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Macworld Expo photos
Macworld Expo is in its final stages of preparation, with many users showing early to acquire badges for access to Apple's keynote. Doors to the show floors were sealed, with workers hurriedly carrying materials back and forth, finalizing booths and displays. In the south hall, the Macworld Expo store is selling Mac-centric clothing items, while a magazine stand on the floor upstairs offers free copies Macworld and Mac|Life, among others.
640GB portable RAID
Sonnet Technologies has launched its Fusion F2 portable RAID storage system, which provides storage for on-location video capture or remote use when grid power is unavailable. Fusion F2 features 640GB of storage using two 2.5-inch drives mounted side by side in a rugged enclosure. Offering a low-profile, compact design measuring (5.9 x 6.2 x 0.72 inches). The compact Fusion F2 delivers high performance with data transfer rates up to twice as fast as a pair of FireWire 800 drives. Using FireWire for power only, the Fusion F2 features two eSATA data connections and is designed for use with the Sonnet Tempo SATA ExpressCard/34 adapter (MacBook Pro). By connecting via SATA interface, Fusion F2 easily supports portable video capture in conjunction with an AJA Video Systems' Io HD, which requires dedicated use of FireWire bandwidth.
OWC ships ModBook
Other World Computing (OWC) today announced that it is the exclusive distributor of the Axiotron Modbook, which began shipping to customers January 11th and announced its 320GB Mercury On-The-Go drive. The Modbook is the only tablet Mac solution based on the latest, higher performance MacBook base platform and Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. The new Axiotron Modbook Tablet also features built-in GPS. The after-market hardware modification brings true pen input, a new 13.3-inch wide screen LCD and Global Positioning System in a "tough," satin chrome-plated magnesium top shell, while keeping all the powerful features of the MacBook base system. Leveraging the built-in Inkwell handwriting recognition in Mac OS X, OWC is shipping configurations up to 2.2GHz (and other MacBook standard items, including an integrated iSight camera, Bluetooth, 802.11n/g/b Wireless, and the CD/DVD combo or Superdrive).
IOGEAR unveils new switch
IOGEAR today unveiled the Dual-Link DVI KVMP & MultiMedia Switch (site not updated, alternate switch shown at right) at Macworld Expo. The 2-port switching device allows users to share a Dual-Link DVI display, USB keyboard, mouse, and 7.1 surround-sound between two computers. The Dual-Link DVI KVMP & MultiMedia Switch supports seamless switching and consistent resolutions among computers with various operating systems by remembering the monitor's optimum parameters, according to IOGEAR. IOGEAR plans to ship the new switch for $400 in February.
Incase debuts hard covers
Incase today introduced its first hard case covers for Apple's MacBook Pro, iPhone, and iPod touch (site not updated). The cases come in an array of colors with rubberized, soft-touch, matte, and high gloss finishes. The Hardshell Case for MacBook and MacBook Pro models comes in four translucent frosted soft-touch coat4ed colors which include black, white, 'plum,' and red. The new cases are due to ship in February, with the Hardshell Case for 15-inch and 17-inch MacBooks priced at $50 and iPhone/iPod touch Slider Cases available for $35 each.
Protector Suite for Mac
UPEK today at Macworld Expo launched Protector Suite for Mac, an application that allows Mac users to increase security and convenience with the swipe of a finger. Protector Suite for Mac, in combination with Eikon Digital Privacy Manager -- a USB-based peripheral fingerprint reader -- enables Mac users to swipe their finger instead of typing passwords to log into as well access password-protected websites and secure preferences. The latest revision offers support for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, and is due to ship in several languages in the first half of 2008 (pricing was unavailable).
Apple home page, TV ad
Apple has changed its home page to reflect tomorrow's forthcoming keynote address at Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco. The title page now reads "There's something in the air," and declares that the Macworld 2008 Keynote by company CEO Steve Jobs will be available for download tomorrow afternoon. Apple will not stream live coverage of the keynote, although MacNN will provide live coverage as Jobs unveils new products and services.
