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Deals on iMacs, refurbs
In light of Apple's updates to the iMac line, MacMall is running a few specials on current and late model iMacs, both the 20- and 24-inch versions. MacMall is also bundling Parallels Desktop 3.0 with the purchase of any iMac, as well as a free Epson printer, and from $50 to $100 off the machine, after mail-in rebates. The online retailer is offering discounts on the newly released iMacs, from $1150 on the entry-model, to $2100 for the high-end 3.06GHz version - $50 to $100 off Apple's suggested retail price. The 24-inch iMac comes with a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 1GB of memory, a 320GB hard drive, Superdrive and an ATI Radeon 2600 Pro. MacMall is selling the 24-inch iMac for $1500 after rebates and aforementioned specials.
iMac ATI firmware update
Apple today posted the iMac ATI Radeon HD Graphics Firmware Update 1.0.1 for iMac owners with either the Radeon HD 2400 XT or HD 2600 Pro graphics cards. The update simply states that it addresses system stability issues in those systems, but does not mention whether any performance enhancing aspects are also included. Firmware updates require an uninterrupted patch process, so users are encouraged to follow the instructions included with the update.
Comes With Music burden
Nokia's "Comes With Music" program, offering those who purchase Nokia phones nearly unlimited free access to a large music database, could cost the company more than it would make. The Register writes that Nokia would be responsible for footing the bill for downloads that exceed the estimated limit of 35 songs per user, charged wholesale per unit. The move reportedly pressured Ed Averdieck, former Managing Director of Nokia Music, to leave his position.
Five classics on iTunes
Apple today unveiled five classic television series on the iTunes store: 21 Jump Street, Hunter, The Greatest American Hero, Wiseguy, and Silk Stalkings. The release comes as Stephen J. Cannell Productions teams up with New Video to offer the content on iTunes, with The Commish and Renegade to show up in the following months. The classic series' are offered with the option of buying a Season Pass at a discount.
Everyone's time is valuable, but for people such as consultants or lawyers, who bill by the hour, time can literally be money. To insure that you track time accurately, you could carry a stopwatch and slavishly write down every time you start and stop working on a particular project. While this method may work, an easier solution is to let your Mac keep track of time and billing by using OfficeTime.
Lenovo extends MS XP sales
Late last week, Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer
FmPro Migrator Developer Edition 4.14 ($200) for migrating FileMaker databases. The new release as been enhanced with an automated 2-pass dependency resolution feature for FileMaker table consolidation conversion projects. Additionally, the XML code defining each layout can now be exported as a raw XML file, containing all of the embedded images, and layout object definitions. Layout XML files can be post-processed separately and used for projects in which FileMaker Layouts need to be re-purposed for other development projects. [Download - 16MB]
Google Sitemap Automator 1.9.5 ($30) helps web-masters get their web site listed in Google, Yahoo and MSN search. XML Sitemap files were first introduced by Google in 2005 and adopted by all major search engines, including Yahoo, MSN/Live and Ask.com shortly after. With version 1.9.5 RAGE Sitemap Automator can now find every single web page on an iWeb created website and automatically publish your XML Sitemap file to your iDisk. [Download - 7.9MB]
EarthDesk 4.2 ($25) replaces the static desktop with an image of the Earth showing current sun, moon and city illumination, as well as real-time global cloud coverage, allowing users to track hurricanes and other weather systems. EarthDesk 4.2 adds an option to allow use as a screen saver only rather than strictly a desktop, and is fully compatible with Leopard (and Tiger). It also improves communication between the EarthDesk prefpane and the rendering engine. [Download - 6.9MB]
VideoDrive 1.4.4 ($15) a new application to easily add your video collection to iTunes. VideoDrive supports all current video formats and will import your videos fast and without reconversion, so you can easily manage and watch them from within iTunes and Front Row, or export them to iPod, iPhone and AppleTV. VideoDrive will analyze your videos and browse online for metadata and cover art, cleanup file names, merge multiple video parts and add season and episode numbering to TV Shows. [Download - 5MB]
Agenda 4.0.1 ($40) an application that keeps track of your events and tasks, lets you enter your thoughts, and easily create calendar or journal websites. The new release includes fixes and improvements when exporting to and importing from iCal files and also fixes a character encoding issue in the iEvents feature when building or previewing a calendar or journal website. [Download - 4.4MB]
HANNSpree night sky TV
Novelty TV maker HANNSpree announced the launch of its Starlight Blue 15-inch LCD TV on Monday. The TV's design theme is a night sky, with a sparkled blue surround that curves out to form points meant to mimic a crescent moon. The TV's stand is likewise uniquely styled, resembling a planet's orbiting rings. The display's resolution is rated at 1024x768 pixels, with a 500cd/m2 brightness and 500:1 contrast ratio. Video is clear up to 150 degrees off center in the horizontal plane and 135 degrees in the vertical.
