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AirQueue USB 2.0 extender
Synchrotech today unveiled the AirQueue, a 7.75-inch USB 2.0 extension cable specifically designed to allow large or unusually designed USB devices to work with Apple's recently released MacBook Air. The AirQueue is certified to work with Synchrotech's own MicroU2E USB ExpressCard reader, which allows users to access a wide array of USB 2.0-based ExpressCards with a MacBook Air. The extender cable is priced at $6.
Id eyes iPhone SDK
Id software head John Carmack today expressed interest in Apple's iPhone SDK (Software Development Kit) in a comment on a popular tech news website. The iPhone SDK, which Apple released today during a town-hall meeting at its campus in Cupertino, will bring support for OpenGL/OpenAL to mobile developers alongside access to the handset's 3-axis Accelerometer. "Just based on the blurbs, it looks very good -- a simulator plus debugging on the native device is the best of both worlds, and a 70 percent royalty deal for apps over iTunes is quite good," Cormack wrote in a comment on Slashdot.org.
Sony Blu-ray Talks
Sony is discussing the possibility of offering a Blu-ray drive for Macs and the Xbox 360, claims Sony Electronics chief Stan Glasgow. The senior official partly confirms past leaks and says that Sony hopes to see the HD disc format as an option for Apple's computers as well as Microsoft's game console. Glasgow does not describe the extent or progress of the talks but says that the likelihood of Blu-ray being eclipsed by downloads was slim in the near future due to the sheer size of HD movies, many of which take up as much as 50GB on a dual-layer Blu-ray disc.
Collanos Workplace 1.3
Collanos today released Collanos Workplace 1.3 (site down at publish time), an update to the cross-platform collaboration software that is thoroughly optimized with extended teamwork functions. The latest release includes a Team Instant Messenger environment, and allows team members to share results with other team members across any supported platform as quickly as similar server-based applications, according to the company. Collanos Workplace 1.3 is available for free (system requirements were unavailable).
Torque 360 1.5 released
GarageGames today released Torque 360 1.5, the latest revision of its game engine for Xbox 360 development. The update brings performance enhancements and additional functionality -- including support for GarageGames' Torque Game Builder drag-and-drop 2D engine and tools. Torque 360 received numerous improvements in 2007 and now shares code entirely with Torque Game Engine Advanced for PC development, according to GarageGames. Developers can use Torque 360 to build a game on separate PCs with just one development kit for testing.
Apple posts SDK stream
Apple has posted the event stream for the iPhone software developer's kit session that took place at the company's head office in Cupertino. Apple's "SDK Roadmap" event transpired at 10AM Pacific Standard Time, where Steve Jobs, Phil Schiller, and many representatives from different developers offered their opinions and views of the project. Venture capitalist firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers was on hand as well, announcing a $100 million "iFund" for entrepreneurial developers.
TiVo Tru2Way/OCAP set-top
DVR maker TiVo is preparing to support Tru2Way technology, according to a financial statement released by the company. Fomerly known as OCAP, the technology enables two-way interaction over cable set-tops, including services such as games, chat, web browsing and shopping. The technology will only be available in in the form of an upcoming standalone device, however, and not as an update for present set-tops like the TiVo HD or Series 3.
Moto Marketing Exec Quits
The chief marketing executive at Motorola has made a sudden departure, the Wall Street Journal has revealed in a report. Brought to the company in October 2006, Kenneth Keller Jr. has largely been responsible for the latter half of the company's promotional campaign behind the RAZR and is known to have perpetuated the theme across most of the company's lineup, including the RAZR2 and spinoffs such as the ROKR line. No reason has been given for his departure, which remains unannounced by the company.
iPhone Enterprise Beta
Apple today launched its iPhone Enterprise Beta Program, a new mini-site dedicated to bringing the iPhone to large corporate environments. The program offers "a unique opportunity for IT departments to try iPhone 2.0 software before general release," according to Apple. "If your company is selected to participate, you'll test new iPhone enterprise features within your corporate environment, then provide Apple with valuable feedback." Apple touts the latest capabilities of its iPhone which surfaced today during a town-hall meeting centered around the iPhone's software roadmap.
iFund for iPhone Apps
Venture capitalist firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers today announced the iFund, a money pool for developers looking to start businesses based on the newly announced SDK for the iPhone and iPod touch. The fund has a total of $100 million to distribute between potential candidates and is meant to spark the next wave of development. The size "should be enough to start a few Amazons or Yahoos," according to the VC firm's John Doerr.
iPhone SDK QA Session
The iPhone and iPod touch will support more than just third-party applications when their version 2.0 firmware is available in June, Apple executives have revealed today at a question and answer session following today's software roadmap event. The company noted in particular that the software will allow voice over IP (VoIP) calling with the iPhone as long as the device is on a Wi-Fi network. Cellular data will be restricted, he says. No explanation is provided, though the limit is believed to be in place to protect AT&T's phone business.
Sony XPERIA X1 on AT&T?
