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Edward Kozel steps down
Amid the ongoing Yahoo financial drama, Edward Kozel, a member of Yahoo's board of directors, is stepping down from his position to spend more time with his family and the company has postponed its annual meeting until the end of July. MarketWatch reports that the news comes as billionaire Carl Icahn sets is sights on replacing Yahoo's board in a proxy war, and could be Kozel's way of dealing with not wanting to lose face in the eyes of other potential companies. Kozel announced he would be focusing on personal matters, including a move with his family to Europe in the summer.
SimpleMovieX 3.7 for video
Aero Quartet has released version 3.7 of SimpleMovieX, the lightweight Mac OS X movie editor. Offering a feature set roughly similar to QuickTime Pro, SimpleMovieX extends editing capabilities to other popular video formats AVI, MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4, the company said. "The main advantage of native editing is speed and quality, since no re-encoding is required to save edited movies." The new version improves support of iTunes library, as movies metadata, languages and artwork are now preserved through editing and saving. It also brings a significant speed increase to editing and chapter tasks. The software offers the ability to split movie into clips, a Batch Converter, an Audio Waveform tool to make sharp audio editing and synchronization, and more.
Rogue Amoeba Airfoil 3.2
Rogue Amoeba on Thursday released an update to its software utility that sends any audio to AirPort Express units and Apple TVs as well as other Macs and PCs. Airfoil for Mac v3.2 brings several minor fixes as well as a couple new, including support for the new 802.11n AirPort Express, including full password support and better synchronization. Airfoil also now supports remote control of iTunes or QuickTime Player when they're being transmitted via Airfoil. Using the Apple TV Remote through an Apple TV, or the Keyspan Express Remote through an AirPort Express, users can send basic controls for play or pause iTunes or QuickTime Player, as well as moving back and forward in tracks in iTunes. It also supports now fully supports VIDEO_TS files for virtual DVDs.
Elgato Turbo.264 v1.3
Elgato has released version 1.3 of the Turbo.264 software for its hardware encoding device that quickly converts any video to the advanced H.264 (MPEG-4) format without using the Mac's resources. The company says the device allows users to watch TV and surf the web while encoding video -- with no reduction in processing speed. Turbo.264 supports many third-party Mac video applications as well as EyeTV, but also is bundled with its own software to quickly drop any video into iTunes to sync with an iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV. Turbo.264 1.3 makes it easier to upload videos to YouTube, with both good quality and short upload times (the YouTube web site takes some processing time to additionally encode your clip into Flash, FLV, format).
Bell LG Vantage slider
Bell Canada is now shipping the LG Vantage - also known as LG Glimmer on the US carrier Alltel - offering Canadians their first glimpse of the touchscreen slider phone. The phone will feature EVDO connectivity and dual-band GSM, and sports a 2MP camera, Bluetooth, and a microSD card slot. The Vantage joins Bell's list of devices as competition to the LG Shine, which is currently in service with both Telus and Rogers Wireless.
Representing the latest effort to compete with iTunes in the burgeoning movie download space, CinemaNow is now offering a variety of paid content services through Windows Media Center. These include download-to-own movies, priced from $10 to $20; TV shows and music videos are priced at $2. The company claims that download-to-own movies are available day-and-date of retail DVD release, but doesn't mention the breadth of the upcoming library (right now there are about 3,400 feature-length movies in CinemaNow's collection). The service will also offer 24 hour movie rentals priced between $3 and $4. Select Pay-Per-View titles are available day-and-date of retail DVD release.
ADmitMac for CAC
Thursby Software has released of ADmitMac for CAC (AFC) v2.0. AFC securely integrates U.S. Department of Defense Common Access Cards (CAC) with Macs. Using the Active Directory technology of Thursby Software's commercial ADmitMac product, AFC provides a solution for securing Macs without requiring a local password. AFC uses a single sign-on environment to Windows domains, verifying a CAC against a centralized network authority. It further validates that neither the card nor the privileges granted the user have been revoked. Using ADmitMac for CAC replaces the use of passwords with CAC/PIN security using Kerberos PKINIT.
Just ahead of Memorial Day weekend (in the US), Pentax tonight released the Optio W60. Where other cameras need special shells underwater, the W60 is explicitly designed to be waterproof from the outset and includes watertight joints that extend to the lens: as the optics never protrude from the body, no room exists for water to seep in, the company boasts. The resulting adjustments lead to a camera that not only operates at up to 13 feet deep but is also dustproof and survives freezing temperatures as low as 14 Fahrenheit.
