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Everex today unveiled the Everex mini, a Mac mini-styled CPU that features the company's own gOS 2.0 running on a dual-core processor. An Intel T2130 dual-core mobile processor powers the PC, while using a 120GB HD for storage and 512MB of RAM. For multimedia, Everex chose the Intel GMA950 graphics processor and Realtek ALC268 audio hardware, and the system includes a DVD+/-RW drive. The Everex mini will be available from Newegg.com for $500 on March 1st.
A growing number of professors at Oregon State University are relying on Macs, according to one report. Reasons for the increased Mac usage include PC compatibility, an improved operating system, 'Get a Mac' ads, and better technical support. While Macs don't comprise a majority of the computers at Oregon State -- roughly 150 out of 3,000, or 5 percent -- the number of Macs is rising, according to CIO. "Macs are more friendly to PC users than they used to be," said Tammy Barr, the director of technology services at the school. Apple's Boot Camp software and applications like Parallels Desktop enable PC users to work in their own environment on newer Macs, easing the transition process.
Apple is preparing to open its 14th retail store in the UK on Saturday, March 1st in Milton Keynes. The new store will -- as usual -- offer the first 1,000 customers to walk through the door a free Apple T-shirt, and is holding a prize drawing where one customer will receive a Digital Lifestyle Collection that includes a black MacBook and a silver iPod nano. The Cupertino-based company is also entering the final stages of construction on a new store in Sydney, Australia on George Street. That outlet is expected to open around the first week of April, according to ifoAppleStore.
During a conference discussing the company's quarterly results, CBS Corporation CEO Leslie Moonves pointed out that her firm's Showtime division currently has six shows in the iTunes top sellers group according to setteB. The Showtime shows at in the top sellers group include "Weeds," "Dexter", "David Chapelle," "The Tudors", "This American life" and "Californication". The top standing shows from all channels are, in order,: "Terminator: the chronicles Sarah Connor (WB production and broadcast by Fox) followed by" Lost "(ABC)," Wildfire "(ABC Family)," Family guy: blue harvest "(Fox) , "Breaking bad" (Sony production for AMC), "Family guy" (Fox), "Terminator: the chronicles Sarah Connor (WB production and broadcast by Fox)," Lost "(ABC)," Paradise Hotel 2 "(Fox Reality) and" Lost "(ABC). Note that none of these shows come from the general CBS network.
Some users of Microsoft's "Live" services have reported difficulties trying to sign in with their Windows Live IDs. According to The Associated Press the problem is affecting many services, such as the Xbox Live community, as well as the Windows Live Messenger application. The issue is not comprehensive, as some users are able to sign in to the services without an issue. Microsoft has acknowledged the problem, but did not mention when a fix would be available.
Sony today announced that it will ship two major console bundles this year, as well as making the Dualshock 3 controller available for North American audiences. The Dualshock 3 wireless controller brings back the force feedback rumble from the Playstation 2, while incorporating the Sixaxis features of the standard PS3 controller. The Dualshock 3 controller will be available in April, at a cost of $55, and will be supported by over 100 current PS3 titles.
A new draft law in the U.S. sponsored by Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) would require every mobile provider to offer subsidy-free wireless customer equipment, effectively breaking the exclusive deal between Apple and AT&T over the popular iPhone and allowing all owners of that device to subscribe to a wireless carrier of their choice. A hearing is scheduled on the draft bill for tomorrow morning, and a lobbyist for CTIA-The Wireless Association representing the major wireless carriers is already scheduled to speak about the bill.
Alloysoft recently unveiled Signal 1.1, an update to its remote control application, adding support for AirTunes and several other features. Users can now tap on an album to display additional controls for multiple speakers, allowing them to toggle the master setting or any sets of AirTunes-enabled speakers they have. Signal 1.1 is available from the Alloysoft website, selling for $25, while current users of RemoteAmp are able to receive a 40% discount if they upgrade.