Project Playlist lawsuit
The music site Project Playlist has been hit with a lawsuit filed by the record industry, Reuters reports. Some nine labels, including companies owned by Warner, EMI and Universal, have filed suit in the US District Court of Manhattan, accusing the site of numerous copyright infringements. The site lets users search for songs and create streaming playlists, in a much more targeted fashion than services such Pandora or Last.fm; the site does not, however, have a license for any of the content it offers, even though it makes money on advertising.
iMac CPU Origins
The 3.06GHz processor and fellow chips in Apple's new iMacs are part of a special run of Intel's existing technology rather than an early introduction of Centrino 2 technology, Intel has confirmed with Electronista. Although the processors match the same core clock rates and 1,066MHz system bus speeds as those for the upcoming platform, the processors are now known to be unlisted speed grades that include special support for the faster bus speeds (up from 800MHz).
Psystar customer video
Last week, supposed Macintosh clone manufacturer Psystar offered questionable video proof of its operations, but a new video confirms that the company indeed does have a shipping product. Gizmodo reader Patrick "Whiskeyfrown" sent in a one-take video showing a Psystar CPU connected to a monitor, mouse and keyboard, tracing the video cable from the back of the box to the panel. With a press of the power button, the CPU displays a very PC-like POST screen, followed by the familiar grey Apple on a white background.
N810 WiMAX already priced?
The WiMAX Edition of Nokia's N810 Internet tablet may already have a price, an online listing suggests. Retailer Buy.com is selling the system for a price of $456, a reduction from a supposed list price of $479. Nokia has not formally announced the cost of the N810 WiMAX, and has in fact declined to assign a release date beyond a rough estimate of "summer." This is meant to coincide with the official launch of Sprint's Xohm WiMAX service.
ShotPut EXpress released
Imagine has released a new video utility for Macs, ShotPut EXpress. The software is intended for use with Sony's EX SxS cards, which are tied to the XDCamHD EX format; after inserting an SxS card into a computer's ExpressCard slot, ShotPut automatically verifies and copies clips to as many as three different locations; alternately, users can choose to copy videos manually. In any case a logfile is produced, naming cards, file destinations and other relevant information.
DXG-569V HD Camcorder
Entry-level camera maker DXG today introduced one of the least-expensive HD-capable camcorders on the market. The DXG-569V is capable of recording a full-speed, 720p (1280x720) picture and uses a similar H.264 encoding technique, letting users edit videos directly in newer video editing tools or upload videos to YouTube without having to first change video formats. The camera primarily trims costs by dropping optical zoom in favor of a 2X digital zoom with LED flash for focus.
UltraDock HDD adapter
WiebeTech has announced a new hard drive adapter, the UltraDock. Intended mainly for professionals, the adapter lets users connect "bare" drives to a computer externally, in this case both 3.5-inch IDE/PATA drives and 2.5/3.5-inch SATA disks. Users can connect to a computer using eSATA, USB 2.0 or FireWire 400 ports, or one of two FireWire 800 connections.
Netgear has debuted a new series of small form-factor, 6-bay network attached storage (NAS) devices under the ReadyNAS nameskae. They include 1.5TB, 3TB and TB offerings, delivering centralized network storage to up to 200 users. The devices support RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, and auto-expandable X-RAID2. They also feature dual redundant Gigabit Ethernet ports for failover protection. The ReadyNAS Pro products support up to six SATA I or SATA II hard drives via six lockable, hot-swappable disk trays. Three USB 2.0 ports enable the connection of USB drives or printers.
iPhone and BBerry Split
In spite of attempts to blur distinctions, BlackBerry and iPhone owners are still fundamentally opposed when it comes to what they like about their phones, according to new research from ChangeWave. Research in Motion's attempts to focus on media functions with the Curve and Pearl have still resulted in most customers preferring the phones for e-mail, with 56 percent of users citing BlackBerry line's signature "push" mail as their primary desire. Nearly all other features were distant concerns, with ease of use, the keyboard, and size all cited by less than 10 percent of the responding group.
