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Rich Miner, group manager for mobile platforms at Google, recently spoke at the eComm conference, showing both praise and disdain for the iPhone. According to Yahoo, Miner said that while Apple "did a number of things right first time, first device", the lack of a background environment for applications is a major limitation. He also cited that interpreted languages and multiprocessing apps are not supported, summarizing that "there's a lot of restrictions."
Global Delight Technologies today unveiled Web2 Delight Public Beta 2, a preview version of its video and photo organization and viewing tool. Web2 Delight allows users to locate videos and photos from popular content sharing sites through a single location. Once downloaded, content can be viewed or transferred to iTunes and iPhoto, which can then be distributed to iPhones, iPods and the Apple TV. Global Delight expects to ship the application at the end of March.
Apple recently filed for a patent, which appears to enhance the existing foundations of its Cover Flow technology on the iPhone and iPod classic. The patent application demonstrates the process of flipping through contacts, dates, pictures, and other information using both the default iPod scrollwheel and a square touchpad. The iPhone related diagrams show a user scrolling through Cover Flow items in the standard manner, as well as through arcing motions.
Ecamm Network has announced the Huckleberry 3 MacBook mirror. Consisting of two acrylic mirrors and two durable mounting brackets, Huckleberry attaches to your screen to reflect the built-in camera's field of view. Instead of filming yourself, it will now film what's in front of you. The new Huckleberry 3 features an enhanced design, fits both MacBook and MacBook Pro and comes with Ecamm's iGlasses software to flip and rotate the video image. The Huckleberry costs $29 and ships worldwide.
In brief: Rush Limbaugh gets his Mac troubleshooting issues resolved, Adobe Font Folio Essentials debuts, the Easter mEgg Hunt" hunt for Mac software has been announced, nova media cuts prices for US media residents, and an Easter icon pack for the iPhone has been released ... Rush Limbaugh's IT professional, in conjunction with an unnamed Apple Engineer has fixed Rush's recent complaints about problems in Mac OS X 10.5. Limbaugh said "Apple engineers to look at, and they found the problem. Basically, what we had to do was delete the null mail folder (that's the folder that processes all e-mail) and then we told the mail app to rebuild its internal director via terminal command, and now it is working flawlessly. So I just wanted to take a moment to thank people at Apple. I'm not going to mention the name of the engineer."
Apple today announced dates for the Worldwide Developers Conference 2008, which will run from June 9th to the 13th. Apple advertises "Three Tracks to Innovation," through the iPhone, the Macintosh platform, and the IT sector. Each "Track" has a host of informative sessions for development techniques, with additional information available for animation techniques, technology integration, and several other Apple-specific services.
Gogii Games yesterday unveiled Escape The Museum on Macgamestore.com, a puzzle game from the creators of Hidden Secrets: The Nightmare. Players take the role of Susan Anderson, an employee at the National Museum of History, who brought her daughter Caitlin to work for the day. Suddenly, the museum suffers for a 7.6 magnitude earthquake, trapping both inside. Susan must solve a series of puzzles and search frantically for her daughter. Escape The Museum is available for $20.
The successor to Windows Vista, simply known at the moment as "7," should be released in 2010, Microsoft has confirmed. Leaked information revealed recently that the operating system has already hit "Milestone 1," an internal marker of development progress. Microsoft has previously said that the Vista sequel would arrive approximately three years after the debut of Vista; since business clients received Vista early, however, it was unclear if this would mean late 2009 or sometime in 2010.
MySpace has officially entered the public beta for its Developer Platform, a framework that lets coders produce applications using Google's OpenSocial standard. Because of OpenSocial, some creations may eventually migrate to other social networking sites, such as Friendster. Both OpenSocial and the Developer Platform are seen as a challenge to Facebook, whose popularity has been attributed to web apps such as iLike and Scrabulous.
Confirming earlier reports about an Austrian iPhone, T-Mobile appears to have a website prepared for a launch tomorrow. According to the page, handsets will be priced at €399 for the 8GB version, and €499 for 16GB. T-Mobile is offering two different rates for monthly plans, one at €39, and one at €55. The lower priced plan includes 1000 minutes for all networks, and 25 Cents for text messages, while the upper plan includes 1000 SMS messages, 1000 minutes on T-Mobile networks, and 1000 minutes for others.