Tailing off its media assault, Sony has announced a new UX series of voice recorders, described as "hybrids" for their ability to double as music players. The players can optionally record to higher-quality stereo MP3, and support Macs and PCs as well as ID3 artist and title tagging. The top-end version, the UX80, uses 2GB of flash storage; this amounts to 36 hours of 128kbps MP3, or as much as 581 hours of lower-quality content. The UX70 comes with just 1GB of memory, and can thus record 290 hours of low-quality sound, or 18 hours in MP3. The 80 and 70 should both be released in April, at prices of $150 and $100 respectively.
IGG Software today released iBank 3, a major update to its financial management application, adding support for the iPhone and Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard technologies. iBank for iPhone is a web-based iPhone application that allows users to enter transactions on their iPhone, and through .Mac, sync them to the desktop application on their home computer. IGG Software is selling iBank 3 through its website for $60, while current users can upgrade for $30.
Sony today unveiled a pair of 'personal field speakers' (site not updated) that act similar to headphones as well as new multimedia speakers designed to produce high quality audio. The company's new PFR-V1 personal field speakers are designed to create a listening field around the ears, projecting music through two 1-inch die-cast aluminum speakers connected with a headband made of lightweight duralumin metal. Sony's PFR-V1 personal field speakers are slated for shipment in April for around $500.
Swiss company Goldmund, a home theater builder which caters to the super-rich, says it is finally releasing its first Blu-ray movie player. The Eidos 20 BD was slated to be released at a later date, the company suggests, but due to the rapid failure of HD DVD, it is being launched early to gain industry attention. The 20 is said to contain extreme attention to detail -- among its components is a custom power supply circuit, aimed at reducing minute flaws in the dynamics and stability of output.
DB Solo today released DB Solo SQL Query Tool 3.0, the latest revision of its cross-platform database query tool. DB Solo provides users with features like a visual explain plan, database data and schema comparison tools, an EJB 3.0 Code Generator, and a schema scripting tool. DB Solo SQL Query Tool is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Solaris. The software supports all major DBMS products -- including Oracle, SQL Server 2000 and 2005, DB2, Sybase, H2 Postgres, MySQL, and Solid. DB Solo 3.0 is priced from $100 for a single user license (specific system requirements were unavailable).
Community chat service TalkShoe has come to iPhone, bringing live phone calls together with online chat. The service presents users with a Web-based interface to host live discussions, according to Yahoo News, and is designed to facilitate discussions about podcasts or other events in real time as they progress. TalkShoe's new iPhone interface allows users to take part in community calls, while registered users can use an iPhone to conduct as well as manage those calls. iPhone users have access to a link that automatically dials in and participates in a call, allowing up to 250 people to talk together simultaneously.
In its biggest headphone introduction to date, Sony released 20 new earphone models broken down over five specific use categories. Included in the release are headphones designed for children, another milestone for Sony. The remaining products include sets meant for sport and fitness use, a revised noise-canceling set, a pair of new flagship EX-series earbuds and a new series of the company's high-volume earbud and street-style, behind-the-neck headphones.
Two research firms -- Park Associates and Entertainment Technology Center at USC -- have released a document urging Hollywood to use Apple's own tactics of offering low-cost TV shows and feature films for mobile media devices in an effort to reap profits on their own, cutting the Cupertino-based company out of the equation. "Hollywood shouldn't let Apple make all the money, especially since they are the ones making the movies," said John Barrett, director of research at Parks Associates. "Judicious use of free mobile content can help drive ticket and DVD sales." The white paper specifically details steps to achieve profitable distribution of mobile content on mobile platforms and devices, without Apple's help.
Sony is investing in a flat TV manufacturing plant Sharp is building for LCD panels, according to a report today. The $3.5 billion plant is due to be operational by March of 2010, with construction commencing this past December. The plant will be two-thirds owned by Sharp and will manufacture 40-, 50- and 60-inch flat panels. Japanese daily newspaper Nikkei claims that Sony will contribute about $926 million to the venture, though neither company has confirmed that number. Sony President Ryoji Chubachi and Sharp President Mikio Katayama were scheduled to speak at a joint news conference in Tokyo in the latter part of the day to shed more light on their joint venture.
ASUS has introduced the Nova P22, a new compact PC which it describes as the "smallest" running a desktop-level Core 2 Duo processor. It specifically uses a 1.8GHz CPU with a 1,066MHz front-side bus, and is equipped with 1GB of DDR2 RAM. The machine relies on integrated graphics, but does come loaded with Windows Vista Premium, and also features high-end wireless technologies in the form of Bluetooth 2.0 and 802.11n. Gigabit Ethernet handles wired network connections.
