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HP recently unveiled additional specifications for the UMPC 2133, the company's ultraportable designed to compete with the Asus EeePC, and placed a tentative ship date of April 7th on the device. According to Engadget, the UMPC 2133 will feature a choice of a 1.2GHz and 1.6GHz VIA C7-M processor, as well as a VIA Chrome 9 graphics chipset. Choices of Windows Vista Home Basic and Business, as well as SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop are available. Pricing for the computer starts at $550.
Garmin today unveiled the GPSMAP 495, a feature-rich trimmed down version of the GPSMAP 496, providing pilots with SafeTaxi airport diagrams, Smart Airspace, AOPA Airport directory data, and several other features. Garmin bills the device as an intermediary model to the 296 and 496, combining features from the 496 but maintaining a price close to the 296. Garmin is currently selling the GPSMAP 495 for $1600, and will be shipping in early April.
Mien Software has released MediaEdit 3 for the Mac, a consumer-level video editing tool, which edits virtually all QuickTime readable formats and supports unlimited layers. The new release adds support for nlimited media layers can add video, audio and text and uses non-destructive editing. I talso sports multiple levels of undo, live previews and background rendering and can capture video and audio. MediaEdit 3 has a timeline, can resize and position clip display region and comes with standard effects, filters and transitions. Completed videos can be exported to QuickTime, DV, MPEG-4 and to the web.
The iPhone is among the most widely accepted portable internet devices, and some in the industry are torn on whether this is a sign of the prophesized death of desktops. PC Magazine writer Lance Ulanoff argues that the iPhone, coupled with the long-awaited SDK, is creating a brand new era of computing standards that will some day kill the desktop, and possibly the laptop. Ulanoff argues that the iPhone has found a market with many different groups.
Apple today released a new Security Update, following closely behind last week's update, fixing a printing-related error in Aperture 2.0. Security Update 2008-002 v1.1 addresses reliability issues stemming from the "Printer Settings…" button in Aperture 2.0, and says the issue affects no other applications. Users who have installed Aperture 2.0, Mac OS X 10.5.2 Leopard, and the former security update are recommended to download this new patch.
Electronics giant Samsung has introduced a new compact camera, the L210. The camera's sensor is rated at 10.2 megapixels, and it supports light sensitivity up to ISO 1600. The lens is equipped with both 3x optical zoom and hardware image stabilization; this in turn is combined with software image stabilization, in theory allowing clear images in otherwise impossible lighting.
Toshiba on Wednesday showed off a talking, learning robot it calls the ApriPoko, which asks questions and learns remote control functions to make jobs such as turning on various electronic devices a voice-operated task. Users can tell ApriPoko to switch channels or turn on the TV when they’re out of remote range, which operates on line-of-sight. Still a prototype, the robot functions by asking questions from its chest-mounted speaker. Once it detects an infra-red signal from a remote, it will ask what function just took place; it then commits an answer to memory thanks to a built-in microphone and sends a corresponding IR signal when it hears the same words in the future.
Macgamestore.com today announced the availability of Hoyle Card Games as a digital download, a collection of over 150 games developed by Encore Software. Previously available only as a boxed version, the digital download allows users to create a custom avatar and play against others or the computer in Texas Hold'em, Hearts, Bridge, and Crazy Eights, among others. Hoyle Card Games is currently available for $20, and is 780MB in size.
Verizon is putting pressure on the Federal Communications Commission to make switching away from cable companies easier, Reuters reports. The company observes while phone companies will often handle the switchover from one carrier to another themselves, cable subscribers must typically get their own cable disconnected. This discourages people from switching, Verizon argues, "entrenching the cable incumbents' dominant market position."
Dell and multiple other top-tier PC makers today said they were facing the extended effects of a shortage of notebook batteries. Following a fire earlier this month at an LG Chem factory, Dell has encouraged it to boost prices of additional lithium-ion battery packs in an effort to preserve their reduced supply. There were no immediate plans to raise prices for regular systems, though the company would prefer not to offer a definitive statement, according to spokesman Jess Blackburn.
Users on Wednesday said that Dash had begun shipping the Dash Express, its Internet-connected GPS unit. The long-delayed 4.3-inch widescreen device draws attention as one of the first constantly Internet-aware navigators: fellow Dash owners can share points of interest and traffic data between each other and have map data updated almost in real time. Drivers can also run live Yahoo Search updates and send both addresses as well as Google Earth landmarks from their home computers.