Scosche Industries has unveiled a slew of new iPod and iPhone related accessories ahead of the Macworld Expo in San Francisco. First up is a line of new cases for the iPhone, iPod touch, iPod nano and iPod classic. High impact polycarbonate, flexible silicone, lightweight neoprene, anodized aluminum and military grade camouflage are used in the cases, which all feature shock protection, all button/input access and screen protection, Scosche's IPC4 clear polycarbonate case for the iPhone and ITC4 clear polycarbonate case for iPod touch have integrated kickstands and feature co-molded rubber corners for shock protection. Additional cases include a black polycarbonate case with kickstand, white polycarbonate case with kickstand, clear polycarbonate case and silicone skin and clear silicone skin and 3.5mm cable.
In addition to its 42-inch curved display, NEC today unveiled one of its largest conventional displays yet in the form of the LCD3090WQXi. The 30-inch display is built for video editors or nearly any user concerned with faithful above all else. Through new 12-bit color processing and a new backlight, the screen accurately paints 102 percent of the NTSC color gamut and nearly 98 percent of the Adobe RGB space, by NEC's estimates. It also actively corrects color uniformity problems and other issues.
Rogers to carry N95?
Nokia's N95 smartphone may finally be coming to a North American carrier, website probing hints. Rogers Wireless, Canada's only GSM carrier, now lists the phone as one of many which can download games from the company's special online store. Though the N95 is already available unlocked in North America, the very recent addition of the N95 to the Rogers website suggests special preparations, whether to carry the N95 officially or simply to support it.
Intel Shelton platform
Intel has begun distributing the details of Shelton, a set of low-cost notebook specifications, market sources claim. At Shelton's heart is a Diamondville CPU, built with a single 1.6GHz core, and a 533MHz front-side bus. The chip consumes a mere 3.5W of power, contributing to a total power consumption of just 8W. This should give Shelton systems between three and four hours of battery life. The processor is meanwhile attached to a 945GSE motherboard, which supports DirectX 9-level integrated graphics and single-channel DDR2 memory.
Sprint nabs Motorola i570
Sprint/Nextel has adopted a new Motorola phone, meant for use on its Direct Connect iDEN network. Direct Connect lets users treat phones as a walkie-talkie, with the added benefit of being able to send pictures and contact information. Linking into Group Connect, users can talk to a host of people scattered across the US. The phone is the i570, a clamshell with both internal and external screens, mainly designed to be extremely rugged -- it meets the MIL-SPEC 810F standard, certifying a base amount of protection against dust, shocks and vibration.
ScanSnap S300M debuts
Fujitsu today introduced its ScanSnap S300M mobile scanner (site not updated, similar model shown at right), which it claims is the world's smallest color duplex automatic document feeding scanner for Mac users. The new device weighs less than 3.1-pounds, and boasts a compact footprint of 11.2 x 3.7 x 3.0-inches. Operating via a USB connection, the ScanSnap S300M operates without the need of an external power supply to scan documents on-the-go. The Fujitsu ScanSnap S300M scanner is slated for shipment after March 15th, 2008 for $300.
NEC 42-inch UW Monitor
NEC has unveiled a new display it says will help both for widescreen entertainment as well as for video editors and others who need a large amount of continuous screen space. Officially referred to as the CRVD-42DWX+, the screen switches from LCD to the normally TV-oriented DLP (Digital Light Projection) to allow an extra-long, curved image without bezels; two displays combine to create a single 2880x900 area. Using the technology also has the side-benefit of very intense color accuracy and performance, NEC says: where LCDs often miss colors or exhibit lag, the 42DWX+ displays as much as 170 percent of the NTSC color range with a 12-bit range (versus 8-bit for most LCDs) and draws pixels in just 0.02 milliseconds. The display also generates a much higher than usual 10,000:1 contrast ratio.
Nintendo and Sony Pad Suit
Both Nintendo and Sony have been sued over some of the technology that forms the backbone of their controllers, according to a new complaint filed against them and reported by Ars Technica. Copper Innovation Group alleges that the two game system makers are violating a patent which sends an identifier along with the wireless signal between a handheld controller and a host device. Nintendo's Wii remote and Sony's SIXAXIS both infringe on the patent by beaming unique info about each controller along with game commands, according to the lawsuit.
