Ahead of next week's NAB conference, Apple on Thursday released its updates to its professional video editing applications with Pro Applications Update 2008-01. The company said that the update, which includes the Apple HDV Codec v1.4 for 4:2:2 support in Final Cut Pro, improves reliability for Apple's professional applications; it is recommended for all users of Final Cut Studio, Final Cut Server, Logic Studio, and Shake and includes an update to Final Cut Studio 2.0, including Final Cut Pro 6.0.3, Compressor 3.0.3--both of which address specific customer issues, installation issues, compatibility updates, general performance issues and improves overall stability. It is a 63.7MB download.
Forum roundup: MacNN forum members are discovering what encryption methods others use to protect their WiFi networks. Users are discussing why they feel one is superior to the other, while a poll is currently tracking the amount of users who encrypt with WEP, WPA-1/2, or other methods, or if they use none at all. Some members are also touting the benefits of using an access control list to govern overall network access.
Due to stronger-than-expected MacBook shipments, J. P. Morgan Securities today raised its second quarter estimates for Apple, saying that the above factor made up for slower iPod and iPhone sales. Thanks to the boost in portable sales, J.P. Morgan raised both Apple's second-quarter and 2008 yearly profit estimates from $1.05 and $4.94 per share, to $1.09 and $5.04 per share, respectively, according to Reuters. Mac shipments for the quarter are also estimated to be higher, at 2.11 million units, versus the earlier prediction of 1.97 million.
Adobe on Thursday released updates to correct for issues found in Lightroom 1.4 and Camera Raw 4.4 and apologized for the issues caused by the update. The Lightroom 1.4.1 and Camera Raw 4.4.1 updates provide all of the changes included in the original Lightroom 1.4 and Camera Raw 4.1 releases but also include corrections for EXIF metadata, DNG conversion, and JPEG artifact issues that were introduced with the latest updates.
Sony is offering consumers a gunmetal grey limited edition Playstation 3 console, with a matching DualShock 3 controller, bundled with Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots – Konami's latest sequel to the epic Metal Gear game series. The bundle, which has already been released and almost immediately sold out in Japan, features an 80GB hard drive for storage. Pricing and availability were not expressly mentioned, but Metal Gear Solid 4 is available on June 12th for $60.
For the longest time, the three most popular ways to make phone calls was through a landline, a cellular phone, or a voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) phone system such as Skype. Landlines offer near-perfect reliability and sound quality, but with varying costs and limited mobility. Cellular phones offers mobility but at the cost of high fees. VoIP phones offer mobility with unlimited free calls anywhere in the world, but are often restricted to calls placed to other VoIP users. If you want to use a VoIP phone to call a landline or cellular phone, the charges jump up dramatically. Fortunately, there’s now another calling alternative called magicJack.
Kingston today announced availability of 800MHz DDR2 fully buffered DIMMS, designed to fit in the new Mac Pro and Xserve computers, in 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB capacities. The memory comes in paired sets, which ultimately allow for 25.6GB per second transfer speeds when the Mac Pro is fully outfitted. As with all Kingston memory, each chip features a lifetime warranty. Kingston is selling the memory modules starting at $180 for the 2GB chips.
Blockbuster Video has announced that it is finally moving to to expand its Blu-ray services. Although Blu-ray discs formally went on sale in the US in June of 2006, Blockbuster only began stocking the media in July of 2007, and then only in 1,700 of its outlets. The company now says that it will start selling and renting discs in some 5,000 stores, scattered throughout Canada and the United States. For people renting by mail, Blockbuster plans to offer Blu-ray as an optional default medium. HDTVs paired with PlayStation 3 consoles will serve as demonstration kiosks.
The sequel to Aliph's successful Jawbone Bluetooth earpiece is coming soon, according to a new FCC filing. The headset is referred to by the original Jawbone name but represents a major redesign, including a shorter, subtler design as well as a new noise-canceling jaw sensor that shifts from two 'bumps' to one measuring the user's voice, and a sleeker connector used to charge the headset from its special USB cradle.
