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Microsoft expands services
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer today labeled Windows Vista "a work in progress", sitting between rumblings that the company would continue support for XP for OEM platforms and UMPCs, and constant assurance that the next incarnation of Windows is on its way. According to Yahoo the statement came at an annual event in Seattle as Ballmer addressed many questions and concerns over Microsoft's next generation operating system.
iPhone writing recognition
ModMyiFone.com forum members have discovered a new utility for jailbroken iPhones which allows for handwriting recognition using a small grey area. The beta software can recognize both Latin and Chinese characters at the moment, transcribing finger motions into editable text on a yellow notepad-style document. User poetic_folly notes that installing HWPen requires the user to add iphonecake.com/src/all as the installer source.
Psystar violates v8 EULA
The ongoing Psystar situation has revealed that the company is not only breaching Apple's license agreement, but also that of the EFI firmware emulation utility it uses to fool Leopard into installing. MacUser UK reports that Psystar is using the EFI v8 emulator without proper admission of the author, Netkas, and in clear violation of the software's license, which reads "Redistribution and use in binary form for direct or indirect commercial purposes, with or without modification, is stricktly (sic) forbidden."
500GB portable drive
Other World Computing on Thursday announced its highest capacity portable, bus-powered storage drive: a 500GB, 5400RPM portable storage drive that offers FireWire 800, FireWire 400, and USB 2.0 connections. Immediately available and priced at $360, the Mercury On-The-Go 500GB portable drive is a palm-sized performer with huge capacity that fits in a shirt pocket. It is built with OWC's custom bridge solution featuring the Oxford924 chipset. In addition to the Mercury On-The-Go 500GB drive with 5400RPM performance, OWC also offers a full line of On-The-Go models with USB 2.0, USB 2.0+eSATA, FireWire 400+USB2, as well as additional FireWire 800/400+USB2 models in capacities up to 320GB (pricing starts at $98); and 7200RPM Mercury On-The-Go models in capacities of up to 200GB (priced starting at $120).
Apple most innovative
BusinessWeek today released its list of "The 25 Most Innovative Companies" in the world, with Apple, Google, and Toyota taking the top three spots, respectively. The publication states the list is based on companies who nurture cultures that value creative people in good economic times and bad, as well as those that develop a diversified stock portfolio, and display independent though for corporate strategy, despite "finger-wagging" from analysts.
Indian iPhone in September
Reports indicate that an Indian iPhone could be just around the corner, allegedly available in September between Rs 27,200 and Rs 28,000. According to the Business Standard, Vodafone is expected to have the 8GB iPhone during the first week of September, with the 16GB version to surface in the middle of 2009. The news reportedly comes from Apple sources in Singapore, who only a few months ago was revealed as "tight lipped" until recently.
Dell offers AMD quad-cores
AMD's long-overdue quad-core Opteron processor is now offered in five Dell servers, the chipmaker announced on Thursday. Dell is offering AMD's quad-core Opteron chips in its PowerEdge SC1435, 2970, M605, 6950 and T605 servers, all of which are available on the company's website now and, together with offerings from Hewlett Packard, bring the total number of models utilizing the chip to 13.
AT&T launches "Surface"
AT&T on Thursday became the first deployment of Microsoft's Surface computing, a new computing paradigm that leverages projection, cameras, and computer running Windows Vista along with a special management layer. As announced earlier this month, the company rolled out its new 22 "multi-touch surfaces" at five locations in four different cities around the US, including New York, Atlanta, San Antonio, and San Bruno ("San Francisco"). Microsoft Surface is made up of a 30-inch screen built into the top of a rugged, clear plastic surface that has the ability to "sense touches" and gestures as well as read barcode-like tags to identify and present information on products placed on the surface.
ATT Prepping 3G for iPhone
AT&T is hastening the development of its 3G network in some areas to get ready for the iPhone's launch, according to e-mail sent to CNET's Buzz Out Loud podcast. A Pittsburgh show listener claims that AT&T is "ramping up" its 3G network in the area to ensure that the faster wireless service is ready for the iPhone by May. The audience member implies that the iPhone launch itself will take place in the timeframe, though such a launch would contradict analyst estimates and other predictions that have called for an Apple handset with faster access to appear by June.
