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Metris IV and MangaJongg
Deliver2Mac today unveiled two Runesoft game titles for download, Metris IV and MangaJongg. Metris IV is a Japanese art-inspired game that offers several different game modes to fans of Tetris-style games. Classic mode offers traditional game play, while New Art adds Jokers and other tile types to the mix. Colors challenges players to arrange tiles by color. The Ruins game type contains bits of rubble that the player must work around, while Ghost mode makes new tiles and lines appear to pressure the player when they play slowly. Metris is available for $20 from Deliver2Mac's website.
Sans Digital IR12TB IS12TB
Sans Digital today unveiled the InstaRAID IR12TB and InstaSTOR IS12TB 2-bay RAID/JBOD systems for 2.5-inch laptop hard drives. The enclosures measure the same as a single 3.5-inch internal drive, allowing for a reduced overall size for a redundant disk system. The InstaRAID IR12TB connects to the system through SATA, and offers built-in RAID capabilities, both for RAID levels 1 and 0, for mirroring or striping, respectively. Sans Digital is selling the InstaRAID IR12TB for $185.
Athletes can blog in China
The International Olympics Committee today gave its official approval for athletes to blog while at the Beijing games in August, providing that they do not publish media of the event or Olympic properties. Reuters reports that the IOC recognizes blogging as a form of personal expression, and not that of a journalistic nature. An additional stipulation states that any postings must adhere to the Olympic spirit, being "dignified and in good taste."
Yahoo board torn
Yahoo's board of directors is torn between those seeking profit and others who would make an emotional decision to reject Microsoft's buyout attempt, according to sources cited by a report from the New York Post online. Yahoo chief Jerry Yang and several followers are allegedly seeking an alternative to Microsoft's takeover bid of $44.6 million, and could act out of emotion rather than their fiduciary duty to the company's shareholders. "The emotional part of Yang would rather do anything but sell to Microsoft, but he doesn't have the cards to come up with a value-creating, competitive alternative for shareholders," said one source.
Waterproof iPhone cases
Aquapac has announced that three of its 100 percent waterproof cases work to protect Apple's iPhone in any condition or season. The cases provide for using the iPhone normally while inside, but guard against bad weather and accidental spills. Polyurethane construction allows full use of the multi-touch display, and allows sound to pass through to from the speaker as well as to the microphone. Three Aquapac waterproof cases work with Apple's iPhone: the action-sport ready Small Armband Case ($35), Mini Phone/GPS Case ($25), and Small PDA Case ($25).
CloudBook good, not great
Everex' newly shipping CloudBook Mini features several niceties that make it unique from the Asus Eee PC, but other drawbacks prevent it from fully taking the micro PC's crown. Laptop Magazine writes that Mac OS-like gOS simplifies the device's functions, but ultimately slows the miniature laptop in terms of boot and application startup time. Initially, reviewer Mark Spoonauer said that the trackpad is small and cumbersome to use, but warmed to it in the end.
Xbox 360 Valhalla Rumor
Microsoft is prepping a major internal redesign of the Xbox 360 that will be both cooler and less expensive, according to a report from a historically accurate source. Nicknamed "Valhalla," the processor design will not only move both the IBM-built three-core processor and the ATI graphics to a more efficient 65 nanometer process (down from 90 nanometers) but will merge them into a single chip. The change will not only reduce the heat issues that have affected the console but also reduce the cost and noise of the Xbox: only one smaller, primary cooling system will be necessary, says the claim.
ATT Mobile TV Delay Reason
The delay in AT&T's mobile digital TV service has been confirmed, says a claimed source. While a company roadmap the tip suggests that both "legal issues" as well as technical troubles with the MediaFLO digital TV tuning processor have pushed the release back by as little as two or as many as eight weeks beyond existing delays, possibly resulting in a mid-April release. An initial release had been set for just after the Consumer Electronics Show in January.
MaxConnect for Mac Pro 2K8
MaxUpgrades today unveiled the MaxConnect SATA mounting solution for the 2008 Mac Pro, giving users the option to install up to eight internal SATA drives. The mounting kit enables users to install hard drives where the optical drives usually reside, creating a maximum throughput of 600MB per second when used in a RAID configuration. The kit includes a mounting bracket, power cables, and SATA cables, and is selling for $130 from MaxUpgrades' website.
