Mac gamers hoping to find the best games for their systems, and the re-design aims to ease the process of finding a specific game. The company has also begun shipping three new game titles which include Chocolatier, Dream Chronicles, and Diner Dash: Hometown Heroes. New games are scheduled for release every week on Friday, and Freeverse promises to always offer at least one free game at any given time.
DOCSIS 3 Modems in Testing
Cable Internet modems that meet the extra-quick DOCSIS 3 (Data over Cable Service Information Specification) standard and the hubs needed to power them are already being certified, report anonymous sources aware of the process. Major cable modem producers Arris, Motorola, and Scientific Atlanta have all submitted devices based on a Texas Instruments chip that will allow real download speeds of 100 megabits per second or more -- rivaling Ethernet connections and 802.11n Wi-Fi in terms of speed. Most of these devices will meet the "bronze" standard and will have a reduced upload speed but should still outperform DOCSIS 2 modems, which are increasingly common for most cable Internet providers.
Leopard quarantine bug
A flaw has surfaced in Apple's Leopard quarantine system that allows unsuspecting Mac users to open specially crafted files that run with nearly any application. The quarantine system included in the latest revision of Mac OS X is designed to alert users when they attempt to open applications or disk images that arrive via Mail, Safari, or iChat. However the safety measure fails to issue a proper warning when Mail attachments posing as pictures arrive containing a resource fork which instructs the Mac to open the file using a specific application.
QuarkXPress 7.31 released
Quark has released v7.31 of QuarkXPress, its widespread publishing program. Although technically an incremental update, the new version is notable for adding Leopard support, specifically by means of testing and optimizations. Other improvements are also included however, mainly changes to spell-checking; users can now find and correct duplicate words or spacing after punctuation, as well as ignore file and Internet addresses, or words with numbers attached.
Samsung FlipShot at VZW
Verizon on Wednesday rounded out its line of holiday phones with the Samsung FlipShot. Known under its final name as early as October, the device also known as the Ultra U900 centers primarily on photography with a 3-megapixel camera and a swiveling design that serves up a better grip and LCD view similar to a pocket camcorder. Accordingly, it can record not only video but create panoramic shots and adds PictBridge support for printing photos directly from a photo printer. Its Bluetooth is useful not just for hands-free calling and stereo music but wireless photo printing as well, Verizon says.
NVIDIA GeForce 9M Leak
NVIDIA has inadvertently confirmed two new mobile graphics chipsets that should be available in the near future, say enthusiasts from nVision. A discovery made in the device list for NVIDIA's ForceWare 169.09 drivers reveals both a GeForce 9300M G and a GeForce 9500M GS present despite the lack of an official announcement. Few details are explicitly revealed by the leak, though it makes clear that both chipsets share the same core architecture as the GeForce 8M series. The naming scheme also reflects a similar strategy to today's mobile graphics with a basic x300 model providing low-end graphics and an x500 model addressing performance for mid-range notebooks.
German iPhone w/o contract
(Updated with offer for current customers)
Reacting to a legal ruling, Germany's T-Mobile has announced that it will soon begin selling the iPhone without any required contract. A court yesterday granted Vodafone a preliminary injunction against T-Mobile, which since November 9th has been selling the iPhone for €399 with a two-year contract, much like the one enforced for AT&T's iPhone in the United States. Although T-Mobile had said it would ignore the injunction on at least a temporary basis, it has already devised a price for a contract-free product: €999, or $1,477. By contrast, the total cost of the iPhone with contract would be €1,575 ($2,329).
Nokia Side Slider Patent
Nokia has developed a unique technology that may signal its entry into the world of smartphones with lateral slide-out keyboards, according to a freshly discovered patent filing. Called a "turn and slide concept," the patent would include a rotating point that would lift and tilt the phone's screen away from the main body, revealing a keyboard while locking the display to a comfortable angle with a built-in hinge. Such design would make it easy to access the keyboard without having a keyboard that covers the entire bottom of the device.
Firefox 3 beta 1
Mozilla has released Firefox 3 beta 1, targeted for web developers and the testing community. Based on the Gecko 1.9 engine - which has been under development for 27 months, consisting of nearly two million lines of code - the beta is designed to showcase Firefox's increased performance, stability, and security, while maintaining an easy to use, customizable interface. Firefox 3 beta 1 brings malware and web page forgery protection, as well as a button that displays security information for the current site. The new version automatically checks plugin versions and can disable older, insecure versions, as well as preventing automatic plugin updates if the connection method is insecure. Antivirus integration will inform any active antiviral software when it is downloading a file, and the new SSL error pages provide clearer definitions and deal with problematic content in a stricter manner.
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