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Microsoft late on Friday was asked by a US federal court to pay $368 million in compensation to Alcatel-Lucent over alleged infringement of two patents relating to touchscreen form and stylus technologies. Although the plaintiff had demanded $1.75 billion and initially accused Microsoft of infringing four patents, a jury in the San Diego courtroom has reduced the amount after deciding that Microsoft is not culpable of violating two video control-related patents.
Architosh reports that the Windows-based 3D software package, Houdini, is coming to the Mac OS X platform and Houdini for Mac Beta has been announced. The company is looking for beta testers and to get their Mac version in the hands of as many 3D professionals as possible. The developer says "With the recent redesign of the Houdini user-interface (UI), the program has become much more artist-friendly, claims the company, making it a great fit for the Mac. Apple's switch to Intel processors has also been a factor in developing a native Mac version."
USBfever today unveiled three new products for the iPhone and iPod: a Bluetooth stereo dongle, an iPhone stone-grain silicone case, and an iPhone car charger with an included dashboard mount. Rather than transferring audio over common FM frequencies – which can be problematic in high-density residential areas – the Bluetooth dongle transfers stereo A2DP signals to a music system. The Bluetooth adapter is available for $30.
DEVONtechnologies has released Desktop Transporter 2.6 a new version of its remote maintenance and management solution for users who administrate multiple Macs across a network. The new release shows constantly updated thumbnails of all shared desktops on the local network. The update frequency can be adjusted and the list of shared desktops filtered. Desktop Transporter 2.6 also uses server-side scaling and clipping for reducing network load and for increasing responsiveness. Keychain support makes it unnecessary to remember all the passwords for the shared machines. Desktop Transporter 2.6 requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 later and a fast LAN and/or Internet connection is strongly recommended. It is immediately available and is priced at $30.
Primate Labs has published new benchmarks for MacBooks and MacBook Pros released in early 2008. The models show marginal speed gains over their predecessors, in some cases exhibiting performance slower or roughly equal to previous models. The MacBook Pro Early 2008, for instance, shows a gain of just under three percent over the Mid 2007 MacBook Pro -- scores of 3323 and 3236 respectively. The Early 2008 model uses a Intel Core 2 Duo T9500 2.6 GHz, while the Mid 2007 model uses a Intel Core 2 Duo T7800 2.6 GHz (2 cores)
MacSpeech today announced that MacSpeech Dictate is now available for purchase directly from the company's website. In addition, potential customers can choose from a variety of specialized microphones, including desktop mounted ones or wireless versions. When purchased inside the United States, MacSpeech Dictate starts at $200 when purchased with a basic USB headset, while users can opt to pay $30 to $150 for a microphone more suitable to their needs.
Deliver2Mac today announced Ankh 2 and Brain Jogging as digital downloads. Ankh 2: Heart of Osiris puts players once again in the shoes of Assil, who warded off a death curse prior to the sequel, only to lose the Ankh and his girlfriend Thara. In addition, the Pharaoh was overthrown by Osiris and sent to work in his own quarry. Assil must travel through locations both new and familiar to recover all that he's lost. Ankh 2: Heart of Osiris is available for $40.
Mobile Satellite Ventures is aiming to expand its services to the general public with mobile phones that can use both a traditional network or switch to a satellite in remote areas. MSV promises to bring this hybrid connection technology in the first phone pictured initially, which would become a part of MSV's L-series line. The non-working model shown included Wi-Fi, applications typically found in smartphones, a web-cam and a speakerphone, all in a manageable 0.6-inch thick body. The interface is via the phone's 480x320-pixel resolution touch-screen. Another prototype, called simply the R-series, would act as a tougher, less delicate offering in MSV's line-up.
GizMac today began shipping orders for its DuraSport silicone case for the 3G iPod nano, which offers users a shock absorbent material to protect their Nano. The case includes a clear polycarbonate shield for the front of the case, providing protection for the screen, while the silicone skin protects the rest of the iPod, including the scroll wheel. GizMac is currently shipping the DuraSport for 3G Nano for $30, which comes with two colors of silicone skins.
Apple has revealed the list of sessions and labs for its WWDC 08 conference, scheduled for June 9th to the 13th in San Francisco. Over 60 events are planned, and people can now register for the conference at a standard cost of $1,295, or $1,694 with an ADC Select membership. Sessions are divided into iPhone, Mac and IT categories: some iPhone programs include "3D Graphics for iPhone using OpenGL ES," "Introduction to the iPhone Development Tools," and "Utilizing Offline Data in Safari."
