The US Patent and Trademark Office today published six Apple patents, five of which revolve around the Apple + Nike initiative, and the sixth being related to optical media. Apple is looking to create an adapter to use with 8cm optical discs, so that they function inside of the 12cm-formatted drive slots that occupy most of the Cupertino-based company's computers. Two models appear in the patents, one that snaps together out of separate pieces, while another relies on a telescopic motion to close the adapter around the disk.
Turdhead.com has released an update to its Stacks-improving application, AutoStacks 0.2, allowing users to define whether or not they want to move the original file when creating a stack, or simply create an alias for it. Many users were under the impression that Leopard's Stacks would be able to take a group of random files and create a single dock icon from them, when in reality Stacks is just a different way for Leopard to produce the same effect that was present in prior versions of Mac OS X.
Vizio recently announced that it is running a sale on some of its HDTVs in North America on Black Friday, offering discounts of up to $300 on select models. Costco will be selling the VP50, a 50-inch plasma HDTV, for $999, while the
Boinx Software recently announced that all of its products – iStopMotion, Fotomagico, Mouseposé, and iVeZeen – are all compatible with Leopard, while offering a new version of iStopMotion. The update to iStopMotion 2.1 introduces improved Leopard integration, and some new video input features. Users can now use Firewire HD cameras with iStopMotion, but it can be a costly process due to the requirement of Final Cut Studio, since the MPEG2 format carries several licensing issues. If the camera has an HDMI connection, it can be used without requiring Final Cut. iStopMotion can now use multiple video sources, allowing users to cover multiple camera angles without needing to re-film the scene. iStopMotion is available in three tiers: Home ($50), Express ($100), and Pro ($500), all of which are available now through Boinx' web site.
MacMall and onSale.com are currently having a 48-hour Thanksgiving sale, advertising discounts of up to 22-percent on Apple products. The online retailer is offering mail-in rebates and instant savings on product, along with several bundles specific to each item. MacMall is selling the low-end MacBook for $1019 after rebate, including free shipping, a copy of Parallels Desktop 3.0, a carrying case, an Epson or HP all-in-one printer, and Leopard. Apple's high-end 24-inch 2.8GHz iMac is available with a similar bundle (sans carrying case) for $2099 after rebate, while the 8GB iPod touch comes with a free FM transmitter, case and engraving, for $269.99.
Apple had a strong third quarter this year with the iPhone, shipping over 1.12 million iPhones in the US, while industry analysts are predicting the company will see an increase of one-percent in global laptop market share. According to Alley Insider, Apple seized 27-percent of the smartphone market in its third fiscal quarter, or 1.12 million out of 4.2 million units sold. Demand for smartphones has tripled since last year, with smartphones making up 11-percent of a total 38 million cell phones sold, with the previous year showing 1.5 million smartphones out of 36.5 million phones sold (4%).
Apple may extend the multi-touch technology found in its iPhone and iPod touch to larger displays by implementing new inventions which allow users to use different parts of their hand as well as use different presses to trigger certain actions, according to three patent filings published today. Comprising a patent for a sensor arrangement that addresses different parts of the hand as well as accompanying patents for conductors and sensors, the development relies on an array of improved capacitive sensors that can not only detect the proximity of hand contact but also determine which part of the hand is in use by the surface area. The system is also sensitive to pressure across multiple areas, Apple says.
The One Laptop Per Child project today extended its Give 1, Get 1 program until the end of the year, giving individual buyers in Canada and the US an extra month to participate in the program that would otherwise end on November 26th. The surprise move is based on strong initial results which show clear support for the deal, which for $400 provides one of the low-cost, rugged XO notebooks to its North American buyer and and a second to a developing-world country such as Afghanistan or Haiti. Adding the extension also gives groups interested in coordinating mass donations a chance to participate, says the OLPC teams's chairman, Nicholas Negroponte.
