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BBC iPlayer for Mac
The BBC will reportedly be launching its iPlayer online video web service for the Mac platform by the end of 2008. In a self-published article, the BBC acknowledged the desires of Mac users that the player is currently in progress, stating that the initial PC release was concocted simply to reach the broadest amount of users in the shortest possible time. The BBC iPlayer is currently only available in the UK, with an international version planned at some point in the future.
16GB iPhone upgrade
Apple's newly introduced 16GB iPhone is causing some confusion with those who wish to upgrade, regarding whether or not the upgrade would require re-signing a contract with AT&T. According to Scott Kleinberg of iPhone, Therefore I Blog, purchasing a new 16GB iPhone and using it as an upgrade to an existing plan does not extend the two-year contract. Activation requires the user to acknowledge the contract, but the effective start date remains when the plan was initially introduced.
NAB accounted for
Following up on the earlier report, Kristopher Jones, spokesman for the NAB conference, said that while Avid and Apple will be missed, the spaces have already been filled. The trade show, which generates more than $50 billion in commerce for its business partners, is featuring 220 new exhibitors this year, making the final count around 1600 exhibitors, according to SetteB.IT. NAB 2008 is expected to cover over 900,000 square feet at the Las Vegas Convention Center and Las Vegas Hilton, while hosting over 111,000 attendees.
Springlets for iPhone
Magnetism Studios, the company behind Insanely Great Tees clothing, has unveiled Springlets, a collection of home-screen functions for the iPhone and iPod touch. The collection of six icons allows users to jump directly to a number of online search databases, rather than having to load Safari and perform a Google search. Users can jump directly to Google's "I'm Feeling Lucky" search, IMDb, Chowhound, and Wikipedia. Springlets are downloadable through the iPhone and iPod touch only.
MacBook Air battery life
The MacBook Air's touted five-hour battery life is an almost acceptable measure of the ultraportable's abilities, while enthusiast site Mac on Air has performed a full take-apart of the laptop. According to tests performed by AnandTech, the MacBook Air is capable of running for four and a quarter hours with normal web browsing, while playing MP3s in the background. The test was conducted by browsing 20 web pages, spending 20 seconds per page, and looping music in the background. This test was designed to emulate standard usage, as one would experience taking notes in class or using the Air during their daily commute.
Time Machine patent
Among the flurry of Apple patent applications that surfaced today, no less than 10 filings relate to the company's iChat and Time Machine. The Cupertino-based company's Time Machine-related patents cover methods and a computer program for providing a user interface that includes earlier versions of data, true to the software's ability to 'move through time' to prior versions of documents and files via a graphical user interface. iChat-related patents describe video communication systems and methods, as well as sharing graphical user interface output in a chat environment. Another iChat-oriented patent details sharing application output in a chat environment.
iTunes patent suit
Restricted Spending Solutions has filed a patent suit against Apple over the iTunes Allowance function on its web-based iTunes store. The feature allows members and friends to create accounts for automatically transferring chosen dollar amounts via a credit card to a recipient's iTunes Store account for use by the recipient. RSS cites its own patent, which describes a computer-based method for allocating funds in pre-established accounts for use by customers by creating a customer account file containing a record of funds deposited and limiting how the funds may be spend on audio and video entertainment.
MacBook Air Migration
Following our MacBook Air teardown, delivery/unboxing, accessory photos, benchmarks, and first impressions, MacNN has investigated the specialized Migration Assistant that ships with the MacBook Air. To achieve ultimate mobility in its new MacBook Air, Apple was forced to re-evaluate which features are necessary in a notebook computer and which are expendable or replaceable. The result compromise is a striking, razor thin laptop with full sized keyboard but lacking an internal optical drive and many of the standard ports found on traditional laptops, such as Firewire or built-in Ethernet. These limitations make the process of migrating one's existing user accounts on another Mac to the Air more challenging than with Apple's other computers - a process usually accomplished via Firewire.