Morph Age 4.0 debuts
Creaceed today began shipping its Hydra 1.0 HDR photography software for Mac, and unveiled a major upgrade to its Morph Age application for morphing as well as warping images and movies. Hydra aims to give the human eye perception to photographs by creating high dynamic range (HDR) images from a series of standard photographs, either from DSLRs or traditional point-and-shoot cameras. Hydra is priced at $60, but is available for an introductory price of $40 until the end of January. Hydra requires Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard to run.
Laptop bags, charger
Contour Design has launched a new line of laptop sleeves and accessories at Macworld 2008 in San Francisco. The new peices are made of a high tech anti-microbial neoprene that features advanced breathability, which allows for quick heat dissipation; notebook computers can be put in them and still cool off. Multiple types of sleeves offer different features; the range includes basic reversible sleeves, sleeves with single pockets, handles, and fashion inspired prints and patterns. Contour Design will be exhibiting their notebook sleeves, bags, and other mobility accessories at booth 2332 at Macwold 2008 in San Francisco. The Contour mobility notebook sleeves and bags will be available in early March. Prices will start at $29.95.
EOS-5D at PMA Leak
Canon may be set to release an updated version of its well-known EOS-5D camera at the PMA photography expo this month, Canon sales reps have reportedly said. Separate DPReview forum posts note that company spokesman from the CES showfloor and Belgium say that the EOS-5D Mark II will be ready by the time the specialty show opens on the 31st. Announcements may show as early as the week preceding the event, based on Electronista's own information.
Etymotic phone headsets
Timing the launch with this week's Macworld Expo in San Francisco, Etymotic has released two new cellular headsets, the hf2 and the etyBLU. The hf2 is based on the company's ER-4P audiophile earbuds (pictured), but is intended specifically for iPhones; this means the inclusion of a microphone, as well as an end/send switch which doubles as a track skip button. The primary feature of the headset though is noise isolation, which may cut out as much as 42dB of external sound. It can be used with standard 3.5mm audio outputs when not attached to an iPhone. The hf2 set is selling now for $179.
Lenovo X61 with 45nm
Lenovo today updated its ThinkPad X series ultraportables to take advantage of the extra speed from Intel's 45-nanometer Penryn architecture Core 2 Duo chips. The new 12-inch system now has the option of a 2.1GHz or 2.3GHz processor (up from 1.8GHZ and 2GHz) and its accompanying larger 3MB of cache. Wi-Fi over 802.11n is also now a more common feature on these faster systems.
Apple's holiday quarter
Apple is due to report its December quarter results after the market closes on January 22nd, and research firm Piper Jaffray expects an upside to Wall Street expectations based primarily on Mac sales. Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster says Mac sales could reach 2.3 million -- beating out average estimates of 2.2 million -- with iPod sales of 24-26 million over Wall Street predictions of 24.7 million. Munster also says Apple may well report 2.2 million iPhone sales, just shy of average investor expectations of 2.26 million.
OLPC turns to US children
The One Laptop Per Child project will soon turn its attention toward poor American children, officials have announced. The group's XO notebook was originally built to be a $100 system for schools in Third World countries, granting computer access which might otherwise be too expensive; the final system is selling to foreign governments for $188, while Americans can get their own by buying one for themselves as well as another country. The Give 1 Get 1 bundle costs $400, however, which may still be more than some American families can afford to budget.
EU Investigates MS Again
The European Commission will investigate Microsoft once more over claims of monopoly abuse, officials from the supervisory body said today. Two cases are being launched that will address worries that the Windows developer is blocking compatibility with its software, one of which will answer accusations that the company is refusing to supply source code for its Excel and Word programs as well as the .NET programming structure and server products. Without access to key elements of Microsoft's code, rival firms cannot develop software that can guarantee compatibility with these programs or performs as well in a Windows environment, according to the claims.
Punch! ships ViaCAD Pro
Punch! Software has released ViaCAD Pro for Mac and PC. The news CAD software expands the ViaCAD family and delivers highly functional, low-cost 2D/3D design product for sophisticated, precise, general-purpose design. Positioned as a step up from its $100 entry-level solution, the Pro version gives designers the power to push beyond the boundaries of traditional curve, surface, and solid modeling by including deformation and warping technology which can bend, stretch, twist, and deform NURB bodies independent of design history. Additionally, ViaCAD provides sophisticated modeling features such as: associative NURBS-based surface creation and editing; history & feature based solid modeling, and constant and variable radius blending and chamfering.