OWC low cost Superdrives
Other World Computing on Thursday unveiled low-cost Superdrives for almost any Mac released within the last decade, offering 48x CD burning and LightScribe labeling technology. OWC claims the drives are quiet, and do not require any extra software to be installed with the drive. Users can also write to dual-layer DVDs at up to 12x speeds, while single-layer discs can write at up to 20x. OWC is selling the Superdrives starting from $35.
Twixtor 4.5 for FCP
Beginning this week Vision Effects is now shipping Twixtor 4.5 for Apple Final Cut Pro (FCP) in an FxPlug version, which is Final Cut Pro's native effects plugin architecture. Twixtor enables users to speed up or slow down image sequences with quality results. In order to achieve its image quality, Twixtor synthesizes unique new frames by warping and interpolating frames of the original sequence; employing Vision Effects' Academy Award winning technology that calculates motion for each individual pixel.
Iomega eGo HDD in Leather
Iomega today unveiled its newest portable hard disk drive, the 250GB Brown Leather eGo Hi-Speed USB 2.0, aimed at fashion-conscious buyers. The drive combines a 2.5-inch disk that endows it with a 250GB storage capacity and a burnished brown leather body. Carrying the compact drive around is made easier thanks to its USB 2.0-powered connection; only one cable is needed to transfer files to and from computers.
Nokia Maps 2.0 launched
Nokia today announced the newest update to its Nokia Maps 2.0 navigation software is now available for download. No longer in beta stages, the new Nokia Maps 2.0 include enhancements to its drive, walk and explore modes. The pedestrian navigation options, walk and discover, now feature multimedia city guides, satellite images and integrated compass support. The drive mode includes a subscription-based real-time traffic information update service and a choice of three views in the redesigned user interface.
Line at Fifth Avenue store
A massive line formed unexpectedly today at Apple's flagship Fifth Avenue store in New York City, observers say. Accounts indicate that at one stage during the day the line was in excess of 60 people long, even though customers can technically visit the shop at any time of day or night, bypassing the large crowds at peak periods. Lines only typically form at the Fifth Avenue store for major launches, such as that of the iPhone.
Epson electronic paper
Seiko Epson is making strides in its continued development of electronic paper, having unveiled a 13.4-inch (A4-size) prototype at SID 2008 on Wednesday, its biggest to date. The new e-paper nearly doubles the size and resolution of the company's last effort, unveiled last November, at 3104x4128 resolution, with 385ppi density. The company believes its latest represents the final stage in its efforts to replace traditional papers with electronic equivalents.
GameStop halts Zune orders
Microsoft is in for more bad news regarding its Zune personal music players, as GameStop on Thursday announced it decided to stop selling the flash-memory digital music player in its stores. The video-game retailer said lack of consumer demand and the device's ill fit with its existing offerings prompted the decision, which was made about a month ago. The retail chain is made up of hundreds of stores across the US, and will not order new stock, clearing out existing inventory exclusively on its web store.
Apple and wireless tech
Apple may be exploring known wireless technologies which are nevertheless outside of its current roadmap, a job listing suggests. The company is hunting for a senior RF system engineer to staff its offices in Santa Clara, California, who will help build products currently planned with wireless, and additionally investigate new technologies as they present themselves. Critically, the ideal canadidate would not only know 802.11 Wi-Fi, but "Bluetooth, 3G, UWB, WiMAX, GPS, Mobile TV and similar wireless technologies."
Apple's .Mac service, once a promising method for sharing media, performing online backups and more, has paled in the presence of free alternatives and represents an untapped opportunity for Apple according to a recent report from CNET. The articles posits "$99 a year is hard to justify for the .Mac service. 10GBs of storage? I can get that for $20 from Google, and I can get much more if I want it. Photo sharing? I can do that for free on Flickr, and upload as many photos and videos as I want for $24.95 a year. Build my own Web site? Lots of services offer that capability for free."
Samsung Instinct Ship Date
Sprint today gave the Samsung Instinct its official ship date. The phone is now due to launch on June 20 and will represent Sprint's first attempt at a direct competitor to the iPhone, with a custom-designed interface that emphasizes media playback. Sprint also touts the device as its first non-business phone to support EVDO Rev. A Internet access and integrates GPS, on-demand voicemail, and access to Sprint's Internet video streaming services.
