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Palm preliminary Q2 2008
Palm on Thursday announced its preliminary second quarter financial results for the 2008 fiscal year, which ended November 30th, falling short of previous forecasts based in part on a failed "mystery" product launch. Palm expects earnings to sit between $345 to $350 million, close to $30 million short of its October 1st projections for the first quarter. Palm expects gross margin to be within 29.3- to 29.8-percent on a GAAP basis. The gross margin reflects an as-of-yet unforeseen increase in warranty repairs over the course of the quarter, partly due to higher-than-expected shipments of Palm's new Centro smartphone, and a delay in product shipment.
Typhoon sues Dell, Motion
Typhoon Touch Technologies is suing both Dell and Motion Computing for infringing on a number of the company's patents. Typhoon seeks both damages and an injunction barring either Dell or Motion from manufacturing or selling technology based on US patent numbers 5,379,057 and 5,675,362. The lawsuit will prevent the companies from distributing tablet PCs, slate PCs, PDAs, ultra mobile PCs, smartphones, or any other product that uses either of the offending technologies.
Illegal Singapore iPhones
Apple has been cracking down on retailers selling illegally unlocked iPhones - the company's Danish branch last week threatened wireless retailer Telekęden about the same issue - and is currently targeting wireless distributors in Singapore. After sending emails that implied legal action would be taken against shops that did not comply, retailers began pulling the units from shelves. Reuters reports that Apple would charge the stores approximately $700 USD per unit sold illegally.
Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 3.1.1 ($15) video editing and production application. The new release includes Mac OS X v10.5 (Leopard) compatibility updates and important bug fixes. It is highly recommended for all Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 users. Requires Mac OS X v10.4.9-10.5 (Leopard), 1GB of RAM for DV; 2GB of RAM for HDV and HD, and 10GB of available hard-disk space (additional free space required during installation). [Download - 54MB]
Jisho 2.2 ($15) Japanese-English dictionary. Jisho 2.2 brings improved zooming functionality allowing an infinite amount zoom into characters, results sorting, and other enhancements. Among the enhancements to Jisho 2.2 beyond infinite zoom and results sorting include a new 512x512 Leopard friendly icon, an updated eSellerate framework, and including searches done via the service to the search history. [Download - 26.1MB]
HelpRunner 1.0 (free) module that enables REALbasic developers to easily implement native support for Apple Help (on Mac OS X) and Microsoft HTML Help (CHM on Windows) in REALbasic applications. In Mac OS X Bundle apps, HelpRunner provides easy-to-use methods for registering an Apple Help Book and opening an Apple Help Book in Mac OS X's native Help Viewer. [Download - 472KB]
MercuryMover 1.0 ($20) keyboard controlled, Window moving and resizing utility for Mac OS X. At its most basic, MercuryMover enables anyone to easily and conveniently move and/or resize the frontmost window, directly from the keyboard. Incredibly simple and straightforward, power users who like to keep their fingers on the keyboard and off of the mouse, have been waiting for MercuryMover. [Download - 824KB]
Norrkross Movie 1.1 ($60) video editing application for creative amateurs. Easily arrange sequences of video clips, still images and sound layers, allows real time, non-destructive video effects and unlimited layers with transparency compositing. This update focuses on user interface improvements. It has a beautiful new open format multi-track timeline, improved video export and lots of tweaks and fixes to make video editing smooth. [Download - 6.6MB]
GarageBand and "Rock Band"
In brief: Info-Mac is coming back from the void, 4th Dimensions is officially Leopard-certified, a new hack allows the drum kit from "Rock Band" to be used with GarageBand, Iconfactory has a new set of stock icons, and a Time Machine eBook has made its debut ... The venerable but until-now defunct Info-Mac online Macintosh discussion community is making its triumphant return. Writes Richard Lawson for LowEndMac "Many Mac users have fond memories of Info-Mac. The archive contained nearly every essential piece of shareware and freeware for the Mac, and the digest kept thousands informed with tips and strategies on making the most of your Mac experience. At one point the archive was mirrored to over 100 sites." Dan Palka will oversee the launch, and he describes its new functions: "Users will be able to upload a wide range of files, and they can be up to 50 MB in size. The entire site itself is very clean, elegant, and loads fast. Info-Mac will also be publishing "approved" articles that are separate from the bustling forums"
Divine Fiat Keynote TV
Divine Fiat recently unveiled a new Keynote theme called Keynote TV, styled after the graphical user interface used by the Apple TV. The theme consists of a centered spotlight on a black field and relies heavily on reflections to provide its look. Divine Fiat says the theme is good for any presentation, but is especially effective when used for displaying art and photography, or for sales and marketing teams to demonstrate new product to clients. Keynote TV is currently available for $30, and requires Keynote v4.0, part of iLife '08.