Apple and Burst.com on Wednesday settled their patent dispute for $10 million dollars. The agreement ends almost 2 years of litigation and offers Burst a one-time payment of $10 million cash in exchange for a non-exclusive license to its patent portfolio -- not including one issued U.S. patent and 3 pending U.S. patent applications related to new DVR technology. A similar claim -- over a technologies used in Windows Media Player's transmission of music and video -- was settled in 2005 with Microsoft for $60 million.
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Atari, Sigfox partner for IoT development
Atari and Internet of Things pioneer Sigfox today announced a global partnership to develop a line of new connected devices based on Atari's brand. The collaboration will cover a wide range of new Atari products, with launch products covering "categories such as home, pets, lifestyle and safety" according to the pair. Development of the new product line will begin this year. http://bit.ly/1WvklfB
Samsung still not recommending Windows 10
Nearly a year after release, Samsung support is recommending that owners of its PCs not upgrade to Windows 10. In an email exchange with UK Samsung technical support and an individual in need of help getting Wi-Fi to work, the support representative wrote that "honestly speaking, we don't suggest installation of Windows 10 to any Samsung laptop or PC and we are still coordinating with Microsoft regarding to this matter" and "the Drivers that we have on our website are not yet compatible to the latest version of Windows." Samsung will update users when there are no more compatibility issues with Samsung hardware and Windows 10. Microsoft has no meaningful comment on the matter. http://bit.ly/1PgrJcx
T-Mobile offers 'tourist' plan
A new plan from T-Mobile is launching on June 12, and will offer visitors to the US a flat-rate $30 plan that offers a free US SIM, 2GB of high-speed data, and 1,000 minutes of calls good for a three-week period. The plan will work with any unlocked GSM-compatible smartphone, and is advertised as "unlimited" data (but speed will slow down after the first 2GB). The plan does not automatically renew, but can be manually renewed for those staying longer. It also comes with unlimited international texting to some 40 countries, but does not offer any international talk minutes at all. http://t-mo.co/1TI1Pe9
First hardware RAID 10Gbps USB 3.1 controllers
Marvell today announced the Marvell 88RC13xx family of high-performance RAID storage controllers with a full set of features that include eight 6Gbps SATA ports, four lanes of PCI Express 3.0, and a 10Gbps USB 3.1 device port with Type-C connector support. The move paves the way for high-performance USB-C UASP hardware RAID multi-drive arrays, utilizing the full bandwidth of USB 3.1. http://bit.ly/1P0JBmb
Tama debuts adapters for Lightning-only iPhone
Predicting an iPhone without a standard 3.5mm headphone, a Chinese accessory maker has released three Lightning-to-headphone-adapters ready should Apple pull the trigger on what would be a controversial decision. The three adapters, picked up by Macotakara, includes two models that simultaneously support charging an iPhone over microUSB while the user also continues to listen to music. Rumors have suggested that Apple will eventually drop the 3.5mm jack on one of its next-generation iPhones, although it is not clear whether it will be in the 'iPhone 7,' due this year, or a future model. In the interim, the Tama Electric Lightning-to-headphone adapters offer little particular utility. http://bit.ly/1P0sYXM
French Google tax raid evaluation could take years
The data retrieved from the Paris raid on Google's headquarters by French police could take months or even years to analyze, according to a prosecutor assigned to the case. Authorities seized dozens of files and related data that recorded Google's financial transactions in the country with a view to lodging a claim for unpaid taxes by the Internet search giant. Although Google has denied any wrongdoing, it must complete all of its sales contracts in Ireland, where it is incorporated. If French authorities sifting through the documents seized in the raids discover that any of its French sales transactions were completed locally, it could be subject to further action, including fines. http://reut.rs/1P0n8G2
Trade-up program expands in Europe
Smartphone users in France, Italy, and Spain will have until at least August of this year to trade in old iPhone, Windows Phone, or Android models at Apple Stores, and put the reward towards a new iPhone -- thanks to an expansion of Apple's trade-in program into those countries. The money given for the trade-in must be applied towards a new iPhone on a two-year payment plane, and traders must qualify under a credit check as part of the program. Interested customers can apply for the trade-in at their nearest Apple Store. http://bit.ly/1qPsldD