MS vs. Yahoo: lobbyists
Microsoft is already hiring lobbyists in order to speed up approval of a Yahoo acquisition, the lobby group in question has disclosed. Bryan Cave Strategies says it has been hired to aid and influence officials in the US government; this is despite the fact that Yahoo has not only refused Microsoft's efforts, it has actively sought out help in remaining independent, from companies such as Google, Time Warner and News Corporation. All Microsoft needs however is enough shareholder support in order to install a Microsoft-friendly board of directors.
BBerry 9100 Mentioned
A second iteration of RIM's upcoming BlackBerry 9000 series has been spotted in a theme file for the company's smartphones spotted by BGR. The 9100 is mentioned as a separate phone from the 9000 and is included multiple times throughout the file, including underneath a carrier-specific category: at least one mention is listed underneath a section for Vodafone, pointing to the European and Asian carrier as its most likely initial candidate.
Samsung chairman indicted
The chairman of Samsung, Lee Kun-hee, has been cleared of bribery charges from the South Korean government, but indicted on accusations of tax evasion and breach of trust. The news is the outcome of four months of investigation into executive corruption at the company, in which several members of upper management have been accused of concealing $4.55 billion in Lee's assets. The executives are also alleged to have kept a $200 million slush fund, whose sole purpose was to bribe the likes of politicians and prosecutors.
Media Collector 300
IntelliScanner on Thursday introduced Media Collector 300, an intelligent barcode reader and software solution for organizing media. Media Collector provides detailed information on books, DVDs, CDs and games using an Internet-enabled database and AutoFill technology. The easy-to-use system helps organize any media collection with innovative features to create custom searches, comparison shop online and access collections on an iPhone. Media Collector offers a seamless solution for organizing, searching and sharing media. The Media Collector 300 collection includes everything to organize media instantly in one box - an IntelliScanner barcode reader, media management software and pre-printed asset tags for items without barcodes. The scanner and software is now shipping worldwide for $150.
LiveQuartz 1.8 ships
Developer Romain Piveteau has released LiveQuartz 1.8, an update to the free graphics retouching application designed for Mac OS X Leopard. The update adds Multi-Touch trackpads support, including 'Swipe' for tools and layer control, 'Pinch & Expand' for magnification and layer zoom transformation and 'Rotation' for layer rotation. There is also a new "free line" tool, a new filter picker, better layer merging, global image resizing, an enhanced user interface and the standard picture taker which gives access to iSight camera. LiveQuartz is aimed at all people that need a photo retouching tool to easy manipulate layers, transparency and non destructive filters, the developer says.
Macs better at Vista
Popular Mechanics says that Macs run Windows Vista better than PCs designed to run the operating system. The magazine published an analysis based on user feedback and performance benchmarks for similarly equipped machines, using a number of 'real world' tests to evaluate the machines. Testers were asked to set up the computers right out of the box and "explore the machines through everyday tasks such as Web surfing, document creation, uploading photos, downloading Adobe Acrobat files and playing music and movies through Media Center and Front Row." The magazine said that in both the laptop and desktop showdowns, Apple's computers were the winners. Results found that both Apple computers ran Vista faster than the PCs did.
BIAS ships Peak LE 6
BIAS this week began shipping Peak LE 6 -- the 'light' edition of its audio editing, processing and mastering application for Mac with an improved interface, new DSP features, and other improvements. Last month, BIAS released version 6 of Peak Pro and Peak Pro XT, the professional edition and an Extended Technology edition that includes Peak Pro and 8 plug-ins for mastering, restoration and sound design. Peak LE now offers the ability to author and upload audio podcasts directly (without requiring an additional application). Additionally, a new DSP feature, Voiceover Ducking, automatically lowers the music during a voiceover. Other new DSP features include Change Duration Options for optimization for vocal and musical content, and Mono-to-Stereo/Stereo-to-Mono conversion.
ConceptDraw 7.6 released
CS Odessa today released ConceptDraw 7.6 an update to its drawing and business diagramming software package. The professional business graphics software permits users to create sophisticated and high-quality organization charts, flowcharts and business graphics as well as the ability to create network and database diagrams. Version 7.6 includes a specialized flowchart library as well as traditional flowcharting shapes with more than 150 objects available for use. ConceptDraw 7.6 also significantly improves text editing performance and support of Chinese and Arabic characters. ConceptDraw 7.6 is a no charge update for all registered users of ConceptDraw 7.x. Owners of earlier versions can upgrade for only $150; the full version is $300.