AOL Desktop for Mac beta 4
America Online (AOL) today released AOL Desktop for Mac (beta 4) to AOL Beta Central. Mail receives the most improvement in the latest beta release, according to the company, and the application works with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard as well as the WebKit update released with Apple's Safari 3.0 Web browser. The software is available for free via AOL Beta Central.
Internet video habits
The number of Internet users regularly watching video online has finally risen above the halfway mark, suggests a new survey by the research group Horowitz Associates. Whereas 45 percent watched video weekly in 2006, and 71 percent watched monthly, these figures have jumped to 61 and 86 percent in 2007, respectively. 27 percent of Internet users are also said to have a cellphone or media player with video abilities, such as an iPod; of these though, only 35 percent watch video weekly, while 62 percent do so monthly.
'Keynote TV' theme debuts
Divine Fiat today released Keynote TV, the company's latest theme for Apple's Keynote presentation software inspired by the Apple TV. "Keynote TV is designed around a stylish pool of blue light and Keynote's reflection feature," Divine Fiat said. "Keynote TV is perfect for any presentation but is particularly useful for displaying art and photography or pitching your next movie, television or video project." The theme is priced at $26 and requires Keynote 4.0, as well as the Arial font.
The Leopard Missing Manual
David Pogue recently unveiled Mac OS X Leopard: The Missing Manual, the latest book in his lineup of humor-injected technical manuals. Pogue says that the book is designed for advanced-beginners and intermediate users, but miniature sidebars called "Up to Speed" will provide background information to first time users. There are also shaded sidebar tips called "Power Users Clinic" seeded throughout the book, designed to give Mac veterans tips and tricks that even they perhaps did not know about. O'Reilly Press is currently shipping Mac OS X Leopard: The Missing Manual, and it sells for $35.
Dell's brown Zune shortage
Dell has unexpectedly run out of brown Zunes, a manager with the company explains. As part of a clearance coinciding with Black Friday and the release of Microsoft's latest Zunes, Dell last month hosted a deal on the original 30GB player. Shoppers could buy it for an extremely low $99, only $20 more than the 1GB iPod shuffle by Apple; this triggered a flood of buyers, many of whom chose the brown color, most likely because it is rarely offered on any other media player.
Developer Ian Page today unveiled Mactracker 5 - a tool outlining specifications of every Macintosh computer to date - adding Leopard support, and a number of other improvements. In addition to interface improvements, Mactracker now features introductory pricing on each machine's entry in Canadian and US dollars, euros, and pounds sterling, and includes iCal integration to track warranty status for "My Mac model" entries. The developer added a new update engine based on Sparkle, and the app can now search for additional specification items directly from the main window. Mactracker is freeware, but the developer accepts donations for his work on his website for future development.
IBM v. ASUS patent dispute
IBM has asked for an import ban on some computers built by ASUS, Reuters reports. The former today filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission, alleging that select machines sold under the ASUS name -- and also under third party names, possibly including Apple and Dell -- violate several patents, including ones relating to cooling, clustering, and power supplies. Though no individual computers have been singled out, IBM will say that notebooks, servers, routers and some other components are at stake.
Toyota Home Robots in 2010
Toyota today said it would be one of the first companies to introduce helper robots into the home and began by revealing early forms of robots it expects to ultimately serve users. Known only as the partner robot, the humanoid model (shown at left) will ultimately help with tasks where the user is too busy or else incapable of performing themselves. Each limb has 17 separate joints that allow it to handle fine motor skills such as playing the violin. Future versions with more joints will not just help out with daily chores and entertainment but take care of the sick and even help the infirm move across significant distances, the car manufacturer says.