PSP fire burns child
A Sony gaming handleld burst into flames earlier this week, injuring a 12-year-old child, a Detroit TV station reports. At approximately 9AM on Wednesday, a fire in Harold Clay's PSP caused enough damage to not only create a hole in his pants, but inflict second-degree burns to his skin. Unusually, the PSP was not on, nor was the increase in heat gradual, say Harold's parents, speaking on his behalf. As a coincidence, the game in the system was a part of the Burnout racing series.
Apple pulls out of NAB
Apple has pulled out of the National Association of Broadcasters Conference for 2008, citing a reduction in overall trade show participation. TV Technology reports that the move was speculated, if not fully expected, late last year when Avid (Apple's main competitor in the digital video space) withdrew from the show. "Apple is participating in fewer trade shows this year," said Anuj Nayar, senior manager of PR at Apple. "Often there are better ways to reach our customers. The increasing popularity of our retail stores and Apple.com Web site allows us to directly reach more than 100 million customers around the world in innovative new ways."
Sprint fraud lawsuit
National phone carrier Sprint is the focus of a new class action lawsuit, according to reports. The company is accused of defrauding customers by extending contracts without "adequate notice," or else by doing so without "obtaining meaningful consent." The plaintiffs are specifically upset at having contracts extended by up to two years because of minor changes, such as adding extra minutes, or buying a new phone. One accusation suggests that the company may be actively tricking people into longer contracts, tying them to "courtesy discounts."
Liquid Ledger 2.1.2
Modeless Software today unveiled Liquid Ledger Personal Finance 2.1.2, an update to its personal accounting package that brings with it over a dozen fixes and improvements. Details on the fixes were sparse, but the developer said that it has improved multiple currency support, check printing, generating reports, as well as general usability and workflow. The update is free for existing users, available through the Check for updates feature in Liquid Ledger, while new users can download a 60-day trial. The full version of Liquid Ledger is $60 for a downloadable copy, and $80 for a physical CD.
WARF Sues Intel For Core 2
The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) today filed a lawsuit against Intel, charging the company with violating a key patent for its Core 2 Duo processor design. WARF claims that the Core 2's code prediction technology infringes on a similar 1998 invention from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. By using the technology to increase the amount of parallel work accomplished by its processors, Intel is effectively stealing the University's intellectual property, according to the complaint.
Best Buy digital converter
Big-box retailer Best Buy will soon join a special discount plan, meant to help push Americans over from analog TV to digital. Beginning February 17th, the company will start selling selling an Insignia-branded digital-to-analog converter box, eligible for a coupon program initiated by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). This will cut the price of the converter by $40, making it a more reasonable $20.
Nokia Win Mobile Talks
Microsoft is discussing the possiblity of Nokia releasing smartphones with Windows Mobile installed, the former company's mobile marketing director John Starkweather says. Without committing to any definite plans, the executive notes that the move is an attempt to have Nokia's support for Microsoft technologies "extend completely" to include the mobile OS itself, rather than just supporting key features. Starkweather refers to hooks for Microsoft's ActiveSync feature that provides live Exchange contact and calendar updates as well as compatibility with PlaysForSure, the foundation of protected Windows Media used across a number of major online music stores.
ATT Mobile TV Delay
AT&T's widely reported mobile TV service has suffered a major delay, claim sources with access to the company's latest pricing roadmap. While the schedule reveals unannounced phones such as a GSM-based American version of the Palm Centro, no mention is made of the LG Vu touchscreen phone considered the linchpin of the mobile TV launch. A second phone intended for the launch, the Samsung Access, is also absent from the list and would leave AT&T without any TV-capable phones for the service, which was originally due to launch on February 5th.
iPhone most-wanted phone
Apple's iPhone is the top pick among consumers who said they plan to purchase a new cellular phone in the next six months, according to ChangeWave Research. Of 4,182 consumers surveyed, 17 percent said Apple's iPhone remains their top choice. Research in Motion's BlackBerry came in a close second with 15 percent of respondents expressing interest, while Motorola declined to 11 percent as part of a continuing slide after Apple unveiled the iPhone in June of 2007.
