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Flickery for Mac
Eternal Storms Software on Monday unveiled a public beta for Flickery, a new Flickr image client for the Mac that allows Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard users to browse, view, upload, manage, and comment on photos. Flickery features a minimalist interface, which can show several photos, or just a one-up approach in either full-window or full-screen. Eternal Storms Software is running a public beta of the software from now until June 30th, and is currently free to try.
Image Trends on Monday unveiled Fisheye-Hemi Plug-In for Aperture, a new plug-in designed to allow users to correct ultra-wide angle distortions in pictures, providing a straight perspective. Similar to the company's plug-in for Adobe Photoshop, Fisheye-Hemi removes spherical distortion caused by wide-angle lenses, but still retains the overall field-of-view so that details are not omitted. Image Trends is selling Fisheye-Hemi Plug-in for Aperture for $30.
DAZ Studio 3D
DAZ Productions has released the full edition of its DAZ Studio 3D Bridge for Photoshop plug-in after a beta period earlier this year. Compatible with Photoshop 7, CS, CS2 and CS3, this new plug-in allows DAZ Studio users to automatically apply 3D imagery and artwork to any Photoshop project. The DAZ Studio 3D Bridge for Photoshop allow users to view 3D scenes as Photoshop layers, change objects and figures simultaneously, render directly into Photoshop, import, export and modify image maps and textures onto 3D models in Photoshop, composite 2D and 3D content seamlessly and access DAZ's full library of quality 3D content
3Dconnexion has announced that its SpaceExplorer 3D mouse is now supported by Mac OS X 10.4.6 and later, allowing Mac users to use the tool to navigate through popular 3D application workspaces. By pulling, pushing, tilting, and spinning the SpaceExplorer's 3D mouse cap, designers can move through 3D scenes and worlds without stopping to select commands. A subtle increase or decrease in cap pressure accelerates or slows motion, enabling precise micro-adjustments. The device also sports function keys to program highly-used functions and keyboard modifiers, as well as an ergonomically designed palm rest for a comfortable command console.
XSKN 3G iPhone skin
Amid leaked designs of the 3G iPhone, iPod accessory manufacturer XSKN has unveiled silicone sleeves that corroborate a design that has been leaked from several sources, featuring a rounded, tapered backside. While not an official notice by any stretch of the imagination, it certainly seems to support earlier reports of the much-discussed plastic-backed design. The cases ship in 13 vibrant color combinations, and are available for $25.
Sybase & iPhone e-mail
Enterprise developer Sybase has plans for its own proprietary iPhone e-mail software, Reuters reports. The company's CEO, John Chen, says that an iPhone application should be released "soon," and certainly before the end of 2008. It will let people access corporate e-mail with the same amount of security available on other phones, such as Palm's Treo or RIM's BlackBerry.
Apple share at 66 percent
Apple's overall market share for computers sits at around 14-percent, but when narrowed down to only contrast sales of higher-end PCs costing over $1000 - since only the venerable Mac Mini typically costs less -that number skyrockets to 66-percent. eWEEK's Joe Wilcox writes that the NPD analyst group discovered that as the PC desktop market is down about 25-percent, with laptop sales flat, Apple has seen 45-percent growth in desktops, and 50- to 60-percent growth with portables.
BBerry Curve 8330 Review
The Curve 8330 essentially paints the complete picture for the BlackBerry -- it's the last of RIM's current lineup to cross over to CDMA networks. It's also the first Curve to offer 3G networking and so promises to make a big splash among users wanting "real" Internet access and messaging in a small and relatively inexpensive smartphone. That it fills an important gap is undoubtable; the real question is whether it can appeal to more than its usual crowd and compete against both other messaging phones and a new wave of high-end feature phones. Click through for our full review of the phone available with Sprint, Telus, and Verizon.
Palm at JPMorgan 2008
Palm considers itself to have strengths associated with Apple, the company's chief financial officer Andy Brown said this afternoon at JPMorgan's yearly technology conference. The manager notes explains that Palm, like Apple, is one of the few companies to design both its phones and the operating system underneath, allowing the Centro maker to design one with the other in mind. The use of Windows Mobile on some Treo smartphones is primarily to improve margins on developing phones, Brown says. First-party software is still seen as the company's "core expertise."
TouchTunes iTunes promo
TouchTunes is giving away iTunes material as part of a multi-pronged promotional strategy, according to an announcement. Visitors to bars and other public places can now queue Usher's "Love in This Club Part II," from one of TouchTunes' digital jukeboxes; by agreeing to submit an e-mail address, they can pre-order Usher's new album on iTunes with three bonus tracks, and meanwhile download the single, plus the original "Love in This Club" music video. The album otherwise goes on sale May 27th.
Movistar Spanish iPhone
Telefonica Movistar will carry the iPhone in Spain through a temporary exclusivity arrangement that will last several months without interference from competitors such as Vodafone. Sevenclick reports that although neither Apple nor Telefonica would say which device it would introduce into the country - between the current and potential third generation iPhone - it would hold on to the device for three to six months before competitors would be allowed to sell it.
