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TubeStick 2.5 ships
Equinux today began shipping TubeStick 2.5, the latest revision of its TV receiver designed for Mac owners that offers access to the TubeToGo Web service. TubeStick 2.5 allows users to watch as well as record live TV on a Mac simply by plugging into a USB port. The digital tuner features a sleek white exterior, and includes a digital receiver for DTT (DVB-T) signals. The device comes with a white antenna to match its exterior, and is among the smallest TV receivers in its class. TubeStick requires at least a G4 Mac running at 1GHz or faster with at least 512MB of memory. The device is priced at $60.
AVerVision CP300 camera
AVerMedia Technologies today began shipping its new AVerVision CP300 Interactive Portable Document Camera. The CP300 offers new network sharing capability, where users can access live images and control a document camera in any classroom or location on a school campus. "The ability to connect all document cameras in one campus together through the existing Local Area Network now provides the ability for multiple classrooms, or even the entire school to view and share live document camera lessons and demonstrations," the company said. Users can control annotation, image capture, video recording, zoom, and more by each classroom accessing the demonstration on the network. AVerMedia's CP300 is available for $800.
Creative Manager Pro
Creative Manager Pro today announced a forthcoming update to its self-titled ad agency management software. The major foundation upgrade to Creative Manager Pro offers more Flash features, and includes changes for the latest release of Mac OS X Leopard. Previous updates converted some of the most-used features to Flash, while the new update addresses interface improvements based on months of research, client interviews, and user feedback. The update is due in April, according to the company (pricing was unavailable).
OmniGraffle 5 released
The Omni Group today released OmniGraffle 5, an update to its diagramming and concept visualization software. OmniGraffle 5 boasts increased layout speed and new automatic layout options with the addition of the Graphviz layout engine. "Many of the standard OmniGraffle tools are more powerful, including the line tools which can now create Bézier curves, making drawing and connecting objects more flexible," the company said. The latest release also updates the toolbar for easy access to common text and object formatting options. OmniGraffle 5 is priced at $100, with upgrades from version 4 priced at $40. OmniGraffle 5 Professional is available for $200.
Mio on Tuesday released three automobile navigation systems at CeBIT. The three make up the Mio Moov series, which represents the first product since Mio merged with Navman. Main upgrades common to all include MioMore software that allows moving points of interest back and forth between a computer and the unit as well as SIRF's InstantFixII GPS receiver for quicker finding of satellites.
New MacBooks slower?
Primate Labs has taken a close look at the performance of Apple's lastest MacBook, and claims that the newest base model is slower than the previous generation. A performance comparison via Geekbench -- an application designed to test the speed of computers in various areas -- revealed higher scores for MacBooks released in early 2008 than the latest models offered by Apple. In overall performance the early 2008 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo MacBook scored 3,135 against a baseline score of 1,000, which signifies the score a 1.6GHz Power Mac G5 would receive. Conversely, Apple's late 2008 2.2GHz MacBook scored 2,890 -- significantly less than the slightly older model.
IE 8 takes on Safari
Microsoft has released Internet Explorer 8 (IE 8) beta, a test version of the company's free Web browser that will compete for dominance with Apple's Safari browser and Firefox. IE 8 features 'Activities,' or contextual services that provide quick access to a service -- such as 'look up' or 'send' -- from any Web page. Activities for example could allow a user to select the address of a restaurant and display an in-place view of the map using a favorite map service.
First Look: Xdrive
With inexpensive CDs/DVDs and external hard disks, it's easy to back up your data. The problem is backing up your data is worthless if a catastrophe wipes out your hard disk and any backups stored nearby. To protect your data, you need to back it up and store it in a physical location far away from your computer. Corporations have been using such offsite storage options for years and now everyone can enjoy similar offsite storage using Xdrive. A subsidiary of America Online, Xdrive gives everyone the ability to back up and store their data over the Internet. Now if something happens to your computer, you can recover your crucial files off Xdrive and get back to work again.