Everex is planning to release a home-oriented, touchscreen version of its CloudBook low-cost notebook that may be helped by Apple's upcoming iPhone as a reference point, Everex marketing director Paul Kim says in a new interview with LAPTOP. While a version of the system known as the DevBook is already due for hobbyists this spring, a version for home users is currently projected to arrive in the summer. To help develop applications for the new interface to the Linux-based gOS software at the heart of the computer, Everex is not ruling out using the iPhone's software developer kit (SDK) as an assist, Kim suggests,
BlackBerry 8820 at T-Mob?
The BlackBerry 8820, one of Research in Motion's most recent smartphones, may soon be at national GSM carrier T-Mobile. No pricing has been mentioned as of yet, but an anonymous source indicates that the phone will come on March 5th, and should be functionally identical to the AT&T version with the obvious exception of carrier-specific services. Among T-Mobile's options is said to be support for HotSpot@Home, a service that lets users call through a Wi-Fi VoIP connection to avoid eating into subscription minutes. This does, however, cost a minimum of $10 extra per month.
ARM to Show Android Proto
Mobile processor manufacturer ARM may be the first company to show off a working device based on Google's Android mobile operating system as of next week, according to a tip given to the news media. The claim would have ARM run a prototype using one of its own processors at its booth for the Mobile World Congress expo next week in Barcelona. Although it has been briefly spotted outside of Google's campus, the Linux-based platform has never been officially been demonstrated on hardware beyond the company's walls, making the appearance extremely rare.
New Apple TV patent
Apple has filed for a patent describing expanded Apple TV/Front Row functionality, including live iChat and broadcast TV programming as part of potential future Front Row features. The filing illustrates a process for associating widgets with content displayed by a multimedia center application, with one example revealing a yet unreleased version of Front Row and/or an Apple TV remote that includes a new set of Widget Keys.
Toshiba Gigabeat T802, V81
Toshiba has announced updates to two of its Gigabeat media players, in the T and V series. The T802 is an upgrade to the T401, and beyond doubling memory from 4 to 8GB, also introduces 802.11b/g wireless, which like Apple's iPod touch can be used to download content. People can not only browse the YouTube-like GyaO service however, but download movies and podcasts, something even the Touch is not currently capable of. The player should be available in Japan on February 15th, at an average cost of 29,800 yen ($279).
Moto LTE Demo at MWC 2008
The upcoming Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard should make HD video a real possibility on cellular networks for the first time, Motorola intends to prove in a demo at next week's Mobile World Congress. The company says it will show examples of HD video moving in both directions during the event, including HD "blogging:" LTE will be used to stream live HD video to a set-top box that viewers at home could use to follow footage from a cellphone in real-time. In the the reverse direction, LTE will also be shown in a Slingbox-like experience where users stream an HDTV feed from home directly to a handheld device, saving the trouble of reducing video quality to make the signal viewable outside the home.
iPhone DoS surfaces
An exploit for Apple's iPhone has surfaced that can crash the device when unsuspecting users visit a maliciously crafted Web page. SecurityFocus notes that successful attacks cause a kernel panic, crashing the iPhone which could ultimately lead to remote code execution. The firm states that iPhone firmware version 1.1.2 and 1.1.3 are both affected, and suggest that other versions may also be vulnerable.
Freeway 5 Public Beta 2
Softpress has released the second iteration of the Freeway 5 Public Beta featuring 'Scale And Trim' as an option alongside numerous fixes and minor enhancements. Freeway is a development tool designed to help programmers focus on design issues, rather than coding. Freeway beta P2 is available as a 30-day working preview, while download versions of Freeway 4 Pro and Freeway 4 Express are available for $200 and $70, respectively, and each includes a free upgrade to Freeway 5.
ZTE C88 at MetroPCS
ZTE took its first fledgling steps into the world of US cellphones this morning with the release of the C88 on the MetroPCS network. The China-made clamshell is simpler than the D90 available through TELUS in Canada but is designed to offer more than just the basics: Bluetooth, a VGA camera, and Internet support for e-mail, IM, and the web are part of the core design. The C88 also holds 60MB of internal memory and comes preloaded with a variant of Sudoku to get the user started with mobile games.
KnowLeopard teaches Macs
KnowMac has released KnowLeopard, a tutorial program that guides users new to Leopard or Macs in general. The software is divided into 14 chapters, covering topics such as Mail, Spaces, QuickLook and Time Machine; each contains screenshots and videos of various tasks, which zoom in for an unobstructed view when clicked. For extra help, users can turn on an audio track with explicit instructions.