Penryn XPS M173
Dell is now offering customers the option to include an Intel Core 2 Duo "Penryn" processor select XPS M1730 notebooks. Users can select the Core 2 Duo T8300 at 2.4GHz or T9300 at 2.5 GHz 45nm CPUs with the 17-inch M1730. The former is included in the unit's price, while the latter is a $125 upgrade. The T7800, running at 2.6GHz, is a $400 upgrade option. Introduced in January, the 45-nanometer Core 2 notebook platform is based on the same Penryn architecture as the desktop Core 2 and Xeon parts. The smaller, denser chips also make room for media instructions and larger caches.
Samsung Fast SSD Enroute
Samsung on Friday followed past promises and began mass production of the Flash SSD SATA II, its highest-performance solid-state drive to date. The new 1.8-inch, 64GB disk has both the added potential bandwidth of the Serial ATA II interface as well as much faster actual speed than its SATA I predecessor: at 100MB per second in reading data and 80MB per second for writes, the drive is about 60 percent faster than the outgoing drive. The speed also places the new Flash SSD ahead of many conventional drives in raw transfer speed rather than just the low latency advantage common to most SSD storage.
Barcode Producer 4.7
Intelli Innovations today unveiled Barcode Producer 4.7, an update to its barcode generation suite, adding a number of different improvements. International Standard Music Numbers, or ISMN, barcodes have been improved, allowing users to output these barcodes in EPS, TIFF, and PDF formats. Users can also customize the ISBN's human readable equivalent above the bars. New users can purchase Barcode Producer 4.7 for $150, with a downloadable demo also available.
QuickStream DV/HDV ships
MCE Technologies today began shipping the QuickStream DV/HDV, a portable camera-mountable self-powered digital video capture and storage device. Capable of capturing HDV in addition to standard DV footage, the device accelerates the video post-production process and can capture HDV footage directly to its hard drive while shooting from the majority of popular HDV cameras. The QuickStream DV/HDV is available with 80GB ($800) and 120GB ($1,000) of storage space, supporting up to six hours or nine hours of recording, respectively.
PS3 Outsells Xbox 360
Sony's PlayStation 3 successfully edged out the Xbox 360 in sales for the first time in January, new research data from The NPD Group says. The console sold an estimate 269,000 systems during the first month of the year, significantly outpacing Microsoft's Xbox 360 at 230,000 and just narrowly missing the Nintendo Wii's 274,000 mark. Sony credits the jump in part to the PS3's built-in Blu-ray drive, which gave the console an added edge after news of Warner Bros. dropping HD DVD triggered a spike in sales of Blu-ray players and movies.
Wal-Mart Dropping HD DVD
(Updated with official announcement) Wal-Mart will join a string of major retailers in being the next to drop HD DVD as a format, according to a post by an associate writing on an official company blog. The staffer claims that the store chain will echo the same Warner Bros. plans that triggered the sudden fall of HD DVD and will gradually phase out HD DVD movies and players, leaving only Blu-ray devices and titles on Wal-Mart shelves by June. Prices may also drop on Blu-ray equipment as consolidation around the single standard goes up, the writer speculates.
Yahoo sued by shareholders
Microsoft's attempted acquisition of Yahoo! has gotten a bit more contentious. Bloomberg reports that a group of Yahoo shareholders have jointly filed a lawsuit against the search company for rejecting the $45 billion offer from Microsoft. Michigan's Wayne County Employees' Retirement System, which owns a relatively small 13,000 block of shares of Yahoo claims in the suit that the company failed to enter into substantial negotiations with Microsoft. "The board of directors is continually evaluating all of its strategic options. Our board believes the Microsoft proposal substantially undervalues Yahoo," Yahoo spokesperson Diana Wong told Bloomberg.
Tiny Code waits for 1.1.4
In what appears to be a move on Apple's part to sway current iPhone and iPod touch jailbreak developers into becoming legit, Tiny Code announced that it would no longer be updating its iPhone Repo application. The developer said that due to a closer relationship with Apple, and use of the official software developers kit, it will abstain from creating software for jailbroken 1.1.3 iPhones. Supposedly Tiny Code will wait for the 1.1.4 firmware before introducing any more software.
