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Motorola cuts 2600 jobs
Motorola today announced it would terminate an additional 2600 jobs from its workforce, bringing the current total of layoffs to 10,000 since the beginning of 2007. According to The Wall Street Journal, Motorola comes up against increased pressure in the face of declining cellphone sales, of which it recently lost its coveted second tier position in worldwide handset share to Samsung, a move that caused Motorola's sales to fall 38 percent in year-over-year quarterly profits.
Verizon 700MHz 4G Access
Verizon will use its recent 700MHz wins to setup a nationwide 4G cellular network, the company declared tonight. A lift of the FCC's ban on discussing the 700MHz auction results reveals that the telecoms firm will introduce a Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless network on its share of the frequency, providing much faster Internet access than the carrier's existing 3G, EVDO Revision A-based network.
AT&T using LTE 4G
AT&T today held a conference call regarding its acquisitions in the 700MHz spectrum, and confirmed that it will use the Long Term Evolution system for its upcoming 4G telecommunications infrastructure. Representatives during the call told MacNN its B-block acquisitions of the 700MHz spectrum would allow it to cover 87 percent of the US populace with its 4G architecture, and would give it finer control over its network and applications. Since it is a closed system, it allows AT&T to enable or restrict certain devices.
RBC on iPhone stock levels
As Apple's stock of iPhones grows increasingly thin - an issue that reportedly initially surfaced in the company's New York retail stores - RBC Capital theorizes the shortage to be representative of unanticipated strong post-holiday sales of the device. According to Tech Trader Daily, analyst Mike Abramsky claims that a predicted slowdown should have occurred after the holiday season, but sales remained strong, which leaves Apple short-handed with its allegedly ramped down production scale.
The TeamViewer remote maintenance software, which until now has only been available for Windows PCs, is now available as a beta for Mac OS X. The new version runs from Mac OS X 10.4 and offers cross-platform support. This means that not only other Macs, but also Windows systems can be remotely controlled. Following the establishment of a connection to the remote computer by means of a Partner ID, changes and maintenance work can be carried out or programs can be installed and executed. Unlike the final version, TeamViewer for Mac is not yet equipped with the function for transferring files between computers. The so-called customer module from the Windows version, which allows spontaneous support without installation on the remote controlled computer, has also not yet been implemented. The developer says these features will probably appear at the end of April.
Luxology has announced a modo 302, the newest version of its 3D content creation software. Free for registered modo 301 customers, modo 302 adds new natural lighting capabilities, additional layered Photoshop file support, an animation Track View, new modeling tools and numerous other enhancements. Luxology is also making available the first version of the modo File I/O software development kit (SDK), which allows developers to import or export data directly from modo. modo combines a real-time subdivision surface modeling engine with an artist-focused set of tools.
Thursby Software Systems has released updates for its Mac networking products ADmitMac and DAVE. ADmitMac is a tool that provides a solution for connecting Macs to Windows networks that allegedly provides improved networking stability over that of Apple's standard Leopard offering along with complete Active Directory support. The new release includes enhanced deployment tool and completely rewritten Dfs module, which is smaller and faster than the previous version. The deployment tool allows ADmitMac to be installed on multiple systems within the network from a single workstation. The newly enhanced Dfs module supports Microsoft's Distributed File System that allows shared folders to reside on multiple servers for load balancing and data redundancy.
AT&T Pogo 3D browser
Unveiled last week, the Business Development group of AT&T is (privately) beta testing a new 3-D browser that offers a unique visual interface for browsing the Internet. Dubbed Pogo, this new browser is based on the Mozilla code base (the same as FireFox). Not only does this allow AT&T to rely on a stable foundation, but it also ensures that Pogo maintains Web page compatibility equal to other Mozilla-based browsers. As a result, whatever features Firefox 3.0 contains, Pogo will automatically inherit as well.
Speck has released SeeThru Hard Shells for the MacBook Air and iMac 20" Widescreen. The SeeThru Hard Shell case for MacBook Air is a 2-piece snap-on hard plastic case. It allows unrestricted access to all ports, keyboard, screen and camera. It's made of optically-clear and shatter proof polycarbonate plastic and features an accent-less design. The case is available in clear, smoke, red, bronze, and pink for $50. The SeeThru Hard Shell cover for Apple's 20" Widescreen iMac is a one-piece hard plastic cover. The case is totally removable and does not cover the screen and camera. Available colors include red, aqua, black and pink. It's also priced at $50.
