At the Photo Marketing Association Show (PMA), Eastman Kodak added the EasyShare Z1012 IS Digital Camera - with 10-megapixel resolution and 12X optical zoom with optical image stabilization - to its line of Kodak EasyShare Consumer Digital Cameras. On the heel of two other EasyShare introductions at CES earlier this month, the compact Kodak EasyShare Z1012 IS camera features a high ISO (up to 3,200), a suite of exclusive features what it claims is "best in class" click-to-capture speed and auto-focus accuracy as well as smart capture technology that automatically identifies the scene and adjusts the settings to deliver an optimized picture in virtually any environment. , according to the company and advanced settings such as program, aperture and shutter priority, as well as full manual mode (PASM).
Garmin Wednesday night surprised the cellphone industry by taking its own leap into smartphones. The Nuvifone aims both to compete with the iPhone as well as to bring Garmin's experience with GPS navigation to the forefront. Almost entirely controlled by a 3.5-inch touchscreen interface, the device centers around its native GPS unit: in addition to straightforward navigation, a host of Google apps allow it to search for local businesses, check traffic, and view nearby weather. Any photos or videos taken with the built-in camera are automatically geotagged for positioning in location-based services.
Apple today unveiled iWeb 2.0.3, an 18MB patch that improves the application's stability and reliability with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. The update says little more, mirroring closely the vague nature of the patches that were released yesterday for iWork. The patch is available through the Software Update utility, or from Apple's website.
In brief: Apple jumps to number 10 in search activity, a new book on backing up in Leopard debuts, a user has compiled a list of closed-captioned movies on iTuns, Encore and PlayFirst are teaming up for Mac games, and Rocket Raid cards are now certified for Matrox ... The unveiling of the MacBook Air has caused a surge in search activity for Apple, which ranks #10 on the Lycos 50 top 10 search terms for the Week Ending Jan. 26, 2008. Apple jumped from the number 17 spot on last week's list. In other news, former President Bill Clinton sees more search interest this week than his wife, presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton. Search activity for Mr. Clinton is up 1,400 percent.
HumanSoftware today began shipping MagicFrames 3000 plug-in Universal, its plug-in for Corel and Adobe Photoshop/Elements. The plug-in adds edges, frames, borders, or special pattern effects to images. Users choose from more than 3,000 frames and 1,200 edges using an editable layering system. The update works in RGB16b mode, and features a special dialog box to easily create custom frames. MagicFrames 3000 is priced at $100.
Apple today launched a series of tutorials geared toward PC owners who are entertaining the prospect of owning a Mac. The three current guides already available include 'Anatomy of a Mac,' 'Move to Mac,' and 'Windows on a Mac.' Anatomy of a Mac explains the process of using a Mac right away, including the internet setup assistant and the desktop. The tutorial covers the Finder, Dashboard, Mail, the Safari Web browser, iChat, Address Book, iCal, Preview, iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, Spaces, Time Machine, and System Preferences. The video also introduces Stacks and the Menu Bar.
T-Mobile USA is currently the target of a class action suit regarding customers that have no interest in text messaging but are still being charged for the service. According to RCRWireless News, the company requires that users have a text message plan, lest they be charged for even unsolicited text messages. Users that do not have any use for text messaging have formed a class action suit, citing that T-Mobile USA is engaging in a wrongful business scheme, supposedly designed to cheat a large number of users out of small sums of money.
Macessity has unveiled its MX4 Rack Tray for Mac mini, a device made specifically for Apple's smallest desktop Mac. The tray features designated locations for one Mac mini at each corner, supporting up to four of the systems while providing ample ventilation via air slots in the base. Holes located in the tray sides allow for easy cable management, according to Macessity, while cable ties (not included) hold down excess cabling. The MX4 Rack Tray is priced at $60, and includes mounting screws.
