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Samsung tonight added to its storage options with one of its largest high-speed disks yet as well as a high-speed DVD burner. The SpinPoint MP2 spins at 7,200RPM but still holds 250GB of storage; the capacity adds about 50GB more than most previous drives. The disk also eliminates many of the bottlenecks that affect any notebook drive with an extra-large 16MB cache and a Serial ATA II connection for added headroom during burst transfers. Samsung also implements quiet seeking technology and noise isolation that renders the drive quiet compared to past hard drives.
Apple shareholders today produced a plethora of questions for company executives at its annual shareholders meeting in Cupertino, CA. Taking that stand was CEO Steve Jobs, COO Tim Cook, and Ron Johnson -- Apple's head of retail operations. Jobs and others answered questions regarding the prospect of entering into direct competition with Microsoft in the PC gaming industry, potential .Mac expansion, iTunes media availability, the idea of a successor to Steve Jobs, iPhone availability in Asia, Macs in the business realm, Apple retail stores, and more, according to AppleInsider.
GT Security today launched SecuriKey 2.1, adding support for Apple's latest release of Mac OS X -- 10.5 Leopard. SecuriKey combines USB token and password technologies with data encryption on the hard drive to provide secure, user-friendly computer access control and data protection. The latest revision of SecuriKey features the only integrated AES encryption and multi-factor authentication solution designed for the Mac, according to GT Security, which provides security for mobile data on Apple laptops as well as desktops and servers. SecuriKey 2.1 is available in Professional and Multi-User editions, working with Mac OS X Tiger/Leopard as well as Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.
Apple shareholders today approved a non-binding resolution requesting the board of directors to provide shareholders with input on executive compensation. The proposal required a majority of votes from shareholders to pass, while another shareholder proposal to create a board committee on sustainability and environmental protection was rejected, according to News.com. Scott Adams, who represents the AFL-CIO, asked shareholders to demand a "say on pay" as a result of uncontrolled executive compensation.
In advance of Apple's 3G iPhone announcement, Citigroup believes the new version of the device could be surfacing within four months. According to AppleInsider, analyst Rich Garder came to the conclusion based on input from several industry sources, which he claims confirms a 3G version of the iPhone during the second quarter. Caris & Co. analyst Shebly Seyrafi believes that Apple will meet its 10 million unit goal, but will not succeed in putting adequate pressure on the rest of the market.
MySpace is in the midst of developing a native iPhone and iPod touch application, Electronista has learned. Although details of what the app involves remain closely guarded, the product is known to be the result of early SDK access and is described as impressive compared to current mobile versions of the social networking site. Whether it will support MySpace's signature music and video services is unknown, though neither are likely given the lack of a native Adobe Flash port for the handset or else iPhone-friendly content on the site's servers.
South Korea's Samsung has announced the release of a new hard drive, what it is calling the world's first 2.5-inch hard drive to reach a 500GB capacity. Although it fits into the standard 0.37-inch vertical space reserved for notebook disks, it nevertheless uses three stacked 167GB platters, spinning at 5,400rpm. An 8MB buffer is present, and it interfaces with systems using a 3Gbps SATA connection. Pricing is $299.
After a minor delay, Panasonic has released its latest compact camera, the Lumix FS5. The camera is a 10.1-megapixel model, and uses a Leica lens with 4x optical zoom, giving it a focal range equivalent to a 30-120mm SLR lens. The camera is also able to shoot in a burst mode operating at 6fps, although this requires dropping resolution down to at least 2.5 megapixels.
Contrary to speculation, Meizu's miniOne iPhone clone -- also known as the M8 -- has made an appearance at the ongoing CeBIT expo in Hannover, Germany. The device on public display can only display four different images, but is said to closely mimic the interface of the iPhone, including its finger-flick touchscreen motions. The miniOne operates on Windows CE 6.0 instead of Mac OS X, and is further differentiated by dedicated buttons for answering calls or playing and pausing music.