Some extra features have been added to Windows Mobile 6.1 since the last time it was previewed, a phone update reveals. A media version of the new Motorola Q9 with Wi-Fi comes with v6.1 pre-loaded, and has support for features such as AT&T's Video Share service, and the ability to upload directly to a Windows Live Space. The home screen has been updated with more music and media options, and the camera interface has been improved in general.
ASUS' upcoming Eee PC 900 will have multi-touch features in its trackpad when it arrives on US shores, according to a new FCC filing. A user guide posted as part of the US agency's testing process reveals a trackpad with controls similar to (but simpler than) those found on the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. Unlike most notebooks, the 900 will allow both for two-finger scrolling as well as a "pinch" gesture to zoom into photos and some documents.
Although the U.S. economic slowdown has led to a pullback in PC spending by both consumers and corporations, planned purchases of Apple computers remain relatively strong, even in the slower buying environment according to a new study by ChangeWave research. Apple is the leader among consumers who plan to buy a laptop (31 percent) over the next 90 day. Similarly, Apple planned desktop computer purchases (28 percent; down 1 point) are close to record levels. The study also finds that Apple continues to set the standard for customer satisfaction among corporate respondents who use the Leopard operating system – with 53 percent saying they are Very Satisfied with the software. In comparison, Windows XP Pro has a 40 percent Very Satisfied rating and Microsoft Vista Business achieved just 8 percent.
Panasonic on Tuesday announced an update to its convertible tablet notebook, the Toughbook 19, that includes a newer chipset and more standard and optional memory. The next generation Toughbook 19F now includes a Core 2 Duo processor at 1.06GHz and twice as much standard memory, at 1GB versus 512MB, as well as a newly optional integrated camera. RAM is also expandable to 4GB, as opposed to 2GB with the earlier version.
Nokia has announced a new GSM phone, the 6300i. A variant on the current 6300, the phone's primary feature is the ability to make both cellular and VoIP calls. The latter are possible over Wi-Fi, an option which may save money when in range of an open hotspot. The phone is also able to browse the web and download applications over Wi-Fi, and can store as many as 2,000 numbers in memory.
Amazon MP3 is quickly catching up to iTunes despite having been on the market for only a fraction of the time, according to new data. Launched in September, the web-based music store is now ranked second in the US only to Apple's service and is the highest-ranked store to offer all its tracks without digital rights management (DRM). The success is credited largely to the lack of copy protection, which allows songs to be played in nearly any modern operating system as well as any portable devices, including historically locked-down devices such as the iPod or the Zune.
After earlier reports of its ultraportable PLC-XW60 launching in Japan, Sanyo announced it on Wednesday for the North American market. Sanyo claims that at 3.6 lbs and with 10.4- by 2.17- by 7.4-inch dimensions, the XW60 is the industry’s lightest and smallest XGA (1,024x768) resolution LCD projector. Designed for traveling businesspeople and light-duty office use, the XW60 attains its size thanks to a lamp that is 39 percent smaller thanks to a smaller reflector while a plastic aspherical plastic lens is 44 percent lighter than a glass one.
Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo has managed downlink speeds of up to 250Mbps in field testing of LTE (Long Term Evolution), a company announcement claims. LTE, often dubbed 4G broadband, is expected to eventually replace the current worldwide 3G standards, HSDPA and HSUPA. LTE should allow individual cellphone users to reach download speeds of up to 20Mbps; this at least two and a half times faster than the fastest 3 and 3.5G deployments, still used in a minority of public networks. Most 3G connections are over five times slower.
Apple's license for the Safari web browser -- of which v3.1 was recently released -- may be unnecessarily restrictive, an Italian site observes. In spite of the fact that the software is a free download, and ships by default on all Macs, its license currently states that it "allows you to install and use one copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-labeled computer at a time."
Motorola today started early on its CTIA expo announcements with word of the DH02, a sequel to its DH01 mobile TV handheld. The new version replaces the side controls of the original with a touchscreen interface that uses simpler icons and scrolling for its navigation. The new version also adds support for GPRS and HSDPA cellular Internet access to use the TV for two-way online features.
Lumifi, a company specializing in research and work collaboration services, says it has developed a new widget for Mac OS X. Sitting in the Dashboard, the Research Widget duplicates some of the functionality of the Lumifi portal, by letting users enter quick search queries. Unlike tools from Google or Yahoo, however, the Lumifi widget is said to prioritize the connections between words, instead of the popularity of a website.
Digg and Pownce co-creator Kevin Rose claims to have obtained extra information about the launch of a 3G-capable iPhone, according to an update on Twitter. Following earlier claims about an updated iPhone on this weekend's Diggnation podcast, the social software developer claims to have received additional confirmation from a 'high-level VP' at a company working with Apple who says an updated device will ship in June with both support for faster networks as well as with truer GPS support.