Slingshot prepaid wifi
Slingshot on Thursday announced it will offer pay-as-you go wireless broadband Internet access. Customers will be able to pick up CDs from retailers or download a free program and set up an account, and won't have to go through credit checks or sign any contracts, like they do with traditional Internet providers. A slingshot.com email address will be included with each packet of time purchased, though it is unclear exactly how time will be sold. For frequent users, the option of buying and loading up a recharge card is offered. What is likely is that some kind of adapter for notebook cards or USB modems will be required to sign on from remote locations.
Firefox 3 Beta 5
Mozilla's Firefox continues gaining market share, and Firefox 3 Beta 5 brings the newest version of the popular browser closer to a final shipping date. While Firefox's strength has always been its security features, version 3 focuses on improving its security and enhancing overall performance.
Intel Moorestown IDF 2K8
Intel at its Developer Forum in Shanghai has provided early details of the Moorestown architecture that will likely find its way into smartphones and handhelds. A successor to today's Atom, Moorestown will include both a separate processor, codenamed Lincroft, as well as a new version of the System Controller Hub known for now as Langwell. Unlike the current Atom design, which splits graphics off to the Hub, the Lincroft chip will build its own video hardware directly into the main processor. The design should both improve visual performance but also reduce the size of Langwell to less than the size of a US quarter, according to Intel.
MS extends XP support
One version of Windows XP will continue to be available years after other editions have ceased to exist, Microsoft has announced. XP Home, the most basic version of the operating system, will still be available for OEMs through at least June 2010, in order to support low-cost computers such as Intel's Classmate PC, and ASUS' popular Eee PC. This is because the systems have less RAM, smaller hard drives and inferior processors, making it difficult to run any version of Windows Vista.
iTunes tops music retail
Earlier reports of the iTunes Store's success are true; Apple has officially said that NPD discovered the media store's dominance over industry giant Wal-Mart during a study. The report states that Apple's 50 million customers have moved over four billion songs from the world's largest music catalogue of over 6 million songs. The study accounts for individual tracks under the assumption that a typical CD contains 12 music tracks, and based over sales in January and February.
Nokia 3606/1606 AWS phones
Finland's Nokia has announced two new cellphones for North America, the 3606 and 1606. Built on CDMA, the phones are notable mainly for supporting Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) bands -- specifically, the 1,700 and 2,100MHz ranges. AWS is a spectrum opened up to American carriers in 2006, and owned primarily by T-Mobile, a GSM carrier. The 3606 is equipped with a 1.3-megapixel camera, and supports features such as music playback and Bluetooth 2.0, the latter allowing A2DP stereo. Media is kept primarily on microSD cards.
LaCie Neil Poulton Drive
LaCie on Thursday unveiled the latest in a long line of designer hard drives with a new version of the standard LaCie Hard Disk. The glossy black box is designed by France-based designer Neil Poulton and is designed to call attention to itself but also disappear into the dark with only an LED light to provide its glow; it also includes an intelligent passive cooling design that draws air from underneath to generate airflow with less need for cooling fans.
Panasonic SDR-S7 camcorder
Panasonic on Wednesday announced a new portable camcorder, the SDR-S7. The SDR-S7 weighs just 5.6 ounces and fits into a pocket but is only capable of recording MPEG2-format video in a 640x480 VGA resolution in either 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratios. Storage comes exclusively via SD/SDHC cards allowing for up to 13 hours of video with a 16GB card. Video transfer to computers comes via a USB 2.0-enabled connection.
Nokia N-Gage goes public
After having done a limited soft launch in February, Nokia has officially thrown open the doors to N-Gage, its online gaming service. Users can download demos of games that use both 2D and 3D technology, and then buy full titles through the same means. In some cases, users can play the games against other opponents online, via the N-Gage Arena.
ATT Finishing 3G Network
AT&T will complete building out its HSPA network for all of its 3G areas by the end of year and expects the iPhone to move into the 3G realm itself, according to statements by carrier officials. Network vice president Hank Kafka remarked that all the 255 areas that currently handle AT&T's normal 3G, or HSDPA, will be upgraded to the faster upload speeds of the full HSPA spec before the end of 2008. This will come on top of a larger 3G expansion that should offer at least HSDPA to as many as 350 areas.