The Missing Sync for Palm OS 6.0.3 ($40) enhances the software for synchronizing contacts, calendars, photos, and more between Macs and devices from Palm, Sony, Garmin, and others. The latest release offers better synchronization with Bare Bones Yojimbo 1.5, improved handling of recurring tasks, and enhanced support for custom field synchronization with Entourage. World Clock Deluxe 4.5.1 ($20) is the latest iteration of MaBaSoft's time tool for Mac OS X that displays multiple clocks in a horizontal or vertical palette, adding daylight-savings time information for Chile as well as Guatemala. The latest revision also adds San Luis, Argentina to the World Clock Deluxe cities database. [Download - 2MB] The Tube 2.5 (unknown) accompanies new TubeToGo Web service, allowing Tube users to make TV recordings available in an online Web gallery. The Tube allows users to simultaneously watch videos while chatting amongst one another. The TubeToGo Web interface provides complete access to recordings, allowing users to publish as well as schedule recordings on-the-go. TimeCache 7.0.8 ($60, $35 for upgrade) fixes a significant bug discovered in a week-old update. TimeCache is a time and expense billing application with support for timed or manual entries. The latest release fixes a problem that could erase user changes to report and invoice layouts, and is available for free to current TimeCache users. The update also offers a new taxation option for users whose tax authorities require assessing cumulative taxes. [Download - 14.7MB] PageSender 4.2.2 ($40) updates the fax software for Mac OS X with an option for sending a cover page only. The update also fixes a potential issue with access to cover page options, and repairs other minor issues. The software sense as well as receives faxes, allowing users to print or email received faxes automatically. [Download - 6.9MB] Audiocorder 5.1.4 ($20) allows a Mac to act like a sophisticated audio recorder, operating as a volume operated (VOX) automated audio recorder in one mode and a scheduled recorder in another. The latest release fixes a bug that could cause recording schedule files to improperly load. [Download - 430KB]
As a companion piece to its 2100 max updates, NAVIGON today also unveiled the 8110. The GPS receiver takes the line above its normally budget-minded focus with a larger 4.8-inch wide touchscreen and a brushed metal shell instead of glossy black plastic. The mapper is also the company's fastest with a dedicated 3D graphics chipset, a 533MHz main processor, and 128MB of RAM, all of which contribute to a smoother experience, according to the GPS maker.
HIRO today launched what it says is the first free ad-supported video download solution for Mac users. The software allows Mac users to view free, ad-supported video downloads in either Windows Media Player or via Apple's QuickTime format with dynamic targeted advertisements integrated into the programming. The Mac version will make its first appearance in Israel, and will roll out in other areas -- such as the U.S. and Australia -- throughout 2008.
Lenovo this afternoon pushed its line closer to complete eco-friendliness with the M57 Eco, its latest small form factor desktop. The tabletop ThinkCenter PC is not just energy efficient but also the first system to meet GREENGUARD's specs for a system free of chemical emissions. Even noise pollution is low at just 4 bels or less, Lenovo boasts. Some trim levels also rely on Intel's newer 45 nanometer Core 2 Duo processors to maintain this green status without compromising speed.
Memory maker SanDisk has announced the FlashBack Adapter, a new storage add-on for notebooks. The device plugs into a notebook's ExpressCard slot, and automatically backs up key files on a computer using special Windows software. A key difference with alternatives is that the FlashBack utilizes SD or SDHC cards, for a maximum storage capacity of 32GB. Neither cards nor the adapter protrude when inserted.
Dell on Tuesday provided an extra addition to its projector lineup with a sneak peek at the M209X. The DLP-based projector weighs only 2.6 pounds but is designed to be strong and sharp enough to work either as a computer projector for meetings and classrooms or as a home theater unit. With a 2,000-lumen brightness, the unit can produce a visible image in all but the brightest conditions, Dell estimates. It also combines both HDMI and VGA inputs to provide the best possible digital signal, including for HD sources such as Blu-ray players.
Several internet security companies have preliminary Mac OS X anti-virus applications, awaiting a potential large-scale attack before deploying the countermeasures. According to Yahoo News, Kaspersky Lab keeps a prototype of a Mac-based anti-viral program that could be distributed in a matter of days, should an outbreak occur. Kaspersky has even tested a version designed specifically for the iPhone.