A transatlantic airline is giving away iPods in order to lure and retain customers, according to an announcement. Eos Airlines says that between today and April 11th, people booking flights between New York and London will be eligible for some form of free iPod, depending on ticket prices. Those spending $4,000 or less on a round trip can secure either an iPod nano, or 15,000 points for Eos services; if the tickets cost more than $4,000, people can pick an iPod classic, or 30,000 points.
Multiple cable providers as well as other key technology companies are helping fund Sprint's still young WiMAX-based Xohm network, according to tips provided to the Wall Street Journal. Those allegedly aware of the situation explain that the 4G, wide-area wireless network is slated to receive as much as $1 billion from cable giant Comcast to help expand the Sprint service beyond its three-city trial; opposing cable providers Time Warner and Bright House are also believed to have pledged support of up to $500 million and $200 million.
Apple has agreed to an out-of-court settlement in a long-running lawsuit over the MacBook and MacBook Pro, writes the Chicago Tribune. Two California photographers, Fred Greaves and Dave Gatley, filed the class action suit in May of last year, over Apple's claim that the Pro could display "millions of colors." According to the filing, the reality is that Apple fakes the notebooks' color range through software dithering, and yet offers the extended color option in a Mac OS X drop-down menu, without any mention of software emulation.
Super Talent this morning aimed at eliminating some of the barriers to solid-state drives with news of what it says is the world's thinnest large-capacity model. The FSD56GC25H measures the same 12.5mm as some taller notebook drives but holds a full 256GB of storage, allowing it to slot into the same 2.5-inch or larger Serial ATA bays as conventional drives while holding a comparable amount of data. The design is not just 40 percent thinner than other 256GB drives but also relatively fast, reading data at 65MB per second and writing it at 50MB per second.
Apple may have already lined up the production of millions of next-generation iPhones, according to a Gartner analyst. Ken Dulaney says that based on talk he has heard from Asian sources, he believes Apple has placed an order for 10 million updated iPhones, equipped with 3G broadband. These may not even count towards the 10 million in unit sales Apple hopes to achieve within 2008; the suggestion is that Apple will reach its target based on sales of first-generation iPhones alone.
Motorola today said it would spin off its Mobile Devices and Broadband & Mobility Solutions divisions as separate, public companies. The decision stems from a review of the divisions started by the company in January and is meant to increase the focus of the two previously connected groups. The yet to be renamed Mobile Devices group will concentrate solely on designing cellphones, other handhelds, and the relevant software; Broadband & Mobility will devote its attention primarily to the back end of technology and include the infrastructure for large-scale Internet services as well as the modems and other equipment used at home, Motorola says.
ASUS on Wednesday confirmed previously rumored plans of a touchscreen Eee PC. Company sales VP Kevin Lin explains that at least some versions of the 8.9-inch Eee PC 900 will include the touch input as an alternative to the built-in trackpad. Software that might take advantage of the panel was not discussed. Some systems may also incorporate GPS support for navigation, Lin added, also noting that the local price for the systems was likely to reach $500.
Yahoo today announced a new version of Yahoo Messenger for Mac that introduces a number of new audio and voice capabilities. Users can now place PC-to-PC calls, as well as Phone Out/In, with a full voice message and SMS service on the Mac. By creating a Phone In account, Yahoo will provide users with a telephone number that they can be reached at from a standard phone, starting at $2.50 per month, and is available in France, the UK and US.
Demicron recently announced support for the Mac platform by unveiling WireFusion 5 for Mac, its architectural and industrial design software for small and medium sized design firms. According to Architosh,WireFusion allows designers to create realtime 3D visualizations using content imported from Maya, Lightwave 3D or any other application that can export to VRML or X3D file formats. WireFusion 5 is available for $1500 for a standard professional license.
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Apple want ads hint at future Watch faces
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded HermÃ©s face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch. http://apple.co/1O1TbTI
Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL
Google off the hook in CAPTCHA labor suit
US District Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a proposed class-action suit against Google, that alleged that Google secretly was given an economic gain without user knowledge. The suit alleged, correctly, that the second word in Google's CAPTCHA service was used as a crowd-sourced word identification for Google's book-scanning project. The judge ruled that the suit as filed had no facts to support a "reasonable consumer would expect to receive compensation" for the seconds it took to complete the form, and in addition, the free Gmail account provided more than offset any labor penalty incurred by the user. http://bit.ly/1o06Cir