Orange Read&Go reader
French telecom company Orange has announced a new e-book reader, entitled the Read&Go. While most such readers -- like the Kindle -- are meant to be universal devices, Orange's machine concentrates almost exclusively on newspapers, namely Le Monde, Le Parisien, Les Echos, L'Equipe and TÚlÚrama. These are updated hourly throughout the day, through the unusual offering of both 3G and Wi-Fi reception. By contrast the Kindle is only equipped with 3G, and strictly through Sprint's EVDO service.
After stoking massive controversy by announcing an alleged $400 Mac clone, vowing the fight Apple's Mac OS X EULA in Court then rapidly switching its address, leading some to question the authenticity of its claims, Psystar is attempting to clear up some of the confusion. Unfortunately, the company's explanation may raise more questions than it answers. Psystar initially claimed that it would soon deliver a $400 Mac clone, based around a 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with integrated Intel GMA 950 graphics. Stating that the machine will be compatible with Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5), the company says it will pre-install the OS and include a special restoration disc, alongside the genuine installation disc. The legality of Psystar's operation is dubious, as Apple's Mac OS X license explicitly states that the software can only be installed and used on an Apple-labeled computer, specifically stating "You agree not to install, use or run the Apple Software on any non-Apple-labeled computer, or to enable others to do so."
Corsair ships Mac memory
Computer and flash memory maker Corsair announced today the addition of high-density 2GB and 4GB DIMM kits to its Mac Memory line. Each new kit features two sticks of either 1GB or 2GB fully buffered 667MHz memory made to work in Mac Pro desktop computers. Previously, Corsair offered only 1GB, 2GB kit, 2GB and 4GB kits for the MacBook, MacBook Pro and Intel-chipped iMacs. The laptop memory chips were launched last month.
eMachines AMD April 2008
eMachines on Thursday released a pair of AMD-based towers that serve as the very entry level for desktops. At $300, the T3646 is the Gateway label's least expensive system and accomplishes the feat with a 2.2GHz Sempron, 1GB of memory, and a 160GB hard drive; Vista Home Basic also trims the price and reduces the operating system's demands on the computer.
NVIDIA Quadrio FX 4700 X2
NVIDIA has quietly upgraded the higher end of its workstation card line via the Quadro FX 4700 X2. A professional cousin to the GeForce 9800 X2, the Quadro shares the same tactic of incorporating two mid-range graphics processors into a single card; the approach offers more performance than a single chip but without consuming more than one PCI Express slot. While core clock speeds are unavailable, the combined card holds 2GB of video RAM clocked at 800MHz (1.6GHz effective).
Iomega Media Xporter Drive
Iomega on Thursday announced its newest addition, the Media Xporter Drive. The new drive is meant to work with Sony's PlayStation 3 and Microsoft's Xbox 360, as well as Apple computers and Windows-based PCs. The portable 160GB drive plugs into either game console via its USB 2.0 ports and streams media content without the need of a dedicated PC linked to either game console. Popular MP3, MPEG-4 and JPEG files are supported and downloadable software allows format conversions to Xbox 360 and PS3 compatible types.
Verizon v. Sprint lawsuit
Verizon has filed a lawsuit against Sprint in a federal court in Delaware, reports say. The former company alleges that Sprint has not only failed to pay almost $10 million in interconnection charges, but has in fact repeatedly refused to cooperate, despite numerous attempts to avoid going to court. These offers were "made over many months and through both written and personal communications," according to a Verizon filing, but have ultimately been "fruitless." The charges in question are said to be mainly for eastern states subject to tariffs filed with the FCC.
AMD X3s at HP, Gateway
AMD's Phenom X3 processors, which use an unusual triple-core design as opposed to standard dual- or quad-core arrangements, are now available in a select number of HP and Gateway systems. Gateway's GT5670 desktop uses a 2.1GHz X3 8400, along with 3GB of RAM, a 320GB SATA II hard drive, and 3GB of RAM; graphics are limited however to an integrated GeForce 6150 SE chipset, as opposed to a dedicated card like the 8800. Best Buy is charging $550. The X3 8400 uses 2MB of L3 cache memory.