Rogers may offer its own take on a Wi-Fi calling solution in the near future, say multiple tips sent to Crackberry. The service would be known as Rogers Home Calling Zone and would replicate many of the features found in services such as T-Mobile's HotSpot@Home; devices that support Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) would be used to offer unlimited calling from any Wi-Fi access point and could seamlessly bridge to the cellular phone network and back to avoid interrupting calls.
Qsonix has updated the key components of its Digital Music System, which lets owners store all their music centrally but listen to it in up to four different areas in a house, controlling it through a simple touchscreen interface. People can now get these detached screens in a 17-inch size, which can alternately be stood on a flat surface or hung against a wall using a VESA mount. The interface lets users view album and track information, and create their own playlists through drag-and-drop motions.
More details have emerged on Sony Ericsson's P5 smartphone. The source for yesterday's leak has disclosed more details, revealing for example that the direction pad is flanked by two call keys, blended into the rest of the phone. The QWERTY keyboard sports a number of multifunction keys, and the back is made of metal, with a sliding lens cover for the five-megapixel camera.
Britain's telecoms regulator Ofcom on Friday confirmed that it would hold a new auction for wireless space in the country. Partly echoing the just-completed FCC auction in the US, the UK agency will allow portions of spectrum in the 2GHz and 2.6GHz spaces to be used for different wireless services. This is likely to involve fourth-generation data services such as "evolutions of 3G technology" or WiMAX, Ofcom says.
Microsoft chief Bill Gates said in a seminar today that he expects Windows 7 to appear sometime in 2009, potentially hinting at an accelerated release. The company has to date suggested that it would maintain a three-year development cycle between Vista and the new operating system but will now allegedly see the software "sometime in the next year or so," according to the company co-founder. He declines to provide a more specific timeframe.
Microsoft's next version of Windows will represent a large enough break from the codebase of Vista that the company will have to implement a backwards compatibility layer similar to earlier versions of Mac OS X, according to reports from a user familiar with the early versions of the new software. As many of the application programming interfaces will be fundamentally incompatible with the earlier OS, Microsoft will reportedly no longer support programs from earlier Windows versions; as a result, the company will need to introduce a distinct compatibility layer to support earlier programs.
Polaroid launched a new basic digital camera on Friday, the i535, which is aimed at introducing people to digital photography. The i535 boasts a 5-megapixel CMOS sensor, and 3X optical zoom as well as a fixed 2.36-inch display. The i535BB sports 32MB of internal memory, while an SD/HC card slot allows for memory expansion. Video can be recorded in a maximum resolution of 640x480 pixels in motion JPEG format. A carrying case and flexible mini tripod are included, delivering a relatively complete package for beginners.
Piper Jaffray Senior Analyst Gene Munster is reiterating his theory that Apple will soon introduce new iPhones capable of operating on 3G networks, using T-Mobile's recent price cut on 8GB phones as his latest evidence. First confirming that T-Mobile cut the price of the 8GB iPhone to EUR99 from EUR399 ($156 from $624) while the price of the 16GB model remains at EUR499, Munster notes that the promotion runs through June 30, and requires a two-year contract and the high end data plan. Munster says this is "a sign T-Mobile is draining its channel ahead of a new iPhone launch."
The CEO of Sprint, Dan Hesse, has announced a new BlackBerry phone for the company's iDEN network, reports say. Sprint inherited the network when it acquired Nextel, but has long been accused of neglecting it, despite it having once had widespread popularity with taxi and construction companies, thanks to push-to-talk support. According to Hesse, the new iDEN BlackBerry is expected "later this year," and will have Wi-Fi -- a feature effectively absent from other iDEN options.
Russia will soon get its first-ever official BlackBerry service, according to Reuters. Local carrier Vimpelcom says it has forged a contract with the Russian unit of British American Tobacco, in order to sell corporate versions of the BlackBerry 8700g and provide Research in Motion's proprietary e-mail delivery. The company's push e-mail technology is considered one of the primary reasons to get a BlackBerry, and has made the phones popular with businesses in Europe and North America.
App4Mac, the company behind RapidoWrite, CheckUp and other Mac OS X tools, has announced net4mac, a new, free social networking service built exclusively for Mac users. Users can create a profile including your location, job, activities, skills and the type of Macs, iPhone, iPod, etc. owned, then add friends to your profile and manage them. Users can also create their own groups of interest and invite friends to join them (people using the same application, in your same location, sharing the same passions, etc) and create events and invite Mac users. Registered users can search members using different of criteria and discover local Mac users..
The Lenovo Group sold its handset unit on March 31, the company announced on Thursday. The sale, valued at $100 million in January, was approved by Lenovo's shareholders on March 17. In January, executives decided that the world's fourth-largest PC manufacturer should focus on its core business. The buyer is believed to be an unnamed group of investors.
