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Following a last-minute leak, Aliph tonight unveiled the Jawbone 2 Bluetooth headset. The company promises it has learned lessons from the original while keeping its namesake voice detection system, which measures voice activity from the jaw to provide extremely accurate noise cancellation. The earpiece is more discreet than the earlier version at half the size but is said to be even more effective at blocking outside sound. The ear hook itself is also more comfortable and detaches entirely for users whose ears are already a good fit.
An employee from an unnamed retailer has leaked several photos of a demonstration model Jawbone 2, which is allegedly receiving its official launch tomorrow. According to Engadget, the informer expects that stock for the high-tech headset will arrive tomorrow at an expected retail price of $129. The matte grey headset earns its renown from the first incarnation, which measures vibrations in the jaw, contrasting them against exterior noise for cancellation purposes.
DAZ 3D recently announced the immediate availability of Mimic Pro for Carrara, a plug-in enabling seamless lip-synching, sound analysis, and speech animation simulations directly within Carrara 6.2. Mimic Pro provides an advanced environment for creating facial animation sequences, such as winks, nods and smiles, allowing 3D characters to obtain a greater level of expression.
Microsoft is preparing to unveil a vertically-oriented, wall-mountable version of its Surface multitouch computing system, which the company calls TouchWall. PC World writes that Microsoft's Research and Office Labs department developed a prototype for the technology, citing that it is ideal for board rooms or other locations where interactive presentations are given. TouchWall uses integrated hardware, which includes laser and infrared lights which pick up touches to the display, through the embedded Plex software.
Main Street Softworks this week released Monetra 7.0, a payment server software that securely processes credit card, debit card, gift card, and electronic benefit card transactions for retail point-of-sale and eCommerce systems. It is capable of scaling from operation on custom embedded devices to fully redundant clustered server installations processing thousands of transactions per minute, transforming how payment systems are deployed, secured and managed.
Intel Germany chief Hannes Schwaderer today claimed at a Munich company event that Apple is developing a touchscreen device based on his firm's new Atom processor for ultra-mobile devices. As interpreted by AppleInsider, the executive provides few details but indicates that it will be slightly larger than the iPhone due to a larger display.
Apple is focusing in its hunt for an additional New York City store, according to the New York Post. "Sources" tell the newspaper that after having considered the linked locations of 15 Broad Street and 23 Wall Street, it is now concentrating on the latter, and in the middle of serious leasing negotiations with Robert K. Futterman and Associates. A representative for Apple at RKF, Karen Bellantoni, has declined to comment on the issue.
European Commission officials today cleared GPS maker TomTom's plans to buy Tele Atlas. The government body says the buyout "would not significantly impede" competition in GPS navigators and attached no restrictions to the deal, which lets TomTom use an in-house source for its own maps. Although the possiblity exists for TomTom to artificially limit competition by blocking sales of Tele Atlas maps to outside companies, the existence of its rival Navteq makes that "unlikely," the Commission says.
Developer David V. Kocher today unveiled Cyberduck 3, a major update to his FTP client software, offering users a number of new protocols and several other enhanced features. Cyberduck 3 now offers support for both Amazon Simple Storage Service and WebDAV protocols, as well as the ability to use Quick Look in the browser under Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. The update is available from Kocher's website, or through the automated "Check for Update" feature.
HTC CEO Peter Chou is confident his company's newest product, the Touch Diamond, will sell more than two million units in 2008. Last year, HTC sold about two million units of its original Touch handset. Still, the numbers represent only about half of all iPhones Apple sold last year, with the company hoping to sell 10 million in 2008.
Microsoft Office may be the most popular office suite in the world, but not everyone needs or wants to use it. Some people object to its cost, while others feel that it doesn't offer the features they need. If you don't want to use Office on Windows, you can choose from plenty of alternatives, including the free OpenOffice suite. Until recently though, Mac users have had far fewer options, limited to either Microsoft Office 2008 or Apple's iWork. While OpenOffice has been available in some form on the Mac for years, it used to rely on the X11 interface, which made the program look different from other Mac OS X applications. With the latest beta, you can now run OpenOffice as native code on Intel Macs.
Despite having had to extend early registration late last month, Apple now states that it is officially sold out of WWDC passes. Developers still interested in the conference are being asked to wait for the immediate aftermath, at which point Apple will upload the videos of events to iTunes. Some clips should become available with a free developer account; others, however, will require a paid membership.
The recently launched Dash Express navigation system can now be used to do more than just upload maps or run live Yahoo Search updates thanks to its Internet connection, the company announced on Wednesday. Dash opened its service platform to third-party developers, allowing them to create applications for the portable navigation device. To show off what's possible, the company also announce five new such applications, called DashApps.
AT&T has sent a message to its retail staff curbing sales of iPhones to one per person, according to an alleged e-mail leak obtained by AppleInsider. The brief note, elaborating on an earlier note obtained by BGR, cuts the official limit from three to one. No exceptions are made in most for business users or for buyers of refurbished models, which recently opened up to both 8GB and 16GB models on AT&T's website.
Ableton has released Live 7 LE, its affordable professional-grade music-making solution. Built on the Live platform, the single-screen music production and performance solution offers most of its Ableton Live 7's new features for recording, songwriting, remixing and DJing. It includes studio-quality recording up to 32-bit/192 kHz; 64 audio tracks and unlimited MIDI tracks per project, MIDI sequencing for software instruments; and more than 20 built-in audio effects, including a host of creative delays, filters, distortions, studio compressors and EQs. The software also offers two software instruments-Simpler for creative sample-based synthesis, and Impulse for dynamic, sampled drums as well as support for VST and AU effects/instruments (along with automatic plug-in delay compensation).
Pioneer is likely to release mid-size LCD TVs, the company said late yesterday when discussing its latest financial results. Breaking with its tradition of selling plasma TVs almost exclusively, the Japanese electronics maker says it will start offering LCDs larger than 40 inches starting from August. This will most likely include a 46-inch set, the company adds. Sharp is producing the actual display panels while Pioneer handles much of the design.
A forthcoming system update for the Xbox 360 should make some fundamental improvements, according to an alleged internal source at Microsoft. Due later this spring, the update is expected to carry some 80 changes or additions, among which one is listed as "Support for titles to store installation data on Storage Device for faster loading." Unlike Sony's PlayStation 3, the 360 does not currently allow installation of game data to a hard drive; this is because Microsoft offers a basic 360 without any default storage, and it has insisted that all titles should support all 360s.
Dell has no plans to eliminate its XPS line of computers, a company representative says. On Monday the Wall Street Journal reported that Dell intends to phase out four of its XPS gaming systems, on the basis that they are eating into sales of its newly-bought Alienware division. Dell is said to be in tough financial circumstances, having lost its former dominance in PC sales to chief rival HP. In April the company revealed plans to fire at least 8,800 people, and close its desktop manufacturing plant in Austin, Texas.
Virgin Mobile USA today confirmed that it was in the early stages of talks with SK Telecom to investigate "strategic opportunities" between the two companies. The revelation partly rebuffs denials by SKT of involvement with Virgin but doesn't provide more details as to the nature of the talks beyond the statement. There are no guarantees that anything will result from negotiations, Virgin claims. The company adds that it has no plans to add more detail unless any deal is struck.
ConvenienceWare has released a v1.5 upgrade to GhostReader, its text-to-speech conversion application. The software supports multiple languages, and can read out chosen documents such as Word and PDF files, or selected text in any program. Another feature is the ability to convert text to permanent audio files, including boomarkable audiobooks for iPhones and iPods.
OCZ Technology Group on Wednesday unveiled its new Do-It-Yourself (DIY) gaming notebook program. The OCZ DIY program allows users to build their own mobile gaming PC while aided with guides and direct support to make it easier for novices or experienced PC builders to create their own notebook. The foundation is 15.4-inch WXGA notebook, OCZ's first, with an Intel PM965 chipset and NVIDIA's GeForce 8600M GT video card.
Telefonica Europe chief Matthew Key today said that his company would make a joint announcement with Apple regarding the iPhone within weeks, hinting at a near term launch for an anticipated 3G upgrade to the cellphone. Key, whose telecoms group operates O2 in Ireland, the UK, and other countries, hasn't directly confirmed the device when asked about its existence but alludes to both its release and a possible expansion of service beyond just the O2 brand.
Freeridecoding has announced that after a brief public beta period, its BurnAgain FS disc burning software has reached v1.0. As opposed to most authoring tools, FS does not operate through a distinct application; rather it mounts CDs and DVDs in Finder, treating them as if they were hard drives. This lets users perform quick, multisession burns, without also having to create multiple volumes.
A new version of the Cheetah3D animation suite has been released, bringing the software up to v4.6. The program handles a majority of the tasks in creating 3D animations, including modeling, pose managing and rendering. The update primarily introduces an auto-saving option, to protect against losing a project; when turned on, it will save work in Cheetah every few minutes, minimizing the amount of data lost in case of a system or application crash.
Samsung on Wednesday announced that it will unveil a 15-inch LCD panel with a 240Hz refresh rate, the industry's first. The new LCD panel, dubbed 'blue phase' by Samsung, will debut at the SID 2008 exhibition, which kicks off in Los Angeles, CA on May 18. With the blue phase technology, the Korean manufacturer was able to double the best frame rate of its current TVs, which operate at 120Hz.
Web2 Delight 1.1 ($20) updates the video/photo downloader, organizer and viewer that offers the ability to create slideshows, video conversion, and scheduled downloads; Web2 Delight acts as a portal for multiple video sites (YouTube, Veoh, BlipTV) and photo sharing sites (Flickr, Picasa, Webshots and Photobucket) and can preview and automatically convert any video or photo downloaded, to play on a Mac, iPod, iPhone, or even on Apple TV. Version 1.1 offers an improved thumbnail feature, the ability to transfer entire collections to iPhoto/ iTunes, and other UI tweaks. It requires Mac OS X 10.4.9 or later. [Download - 16MB] Cocktail 4.1 ($15) for Leopard is the latest maintenance update for the general purpose system utility, adding support for clearing dynamic link editor's (dyld) shared cache as well as support for clearing Internet caches created by the Flock web browser. It also addresses an issue in which the weekly maintenance script may fail to run properly, fixes compatibility issues with Safari 3.1 or later, contains improved Automator actions, and adds many new interface settings. [Download - 2.6MB] Guitar Hero III Legends of Rock for Mac v1.3 (free update) is an official update for the popular game. This patch, which will update any previous version and is recommended for all users, adds a new "Front Row Cam" option that allows better performance and smoother gameplay on low-end configurations. It also adds laptop-specific optimizations for better performance and a battery meter icon will display remaining battery charge on supported laptops. It requires the full game ($60), a 2GHz Intel Mac, and Mac OS X 10.4.10. [Download - 296MB] iBank 3.1 ($60) updates the personal and small business finance management software with improved duplicate sensing: it adds the ability to preview direct downloads for matching transactions; users are alerted if a duplicate transaction has already been imported to iBank, or advised to proceed when no matching transaction is found. The internal browser, which allows users to log in to online accounts without leaving the application, has been enhanced with improved page loading. Upgrades are $30. [Download - 20MB] PocketMac AudioExtractor ($10) enables Mac users to download the audio from YouTube videos and other video streaming sites. It runs in the background of the users' machine, and every time a user visits YouTube or other video sites in Safari, the software automatically downloads the audio from each video and adds the audio into a special playlist in iTunes. It also supports blip.tv, crackle.com, funnyordie.com, jumpcut.com, myspace.com, superdeluxe.com, and vimeo.com. The Universal Binary requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later. [Download - buy]
Verizon today took further steps to promote its image as an open carrier by announcing it would join the LiMo Foundation, an industry group dedicated to developing and promoting Linux on cellphones. The US cell provider takes the last seat on the Foundation's board of directors alongside handset makers such as Motorola and Samsung as well as NTT DoCoMo and Vodafone, and claims to be a "champion" of openness in the process.
Mariner has released the v1.5 update to Montage, its Mac-based screenwriting and playwriting software. The program can be used to edit, organize and submit drafts, and includes a variety of templates, such as separate ones for film and TV. New to v1.5 is the "Comic Book" format, with accompanying, color-coded templates; the major revision however is the rewritten styles system, which is said to have more flexibility and control, easier text formatting, and improved stability.
LG and Samsung this morning jointly said they would team up to promote a new standard for digital mobile TV in the US. Already submitted to the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) that governs HDTV, the unnamed format would use the existing wireless spectrum already in place for digital over-the-air broadcasts to conventional tuners. The choice would not only make adding portable TV simple for existing providers but would do so without impacting the bandwidth available for full-size digital broadcasts, the companies say.
Various images have emerged for two of Apple's major new retail locations: the Boylston Street store in Boston, Massachusetts, and the first store in Sydney, Australia, located on the corner of George and King Streets. The Boylston store should open this Thursday at 6PM, and is comprised of three floors and 20,000 square feet. As the photo below reveals, Apple has also chosen to go with a glass exterior reminiscent of the flagship Fifth Avenue store in New York City.
AT&T's cellular Internet access will be more than five times faster in 2009 than it is this year, the company's mobility chief Ralph de la Vega said today at Morgan Stanley's annual Communications Conference. The executive says that the company's HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) network will be improved from the theoretical peak downloads of 3.6 megabits per second common across most of the network today to about 20 megabits per second in 2009.
Swiss national carrier Swisscom today revealed that it too will carry the iPhone, making it the fifth new European country after the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, and Portugal confirmed to be offering the device. The provider echoes previous announcements for other providers and doesn't provide specifics as to the devices or plans. The iPhone will be available "later this year," the company says.
Apple's iPhone is set to make a big splash in India. A new report says that the rollout of the iPhone in India is set to be the largest, anywhere in the world -- through both Vodafone (previously announced) and Airtel mobile carriers. Citing industry sources, Riyaz.net says that Apple's iPhones will be sold through about 250,000 Vodafone and Airtel retail outlets including franchisee-owned shops. "This rollout would be mammoth when compared to iPhones being available only in about 7,000 AT&T outlets in the US apart from the Apple Stores," the report noted. With the launch of the new 3G iPhone expected next month (likely at WWDC), Apple is already expanding the number of countries in which the iPhone will be available, including Australia (in an non-exclusive arrangement) as well as Czech Republic, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, Asia, Egypt, New Zealand, and South Africa via a pre-announced Vodaphone deal.
Sprint is currently facing a heavy decision on what to do with the Nextel network, whether it should continue to invest in it, turn it into a standalone company, or simply cease operating the Nextel brand altogether. MocoNews writes that Sprint CEO Dan Hesse recently gave a bit of insight to shareholders, saying that he does not see the iDEN network (which currently is only in use by Sprint) disappearing in the near future, and insists it is the best primary choice for network service. Hesse expects that Motorola would continue to support the technology, even with the company's current wireless problems.
Jumsoft has recently released new Aperture Web Themes and Pages Templates 2.0 for iWork, which includes 40 high-quality and professional templates. The new Aperture themes include five separate designs: The Frames Gray Theme produces pictures that have a photo frame, with shadows that imitate the real 3D look of the photo; Grid Black Theme offers a frame for each picture and the gallery appears in a table form that "evokes the image of orderliness;" the iPhone Theme, described as both "modern and calm," frames all pictures and headings together; Rounded Black Theme, similar to the Grid Black Theme, offers a Rounded Black Frame for each picture that separates it from the others; and Mental Image Theme has attractive details for the top and the bottom of your picture gallery or journal pages.
Philips is preparing to launch two high-end touchscreen phones - the X800 and Xenium X-Connect - which feature large color screens and several luxury features. The X800 offers users a tri-band GSM/GPRS platform, which uses a 2.9 inch touch screen to display information, with a screen resolution of 240 by 400 pixels. It also features handwriting recognition, a 2MP autofocus camera, a MicroSD slot, Bluetooth, and an office document reader. Battery life for the unit sits at 850 hours standby, and 8 hours of talk time.
Now AAPL Stock: 95.01 ( + 0.02 )
Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.
Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc
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 Hermés 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