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Contour iPhone HardSkin
Contour Design today unveiled the HardSkin for iPhone, a case based off of its iSee iPhone v3 model that adds a rubberized finish to the outside shell. The hard shell offers protection to the iPhone's features, while the silicone adds to impact resistance, and allows the iPhone to remain safely on a flat surface. The HardSkin case allows for full access to the device's functions, while still offering complete protection. HardSkin for iPhone costs $35.
BlackBerry 8900 Delayed
Research in Motion's 3G-capable BlackBerry won't launch at the same time as its 3G iPhone counterpart and may have been intentionally delayed, claim sources speaking to Fortune. The handset, now said to be named the BlackBerry 8900 and nicknamed the Meteor, has allegedly had its AT&T release pushed back from June to as far as August. The official explanation is said to revolve around call quality concerns for the smartphone, which is likely to replace the top-end 8800.
Psystar offers proof
Amidst a sea of controversy, newly announced Mac clone maker Psystar has released a video on YouTube illustrating that it does indeed have the capacity to run the Mac OS X on its Open Computer. While this does not clear Psystar of the questions surrounding the legality of the process, it proves that the company has the capacity to deliver on its promise. A note at the end of the video claims that the presentation was edited and finalized on Final Cut Studio, running on a Leopard-enabled Open Computer
LG to beat competitors
LG will be rolling out its 8G television line at least half a year ahead of other Taiwanese rivals, including S-LCD, AU Optronics, and Chi Mei Optoelectronics. According to DIGITIMES, the Korean electronics manufacturer already completed its fabrication shells, and has scheduled production to begin by March 2009, and full-scale production of 32 inch OLED TVs to commence in 2011. LG's competitors will start production in late 2008.
URL spoofing flaw
A little over a week after Apple offered a security update to Safari 3.1.1, security research site Secunia warned users about another, but "less critical," vulnerability that could allows malicious sites to "spoof" other websites. Reported by Juan Pablo Lopez Yacubian, the security advisory notes that Safari 3.11 has a flaw that can be exploited by malicious people to display a fake URL in the address bar. "The problem is that it is possible to hide the actual location of a page in the address bar via a specially crafted URL containing a number of certain special characters in the 'user' field before the '@' character," the report noted. It affects both Mac OS X and Windows Vista of the browser and may also affect older versions. Secunia, however, rates the flaw as "less critical," but warns that users should avoid untrusted websites and untrusted links.
Boot Camp, Common Criteria
Apple today released a variety of updates for Boot Camp users, as well as a Common Criteria Tools security verification utility. The Boot Camp updates are required to install Service Pack 3 in Windows XP, Windows Vista 32-bit, and Windows Vista 64-bit versions on an Intel Mac. Little is mentioned regarding the updates themselves, but they are presumably designed to ensure compatibility with the updated versions of Windows.
Three new iPhone patents
The US Patent and Trademark Office today published several of Apple's patent approvals, all of which relate to different aspects of the iPhone's functionality. The first deals with organization of the iPhone's interface as to reduce the clutter of adding too many visual elements to a document. The patent seems to indicate the use of nested interface elements, such as clicking a button to summon a menu detailing operations that the user can perform.
iMac Penryn Rumor
An upgrade to the iMac desktop line could be available as early as next week, according to an apparent tip sent to Geeksugar. The woman-oriented technology site claims the refresh will keep similar price points but upgrade the processors and potentially hard drive space as well. The change would be the first since the aluminum design was first introduced in August of last year.
MS Q3 2008 Results
Microsoft today announced that its latest fiscal quarter earned the company approximately $14.5 billion, or 47 cents per share. The revenue is not a record for the company but is credited in part to the surprising success of the company's Entertainment and Devices Division. Strong sales of the Xbox 360 console helped jump the division's revenue by 68 percent versus the same period a year ago, according to the company. About 19 million examples game system and media hub have now shipped since it launched in November 2005, or about 74 percent more than in early 2007.
Circuit City questions bid
Last week saw video and game rental chain Blockbuster make a public $1 billion bid for electronics retailer Circuit City. At that time, Blockbuster accused Circuit City of not providing information the suitor requested to make a definitive proposal. Yesterday, investor group Wattles Capital Management, representing Blockbuster, sent a letter outlining the reasons for such disclosure to Blockbuster's board members. Circuit City's same-day response questioned Blockbuster's ability to finance such a deal in light of the rough economy.
RepTools 2008 ships
318 has released RepTools 2008, the latest version of its signature software. The program is a CRM (customer relationship management) tool geared towards the entertainment industry, and as such focuses on the production process, tracking aspects such as bids and talent. The major addition for 2008 is a document management system, which organizes not only bids but elements such as callsheets, storyboards, location photos and treatments.
Nokia N810 Ubuntu and Qt
Nokia today revealed to Ars Technica that it will soon add support for new apps and also a new version of Linux to its Nseries tablets, such as the N810. Following the company's acquisition earlier this year of Trolltech, the Finnish device maker now says the Linux-based Maemo operating system on the Nseries will support apps written for the Qt framework; this will permit not just apps written for Qt on other versions of Linux but also cross-platform apps. Eventually, a single program should work with both Symbian phones (such as Nokia's N95) and Maemo devices, the company explains.
