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Sony-Ericsson is expected to unveil a new G-series of phones, which consist of two predicted models. Enthusiast news site SEfanatics reports that the new models will be called the G900i and G700i, and are expected to be shown February 10th. The G900i, codenamed Tyra, will supposedly feature a 2.6-inch screen, WLAN, and a 5-megapixel camera. Meanwhile, the G700i, codenamed Josephine, will also feature the 2.6-inch screen, but with a 3.2-megapixel camera and sans WLAN.
France's Orange wireless service provider will reach its goal of 100,000 iPhones a little late, past its earlier anticipated target of the end of last year. January saw the total count reach 90,000 units, as compared to 70,000 in the month prior. CNN Money reports that half of the purchased units were going to new Orange customers. For the rest of 2008, Orange hopes to sell between 400,000 and 500,000 units.
Anyone who uses a computer should learn to type, but not everyone has the time to learn. To teach typing, Ten Thumbs Typing Tutor offers a self-paced program that guides users from learning proper finger placement to measuring typing speed and accuracy. While designed for beginners, the program can also help intermediate typists improve their skills as well. Multiple users can create their own accounts and the program tracks the progress of each person. Ten Thumbs Typing tutor can even adapt to different keyboard layouts (such as the Dvorak layout), as well as foreign language keyboards.
Adobe has released Adobe Reader 8.1.2, an update to the PDF viewing software that opens as well as interacts with PDF documents. The application allows users to view, search, digitally sign, verify, print, and collaborate on Adobe PDF files. The latest revision addresses numerous workflow issues and security vulnerabilities while providing more stability, according to Adobe. Adobe Reader 8.1.2 is available for free, and requires Mac OS X 10.4.3 or later.
Apple's Vancouver store has finally been sectioned off in the Pacific Center mall, and Montreal residents can expect Canada's first two-storey retail location. IfoAppleStore reports that the new 6700 square-foot location sits on the second level of the mall, on the Granville side south of Dunsmuir. The space, formerly rented by clothing retailer Holt-Renfrew, was divided up among several shops that will be opening their doors within the next year. Apple has not provided a date at which they expect construction to be finished.
Apple today released QuickTime 7.4.1 for Mac OS X Panther, Tiger, and Leopard as well as Microsoft Windows. The update beefs up security while improving compatibility with third-party applications. Users who don't update to QuickTime 7.4.1 could visit a maliciously crafted website that could lead to unexpected application termination, or arbitrary code execution.
Japan's DoCoMo wireless provider is currently in talks with Apple over the iPhone, with current conversation revolving around technological issues, as well as the division of profit. Bloomberg reports that a partnership with DoCoMo would most likely mean Apple is preparing a W-CDMA version of the iPhone Ė DoCoMo operates on this standard rather than the current GSM standard the iPhone operates under. Apple is concerned that adopting W-CDMA could potentially cannibalize the company's existing markets.
A company in the Canadian province of Quebec will soon match Verizon in deploying some of the fastest consumer Internet access in North America, according to reports. Cable supplier Videotron is preparing to debut two "Ultimate Speed Internet" plans, capable of downloads at 30 and 50Mbps, respectively. This is an upgrade on the company's current top tier of 20Mbps, and takes advantage of pre-DOCSIS 3.0 technology. The plans will cost $65 and $80 CAD per month.
Yahoo's caution in the face of an acquistion bid by Microsoft may be costing the latter company a good deal of money, one report suggests. The difficulty is that the proposed bid is half cash and half stock, with a share exchange ratio of 0.9509 Yahoo shares for each one from Microsoft. Because Microsoft's share price has fallen approximately 10 percent since the bid was announced, the average compensation for a Yahoo shareholder today would be $29.50 per share.