Piper: 10.5M+ iPods in Q2
Apple's iPod sales may see an unusual boost during the second quarter of the year, say analysts with the research firm Piper Jaffray. The group argues that results from the first month of the quarter, collected by NPD, point to approximately 10.5 to 11 million iPods being sold by the end. If so, this would represent a 1 percent quarter-over-quarter growth, instead of the 6 percent sequential decline (to 10 million iPods) predicted by historical trends. Piper itself has previously estimated sales of 10.2 million iPods.
Teclast has begun offering one of the few media players beyond the iPod touch to supply a multi-touch display, according to an update from a firm picking up the device. The T50 shares a very similar software interface to that of the Apple player and recognizes multi-finger input: swipes with two fingers zoom through images. The interface is also sensitive enough to recognize flicks and other quick gestures for scrolling through lists.
ASOCS' upgradeable chip
ASOCS on Monday announced the MP100, which it calls the world's first wireless Multi-Communication processor able to run three wireless interfaces at the same time. The ModemX core in the chip allows software support to simply be uploaded for such features as Wi-Fi, HDTV, GPS or the latest data networks. Apart from hardware cost savings and reduced power consumption, ASOCS' chip would allow OEM manufacturers to simply upgrade the software instead of selling new phones to enable new-generation data networks such as 4G or WiMAX.
IOGEAR USB network hub
IOGEAR on Monday announced the launch of its USB Net ShareStation device, which allows USB device sharing across a network. The USB Net ShareStation allows any combination of up to four hard drives, flash drivers, printers, speakers or webcams to be shared and controlled between networked computers with the help of a USB 2.0 hub.
Seagate Showcase drives
Seagate today at the 2008 Cable Show announced a new product that will add to the storage capacity of DVRs. The Showcase range will at first include a 1TB capacity drive, which will allow users to keep up to 200 more hours of HD programs. All Showcase drives will support eSATA-capable DVRs including devices from Motorola, which worked with Seagate on developing the products.
Sharp intros AQUOS LCD TVs
Sharp on Monday announced it will debut 22 new models in all for its AQUOS RX5-, GX5- and DS5-series HD LCD TVs. The flagship RX5 series will be available in 65-, 52- and 46-inch sizes and will allow users to surf the Internet. Either model features Sharp's backlight control technology which endows the sets with a high 20,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. Without it, the panels feature a 3,300:1 static contrast ratio.
Phone sales in decline
A failing economy is beginning to have serious impact on the US cellphone market, says the NPD Group. For the first time since it began recording such figures, NPD writes that sales dropped in the first quarter of 2008 to 31 million, a decline of 22 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago. There has also been a substantial shift in marketshare, with Chicago-based Motorola continuing to dominate other companies, but slipping from a control of 35 percent to 27.
82-inch Samsung UDTV
Korean electronics giant Samsung is using the 2008 SID symposium in Los Angeles to demonstrate a new LCD TV, formatted to an original resolution standard. While commercial LCD panels are currently limited to HD resolution (up to 1080p, or 1900x1080), the Samsung set is claimed to operate at "ultra-definition," with a maximum resolution of 3840x2160. This is however below the forthcoming 4K standard (4096x1716), and not to be confused with the experimental ultra-high definition resolution (7680x4320).
T-Mo Shadows BBerries Soon
T-Mobile has an aggressive launch schedule that will see it launch multiple high-profile phones by mid-summer, according to a leaked roadmap. Although few details are known about the release, the US carrier reportedly plans to launch both the unannounced BlackBerry Kickstart flip smartphone and the more official Bold by August, significantly upgrading T-Mobile's smartphone lineup within two months. A previous leak has suggested the Bold would appear only by September.
X-GEAR & AmpliTube 2 Live
IK Multimedia has announced that its AmpliTube X-GEAR software is now a free for owners of AmpliTube 2 Live or the StealthPlug. The StealthPlug is guitar-to-USB cable, and costs $130; Live is available either bundled with the Plug or solo, but when used with X-GEAR supplies Tuner, Stomp, Amp, Cabinet and Rack effects, including extra Amp and Cabinet modules. Controls such as Ambience are added to Cabinets, and increased automation is possible.
iPass Win Mobile iPhone
iPass on Monday announced that its iPassConnect and Mobile Office services now officially support Windows Mobile 6 phones. The addition lets owners of supporting smartphones with Wi-Fi access hotspots on both their individual and work accounts without first turning to a computer. Adding the support could be crucial for workers traveling abroad, who may either exit a 3G cellular coverage area or face roaming charges, the company says. Over international 100,000 hotspots already tap into iPass today and include those run by Hyatt, Hilton, and Marriott hotels as well as those run within McDonald's and Starbucks.
ITV video now Mac-ready
British TV broadcaster ITV is officially supporting Macs for web-based viewing, it has announced. The network lets users watch a number of programs online, such as Coronation Street, Britain's Got Talent and Pushing Daisies; until recently however users were forced to use Windows, and ideally Internet Explorer. The site now runs on Firefox 1.5 and 2, as well as Safari; the key difference is that these require Microsoft's Silverlight plug-in, which operates similarly to Flash. Mac owners must be running Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later.