The 16GB iPhone was the best seller last week at the online Apple Store, according to a new report. As part of a regular update on the storefront's 10 most popular products, I4U claims that Apple's biggest-capacity iPhone surpassed any other offering during the final week of March, beating out other common choices such as MacBooks or the iPod nano. Second place was in fact taken by the 8GB iPhone, helping to cement its iconic status.
Intel has developed a technology for future computers that will greatly simplify synchronizing Wi-Fi devices, the company has revealed at its Developer Forum in Shanghai. So far nicknamed only "Cliffside," the technique effectively splits a Wi-Fi connection into public and private links. One connects to the local network for Internet access and other typical services; the other creates a Personal Area Network similar to Bluetooth or Wireless USB meant solely to connect the user's nearby devices.
Bitcartel has released the v1.3 update to PandoraJam, its multi-purpose client for the Web-based radio service. Users can stream music wirelessly, record tracks and copy them to iPods, and send track data to the Last.fm social networking site. Program information can be delivered through Growl, as well as instant messaging apps including Adium, iChat and Skype. Owners of Apple Remotes can control Pandora at a distance.
Motorola's Z10 slider could be one of the first phones to launch alongside T-Mobile USA's 3G network, say reports from Howard Forums. Initially billed as supporting only European 3G networks, an updated version will purportedly add the 1,700MHz frequency support needed to use the faster UMTS-based access on T-Mobile's network. The 3.2-megapixel camera, support for microSDHC 32GB cards, and more would translate directly from the original, which works in the US but only for calling and 2G Internet access.
RAID specialist HighPoint Technlogies says it has released the first virtualized RAID management option for the Mac, RocketRAID Intelli-VRMT. This provides an independent RAID module combined with an "Early Warning System," which tracks storage and generates warnings and information. Part of this includes event logging, out-of-range condition detection, and the ability to run automatic rebuilds. Warnings and other updates sent either through SMTP e-mail or SNMP traps.
Google today said it will sell off the search marketing portion of DoubleClick to ensure that its takeover bid goes through. Called Performics, the division is being split off by the search engine giant to convince users that the ads accompanying search results won't be influenced by a conflict of interest. Advertisers will need to know that Google is objective and won't bias the ads it displays towards any one advertiser, according to DoubleClick's Tom Phillips.
Runtime has released v2.9 of Revolution, its media and application development software. Users can compile code for a variety of platforms, including Intel and PowerPC Macs, as well as Linux, Solaris, and several editions of Windows. The v2.9 update is said to have some 500 improvements, among these optimization for Mac OS X Tiger and Leopard, such as matching aesthetic touches.
NVIDIA's planned replacements for the rest of the GeForce 9M notebook graphics line have been leaked, courtesy of driver information surfacing in the latest beta of the company's ForceWare graphics drivers. While some early versions of the mobile video hardware are already in use by ASUS and others, the new leak shows several new models that are likely to replace the majority of 8M graphics chipsets in current portables. Significantly, the lineup includes mid-range GeForce 9600M GS and GT chipsets, which are most likely to surface in replacements for systems that already use 8600M parts, such as the Dell XPS M1530 and Apple's MacBook Pro.
Mariner Software has announced a deal with Advenio Software, under which it will republish the latter's MacGourmet software under its own name. The software is used to manage both recipe and wine information, and is said to operate like iTunes, with the ability to create custom lists such as a collection of all appetizers. Recipes can be both imported and exported, and sent in directions such as the web, index cards or smartphones.
A solution may be in place to prevent a ban on BlackBerries in India by next week, the Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) says. With the smartphones' creator Research in Motion facing a 15-day ultimatum, the company is reportedly cooperating and could have a requested monitoring system in place by the start of next week, allowing the Indian government to watch for security threats on the BlackBerry push e-mail network.
Microsoft and Yahoo have held meetings this week over the former's takeover bid but still have not moved towards a deal, according to tips provided to the Wall Street Journal. Those reportedly familiar with the talks claim that neither side is willing to leave its existing position, with Microsoft unwilling to raise its initial bid of $31 per share and Yahoo's executive staff refusing to consider any current offers. The search engine firm sees no reason to accept Microsoft's terms when it formally rejected the offer weeks before, the Journal says.
Jajah today announced it is in the process of expanding its iPhone call-back service into a full-blown global Voice over IP application, in addition to its current web-only client. According to Pocket-lint.co.uk, the iPhone application will be available in the summer, following shortly after the impending iPhone 2.0 firmware version and the app store. The VoIP application will allow both incoming and outgoing calls over WiFi, and will be either free or a low-cost service, depending on the call destination or source.
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Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko
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