In the wake of its 45nm quad-core announcement, AMD has also formally unveiled Puma, a new mobile platform (not pictured). The technology is allegedly aimed at Intel's Centrino platform, which combines a Core 2 Duo, a GM965/PM965 chipset and onboard wireless; Puma turns to a new Turion Ultra processor, combined with an RS780M chipset and a Wi-Fi adapter. As with Centrino, a dedicated videocard is optional.
Electronics multinational Pioneer may be nearing an end to its plasma TV business, according to reports. The Japanese business paper Nikkei reports that the company may completely cease production of plasma panels as soon as this year, and instead turn to ones produced by Matsushita Electric Industrial, the world's largest plasma supplier. Pioneer representative Ema Suzuki, meanwhile, tells the Associated Press that the company is reviewing the nature of its plasma business, given faltering sales.
SanDisk is gearing up a new music player that would straddle the line between the basic Sansa Clip and the larger View, a leaked flyer for an accessory kit shows. The Sansa Fuze would sit almost exactly between its two sister devices in size and would share the same iPod-like jogwheel while offering a screen roughly as large as or larger than that of the third-generation iPod nano. Few details are revealed in the leak, though it becomes clear SanDisk will offer the player in blue and other colors as well as include the same on-screen interface, complete with photo and video support.
Nike and Apple are refreshing their Nike+iPod offerings this summer, by working with Life Fitness, Precor, Star Trac, and Technogym, with the goal of making exercise equipment compatible with the workout tracking system. Users will be able to attach their iPod nano directly to a number of different treadmills, elliptical trainers, stationary bikes, and stair climbers, and utilize the same statistic and objective tracking that is offered by the stand-alone kit.
Matching introductions by other GPS navigation unit manufacturers, NAVIGON today updated the 2100 series with two new GPS units. The US-only 2100 max and the North America-wide 2120 max continue to be some of the lowest-cost 4.3-inch GPS units available but now add a DirectHelp feature that provides quick access to emergency services. Invoking the tool automatically finds nearby drug stores, hospitals, and car repair services, providing quick directions in cases where even slight delays could prove dangerous.
Lexmark today unveiled a new line of low-cost inkjet printers geared towards home users that feature built-in wireless printing. The lineup consists of three models so far: the Z2420 wireless printer, X3650 multi-function, and X4650 wireless multi-function. The two wireless versions communicate with 802.11b/g, and are compatible with the current 802.11n draft version. Lexmark will ship the three models starting later this month, with additional versions to follow later this year, ranging from $80 to $130.
Print specialist Apago has announced ONEticket 3.0, the next iteration of software formerly known as Acrosuite PRO. A set of plug-ins for Adobe Acrobat, ONEticket helps manage commercial printers, including those from the likes of Canon, Kodak, IKON and Océ. One major upgrade since AcrosuitePRO 2.6 is the addition of tray mapping; this lets print shops define paper exceptions, in theory making it easier to work with different printers. A given example is mapping paper to both a printer that supports paper catalogs and one equipped with paper drawers.
Logitech this morning hoped to improve the quality of wireless headsets with the advent of its ClearChat PC Wireless. Instead of opting for Bluetooth, Logitech uses 2.4GHz and a special USB adapter to supply full-quality sound in both directions through the headset. Listeners can hear uncompressed stereo audio in addition to sending voice out through a boom-mounted microphone. The wireless approach is also promised to be more reliable with safeguards against interference up to the ClearChat's maximum 33-foot range.
Vertus is now selling the Mac version of Bling! It, an image tool meant to improve sales of items online, particularly through sites such as eBay. The software extracts objects from existing photos, and helps composite them against a different backdrop more resembling a commercial product shot. To improve the illusion, users can add either stock or custom backdrops, as well as elements like logos, drop shadows and highlights.