In brief: We've posted a Fujitsu ScanSnap S510M review, Polk Audio products will soon show up in Apple stores, Northwestern students used iPhones to gauge Super Bowl ads, Nielsen has Yahoo!/Microsoft merger metrics, and Tessera has acquired Fotonation ... We have posted a review of the Fujitsu ScanSnap S510M, which seems to be the one exception to various negative assumptions about scanners. It is a small scanner, about the size of a loaf of bread (11.2 in. ◊ 6.2 in. ◊ 6.2 in.), and weighs only 5.9 lb. The paper feeder can hold 50 sheets and it can scan a variety of paper sizes, including 8.5 x 14.17-inches (216 x 360 mm) down to 2 x 2-inches (50.8 x 50.8 mm). At best, the ScanSnap can scan color documents at 600dpi, black and white at 1,200dpi, and Duplex at 0.6 pages per minute to 1.2 images per minute.
Yojimbo 1.5.1 ($40) a maintenance update that includes fixes for various reported issues to this popular, easy to use information organizer. Yojimbo 1.5.1 requires Mac OS X 10.4.3 or later, and is compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). Yojimbo stores different data types: text notes, passwords, Web bookmarks, product serial numbers, PDFs, images, and web archives. Data input into Yojimbo follows familiar Mac user interface gestures such as copy-and-paste, drag-and-drop, a Quick Input Panel, or PDF Services from the Print menu. [Download - 10.4MB] Tidy Up! 1.3.3 ($30) search for duplicate files and packages; by the owner application, content, type, creator, extension, date modified, date created, name, label, visibility and more. You can also search by the tag, duration and bit rate of MP3s and AACs audifiles, search the content of the iTunes, iPod and iPhotdatabases, search the messages of Mail and synchronize deletions with iTunes, iPhotand Mail. The new release adds compatibility with iTunes 7.6, adds three new filters for the creation of smart†reports. It also has the ability to report items that do or do not end with numbers, and to report the smallest- or largest-sized files for each duplicate group. [Download - 8.4MB] File Stitcher 2.0 ($15) a utility that provides users an easy way to merge either MP3 files or text files together. To use File Stitcher, simply drag and drop files into the window and click the "Stitch the files" button to start the process. †A progress bar will show the process, and after MP3s are merged, the user has the option of editing the ID3 tags for the new file. The new release is a Universal Binary for Mac OS X and adds compatibility for Leopard. [Download - form] DX Toolbox 3.2.0 ($25) radio propagation / conditions analysis and forecasting tool for amateur radio operators, shortwave listeners, and other radio enthusiasts. This version adds: automated updating of the three propagation; forecasting displays as the cursor is moved around the world map.; Updates for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard; Improvements to the user interface and several bug fixes.[Download - 5MB] PDF Converter Professional 5 ($100) PDF desktop alternative to Adobe Acrobat. This release has a set of new capabilities and improvements, all designed to simplify and streamline the way people work with PDF. It also has support for the emerging XML Paper Specification (XPS) document format.
A new phone from Motorola appears to harken back to technology generally thought of as outdated, FCC filings show. Though not much larger than the average handset, the M990 Smart Rider is actually a fixed-place carphone, requiring professional installation. Carphones were once the only form of cellular technology available due to size, but have mostly been replaced in the public and private spheres by handheld devices.
Envision today took a different approach to its normally minimal displays by adding both the 19-inch G917w1 and 22-inch G2219w1 to its roster of Professional Series LCDs. Instead of a matte finish, the new screens are given a glossy black shell that fits more neatly alongside more stylized desktop PCs or as a miniature home theater when detached and mounted on a wall with a VESA attachment. Both also support HDCP encryption on their DVI ports to guarantee playback of certain protected HD videos when a computer's video card supports the secure video path.
Motorola today drummed up attention by announcing that the ROKR E8 music phone would ship first to the US as a gift at the Oscars. Echoing its practice from last year with the RIZR Z3, the nominees for the top directing and acting roles get a special version of the phone with a special blue (male) or red (female) false iguana-print box as well as a ROKR S9 HD Bluetooth stereo headset. Each box is personalized to include the actors' and actresses' individual names and their potential Oscar wins.