Extend DWeaver plug-ins
Extend Studio has released two new plug-ins for Dreamweaver, DW Image Effects and DW Image Show. Image Effects lets users apply "Photoshop-like" touches to objects, such as glow effects or soft borders. 3D art can be produced from simple shapes, and the plug-in applies to static, rollover and button items in a page. The plug-in is priced at $50.
iH12 iPod/Clock Radio
An iPod can store your entire music collection, and keep it with you wherever you want to go. While the iPod is great for listening to music through ear buds by yourself, it's not so handy when you want to play your music so others can hear it too. If you want to broadcast your music throughout a room, consider plugging your iPod into a device such as the iH12 alarm clock.
AT&T Femto Cells
AT&T will be the next in the US to offer femtocells as its solution to customers who want indoor calling, says a report from financial analysts at ThinkPanmure. The US carrier is believed to have tapped Britain-based ip.access for a five-year contract purchase of the portable routers worth a total of $500 million. As with other femtocells, the AT&T models would fill in coverage in homes and other areas where cellular signals often encounter interference, creating a small wireless base station for a home that in turn connects to the larger cellular network.
Kodak ESP 5 printer
Kodak on Thursday announced its newest all-in-one printer, the ESP 5. The printer is able to scan, copy and print documents and images and do so without a connected computer thanks to its multi-format memory card slot and Bluetooth support. A 3-inch color LCD display allows users to preview and edit the content before printing.
Jobs summoned in lawsuit
CEO Steve Jobs is among a number of Apple officials that have been ordered to appear in court regarding a new lawsuit, reports say. The summons were issued by the Superior Court of California in Santa Clara, and are connected to a suit from the Boston Retirement Board, alleging that over $105 million was lost on backdated stock options granted to Jobs. Backdating involves picking a favorable stock value from a time before options are actually granted; though this is technically legal, it can harm other shareholders and the rest of a company, and must be declared with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Apple leadership is accused of failing its duty in this regard.
iRiver E200 Leak
iRiver's first update to the E100 jukebox will also be a major refresh of the design itself, if a leak from Crave proves accurate. The update is likely to be named the E150 or E200 and will scrap the metal-look plastic for real aluminum, similar to the iPod nano's front face or the Zune's back. iRiver will also address criticisms of the LCD by replacing it with a much brighter screen. However, the new body will also drop the speakers that define the player today.
VMWare Fusion 1.1.2 has been released, adding enhanced support for the MacBook Air. The new release also enables Time Machine backup of virtual machines, adds support for Windows XP SP3 Boot Camp partitions, and is now available in Simplified Chinese. In addition, VMWare can now properly disconnect USB devices connected to the virtual machine when shut down, making the USB devices available again to the Mac. It also addresses problem with wireless bridged networking in some cases not being able to obtain an IP address from the DHCP server.
PSP GoView Due in Summer
Sky's upcoming on-demand TV service (now dubbed Go!View) for Sony's PSP will be available this summer, the British TV network said today. The service lets owners of the handheld game system use the Wi-Fi connection to watch shows offered on Sky independently of the satellite connection. Viewers will have the option of either paying per view or else paying a flat-rate subscription fee for watching many more shows. Shows can be downloaded first to the PC for transfer to the PSP later.
TomTom Rider 2nd edition
TomTom on Thursday launched its Rider 2nd Edition portable navigation system made for motorcycle riders. The systems utilize a Cardo scala-rider Bluetooth headset to relay instructions and allow for hands-free calling. The 2nd Edition was upgraded with more features from the company's in-car units, including Map Share that allows users to share voice messages, points of interest or even itineraries via Bluetooth. A new Help Me! button can either connect riders with or find the nearest emergency services and roadside assistance.
Microsoft SPOT Gone
Microsoft has quietly shut down its MSN Direct services for SPOT (Smart Personal Object Technology) Smart Watches, effectively ending the concept, according to a statement from MSN Direct program manager Jon Canan. The company says it and companies making the watches, such as Fossil, no longer have plans to develop a new version of the Smart Watch platform and now intend only to support existing products and pushing data to the watches, which can display weather and other small data wirelessly without the bulk of a larger device.
DLO TransDock transmitters
DLO has updated its TransDock line of FM transmitters, which stream iPod audio through a car's stereo deck while keeping the player's battery charged. The focus of the lineup is on the standard TransDock, which cradles iPods while allowing repositioning through a flexible neck. Although the dock has been redesigned to match the aesthetics of newer iPods such as the Touch, the major new feature is "IntelliTune" technology, which automatically seeks the clearest frequency and prompts the listener to tune into it. Owners can additionally output video to an in-car display, or connect various other audio players via an auxiliary input jack. The TransDock costs $100, and is compatible with any iPod featuring a color screen.
Piper: High Mac growth
The performance of Mac sales in Apple's second quarter was the best the company has seen in years, write analysts with Piper Jaffray. The research firm notes that with a year-over-year unit growth of 51 percent, and an accompanying revenue growth of 54 percent, Macs did better in the last quarter relative to any other period in the last 17 years. Growth estimates for the second half of CY08 are expected to decline to 12 percent year-over-year, but this should not be a major problem; Mac growth is continuing to accelerate as a whole, even though it has already been strong for several quarters.