Google iPhone traffic
iPhone traffic at Google surged to unprecedented levels during Christmas, new statistics indicate. The New York Times reports that, based on internal data from Google, more iPhones were connecting during Christmas than any other mobile device, despite the fact that industry figures show only two percent of smartphones worldwide as belonging to Apple. A few days after Christmas, iPhone traffic dropped below that of phones using the Nokia-backed Symbian operating system, but kept a second-place ranking.
Softpress Freeway 5 beta
Softpress on Monday announced its Freeway 5 Public Beta Program, to publicly share its next-generation web design product. Version 5 features the ability to create CSS menus, personalized blogger templates, the ability to easily add Google content, a range of dynamic effects (fade, blind, pulsate), and accessibility provisions such as reports and views to ensure your target audience gets exactly what they need. The company said that update includes other features and improvements, such as sliced background images, background effects, new graphic effects, nested HTML lists, Save Archive, iPhoto import, color labeling, etc. The Beta will be available from the Softpress website as a thirty-day fully-working Preview. A web form will be available for feedback and problem reporting. Customers who purchase Freeway 4 after January 1, 2008 will receive a free downloadable upgrade to the new version when it is finalized.
Amazon MP3 Pepsi Promo
Amazon and Pepsi this morning claimed a changing of the guard with word of Pepsi Stuff, a new promotional campaign bent on accomplishing for Amazon what 2004's iTunes promo did for Apple. Rather than hide complete giveaway codes under random bottle caps as with the iTunes campaign, the new promo guarantees songs based on the number of drinks: buyers instead claim points from each bottle that go towards free items. Five bottles are enough to qualify for a single song. Since every song comes in the unprotected and more universal MP3 format, nearly every user of a portable media player can claim the rewards from the campaign -- including iPhone and iPod owners, Amazon is keen to state.
Freeverse demos Neon Tango
Freeverse on Monday announced Neon Tango, a new original game for the Mac. The company said that a fully playable version of the game will be shown at Macworld Expo ((Booth #1243, South Hall) this week; the final version is expected to ship on February 5th. Neon Tango is described as "a psychedelic arcade shooter with thrilling action, eye-popping visuals, and a spoonful of retro sprinkled on top." According to the company, the title is "conceived with a gorgeous minimalism ... Neon Tango licks the shoot-em-up genre down to its chewy abstract center." Neon Tango will be available for $25 and will run as a Universal Binary on Mac OS X 10.4 or later. A G4-, G5-, or Intel-based Mac (800MHz or faster) is required.
Data Robotics is looking to expand the usefulness of its high-profile Drobo storage unit with today's news of the DroboShare. The underside companion connects to the Drobo through USB and automatically turns the robotic drive into network-attached storage (NAS) with a gigabit Ethernet connection. In contrast to some network drives, the combined storage from the RAID disk array is accessible to any computer on the local network and is the first to be viewable using most major file systems: FAT32, HFS+, NTFS, and Linux's EXT3 can be seen on the network as long as software exists to recognize them, the company explains. On Mac OS X and Windows systems, the drive will auto-mount to the network.
Marketcircle Daylite 3.7
Marketcircle has released Daylite 3.7, bringing three new product extensions -- MoneyWorks, LightSpeed and FileMaker -- as well as a time-saving report distribution tool called Daylite Delivery to the productivity suite. Daylite performs a variety of business functions, including identifying and qualifying opportunities to the delivery of projects and tracking/managing business activities and outcomes. In addition, Daylite takes advantage of Apple's Sync Services to bring Daylite contacts, appointments, tasks, and reminders to iPhone, iPod, Blackberry, Palm, Windows Mobile devices and many popular cellphones.
Apple booth preview
Apple's booth at Macworld Expo in San Francisco's Moscone Center is already shrouded in black cloth, masking the entire area where the company will showcase new products and services introduced by CEO Steve Jobs tomorrow morning. Photos taken by setteB.IT depict the company's shrouded area beneath stage lighting, and include a security guard seated in a chair to ensure Apple's well-known secrecy. Banners hung atop the Expo entrance tout the catchphrase: "2008, There's something in the air." Photos of the event center and Apple's booth follow.