Apple vs. New York
Apple is claiming that a new logo for New York City's GreeNYC campaign is too similar to its own. According to Wired, the GreeNYC logo shows a stylized apple with a stalk and a leaf that bears a resemblance to Apple's famous logo. When the city applied for a trademark on the logo, Apple filed a formal opposition, claiming that a trademark grant on the logo would "seriously injure the reputation which [Apple] has established for its goods and services." The city of New York stated, in response: "The city believes that Apple's claims have no merit and that no consumer is likely to be confused. This well-known city is using its new design in a variety of contexts that have absolutely nothing to do with Apple Inc."
signal boost case
Griffin Technology has announced ClearBoost, a protective case for iPhone with a built-in booster antenna. Thee polycarbonate case claims to offer greater coverage and faster downloads as well as the protection from bumps and scratches. Griffin says the ClearBoost for iPhone is the first of a family of antenna boosting cases based around the "ClearBoost technology." The company says the case works by capturing more of the available wireless signals and passing it to the internal iPhone antenna. ClearBoost for iPhone, priced at $30, is available now.
Olive OPUS no4 server
Olive Media on Wednesday announced the release of its newest digital music server, the OPUS N°4, which is capable of storing music from up to nearly 3,000 CDs without degrading their quality thanks to FLAC lossless compression. Stored music is sorted by genre, album or artist, and is accessed via a new software accessed through a fresh 4.3-inch color touch-screen. While the OPUS will play stored music and regular CDs, Olive's equally new MELODY N°2 is required to play audio stored in the N°4 in up to 10 rooms simultaneously, and is capable of doing so wirelessly.
Sony Ericsson P5 photo
Sony Ericsson's P5 smartphone, once expected to be announced in late 2007, has finally been seen in public, reports claim. The P5 is again said to be a slider with a large touchscreen, but it is now also claimed to have a "full keyboard," similar to the P1. The onboard operating system, meanwhile, has been identified as UIQ 3.3, and control may be possible through both finger gestures and a stylus.
Sprint Xohm Pushed Back
Sprint's Xohm WiMAX service has been delayed from its original spring release date, the company said at the CTIA mobile expo. Originally penned in for April, the release is now slated to occur later in the year and is currently expected by other sources to appear in the summer. The company hasn't provided an official explanation but says the issue isn't technological, instead claiming that the delay is in place to ensure a smooth rollout.
MySpace Music site
MySpace and three major record labels -- Warner, Universal and Sony BMG -- have confirmed earlier reports by announcing the creation of MySpace Music, a new online store. Visitors will have at least two options in visiting: streaming music for free, with the costs covered by advertising, or paid downloads, making MySpace the latest rival to outlets such as Amazon or Apple's iTunes Store. Also possible may be some form of subscription service, but this is still under consideration. No launch date has been announced.
Gaming, iPhone patents
Several new Apple patent applications have today been published by the US Patent and Trademark Office. Three of these are connected to the iPhone and the iPod touch; of the group, one describes the ability to rearrange the Home screen, while another documents the unique touchscreen keyboard that displays in functions such as writing e-mail. More unique is a patent relating to "episodic" gaming, in which each title is merely a part of a greater whole. This concept is seen most often in Mac and PC games, such as Valve's Half-Life 2.
Comcast DOCSIS 3 Access
Comcast today said it would be the first cable Internet provider in the US to offer Internet access based on the new DOCSIS 3.0 standard for cable Internet service. In its early form, the service will bond together multiple cable channels to offer download speeds of 50 megabits per second, or more than six times the 8Mbps ceiling previously set by the company's existing 8Mbps tier. This early implementation isn't set to have full support for the technology on uploads but will still offer 5Mbps upstream.
Sony Ships DS3 Pad Soon
Sony will phase out its original PlayStation 3 gamepad in the weeks following tomorrow's launch of the Dual Shock 3, the company has told MTV. A tactic similar to the discontinuation of the 60GB PS3 will see Sony halt production of its rumble-free SIXAXIS controllers and rely solely on existing stocks until they run dry; this is most likely to happen in the summer but will definitely take place by the end of 2008, a Sony spokesperson says.