Music gear maker Line 6 has released a new model in its POD line of guitar-focused signal processors, the X3 Pro. The Pro is able to handle two instruments simultaneously, each with a separate chain of sounds and effects. Musicians can alternately treat the system like an A/B/Y box, dividing a signal input into two chains that can be selected or combined for effects such as dual-layering. A backlit LCD panel displays the effects enabled on each chain, and the processor has a wide variety of inputs and outputs, including USB, MIDI, XLR and 1/4" connections.
algoriddim has announced a new version of its turntable-style digital audio player, djay, featuring new plug-and-play support for the VCI-100 and VCM-100 USB MIDI controllers by Vestax. This is the first opportunity to utilize a Mac OS X-native application to power these DJ controllers. djay integrates with the user's iTunes library and allows to mix an entire digital music collection with two realistic interactive turntables. In djay's Automix mode, music can be automatically mixed using DJ-style transitions. Users can perform live, record their mixes, and even send them over the Bonjour network to other connected djays in real-time.
The final details of NVIDIA's GeForce 9800 GTX have escaped ahead of their public debut and promise a tangible though not dramatic boost to performance, says an anonymous poster with access to reportedly leaked presentation slides. The new single-chipset flagship card will clock at 675MHz for its core (versus 575MHz for the 8800 GTX) as well as a 1.1GHz memory speed (up from 900MHz). The internal shader engine for pixels and geometry will also jump from 1.35GHz to 1.69GHz, the leak indicates. However, the switch to a newer architecture will actually reduce the total video memory from 768MB to 512MB.
Developer Ubermind has updated three of its plug-ins for Aperture, Apple's photo-editing software. In each case the plug-ins have been upgraded to support Aperture 2.0, although they are still compatible with v1.5. UberUpload 2.0.1 is an export plug-in, designed to simplifying uploading photos to remote servers. It supports FTP, SFTP and Bonjour protocols, and boasts features such as Keychain support and an "enterprise-grade" file transfer engine. It is being priced at $25.
Feral Interactive has announced a release date for Fable: The Lost Chapters, a new action role-playing game for the Mac: Monday, March 31st. The game invites players to take the role of a legendary Hero and create his life story from child to old man. "Players are challenged to undertake quests and perform great deeds and in so doing must make a multitude of choices and decisions along the way. Each decision and every action shapes the character of the Hero; skills, appearance and even morality are all affected." The game will retail in the US for $50.00, £35 (inc VAT) in the UK and 50 euros throughout Europe. It is currently available for pre-order from Feral's online store. Minimum system requirements call for a 1.6GHz or faster PowerPC or Intel-based Mac, 512MB RAM, 64MB graphics card and Mac OS X v10.4.8 or later.
It has been confirmed on Wednesday that Microsoft will not integrate Sony's Blu-ray high-definition technology into its Xbox 360 game console. Aaron Greenberg, group product manager for Xbox 360, made the statement in an interview, pointing out owners can still view high-definition movies on the Xbox via Microsoft's Xbox Live online service that allows renting movies, and is the only game console to do so. With the recent fall of HD DVD, Microsoft stopped offering an HD DVD add-on player for its popular console.
Gateway on Thursday quietly updated two of its staple notebook lines with improved specs, including the addition of one model based on Intel's newer Penryn-era Core 2 Duo architecture. Both the M-151X and the M-151XL are now faster and hold more storage: at the top end, the M-151XL now brings a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo with the larger 3MB Level 2 cache and better battery life that come with the Penryn upgrade. It also comes shipped with 3GB of memory as well as a 250GB hard drive. The 256MB Mobility Radeon HD 2400 XT, HDMI output, and 802.11n also come intact from the earlier M-150.
The new president of Cuba, Raul Castro, has formally lifted a ban on the sale of computers and other consumer electronics such as DVD players, say reports. "Based on the improved availability of electricity, the government at the highest level has approved the sale of some equipment which was prohibited," reads an internal government memo obtained by Reuters. Car alarms, microwaves, and rice and pressure cookers are among the other devices Cubans can now buy; TV sizes have expanded to include 19- and 24-inch models.
Nokia's promised WiMAX tablet could arrive as early as next month, says a tip sent to BGR. While uncorroborated, the information suggests the device will be a variant of the previously Wi-Fi only N810 rather than a significant remake; the wide-area, high-speed Internet access will be its primary hardware update. The change will nonetheless make more use of the existing hardware, such as its camera for video calls and its microphone for VoIP.
Microsoft is planning to launch a mobile Zune portal sometime in 2009, according to the French newspaper Les Echos. The site would extend the reach of the company's iTunes rival, the Zune Marketplace, and allow users to download games and music directly to various platforms, including computers, Windows Mobile devices and for the first time, Zune players themselves. While Zunes have always come equipped with a Wi-Fi module, they have never had Internet access, a prominent feature on Apple's competing iPod touch.
