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With the compatibility provided by their new Intel processors, and Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard's secure nature, Macs are slowly making their way into the business sector, replacing their Windows-based counterparts. As businesses adopt the Mac platform, there is a greater need for productivity software, something which Windows computers have no shortage of options. Marketcircle's Daylite Productivity Suite gives users a full-featured business application that allows users to plan and coordinate their work day with others, while integrating Apple Mail's powerful features with projects and contacts.
Netgear today announced new drives in its ReadyNAS line of shared network drives, coming in 1.5TB, 2TB, 3TB, 4TB Desktop and 4TB Rackmount sizes. The drives feature a Gigabit Ethernet connector to hook the drive up to networking equipment with Jumbo Frames support which provides maximum data throughput speeds. The ReadyNAS drives feature RAID levels 0, 1, and 5, and use Netgear's proprietary X-RAID technology, allowing users to scale their RAID setups from 1 to 4 disks, or more. Netgear is selling the drives starting from $1100, and are available through retailers nationwide.
PlayFirst recently unveiled Dress Shop Hop, a new game based on Flo's world from Diner Dash where players help Bobbi, an aspiring designer, gather customers and create new fashions to sell. Players design and sell custom clothes out of their bustling boutique according to a customers wants and needs, with patterns ranging from solid colors to off-the-wall swatch designs. Players can enjoy the demo for 30 minutes, with a full version available for download fro PlayFirst's website for $20.
Tunewear has begun shipping its PRIE Rawhide for third-generation iPod nanos, a genuine leather case with a rugged flip-style enclosure available in either black or brown leather. The case comes in four different designs, forgoing the usual hooks and clips to offer an extremely thin protective cover for Apple's newest iPod nano. Tunewear's PRIE Rawhide is priced at $25, and comes with a free Tunefilm to cover the iPod's screen, click-wheel, and mirrored back.
Ikanos Consulting has revealed a new web app that should bring most of the features of Windows Vista's SideShow auxiliary display technology to Apple's latest handheld devices. Beta 3 of the firm's Go Gadgets utility depends on new web rendering code that simulates a native iPhone or iPod touch program while still offering remote functionality to use content from a Vista computer regardless of its current state: users can receive news feeds, navigate PowerPoint presentations, and steer music playback from the Apple hardware.
Some car owners and other users of General Motors' OnStar service may find themselves in trouble this February, the Associated Press notes. As of February 18th, the FCC will allow GM to halt the analog version of OnStar, in a bid to make its network all-digital. The difficulty is that while the approximately one million OnStar cellphones can be replaced, some cars built as late as 2005 can only access OnStar via analog signals, and have no support for GM's $15 digital upgrade. Meanwhile, some home alarm systems with OnStar must default to a backup connection without analog.
PodWare has introduced a new iPod-oriented t-shirt designed as stylish and comfortable apparel with double-needle bottom hem and sleeves. The new shirt has special holes for iPod headphones to prevent tangling, and works with Apple's second-generation iPod nano (1GB, 2GB, and 4GB models) as well as first-generation iPod shuffles. The new shirt is priced at $26, and comes in black as well as white with sizes ranging from small to XL.
Danish luxury HDTV maker Zepto has wrapped up its year by releasing its new Helios LCD sets. Both the 32-inch A32 and 40-inch A40 have the option of a built-in wireless media center that picks up nearby Windows XP Media Center or Vista Home Premium computers on the local network, allowing the TV to stream video or other content without a separate set-top box. The bundled TV remote switches over to browsing the networked content, Zepto notes.
Dell has answered what it says is a common request and has today added more display options to its XPS M1530 gaming notebook. While the original 1280x800 version of the 15.4-inch display is still available, the Texas system builder now has the option of either a 1440x900 or 1680x1050 resolution screen at the same size. The new resolution should both a larger work area in the same space as well as a sharper image for HD movies played from the optional Blu-ray drive.
The Recording Industry Association of America may be turning to artificial news segments to drive Internet users away from file sharing and other bootleg copies, says a tip provided to Ars Technica. The group, which primarily represents major music labels, is said to have produced a fake news clip -- known in the industry as a video news release -- that it hopes TV stations will use to fill gaps in the networks' news shows and effectively promote its own agenda.