Information about Dell's XPS 730 H2C has slipped out ahead of its full announcement, says Engadget. Spotting the PC inside Dell, a tipster confirms that the new high-end gaming desktop will have four externally-accessible drive bays as well as slightly reworked interior watercooling. The system will also be based on Intel's most recent X-series mainboard platform and should support DDR3 memory as well as NVIDIA's triple SLI technology that permits as many as three distinct video cards to provide an extra boost to 3D games.
Following test marketing in several areas during 2007, Sprint has officially launched its Unlimited Access Plan nationwide. The package can be tied to any phone sold by the carrier, and not only includes unlimited web browsing and e-mail, but unlimited voice calls, text messaging and MMS picture transfers. The option is not intended for the average subscriber, however, as it costs $120 a month, and must be bought from a Sprint retail store. This price is also increased if people choose a smartphone, since these require either Power Vision access or a special BlackBerry service plan. Should a person cancel within the first 30 days, they are obligated to pay for actual use.
Early images have purportedly leaked for two upcoming Sony Ericsson cellphones, each using a codename based on a woman tennis player. Of the two the Alona may be the most significant, as its design varies radically from that of most modern phones from the company. Externally the phone bears more similarities to LG phones such as the Shine and the Chocolate, complete with the latter's red music controls. Internally it more closely resembles some Japanese phones, with a white surface and a deeply-recessed numeric keypad.
AT&T today said it would rapidly expand its third-generation (3G) cellular data network over the course of 2008, greatly improving coverage of the relatively fledgling service. The carrier intends to introduce its HSPA-based Internet access to 80 new cities throughout the year to include a total of 350 areas. Many if not all of these current and future areas will be upgraded to use the faster HSUPA (High Speed Upload Packet Access) format, AT&T adds. Practical speeds for these networks are estimated to range between 600Kbps and 1.4Mbps with downloads and between 500Kbps and 800Kbps for uploads, enabling video uploads as well as more two-way Internet features.
Researchers have developed a new technology, being demonstrated this week at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference, which is said to dramatically improve the battery life of cellphones and other portable electronics. MIT and Texas Instruments claim they have developed a new chip design which is up to 10 times as efficient as current ones, thanks mainly to a DC-to-DC converter which helps reduce necessary voltage. Where many chips need 1V of power, Prof. Anantha Chandrakasan of MIT notes that testing at his university has a chip running at 0.3V.
SanDisk today used the International Solid-State Circuits Conference as the platform to announce two breakthroughs in flash memory that it claims could greatly increase the amount of storage in these devices. The California firm says it and co-developer Toshiba are the first to have produced a new type of NAND flash memory that can store three bits of data for every memory cell. Although the chips themselves are otherwise current, the advance provides about 20 percent more usable space than a multi-level cell (MLC) without sacrificing speed: write speeds are still 8MB per second, SanDisk says. The breakthrough should allow more storage while still being quick enough to support HD camcorders or other speed-sensitive devices.
A company called Tourtellotte Solutions has released Fusion DMC, a multi-platform document management system. The technology is specifically aimed at the bio-pharmaceutical industry, and lets users author, review and approve documents in a collaborative process. Both regulated and non-regulated documents can be processed, and users interact with a single, unified graphical interface for all of the program's different components. The dashboard can be viewed locally and remotely.
Nokia today made a surprise release as a prelude to next week's Mobile World Congress. Although only announced in silver, a black version of the N82 has surfaced on the company's US store that promises the same design in the darker hue shared with the N95 8GB North America model. Beyond the textured line patterns on the back, the phone appears to closely resemble the original model and carries the same 5-megapixel camera with xenon flash, GPS, Wi-Fi, and 100MB of internal memory supported by a microSDHC card slot that holds the bulk of music, movies, and photos on the smartphone.
Google is crafting a deal that would allow free, official music downloads in China, says a report today by the Wall Street Journal. Claiming only to know sources "close to the situation," the paper states that a Chinese online music agency is involved in a joint venture with Google's Chinese branch Guge to offer music from three major international labels as well as a larger collection of independents. How the service will remain free is unknown, although past approaches have often relied on advertising either through a download website or embedded in the tracks themselves to subsidize the song prices.