Netflix Watch Instantly
Netflix has made official the expansion of its Watch Instantly program for movies to remove most of the restrictions, significantly increasing the company's influence in online movie rentals. Subscribers to all but the company's base $5 monthly plan can now watch as many movies online as they like from their PCs without an additional fee. Although not all movies qualify for the feature, roughly 6,000 titles are playable through the service. Previously, subscribers were not subject to additional charges but could only watch up to 17 hours of movies using Watch Instantly instead of DVD.
B. of America boosts Apple
An analyst with the Bank of America has raised his financial expectations for Apple based on sales figures, according to Thomson Financial. Scott Craig says that as a result of computer sales following the release of Mac OS X Leopard, he is raising his first-quarter earnings forecast from $1.52 per share to $1.60; revenue estimates, meanwhile, are being pushed from $9.3 billion to $9.6. For fiscal year 2008, Craig is predicting a growth of $5.04 per share instead of $4.87, and revenue of $31.7 billion versus $30.7 billion.
Insider updates font apps
Insider Software has released FontAgent Pro 4 and FontAgent Pro Server 2.5, updates to its font management applications for the Mac. FontAgent Pro 4 adds "Smart Profiling" for automatic discovery of font metrics; easy font searching of font metrics, descriptors, categories and keywords; automatic assignment of fonts to categories for display and searching; dynamically updating font sets; a more intelligent install that copies and configures correct plug-ins for installed creative applications; a new window for viewing, comparing, activating and printing font outlines and metrics; built-in font integrity checking; and FontSavant auto-activation and MagicMatch relevancy ranking for activating the right fonts.
Iomega expands eGo drives
Iomega this week introduced new higher capacity and dual interface models for its popular Iomega eGo Portable Hard Drive. The company, which will be showing its new eGo Portable Hard Drive models as well as the rest of its Apple-oriented products at this week's Expo (booth #4610, West Hall), expanded the lineup with new 160GB and 250GB models; both feature dual USB 2.0 and FireWire 400 interfaces and are available in Cherry Red, Jet Black and Alpine White. Iomega also announced today new 250GB USB 2.0-powered models in Cherry Red, Midnight Blue and Jet Black. Launched in June of 2007, the stylish 2.5-inch easily fits in a briefcase or purse; it features an elegantly curved chassis chrome endcaps, setting the eGo Drive apart from other portable hard drives.
Apple, China Mobile split
Apple and China Mobile have broken off all talks over the latter carrying the iPhone, Reuters reports. The iPhone is thus unlikely to ship to China in the foreseeable future, and unless the companies reconcile their differences, Apple will also be denied access to the 350 million subscribers China Mobile can provide. No reason for the split has been given; it has been suspected, though, that as hinted in earlier reports, China Mobile stood up to Apple demands for revenue sharing. Apple has traditionally insisted on collecting a portion of the income from each iPhone, as well as subscription fees.
Telus May Shift to GSM
Major Canadian cell carrier Telus is considering a largely unprecedented jump from a CDMA-based phone network to GSM, according to a report by the Toronto Star. Alleged industry contacts say the company has discussed the idea at board meetings and has been willing to explore the costs of rebuilding its network after recognizing that an upcoming frequency auction could tip the balance against the CDMA format. No move is certain, the purported sources say, but the ubiquitousness of GSM on international networks would help Telus' business by adding subscribers who need GSM phones to roam in Europe and most other countries.
IRIScan USB OCR scanner
I.R.I.S. Group has announced the release of the IRIScan 2, a portable full document scanner. The compact, light sheet-fed scanner is USB-powered and fits any laptop suitcase, according to the company. Available in both Express and Executive versions, the IRIScan 2 comes with an extended suite of applications to manage paper documents, including Readiris Pro 11 PC and/or Mac, the latest versions of IRIS' OCR software. The software will recognize documents text information and generate a PDF or an editable Office document. The scanner is designed to scan from small-sized paper documents (e.g. business cards) up to letter size documents at resolutions of up to 1200 dpi (color, grayscale or black/white). The scanner has two useful buttons, one allowing you to scan directly into Readiris, the other to launch Cardiris when you scan a business card.
