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Dell tries Ubuntu
Dell recently announced that it is shipping systems loaded with Ubuntu Linux v7.10 and feature DVD playback. Currently loaded in the Inspiron Desktop 530 N, and the Inspiron Notebook 1420 N systems in the US - with English, French, and German models being offered later this week - these machines represent a first, but large, step by the computer manufacturer, as it seeks to eventually offer Ubuntu with its entire product lineup as an alternative to Windows. After a lengthly portion of time between the Ubuntu release and its implementation in Dell's computers, users have access to the stability of Linux, with a few Dell-added bonuses as well.
Symantec on Mac security
Apple's operating system has a reputation for being secure and free from malicious users causing headaches, but with Apple's popularity on the uprise, users should learn basic maintenance and security procedures for their favored operating system. Tech news site CIO recently spoke with Ollie Whitehouse, architect for Symantec's Advanced Threat Research Team, about OS security, especially in regards to large corporations. Whitehouse says that Macs are safe mainly due to a smaller marketshare, but as Apple's popularity increases, so will the threats against the company's operating system.
The iPowerRush brings 10 to 15 hours of additional playtime to iPods and iPhones by using six AAA batteries, and provides an extra 120 hours of standby time for iPhone users. The unit features a slip design, measured at 2-inches by 3 5/8-inches by 0.5-inch, making it very compact, with a push-button that shows remaining battery power, and also features a built-in voltage limiter that prevents it from over-charging the iPod's battery. The iPowerRush is currently available for $30 from iPowerRush.com.
Apple has been granted two patents for the technology used in its collaboration with Nike in the Nike + iPod product line. The first patent deals with the way signals from the transmitter are intercepted and decoded, using the length between data bits and other information to determine the pace of the runner and other information. For the technically inclined, the apparatus calls for, in part, a timer for determining the time between adjacent transitions; logic for determining the maximum period in the data stream without a transition and for determining a first threshold corresponding to a period of time less than the maximum period and greater than the data bit period; and a filter for determining whether a considered transition corresponds to a data bit or a preamble.
Two new iPhone unlocks?
Two new apparent unlocking solutions for Apple's iPhone firmware v1.1.2 have surfaced, allowing owners of the cellular handset to sign up for wireless service with carriers other than Apple's exclusive partners. The new techniques, dubbed SonicSIM and StealthSIM, both claim to unlock iPhone v1.1.2 for use with all wireless carriers that use the same technology as Apple's cellphone. SonicSIM is a special card rumored to partially unlock the iPhone by tricking the device and dual booting operating systems, while StealthSIM is a similar card produced by a company hoping to sell the solution for $90 on eBay.
HASP HL for Mac, Leopard
Information security firm Aladdin Knowledge Systems today announced that its Aladdin HASP HL for Mac software anti-piracy licensing USB key supports Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. The USB-based software copy protection scheme enables software publishers to enforce intellectual property protection and support custom licensing models while securely upgrading or downgrading licenses on keys in the field.
Chronos today debuted iClipboard 1.0, its new clipboard manager for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard users. iClipboard is designed to maintain a complete history of all copy functions, so that users aren't limited to one choice when pasting. While a limitless history would be cumbersome for some users, the app includes settings that change according to a user's needs, such as limiting the list to quantity or time period. iClipboard is only available to users of Leopard, and while the software normally sells for $30, Chronos is offering an introductory special of $10 off the purchase price.
Native Instruments has announced a downloadable demonstration version of KORE 2, the second generation of its multi-functional host system, is now available. The new version features realtime parameter control, and comprehensive sound access functionality. The tool also includes a sound library based on integrated NI instrument engines. The demo version comes with a special demo library that contains 100 KoreSounds with Sound Variations. The KORE 2 demo version is now available as a free download for Windows and Mac OS X on the NI website.
Social newscasting site Pownce today unveiled Pownce Mobile, a handheld-oriented version of its service normally available only for visually rich browsers or Adobe's AIR platform. The new site allows both live posting of text updates similar to sites such as Twitter while also exposing most or all of the unique features from Pownce's own service. Every device can also post group events and links as well as track and post replies; phones with built-in file management can also upload images or media directly from the handset, the Pownce team says.
Toshiba confirms G920
Revealed just yesterday through FCC filings, Toshiba's upcoming G920 phone has been confirmed for the first quarter of 2008 through a company roadmap presentation. It is presumed that this date is linked to Russia, as that is where the presentation was held; this could also be a global target, however, something supported by the existence of FCC documents. Likewise, the G910 is absent from the roadmap, but may simply be a regional variation.
