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Check Point Technologies on Wednesday unveiled Check Point Full Disk Encryption for Mac OS X, offering users pre-boot authenticated disk encryption, what the company claims is an industry first. Since the security software encrypts the entire disk before the operating system boots, Check Point says the multi-certified cryptology engine adheres to many state and federal privacy laws, and can be deployed in any scale of operation. Check Point Full Disk Encryption starts at $120.
Toon Boom Animation and educational publisher FableVision on Wednesday released Animation-Ish, a new software program that offers “do-it-yourself” animation. The software seeks to leverage the “ish” philosophy that art pieces don’t need to create a mirror image of reality to effectively convey ideas, which was popularized by New York Times Bestselling children’s book author/illustrator Peter H. Reynolds in his best-selling books “The Dot” and “Ish”. Reynolds uses a playful, low-stress approach to coach children and adults to think “ishfully” about their art and be brave about expressing their creativity and originality. Animation-ish featuresmore than 50 “Inspire Me” video clips with Peter H. Reynolds, three animation skill-levels, and a “Project Vault” with Reynolds’ drawings and starter ideas.
Quashing circulating rumors, Yahoo's CEO said that while there is still interest between the online portal and software giant Microsoft to form some sort of partnership, Microsoft is no longer interested in a full merger. According to Reuters, Yahoo Chief Executive Jerry Yang claims that Microsoft walked away from a deal with "tremendous amount of power," after it upped the ante on Microsoft's $47.5 billion buyout offer. Yahoo President Susan Decker said issues such as regulatory approval had not been discussed, because pricing had held up all other discussions, Yang's public comments signaled that the companies remain open to a potential deal, but indicated that Microsoft had ruled out a merger for now, contradicting a BusinessWeek report from Thursday morning that claimed the companies were working on a buyout of all of Yahoo assets, rather than the just search portion of the business.
T-Mobile on Wednesday unveiled three new HTC phones at an international press conference: the MDA Compact IV, MDA Vario IV, and the Ameo 16GB. The MDA Compact IV – what appears to be a variant of the HTC Touch Diamond – offers users a 3D interface shown on a high-resolution 640 by 480 screen, and is the second device to use Windows Mobile 6.1. The device is HSDPA-enabled, supporting 7.2 Mbit/s downstream, and 1.4Mbit up, and boasts a 3.2 Megapixel camera with 4GB of internal flash storage.
Apple on Wednesday continued its slew of updates with the release of its Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 2.1, which extends RAW file compatibility for Aperture 2 and iPhoto ’08 for the following cameras: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi/Kiss Digital x2/450D, Epson R-D1, Leaf AFi 7, Leaf AFi 6, Leaf AFi 5, Pentax K200D, and Pentax K20D. Apple also released critical security updates for Mac OS X Tiger and a massive Mac OS X 10.5.3 Leopard update that addressed dozens of security bugs.
Apple on Wednesday released dozens of security updates part of its Mac OS X 10.5.3 update for Leopard and Security Update 2008-003(PPC Tiger client, Intel Tiger client, PPC Server, Universal Server) for Mac OS X Tiger, including critical bugs for remote shutdown, arbitrary code execution (multiple including JPG2000 issues), denial of service (via viewing PNG files), private information information disclosure (via SSL, Tiger Mail, Unicode, malicious BMP/GIF files and Image Capture) as well as a critical code execution bug for the continually updated Adobe Flash plugin. Apple also updated its Single Sign-On feature (CVE-ID: CVE-2008-1578) to prevent passwords from being supplied other local users.
Apple is reportedly getting ready to unveil the iTunes video store in France, according to some accidental search results that show up in the iTunes Store browser. According to MacGeneration , several shows are already occupying the store, ones from ABC Studios, ARTE, Dargaud TV, TV Dupsui, France 2, MTV and TF1 Vision. So far, Lost, SpongeBob Squarepants, South Park, Lucky Luke, and Spirou et Fantasio are confirmed, among others.
Dell CEO Michael Dell recently offered a glimpse of his company's highly-rumored ultra-portable at the All Things Digital executive conference in California. Dell was carrying a sleeved laptop, opening the cover to reveal a bright candy-apple red shell crowning a miniature portable akin to the Asus Eee PC and HP Mini-Note. He was sparing with details, but images reveal three USB ports, a card reader, VGA output, and Ethernet connections, with the system running an unknown version of Windows.
Hitachi on Wednesday unveiled a pair of new hard drives to add to its CinemaStar line, with the C5K320 and the 5K500. The former is a 2.5-inch hard drive with up to 320 GB capacity, while the latter is built around a 500GB, 3.5-inch hard drive. All of Hitachi’s CinemaStar hard disk drives are designed to extend the recording capacity of DVRs in home theater setups, but can also work with media center PCs.
