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Ableton Live 7 LE update
Ableton today unveiled Live 7 LE, a major update to its simplified music creation tool that adds many new features and enhancements. Ableton Live 7 LE adds studio-quality recording at up to 32-bits with 192 kHz quality, and supports 64 concurrent audio tracks, as well as unlimited MIDI tracks and powerful sequencers. The update also introduces 20 effects, including delays, filters, and others. Ableton Live 7 LE is available for $150 as a download, while the boxed version costs $200.
Intel 2G Classmate PC
Intel tonight used the second day of its Developer Forum to launch the second generation of its Classmate PC. Considered one of the first to fit Intel's own "netbooks" class of portables, the new version gains a larger 9-inch screen as well as a more mature look than its predecessor. The new version is also much more friendly to media with a built-in webcam as well as new options for either 4GB of flash storage or a 30GB conventional hard drive; the former alone doubles the storage of the original, Intel notes. Updating the sequel also supplies mesh networking that gives the new notebook the ability to share files on a local network with other Classmates without depending on a central hub.
Quicktime, iTunes updates
Apple today released updates to QuickTime 7.4.5, iTunes 7.6.2, and Front Row 2.1.3, offering several performance enhancements, as well as a patch for a security hole found in QuickTime. The patch fixes an issue related to the SHA-1 checksum, which is related to protecting files with 160-bit encryption. iTunes 7.6.2 doesn't list specifically which issues are fixed, but more than likely resolves compatibility with the new QuickTime version. Front Row's update similarly guarantees functionality with iTunes 7.6.2.
MS Denies X360 Blu-ray
Microsoft today has again denied claims that the firm is building an Xbox 360 with a Blu-ray drive. The Redmond, Washington-based firm has flatly rejected assertions that Lite-On is manufacturing BD drives for a future version of the console and has reiterated its past assertions that it has no need to push an HD movie disc format to succeed, noting that the Xbox built its current success on games rather than videos. Customers also have access to online downloads if they really need HD video, Microsoft says.
CTIA Nokia and HTC gallery
Electronista is on hand at the CTIA 2008 conference in Las Vegas, and has assembled an image gallery of various new HTC and Nokia offerings. HTC showed its new ultraportable Shift X9000 – a tablet-style PC that slides away to reveal a compact keyboard, and features built-in EVDO functionality. Also available to see was the HTC TyTN II. Nokia showed its WiMAX-enabled N810, and the iPhone-like N96, with 16GB of internal storage. The A-GPS bearing N78 was also featured on the show floor.
ImageWell 3.5 ($20) image editor for everyday simple editing and quickly sending images, screenshots, and other files tother users over the Internet. The tool includes upload support for Flickr, SmugMug and ImageShack, and is free. This latest release is Version 3.5, Build 327 and includes a new sharpness filter, two new shapes, the ability to double-click History items and open them in a browser, and fixes for bugs associated with Leopard. This is a free update to registered users. [Download - 964KB]
PostgreSQL 8.3.1 Open Source project that leverages the Open Source PostgreSQL server and works to integrate the popular database engine into the Mac platform in as native a fashion as possible. This not only includes the creation of tools that are native to the Mac platform, but also the integration of Mac specific technologies like Automator, and publishing platform native toolkits like the PGSQLKit framework for Cocoa. The project is hosted, administered and developed by Druware Software Designs. [Download - 1.8MB]
Avernum 5 1.0.4 ($28) enormous, epic fantasy role-playing adventure. "Wander a gigantic world, full of multitudes of characters, hundreds of side quests, and traps, tricks, and treasure in every corner. Take the part of a soldier for the all-powerful Empire, hunting for the foul assassin that struck down your Empress." The new update fixes a few errors that caused rare but irritating problems. [Download - 25.9MB]
Cyndicate 1.2 ($30) RSS/Atom aggregator and content management application for Mac OS X. Enhancements in this release include: Performance has been greatly improved for some scenarios; Twitter support for sharing articles; Video enclosures can now be set to download separately from other enclosures; Feeds can now be set to never be checked; Fixed parsing feeds with use the Latin1 encoding and contain accented characters; Various bug fixes. [Download - 7.9MB]
RapidWeaver 3.6.4 ($50) website creation application for Mac OS X. This release sees numerous improvements to the application including a significantly enhanced exporting process, along with a number of other minor fixes designed to improve the handling of QuickTime movies and images. In addition to feature fixes, the new version also offers preliminary support for the new Simplified Chinese localization. [Download - 24.6MB]
Baidu poaches Apple
Baidu.com, the leading Chinese search engine, has hired Apple Inc's head of China operations for the role of chief operating officer. Reuters reports that Peng Ye, who oversaw all business operations in China for Apple as the U.S. firm's country general manager, is joining Baidu, right after ex-General Motors executive Jennifer Li accepted the post of chief financial officer. Ye will officially joing the company on April 25. Baidu is bigger than Google in China, the number 2 Internet market in the world behind the United States.