Developer JS8 has released the first edition of ImageLobe, an image modification application. The software allows users to quickly add a variety of Leopard's Quartz Composition effects to photos and illustrations, such as "City Lights," "Color Pencil," "Posterize" and "X-Ray." There are over 40 in total, and JS8 notes that as Apple and third-party developers release more effects for Leopard, these will automatically become available in ImageLobe.
Microsoft today quietly announced a price drop for the Xbox 360 HD DVD player, lowering the cost of the drive from its previous $180 price point to $130 in both Canada and the US. The discount reduces the cost of the USB add-on drive to below the most recent $150 price of Toshiba's stand-alone HD-A3 player and makes it the single least expensive HD DVD-capable device on the market, although it requires an Xbox 360 console to function. The price reduction takes effect immediately, according to Microsoft. Whether the attachment will still qualify for the five-movie giveaway deal is uncertain.
Smith Micro Software today released Internet Cleanup 5.0 for Mac (site not updated), the latest revision of its privacy protection software. The update features 'Device Sentry,' a new option designed to stop 'pod-slurping' and other forms of data theft by preventing malicious users from mounting iPods or other external devices without authorization. Internet Cleanup 5.0 also offers a revised user interface, and full compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. The software is priced at $30, requiring Mac OS X 10.4.1 or later.
Some shoppers who have decided to upgrade from their current 4 or 8GB iPhones to the 16GB model are experiencing problems, anecdotes indicate. Although users should be able to insert their old SIM card into the new phone, and resume calling after identifying themselves as an existing AT&T customer, confusion reigns over whether or not the new phone automatically adds another two years to a person's AT&T contract. While some people have claimed no extension whatsoever, others have been angered to discover an extra obligation.
Helio this morning added to its shortlist of carrier-specific features with BuzzD. The new service depends heavily on the GPS location feature built into Helio's current phone lineup to provide information about events and other entertainment near the the device; subscribers can find out about concerts, pubs, restaurants, or other gatherings even when they roam to other US cities, Helio says. The service is also review-driven to help users pick out better places to visit, and permits user-submitted reviews that give a sense for the experience for recent visitors down to just minutes ahead of the BuzzD users themselves.
Second-largest cellular provider Verizon is most likely to have secured the desirable "C" block wireless space in the FCC's 700MHz auction, according to reports from those tracking the industry. Although key player Google is likely to have bid at least $4.6 billion to trigger requirements for open access to any device or software that might run on a future 700MHz wireless network, the Android developer is unlikely to have continued bidding past that point, instead letting its closest rival Verizon produce a higher bid for the "C" block's national access. This would let Google achieve its objective of an open platform for wireless devices without having to actually commit the money necessary for a winning bid, experts say. Google is now believed to instead be mulling an alliance with Yahoo to help fend off Microsoft's hostile takeover bid for Yahoo.
In the wake of yesterday's 16GB upgrade announcement, Apple has released two new TV commercials for the iPhone. Both concentrate not on the device itself, but rather on popular websites that have been given customized iPhone interfaces. The first is dedicated to Facebook, and shows a person browsing news, profiles and pictures; it claims that the iPhone is perfect for people who cannot stop checking Facebook at their computer, since they can now check it anywhere.
Taking its Bravia TV line to handhelds, Sony this morning introduced two explicitly portable TV sets. Both the D500 with its 3-inch screen and the more pocketable, 2-inch G200 are built to catch Japan's 1Seg over-the-air digital TV format; they also support the standard's electronic programming guide, letting viewers take a quick glance at the schedule regardless of where they begin watching. Like their full-scale counterparts, the portable Bravias even include a mobile version of the Bravia video decoding engine, Sony says.
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Secure your Google accounts today
Google is offering 2GB of Google Drive storage today for free, if users check the security of their accounts. As part of Safer Internet Day 2016, the scheme will give the 2GB storage extension to anyone going through the Google Security Checkup, examining connected devices, permissions, and other security settings associated with their Google account.
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 ¬≠Power 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