Dell today announced it will soon be updating its Vostro 400 desktop PCs with the 410 model, adding to its line of PCs made for small businesses. The PC's tower has also been enlarged to allow it to hold twice as many drives as in the Vostro 400, as well as more expansion slots and bays. Newly introduced is a Gigabit Ethernet card for faster network access. Due to customer feedback from its site, Dell claims it brought out the new PC six months earlier than originally planned and with different specs that include a choice of Intel Core 2 Quad processors, 512MB graphics cards and 800MHz memory.
Apple on Wednesday seeded a sixth beta version to its iPhone Software Development Kit, entitled 9M2192 beta 6. According to iLounge, the release requires developers to upgrade to the latest version of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard – 10.5.3, released earlier on in the day – in order to use the new seed. Developers can find the update at the iPhone Dev Center, with the download weighing in at 1.19GB. Release notes were not made public, but are available for developers to view.
Apple is shifting the amount of stock it is ordering from manufacturers, according to FBR Capital Markets analyst Craig Berger. In conducting a survey of Apple's supply chain, Berger says he has learned that for the June quarter, the company has boosted its iPod build numbers by 15 percent over the March quarter. This leads him to believe that iPod builds will grow 35 percent quarter-over-quarter.
Palm chief Ed Colligan today told APC in an interview about some of the first details of the next-generation Palm OS. Internally codenamed Nova, the Linux-based platform will focus on "Internet and Web-based applications" much more than the existing software and is also targeted at a different class of user. Future phones using Nova will be released under a new, unnamed "prosumer" brand that should slot in between the entry-level Centro and business-oriented smartphones such as the Treo line.
Veteran storage manufacturers Imation today announced details of their new line of portable USB flash drives, the Nano Flashes. The drives are available in storage capacities of 1, 2, 4 and 8GB; the design is an evolution of previous USB drives offered by the company, but is only 1.7 inches long, 0.6 inches wide, and 0.4 inches deep. It also focuses on an integrated 360-degree swivel cap, which protects the connector when the drive is not in use, and allows for attachment to keychains, lanyards and even mobile phones.
Red Giant Software on Wednesday unveiled updates to two of its products, while also introducing a new plug-in for Adobe After Effects called Trapcode Horizon. The new plug-in allows users to generate three-dimensional effects to create photorealistic backgrounds and QuickTime VR-like panoramas. Red Giant Software claims Horizon ties automatically into the software's 3D camera, ensuring that the background image is drawn from the active camera's point of view. Trapcode Horizon is selling for $100, available from the company's website.
Google's Android operating system has been demonstrated with new changes and on what appears to be a prototype of the HTC Dream, according to news from Android Community and others attending the company's I/O Conference. The latest version of the mobile operating system shows subtle but iPhone-like interface touches that haven't previously been seen in earlier builds, including multiple home screens and a tray of permanently visible icons for commonly used apps. A built-in mail client (primarily intended for Gmail) also shares cosmetic similarities to Apple's own application.
Blockbuster will soon launch a pilot program of in-store movie downloads, says the company's CEO. James Keyes revealed the information at an annual shareholder meeting Wednesday, noting that a trial will take place sometime within the next month, and involve store visitors inserting a form portable device into a kiosk, and copying movies in a process that should take approximately two minutes. At present the major issue is said to be studio support, as Blockbuster is still negotiating for available content.
Apple has posted Mac OS X 10.5.3 to Software Update. This relatively major release addresses a number of issues extant in previous editions of Mac OS X 10.5.x, including problems with AirPort, Time Capsule, Mail, iChat, iCal and more. With regard to general fixes, the update a font issue that could result in Helvetica Narrow being used in applications instead of Helvetica and also addresses an issue with stuttering video and audio playback in certain USB devices. It also fixes an issue in which certain attached hard drives may not show up in the Finder.
Amazon is about to launch an on-demand video service, the company's chief Jeff Bezos said today at the Wall Street Journal's D Conference. Expanding on the company's existing Unbox download feature, the retailer will launch a paid streaming service "in the next few weeks," according to the executive. No details beyond this early news are available, though the move would directly compete with a similar option from Netflix, whose Watch Instantly feature is largely web-based and requires a regular Netflix subscription of $9 or more.
Sony has agreed to settle in a recent lawsuit involving Blu-ray players, according to an announcement. The company had been sued by a Columbia University emeritus professor, Gertrude Rothschild, who argued that Sony's technology violated a US patent of hers relating to band-gap semiconductors -- specifically, those that allow LEDs to emit the short wavelengths found in blue lasers. Rothschild has also directed suits at other companies for the same reason, such as LG, Sanyo, Samsung, Pioneer and Sharp.
Much of ASUS' notebooks running both Intel's Centrino 2 platform and the corresponding AMD Puma foundation have been revealed in advance, according to several leaks from Notebook Italia. The M-series will still serve as ASUS' media-oriented flagships, but will now trade power savings for performance: the stock M51VR will use Intel's new low-power 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo that uses only 3MB of Level 2 cache but also consumes just 25W of average power, while both the M51VA and the 17-inch M70VM will use a 35W chip that doubles the cache size to 6MB.