RIM posts large profits
BlackBerry manufacturer RIM today posted its fourth quarter and year-end results for fiscal 2008, with quarterly revenue topping 1.88 billion, or a 102-percent increase from the year ago quarter. RIM boasts a user base of 14 million, 2.18 million of which were new subscribers for the quarter, or an increase of 32-percent from the previous quarter. Overall, RIM posted a 98-percent revenue increase for the year, with total revenue sitting at $6.01 billion.
Apple has been planning a second business campus in Cupertino for some time now, but completion of the project may take a little longer than originally planned by CEO Steve Jobs. Two years ago, at a Cupertino City Council meeting, Jobs announced that Apple put together several pieces of land about a mile from its current campus and decided to break ground on the new location as a new separate but connected set of buildings. At the time, Jobs said "It'll take us, you know, three or four years to design it, get all the approvals and get it built." However, two years after the announcement, Apple has not applied for any permits to build on the land, according to Fortune.
Sony Xperia X1 photos
We've taken a quick glance at Sony-Ericsson's Xperia X1 at CTIA. The phone is Sony-Ericsson's first to run on Windows Mobile, and features an iPhone-challenging three-inch, 800x480 touchscreen with a unique panel-based interface. The X1 also features 3G broadband as well as a QWERTY keyboard, a 3.2-megapixel autofocus camera, and expandable memory via microSD. Sony-Ericsson plans to release the phone late into 2008 but has not revealed prices, which will vary by carrier. Click ahead for the full gallery.
Samsung released specs for its new Alias last week ahead of the CTIA phone show. A replacement for the u740 at Verizon, the Alias sports an improved keyboard layout, while the 1.3-megapixel camera, touch music controls, and overall feature set are largely the same. The Alias is priced at $130 and should hit shelves presently. Live CTIA images are available below.
Intel Nehalem at 3.2GHz
Intel at its Developer Forum today demonstrated a 3.2GHz example of its upcoming Nehalem processor technology. Already clocked at 3.2GHz, the chip is the first public example of the successor to today's Core architecture and is the fastest x86 chip from Intel capable of handling more than four threads: the addition of Hyperthreading support allows each of the four cores in the example to run as many as two instruction threads at a time, allowing it to handle the work of eight cores in certain circumstances. Dual- and quad-processor systems will handle as many as 16 or 32 threads at once with the design.
Creative TravelSound Nano
Creative recently unveiled the TravelSound for iPod nano 3G, a new compact speaker system with a built-in rechargeable battery. The system features four independent micro drivers and a digital amplifier, and Creative claims that it puts out more sound than comparably priced larger systems. The TravelSound charges through USB 2.0, and can play for 15 hours. Creative is currently only selling the system in Singapore for $130 (~$100 USD).