Apple digital home inroads
Five years from now, Apple will have made significant strides in its consumer product strategy, expanding its digital home offerings to include products and services to connect PCs and digital content to the HDTV-stereo audio-visual infrastructure in consumers' homes, according to Forrestor Research. CNET reports that the research note predicts a bridging of the "AV/IT divide [...] for video, music, and photos in most homes." The report also speculates that Mac OS X will likely be sprinkled throughout the home, and predicts the introduction of a home server product that would act as the digital hub to push video streams, music, and photos throughout the home. Other potential products include an "AppleSound universal music controller" that could serve many purposes: a standalone iPod, a music and video controller, via dedicated home stereo amplifiers.
Oppenheimer on AAPL
Apple stock is projected to do extremely well, says Oppenheimer Funds' Yair Reiner. The analyst says he is giving the AAPL listing an "outperform" rating, and a target price of $235, higher than that of several other research firms. This is based largely on predicted sales of the iPhone, which Reiner anticipates will amount to 14 million in 2008, and 28 million in 2009.
HTC To Ship 3m Diamonds
HTC is boosting its shipments for the Touch Diamond based on a sharp spike in the likely demand for the device, company chief Peter Chou has said at a Tokyo conference. The Taiwan-area phone creator now plans to increase shipments of the Windows Mobile phone from its earlier two million-unit forecast to about three million, or a full 50 percent higher than before. Where it took the original Touch 11 months to reach three million, the Diamond should only take the 7 months of June through December to reach that goal, according to Chou.
Griffin iTrip Auto Pilot
Griffin today unveiled the iTrip AutoPilot. The FM transmitter is the first from Griffin to support the iPhone, allowing it to plug in and work properly without interference and while supporting all the iTrip's features. For both the phone and all fourth-generation and later dockable iPods, the latest iTrip includes a distinguishing controller at the iTrip's connection to a car's 12-volt power port that lets users change volume, pause or skip tracks while stowing the Apple device in a safer location.
Alienware Area-51 ALX
Dell's Alienware division has once again refreshed its top-of-the-line gaming PC, the Area-51 ALX. At the center is the option of a quad-core, 3.2GHz Core 2 Extreme processor, overclocked for even greater performance to 4GHz; to avoid corresponding overheating problems, Alienware has equipped all ALX computers with liquid cooling. Motherboards, meanwhile, can now be configured with up to 4GB of 1,600MHz Corsair DDR3 RAM.
Samsung Corp. shake-up
Samsung is undergoing some dramatic changes in its corporate structure, the Wall Street Journal reports. Following the exposure of a massive corruption scandal, the company has appointed external relations chief Lee Yoon-Woo as its new CEO, replacing Yun Jong-Yong. It has also sent Jay Lee, the son of ex-chairman Kun-Hee Lee, outside the country to develop business in new markets, a move analysts say may be intended to groom him as a future CEO, following the resignation of himself and his father from their earlier positions. It may also see more Samsung goods sold in China, India and Russia.
EU Watching MS Open Move
European Union officials will be watching Microsoft's open format support to ensure the developer's move remains honest, the European Commission said on Thursday. The regulatory body says it will specifically monitor the newly added support for the universal Open Document Format (ODF) to determine if it delivers on Microsoft's promises of interoperability with other programs, many of which already support ODF but until now have been unable to send those files to users of Microsoft's software, forcing them to choose a more restrictive format such as Microsoft's DOC format for Word files.
iTunes greeting cards?
An Apple patent application, newly published by the US Patent and Trademark Office, suggests that the company may be interested in expanding the reach of its gift cards. Most of its iTunes cards use generic images, concentrating primarily on music; future cards, however, could depict specific artists, albums, games, movies and TV shows, something it has already begun in a limited fashion with its $50 cards. Two of these present montages of albums and TV shows.
HTC Shift at Rogers
Rogers Wireless today became the first North American carrier to pick up the HTC Shift, the company's first crossover ultra-mobile PC. The 7-inch touchscreen system is a close match to its reference design and is notable for carrying Windows Vista but behaving more like a smartphone, including access to "push" e-mail as well as a 3G cellular connection over HSPA that supplies high-speed Internet when not within range of Wi-Fi. A front camera provides video chats (though not on Rogers' VISION service) while a 40GB hard drive handles storage.
Sharp's ultra-thin 5MP cam
Sharp on Wednesday announced it will soon ship the thinnest auto-focus, 5-megapixel CMOS camera module ever made. Despite its ultra-small size, the camera features a signal-to-noise ratio that is 1.6 times greater than the best current model, which results in higher-quality images. At just over a quarter-inch thick, the module utilizes a flat-screen lens and high-density design for its auto-focusing CMOS sensor.