Apple photo books: AU, NZ
Apple has begun offering customers in Australia as well as New Zealand the ability to create hardcover photo books, glossy calendars, professional cards, and prints from custom photo libraries. The final products are delivered directly to each customer's door, according to Apple. Picture books are priced from A$40, while Calendars and Postcards start at A$27 and A$2, respectively. Greeting Cards are available from A$2.70, and prints start at A$0.30 each.
Qualcomm Multi-Mode 4G
Qualcomm today said it would be the first company to produce chipsets capable of supporting multiple 4G Internet standards. Three of its chipsets will now not only support the Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard that will be used many larger world carriers but also competing and bridging standards: the top two chipsets, the MDM9600 and MDM 9800, will support the upcoming EVDO Rev. B and Ultra-Mobile Broadband (UMB) standards for CDMA networks even as they support LTE networks once they appear. Each will be powerful enough to handle downloads as quick as 50Mbps and uploads as fast as 25Mbps, Qualcomm says.
Advance registration has begun for the Photoshop World Conference, an educational event sponsored by Adobe Systems and produced by the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP). This year's conference features more than 100 in-depth classes taught by 40 top industry experts -- including Scott Kelby, Dave Cross, Katrin Eismann, Bert Monroy, Fay Sirkis, Joe McNally, Dan Margulis, Jeff Schewe, David Ziser, and more. Photoshop World Conference & Expo advance registration is $600 by February 29th for the general public and $700 afterward; NAPP member advance registration is $500 before February 29th and $600 afterward. Special pricing is also available for students, educators, and alumni of Photoshop World.
PDF2Office Pro 4.0 ships
Recosoft has released the fourth edition of PDF2Office Professional, its flagship conversion utility. The program primarily converts PDF documents into Microsoft Office formats such as Word or PowerPoint, but also outputs to more generic formats such as RTF. As much of a document's original layout is preserved as possible, including paragraphs, styles, graphic elements and tables.
Moto WiMAX at MWC 2008
Motorola today geared up for the Mobile World Congress show by unveiling its latest generation of devices for bridging computers to wireless networks. The company's 8000 series femtocells are the first from the company to provide a connection between a 3G cellular connection and a home network to supply data even when traditional landline Internet access fails. The 8000 Femtocell Access Point is built for basic use with an Ethernet bridge to plug into an existing network device as backup, such as a cable modem or a Wi-Fi network; the 8100 Femtocell Ethernet Gateway serves double duty as a 4-port Ethernet and 802.11g Wi-Fi router, with special ports for VoIP calls as well as connecting USB devices. Both should be available in the second half of 2008 as equipment from cellular carriers and Internet providers.
Dell Penryn in XPS M1330
Dell on Thursday quietly upgraded its 13.3-inch XPS M1330 notebook, making it the first system from the Texas company to include Intel's new Penryn 45 nanometer notebook processors in the US. Although it starts with older 65nm chips in base trim, the gaming-oriented system now has the option of a 2.4GHz, 2.5GHz, or 2.6GHz Core 2 Duo with the extra Level 2 cache (up to 6MB), lower power draw, and generally higher performance of the new Intel hardware.
AKVIS SmartMask plug-in
AKVIS has released SmartMask 1.2, a plug-in for programs including Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and Paint Shop Pro. The software is designed to ease the process of masking, which often requires complex object selection made difficult by surrounding objects. To remedy this SmartMask supplies red and blue pencils, with the blue being used to draw a line inside a desired object, and the red used to assign a general outline. The computer will then attempt to select the desired object.
Hoping to steal the thunder from larger firms, newcomer modu has announced what it says is the first genuinely modular cellphone. Although the core device itself can work as a handset, the device is designed to be extendable and integrate with other devices. External shells, dubbed modu jackets, can change the control layout and features on the fly; owners can easily add cameras, different control interfaces, and other components without having to replace the phone itself. The feature also allows music labels such as Universal to offer artist-specific jackets that change the entire control scheme as well as the looks.
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