JVC Everio MS100
Stepping out of its normal camera launch schedule, JVC today launched the Everio GZ-MS100 camcorder in the US. The standard-definition camera is JVC's latest to run solely on SD cards for storage and weighs just 0.6 pounds thanks to the lack of moving parts. The switch not only allows easy offloading to a computer through USB or an SD card reader but also proves central to the camera's YouTube feature. On Windows PCs, an Upload button automatically sends recorded footage to a CyberLink app for posting to the Google-run website; any user can also use the button to limit recording to 10 minutes and fit within YouTube's limits.
AUO Curved LCDs and Touch
AU Optronics today at the SID Display expo showcased a number of advances it believes should advance LCDs for handhelds. The highlight is the world's first curved LCD, according to the company: a new thinning technique allows the company to produce a screen with a 100mm (3.9in) radius that not only arcs but which has even backlighting across the entire display. The invention could mean a generation of devices with LCDs where they were previously difficult or impractical, such as wristwatches or instrumentation built directly in-dash for cars. AUO doesn't say when it expects the technology to reach shipping products.
soundBlade 1.2.2, Sonic EQ
Sonic Studio has released new versions of two of its audio engineering programs, beginning with soundBlade, its production suite based on Core Audio. It records four-channel digital sound at 192k, and is capable of premastering and real-time editing, with support for AU and VST plug-ins as well as external inputs and outputs such as Pro Tools, and Sonic's own NoNOISE and reNOVAtor. The new v1.2.2 patch is free, and is said to include "hundreds" of optimizations and stability fixes. Purchased as a whole the software costs $1,495.
Manpower 1.0 released
Utility maker Code by Kevin has released a new tool for Mac owners running a Unix shell, Manpower. The program assists with the "man" command, which describes the purpose and usage of various built-in Unix tools; this however is limited to a fixed font size, and a single pane of text at a time. Manpower claims to improve on this by expanding to a three-pane interface, similar to an e-mail client.
Samsung Slash at Virgin
Virgin Mobile today made good on a recent teaser with an official release of the Samsung Slash. The slider is now known to sit slightly above most of Virgin's offerings with a VGA camera and Bluetooth; it also provides MP3 ringtone support as well as preloaded games and an extra-large 499-entry phonebook. Talk time, however, is short at a rated 3.5 hours.
Dell XPS gets 320GB 7K HDD
Dell on Monday became the first PC builder to ship a new generation of hard drives with updates to its XPS notebook line. Each system will have the option of a 320GB Seagate Momentus 7200.3 drive that should bring desktop-like performance without a significant hit in storage; the 7,200RPM speed and doubled 16MB of cache should all but eliminate the bottlenecking that often occurs during game loading and other intensive tasks. The disk also provides a level of shock protection to avoid damaging the disk in most falls.
Two Asian countries may be engaging in an unusual deal in order to secure the iPhone, according to rumors. Japan's NTT DoCoMo and South Korea's KTF are said by Telecoms Korea to be in talks for a joint release, though the reason for combining the pair's efforts is unknown. The two countries do however rely on W-CDMA broadband, as opposed to the HSPA the 3G iPhone is expected to use in regions such as Canada and the US. It may thus make sense for KTF and DoCoMo to cooperate on a shared iPhone format.
AMD GAME Platform
AMD this morning hoped to wipe out some of the confusion surrounding games with the advent of its AMD GAME! platform. A more precise parallel to the company's LIVE! platform for media center PCs, the new concept would certify systems as capable of a minimum gaming experience based on their choice of AMD parts. The platform will always be "balanced" and guarantee that users get both a strong processor and a good dedicated video chipset. Buyers can pick up a game meeting a given GAME! standard knowing the system won't lag or drop frames based on a sub-par component, AMD says.
MS Yahoo Search Buy Leak
Microsoft's proposed partial deal with Yahoo may see a buyout of the company's search platform in a bid to create a new, alternative challenge to Google, according to tips from those purportedly aware of the negotiations. Rather than buy out all of Yahoo or else strike a license deal, Microsoft will buy Yahoo's core search business and may complete a transaction as early as this week.
ASUS Eee PC Drops WiMAX
ASUS is dropping WiMAX as a stock feature of the Eee PC 901, those inside the PC industry reportedly claim. Where ASUS had once promised that the 4G wireless service would be standard on at least one model, the company is now reportedly convinced that WiMAX, particularly through Clearwire and Sprint in the US, won't have enough coverage in 2008 for the feature to be worth inclusion. The addition will only be available through contract orders, says the report.
Apple Ringback Tone Rumor
Apple hopes to make a major push into mobile music in time with the launch of the 3G iPhone, say sources speaking with the New York Times. In addition to expanding the number of songs that qualify as ringtones, the company allegedly hopes to introduce ringback tones that play in place of the typical dial tone. Apple also wants to overcome earlier limits and start selling iTunes songs over cellular networks rather than limiting access to Wi-Fi connections, according to cited music label officials.
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