Sony Ericsson's purported "iPhone killer" will join its rival on AT&T, technology demonstrations suggest. Given hands-on time with the XPERIA X1 at CeBIT, one publication notes that amidst a collection of webpage tiles in the sample interface was one dubbed the "AT&T XPERIENCE," located in the center; there were also no references to any other cellular carrier. It is already known that the phone supports AT&T's HSDPA/HSUPA bands, essentially leaving no technical obstacle to adoption.
Circuit City HD DVD return
Big-box electronics retailer Circuit City is extending a grace period exclusively for HD DVD buyers, notes the Associated Press. Beginning today, the company will now accept returns of HD DVD players within 90 days of purchase, instead of the normal 30-day period. Buyers will only receive store credit instead of cash, however, and there is no equivalent policy for HD DVD movies, which are useless without their intended player.
Spore, more for iPhone
Apple today during a meeting covering its iPhone software roadmap announced that games are coming to iPhone, and that the highly anticipated massive multiplayer online title 'Spore' is also coming to the mobile handset. The iPhone features built-in OpenGL/OpenAL support for graphics as well as sound, and game developers can access the handset's Accelerometer for motion-based controls. Travis Boatman -- vice president of worldwide studios for EA Mobile -- took the stage at Apple's town hall meeting to talk about iPhone owners controlling 'Spore' by moving the iPhone in space.
Apple App Store
As part of its SDK announcement, Apple today unveiled the App Store, the sole home for third-party applications for the iPhone and iPod touch. The service will be accessible either wirelessly from the device itself or through iTunes, which synchronizes apps to the handset on its next connection. To fund the store, Apple will follow a pattern set by Handango and other third-party stores and will collect 30 percent of the revenue from each app purchase. Free apps remain free for both the user and developer, Apple notes.
iPhone SDK Details
As promised, Apple today provided development details for native third-party applications for the iPhone and iPod touch. The company has created a development kit that uses the same programming language and interface used by Apple itself and now includes Cocoa Touch, an API designed to add touchscreen input. Programmers now use a modified version of Xcode that is not only used to write programs for the iPhone but to manage them as well, including designing the visual interface, source control, and debugging.
iPhone 'push' mail support
Apple today announced that it is implementing ActiveSync for Exchange mail support on its iPhone. The word came today during a planned meeting at the company's Cupertino campus, where Apple promised to discuss the future of software on the iPhone. ActiveSync for Exchange mail support, or 'push' mail, comes alongside promises of improved security for the mobile handset, according to phonemag. Stanford University has already purchased hundreds of iPhones for faculty and students, according to Apple, and the Cupertino-based company promised built-in Cisco IPsec VPN capability with certificates and identities with WPA2/802.11x. [updated]
MS open document plans
Microsoft has launched what it calls the Document Interoperability Initiative, a program to test and improve how well certain document formats work across multiple platforms and operating systems. The company will host a series of lab events around the world for this purpose, and today met with other outfits such as Novell, Nuance and Quickoffice at a first event, which was set in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The focus of the meeting was on the open ODF format, most famously used in OpenOffice, and Microsoft's less popular Open XML standard, supported almost exclusively by the company's Office suites.
BBC iPlayer for iPhone
MacNN has discovered that the BBC is reportedly working on a version of its iPlayer software for the iPhone and iPod touch, which was spotted ahead of Apple's announcements at 10AM Pacific. When visiting the BBC iPlayer website through the portable devices, a small, inactive link appears in the corner of the main window, indicating that a beta version of the player software will soon be available. Details have not been released, but with the SDK event due any moment, the BBC will hopefully put an official spin on the find.
ECS aims at Eee with G10IL
Computer builder ECS is joining the competition against ASUS' popular Eee PC, reports say. The former is said to be developing the G10IL, a subnotebook system with mostly unknown specifications, including exact size, storage and processing power. It does however have a webcam and three USB 2.0 ports, along with an Ethernet connection and a 56K modem. Optical storage is omitted; Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth may be present, but the company has not said as much.
BenQ A53 Joybook
BenQ announced the launch of its newest notebook PC, the Joybook A53 on Wednesday. It is the fourth laptop in the company's A-series range, sitting at the top as its flaghsip. The 15.4-inch Joybook sports a 2GHz Core 2 Duo processor and BenQ is pushing the A53's "metropolitan aesthetic" visible in the etched, brushed-metal finish. Other specifications include Windows Vista certification and an optional 8x dual-layer DVD writer.
Nav N Go iPhone GPS
Ahead of Apple's official announcement of the iPhone software developer's kit, Nav N Go unveiled an iPhone GPS unit at the CeBIT 2008 conference in Hanover, Germany. According to Pocket-lint.co.uk, the device combines Nav N Go's iGO My Way 8 satnav software with an "upcoming, yet to be announced iPhone GPS receiver". The current distribution of the software requires a jailbroken iPhone, but could receive the official nod later today.