Apple today released the much-anticipated 1.1.4 update for the iPhone and iPod touch. The new software/firmware update is available via iTunes; Apple is vague on details but says that the update "includes bug fixes and supersedes all previous versions" of the earlier firmware. A preliminary investigation of the update by MacNN does not reveal any new features, although the upgrade is believed to be necessary for Apple to implement its upcoming software development kit (SDK) for third-party apps and is likely to patch software exploits used to jailbreak or unlock the devices for use with unsanctioned code.
Aspyr Media today began shipping Neverwinter Nights 2 for Mac in North America. The computer role-playing game set in the fantasy world of the Forgotten Realms, one of the popular campaign settings of Dungeons and Dragons, was licensed from Atari and developed for Mac by Aspyr Studios. "Rise from a peasant to a full-fledged hero as you defend the Realms against one of the greatest threats of the age!" The game is priced at $50, and requires Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later.
Abilene Christian University will be delivering an Apple iPhone or iPod Touch to all members of its incoming class in 2008. Freshmen will use the iPhones or iPod Touches to receive homework alerts, answer in-class surveys and quizzes, get directions to their professors' offices, and check their meal and account balances - "among more than 15 other useful web applications already developed," said ACU Chief Information Officer Kevin Roberts. Roberts was asked to present ACU's creative vision for converged media devices at Apple headquarters to executives and to selected leaders from universities including Harvard, Yale, MIT, Duke, Stanford, Oxford, Princeton and UCLA.
Continuing its publicity blitz, Sony has announced four new high-end AV receivers. All of them are capable of 1080p24 output, and in some cases can upscale standard-definition video to that maximum resolution, so long as owners connect to a similarly-equipped TV with HDMI input. The best of the receivers are the STR-DG820 and DG920, which can produce 110W for each of their 7.1 channels of audio; supported sound codecs include Dolby TrueHD and Digital Plus, as well as DTS-HD High Resolution and Master Audio.
Sony today marked the rollout of S-AIR, a new wireless technology it hopes will provide real multi-room audio without the added burden of an expensive or complex home theater server. Using hubs known as S-AIR Air Stations, the system can either transmit music to other rooms with the hubs (which themselves include 8W speakers) or fill out the rear channels in a main surround system without stringing cables to the back of the room. Unlike most wireless sound bridges, no security codes or other steps are needed to create a link between receivers, Sony claims.
(Updated with perspective) Apple's new MacBook systems technically list lower battery life than the previous generation, official specifications show. setteB.IT notes that despite the fact that the computers use Intel's new 45nm Penryn technlogy, which should be more power-efficient, each of the new machines "loses" an hour or more of operating time. The reduction in battery life is actually an illusion however, as Apple did not previously incorporate wireless functions into its estimates.
Canonical today hoped to preempt all comers today with news of Ubuntu Mobile. Its first Linux variant aimed at handhelds, the software is tailored for the Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) expected to launch in spring based on Intel's Silverthorne technology and is designed to recognize basic iPhone-like gestures such as swiping to scroll through menus and websites. A scrolling visual front end based on Flash or Clutter replaces the traditional Ubuntu desktop and is designed to be used solely with fingers, including with an on-screen keyboard.
West-Forest-Systems has released the v5.1 update to CDFinder, its combination cataloguing and media asset software. The program tracks photos, music and other files kept on any sort of connected storage, ranging from hard disks and DVD drives to server volumes. The new version is said to include "dramatic" speed enhancements, specifically when updating catalogs, or when initially cataloguing ZIP files or photo thumbnails.
Catering to the highest-end home theater enthusiasts who want a central location for all their media, Sony today launched its new NHS-130C rack system. The system is designed to pipe Blu-ray and other 1080p HD videos around as many as 13 individual zones and can supply a primary zone, such as the living room, with 7.1-channel surround audio. The device also focuses heavily on music with a 160GB hard drive to store music in a central location, a SIRIUS satellite radio tuner, and an in-wall iPod dock that uses just one cradled Apple player to supply music to the entire home.