Apple ninth in laptops
Apple sits ninth overall in laptop sales, but also has the third highest rate of growth, according to a recent study performed by The NPD Group. According to the study, Apple had moved through 1.34 million laptops during the quarter, earning 4.1-percent market share, which is up 38-percent from the year ago quarter. HP remained the top brand, claiming 20.1-percent market share, by moving 6.66 million laptops, up from 4.69 million last year.
MacBook Air contest
In brief: We have posted reviews of Meander and Alien Skin Exposure 2, a MacBook Air will be given away in the "My Mac Server" contest, a new site lets you find the 99 cent movies in iTunes, and a new London travel guide for iPods and iPhones has debuted ... We have posted a review of Meander, an inexpensive program created by Peacock Media that lets you to use your computer to what you would do normally with a highlighter and a ruler; draw routes on maps and measure distances. Computer route planning has several obvious advantages. For example, you can quickly and easily test different routes to find the best one, and you can measure distances more accurately with a mouse than with a ruler.
Conjure 1.3 ($25) expanded desktop environment that allows you have an unlimited number of desktops, capture audio notes, grab still images from your, use an iSight camera, draw on any desktop, write on any desktop, scale, and rotate images, link to websites, movies, files, anything. Version 2.4 incorporates a number of minor changes requested by users, and generally fixes every known bug. Furthermore, Conjure has expanded support for Spaces, desktop shadows, and allows you to cluster items together more efficiently. [Download - 7.4MB]
BitClamp 1.5 ($20) file encryption software for Mac OS X. The update introduces file mimicking, allowing users to hide files for increased security. BitClamp 1.5 also introduces a password generator and password log for easy and secure password creation. BitClamp allows users to easily secure confidential documents and personal files with trusted 448-bit Blowfish, AES 256-bit and 256-bit Serpent encryption. Simply drag and drop the required files to encrypt your documents with industry-standard encryption methods for remarkable security. [Download - 5.8MB]
Cocktail 4.0.2 (Tiger Edition) ($15) general purpose utility for Mac OS X. This release adds adds multi-user cache clearing, updated Automator actions as well as many various fixes, optimizations and improvements. Cocktail 4.0 (Tiger Edition) is distributed as a Universal Binary and runs natively on both PowerPC and Intel Macs. Cocktail 4.0 (Tiger Edition) requires Mac OS X or Mac OS X Server 10.4 - 10.4.11 and is tested for compatibility with Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server 10.4.11.[Download - 2MB]
PodWorks 2.9.3 ($8) iPod and iPhone management application. The new release includes a large number of changes aimed at increasing the performance, reliability, and ease of use of the application's existing iTunes integration, as well as a new "metadata only" transfer feature that can set a song's play count, last played date, star rating, and other attributes based on its counterpart on an iPod or iPhone. [Download - 450KB]
MS to cut Euro Xbox prices
The prices of European Xbox 360s will be cut substantially as of March 14th, a new report claims. The account cites a number of "well-placed games industry sources," along with a variety of UK retailers, who together suggest that the quoted date will see prices fall by €50 across the continent. The cut is also said to be applicable to all versions of the 360, including the Arcade, the standard model, and the high-end Elite. The latter two consoles should for example cost approximately £150 and £240 in the UK.
iMac, Shuffle trademarks
Apple has filed a figurative trademark application depicting its iMac desktop computer. The filing, which falls under International Classification 009 for computers, claims that "the mark consists of the configuration of a computer, including a flat, roughly triangular shaped stand, a generally flat case having rounded corners, and a rectangular monitor screen within a framing case having a wide lower boarder, all such features arranged in an aesthetically pleasing manner, as shown in the drawing accompanying the Application."
Microsoft Surface spheres?