Macs for the holidays
Apple is gaining a lot of new customers through iPods, the "Get a Mac" ad campaign, and the iPhone, some former Mac users and others who have never used a Mac at all. With Christmas drawing closer, and users looking to treat themselves with a new computer, USA TODAY's Edward C. Baig offers his point of view on why people should make the switch from Windows to Mac OS. He says that while Windows users tend to tolerate their PC's bad behavior while they work, Apple users generally have a pleasant experience, regardless of what task they do.
RIM Free Wi-Fi on JetBlue
BlackBerry creator Research in Motion this afternoon announced a partnership with Yahoo to offer free Wi-Fi on JetBlue flights. The deal will provide custom Yahoo IM and mail services on both RIM's smartphones as well as on notebook PCs and will allow any device to use the service for general Internet access, including the BlackBerry's 'push' e-mail feature. Using the service will be free with a JetBlue ticket for a supporting flight; the first airplanes to deploy the short-range wireless in their cabins will run commercial flights from December 11th in trials with a full launch in several months if succesful, the airline says.
Samsung AMOLED phone
Samsung has released one of its first cellphones using AMOLED technology, a special edition of the SPH-W2400. AMOLED is an improvement on the still-infrequent OLED display, providing better contrast and response, as well as wider viewing angles and a longer battery life. The phone is otherwise unchanged: its primary highlight is a twisting display, which makes it easier to watch DMB TV or local video clips, while still keeping the form factor slim.
Sharp GP3U Gaming TV
Sharp ventured outside the movie-centric sphere of TVs on Thursday by upgrading its AQUOS TVs with the LC-32GP3U, the second iteration of the company's uniquely gaming-oriented HDTV range. The 32-inch screen has optimizations meant just for consoles with a Vyper Drive processing mode that focuses on cutting the screen's lag time for action games. A game mode button on the remote not only activates the faster response times but optionally switches to a specific video input for a favorite game system.
ClearPlay DVD Player
Looking to provide an alternative to especially sensitive parents, ClearPlay today shipped out its Content-Filtering DVD Player. The movie reader is one of the few to allow parents to scrub movies of content they find objectionable without affecting the disc itself: a USB port for a USB flash drive lets adults automatically apply filters downloaded from the Internet that blot out audio or visuals thought inappropriate for children. A subscription model keeps the USB drive updated as movies are released to DVD, ensuring that parents can gradually wean children on to more mature movies at their own pace.
Camino 1.5.4 released
The Camino Project has released Camino 1.5.4, improving stability and security of the third-party Web browser for Mac users. The latest release upgrades to the Mozilla Gecko rendering engine 220.127.116.11, which includes several critical security and stability fixes. The update also improves compatibility with some DHTML websites, fixes a bug allowing users to set the application as the default browser or feed reader when no application was already set, and opens sub-menus in the History menu more quickly while capping items at a maximum of 50.
AT&T, iPhone availability
AT&T today announced that it will transition more of Dobson's Cellular One stores to its own AT&T name, and will make Apple's iPhone available at those retail locations. The move will greatly increase the availability of iPhones to customers who were previously unable to obtain the device locally in more than 200 stores in 16 states, and will allow Alaskan residents living in or around Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau to purchase Apple's cellular phone.
CNB on Apple Ultraportable
Apple's widely rumored subnotebook is close enough to release that the company has priced it, CNBC show host Jim Goldman has said in a financial TV report broadcast today and observed by AppleInsider. The presenter refers to alleged sources close to Apple's manufacturing plants in southeast Asia who have seen the 12-inch notebook and appear to confirm earlier details of the computer, which include a design half as thin as today's systems and the use of slimmer, more efficient flash memory for storage. The device is scheduled for an announcement at Macworld San Francisco in January and will be priced at $1,500, matching the cost of the top-end 13-inch MacBook, according to Goldman. [updated]
Huge Mac holiday
Users are becoming more comfortable with the idea of adopting the Mac platform, according to several analysts -- a fact that should drive a huge Holiday season in terms of Mac unit sales. Forbes reports that RBC analyst Mike Abramsky upped his price target of Apple shares to $215.00 from $205.00 on Thursday. He maintained his "outperform" rating on the stock. Bear Sterns analyst Andrew Neff also upped his price target on Apple stock: to $249 from $243 and maintained an "outperform" rating. Both analysts expect "massive" holiday Mac sales.
