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Pixaria has recently unveiled Pixaria Gallery 2.0, a Web-based service designed to quickly allow professional photographers to upload and distribute images on the internet. Pixaria ties in with a user's existing website to provide a searchable database of a user's images, with options for selling images as downloads or as physical product. The service can use PayPal and 2Checkout for secure transactions, allowing customers to download their purchases instantly. Pixaria functions with either HTTP or FTP uploads, and can take a variety of image types and compression styles – such as zip, tar, gzip and tgz. The service is available directly from Pixaria for $200, and includes full source code access, free installation, and complete access to all of the service's many functions.
Apple has unveiled a new iPod + iTunes ad, featuring Mary J. Blige's Work That, while the company's Web marketing tactics are becoming increasingly aggressive, with a new banner ad targeting Windows Vista. The iTunes ad features a mostly-silhouetted Blige blowing a handful of sparkles from her palm, creating the golden gossamer environment for the commercial. Amber light shines from the background, where floral patterns are intricately produced, while backup dancers join Blige as she dances.
Toronto-based iSkin recently announced the iSkin touch, a duo-tone silicone case for the iPod touch. The case features a slim 1.5mm skin and a smudge-resistant film to protect the screen. The menu and sleep buttons are protected by the skin, and the dock and headphone ports are covered by a flap. iSkin touch leaves the ambient sensor open, and comes with the company's removable revoClip, with the inclusion of a new silicone placeholder that prevents dust from entering the case when the clip is removed. The protective screen film offers glare reduction and anti-fingerprint properties, allowing for optimal viewing of the screen. iSkin is offering the iSkin touch in five color combinations: Oxygen (clear and black), Electra (sonic blue and black), Vanity (pink and black), Diablo (black and red), and Nighthawk (black and dark brown). The iSkin touch is currently shipping, selling for $30.
Microsoft's Windows SideShow development team recently unveiled a new beta of its Windows SideShow Device SDK for .Net Micro Framework 1.4, announcing several new supported features. Developers can now access a portrait-style QVGA interface designed for remote controls, and a new driver allows users to recognize devices over USB and Bluetooth connections, with new Bluetooth menu commands. The SDK now supports a user-swtiching UI for devices that operate in a particular user mode. Microsoft has also opened the kit up to Danish, Finnish, and Norwegian developers. Users interested in the beta are requested to contact the developer team through the supplied email address.
Two accessory manufacturers today announced holiday sales on various cases and other items in celebration of the holidays. iPod Xtras is promising to unveil its lowest prices on all iPod accessories of the season on Saturday, November 24th at 12:00 a.m. EST. Similarly Marware announced new holiday specials for "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" shopping events, promising an executive laptop case at more than 50 percent off as well as a promotion running through the end of November for a free holiday gift with all orders.
Art. Lebedev Studio has announced an official shipment date for its Optimus Maximus OLED-based keyboard, and an official box design has surfaced after just one model appeared on display at the Wired Store in SoHo, New York. The long-awaited custom-configurable keyboard obtained a spot on Wired's Vaporware '06 list – vaporware being a term applied to a much-anticipated product that never sees the light of day – but now, ironically, is on display at the publication's store in SoHo, New York. While the keyboard is designed for anyone, Art. Lebedev says that the keyboard will cost approximately $1600US when it is officially released, making it too expensive for most people to consider.
Iiyama today announced a new lineup of touch sensitive monitors for desktop computers. The offerings consist of the 15" ProLite T1530SR, the T1730SR, and the T1930SR, all of which connect either through VGA or DVI, and support USB and RS-232 for the touchscreen interface. The new ProLite screens use a 4:3 aspect ratio and come in either a black or white bezel. The 15-inch model supports a typical 1024x768, featuring a 16ms response time, while the 17- and 19-inch versions are rated at 5ms response, with a resolution of 1280x1024. Contrast ratio for the displays is measured at 500:1 for the 15-inch, and 800:1 for the larger models. Iiyama is selling the ProLite touch-based monitors starting at £330 (~$700US).