New T-Mo Sidekicks Soon
T-Mobile will carry two new Sidekick messaging phones this summer, according to an apparent leak from TmoNews. Danger and at least one of its partners will release a mystery device nicknamed the "Gekko" on July 27th; a second known as the "Aspen" will follow shortly afterwards on the 30th. Details of the devices are unknown, though the possibility exists that the phones will either be special editions of existing models with new artwork in addition to possible replacement models.
Verizon adds subscribers
Verizon is claiming to have had extremely healthy financial results in its first quarter, despite intense competition and a failing American economy. Total revenues increased 5.5 percent to $23.8 billion, while operating income went up 14.1 percent to $4.3 billion. The company notably claims that its Wireless division gained more customers than any of its rivals, at a net increase of 1.5 million; this is despite the threat posed by Sprint's Simply Everything plan, and the iPhone carried by AT&T.
Intel and Cray Team
Early supercomputer developer Cray said today that it was working with Intel for mutual help on advancing supercomputers. The teamwork will see Cray help Intel develop the technology for clusters as well as to improve the in-processor technology, such as newer generations of multi-core processors. In return, Cray will make its first use Intel's processors for its own supercomputers, replacing AMD Opterons and more specialized supercomputer chips.
AMD Biz Class platforms
AMD on Monday announced it will be adding Business Class platforms to its line-up of multi-core CPUs. The maker's dual-core Athlon and triple or quad-core Phenom CPUs, coupled with AMD 780V chipset and optional ATI Radeon integrated graphics support are featured in the Business Class. The benefits of the new platforms will include up to 24-month image stability when installed in first-issue desktops, and a minimum 12 months in subsequent models. Furthermore, all are energy efficient thanks to Energy Star 4.0 rating.
Fanatec Porsche wheel
A German accessory maker, Fanatec, says it has developed a new gaming wheel in collaboration with the country's most famous sports car builder, Porsche. The 911 Turbo Wheel is based on Porsche's most popular vehicle, and includes not just a wheel but a 6+1 gearshift, along with gas, brake and clutch pedals. Force feedback is provided by three different motors, and the wheel's handle is covered in "automotive-grade" leather.
1Password 2.6 ships
Agile has released a new upgrade for 1Password, bringing the software to v2.6. The program is used to automate the entry of web passwords, and can also fill in other forms such as those for credit cards and bank accounts. To protect against the inherent danger of this, the app includes anti-phishing protection. New to v2.6 is an expanded anti-phishing safeguard, in the form of an online service by PhishTank. This service is, however, purely optional.
Planex DigiJuke 1TB
Japanese electronics maker Planex today launched a pair of networked hard drives it says streamline loading web video on portable players. The DigiJuke 500GB and 1TB both include facilities to download clips from YouTube or similar Flash videos directly to the drive and convert them into "universal" video. Although the conversion software is built for Windows, clips are saved in MPEG-4 and will play properly on video-capable iPods as well as the PSP, PS3, and the Wii.
Emailchemy 9.7 update
Weird Kid has released the v9.7 update to Emailchemy, its primary e-mail management utility. The software is used to migrate messages kept in otherwise closed or outdated formats, converting them into standard formats that be can read by any modern app. Options also include splitting, sorting and merging archives, harvesting addresses, or uploading to Google Apps.
HP's new AMD business PCs
HP on Monday added two new desktop PCs for business users to its range, with the Compaq dc5850 and Compaq dx2450. The two are some of the first HP PCs to use AMD's triple- and quad-core Phenom X3 processors. The latter is the value-oriented offering, and can be configured with a choice of AMD processors, ranging from the 2.1GHz Sempron, through the 2.8GHz Athlon and to the 2.5GHz Phenom. Four memory slots allow for expansion up to 4GB while NVIDIA and ATI graphics cards are offered as options. Operating systems are Windows offerings that include a range of Vista and XP Professional interfaces, as well as FreeDOS.
ASUS Eee PC 1001 Rumor
ASUS is enjoying enough success with its Eee PC line that it's considering marketing the micro systems under a separate brand, according to claims circulating in its home country of Taiwan. The company's plans to launch the E-DT desktop and monitor as well as an Eee TV reportedly has the company looking to drop the ASUS name from the systems to create a whole lineup. Moving to a separate name would let the company expand the Eee name to include more expensive systems without affecting the normal ASUS line.
BurnAgain FS public beta
Freeridecoding has opened a public beta for a new application, BurnAgain FS. Unlike some of the company's other programs, which operate entirely under a separate window, FS lets users change the data on a CD or DVD through Finder. It does this by mounting a disc as if it were a hard drive, in turn letting users add, edit and delete files multiple times until a disc becomes full, without creating multiple volumes.
NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GSO
NVIDIA has opted for a low-key release today in its unveiling for the GeForce 9600 GSO, a new entry-to-mid range video chipset. The card uses the same single-slot design and chip features of the 9600 GT but scales down both clock speed and the memory path to trim the price. The GSO runs its core at 550MHz (down from 650MHz) and its 384MB of memory at an effective 1.6GHz (down from the 1.8GHz of the GT's 512MB of memory). A 192-bit memory interface also shrinks the complexity of the chip from its 256-bit counterpart.
Time Capsule Wi-Fi booster
QuickerTek has announced that it is shipping new versions of its Dualy Extreme Wi-Fi extender, this time designed around Apple's Time Capsule backup/NAS drives. The standard option consists of two 500mW transceivers (1W combined) connected to two antennas, which can increase the range of a Time Capsule up to five times; alternately, this may help power past nearby obstacles, such as signal interference or intervening walls and floors.
Memorex MP3 Players
Memorex on Monday launched a visual redesign of its MMP media player line that introduces a much simpler interface as well as a new form factor. The Clip & Play (pictured) aims at the same audience as the iPod shuffle or Sansa Clip and comes in a very small, squarish design that can be hooked to a shirt edge or belt during exercise. Despite the size, Memorex finds room for a two-line OLED screen that itself allows extra features such as an equalizer and an FM radio tuner. The jukebox plays MP3 and WMA for up to 10 hours on a charge and sells for $50 with 2GB of built-in flash.
3M 3G iPhones in June?
The 3G iPhone is not only coming in June, but its early production numbers are already known, a Taiwanese newspaper claims. Industry publication Commercial Times is citing institutional investors, who say that Foxconn has landed a contract to begin assembling new iPhones for shipment in June. While this echoes earlier reports from March, CT says it has also obtained information from component suppliers, who have been told by Apple that the should begin preparing material supplies by the end of May.
Apple 3GHz iMac
On the fifth anniversary of iTunes, Apple Monday morning introduced a major performance upgrade to the iMac that marks the first refresh since the aluminum design was introduced in August of last year. Every system uses Core 2 Duo processors based on Intel's new 45 nanometer Penryn architecture and in many cases go beyond Intel's maximum speeds: all models include a 1,066MHz system bus that is still unavailable on any official mobile Core 2 chip, and the top-end model runs at 3.06GHz. All additionally include a larger 6MB of Level 2 cache, while an optional GeForce 8800 GS provides faster 3D for gaming on the 24-inch models.
Nokia 6600 and 3600
Nokia this morning stepped out of its routine to launch three new minimalist cellphones that target the new mid-range. The 6600 fold has some of the company's most advanced displays and centers around a hidden screen on the outer shell: while the surface appears blank, double-tapping the shell lets users check for the time or missed calls. Inside is one of Nokia's first OLEDs which provides a full 16 million color palette. Like the 3555 and 6555, the clamshell creates a seamless back which is reportedly more comfortable than on traditional flip phones.
iTunes 5th birthday
Apple on Monday celebrated the fifth anniversary of iTunes (Music Store) with a look at back at all "all of the great music, video, and exclusives" that users discovered on iTunes and highlighting the songs and shows that defined each year. On its iTunes store, Apple offered a brief history along with a collection of "best sellers". The company, which launched the iTunes Store on April 28, 2003, claims grew its music catalog of more than 200,000 songs and a handful of exclusive tracks to more than 10 million, according to info available at the online store -- up 66 percent from the 6 million song catalog announced in early April. Update: As readers point out, the iTunes software was released in 2001. [updated]
DoD to contest Apple?
With little incentive to continue selling PowerPC-based chips, the US Department of Defense may plead its case against Apple following the announcement of the $278 million buyout of startup chipmaker PA Semi. The acquisition appears to be focused on the company's intellectual property and talent for reducing chip power consumption rather than its products, the report notes. Last week, the EETimes said that Apple may have to face the ire of the U.S. Department of Defense following its planned acquisition, as its customers expect Apple to end-of-life its current chips that are used in a wide variety of military devices.
Adobe discontinues GoLive
Adobe on Monday announced that GoLive website creation tool has been discontinued in favor of Dreamweaver, the popular design tool acquired from Macromedia a little more than three years ago; confirming reports from a almost two years ago (which the company later denied and subsequently promised continued support), Adobe said it has ceased development and sales of the effective Monday, April 28, 2008. However, despite the Macworld report, the software was still available for sale (and as an upgrade) on Adobe's website early Monday morning.
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