Memory maker Corsair has released an unusual new RAM upgrade module, aimed exclusively at Mac owners. The company's new Mac Memory kit has been tuned explicitly for MacBooks and MacBook Pros, using a special SPD (serial presence detect) profile that Macs can exploit to self-configure for better performance. The memory has been tested in programs such as XBench, Photoshop and VMware Fusion, and is claimed to be as much as 28 percent faster than standard Mac upgrade memory.
Toshiba will take a serious but far from fatal blow to its bottom line for its decision to discontinue HD DVD, according to a report by Japan's Nikkei Business Daily (account required). The electronics maker is predicted by the newspaper to be spending $986 million this quarter to ramp down its production of HD DVD players and discs at its factories as well as writing down the cost of unsold devices. The tally will significantly affect Toshiba's income but should still result in a significant profit, as official company estimates would have it generating $2.9 billion in the same period.
Apple may be aiming to eventually transform the Apple TV set-top into a full DVR, new filings with the US Patent and Trademark Office suggest. Submitted in October 2006 but only just made public, the filings depict a unique interface for the Apple TV, able to browse and record live TV programming, in addition to downloading movies and TV shows sold through iTunes. Such features would put the Apple TV into direct competition with TiVo, whose set-tops can not only record TV but buy movies through Amazon's Unbox service. Recently, the company announced that it would support YouTube content, much like the Apple TV.
AOL, Time Warner’s Internet arm, announced Thursday it will buy social network Bebo for $850 million in cash, giving the 40-million member website newfound support to compete against MySpace and Facebook. Bebo trails the two in North America but is number one in Britain, Ireland and New Zealand. AOL has big plans for Bebo in 2008, launching it in five more countries as part of its plans to expand globally. In general, AOL is aiming to expand into more than 30 new countries this year.
The SanDisk Sansa Fuze is at our offices and already being prepared for a full test. In the meantime, we've already collected first impressions of the player and can already say that the current iPod nano (and Zune 4/8) may have some genuine competition. The Fuze is perhaps the most direct spin-off of the Apple design we've seen to date, but it improves on the formula: the 1.9-inch screen is only slightly smaller than the 2-inch iPod but translates to a considerably narrower design which is easy to hold. The scroll wheel is essentially the same as for the larger View and is more precise than the smaller iPod's, if not quite as efficient at scrolling quickly through a long track list.
The BBC has put an end to an exploit which allowed people to download its TV shows permanently, according to the network's news agency. By altering the user string of a URL on a desktop system, people were able to fool the BBC iPlayer into thinking it was operating on an iPhone or iPod touch. While the latter devices are only able to stream shows from iPlayer, the exploit enabled Mac or PC users to save clips, which could then be played any time after the seven-day window the BBC sets for iPlayer material.
Marking the addition of one of the few Wi-Fi equipped home smartphones in its lineup, AT&T today released the BlackBerry Pearl 8120. Based on the same updated Pearl shape as the 8130 on sale at Sprint and Verizon, the 8120 adds 802.11g Wi-Fi that supplies much faster Internet access than the phone's usual EDGE service whenever the phone is within range of a hotspot; unlike the Curve 8320 at T-Mobile, however, the new AT&T Pearl lacks support for automatically bridged VoIP calls.
Having shipped the Professional version in February, Recosoft is now launching the Personal edition of PDF2Office 4.0. The plug-in reconstructs the elements of PDF documents within Microsoft Word, maintaining paragraphs, headers and footers, while generating tables and regrouping graphic elements. It additionally builds columns and sections, and incorporates endnotes and footnotes.
Canon today made image stabilization a near-universal element of its camera line by introducing three PowerShot compacts that come with the feature out of the box. The SD770 IS, SD790 IS, and SD890 IS all shoot at 10 megapixels with an optical stabilization element to produce clear shots; for the first time, model differences are separated by design and lenses rather than megapixel count, Canon notes. The SD770 IS is considered the starter with a standard 3X lens but is also the thinnest-ever IS camera from the company. Despite this, optimizations to battery life help it produce up to 300 shots on a charge. It shoots at up to ISO 1600 sensitivity with a 2.5-inch LCD and optical viewfinder, and should be available by mid-April for $300.
In brief: MacNN has posted a review of the Logic3 i-Station Traveller speaker system, March 13th marks "Kids Day" at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, and spiritual precursors to Monty Python have launched on iTunes. The only thing preventing the iPhone and iPod touch from being a true multimedia powerhouse is its speaker. The spacious display and storage capacity make watching movies on the go a pleasure- as long as you’re using headphones. The Logic3 i-Station Traveller solves that problem by providing room-filling sound in an enclosure small enough to slip into a backpack pocket or purse.
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Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k