Two Japanese companies have won licenses that should see WiMAX take firmer hold in the world, Reuters reports. Government officials have granted licenses to a group led by KDDI, Japan's second-largest cellular provider, and Willcom, a company controlled by the US-based Carlyle Group. KDDI is partnering with Intel and phone maker Kyocera, and plans to use WiMAX to launch a new broadband service in 2009; Willcom will follow suit with a similar service in the same timeframe. KDDI notes though that its venture will be expensive, costing as much as $1.3 billion by the end of 2013.
Apple may be poised to announce that it has sold a full five million iPhones by the time of the company's Macworld San Francisco Expo keynote in mid-January, according to an unverified report. Purported insiders suggest the company is on track to reach the figure due to extremely strong holiday-inspired sales as well as the added sales figures from international releases: roughly 1 million, or 20 percent, of these sales would come from outside the US, according to the claim.
Microsoft is attempting to secure a patent for technology that would prevent users from skipping ads in downloaded videos, according to a new filing with the US Patent Office. The technique would insert a digital rights management (DRM) token inside the file that would prevent users from playing the intended video until relevant ads are viewed. It would also allow a content producer to insert ads into a downloaded video at its own discretion.
Mpio's latest media player is the MG300, due to launch first in Japan. Distinguishing the device is the presence of not one but two control pads, which more neatly divide play, forward/reverse and track skipping options; the second pad also has a Record button, tied to the 300's built-in microphone. The player is equipped with a 2.4-inch LCD, and comes bundled with AVI conversion software that supports DivX, XviD, WMV and MPEG-1/2/4 video. Supported audio types include APE, FLAC, MP3 and WMA.
Acer on Friday has provided a late addition to its notebook offerings. The new Extensa line is based on the same semi-toughened shell as the TravelMate business series but is aimed at users who need only slightly more than the essentials: the design is small with a 14-inch screen but always includes a dual-core processor, a DVD burner, and a 120GB hard disk, helping it drive modern software.
The Eee PC is proving to be selling even better than predicted by analysts, the computer's maker claims. ASUS says that in less than three months it has sold just short of 350,000 Eees worldwide, beating 300,000-unit estimates made by unspecified third parties. Either number would be unusually high for a notebook, especially when only part of a company's collection; this may affect forecast totals for January, which were last pegged at just 400,000.
Mustek plans to stand out at the Consumer Electronics Show with the introduction of the PF-i700, its latest-generation digital photo frame. The new 7-inch display will be one of the few to find room for an iPod dock; cradling the Apple player in the frame will not only let users display images from the iPod but also play music and movies courtesy of stereo speakers and a minijack for outputting sound to headphones or speakers. The setup reportedly eliminates the excess cabling of a TV setup while also providing the portability of a photo viewer.
AT&T today announced that it is extending store hours at all of its retail locations on Wednesday, December 26th to accommodate the expected flurry of post-holiday shoppers. "Wireless devices and services, and especially the iPhone, are at the top of many holiday wish lists this year, and many will be looking for new accessories for their new handsets the day after Christmas," said Paul Roth, president of sales and marketing for AT&T's wireless business. "We're opening our doors early in as many locations as possible and adding extra staff to accommodate the needs of these customers."
QuickerTek has announced that its Quicky Mac wireless booster is now shipping with a stronger case, answering customer requests to make the device more rugged. The Quicky expands the wireless reception of any MacBook, iBook, or PowerBook from Apple's built-in 30mW AirPort card to 500mW. The device is priced at $225 and comes with a 1-year warranty on parts and labor.
Nokia has announced yet another delay for its N-Gage online service. N-Gage was originally slated to launch in November, in part to support its N81 gaming phone; the date was then moved to this week, but the company now says that N-Gage is still in no shape for a debut. The network's 1,000 testers are said to have encountered "unexpected difficulties," meaning that the early-adopter First Access program will not begin until after the holidays.
Ambrosia Software has released updates to two applications and one game, signaling the arrival of WireTap Studio 1.0.4 along with iSeek 1.1.3 and pop-pop 1.0.6. WireTap Studio 1.0.4 is a free update to the audio recording and management application that offers enhanced Leopard compatibility alongside other fixes and enhancements. WireTap Studio is priced at $70 and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later. Upgrades for WireTap Pro users are priced at 30.
TeleCommunication Systems (TCS) today revealed that it has begun a lawsuit against BlackBerry creator Research in Motion for patent infringement. The complaint from the Maryland-based company alleges that RIM is violating a patent for a universal wireless e-mail reader by making available a multi-network mail client that can check multiple services at once and at different intervals; TCS has been negotiating with RIM to license the technology but chose to sue once discussions proved unsuccessful, according to the complaint.