LANDesk Software today unveiled LANDesk Security Suite 8.8, an update that brings data leakage progression, wireless access point detection enhancements, patch management, host intrusion prevention, and other enterprise-level benefits. Data leakage prevention allows administrators to govern what information can leave a facility, reducing the chance that sensitive data will be made available to malicious or naive employees. New customers can purchase LANDesk Security Suite 8.8 for $60.
After an initial release in Japan, JVC this afternoon wasted little time in bringing its two new Everio HD cameras to North America. The HD5 and HD6 (HD6 shown) are not only much smaller than the HD7 they replace -- now 45 percent smaller, according to JVC -- but are also the first to output a full-speed, 60 frames per second 1080p image when attached to a TV. An HDMI 1.3 connector provides x.v.Color support for extra color depth for HDTVs that support the feature. Shots are saved to disk at 1080i.
Sony has uncovered two future additions to its line of portable photo printers, the FP95 and FP75 (not pictured). Both are designed to print 4x6 images in approximately a minute, but the latter is a relatively basic model, with a 3.5-inch screen, and simpler editing functions including enlargement, rotation and color tweaking. Supported memory card formats include SD, xD and Memory Stick, although virtually any modern camera can print directly through a PictBridge port.
Ending speculation, Sony today updated its Alpha-series digital SLRs with two models targeted at photographers only just graduating from compacts. Both the 10.2-megapixel A300 and 14.2-megapixel A350 are the first to bring a unique swiveling LCD that offers both camera settings and a live preview of the actual image regardless of the actual viewing angle. Improving on most live SLR previews, however, the new system does not slow down autofocusing speed while in use.
Artis Software and The Iconfactory have released xScope 2.0, an update to the application that allows users to measure as well as compare and contrast anything on the screen. The update adds 'Dimensions,' a simple tool that projects a beam from the mouse cursor to instantly locate the edges of images, margins, and blocks of text. The latest revision also adds screen support for Apple's iPhone and Windows Mobile. xScope 2.0 is priced at $28, with upgrades from version 1 available for $10. The software requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
Sprint will not only continue to support its iDEN network, it will attempt to breathe more life into it, the company's CEO says. Rumors have persisted that the company would shut down its push-to-talk technology, which was inherited through the purchase of Nextel and was once in widespread use with the likes of construction firms and taxi companies. Although iDEN devices are still used by millions of Sprint/Nextel subscribers, the Associated Press notes that business and technical issues -- namely dropped, blocked or garbled calls -- have led thousands of people to cancel their accounts.
Pentax expects to offer an even higher-end digital SLR than its just-introduced K20D, company product manager John Carlson has confirmed. A roadmap for the electronics maker reveals that a new, higher-end camera should be enroute sometime in 2009 and will be considered the first fully professional camera from Pentax. It "would be a new category" for the company, Carlson says. Most of the company's camera line centers around point-and-shoot compact models.
Clearwire has indeed resumed talking with Sprint about merging the two companies' WiMAX networks, Reuters reports. The information comes directly from Clearwire CEO Ben Wolff, who says that negotations are not only active, but have made progress. The companies are also said to be collaborating in areas beyond merging, though Wolff is refusing to elaborate on details. He has also declined to comment on whether Sprint and Clearwire's WiMAX assets would be merged with outside investments, as suggested by the Wall Street Journal.
Sony this afternoon revealed that it would follow up its Cyber-shot updates with a trio of digital photo frames under the S-Frame label to showcase images taken with these and any other camera. The 7-inch DPF-D70, equally 7-inch DPF-V700, and 9-inch DPF-V900 (none yet pictured) all have 800x480 resolutions but are some of the few digital frames capable of handling very high-quality photos; all can handle RAW shots (in ARW, SRF, and SR2 formats) and are built on a downscaling processor that can handle up to 48-megapixel shots in most image types. The top two models also support Bluetooth adapters to wirelessly upload photos from cellphones.
Apple today announced that its new Apple TV software update, which allows users to rent high definition movies directly from the living room, is "not quite finished." The company says it plans to make the free software download -- which CEO Steve Jobs unveiled during his keynote speech at Macworld in San Francisco earlier this month -- available to existing Apple TV customers in "another week or two."