Titan Clear iPhone case
GizMac Accessories has begun shipping its Titan Clear iPhone case with a holster. The case is designed protecting the cellular handset via a clear polycarbonate shell while still allowing the iPhone's appearance to show through. Each case ships with a thin film screen protector, while built-in retractable horizontal and vertical kickstands can adjust the angles of the iPhone for optimum hands-free viewing. GizMac's Titan Clear iPhone case with holster is priced at $35.
CR on iPhone vs BlackBerry
The iPhone has managed to outperform long-term competitors in the smartphone market, says a new study in the January 2008 issue of Consumer Reports. The magazine gives the Apple device an overall score of 64 versus 61 for RIM's BlackBerry Curve, pointing primarily to Apple's longer 8.25 hours of call time in testing versus the Curve's 6.25 hours and its improvements in ease of use and synchronization with computers. The BlackBerry's common advantage of its real-time "push" e-mail is beaten by Apple's inclusion of a stronger e-mail client, the publication claims.
MP EMR for eye doctors
MacPractice has released MacPractice EMR for eye doctors, an easy-to-use application that creates more efficient electronic versions of the forms used by ophthalmologist and optometrists. MacPractice EMR is designed to make it easy for eye doctors who use MacPractice 20/20 with MacPractice EMR to customize the forms provided by MacPractice, as well as create new forms. MacPractice EMR for eye doctors is priced at $2,500 plus $500 annually for support and updates until December 31st, after which the cost will rise (system requirements were unavailable).
Helio debyts Player app
In a first for the US, MVNO carrier Helio has released the Helio Player, a piece of Windows software dedicated solely to its own phones. The app was developed by RealNetworks, and is meant to simplify the process of shuttling media between phones and PCs. It is divided into three tabs, one each for Music, Pictures and Video; the highlight is Music, which not only lets users copy MP3, M3A and WMA files to a phone, but import anything bought on Helio's 3G service, or export tracks bought at a reduced rate from within Player.
IBM and Toshiba on 32nm
Toshiba today revealed that it will assist IBM's 32-nanometer processor development. The Japanese electronics maker will join AMD, Samsung, and other technology firms in the IBM Semiconductor Alliance in producing CPUs and other chips based on the smaller manufacturing process, likely leading to faster components to be shared between some or all of the firms, such as IBM's Cell processor used in the PlayStation 3 and future AMD Phenom cores.
Showcases for iPods
Contour Design announced today the release of the Showcase nano V3 and the Showcase touch, new dual-layered iPod cases. The cases use shock-absorbing rubber and incorporate a hinged door into its construction, for increased versatility. It offers complete accessibility to all connections and controls, The Showcase nano V3 has a playthrough clickwheel protector and a hinged dock port protector that also keeps the headphone port and hold switch protected but still accessible. The port protector carries over to the Showcase touch, which also includes a click through hold button protector at the top of the case. Both the Showcase nano V3 and the Showcase touch include removable belt clips.
IOGEAR Bluetooth Kit
IOGEAR today ended its year with a pair of Bluetooth devices made just for phones. The Hands Free Car Kit clips to the overhead visor on most cars and provides any phone that fits the Bluetooth hands-free profile with a speakerphone to place and answer calls without reaching for the device itself. The kit likewise pairs with Bluetooth-capable computers to serve as a breakaway speakerphone for Skype and other VoIP servics. It comes with echo and noise as well as an 8-hour battery life, and ships today for $70.
Dell Vostro 1200 in Japan
Continuing with a series of releases, Dell on Tuesday released the Vostro 1200 first to a Japanese audience. Bucking the trend created by the AMD-based Vostro 1000, the 1200 switches to Intel-based processors and uses Intel's GMA X3100 integrated video in place of the Radeon X1250 dictated by the AMD platform in the original. The new 12.1-inch Vostro also packs an unusually large 160GB hard drive as standard and comes with full-size ExpressCard and 3-in-1 memory card readers.
Moto on MING in Spring 08
Motorola will not only update its MING touchscreen phones with the A1600 but with a budget model, the company's Taiwan chief Bill Chen has confirmed to the press. While the company's current A1200 phone (pictured) has always been targeted at upscale Chinese and others who need touch input to handwrite their local languages, a second phone will be aimed at a wider range. It remains too early to reveal the specifications, Chen says, but both devices will support at least "2.5G" Internet speeds over supporting cellular networks and run the Linux-based MOTOMAGX interface.