Microsoft's Surface technology, which currently enables multi-touch computing on a table-sized display, may soon develop into a new shape, sources claim. Microsoft is reportedly demonstrating a spherical prototype at the company's main campus, though for what purpose remains unclear; it may be a proof-of-concept device, illustrating the ability of Microsoft engineers to produce touchscreens in unusual shapes. Most touchscreens must remain flat due to the use of glass or hard plastic.
Intel announces Centrino 2
Although long expected, Intel has confirmed that its new notebook platform, codenamed Montevina, is officially being christened as Centrino 2. Systems built under the specification will use 45nm Penryn processors, with clock speeds up to 2.8GHz and normal thermal design power ratings between 25 and 35W. Some processors, though, will use a special compact design like that in the MacBook Air, producing an ultra-low power consumption of 5W.
Quark dynamic publishing
Quark has launched its new Quark Dynamic Publishing Solution (DPS), an enterprise-scale publishing system designed to combine flexible layout with automated publishing for accurate communications across multiple media types. The system distributes content via print, the Web, mobile, and electronic devices to address increasing multi-channel challenges faced by publishers, according to Quark. The company will showcase Quark Dynamic Publishing Solution at AIIM/OnDemand in booth no. 725.
ArtSuite 3.0 released
AKVIS has released ArtSuite 3.0, an update to the company's photo editing application and plug-in that adds three new effects as well as an 'Autorun' button. The new effects, which arrive alongside a Spanish version of the software, are titled 'Black&White,' 'Shift Colors,' and 'Channel Mixer.' ArtSuite 3.0 provides users with 15 total effects as well as a Pattern Library to generate a wide array of different effects. The software is priced at $50.
Meizu Booth Forced Closed
(Update from Meizu on the raid) Meizu has been removed from the show floor at the CeBIT technology expo over copyright issues for its MiniOne smartphone, according to a new report by Germany's Heise. Local police on Wednesday morning declared the booth closed and insisted on the removal of virtually every item on display, including marketing pamphlets as well as demonstration models. Meizu has not commented on the action, which brings a premature end to its presence at the Hanover show.
Parallels Server beta 2
Parallels today announced it is offering Parallels Server beta 2 for public download, after positive feedback based on private testing. Parallels Server takes advantage of hypervisor-based virtualization techniques, and supports over 50 different x86 and x64 operating systems, including Windows Server 2008. The beta also features Parallels' toolsets for enhancing, transferring, and backing up the resident virtual machines. Parallels Server beta 2 is available from download from Parallels' website.
Sierra Compass 597 modem
Sierra Wireless has announced a new USB cellular modem, the Compass 597. The modem is meant for EVDO Revision A networks, and can theoretically hit download speeds of up to 3.1Mbps, or uploads as fast as 1.8Mbps. The modem is also said to be the smallest USB model Sierra produces, and despite this have a built-in GPS antenna, as well as enough room for memory expansion through a microSD slot.
Alienware ALX CFX
Alienware today claimed to have one of the fastest gaming desktops yet with the ALX CrossFireX. The system is one of the first from a major PC builder to use AMD's CrossFireX technology to pair up two of its twin-chipset Radeon HD 3870 X2 cards in a single system. The four-GPU setup is enough to supply nearly four times the performance in ideal conditions and 2GB of total video memory. Users can also use official drivers to overclock the entire setup if they like, Alienware says.
Steve kept cancer a secret
Steve Jobs reportedly held on to the news about his pancreatic cancer for approximately nine months, before having corrective surgery and announcing the news to the world. According to CNN Money, Jobs attempted to solve the issue by maintaining a special diet, hoping to avoid surgery altogether. The news weighed heavily on Apple's board, which remained quiet at the advice of its lawyers.
Yahoo works to delay MS
Yahoo is extending the deadline for nominations to its board of directors, Reuters reports. While nominations were to have ended by March 14th, they will now take place 10 days after the company announces a date for its shareholders' meeting. The move is openly admitted by CEO Jerry Yang to be a delay tactic, preventing Microsoft from subverting Yahoo in order to ease its hostile takeover attempt. "Microsoft, of course, could still choose to name directors," says Yang in a letter filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, "but our objective here is to enable our board to continue to explore all of its strategic alternatives for maximizing value for stockholders without the distraction of a proxy contest."