Google is making refinements to its Maps area of its website, allowing users to move the location indicators brought up by address searches. The Washington Post reports that Google account-holders will be able to do Wikipedia-style edits to inaccurate address information. In order to prevent malicious users from playing with the green address markers, several limitations will be imposed. Google will only allow a move of 200 yards without its approval, and users will not be allowed to move markers for essential services – such as police stations, hospitals, or schools – as well as any business that is registered with the company's Local Business Center.
In brief: Microsoft's Mac Business Unit (Mac BU) is kicking off the holiday shopping season with its "BFD" Best Friday Deal with $100 off qualifying Office 2004 for Mac products, and MacMall is offering 24-hour deals on Microsoft Office 2004 ($25 for the Student + Teacher edition) alongside numerous other items. Top European Mac developers have organized a "Mac feast" promo, one MacNN reader says using his Citi credit card accumulates "thank you" points that count toward the purchase of a new iPhone, and Case-mate.com is holding a holiday sale for 25 percent off its entire line of accessories.
Broadcom today announced that it will not be receiving double damages for Qualcomm's willful patent infringement, since a recent ruling in an unrelated case changed the definition for willful infringement. Reuters reports that Broadcom will be receiving $19.6 million from Qualcomm, and will not be seeking a second trial, but the company is seeking to disallow Qualcomm from manufacturing, using, selling, or otherwise developing the 3G WCDMA/EV-DO chips that spawned the lawsuit. Before the willful infringement clarification, Broadcom stood to receive almost $40 million from the ruling.
Although the retailer has held unofficial sales in the past, Amazon today began its first sale targeted at buyers shopping on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving which sees a flood of holiday customers. The event is highlighted by significant discounts on HDTVs such as Sony's rear-projection 60-inch Bravia SXRD A3000, which drops from $2,200 to $1,700 as a result of the sale. Three Samsung sets also see major discounts, ranging from a 32-inch LNT3252H that drops 30 percent to $700, the 42-inch HPT4264 plasma at $1,000 (down 50 percent), and the higher-end LNT4665F 46-inch, 1080p-capable LCD that Samsung claims offers a 15,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio.
Nokia may be developing a touchscreen phone that still folds up to provide a smaller shape and more protection for the display, according to a newly-published patent filing. Acting like an enhanced Nintendo DS, the phone would include one top screen for visuals alone and a second that serves as a touchscreen. The phone would also be intelligent enough to change the display layout depending on the open angle. Most typical angles for the phone split the view into two separate windows; unfolding the device to 180 degrees automatically spans a single image across both displays.
A new study suggests that using iPods in the classroom helps most students concentrate longer, focus more often, and maintain interest in subjects which translates to improved letter grades. While most schools discourage or even forbid bringing iPods to class, students at a Melbourne school are using technology to replace whiteboards and text books, according to TV3.co.nz. One student participating in the study reported raising at least one letter grade, while another said she improved 30 percent as a result of using technology in the classroom.
Sprint matched AT&T's efforts on the day following Thanksgiving by releasing a trio of phones of its own. The Moto Q9c represents Sprint's flagship as the first CDMA-based version of the Q9 with 3G Internet provided over EVDO, a 1.3-megapixel camera with flash, and stronger media support with microSDHC support and direct music sync with Windows Media Player when used with a Windows PC. It can take advantage of Sprint's assisted GPS and will stream online video through the Sprint TV service, the carrier says. It sells today for $150 with a two-year plan or $450 without a contract.
DJ1800.com has released DJ-1800 3.0, an update to its self-contained professional DJ system for Mac OS X that negates the need for a mixer, CD players, or record decks. The latest revision of DJ-1800 features pitch lock (master tempo), automatic BPM calculation, and integrated support for multiple iPod players. The update runs natively on Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary, includes a new setup assistant, and offers enhanced support for controllers -- including the PCDJ DAC-3. DJ-1800 3.0 is priced at $80, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later with QuickTime 7.2 or later. Upgrades from DJ-1800 1.x or 2.x are available for $20.