Boomwave has released two new series of iPod cases, both under the Klique Leather moniker. In all instances the company's Touch and Classic Kliques come in two-tone color combinations, such as beige and grey, brown and orange, and white and pink; they are further divided into cases with flame-styled embossing, or ones with laser-etched patterns. The cases are moreover distinguished by not only coming with screen protectors, but also wallet chains for those worried about theft.
Apple will use the chipsets that form the basis of Intel's ultra-mobile PC (UMPC) and mobile Internet device (MID) reference platforms, according to a claim by AppleInsider. Expanding on previous statements from Taiwan suppliers, the rumor site points to Apple using the 45-nanometer Silverthorne mobile chip for "multiple products" during 2008. The small manufacturing process lets it run as quickly as the better Pentium M chips that preceded the Core Duo but consume less than 2 watts of power -- less than a tenth of a typical notebook processor, based on Intel's own figures. Modern Core 2 Duo notebook processors consume an average 25 watts or more at their thermal design limits.
Microsoft has released a new beta of its Open XML File Format Converter for Mac OS X. The utility converts Open XML documents into a format readable by Office v. X or Office 2004 for Mac, and supports batch operations in addition to single-file use. Five different file types can be altered: these include standard and macro-enabled Word documents (.DOCX and .DOCM), as well as PowerPoint shows, templates and presentations (.PPSX, .POTX and .PPTX files).
Cell provider Cricket concluded the week before Christmas with the introduction of two high-profile phones to its lineup. The appearance of the RAZR 2 V9m marks the first appearance of the handset outside of the top five carriers and is set to take advantage of the carrier's unlimited phone, messaging, and data plans; like the reference versions available at Alltel, Sprint, and Verizon, the Cricket version has a 2-megapixel camera usable for media messaging and a 3G-level EVDO connection for web browsing. The handset continues to Bluetooth with stereo audio support and a microSD slot, and should be available now for $400 without a contract.
Helio on Friday took the unusual step of launching the Samsung Mysto first for Korean-language users of its US-based service, taking advantage of the company's roots in Korea's SK Telecom. Believed to have its roots in the U600, the thin slider shares the features of Helio's more recent phones, including its 2-megapixel camera, true GPS with a Buddy Beacon feature to locate Helio-using friends, and a heavy emphasis on its 3G Internet access. Users can both stream videos and upload them through YouTube, though the device is not believed to run the same YouTube app as the Pantech-made Ocean.
Shareholders suing Apple on the basis of its backdating scandal have refiled their case, expanding it considerably, Reuters says. US District Judge Jeremy Fogel stated, recently, that wrongdoings from before June 2001 could no longer be considered in the plaintiffs' case; the new suit though has grown from 86 pages to 153, and introduces four new allegations of options backdating by Apple management. With these included, the proceeds from the scandal are said to have been over $1 billion, the value of shares given to CEO Steve Jobs in exchange for options rated at just under the $1 billion mark.
LG's Viewty touchscreen phone may well be outselling the iPhone in the UK despite the sheer amount of publicity, according to an update from the national phone reseller Dial-a-Phone. Also known as the KU990, the device has sold about 310,000 units since going on sale in Europe in early November, overlapping the same period as the British and German iPhone launches. The number amounts to about 6,300 phones sold per day and has outperformed sales of the already successful and less costly Chocolate and Shine lines during similar periods, according to LG.
Sharp and Toshiba today vowed to change the TV business with a new alliance that will play off of each other's strengths. Under the deal, Sharp will receive semiconductors from Toshiba to handle the image processing in its AQUOS sets; Toshiba in turn will receive LCD panels for all of its HDTVs from 32 inches and larger. This expansion will be necessary to keep up with the sheer demand for LCDs, the companies say: as much as half of Sharp's circuit needs will be filled by Toshiba by 2010, while 40 percent of Toshiba's screens will come from Sharp at the same time.
Massively Multiplayer Online games – commonly referred to as MMOs – are quickly becoming one of the most played genres in the world, with millions of users worldwide subscribing to games like Everquest, World of Warcraft, Star Wars: Galaxies. With the Intel Macs saturating the market, Mac gamers have a lot of games to look forward to, with the help of Boot Camp, but some users prefer to stay in the Mac environment for their daily activities. Sadly, very few major MMO games make their way to the Mac, but with the help of Cider and wider Mac awareness, users can expect to see more hot titles gracing the Mac platform.
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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