Media 100 on Thursday announced that it will unveil version 12.5 at the NAB 2008 exhibition held in Las Vegas next week. Media 100 v12.5 will feature HDV support for capture through Apple native FireWire and also the ability to input and edit multiple audio tracks. Using Media 100's user-friendly interface, the video editing package allows editors to easily and quickly assemble segments with very high picture quality using 2D/3D compositing features, professional-grade effects tools, and more. The company says that new Media 100 version 12.5 release expands on the systems workflow acquisition options and finishing capabilities with support for HDV formats and multi-channel audio input.
Apple is continuing its expansion of its successful retail stores, according to ifoAppleStore. The report indicates that Apple plans to open yet another retail store in the Bay Area, this one inside the Hillsdale Shopping Center, a 1950s-era enclosed mall that is privately owned by the Bohannon family. The shopping center features more than 130 shops over 1.3 million square-feet. Other Apple stores in the area include San Francisco (23 miles north), Stonestown (20 miles N.), Burlingame (4 miles N.), Palo Alto/Stanford (12 miles S.), and Valley Fair (30 miles S.). Apple also plans a new store in Toronto at the Fairview Mall by November. The mall is located along Highway 404, northeast of the city center. Finally, Apple has its eyes on the Willowbrook Mall in the city of Wayne, New Jersey about 25 miles northwest of Manhattan. This would be would be the 11th store in the state, and will open by the 2008 holiday season.
A rebate sheet from AT&T for the spring retail season seems to have leaked on the Internet on Thursday, revealing that the cellular carrier will replace the Pearl 8100 with the new 8110. Buyers who opt for this phone will be eligible for a $50 rebate card from AT&T. Furthermore, the form indicates the phones must be purchased before May 11, meaning the new Pearl should hit shelves well before then. The other new phone to AT&T on the form is the Pantech C520, the Breeze, with a $30 rebate.
equinux has released The Tube 2.6 with a completely reengineered EPG engine. Users can now choose between different electronic program guide (EPG) plug-ins and automatically update TV information even when they're imported from alternative EPGs in the XMLTV format. The Tube 2.6 automatically updates the electronic program guide (EPG) twice a day and therefore always provides users with the latest TV listings. To open the application to third-party providers of TV listings, The Tube now has a new plug-in structure to allow users to choose between different television guides. The Tube was the first Mac application to add support for the open XMLTV standard for TV listings. The Tube 2.6 can also handle automatic XMLTV-updates in the same way as it automatically updates TV listings via DTT (DVB-T).
Researchers at IBM's Almaden lab have developed a new type of memory that operates in three dimensions, according to an announcement. Termed "racetrack" memory, it is composed of U-shaped nanowires, which are aligned perpendicularly to a chip and work as a shift register. While information can only be read or written at the base of the wire, the remaining space in its shape can be used to store and shuffle bits, thanks to minute pulses of electricity applied to the tips. In a finished racetrack chip, numerous wires would be built next to each other.
A combination of disinterest and unnecessary hurdles is discouraging most cellphone users from using mobile music downloads, says a new Jupiter Research study (pay only). Although many Western carriers heavily promote their direct-to-phone services, approximately two thirds (66 percent) of the more than 1,800 respondents to the study say that nothing is likely to spur them into paying for music on a phone; 28 percent are interested in ringtones, while only 14 percent are interested in full tracks, according to the results.
Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, IL claim to have developed composite battery materials that will increase battery life by up to 30 percent, as well as making them safer and last longer than conventional lithium-ion batteries. The new batteries, based on a new generation of lithium-ion electrode chemistry, are similar to the ones GM is developing for its Chevy Volt electric vehicle, but Argonne is likely to market its technology to extend the usefulness of laptops and cell phones.
The European Parliament has voted to abolish a plan to permanently ban illegal filesharers, writes IDG News. Under the rules of the plan, those caught sharing copyrighted music, video and other material would have been prevented from even connecting to the Internet for unspecified amounts of time, possibly permanently. "The vote shows that MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) want to strike a balance between the interests of rights holders and those of consumers, and that big measures like cutting off Internet access shouldn't be used," according to EP spokeswoman Malene Folke Chaucheprat.
Text strings in the latest beta of Apple's iPhone 2.0 firmware point both to multiple new features as well as extra steps to prevent unlocking, according to explorations by a Greek iPhone unlocking site. In addition to references to 3G chipsets, the code also adds A2DP and "HeadphoneBT" entries that suggest support for stereo Bluetooth audio, in addition to the "HeadsetBT" mention for existing mono Bluetooth headset support. Bluetooth remote control is also an apparent option.