USBFever.com today began shipping its new iPod 2-in-1 Remote + Radio, offering compatibility with Apple's recently released third-generation iPod nano as well as its iPod classic and iPod touch. The device boasts high sound quality, and enables users to switch between Radio or iPod video/photo/music playback modes with a single click. The iPod 2-in-1 Remote + Radio is priced at $26, and ships in either black or white to match Apple's iPod classic players.
AT&T today launched two of its higher-profile 3G phones, hoping to take advantage of the post-Thanksgiving rush. The BlackJack II is Samsung's promised sequel to the bar-shaped, QWERTY smartphone that has proven successful at the American carrier and packs true GPS as well as a 2-megapixel camera, the often-requested longer battery life, and more memory to improve performance with Windows Mobile 6. It roams on the 3G access of most GSM phone networks using tri-band HSPA, AT&T says. The BlackJack II ships for $150 in gray and red versions after subscribing to a new two-year plan.
AKVIS has released AKVIS LightShop 2.0, an update to the lighting effect software available as both a standalone application and a plug-in that runs natively on Intel-based Macs. The update is compatible with Photoshop Elements 6.0 as well as Apple's recently released Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard operating system, and adds a new interface language for French-speaking users. AKVIS LightShop 2.0 requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later, works with Microsoft Windows 2000/XP/NT/2003/Vista, and is priced at $120.
Creative has quietly posted details of a 4GB ZEN Stone Plus, revealing the company's increased efforts in the budget- and sports-oriented music player business dominated in the US by the iPod shuffle. The new version unveiled by Creative's Singapore site will hold about 1,000 songs but occupy the same size as earlier ZEN Stone models. As a Plus version, it also includes a small OLED screen for basic track info and permits FM radio. No price has been given, though the 2GB version currently offered sells for about $70 US and may point to a $100 price for the 4GB model, which appears to come only in black.
Apple's decision to price the iPhone for UK residents at £269 may have reflected a serious misjudgment of the local cellphone market, according to a new survey of Christmas buyers conducted by the analyst group GfK NOP. Of the respondents, 46 percent simply refuse to consider the phone at its existing price; just over a quarter at 26 percent are interested in the phone but cannot justify the cost, the researchers say. This leaves only 2 percent actively considering the iPhone for the holidays; 5 percent are willing to consider other phones while 8 percent actively dislike the device. About 12 percent of the surveyed population does not even know the iPhone exists, GfK NOP says.
Amazon is offering several Black Friday deals, including a special price on the Hauppauge 1145 MyTV.HD TV Stick for Mac (only $83), a USB 2.0 TV Stick with a Hybrid TV tuner receiver for both NTSC cable analog or over-the-air ATSC hi-definition digital TV. The company is also offering deals on digital cameras -- including 2GB SD cards (Kingston/SanDisk) for as little as $13 -- and a 24-inch wide-screen TV for only $320 (after rebate). [corrected]
Apple has started its annual "Black Friday" sale, offering $101 discounts on MacBooks and new aluminum iMacs as well as $11 discounts on the iPod nano and iPod shuffle. In addition, the company is offering up to $31 discounts on the iPod classic (all iPods come with free engraving) as well as many discounts on cases -- now starting at $7. The company is also discounting its wireless devices, including offering the AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi router (with 802.11n networking) for $158 ($21 reduction) and AirPort Express for $88 ($11 discount). The Apple Wireless Mighty Mouse is now $11 off at $58, while the Apple Bluetooth headset is now $108 (discounted by $21). iPhone cases are now available starting at $7 as well. (See also deals at Amazon.)
Now AAPL Stock: 95.01 ( + 0.99 )
Swift benchmarking suite goes open-source
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well. http://bit.ly/1W8u0EU
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram is now rolling out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in version 7.1.5 of its iOS app. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app; additionally, some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X
Bambooti wooden skins for MacBooks
Bambooti has introduced premium wooden skins for Apple laptops that allow users to customize any design or logo directly on the case. Each Bambooti skin is handcrafted from sustainably managed forests, and are hand sanded and spray-finished to create an ultra smooth exterior. Bambooti's wooden skins start at $65 on the fully-funded Kickstarter which includes a custom design or logo of the user's choice that will be engraved on the product. http://kck.st/1PhE6Sb
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes ÂPower Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO
Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