Telus takes Motorola Q9c
In addition to the BlackBerry 8330, Telus has also introduced the Motorola Q9c, an evolution of the popular Q9 smartphone. The Q9c is a CDMA companion to the GSM-based Q9h, and sports EVDO broadband, built-in GPS functions, and a 1.3-megapixel camera. As with the 8330, the Q9c can access apps and information through various Pocket Express portals.
The Motorola Q9c launched at CTIA on Monday in the U.S. and will be available through the Alltel, Verizon and US Cellular networks. The Windows Mobile 6 phone features both 3G over CDMA as well as real GPS navigation. All have a 32GB microSDHC card support and Documents to Go preloaded to make edits to Office files on the road. Difference between carriers center around colors: Verizon's Q9c comes only in black, while Alltel and US Cellular also get a lime trim. Verizon will have the Q9c in April and will sell the phone for $149 with a two-year contract. The other two carriers receive their phones in the summer with pricing to be announced. View the live photos from CTIA below.
JVC HA-SX500 phones
JVC announced on Wednesday the launch of its premium bi-metal in-ear canal headphones, the HA-SX500. The headset reportedly improves dynamics thanks to a new 16mm neodymium driver housed in a steel base, which in turn is wrapped in a high-density brass ring designed to minimize vibration and energy loss. JVC also took care to reduce friction noise that often surfaces with noise-canceling earphones by using rubber joints and an optimized 2.6-foot long cord. Transmission loss is kept to a minimum thanks to oxygen-free copper wiring.
Telus BlackBerry 8330
RIM's BlackBerry 8330, coming soon to Verizon and Sprint, will also be adopted by Canadian carrier Telus, an official listing shows. This will make Telus the first carrier in the country to carry the device, which is a CDMA version version of the Curve equipped with built-in GPS functions. Like the Verizon model, the Telus edition comes preloaded with a Facebook application; it is additionally confirmed to have access to app and news portals, provided by Pocket Express.
LG Vu images
The LG Vu, announced yesterday at CTIA, features a full touchscreen that is capable of displaying mobile TV through AT&T's Mobile TV plan. It also delivers 3G access with up to 1.4Mbps real-world download speeds on AT&T's HSPA network. The Vu sports a 2-megapixel camera with autofocus and relies on microSD alone for storage. LG hasn't announced AT&T's pricing, but it said the phone should ship in May, just ahead of the one-year anniversary of its in-house rival, the iPhone. Included below are several shots of the LG Vu from the CTIA 2008 conference in Las Vegas.
Sprint adds Sanyo Pros
Sprint yesterday announced two Sanyo phones, the Pro-200 and Pro-700, will be added to its line-up later in April at CTIA on Tuesday. The pair combine both push-to-talk access and Mobile Broadband, two options Sprint rarely combines. The Pro-200 is basic clamshell, with Bluetooth abilities and support for e-mail and text messaging. The Pro-700 has been made more rugged to military standards. Prices are expected to be $70 after a $50 rebate and a two-year contract; under the same terms, the 200 will cost $50. View live images of the phones from the CTIA show below.
Instinct from CTIA
Sprint unveiled the Samsung Instinct phone at CTIA 2008 on Tuesday, which is very close in appearance and function to Apple's iPhone. Unlike the iPhone, the Instinct's touchscreen features vibration feedback that replicates physical button presses. Common features between the two include a 2-megapixel camera and full-size headphone jack. Samsung added assisted GPS support, voice commands, and a USB tethering mode for data as well as microSD card storage. No prices are announced yet, but shipments start in June.
iPod sales '08
As part of his "3 Cylinder Engine" report on Apple's three core product lines, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster recently looked at Apple's iPod, discussing the business unit's growth trajectory, upcoming iPods and more. Saying that the iPod will be a slower growing segment than the Mac or iPhone, Munster expects iPod unit growth to be flat in the calendar year 2008, but also thinks that Apple can maintain iPod unit growth and slightly exceed street expectations. Munster believes that the iPhone will replace the iPod as a driver of significant growth for the company.