Human Software has released ApertureEdit, a collection of 11 plug-ins for Aperture 2.1. Among these are DeNoise, which removes sensor noise from high-ISO pictures, and AutoFocus, which tries to eliminate blur. AutoSmooth attempts automatic airbrushing, while the Grids and PhotoFixlens plug-ins let users apply or remove distortion as desired; other plug-ins apply elements like frames, textures, and over 500 different types of lighting.
DVR provider TiVo on Wednesday announced it will offer videos on demand from the Walt Disney Studios library, with some of the content made available in high-definition. The service will be available for all subscribers with Internet-ready Series2 and Series3 terminals via CinemaNow. TiVo made it clear movies in standard definition will be available for a 24-hour period, although how many HD movies will be available and if the timeframe for watching them will differ from the SD offerings was not specified.
Hundreds of thousands of webpages have been affected by a vulnerability in Adobe's Flash Player, says security vendor Symantec. Since at least Monday, approximately 220,000 pages have been been hacked to add redirection scripts, which send Flash users to some 57 servers that attempt to deliver malware, including botnet code and apps that steal World of WarCraft identities and passwords. Only Flash Player versions 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124 appear to be at risk; the attack also seems to be directed primarily at Windows, says Symantec, although problems may yet arise on other operating systems (including Mac OS X) unless Adobe can close the exploit.
Intel today confirmed the existence of a significant delay for its Centrino 2 notebook platform. While not providing the originally scheduled release date, company representative Bill Kircos now says that the mainboard chipsets and their matching processors will now be ready by the week of July 14th, or between two and three weeks after a widely reported late June introduction. The spokesman also confirms the twofold nature of the delay, which centers around both a technical flaw and legal obligations.
Sony today announced it would translate one of its concept speaker designs into a production device. The Sountina promises a radical approach to sound by outputting the same sound at 360 degrees from the speaker itself: an upward-facing driver vibrates a glass tube that in turn pushes sound outwards in all directions rather than in a cone, as with traditional speakers. The change both leads to a new look as well as reducing the horizontal footprint of the Sountina.
Production equipment for iPhone accessories has possibly confirmed the exterior design of the 3G iPhone, according to a Chinese website. iDealsChina (site not linked due to speed) says it has obtained photos of molds being used by Griffin, which were built with the express purpose of producing new silicone FlexGrip cases for Apple's yet-to-be-announced device. The images appear to confirm a thinner, more rounded back on the iPhone, and consequentially a new position for the camera.
Yahoo is finally nearing a deal that may involve either Microsoft, Google, or both, according to sources' reports at BusinessWeek. The magazine claims that Microsoft's assertions of wanting only a partial transaction with Yahoo aren't entirely true and that the company is entirely willing to buy out the whole of Yahoo rather than just a portion of the company, which is rumored to be either just the search advertising division or else the complete search business.
The handwriting code said to be in the iPhone 2.0 firmware was bought from a third-party company, reports claim. A developer of HWPen, a Chinese application still available for jailbroken iPhones, says the software was originally produced for Hanwang to allow entering Chinese characters, but has since been acquired by Apple for the same purposes; Apple has allegedly even stripped out English support, which the unofficial app included tangentially.
Samsung hoped to draw extra attention on Wednesday by unveiling the L870, its latest slider phone. The handset is said to not only use a full HTML web browser but allegedly uses the mobile version of Apple's Safari web browser. The company doesn't mention receiving permission from Apple for the product and also fails to explain how the software would be used on the device: aside from the need to port from OS X iPhone to the Symbian Series 60 OS used by the phone as well as changing controls to use a conventional directional pad as the interface instead of the iPhone's multi-touch display.
ASUS is bumping up the launch of the 10-inch Eee PC in an attempt to head off rivals, PC builder insiders claim. The company is reportedly concerned about the launch of the same-size MSI Wind and now plans to introduce its largest Eee PC at the Computex show next week alongside the Atom-based Eee PC 901 in an attempt to garner more publicity for its own system.
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer on Tuesday unveiled a small preview of the company's next operating system – tentatively referred to as Windows 7 – at the All Things Digital executive conference. The preview demonstrated the integration of multi-touch directly into all application layers, allowing users to use multiple fingers in Paint, resize and rotate photographs, and performing many actions similar to that of the iPhone.
Tungle on Wednesday unveiled a new iPhone interface for its free business-class meeting coordination service, designed to allow busy individuals to synchronize meetings across several calendar platforms. The service supports calendars such as iCal, Google Calendar, Lotus Notes, and BlackBerry, and syncs with the calendar program on the iPhone. Because the service is so widely supported, Tungle says that individuals don’t have to necessarily be a member to use it.
If most of your time on the Internet is spent transferring files from one computer to another (such as designing web pages and transferring files from your computer to a web server), you’ll need a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) program or client. An FTP client lets you connect to a remote computer without the clutter of a web page getting in the way. While you can find several FTP clients for the Mac, one of the latest is Extendmac’s Flow.
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Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k