Toshiba HD DVD Price Cuts
Toshiba today began the first week after CES with a major cut to its HD DVD player prices. The electronics firm is now set to reduce the normal price of the 1080i-only HD-A3 player in half from $300 to $150; the 1080p-capable HD-A30 and HD-A35 will be available for $200 and $300 respectively. The drop has allegedly been made as price is a "deal-breaker" for a mainstream audience and because HD DVD has a significant marketshare; about 50 percent of the HD movie player business and 80 percent of HD-capable notebooks belong to HD DVD, Toshiba claims. However, it is unclear whether the company has included sales of Sony's PlayStation 3 console, which ships with Blu-ray but has historically been excluded by the HD DVD Promo Group as it is not a dedicated movie player.
abcSAN iSCSI for Leopard
Small Tree Communications has announced plans to launch its abcSAN iSCSI initiator for Macs running Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. The company said it will deliver its iSCSI initiator software with Adaptec Snap Server networked storage hardware as a complete backup solution for Mac customers. Backing up several Mac computers to a Snap Server eliminates the need to purchase several external hard drives and manage them individually, according to its partner Adaptec. Small Tree's abcSAN software allows Macs to utilize the iSCSI protocol to store their backups on Adaptec's Snap Server network attached storage systems, which can store and share files and provide dedicated storage for application servers or as part of a backup to disk solution. The appliances can securely communicate with each other to integrate distributed enterprise locations and come in a wide variety of sizes.
RadTech restoration clini
RadTech on Monday announced its annual notebook restoration clinic alongside a fully stocked company store with special show pricing at this week's Macworld Expo. Once again, RadTech will host daily notebook restoration clinics, offering attendees the opportunity to bring their display and chassis damaged notebooks to RadTech's booth for demos of its preventive maintenance and restoration products and solutions (for a display or chassis). Conference attendees can also evaluate and test RadTech's full line of over 600 products, including seven new ones for iPhone and iPod, four new luggage and case offerings for notebooks, eight digital audio and high-definition video connectivity solutions and a new high-speed eSATA interface for the latest Apple's notebook computers.
YourView: icon video tags
YourView this week said it will be demonstrating its video tagging application at Macworld Expo (booth W-4336 stand 21). The YourView software, based on patented technology, makes it easy to produce and share edited videos. According to the company, YourView is "the simplest and most user-friendly software for consumers to tag, edit and filter digital video." The icon-based interface allows users to tag and navigate footage in several different ways, and then share it to iMovie HD and 08. YourView also enables users to create video clips and share on YouTube, and export video to iPod touch, Apple TV and iPhone. YourView is available now for $30; a free 15-day trial is also available online.
iCal and Google cal sync
BusyMac today announced BusySync 2.0, a free upgrade to the calendar sharing utility for iCal. In addition to its existing ability to sync iCal calendars over a LAN or the internet, BusySync 2.0 now enables users to synchronize iCal with Google Calendar, providing Web-based access to calendars from anywhere. BusySync is a Mac OS X System Preference Pane that adds peer-to-peer calendar sharing and synchronization capabilities to iCal. Designed for families and small workgroups, BusySync allows users to easily and cost-effectively share iCal calendars on a local area network and over the internet without the need for a dedicated server. Shared calendars can be viewed and edited by multiple users and changes are instantly synchronized between users. Version 2.0 also now offers bidirectional synchronization between iCal and Google Calendar.
Exibia: video scheduling
Plyxim today announced its video scheduling software for Mac OS X. The Exibia software allows clients in a multi-user, multi-platform environment to upload and schedule QuickTime-compatible videos to a centrally- located server. The Exibia Server, connected to a closed-circuit television system for broadcast, handles the scheduling and playback of the video content. Users of any platform can easily upload and schedule videos for playback using their web browser. Exibia Server is a Universal Binary that will work with any Mac running Mac OS X 10.4.2 or greater ands with an available video output. A G4-, G5- or Intel-processor is recommended. Pricing is $500 per Exibia Server License, which allows Exibia Server to run on a single Mac with unlimited Exibia Client and Exibia Web Client use. It is available beginning today.
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