Intel announces SSD drives
Once again taking advantage of its Shanghai Developer Forum, Intel has announced its first-ever line of self-branded solid-state drives. Previously codenamed "Rocket," the drives are SATA models available in 1.8- and 2.5-inch sizes, and in capacities ranging from a standard 32GB to an unusually large 160GB. Each drive is also said to be ruggedized, and tested against forces up to 1,500G.
Gartner on OLED iPhone
The technology and costs are in place that Apple may still introduce an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screen with an upcoming generation of the iPhone, according to an interview Electronista has conducted with Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney. While making it clear that claims of mass production of a 3G iPhone last week were not predictions but rather just "credible" numbers based on expectations, the researcher maintains that OLED is a realistic possibility for the iPhone's display due to power requirements for 3G radios, which almost always consume more energy than 2G radios.
WD Studio Edition drives
Western Digital on Wednesday introduced its My Book Studio Edition II external dual-drive storage systems. Available with capacities of either 1TB or 2TB, the drives are formatted for Mac computers, but also come with software to make them Windows compatible. Both drives share four interface options, ranging from eSATA and FireWire 800 to FireWire 400 and USB 2.0. Each drive is meant for speed-intensive activities such as video editing, and as such default to a striped RAID 0 configuration; either model can however be configured for a RAID 1 mirrored setup, as necessary.
Orange iPhone sales
Orange France, the official wireless carrier for Apple iPhone in France, has broken its silence regarding iPhone sales figures, revealing that it has sold 90,000 iPhones in total since the device went on sale in late November last year through January 31st, 2008 according to Pocket-Lint. 86 percent of those phones were sold with one of Orange's tariff packages, while 14 percent were sold as legally unlocked. O2 UK recently revealed that the iPhone is its fasting selling device for the UK, noting that the device has helped it achieve 9.5-percent revenue growth during the final quarter for 2007. While O2 did not provide specific sales numbers for the device alone, it said that the iPhone led its strongest quarter on record, adding 483,000 customers and 276,000 contracts to its roster.
Intel Calpella platform
Presenting at its Developer Forum in Shanghai, Intel has exposed some of the first details of "Calpella," its next-generation notebook platform. A successor to the company's still-unreleased Centrino 2 platform, Calpella systems are only expected to arrive in the third quarter of 2009, but should bring significant enhancements. Among these is the use of Intel's upcoming Nehalem processor architecture, which should in fact be available in an enhanced 32nm form by the time Calpella computers are on the market. The first Nehalem CPUs will use 45nm manufacturing.
AT&T first with MS Surface
AT&T on Wednesday announced it will be the first company in the world to use Microsoft's Surface computer in select retail stores. The multi-touch screen will allow customers to explore the mobile service provider's products and services. The computer's object recognition abilities also allow it to transfer digital content to devices via integrated Bluetooth 2.0 or built-in Wi-Fi and network capability, giving AT&T the ability to upload content to shoppers' cell phones.
Habits of iPhone owners
A new survey by Rubicon Consulting purports to have revealed some of the demographics of iPhone owners. Pollsters contacted 460 American iPhone customers, and questioned them on factors such as income, data use, and other devices they own. Results indicate that approximately half of iPhone owners are under the age of 30, although only 15 percent are students. Notably, 75 percent of these already owned some form of Apple product, whether an iPod or a Mac. The company may thus have problems trying to push the iPhone onto a mainstream population.
Blu-ray Xbox 360 Price
Microsoft's increasingly rumored Xbox 360 with Blu-ray is not only likely but has received additional clues as to its pricing, says an apparent leak by sources close to the building process. In addition to reiterating claims that the Blu-ray drive would be built-in to the new consoles rather than sold as an add-on, the tip alleges that Microsoft will have to raise the price of the console due to the continued high prices of the HD-capable drives. A typical read-only Blu-ray drive is said to cost as much as $100 to make, or five times the price of the DVD reader in the existing console.