Samsung UMPC Early 2009
Samsung expects to refresh its ultra-mobile PC (UMPC) lineup by the start of next year, the company's chief research engineer Jeongseon Euh has said in an interview published today. The developer offers few details but expects both a design refresh and a performance upgrade to be ready sometime in early 2009. The update is close enough that it could come towards the very start of the year.
iPhone 2.0 geotagging?
A newer beta of the iPhone 2.0 firmware, released to a group of enterprise developers this week, appears to reinforce the idea that the iPhone will have some sort of GPS component. Sources for AppleInsider are said to claim that the 5A292g build lets location-enabled applications, such as Maps, ask for a user's permission in transmitting data to identify position. The current iPhone firmware also lets users get a rough gauge of their position, but is imprecise and does not bother asking for permission with any location data it may transmit.
Sony OLEDs Larger in 2008
Sony executive Yoshito Shiraishi has revealed at the SID display expo that his company is confident enough in the development of OLED technology that it plans to make a major investment in the technology for the second half of this year. The TV producer will invest the equivalent of $210 million to help it produce larger OLED displays and expects medium-sized and larger versions of the ultra-thin screens to enter production in the same second-half 2008 timeframe. The company expects a larger-still range of OLED panels between 2009 and 2010, Shiraishi says.
Email Backup/Backup Pro 2
Maza Digital has updated several of its programs, beginnning with Email Backup Pro, now at v2.0. The software runs scheduled backups of messages from apps like Mail, Entourage, Eudora and Thunderbird, and is also able to replace existing databases and perform compression. The second edition is a major overhaul, with a new interface and manager, along with new engines for both backup and restoration. Schedule timing can additionally be more complex. The software is $10 new, but cheaper as an upgrade.
Fujifilm Z200fd and A850
Fujifilm on Thursday launched a pair of compact point-and-shoots, including one that promises more intelligent shot-taking. The 10-megapixel FinePix Z200fd is pitched as the first camera to include a timer based on its face detection feature: the Couple Timer and Group Timer features watch the number of identifiable faces in a scene and will refuse to take a photo until as many as four people are in the shot. The Couple Timer can additionally recognize the proximity of couples' faces and can be switched to take photos when the faces are at arm's length or as close as cheek-to-cheek.
16-9 Wide Notebooks Common
Notebooks with a 16:9 movie aspect ratio will be introduced by several major PC makers this year and should become increasingly common by the end of the year in smaller systems, says a report detailing their reported expansion. Although Acer is currently the only PC maker selling notebooks in the ultra-wide format with its large Gemstone Blue 16- and 18.4-inch notebooks, both Acer and several other PC makers are all said to be introducing extra-wide notebooks based on newer and generally smaller screen sizes than for Acer's desktop replacement models.
Bridge links WiFi for 5mi
HD Communications Corp has introduced a wireless network extender system that allows users to bridge a WiFi up to five miles. The $318 HD26200 system, which requires direct line of sight, is a complete outdoor wireless network bridge in the 802.11 b/g 2.4GHz band that uses two high performance Ubiquiti network radios with integrated 17dbi dual polarity antennas. The HD26200 bridge is powered over ethernet, allowing a single outdoor CAT5 cable to bring both data and power to the radios.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX coming?
NVIDIA plans on refreshing its GPU line-up next month with two new graphics card that will feature its next-generation CUDA-enabled graphics core, codenamed D10U. The company is expected to deliver both the GeForce GTX 260 (D10U-20) and GeForce GTX 280 (D10U-30) on June 18th as part of its summer refresh, according to DailyTech. The report claims that the GTX 260 will be a "significantly" scaled down version of the GTX 280, which will enable all 240 unified stream processors designed into the processor. These second-generation unified shaders perform 50 percent better than the shaders than its previous-generation offering, the company claims in its documentation; however, the new NVIDIA cards will only support GDDR3 memory and DirectX 10, while AMD focuses on faster GDDR5-based cards due early this summer.
Nikon D3H samples revealed
(Updated with accuracy challenge) A video from an alleged insider shows sample images from the as-of-yet unannounced Nikon D3H, which illustrate the overall scale of precision the camera could provide. With an advertised boosted ISO rating of 51,200 (25 to 12,800 native), it would indicate that Nikon is making great strides in reducing sensor noise. The video claims that the photographs were shot with a second generation prototype under various lighting conditions.
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