Samsung 1.3-inch HDD
Samsung is developing two storage technologies that should greatly improve the capacity and size of future handheld devices, the company has revealed in advance of the Consumer Electronics Show next month. In its update, the electronics giant notes that it will soon produce 32 gigabit (4 gigabyte) NAND flash chips. These do more than double the density of the 16 gigabit products first introduced last year: advancements in the controlling hardware make them twice as fast in transfers as earlier memory, Samsung explains.
Hypersonic pre-built PCs
Hypersonic PC, recently bought out by RAM provider OCZ, says it will soon start selling pre-assembled, high-end notebooks from physical and online retailers. The move is significant in that Hypersonic has traditionally focused on custom online sales, while OCZ has never before had its own line of computers. It may also put the company in direct competition with Dell, whose Alienware division makes similarly-focused computers.
Slide back at T-Mobile
The Sidekick Slide is now back on sale from T-Mobile. The company's prominent messaging phone was pulled from shelves around the middle of November, due to sudden rebooting caused by sliding the screen; this later turned out to be caused by poor battery contacts, and prompted the company to ask owners to return or replace their Slides while the problem was being fixed. The product is now back in production and can be had for a $300 list price, or $200 after various discounts.
14th Street Store opening
Apple has officially declared that its newest retail store on West 14th Street in New York's Meatpacking District will open on Friday, December 7th at 6:00 p.m. EST. The new store is Apple's first three-story retail space that boasts two floors dedicated to products and a third dedicated to services, including a 46-foot Genius Bar and specially designed areas for workshops as well as personal training. The Apple Store West 14th Street also introduces Pro Labs where customers can receive free, in-depth training on Apple's industry-leading pro applications including Final Cut Pro.
iPhone MMS, barcodes
Two new native applications for the iPhone promise to open up the abilities of the device. A member of ModMyiFone has devised an MMS application, which will finally let users send photos to other phones without e-mailing them. Users simply enter a title and the receiver's phone number, and then select an image from the list of files found. As the app is only at v0.1, there are some notable limitations; it cannot for instance receive MMS messages, nor can it send out video or accompanying text. Likewise, users must jailbreak their iPhones to install it, and manually enter their carrier's MMSC settings.
IBM Optical Breakthrough
IBM's Silicon Photonics research group today published news of what it believes is a major breakthrough in increasing processor performance with multi-core processors. Instead of relying on typical copper wire connections between cores, the New York state-based firm has developed a unit it refers to as an electro-optic modulator. The device uses nanotechnology and a small laser to convert electrical signals into pulses of directed light that mimic the binary code of a processor. This hardware is 100 to 1,000 times smaller than the links used to join multiple cores today and could all but eliminate the large gaps between cores that limit their overall size, according to IBM.
MasonIP video device ships
Wired Inc. has begun shipping its MasonIP network-attached video player and DVD decoder/proofer. The device is designed to deliver flexibility and high image quality for the most demanding playback options, decoding nearly every type of SD and HD video with the ability to output to virtually any professional monitor or consumer TV. The device includes an array of outputs that range from composite analog to HD-SDI digital, and includes a unique browser-based configuration to ease the setup process. The MasonIP is available for $3,500.
New Boomwave iPod cases
Boomwave Products today began shipping its Bearaphim, Diablo, and Diablo Spectrum cases for Apple's current-generation iPod nano and iPod classic. Boomwave's new Bearaphim cases aim to protect third-generation iPod nanos in the form of a bear with ears and an extended paw. Diablo Spectrum cases for current-generation iPod nanos appear as 'devilish' enclosures complete with pointed ears and a tail. Boomwave Diablo cases for iPod classes resemble Diablo Spectrum cases, but offer different graphical effects and include an embedded ring in the back for easy carrying.
Slacker Player in January
Slacker's self-titled Portable Player has seen its release pushed back to January 31st, according to a small notice on the company's website. The player, which is intended to automatically load itself with "channels" of music over USB and Wi-Fi rather than purchases, was originally scheduled to ship by December 13th. The delay is necessary to "deliver the best possible player," Slacker claims, hinting that last-minute issues with the jukebox have stalled out the release.