Dell today sent word that it will drop its longtime Direct Store practice. All of the Texas PC maker's 140 try-before-buying kiosks currently operating in the US will be shut down; the points of sale are less useful now that the company's computers are already available at Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and a handful of other locations, Dell claims. The shift will also help Dell return some of its focus to the direct sales model that formed the backbone of the company's business for most of its existence.
Both Google and Dell are collaborating on a handset, says a new claim by ad magazine MarketingWeek. Reportedly contacting "senior industry sources," the publication believes that the two firms will announce a phone as soon as the Mobile World Congress show in mid-February. Few details are available of the purported development, though the device would most likely be powered by Google's Linux-based Android mobile operating system and may serve as a vehicle for promoting the software to other handset makers.
Gateway today announced the shipment of several new desktop computers, the focus of which is the GM5664. Sold only at retail, the system is one of the few mainstream computers with a hybrid Blu-Ray/HD DVD drive, allowing playback of both HD media types, though it can only burn standard DVDs and CDs. The system is also equipped with a quad-core AMD Phenom 9600 processor, a 1TB hard drive, and a 256MB Radeon HD 2400 XT video card. It is currently selling for $1,150. As a cheaper option, the GT5662 switches to a DVD SuperMulti drive, a Phenom 9500 chip, and a smaller 500GB hard drive. Its price is $750.
Italian sports car manufacturer Ferrari has given praise to Apple Inc. (Italian), calling the company a "myth" that started from nothing and evolved into the most innovative company in the world. Ferrari president Luca Cordero di Montezemolo dubbed Apple revolutionary, adding that the Mac and iPod maker boasts extraordinary communication skills, according to setteB.IT. Montezemolo also made light of the fact that Apple is close to young people, and cited Google as well as Ralph Lauren among the most dynamic companies today.
Nikon's new D60 SLR, announced just yesterday, will additionally be one of the first cameras to be a part of Eye-Fi's Connected program, the latter company has announced. Eye-Fi produces self-named Wi-Fi memory cards, which allow people to copy data without removing a card from a device; this involves a special configuration process, which sets up automatic transfers. Files can not only be sent to computers, but websites such as Facebook and Flickr.
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe today rejected claims of a 120GB PS3. The company does "not currently have any plans" to release an upgraded console of the kind in the UK or Europe at large, according to a spokesperson. However, the PlayStation maker also did not account for dwindling stocks of 80GB models in other areas, including now confirmed reports that Best Buy was phasing out the 80GB version in favor of the base 40GB system.
Kollective.de has introduced an updated version of its TINBOT iPod cases. As the name implies, they are made of impact-resistant tin, but they are also lined internally with neoprene, preventing scraping and offering extra protection against outside forces. The updated cases have been slimmed down, but focus primarily on offering new art choices from illustrators such as Christopher Lee, Jeremy Madl and Kurt Ketchum. Additionally, people can buy a matte-white TINBOT if they want to add their own decoration.
MySpace this morning firmed up details of the MySpace Developer Platform, its programming interface first announced in October that will let third parties write their own applications for the social networking site. Like Facebook's longstanding interface, developers will be able to hook their programs into some of MySpace's key features and will also have opportunities to collect revenues and advertise their apps on the larger MySpace network, according to the company.
Apple may have a difficult time reaching its 2008 sales goal of 10 million iPhones, says market publication The Street. The publication notes that while Apple has sold over four million iPhones to date, to reach 10 million by the end of this year, it will have to average 2.5 million phones per quarter, which is 200,000 more than what was sold during the last, holiday-driven December quarter. The company is also facing a number of financial obstacles, internal and external.
The US Department of Justice yesterday extended its 2002 sanctions against Microsoft, forcing the software developer to abide by rulings made in a consent decree until November 2009 instead of the original December 2007 timeframe. The decision comes after Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who presided over most of the 2002 case, determined that Microsoft had not adequately published enough documentation for its software programming interface to resolve the original complaints of an unfair advantage over competitors in developing Windows software.