Dell defends Latitude XT
Dell has taken the unusual step of defending the cost of its new Latitude XT tablet. In a post to Dell's official PR blog, the senior manager for the Commercial Products Team, Glenn Keels, says that the $2,500-plus pricetag for the computer may be extremely high next to similar systems from competitors, but that it is worth it for certain feature enhancements, as well as Dell's three-year warranty.
Dell Latitude XT For Sale
Dell today began taking orders for its long-delayed Latitude XT convertible tablet PC, putting the system within closer reach. The Texas PC builder distinguishes the system with a more advanced capacitive touchscreen that is both more precise than most such displays while also offering a comparatively bright, thin LED-backlit screen with the standard model. In a departure from most of the company's lineup, however, Windows XP Tablet Edition is installed by default; using Microsoft's newer but more demanding Vista Business is free but remains an option.
Unreal Tournament 3
MacSoft today announced that Unreal Tournament 3 for Mac is coming early next year. Licensed by Midway Home Entertainment and developed by Epic Games, Unreal Tournament 3 delivers "the most frantic gameplay and stunning visuals yet in the award-winning Unreal series," as well as new vehicles, new weapons, and the deepest single-player campaign in the series to date. The title is being developed on the industry's leading engine, the Unreal Engine 3, and is scheduled for shipment in early 2008.
PSP 3.80 update adds radio
As promised last week, Sony has released the 3.80 update (UK page) for its PSP handheld. Owners of the gaming system can now listen to various Internet radio streams, which are indexed by Shoutcast and accessed by going to the Network panel in the main menu. The PSP can now also import OPML feeds, and view photo streams through an option listed under RSS Channel.
Bee Docs' Timeline 2.0
Bee Documents has released Bee Docs' Timeline 2.0, an update to its timeline software that is redesigned from the ground up to support multimedia-rich timeline charts. "Bee Docs' Timeline 2.0 software allows Mac users to create beautiful and interactive timeline charts in mere minutes," the company said. The latest release is designed to work with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, and is priced at $40.
Peggle for iPod released
PopCap Games today released Peggle (site not updated) for iPod via Apple's iTunes Store. The game utilizes the iPod's clickwheel as players fire a metallic silver ball from the top of the screen, relying on gravity to propel the ball downward while it ricochets off of orange and blue 'pegs.' While attempting to clear all of the orange pegs from the screen players can hit a moving 'bucket' at the bottom for free balls, and green power-up pegs give one of ten different abilities. The game is priced at $4.99.
Windows Security in 2007
Microsoft may have readily eclipsed Apple in reducing the number of high-risk security vulnerabilities over the course of 2007, according to a list of Secunia notices compiled by ZDNet. While the security firm reported a lower number of security holes for Windows Vista than its XP predecessor, dropping the number of reported flaws from 32 to 20, all versions of Mac OS X produced a total of 243 flaws -- all but two of which are "highly critical" gaps that could significantly compromise a system if successfully exploited, according to Secunia.
Vine 3.0 released
Redstone has released v3.0 of two interrelated programs, Vine Viewer and Vine Server. Viewer is a client-side application that allows users to access and control computers anywhere in the world, so long as they are connected to a matching Virtual Network Computing (VNC) server such as the Vine equivalent; this gives people the ability to administrate or troubleshoot systems regardless of their operating system.
'iNo' iPod trivia game
Sababa Toys has unveiled iNo, a game system built specifically for Apple's iPod that makes music trivia a social and interactive activity. The object of the game is to demonstrate knowledge of music by guessing the album, artist, or song that plays when an iPod is placed into the dock. The iNo game system includes a music player, four electronic wireless remote controls that stop the music as well as lock out other players when activated, and four color-coded scoreboards that keep track of players' right and wrong guesses. The iNo includes six AA batteries and is on sale at Target.com for $100.
Fujitsu LOOX R70
Fujitsu this morning became the first computer maker to announce a notebook based on Intel's upcoming mobile Penryn processor architecture. The 12.1-inch LOOX R70 will use a consciously unnamed Core 2 Duo processor that will both improve speed and help optimize battery life to extreme levels: a stock battery will let the system run for as much as 9.7 hours, by Fujitsu's reckoning. The use of a thin, LED-backlit screen will also reduce its weight to 2.8 pounds despite the inclusion of a DVD burner.