Lenovo IdeaPad U8
Lenovo today with Intel's help confirmed that it will be one of the first companies to produce a Mobile Internet Device (MID) based on Intel's Atom processor with a new all-in-one device. The IdeaPad U8 will serve as a hybrid communicator and media player and will pack multiple control schemes to match: users can tap a 5-inch touchscreen to navigate menus, browse the web via Firefox, or other complex functions, but also use a unique optical joystick that substitutes as a mouse pointer and lets an owner steer the device with one hand.
AmTech: 3G iPhone sooner
A new iPhone equipped with 3G broadband may be arriving much sooner than anticipated, says Shaw Wu of American Technology Research. Although AmTech had predicted a 3G phone for later in the second half of 2008, based on checks with supply chain sources, Wu now believes the new hardware will come in late June or possibly July. This should roughly coincide with the launch of the iPhone 2.0 firmware, which will bring added functionality to the iPhone platform in general.
Nokia 5000 and More
Using the second day of CTIA to its advantage, Nokia on Wednesday launched a set of phones it says cater to users in the developing world trading up for the first time to newer devices. The 5000 (pictured) forms the cornerstone of the strategy and is labeled as the company's least expensive phone ever to ship with a 1.3-megapixel camera: at 90 Euros ($140) before carrier discounts, the device is still affordable to those for whom even most mid-range phones are too expensive. It also provides relatively rare luxuries in the class such as a 2-inch color screen, Bluetooth and an FM radio. Nokia releases the phone in the spring.
Adobe Lightroom 2.0 beta 1
Adobe has debuted the first beta version of Lightroom 2.0, the next iteration of its professional photo workflow software. The program is mainly meant to process RAW files, and can also be used to print images, create slideshows, or publish to the web. Lightroom 2.0 makes several important changes, among these the ability to create new print layouts with multiple sizes of an image on the same page. Users should also be able to sort through images faster, thanks to interface adjustments, and output video to a second monitor.
Intel Atom at Spring IDF
Intel at the spring version of its Intel Developer Forum today revealed more details of its Atom ultra-mobile processor line, uncovering both the full launch lineup as well as detailing the Controller Hub that forms the backbone of the Centrino Atom platform. The company had initially revealed just its standard 1.6GHz processor but now explains that there will be four additional processors; in the same power class, Intel also expects to ship 1.33GHz and now 1.86GHz versions; these will share the same 533MHz system bus and Hyperthreading technology as the 1.6GHz chip, which can replicate some of the speed benefits that would come with a second processor core.
New 'Get a Mac' ads
Continuing a new marketing push, Apple has two new Get a Mac television ads online. The first, "Yoga," attacks the reliability of Windows Vista, suggesting that it continues to be broken after more than a year on shelves. In turn it claims that many people could have avoided headaches by switching to a Mac early on, escaping the loss of important data, in this case the figures for a yoga business.
TV Shows iTunes Germany
Apple on Wednesday marked the official launch of TV shows on iTunes Germany, expanding the availability of such programming further into Europe. The mix includes a combination of top German-made TV shows such as Stromberg and Tramitz and Friends as well as a select number of American shows, including Lost and South Park. A total of 35 shows mark a "great start" to the launch of TV shows in the country, according to Apple's iTunes VP, Eddy Cue. As with past unveilings, TV shows can be purchased from an Apple TV, Mac, or PC and played back on these devices as well as iPhones and iPods.
FotoMagico 2.2 update
Boinx today unveiled FotoMagico 2.2, an update to its photo presentation software that adds a new Sharing Assistant to export projects to a number of different formats for iPhone, Apple TV, or DVD, among others. The update also introduces compatibility with El Gato's Turbo.264 video conversion stick to encode video projects. FotoMagico 2.2 is now available from Boinx' website, priced at $50 for Express and $130 for Pro.
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