New HP business printers
Computer giant HP has announced the introduction of several new printers, all aimed at business use. At the forefront is the L7590 All-in-One, which as its name implies is also capable of faxing and flatbed copying or scanning. All operations can be performed in color, and it can print anywhere between 5 and 35 pages per minute, depending primarily on quality mode rather than which color mode is being used.
Panasonic Atom Toughbook
Panasonic is developing an ultra-mobile PC in its Toughbook line based on Intel's new Atom platform, the company revealed today. The handheld will be designed for outdoor travelers and others who need an extremely shock- and weather-resistant device but who need something smaller than today's Toughbook portables. With a 5.6-inch touchscreen, the system will weigh less than 2.2 pounds even with the added protection, the company says. Besides the touch input, the handheld will also have a full QWERTY keyboard and shortcut buttons along the side for launching favorite programs or scrolling through menus.
Apple reveals retail plan
Apple's retail director Ron Johnson yesterday confirmed the opening of two Italian store locations during the shareholder meeting in Cupertino yesterday. According to SetteB.IT, Johnson said there would be two retail locations opening in Milan within the next year. The first location would be behind the Duomo or between Corso Vittorio Emanuele and Via Montenapoleone, the second in the Corso Buenos Aires.
Piper: Apple drops hints
Yesterday's shareholder meeting for Apple may have produced "nothing material," according to analysts from Piper Jaffray, but it did provide small pieces of information about Apple's products and strategy. It was for example unknown if the company's goal to sell 10 million iPhones in 2008 meant a total since the product's inception, or simply within the calendar year; it is now confirmed that Apple wants to add 10 million to the 3.7 million sold in 2007. Piper is currently projecting sales that exceed Apple estimates, at 12.9 million iPhones during 2008.
Olympus today took advantage of the relative quiet to revamp its EVOLT digital SLRs with the E-420. The 10-megapixel camera is claimed as the smallest and lightest ever in the category and weighs just 13.4 ounces, or at least 20 percent lighter than the next-best in the class. It also represents an improved ease of use over the earlier E-410, with both a shadow correction function and a new onscreen autofocus feature that uses the live preview LCD to mark out properly focused subjects. The combination is said by Olympus to produce a camera that can be used like a compact point-and-shoot while still offering all the control of a full SLR.
The PCMCIA group today outlined ExpressCard 2.0, the next major change to the removable card standard for notebooks. The format is now being reworked to take advantage of technologies that have been introduced since its initial release, including PCI Express 2.0 and USB 3.0. Depending on the connection, the right cards could transfer data between 2X (PCIe) and 10X (USB) faster than existing technology. The extra speed will be crucial for flash-based ExpressCard storage as well as SATA II external drives and streaming media adapters, the group says.
Future of iPhone Flash
Flash support for the iPhone should not be expected anytime soon, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has indicated. Addressing people at yesterday's shareholders meeting, Jobs insisted that Adobe's current Flash player for cellphones, Flash Lite, is insufficient for his goals. The iPhone needs something comparable to what can be run on notebooks and desktops, but this runs too slowly on Apple's cellphone processor, according to Jobs. "There's this missing product in the middle," he says. "It just doesn't exist. We enjoy a good relationship with Adobe."
Facebook Music Store Rumor
Facebook is investigating the possibility of its own music store, say reported insiders. While the social network recently launched its Music on Facebook service for following artists and buying their music through iTunes, the company is reportedly in talks with major labels to offer content of its own. While no aspects of the deal have been finalized, label officials reportedly say that a deal would most likely include free, ad-backed streaming audio similar to MySpace's profile pages but allow paid MP3 downloads usable on any operating system and portable player.
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