NYC pension fund lawsuit
A group managing the pension fund for New York City's public servants is continuing a lawsuit against Apple, despite a ruling suggesting it should not, reports say. In November, Judge Jeremy Fogel of the US District Court in San Jose determined that the New York City Employees' Retirement System (NYCERS) had no basis for suing Apple over stock backdating, as it hadn't actually suffered damages. Fogel did recommend joining a derivative suit that would not have produced payouts, but NYCERS has instead chosen to re-file a second version of the suit.
iAlarm 2.0 released
Xultrasoft.com today released a major update to iAlarm, adding podcast support alongside a new user interface and complete Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard compatibility. iAlarm is designed as an easy to use alarm application for Mac systems that wakes users up with iTunes music, local weather, news podcasts, custom messages, or a classic beep. iAlarm 2.0 runs natively on Intel-based Macs as a Universal Binary, and features Alarm presets for quick selection of custom alarms. The software is available for free, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later with iTunes 3.0.x or newer.
Mio C620 and C620t GPS
Mio today released its anticipated C620 GPS navigator, bringing with it features not often seen in most GPS units. The 4.3-inch touchscreen device is the first from Mio to ship with the company's 2008 GPS software and adds an advanced level of 3D compared to most GPS units. In bird's-eye view mode, the C620 provides full, 3D representations of major landmarks and also provides elevation for bridges and significant inclines; drivers no longer have to be caught by surprise by changes in the road or their relative positions. The software is also clearer in pointing out signs ahead and is faster to get its bearings than on old models.
Google Android Phone Seen
The prototype phone Google has been using to demonstrate its Android mobile operating system has been spotted and reveals positive early developments for the Linux-based OS, according to a leak sent to Gizmodo. Virtually identical to the photo shown in official videos outside of its dark gray color, the full-keyboard smartphone's version of the OS is reportedly very quick due to its light, Linux-based code; Windows Mobile by contrast is overly complex, the report says.
Sonic the Hedgehog on iPod
Game giant Sega has released a new port of its classic game Sonic the Hedgehog, now formatted for iPods (iTunes link). The platformer is iconic to Sega, much as Super Mario Bros. represents Nintendo; the game was originally released in 1991 for the Sega Genesis, and has spawned numerous sequels which continue to this day. Players control Sonic as he races through loops, jumps and other obstacles at high speeds, collecting rings and smashing enemies on his way to fight Dr. Robotnik.
Japanese iPhone talks
Apple is already in negotiations to release the iPhone in Japan, reports indicate. Sources say that Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently met with Masao Nakamura, the president of Japan's largest wireless carrier, NTT DoCoMo. Jobs has also supposedly met with people from Japan's third-largest carrier, Softbank, and executives from both carriers are said to have flown multiple times to Apple's Cupertino headquarters. Notably excluded from reports is Japan's second-rated carrier, KDDI.
PS3 2.1 Update Live
As promised, Sony today posted the 2.1 update for its PlayStation 3 game system. The new version is the first to natively support most videos in the popular DivX format without relying on third-party transcoding software and is also the first major Blu-ray player to receive a software update to Final Standard Profile 1.1, allowing it to use advanced features in newer Blu-ray movies such as Internet use or picture-in-picture overlays. Previously, the feature has only been available preloaded with dedicated movie players such as the Panasonic DMP-BD30K.
Sprint Picks New CEO
Sprint today ended its months-long search for a chief executive by announcing that it has chosen Dan Hesse as the carrier's president and CEO. The senior staffer has recently been the head of Embarq, an Internet and phone service provider spun off from Sprint in 2006. He previously headed AT&T Wireless before its rebranding as Cingular and is widely credited with spurring the company's growth during that time. This skill will be needed as Sprint hopes to turn around its losses and move up from its third-place standing among US telecom companies, according to Sprint.
V7 D24W33 LCD
V7 began Tuesday by introducing a 24-inch screen it believes will push large LCDs to a lower cost: the D24W33 brings the 1920x1200 resolution of similar LCDs but also specifications V7 claims are reserved for premium LCDs. The display maker claims a quick, 2-millisecond average pixel response time and also makes a unique exchange for the sake of cost: instead of including a DVI input, the D24W33 uses HDMI and so lets both computers (with an adapter) and HD-capable devices connect to the screen in digital form. VGA is also available. A four-watt speaker system provides audio across either HDMI or minijack inputs.
Panorama 5.5 update
ProVUE Development recently unveiled Panorama 5.5, a new version to its high performance RAM-based database program. The new version brings a bevy of new features, such as the Enhanced Live Clairvoyance search wizard, which allows users to search through bookmarks and formulas, in a style similar to that of Spotlight. Panorama can now interface directly with Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, as well as Quicken QIF, OFX, and QFX formats, enabling the application to directly exchange data with the databases. New users can purchase Panorama 5.5 for $300, directly from ProVUE's web site.
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