Apple push into gaming
Apple may be making a large push into the game industry, after several patents revolving around gaming were filed recently. According to European developers magazine Develop, the patents indicate that something big could be happening, considering Apple's history with gaming, from the unsuccessful Pippin Atmark to the iPod games that began in 2006. The patents mention toys, games, handheld devices, and LCD game machines, among others.
Aperture 2 free trial
Apple has released a free trial of Aperture 2, the latest release of its professional post production photography software for Mac OS X. The trial is a fully functional version of Aperture that photographers can use and experiment with, according to Apple, including all the features available in a licensed copy. The trial expires 30 days after it is first launched. The Cupertino-based company released Aperture 2.0 earlier this week, adding a new sleeker interface that allows users to flip between Browser and Viewer modes with a single keystroke.
Ch 6.0 released
SoftIntegration today released Ch 6.0 and Embedded Ch 6.0, its embeddable C/C++ interpretor for cross-platform scripting and 2D/3D plotting. Ch and Embedded Ch 6.0 are the most stable releases to date, according to the company, and add debug features as well a a new Ch Integrated Development Environment with the professional edition. Ch runs on Mac OS X, Linux PPC/x86, HP-UX, FreeBSD, QNX, Solaris, and Microsoft Windows. The standard edition is available for free for both commercial and non-commercial uses on all platforms, and the professional edition is priced at $400.
Montalvo CPU Leak
A relative newcomer to processor design, Montalvo Systems, hopes to take the edge over established firms such as AMD and Intel by using the concept of asymmetric cores, a reported source tells CNET. Much like the Cell processor at the core of the PlayStation 3, the unnamed first chip from Montalvo will feature at least one primary core but also multiple less powerful but more specialized cores that can offload work from the main cores without demanding as much power. While the way Montalvo's design will balance these uses is unknown, the Cell for PS3s typically uses its special cores to handle video decoding, networking, and background tasks.
Best Buy out of 15in MBP
Retailer Best Buy is no longer stocking any 15-inch MacBook Pro online, according to reader reports. The mid-range 2.4GHz model is listed as "sold out" and therefore unavailable; the base 2.2GHz version is listed as backordered and unavailable for between 1-2 weeks. Additionally, while the 17-inch MacBook Pro remains openly listed and immediately available, neither of the smaller versions are visible from Best Buy's section for the high-end notebooks.
Sigma DP1 Pricing
Sigma today set pricing for its long-delayed DP1 high-end compact camera. Set to launch worldwide in the spring, the camera will now be priced in Sigma's UK home at a minimum £550 ($1,083) including tax for the standard version and £600 ($1,181) for a version that bundles a hot-shoe mounted digital viewfinder for photographers who prefer composing shots in a similar fashion to a digital SLR.
PS3 In Game XMB Soon
A future firmware update for the PlayStation 3 should fulfill a longstanding wish of owners to bring the cross media bar (XMB) interface in-game, Sony has inadvertently confirmed on its PlayStation Network site [since pulled]. A mention on the main page suggests users can communicate with each other during gameplay; such a feat is currently impossible with existing PS3 firmware, which limits the XMB to when users are not running any tasks on the system. While it does not explicitly promise the exact interface seen in the normal PS3 menu, the ability is not believed to depend on a custom chat overlay and would need a reworking of Sony's approach to chat as a whole.
Toshiba Axes HD DVD Soon
Toshiba may be ready to pull the HD DVD format entirely after suffering a series of key defeats, says a claimed source of Hollywood Reporter. A tip reportedly from a person close to the HD DVD faction says Toshiba has not seen the expected surge in player sales from large-scale price discounts instituted for its movie players to compete with Blu-ray -- a decision which may have cost "several hundred dollars" per unit -- and is reportedly reeling from its format being marginalized at retailers such as Best Buy. The losses are such that Toshiba is said by the source to be announcing a complete withdrawal of HD DVD in a "matter of weeks."
First Look at DiskWarrior
Operating systems have many file- and directory-level settings that are invisible to the typical users. There are files that govern the location of data, invisible files that relate to the trash or other system-essential files, permissions, and so on. Even though these files are unseen, they are none-the-less important, and a minor corruption in these files could potentially lead to a disastrous experience. DiskWarrior 4.1 brings its renowned volume repair methods to Leopard, which helps users keep their drives healthy.
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