Sony has developed a new version of its ICF-C1iP iPod alarm clock, the C1iPMK2. The clock is the first from the company to specifically support the iPhone, and has an adjustable "backstop" used to secure any size of USB-equipped Apple player in its dock; Shuffles and non-Apple players can also connect, but must do so through a line-in jack and thus cannot charge simultaneously. To use an iPhone with the bundled remote, the former must be set in advance to iPod mode.
In an environment where users are more likely to turn to piracy, Apple's iTunes Store has climbed to second place among all legal US music stores and is second only to Wal-Mart, according to a new study by The NPD Group. The research firm notes that about 29 million users, or 10 percent of all people acquiring music in the US, turned to paid download services throughout the course of 2007 and more often shopped at iTunes than through any other service. The total figure represented a jump of about five million versus 2006 and saw most sales go to buyers between 36 and 50 years old. This same segment largely drove sales of portable media players like the iPod.
Sony on Tuesday capped its success over HD DVD by releasing two S-series Blu-ray players. The basic BDP-S350 and its S550 counterpart are both Sony's first players to support the Internet features made possible with Blu-ray's Final Standard Profile 2.0 and come with Ethernet jacks both for online-only features as well as downloading upgrades as they become active. They also support the picture-in-picture features from Profile 1.1, according to Sony. Either model is also slimmer than before while still finding room for a USB port for storage; the S550 adds a 1GB flash drive for browsing media and transferring updates out of the box.
Having previously limited itself to PCs, GeneGo now says that several of its biological analysis applications are compatible with Mac and Linux systems; this stems partly from support for alternatives to Internet Explorer, namely Firefox 2 and Safari 3.0. MetaCore is used to analyze experiment data for gene expressions and pathways, and lets users visualize and cross-validate information. Over 500 interactive maps are included, and users can filter content to concentrate on aspects such as disease or tissue.
Announced earlier this month along with a price cut on its 1GB companion, the 2GB iPod shuffle is now on sale from the Apple Store. The player costs $69 -- $20 above the current price of the 1GB player, but still $10 less than what the 1GB model used to cost as recently as the beginning of February. Color options remain unchanged, including silver, green, cyan, purple and red; shipping times however are listed as seven to 10 days, compared to the 24-hour turnaround for a 1GB shuffle.
Apple today announced long-awaited upgrades for both its MacBook and MacBook Pro portables, adding Intel's 45 nanometer Penryn architecture for its Core 2 Duo processors. All systems now include the larger Level 2 cache, SSE4 media instructions, and reduced power consumption of the new chips. As the flagship, the MacBook Pro now receives the multi-touch trackpad from the MacBook Air and also adds the first LED backlighting option for the 17-inch display; choosing the high-resolution, 1920x1200 screen also adds the more color-accurate backlight and potentially extends battery life. Video memory has also been doubled across the line.
Sony today launched a sweeping change to its Walkmen players that brings recently launched Japanese players, and more, to the US. The A820 is Sony's first music player with built-in Bluetooth and uses the technology to supply wireless stereo sound to headphones, speakers, and any other audio output that can pair with the device. It also features Sony's largest screen yet for a device at 2.4 inches across, which helps both for playing H.264 and MPEG-4 videos as well as navigating AAC, MP3, and WMA songs. The A820 is also one of Sony's longest-lasting large players yet with up to 36 hours of steady playback.
Dell today took the wraps from the XPS 630 (site live soon), its bridge between the mainstream XPS 420 desktop and the higher-end XPS 720. The tower computer is designed to run affordable components but is also made for headroom as gamers look to improve their systems; every model has a mainboard capable of dual video cards (either AMD's CrossFire or NVIDIA's SLI) as well as a 750-watt power supply capable of handling both the video cards as well an overclockable Intel processor and high-speed RAM from Corsair.
Sony today launched the Mylo COM-2 developer community, a website for Mylo developers to meet and learn about creating widgets for the communications device. The Mylo COM-2, announced January 6th, allows users to communicate over various social networks, such as Facebook and YouTube, and is customizable through the use of official and user-created "widgets". The service will give users a place to meet other widget developers, as well as upload and discuss their own projects.
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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
Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