AMD today stepped closer towards equality with Intel today by revealing the first working examples of its own 45 nanometer processors. Co-developed with IBM, the chips combine AMD's own existing quad-core technology with the smaller, more efficient chip design to improve the amount of performance without increasing power and heat as a result. The company is still hesitant to reveal full details but explains that there will be both desktop-oriented processors, codenamed "Deneb," as well as server-grade "Shanghai" chips available; these are expected to translate to both single- and dual-socket upgrades to the Phenom desktop line as well as more efficient Opteron processors later in the year.
Dell on Tuesday ventured into new territory with the release of the XFR D630. As the first completely ruggedized notebook from the Texas company, the XFR is strong enough to match US military-grade specs for dust, temperature, and water resistance and is shock-proofed against most bumps. Storage is also tougher. While traditional hard drives used with the system are shock-proofed, the computer is also just the second after the Precision M4300 to support faster solid-state hard drives, which render data effectively skip-proof. An extra-bright, 500-nit display also suits the XFR to use in the field even in broad daylight.
Iomega today announced the REV 120GB Backup Drive, as well as the accompanying disks, and it will show the offerings at CeBIT 2008 in Hanover, Germany. The third-generation offering adds to a current user base of over 350,000 drives, with over 2 million disks in circulation. The drive will be available with a USB 2.0 connection in April, while Iomega expects to release an ATAPI version later in the summer. Pricing was not immediately available.
The traditional boardgame Scrabble (iTunes link) is among two new iPod games available on the iTunes Store. This version lets users play in "classic," points or round modes, with the option of competing solo, against an AI opponent, or with up to four human players via hand-off. Scores and statistics are ranked, and difficulty can be adjusted through settings including the option of hints. The game costs $5 and is compatible with all video-ready iPods except the iPhone and iPod touch.
Garmin today at CeBIT rolled out upgrades to several of its key Nuvi GPS units, including its lowest-cost devices yet to include smart features. The 3.5-inch 205 and 255 as well as their 4.3-inch widescreen 205W and 255W counterparts all now support Traffic Message Channel data for rerouting on congested roads and can optionally subscribe to MSN Direct for both traffic updates as well as fuel prices, news, and other short information that can be delivered to the Nuvi in real time. Both also use a satellite data cache technology known as HotFix to speed up position-finding, an elevation mapping mode that more clearly marks out hills, and a faster processor that improves routing speed.
Case manufacturer Pelican is now selling a model dedicated to Apple's most recent iMacs, the iMCruzer. The case fits 20- and 24-inch aluminum iMacs, as well as their matching mice and keyboards; inside is custom-tailored foam, meant to absorb impact shocks and prevent a computer from jostling. The outside is meanwhile made of "crush-proof" resin, claimed to be tough enough that an iMac can safely be shipped via airline without worrying about it being tossed by baggage handlers.
Following a teaser campaign, Razer today used CeBIT as the venue for the introduction of the Salmosa, its first mouse targeted directly at gamers or others interested in performance mice for the first time. The three-button mouse has an unusually high-resolution 1,800DPI optical sensor that provides precise responses but is set apart most by its weight, according to Razer: the pointer is one of the lightest in the class and is designed to be easily flicked across the surface for fast responses in action games.
Nokia today said it would add support for Microsoft's Silverlight web plugin, resulting in some of the first mobile devices to support the new rival to Adobe's Flash. The update applies to virtually all of Nokia's handhelds and ranges from the most basic Symbian Series 40 cellphones to Series 60 smartphones and the company's Linux-based N800 series Internet tablets. Adding the feature provides the phones with support for animation, videos, and even software programs running inside of Silverlight and helps mirror the experience a user would have on a desktop.
Sony-Ericsson's contribution to Germany's CeBIT technology expo today is the T303, a compact slider said to boost the standards for relatively basic phones. The device sports a mirrored front finish with a metal trim and also brings a 1.3-megapixel camera that provides better quality than the VGA cameras that ship with other phones in the class. The handset trims costs by carrying just 8MB of memory and removing the Memory Stick Micro slot of other Sony-Ericsson phones but offers an FM radio to supply music.
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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 ÂPower 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