Moto W755 Leak
Motorola's pseudo-upscale W755 has been confirmed and expanded upon today in press shots obtained by BGR. Replacing one or more basic devices at Verizon, the clamshell should up the relative feature set of such phones by offering subtle touch-sensitive music controls framed around the external LCD, use a 1.3-megapixel camera seldom seen in the class, and support stereo audio over Bluetooth. Storage hasn't been explained but is likely to include a microSD slot to support the digital media files that would require music controls.
Justice looks Google Yahoo
Yahoo's Google AdSense trial has drawn an early investigation by the US Justice Department, a source reportedly tells Reuters. The government agency has allegedly begun determining whether or not the two-week-old web ad experiment will violate US antitrust laws by providing too much of a monopoly to Google for web ads. An unconfirmed call from Google's chief executive Eric Schmidt prompted the investigation, according to the insider.
Needham on Apple Q2
Apple's second-quarter performance warrants a "strong buy" rating for its stock, according to analyst Charlie Wolf of Needham & Company. Wolf claims that there is only "one story" in the company's results, which is a 51 percent growth in Mac sales, distributed evenly across regions and different price segments; by comparison, the surrounding computer market only rose 16 percent. This is said to have been fueled by factors such as the spread of Apple Stores, the dual-OS abilities of Mac OS X Leopard, and the iPod's "halo effect," which leads some Windows buyers to switch over to Macs entirely.
1st Android phone for T-Mo
T-Mobile USA expects to carry at least one phone based on Google's Android platform by the end of the year -- and may start with the HTC Dream, according to sources. Company broadband head Joe Sims says he has seen a prototype of one of the Linux-based phones and was "impressed" by the device. He notes that the phone is poised to ship in the fourth quarter of the year and that it will be part of a larger shift at T-Mobile towards open devices that should include more than one Android device.
AmTech: 'Mixed' outlook
Apple's second-quarter financial results -- announced yesterday in a conference call -- may have been strong in many regards, but the company's outlook in terms of stock value is "mixed," writes Shaw Wu of American Technology Research. Wu notes that Apple is providing guidance of $7.2 billion for the next quarter, an improvement over consensus views of $7.16 billion; EPS predictions remain conservative at $1 instead of the consensus $1.10, however, and gross margin for the last quarter was only 0.9 percent higher than a guidance of 32 percent -- well below the consensus expectations of 34 percent.
Medion Eee PC Alternative
German computer and consumer electronics maker Medion is set to unveil an ASUS EEE PC 900 competitor with its Akoya E1210, according to French sources. The 10-inch mini laptop is believed to utilize Intel's small Atom processor running at 1.6GHz or higher and at least 1GB of RAM. Unlike the Eee PC, there will not be an SSD drive offered, with Medion opting to use an iPod-like 1.8-inch HDD of unknown capacity.
MS on Keeping XP
Microsoft would be willing to keep Windows XP available for everyday computers past its June 30th cutoff date but doesn't see a demand for it, company CEO Steve Ballmer said at a Belgian media conference today. The executive acknowledges that enough feedback would have his company extend XP's on-sale period, but argues that "most consumers" are choosing to buy PCs with the newer Windows Vista operating system installed and that few retailers stock computers preloaded with its 2001 ancestor.
iPhone SDK beta 4
Apple has released the fourth beta of its iPhone development kit, used to produce native programs for the iPhone 2.0 firmware in advance of the June opening of the App Store. Beta 4 upgrades the iPhone Simulator application with support for OpenGL ES, an embedded version of the popular 3D rendering API that will be crucial for running games. A variety of 3D games are already in development for the iPhone, including a port of Sega's Super Monkey Ball.
LG Secret Phone
As promised, LG this morning took the covers from its next phone in the Black Label series. The Secret (KF750) follows in the steps of the Chocolate and Shine, but focuses as much on its craftsmanship as it does on specifications. The slider design is partly made of carbon fiber that increases the strength of the phone body without affecting weight; tempered glass protects the LCD while also reportedly improving its image quality. A touch-sensitive navigation pad both adds to the upscale feel and also prevents broken buttons.
Moto Q1 2008 Loss
Motorola today reported a $194 million loss for the first quarter of 2008. The drop primarily echoed late 2007 results and is chiefly attributed to the company's declining Mobile Devices business, which includes the company's cellphone designs. The group has seen its sales drop by about 39 percent versus the same quarter a year ago and was the only of three major divisions to post a significant operating loss, losing $418 million. The Home and Networks Mobility and Enterprise Mobility divisions turned slight losses and significant profits respectively.
Bulk Export Tool for HOBO
Onset Computer Corporation today unveiled Bulk Export Tool, a free plug-in utility for the company's HOBOware Pro data logger software. The Bulk Export Tool allows users to automatically convert data log files into standard text files that can be used in other data analysis programs. Ordinarily, users must manually convert files one at a time, which can be quite time consuming for longer projects.
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