Report: Apple needs NBC
Apple needs to work hard towards getting NBC videos back on iTunes, argues a recent report by Forrester Research. Firm analyst James McQuivey claims that when NBC videos dropped from iTunes this past weekend, he warned Apple executives that there was too much at stake. "Don't let the Macgeeks posting angry blogs against NBC fool you," McQuivey's report reads, "The loser here is Apple, which relies on NBC Universal to deliver 30 [percent] of video download sales. Any supposed backlash against NBC will not materialize because NBC has made its content available, for free, on NBC.com and six other major portals sites."
LG Rhapsody in Music Phone
Not content with just the release of the upgraded Chocolate, LG's home cellphone brand CYON today unveiled the LB3300. Nicknamed the Rhapsody in Music, the slider is built for quick music access and includes a circular scroll wheel for navigating menus and song lists much like that of the original iPod. Unlike its American sibling, the Rhapsody already includes 1GB of built-in memory to store music as well as a microSD slot for more. In Korea, the device also carries a DMB tuner that picks up over-the-air digital TV broadcasts.
PDF2Office Professional 4
Recosoft today unveiled PDF2Office Professional 4 for Mac OS X, a major upgrade to the PDF-to-Office format conversion tool that brings more than 300 new features and enhancements as well as compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. PDF2Office Professional converts PDF documents to the Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, RTF, and other file formats by recreating the intended construction and layout of each document. The software is slated for shipment in February of 2008, and is priced at $130. Upgrades are available for PDF2Office Professional 1.x-3.x users ($60) as well as users with educational licenses ($90). PDF2Office Professional requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Jobs in CA Hall of Fame
As announced in late August, Apple CEO Steve Jobs last night received his medal for entry into the California Hall of Fame, an institution meant to promote the state's history and culture. The award was presented personally by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, and as Jobs came to the stage, The Beatles' "Revolution" played in the background.
Dell to Sell at Best Buy
Dell on Thursday revealed that it will begin selling its computers at Best Buy stores in the US, marking one of the company's most significant ventures into retail. The Texas PC builder will offer both desktops and notebooks from its Inspiron and XPS lines; this includes the iMac-like XPS One, according to the company. Outside of the all-in-one computer, the focus of the initial release will be on more affordable systems and should top out at the XPS 13.3-inch XPS M1330 in white; the 14-inch Inspiron 1420 will be available with a black lid while the AMD-based, 15.4-inch Inspiron 1521 will ship in black or blue hues. The Inspiron 530/531 tower and its 531s slimline version will also be carried at the stores, Dell notes.
iPhone 1.1.3 Rumor
Apple may be preparing a significant update for the iPhone as early as this weekend that will have some heavily requested features, according to a claim from CNET France. The site points to multiple reports that a 1.1.3 upgrade for the iPhone will appear by Saturday which adds both a disk mode for storing general data on the device and a voice recording mode for capturing lectures or voice memos. The disk feature behaves like the equivalent for iPods and will still block users from simply dragging and dropping content to load the phone with playable music, CNET says. Enabling disk mode should still allow knowledgeable users to browse the content on the phone, though this is not expected to be of any use to the hacking community, which has already gained access to the phone's software.
Apple, VW talks on hold?
Negotiations between Apple and Volkswagen are at a halt, a German business publication suggests. The companies' respective CEOs, Steve Jobs and Martin Winterkorn, are said to have met in August to discuss the prospect of an "iCar," which would integrate Apple products directly into the design; now however, Capital magazine claims that although Volkswagen later confirmed exploratory talks, these have suddenly stopped. "The project is shaky," say the magazine's business sources.
OLPC Windows XP in 2008
Microsoft's Unlimited Potential group will test the One Laptop Per Child project's XO system with Windows XP, the company has announced. As part of a program to establish the guidelines for using the OS with budget notebooks with flash storage, including Intel's Classmate and the ASUS Eee PC, the software developer says it will run a field trial to see whether it can provide a "high-quality" implementation of Windows on the system, which runs an ultra low-power AMD Geode processor and typically runs a version of Linux to reduce costs and performance overhead.
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