New T-Mobile iPhone plans
The German branch of T-Mobile is changing the way it charges for the iPhone, a local site claims. Under the suggested scheme, an 8GB iPhone could be had for as little as €99; this stands in contrast to the currently advertised cost of €399. The tradeoff would be a mandatory subscription to the carrier's most expensive iPhone plan, Complete XL, which provides 1,000 minutes and 300 text messages. The price of the phone escalates as the plan becomes less expensive; a phone for the Complete L plan would be €149, while taking Complete M would cost €199.
MySpace Music Today
MySpace's frequently rumored music download store could launch as early as today, according to a rumor put forward by CNET. The publication claims to know sources who say that an initial announcement is planned that will expand the site's currently hands-off music section into a service that offers a combination of downloads and streams. Mirroring past stories, the feature would allegedly let users either pay to download full MP3 songs and ringtones or else stream songs for free on the web. Users could also buy their concert tickets directly from the site.
Panasonic Plasma Cellphone
(Update: AbleComm claims fake) Panasonic today revealed that it had developed a new version of its plasma technology that it says will prove a rival to OLEDs and other new displays in handheld devices. Made largely with help from AbleComm, the new technique overcomes the normally high power draw of plasmas and allows for a cellphone-sized display that consumes just 1.5 volts of power and is at least as thin and light as most other portable screens, making it suitable for watching videos on cellphones where ghosting and other effects can affect some LCDs.
After some delay, the iPhone Dev Team has published the Mac OS X edition of the PwnageTool, a hacking program for iPhones. The software can both unlock devices for third-party carriers, and jailbreak them for native applications; because PwnageTool is able to execute unsigned code, however, its creators claim that it will be able function with any future iPhone firmware, including custom-made editions that can be synched through iTunes.
NVIDIA demonstrated its APX 2500 chipset again at CTIA after its announcement at MWC in Barcelona in February. The low-power -- NVIDIA claims 10 hours of HD video playback or 100 hours of audio -- application processor for smartphones was shown off in a prototype phone. The GeForce graphics unit is the core, enabling 3D game-play, and decoding and capturing 720p HD video, according to NVIDIA. At first, the hardware will be integrated into Windows Mobile devices using Direct3D, but the chipset can drive other operating system as well as OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics. Mass production is expected to have started already, though it is not known which phone manufacturers will use the technology.
iTunes Tops Wal-Mart
iTunes for at least a short while has been single largest outlet for music sales in the US, according to new data collected by The NPD Group's MusicWatch Survey conducted in January. The digital store at the time accounted for 19 percent of all music bought in the country versus 15 percent for Wal-Mart's combined in-store and online sales. Best Buy managed 13 percent, while Amazon sat further back at 6 percent despite offering the second-largest digital store in the US. RealNetworks' Rhapsody was the second digital-only store in the market but commands just 1 percent of the US marketplace.
Adobe delays 64-bit CS4
Adobe is already in the middle of developing its Creative Suite 4 series of applications, but Mac users will have to wait behind PC owners in order to take full advantage of their platform, the company has announced. While there is no formal release date planned for any version of CS4, Adobe says that only Windows Vista users will have a completely 64-bit suite at launch, with Mac conversions coming sometime thereafter.
Sony Handycam TG1
Sony this morning turned around its focus on traditional camcorders to competing against very small cameras such as Sanyo's Xacti line. The AVCHD-based Handycam TG1 is less than five inches tall, 2.5 inches deep, and weighs 10 ounces but is still capable of capturing a 1920x1080 picture. This makes it the smallest HD-capable camera yet, Sony says. While much of this size reduction comes from recording to Memory Stick Pro Duo cards, a 2.7-inch touchscreen offloads many of the controls that would otherwise occupy space on the main body.
Mac EVDO manager
As part of its CTIA show announcements, Sprint this week introduced its smallest EVDO USB-based modem in its product line and new Mac connection manager software. The new Compass 597 USB Modem is the smallest EV-DO Rev A USB modem in the market; the mini card offers seamless high-speed wireless connectivity for both Mac and Windows notebook and desktop computers in a compact design as well as includes TRU-Install features that allow users to install drivers for the device without using a CD. The modem also offers a microSD memory expansion slot as well as a connector for an optional external antenna to help maximize modem performance. The company's the new product features its new redesigned connection manager that supports wireless download speed (over Sprint's mobile network) at speeds up to 3.1Mbps and upload speeds up to 1.8Mbps. The device is expected to ship later this quarter with the new updated software available now for all its data devices.
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