As promised, Sony today issued its version 3.9 System Update for the slim PSP. The software primarily adds Skype support for the newer handheld consoles and allows users to place and take the same voice-over-Internet calls as Skype's software for computers, including free calls between Skype members and paid calls to or from real-world phone numbers. The update adds an entire Skype section that lets users browse their Skype contact lists as though they were part of the PSP's normal crossbar interface.
The iTunes U section of the iTunes Store (iTunes link) has expanded with material from a number of different institutions. Among these is PBS, which has added content from the national network, and local stations such as KQED (San Francisco), WETA (Washington, DC), WGBH (Boston) and WNET (New York). This consists mostly of video snippets for teachers, such as clips on topics like solar eclipses and nanotechnology, but also full-length documentaries, and lesson plans for shows like Ken Burns' The War.
A day before the PMA photography show, Sony on Wednesday has revealed what it says is one of the largest and fastest sensors ever available for digital SLR cameras. The new imager is Sony's first to reach full-frame resolution and generates 24.8 megapixels, higher than the 21.1 of the Canon EOS-1D Mark III and even some medium-format cameras. Simultaneously, the sensor is claimed to be useful for action photography through a unique process known as the Column-Parallel A/D Conversion Technique; by including an analog-to-digital converter for each sensor column, the sensor can output completed images at up to 6.3 frames per second. This also has the side benefit of reducing noise at higher ISO levels, according to Sony.
Upgrade specialist FastMac has announced a new upgraded notebook battery, designed specifically for the 17-inch MacBook Pro. By swapping it with the default unit, owners are said to gain extended battery life, over and above the 5.75 hours promised by Apple. Along those lines, the FastMac battery is rated at 71Wh, surpassing Apple's 68Wh figure. Both batteries, however, use lithium-polymer cells, and have LED lights to indicate charge status. The new FastMac model should ship within 10 days, and can be pre-ordered now for $100; this is said to be $30 cheaper than a replacement from Apple.
Western Digital began Wednesday by introducing a redesigned version of the My Passport Essential external notebook drive. In addition to a new look that is said to recall the company's desktop-minded My Book drives, the Essential is designed to be as simple to setup as possible. Both Macs and PCs can plug the drive into a USB port and have it in use almost immediately. On Windows PCs, both the WD Sync backup and data encryption software as well as a suite of Google tools install automatically the first time the drive is plugged in. Most notebooks can power the drive entirely from the USB port rather than a separate (but still optional) external power cable.
ASUS is expanding its Eee PC line to include not one but multiple extra models, including an all-in-one desktop, the company said today at a press event. The E-Monitor will aim to do what the original Eee PC notebook did for portables by reducing the cost of entry for the class; the system will have a screen between 19 and 21 inches large but use Intel's low-cost Shelton platform to help drive down prices. A finished system should cost just $500 despite including a TV tuner, ASUS says. The Taiwan PC maker does not elaborate on full details but is most likely to use Linux to improve both relative performance and the cost, which is less than half that of the $1200 base iMac it sees as a rival.
TEAC recently unveiled the inCore Audio ZE-1000 headphones that use high-definition drivers to provide rich and lifelike sound. TEAC claims the headphones provide a full range of audio, and provide superior sound isolation due to a five-layer cushion around the driver. The speakers use a balanced armature, which reportedly gives natural dynamics to sound, and layers of textures and subtleties. TEAC did not mention pricing or availability for the inCore Audio ZE-1000 headphones.
Eye-Fi recently unveiled Eye-Fi Manager 126.96.36.199, an update to its device management software for the Eye-Fi wireless storage card. The update brings with it iPhoto integration, and increased stability for both Mac and PC users. Users also receive a firmware update, which improves the card's performance when it is in less-than-optimal broadcasting conditions, and enhanced compatibility with Kodak's Easy Share cameras. Existing users are able to upgrade for no additional charge.
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Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive, Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl