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Yahoo Rebuffs Icahn
Yahoo tonight responded to Carl Icahn's attempt to nominate a takeover board at the company by accusing the investor of "misunderstanding" the basis of Yahoo's decisions and being unaware of Microsoft's true behavior during its failed attempts to negotiate a takeover of the search firm. Yahoo Board Chairman Roy Bostock argues in an open letter to Icahn that Yahoo was "clear" on its unanimous rejection of the original Microsoft offer as undervaluing the firm and that it had repeatedly declared its openness to a higher-priced deal, which Microsoft had allegedly refused to consider until very late in negotiations. The finality of Microsoft's rejection should be as sign, according to Bostock.
VIA 45nm, dual-core chips
Mobile processor manufacturer VIA on Thursday announced it would commence shipments of 45nm processor fabrications in 2009, as well as the company's first dual-core chips. DigiTimes writes that insiders have brought to light some of the specs, with the Isaiah-based dual-core processor allegedly featuring a 2GHz core frequency. The chip will sit on an 800 to 1333MHz bus, and will feature two pairs of 64KB L1 cache, and 1MB L2 cache.
Sprint XOHM in late 2008
Sprint and Samsung on Thursday announced that the two companies are set to take advantage of the former company's recently finalized WiMax network in Baltimore and Washington later this year. Samsung's Express Card E100 and Q1 Ultra Premium Mobile PC have both been used to test the network heavily, and are expected to launch with Sprint's XOHM service. The announcement follows the company's April 2008 tests of interoperability of different vendors' devices.
RocketRAID firmware update
HighPoint Technologies recently announced a new firmware update to the RocketRAID 3522 SATA hardware RAID controller, which will support booting to Mac OS X on Apple Mac Pro and Xserve models released from (2006 through 2008). The RocketRAID 3522 is a PCI-Express x8 external hardware RAID controller with Intel IOP 341 (800MHz) RAID engine and will support up to 8 SATA hard drives.
Recycled iPhone car holder
iPhone enthusiast Bernat Alsina decided to construct an iPhone Car Mounting Bracket using a couple household items, giving him the ability to mount his iPhone or iPod Touch right on the dashboard of the car for easy access while driving. In seven somewhat simple steps Bernat takes a hodgepodge of plastic, velcro, and glue and turns it into something useful. This is not an idea that has never been seen before but the simplicity of the creator's Spanish/broken English step-by-step walkthrough and the low cost factor (recyclable materials) helps his mounting kit to stand out.
ATT iPhone Wifi hiatus
AT&T on Thursday had scheduled its iPhone WiFi service to commence, but pulled the plug at the last minute, with little explanation as to why. CrunchGear reports that a notice went out from AT&T officials, describing that the planned launch was cancelled, and that the project is currently on an indefinite hiatus. The publication theorizes that the announcement was an effort on AT&T's part to offer original iPhone owners speedier internet connectivity, in light of the upcoming 3G version.
Feral ships Battlestations
Feral Interactive today announced that Friday, June 27th would be the release date for Battlestations: Midway, Eidos' action strategy game for the Mac. Created by Eidos Studios Hungary, the game invites you to take command of the greatest battles of the Pacific theatre. Players will experience every aspect of combat in a unique blend of action and strategy as they lead a host of US and Allied air, sea and underwater units through intense, action-packed missions in hotspots from Pearl Harbor to the Battle of Midway itself.
AUO shows 'green' LCD TVs
AU Optronics, Taiwan's largest manufacturer of TFT LCD panels, announced on Wednesday that it will showcase its AUO Green Innovations exhibit at the SID 2008 show which kicks off on May 20. On display will be the company's new generation of panels featuring LED technology, including the an ultra-slim 42-inch LCD that is less than 0.4 inches think and weighs 44 percent less than conventional panels of the same size.
MBA-Friendly 3G for Sprint
Sprint will soon sell a Novatel 3G modem that properly supports the MacBook Air's USB opening, if a spec sheet for the device obtained by Phone Arena proves accurate. The US carrier is reportedly set to launch the as-yet unannounced Novatel U680, an extra-thin USB modem which is explicitly compatible with the Air's slot. Novatel's device would support Sprint's faster EVDO Revision A network and is labeled in the leak as a "zero install" adapter that automatically loads drivers for most operating systems. Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows would all be served by the device.
CEO Envi for MBA
Marware on Thursday unveiled the C.E.O. Envi, a new high-fashion leather sleeve case for the MacBook Air that protects the ultraportable with a soft interior lining. The sleeve fastens itself shut with a magnetic latch, and wraps the Air in high-quality black leather. The Envi can fit into an existing laptop bag or case, doubling the protection that the sleeve would offer. Marware is currently shipping the C.E.O. Envi, with a price of $90, and is available from the company's website or select retailers.
NI KONTAKT Retro Machines
Native Instruments has released a new addition to its line of Soundpack libraries for KORE 2 and KORE Player, KONTAKT Retro Machines. The library emulates a number of classic electronic instruments invented in the 1970s and '80s, used in genres such as electro and hip-hop; five digital synths, 11 analog synths and six drum machines are reproduced, across 135 KoreSounds. Each instrument sound also has eight variations, such as pad, percussive and arpeggiated sounds.
OWC Mercury OTG drives
Other World Computing says it has begun shipping a new series of Mercury On-the-Go external hard drives. All Mercury drives are roughly palm-sized, and support both Windows and Mac systems, including technologies such as Mac OS X Leopard's Time Machine. The new drives feature FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 ports, and are in available in 100, 200, 320 and 500GB capacities.
WSJ Echoes BBerry Thunder
Evidence for Research in Motion's BlackBerry Thunder mounted today with claims by the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper claims to corroborate sources at BGR and says that RIM is developing a touchscreen phone with equal support for Verizon's CDMA phone network as well as Vodafone's GSM network in Europe. Both carriers will offer the device exclusively, the paper adds.
Radeon HD 4800 Launch Leak
AMD's upcoming ATI Radeon HD 4800 series cards will see a staggered launch over the late spring and summer that sees a number of significant improvements to the company's feature set, TG Daily says in a new leak. Besides expanding the amount of pixel and geometry effects each card can handle at once, the update is now said to build AMD's GPGPU physics processing into mainstream cards, letting supporting games and professional apps offload some of their work to the video card when not in use.
iPods on Singapore Air
iPods and iPhones are now supported on some flights out of the US, Singapore Airlines has announced. The company says that beginning today, business-class, non-stop A345 flights from Newark to Singapore will offer special 30-to-9-pin adapter cables to go along with its KrisWorld in-flight entertainment technology. This will allow passengers to not only listen to music through KrisWorld, but watch video on a larger LCD, and power their players at the same time.
TiVo lifetime subscription
The subscription-based TiVo service has quietly brought back its Lifetime Service subscription plan on a permanent basis, extending what was originally a temporary deal. When it originally launched, the service offered similar lifetime subscriptions that were ultimately phased out in July 2003. The lifetime service is receiver-specific, though it is possible to transfer it from an older receiver to another one for a fee of nearly $200 that also maintains a one-year subscription to the TV recording service for the older device.
Alltel to Use LTE for 4G
Alltel will use Long Term Evolution (LTE) for its next-generation phone network, according to statements made during a conference call discussing the provider's latest financial results. Company chief Scott Ford explained that the technology is Alltel's pick and that LTE will have a "significant" installed base for the company's cellular network within the next three to five years. Ford doesn't say when Alltel will start its rollout, but notes that there is no short-term budget and that nothing will be underway until at least 2009.
WD intros My DVR Expander
Western Digital on Thursday released its My DVR Expander External Hard Drive USB Edition made to work with DISH Network ViP-series HD DVRs to more than double their recording capacity. The 500GB drive is capable of storing up to 60 hours of HD programming or 300 hours in standard definition. The drives connect to the DVRs via a USB 2.0 connection, unlike WD's previous Expander, which featured an eSATA interface.
RIAA hit with legal fees
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) will have to pay $107,834 in legal fees as a result of a failed lawsuit, a US federal judge has ruled. For two years, running until June 2007, the RIAA pursued a case against Tanya Andersen, accusing her of illegal file sharing; that case was dismissed with prejudice however, and Andersen and one of her lawyers were allowed to seek compensation for their defense. At points in the case, as many as six attorneys for Andersen were present in court.
Samsung intros music F400
The Samsung F400 dual sliding music phone is ready for launch, the Korean company announced on Thursday. The tri-band GSM phone was first seen back in February and features Bang & Olufsen's ICEpower technology for realistic music reproduction from its two large stereo speakers. Traditional features include a 3-megapixel autofocus camera, Bluetooth v 2.0 support, and 1GB of included memory on a microSD card. USB 2.0 is also available for using the phone as a mass storage device.
Cox also blocking torrents
Comcast is not the only company guilty of sabotaging BitTorrent traffic, the Associated Press reports. While that company has taken the brunt of criticism for potentially violating the FCC's net neutrality policy, the AP says it has obtained the results of a worldwide study of 8,175 Internet users, which found that only three companies were all but certainly blocking connections: Comcast, Singapore's StarHub, and Cox Communications. In the case of the last, 82 out of 151 subscribers had their transfers blocked.
100K + iPhones in Germany
T-Mobile has sold over 100,000 iPhones in Germany, according to the head of the carrier's parent company, Deutsche Telekom. CEO Rene Obermann made the statement Thursday as a follow-up to statistics from January, which indicated that it had sold 70,000 iPhones since the device's local debut in early November of 2007. While the figure points to a relative slowdown in sales, T-Mobile board member Hamid Akhavan says that this is "about in line" with corporate targets.
Compass 1.0 archives email
Hendrickson Software this week released Compass 1.0, an automated email archiving and viewing tool. Available for Windows, Macintosh (Universal Binary), and Linux, the company claims that Compass works with virtually every email client and that future versions will archive and view Office documents, PDF files, and more. The software offers selective, automated email archiving with Purify, or AppleScripts and the ability to define Compass message stores for email messages grouping using criteria such as "from" address or user defined phrases. Users can also preview HTML and attachments using the built-in email browser and quickly backup the archive with a click of the button.
Fujitsu U2010 with Atom
Fujitsu today supplied an early look at the LifeBook U2010, its sequel to the U810. The design shares the unique twist of a rotating 5.6-inch display, which offers a convertible tablet at the size of an ultra-mobile PC, but promises improvements both inside and out. The U2010 is the company's first to use the Intel Atom processor and should run faster while lasting longer than the original's A110 chip; it also builds in an HSPA modem and a GPS for wide-area 3G wireless and navigation respectively.
PulpMotion Advanced 1.0
Aquafadas has released PulpMotion Advanced 1.0, a next generation slideshow and animation application that creates slideshows based on highly customizable themes. The software allows users to present pictures as well as video in a single animation that can be shared as video, screensaver or executable player. The Advanced version ships with a rich and extensible set of themes, enabling users to simply drag and drop preferred photos or movies, customize the music selection, and apply a visual theme from the PulpMotion slideshow themes menu, It also offers a new way to browse media: users can navigate through standard media repositories, such as iPhoto, Aperture, Lightroom using a full screen mode, while a convenient timeline shows the date and also allows users to select a date range.
Apple iPhone servers?
The iPhone and iPod touch may eventually have custom applications tailored to merchants they visit, a published Apple patent filing hints. As detailed by AppleInsider, the proposed concept calls for a local wired or wireless network at a business, with one or more routers such as an AirPort Extreme. Somewhere on site would be a central server, offering custom information and applications for Apple "media devices" that enter wireless range. "For example, assuming the establishment is a restaurant, local server may provide a menu to media device," the filing reads.
AliasKeys, Dejumble, SD
- AliasKeys 1.2 ($15) can assign keystrokes to open files and folders. Any item that the Finder can open may be dragged to the list of AliasKeys and assigned a combination of keys, to open it without touching mouse. It can be used for applications, documents, folders, aliases, preference panels, servers, scripts, Internet bookmarks, and more. The free upgrade, now a Universal Binary, requires Mac OS X 10.4 and brings full compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard.” [Download - 1.5MB]
Dejumble 1.1 ($20) updates the task management utility for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, offering a simple way to create and organize tasks. Via the menubar, users can create tasks with due dates and notes: Dejumble syncs with iCal, and offers keyword tagging along with categorization, enabling users to search by title or keyword tags. Version 1.1 can now view daily events from iCal, offers additional filter and sorting options, can colorize groups, and more. [Download - 2.3MB]
Speed Download 5.0.3 ($25) is an update to the download manager designed as a central, unified hub for almost all downloading and file transfer activities. Version 5.0.3 includes key improvements, including an updated SD plugin for better performance and for locating the Speed Download application; the ability to download YouTube videos via contextual menu; new Portuguese localization; and more. It is available US English, French, Polish and requires Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later. [Download - 7.9MB]
CutX Content Filter 4.5b1 (450) is a beta of the extended site blocking plugin designed for Apple's Safari web browser that can block any website using keyword or domains lists. The extension adds a menu to the web browser with various new options. CutX includes a password protection mode so that other computer users can not modify the list of rules and can be automatically enabled for all computer users. It is compatible with all versions of Safari. [Download - 4.4MB]
Media Catalog 3.9 ($25) is a media indexing application that catalogs all your removable media such as archive CDs, DVDs and removable hard drives; the company claims that the software is 264 percent faster than other media indexers; version 3.9 offers improved keyboard behavior, leverages a streamlined indexing procedure, and offers the ability to exclude words during the "quick-search". Unregistered users can catalog up to 10 volumes. [Download - 1.7MB]
Acer Ships Gemstone Blue
Acer on Thursday morning said it has started shipping its Gemstone Blue notebooks first announced in March. The systems are Acer's first real visual overhaul of its notebooks since the original Gemstone a year ago but draw the most attention for their unique displays: both the 16-inch Aspire 6920 and the 18.4-inch Aspire 8920 use a 16:9 wide aspect ratio that lets them display 1080p content without black bars, including HD movies played back from the Aspires' optional Blu-ray drives.
Intel Quad for Portables
Intel's upcoming quad-core chip for notebooks has been optimized to where it can run in thin-and-light notebooks, according to a new report. The 2.53GHz Core 2 Extreme QX9300 was originally flagged as a 45-watt chip limited to desktop replacement notebooks and slim desktops but is now said to use just 35 watts, putting it on par with the heat and power of current dual-core chips. The advance would permit the quad-core chip to work as a drop-in replacement for high-end notebooks without changing their dimensions.
Intel: No Apple tablet
Intel is now denying any suggestion that an Atom-based tablet is in development by Apple, according to reports. Intel spokesman Mike Cato is quoted as saying that comments by German chief Hannes Schwaderer were misinterpreted; instead, says Cato, Intel merely believes that the iPhone is representative of a new kind of platform it is marketing, called the Mobile Internet Device (MID). The Atom is expected to form the heart of many MIDs, among other products, but there are no current plans to put an Atom CPU in a tablet, phone or any other piece of electronics made by Apple.
Icahn Yahoo Stake
Investor Carl Icahn on Thursday revived the once-dead possibility of a Microsoft takeover of Yahoo by announcing his plans to launch a proxy battle to overturn Yahoo's existing board of directors. The billionaire's plans are now known to be more aggressive than recent rumors have predicted and include the nomination of a slate that would completely replace the Yahoo overseers, essentially guaranteeing a Microsoft buyout of the search engine firm by installing a board friendly to the idea. Icahn himself is one of the nominees.
BBerry Bold for Rogers
Rogers today confirmed that it would carry the BlackBerry Bold for Research in Motion's home country. The smartphone will make use of Rogers' 3G network and isn't expected to lose any features in the transition, including its GPS and Wi-Fi. By using the newer cellular data standard, the Bold is the first BlackBerry on Rogers' network to allow Internet access without interrupting phone calls.
Apple is 'gay-friendly'
Apple is considered to be one of the most gay-friendly brands on the market, according to a study conducted on behalf of ad agency Prime Access and media company PlanetOut. The survey polled 2,259 people aged 18 to 64, divided between 1,502 in the general public and 757 gays and lesbians; Apple ranked second in the survey, with 23 percent of the general population and 39 percent of the gay/lesbian group calling the company "strongly" gay-friendly.
Cradlepoint CTR500 Router
Cradlepoint this morning served heavy-duty travelers through the launch of the CTR500. Treated equally as a portable wireless router and as a possible replacement for networking off of the main Internet grid, the device is small enough to be pocketable but includes both an ExpressCard slot and a USB port to draw and share an Internet connection from most 3G cellular Internet modems meant for notebooks, regardless of whether they support HSPA (on GSM networks) or EVDO (for CDMA). "Dozens" of 3G-capable cellphones can also share their connections over the 3G network through USB, the company says.
Adobe Flash 10 Beta
Adobe this morning launched a public beta version of Flash Player 10, the next major update to its web animation plugin. The upgrade, nicknamed Astro, is one of the most visually advanced yet and is the first version of Flash Player to support hardware acceleration from graphics chipsets. Animations can now have pixel shader-based filters that apply in real time and now supports 3D, including for controllable elements. The extra processing work also helps offload drawing tasks from the processor regardless of the actual demand, reducing the overall stress on the system.
Nintendo 21m Lawsuit
Nintendo today was told by a US federal court that it must pay $21 million in damages to Anascape Ltd. for alleged patent infringement with its game controllers. The Tyler, Texas-based plaintiff successfully argued that Nintendo's conventional but more recent gamepads, including the stock Gamecube controller, the Wavebird wireless pad and the Wii Classic add-on all violated patented technology from Anascape. The Wii's pack-in wand controller, as well as earlier Nintendo gamepads, aren't affected by the ruling.
Apple's success story
Some in the industry attribute Apple's recent success with luck or happenstance, while others believe that the company's meticulously laid plans have contributed to the Mac state of mind. Inside CRM reports that Apple's retail stores are a shining example of this, cutting out the oft-uninformed middle man to speak directly to the consumer, allowing it to dispel rumors based on inexperience with the platform. It also provides a face-to-face customer basis, rather than relying on third party retailers.
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