Sony has announced an unusual new group of Bravia LCD panels, the E4000 series. The primary sets in the line are sized at 32 and 40 inches, and are fully 1080p compatible. What distinguishes them however is their exteriors, which are designed to blend in with other pieces of art on a wall through the use of special framing. Four frames have been developed, in styles named "Aluminum," "Midnight Sky," "Pearly White" and "Dark Walnut."
Canon today preceded the NAB pro video expo with a pair of cameras it hopes will both upgrade its HDV line and extend it to buyers that normally might not consider HD cameras. Both the relatively budget-minded XL H1A and the updated XL H1S now have a new version of Canon's 20X lens that offers more control over the focus, iris, and zoom. The image processor also widens the scope of color changes, improves noise reduction, and supplies a larger range of gain and white balance settings.
Telestream has announced new Apple support for its Pipeline hardware, a series of network-enabled video capture devices capable of real-time encoding in a variety of formats. One of these formats is now Apple's ProRes 422, which attempts to maintain high quality at small file sizes. Pipelines have also been made compatible with the recently-released Final Cut Server, enabling input into the software from tape sources or live feeds. FCS support is immediately available; ProRes support will added later as a free upgrade, sometime after April 17th.
Microsoft announced on Thursday it will launch ClearFlow, a software technology for its driving directions website that will help users avoid traffic jams. ClearFlow spent five years in development by the software giant's AI researchers, and will be available at no cost for 72 US metropolitan cities. It will take into account details such as sporting events, current weather and time of day to get drivers to their destinations in the shortest amount of time.
Dell this morning revealed that Canada would be the next to see the fruits of its retail initiative. Beginning late this week, the company will sell several of its desktop and notebook models in multiple large retailers for the country, including Best Buy, Future Shop, and Staples. The exact mixture of systems will vary by store but should include the Inspiron 530, its slimline 530s equivalent, and the XPS 420 for desktops; notebooks will include both the Inspiron 1525 as well as the XPS M1330 (pictured) and M1530.
Adobe has released an update for its ubiquitous Flash Player, addressing a critical security vulnerability. The v220.127.116.11 patch specifically targets an exploit related to Shockwave (SWF) files; in order to be affected, a user must load a malicious SWF file within Flash Player, which in turn gives hackers the ability to run authorized code on a computer. The vulnerability exists in Flash Player versions 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124, and all prior incarnations. The update is available for all operating systems supported by Flash and browsers including Firefox, Opera and more.
Australian PC builder Pioneer on Thursday has inadvertently become the first to advertise a system based on Intel's Centrino 2 mobile platform. The DreamBook Style 9008 will be one of Pioneer's thin-and-light 15.4-inch notebooks and will achieve its goal in part by using an unnamed variant of the new "Montevina" era, P-series Core 2 Duo processors: the design will have the faster 1,066MHz system bus from the full-size chips but consume just 25 watts of power, letting it run with less cooling and with longer battery life than full-power 35W chips.
Red Giant Software has announced it will show five new products at the upcoming NAB convention in Las Vegas, including Trapcode Horizon, Instant HD Pro, Radium Glow, Magic Bullet Steady, and Primatte Keyer Pro 4. Trapcode Horizon is a new plug-in designed specifically for After Effects users doing 3D work. Due in the second quarter of 2008, the plugin is designed to help video editors match the camera with any virtual background, enabling the generation of motion in 3D in a true 3D space. It is priced at $100.
An Apple patent application from 2006, recently disclosed by the US Patent and Trademark Office, suggests that Apple at least once contemplated letting users pick from multiple carriers on an iPhone. The current American iPhone is tethered by default to AT&T and affiliates, forcing users to hack it if they want to operate on a choice of networks; under the scheme described by the patent however, network addresses for multiple carriers could be stored on a mobile device, and selected as necessary for the purposes of roaming. This somewhat reflects the way iPhone users can now choose Wi-Fi hotspots.
GizMac Accessories on Thursday said it is now shipping the smaller capacities of XRackPro server racks with air filtration. The 4U and 6U models of XRackPro2 server racks, made of heavy duty steel construction and a sealed glass front door, now feature an air filtration system in addition to reducing noise: the air filtration provides cleaner air into the server rack enclosure and ultimately into computer and other electronic equipment located inside, GizMac noted. The controlled airflow of the XRackPro2 server rack aids cooling, improves noise reduction and allows for an air filtering system to function.