O2 1.8Mb and Irish iPhone
Wireless carrier O2's UK division today announced a 3.5G-based mobile broadband service for PCs that it hopes will improve over existing, slower 3G service. Unlike its existing UMTS offering, which tops at 384Kbps, the new service is based on HSDPA and allows downloads through notebooks as quick as 1.8Mbps, with the promise of 3.6Mbps service after a network upgrade in June.
Apple head-mounted display
The US Patent and Trademark Office today published several applications by Apple, two of which are connected to a concept unusual for the company, that of a head-mounted display (HMD). The first describes the HMD itself, which unlike most such displays, would use a laser light engine to render the images displayed in front of the user's eyes. Furthermore, this engine would actually be separate from the necessary glasses, thus reducing their size and weight as well as the effect of heat. To project the laser light, a fiber-optic cable and special wedge optics would be be used. Images could be full-color, and presented with a stereoscopic effect.
Universal Blu-ray details
Universal Studios, at one time backing only the discontinued HD DVD high-definition movie format, will announce on Thursday it will start releasing all of its new movies on Blu-ray starting this summer. The studio was quick to switch camps once HD DVD's demise was final, but has not released any Blu-ray titles or made any announcements until today. The first Blu-ray title from Universal will be Doomsday, which will be released sometime this summer and, like all its movies, on the same day as the standard DVD of the movie.
ATT Mobile TV Launch Leak
The final launch info for AT&T's touted Mobile TV service has been slipped today courtesy of a source in touch with BGR. The carrier has left most details vague but is now believed to be offering three different tiers based on channel numbers, similar to conventional TV. A Limited tier will offer just four channels for $13 per month, including mobile versions of CBS, Fox, NBC, and NBC's News station; a slight increase in fees to $15 per month more than doubles the selections to nine with CNN, Comedy Central, ESPN, MTV, and Nickelodeon joining the selection.
First Maine Apple Store
Apple is planning to open its first retail store in Maine this year, the Portland Press Herald reports. The newspaper observes that Apple's official job listings mention a location in the Maine Mall, and listings on Monster.com refer to openings for artists, store managers, sales representatives and inventory specialists. An Apple spokeswoman has refused to confirm either half of the equation, but has not denied any claims either.
Yahoo Google Expansion
Yahoo is likely to expand its Google AdSense project after initially positive results, say sources speaking to the Wall Street Journal. Both of the involved firms say that early results for the new search ad approach are positive and may result in more outsourcing in the future. Anti-monopoly regulations are a concern given the relative statuses of Google and Yahoo in the web market but might be avoided by limiting the partnerships to certain areas or search types, according to the paper's contacts.
Canadian iPhone delay
It may be months or even years before Canadians can finally buy a domestic iPhone, the government now says. The major obstacle is the Toronto VoIP company Comwave, which has already used the term "iPhone;" Apple has had to contest the issue through the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, and an initial examiner's report was expected for June 26th. According to a CIPO spokeswoman however, the June date is only a deadline by which Apple and Comwave have to reply to an earlier notification, and either company could ask for an extension that would delay a resolution by four months.
Nokia Q1 2008 Results
Nokia today set a reference point for the cellphone business in 2008 by publishing results for the first quarter of the year. The Finnish handset maker says it sold approximately 115.5 million phones during the quarter, or 27 percent more than it sold in the same quarter a year before. The results represent a drop of 13 percent compared to the last quarter of 2007 but are seen as characteristic of the post-holiday seasonal drop.
HP MediaSmart Win Media
HP this morning extended the life of its MediaSmart TVs with a firmware update that adds a Windows Media Center Extender function. The LCD sets purportedly become the first TVs to add the Microsoft feature without an external hub and can now play music, videos, and other content from Windows Media PCs on a home Wi-Fi network. This includes the most recent Internet TV beta features and protected content from MovieLink and other services.
Samsung Armani LCD TV
Samsung today unveiled a new premium LCD TV designed by Giorgio Armani in 46 inch and 52 inch sizes at the Milan International Furniture Fair in Italy. The TV features a four-mode lit power switch with the two companies' logos on the front, a remote with backlit buttons, and a smaller "pebble" remote with several essential buttons. Pricing was not immediately available, but Samsung confirmed that the smaller TV would ship in Europe, Korea, and Russia in mid summer, with the 52-inch version shipping late-summer.
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