MS Cash Offer for Yahoo
Microsoft is mulling the possibility of making a direct cash deal to increase the strength of its offer to buy Yahoo, says a claim from the New York Post. The newspaper points to purported sources who say that Microsoft is considering changing its original bid from a share-based bid, which linked the value to Yahoo's stock price, to buying the company with a flat, undisclosed amount. The maneuver would reportedly provide greater incentives to shareholders and in turn push Yahoo's board to drop its current resistance to the deal.
Freeverse iPhone games
Freeverse, the developer of games like Kill Monty and Commander: Europe at War, says it will be one of the first companies to produce native games for the iPhone and iPod touch. The company has in fact already begun work on two products, the first of which is Flick Sports. Like Nintendo's Wii Sports, the Freeverse title combines several mini-games, including Golf, Bowling, Soccer and Baseball; here players take advantage of the iPhone's unique flick/pinch controls. More mini-games may be added with time.
Sony Working on ATV Rival
Sony is developing its own response to the Apple TV, the company's Electronics chief Stan Glasgow has said in a roundtable discssion with Gizmodo. The executive notes that his company is "working very hard" on such a device and suggests that it would not necessarily be tied to the BRAVIA Internet Link feature from the company's HDTV sets, which lets them browse a narrow range of content without a dedicated computer or media device. Glasgow declines to provide most details but hints that access to the PlayStation Network will spread "over the next year" to other devices besides game consoles and may not be limited to gaming-related content.
KORE Player released
As promised, Native Instruments has released KORE Player, a scaled-down companion to its KORE 2 platform. The software lets musicians or producers play material from KORE Soundpacks through their host sequencer, or else as a standalone instrument. Because Player is based on the same six components of KORE 2, including ABSYNTH, GUITAR RIG and REAKTOR, all Soundpacks are supported; the software further comes with a basic library in order to get started. The app is a free 590MB download, and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or higher.
dvGarage product updates
dvGarage recently unveiled updates to Conduit Suite and dvMatte Pro, its respective Conduit nodal composition tool and chromakeying software. Conduit suite brings with it Conduit Live, a new standalone nodal capture tool which offers users real-tie video compositing and analysis of any live digital footage. The Studio bundle also includes Conduit for Motion, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Photoshop, and After Effects. Conduit Suite is selling for $199, available from dvGarage's website.
GyPSii on iPhone
A geotagging-based social networking site, GyPSii, says it has developed a new iPhone version of its mobile web client. The site is used to upload and share points of interest along with pictures, video and text; the two can in fact be combined, creating what the company dubs an online "life history." The iPhone client uses an optimized interface, able to display all relevant information at once for a particular person or place. Location-based search has been improved with new categories, and users can get integrated directions from the mapping interface, pointing to or from specific people and places.
Samsung BD/HDDVD Axed
Samsung today canceled the launch of the BD-UP5500, its second hybrid Blu-ray and HD DVD movie player. The move is directly attributed to Toshiba's decision to drop HD DVD as a standard and is said to reflect the reality of the market. A single HD movie format will let Samsung focus primarily on its efforts for Blu-ray; the existing UP5000 player is also still available for those who want to keep access to HD DVDs before the format is withdrawn entirely from the market, the company adds. In the future, however, the prospect of selling any future devices remains slim.
Casio EX-Z9 Camera
Casio today took advantage of the quiet camera market for the launch of the EX-Z9, a new entry model for its Exilim Zoom series. The 8.1-megapixel camera is said to be more portable than previous Exilims in the category and now has 23 separate Best Shot presets that fine-tune the settings without requiring an experienced user; as with past models, the Z9 also has a fully automatic Easy Mode that takes control of all settings except for flash use, resolution, and the timer.
iPhone SDK Mac OS-only?
More details of Apple's iPhone SDK announcement, scheduled today for 10AM Pacific time and 1PM Eastern, have allegedly leaked through anonymous sources. It is indicated that although the iPhone can be used on both Macs and PCs, developers will only be able to acquire the SDK for Mac OS X, leaving Windows developers stranded. The development environment is in fact said to be an enhanced variant of Xcode.
Hauppauge DivX Media Hub
Hauppauge is in the midst of developing a networked media hub, says a statement by DivX. The video codec designers reveal that the former company, best known for its TV tuners, is planning a device that would share DivX videos between a PC and a TV. The hub will be capable of playing HD-level video and will also offer Internet services directly from the device itself; like the Apple TV, it will have its own hard drive to cache information locally. DivX declines to elaborate on most other details but does note that the Hauppauge hub will support a plug-in architecture.
iPhone May Have Flash
Politics, not performance, are the reasons why Flash is not already available on the iPhone, according to a claim by FastCompany's Robert Scoble. Although not yet corroborated by additional sources, the tip rebuffs company chief Steve Jobs' claims that software limitations have prevented the phone's mobile browser from supporting the plug-in. Instead, the comments are reportedly a pressure tactic to have Adobe drop demands to use its own PDF engine on the phone, allowing Apple to use its own.
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