DTS today said one of the longstanding criticisms of the PlayStation 3 would be addressed with a firmware update next week that adds DTS-HD Master Audio for movies on the Sony game console. The addition allows Blu-ray movies and other HD titles to output 7.1-channel surround at a 96kHz, 24-bit quality at up to 24.5 megabits per second. At this rate, the stream virtually equals the sound created in the studio masters that give the DTS format its namesake, according to its creator.
Nokia's Tube touchscreen phone now has a more definitive name, launch window, and specs, according to a leak from NokiaPort. To be called the Nokia 5800 XpressMedia, the phone will sit on top of the 5000-series music phone line with its touchscreen as only one of its main features; the new model is now believed to have a 3.2-megapixel camera and native 3.5mm headphone jack in addition to the 3G Internet access and Wi-Fi already established in recent leaks.
Blockbuster today is subject to rumors which claim the movie rental house is developing its own networked media hub. Similar to stand-alone devices such as the Apple TV or the Vudu, the unnamed project would let users watch Internet-streamed movies on TV and would take advantage of Blockbuster's union with Movielink to supply the content, with an unnamed electronics maker assembling the hardware itself. The device could be announced as early this month, though it may not be available until at least May.
AKVIS has released the v6.0 update to Noise Buster, its photo enhancement tool. The app is able to remove noise in both the color and luminance layers of photos, separately or together. The Mac version of the upgrade has a variety of changes, among these support for Photoshop Elements 6; also new though is the "Microdetail" parameter, which attempts to return minute details to a photo without additionally reintroducing noise.
Nikon this morning interrupted the normal pattern of camera launches and released three COOLPIX models that skew towards the higher end of home cameras. The pictured 10.1-megapixel P80 aims to bridge the gap between compacts and entry DSLRs with an 18X, 27-486mm zoom lens and more control than most point-and-shoot models. While it shares the same image processor as newer Nikon cameras, the P80 is the first COOLPIX to offer a Sport Continuous Mode; the camera can take up to 30 shots in a row at speeds between 4 and 13 frames per second depending on whether duration or precision is the focus.
Apple's next generation iPhone 2.0 software is expected to bring both contact search and meeting invites, according the latest builds distributed to developers. Based on a information from software distributed privately to enterprise beta testers, new screenshots reveal a new search bar in the Contacts menu. The new feature replaces the magnifying glass icon seen in the iPhone SDK demo, according to the report. In addition, the drawer button in the Calendar application, previously inactive, provides access to a meeting invitation interface that displays the number of new requests as an icon badge -- much like other new content notifications, according to the report. Engadget also indicates that enterprise users don't get the app store or iTunes store icons.
Synthetic Aperture this week announced Test Gear 2.0, a new version of its video and audio monitoring software specifically designed for Adobe After Effects CS3. Expected to be demoed next week at NAB in Las Vegas, Test Gear offers a waveform monitor, vectorscope, and other diagnostic displays that are now fully integrated into After Effects CS3's user interface. Version 2.0 also adds Universal Binary support for Intel-based Macs. Version 2.0 enhances all of the test instruments by adding full support for 32-bit floating-point projects. Test Gear provides motion graphics artists and video editors with a variety of test instruments to make objective measurements of their visual and audio work, all from within Adobe After Effects. Test instruments include waveform monitor, vectorscope, histogram, image slice display, and audio tools.
Creaceed recently announced Morph Age 4, a major update to its image morphing and warping tool that allows users to make keyframed transforming animations. The new version is exclusively compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, and takes advantage of technology present in both the Intel processors and the GPU. Morph Age comes in two versions: Regular for $60, and Pro – which can make use of video sources as well as imagery – for $150.
Ambric today unveiled plans to show its pre-release version of Am2045 GT on the Mac platform at this year's NAB conference. The Am2045 GT is a video reference platform that allows video professionals users to accelerate HD MPEG-2 and HD H.264 encoding for distribution on platforms such as Blu-ray, Flash, and DVD. The hardware also accelerates Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 and After Effects CS3 via a plug-in.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,Â Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard DiskÂ Drive,Â GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl