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iPod accessory manufacturer Griffin Technology on Thursday unveiled the PowerDock 2 and PowerDock 4, a new dual- and quad-slot charger for the iPod and iPhone. The PowerDock gives iPod owners two to four dock connectors with eight universal bezel adapters to hold and charge two iPods or iPhones at the same time. The brushed aluminum stand features a rubber bottom to prevent slipping. Griffin is selling the PowerDock 2 for $50, while the PowerDock 4 is selling for $70.
SE explores gaming phones
Sony Ericsson is allegedly making a move to up its devotion to the gaming industry by allowing the cameras in its phones to function as a motion-controlling sensor. Pocket-lint reports that the communications device company has signed a deal with California-based GestureTek to incorporate the software into its phones in September. Sony at present already uses the software for its EyeToy camera device on the PlayStation 2, and will allegedly function on Sony Ericsson's older phones as well.
Dell revenue up
Dell has reported fiscal first quarter revenue of $16 billion, a 9 percent year-over-year increase. While net earnings of $0.38 cents per share represent a 12 percent increase, operating income was down 4 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. In a statement, Dell officials said that the results were driven by "better-than-industry growth of commercial and consumer products and services, and lower operating expense as a percent of revenue." Specifically, notebook sales skyrocketed 43 percent, a rate Dell says is 1.2 times the industry average. The consumer segment was also especially strong, with Dell claiming to grow global share of this market by 1.2 points to 8.8 percent during the quarter.
Harman Kardon Bridge II
Harman Kardon, has introduced The Bridge II docking station for iPods and iPhones. The Bridge II connects a compatible iPod or iPhone model to any Harman Kardon Bridge-ready audio/video component. The device offers audio/video playback through a home entertainment system, on-screen iPod menu display, remote control operation, and charging. Among compatible devices are the Harman Kardon DMC 1000 digital media center, the new AVR 354 7.1-channel audio/video receiver and the HK 3490 stereo receiver, or to other Harman Kardon The Bridge-ready receivers. The Bridge II will be available in early summer 2008 at $130 suggested retail. It will also be included with the AVR 354 receiver.
Apple to offer edu deal
Apple is expected to unveil its 2008 back-to-school promotion, a move that senior vice president Ron Johnson calls Apple's biggest educational special "ever". AppleInsider reports that the incentives will be larger than any promotion in Apple's history, with some leaning towards the company's possible inclusion of the 8GB iPod touch into the deal. Particulars on the special were not readily available, but Apple is expected to start the offer as soon as Monday, June 2nd.
Cannon PC CableCARD HTPCs
Earlier this week, Cannon PC announced it will soon offer its Home- and Pro A/V-series HTPCs with dual and even quad CableCARDs installed. This allows them to record up to four individual standard- or high-def programs simultaneously, as each card will effectively act as a separate TV tuner, taking the place of a set-top box. Cannon PC took the opportunity to announce a direct OEM partnership with Microsoft as well, and all of the company's HTPCs use Microsoft's Windows Media Center as the multimedia interface.
3K's RazerBook 400 UMPC
3K Computers on Wednesday announced the release of the RazorBook 400 Ultra Mobile PC. The ASUS Eee PC competitor sports an identical 7-inch screen with 800x480 (WXGA) resolution and SSD drive, but runs on a 400MHz single-core mobile processor from Ingenic that helps to lower its price point. Built-in Wi-Fi allows browsing the Internet.
Calories 1.0 launched
NSObjects has released Calories 1.0, a new dietary program. Calories tracks your caloric intake meal-to-meal, using a database of over 6,900 food types, and 44 nutrient types. The interface combines a food database with caloric readout, and is visually reminiscent of Apple's Mail display. Calories focuses on daily tracking of meals and snacks, with readouts of caloric consumption and a breakdown of calories, carbs, fats, proteins and nutrients. The program is especially geared toward fitness and bodybuilding, though it can be used for short-term dieting or regular meals.
Glide OS 3.0 debuts
TransMedia has debuted v3.0 of Glide OS, its web-based operating system. Because it functions online it is compatible with platforms including Mac OS X, Linux, Windows and Solaris, and is available in 18 different languages, incluiding English, French, Spanish and Japanese. Apps in the OS include presentation, spreadsheet and word processor software, as well as e-mail and photo tools, and a media player.
TiVo Whole Home DVR
TiVo is prepping a digital video recorder that would serve as a hub for an entire house, company chief Tom Rogers confirms at the D6 Conference. He notes that current TiVos are essentially limited and can't record or offer content to more than one TV set in the home; the Wi-Fi adapter that lets the TiVo work remotely is only a part solution to the problem, Rogers says. Instead, TiVo is working to produce a version of its self-titled hubs that could give "whole-home" access, though the executive doesn't provide more details.
Pinch nets investors
Pinch Media on Thursday received an undisclosed amount of funds from a conglomerate of investors to help the New York-based startup develop free tools for iPhone developers. Silicon Alley Insider writes that the investment came from Union Square Ventures, First Round Capital, and Sharkey Goldstein Capital, with private financial strategists Dave Morgan, Jerry Neumann, and Mike Yavonditte. Specifics on the deal were not made available, but Union Square representative Fred Wilson claimed it is a "typical early stage deal."
VIA Nano chips compared
Earlier today, VIA Technologies made public details on its new Nano processing chip family that comprises five processors. VIA claims improved performance compared to its own C7 processors, and has provided test results it says prove the fact. The competition is also squarely in sights, as the Nanos' x86 instruction set allows it to run the same software as Intel's Atom and AMD Celeron M CPUs, with which the Nano was designed to compete. Performance comparisons are already surfacing from independent sources.
RapidWeaver 4.0 released
Realmac has released v4.0 of RapidWeaver, its flagship web design application. The new version is designed exclusively for Mac OS X Leopard, and is said to take advantage of key technologies such as Core Animation, although Quick Look support is only expected in v4.0.1. The software additionally enables the creation of WebClip icons, used in homescreen bookmarks for the iPhone and iPod touch.
Scorecard 1.3 ($30) golf scorecard and statistics application for Mac OS X. Offers comprehensive statistics, helping users discover trends and explore aspects of their gameplay that might otherwise go unnoticed. Scorecard 1.3 gives golfers further insight into their problems areas with the new Best vs Worst statistics. Best vs Worst presents a comparison of key performance indicators which allow the golfer to quickly and easily see what part of their game went wrong when they didn't perform well. They can then focus on improving that portion of their game to improve their overall game play. [Download - 1.2MB]
Keyboard Maestro 3.1 ($20) set of macros through which you can control applications, windows, or menus; insert text; open documents, applications or URLs; execute scripts and more. The Program Switcher lets you cycle through applications or windows, closing, hiding, launching, and performing other functions. This release adds many new clipboard features including persistent clipboard history via the new Clipboard History Switcher (command-control-shift-V by default), actions to set or save the clipboard, actions to filter the clipboard to apply BBEdit Text Factories to the clipboard, and support for moving and resizing and keeping open the various Clipboard Switchers. [Download - 5.6MB]
DiscLabel 5.2.2 ($36) CD/DVD label design software for Mac OS X. It can import track lists from iTunes, iPhoto, iDVD, Finder, and Toast; import images from iTunes, iPhoto, iDVD and Finder; multiple layers, drawing tools and gradients for creating custom designs; use more than 1300 clip art files via the DiscLabel Clip Art Browser and more. The update features various bug fixes. [Download - 12.6MB]
fennel DVDManager 1.7.5 (53) (free) supports the latest version of Amazon Web Services to help you manage the workflow of your DVD library. This new version brings a clean, modernized new look to better match Leopard's theme, and includes support for the iTunes-like ranking mechanism. Compatible with Tiger and Leopard, it is available in 12 localizations, and features a software update mechanism so that you always use the latest version. [Download - [1.9 MB]
License Keeper 1.4 ($20) stores and organizes important software license information, helping to prevent the loss of valuable software assets and making it accessible when needed most. Automatic serial number scanning and software information detection greatly reduces cumbersome data entry. Attachments keep related email and documents safely archived along with license and registration records. The new release will import registration data from spreadsheet compatible text files in the common Tab Delimited and Comma Separated formats. [Download - 1.8MB]
Dell Mini Inspiron Teaser
Dell has quickly acknowledged the existence of its unintentionally revealed micro notebook at the Wall Street Journal's D6 Conference by posting first details of the device. Secretive about most of the device, the company says the system recognizes calls by the community for a Dell UMPC and says its founder describes the design as a computer to reach the "next billion internet users." The photo file names notably make reference to a "mini Inspiron" and confirm styling very similar to the much larger Inspiron models.
Apple is reportedly filming a commercial at its flagship Manhattan Apple Store today, shutting down the store for six hours. Apple's retail store page states: "Please note we will be temporarily closed Thursday, May 29 at 3:00 p.m. and will reopen Friday, May 30 at 9:00 a.m. During this time, please visit one of our other two Manhattan locations." As noted by MacRumors the 5th Avenue store has only been entirely closed twice in its history: the iPhone launch and the Leopard launch. Speculation holds that a television commercial will be filmed during this closure.
Infineon 3G Chip Demand
Chipmaker Infineon today fueled speculation when it said it will take deeper than expected losses for its ongoing quarter based on low orders for an anonymous project. The company explains that a deal to supply wireless chipsets to Nokia has been delayed but has drawn attention by refusing to name another company which has ordered fewer HSDPA-based 3G chipsets than anticipated. Analysts at JPMorgan and UBS believe Infineon's client may be Apple and suggest that the company may have dropped its build rates for a future 3G-capable iPhone.
Motorola V750 PTT phone
Motorola will premiere a new phone with the debut of Verizon's push-to-talk (PTT) service this summer, promotional documents show. The V750 is intended for people working in environments such as construction sites, and as such is designed to meet the US military's 810F specification, which requires protection against elements such as heat, cold, dust, shocks and solar radiation. It likewise has extended battery power, enabling talk-time of up to 330 minutes, or standby of 540 hours (22+ days). These figures do however shrink in PTT mode, falling to 230 minutes and 83 hours, respectively.
SanDisk intros fast cards
SanDisk on Thursday revealed the Extreme III Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo memory cards, which are capable of an unheard of 30MBps read and write transfer speeds for the format. In comparison, the company's non-HG Extreme III Memory Stick cards manage 18MBps speeds. SanDisk's newest memory card is made to work with Sony's home and professional still cameras, as well as certain camcorders, and should also be compatible with Sony's PSP portable gaming system. The consumer electronics company was actively involved in the PRO-HG card's development.
Acer Aspire One UMPC
Images and information have leaked for Acer's rumored answer to ASUS' Eee PC, according to various sources. The computer is allegedly named the "Aspire One," and features an 8.9-inch screen, with a native resolution of 1024x768. At the core is said to be an Atom/Diamondville processor, running Windows XP SP3; the trackpad is said to be similar to that on the HP 2133, which may not be a coincidence as the ODM company is believed to be Quanta, which services HP, Dell and Apple.
Sony Ericsson New Phones
Sony Ericsson is planning a signifcant new phone launch for next month, says a Dutch announcement. Though short on details, the announcement image points to an "exclusive preview" of new Sony Ericsson phones and accessories at an Amsterdam gathering. No official clues are provided as to the nature of the devices other than a teaser slogan about "reaching new heights."
Apple iPod ecosystem
Among Apple's published patent applications today is a broadly comprehensive one, simply listed as Media Player System. The patent would cover virtually all aspects of normal iPod and iPhone use, including not just the controls and displays on the devices, but docks, connectors and the process of synching to a computer.
Gear4 StreetParty III
Following up its DUO iPod dock released earlier this month, UK-based Gear4 has now released the StreetParty III, a portable speaker system that charges and plays Apple's docking iPods (including the iPod touch) and all other digital audio devices via a 3.5mm audio jack. The StreetParty III can be folded flat for easy portability, and relies on four AA batteries for music on the go.
Favorite Japan Tech Brands
Apple is on par with Canon and Toshiba as one of the most highly regarded brands in Japan, according to a new study published by Gfk. Surveys of more than 40,000 Japanese people gives the American company equal footing with the other electronics makers despite Japan's historical preference for native brands. The company's industrial design and support for Windows users have helped it reach the top ranks, the research group says. Apple specifically earned its highest scores for both desktop and notebook PCs as well as portable media players.
Wireless location patents
Several Apple patent applications have today been published by the US Patent and Trademark Office, focusing around wireless location technology. The first involves Bluetooth devices, and specifically a means of finding them when they are lost; a master device "pings" the lost slave, which in turn makes audible or visible signals to lure a person towards its hiding place. The master could also be used gauge the distance to the slave, narrowing its location down even further.
Panasonic Wi-Fi Projectors
In an aggressive change to its lineup, Panasonic this morning unveiled its LB75 and LB80 projectors for frequent travelers. The entire line is designed to be small and light enough to accompany a notebook, weighing under 7 pounds, and in some cases to have an almost cable-free setup process: the LW80NTU, LB80NTU, and LB75NTU all include built-in 802.11g Wi-Fi that allows them to deliver images from as many as 128 nearby wireless computers, including more recent systems running Mac OS X Leopard and Windows Vista. The designs are also more dust-resistant than earlier models and have better image processing to improve viewability in daylight.
Samsung Insists on Safari
Samsung is still insisting that it can call the L870's web browser Safari, according to a Samsung spokesperson contacted by Phone Arena. While the cellphone is now believed to just have a standard version of the Nokia Mini Map browser, which shares much of Safari's WebKit rendering engine, a Samsung media official continues to refer to the phone's web app as a Symbian Series S60 version of the "Safari browser" and equates it to the Nokia software. Press materials also continue to mention Safari.
iTunes France TV shows
After some delay relative to its neighbors in Europe, France is the latest country to officially gain access to TV shows through the iTunes Store (link). Content consists of a mix of foreign and local programming, with local networks including ARTE, Dargaud TV, Dupuis TV, France 2 and TF1 Vision. The two foreign broadcasters are American ones, ABC and MTV.
ASUS Drops Eee 900 Orders
ASUS has already stopped accepting orders from resellers for the Eee PC 900 while it gears up for its Atom-based sequel, industry insiders reportedly say. Although just introduced as recently as mid-May for the US, the 900 is already being phased out in favor of the Eee PC 901 and its anticipated June 3rd launch date. The alleged swap effectively confirms early reports that the 900 is a stopgap model meant to introduce the 8.9-inch notebook's features ahead of rivals while temporarily using the older Celeron M processor.
Movies at iTunes UK, Can.
A select number of movies should soon be available for sale from the UK and Canadian iTunes Stores, writes The Times. The British newspaper cites studio sources, who claim that Apple has signed new agreements with four major studios: Fox, Disney, Warner Bros. and Paramount. Lionsgate and MGM are also expected to join in the deal, but issues appear to remain with Sony and Universal. Crucially, people should be able to both buy and rent films from iTunes, at prices comparable to the countries' DVD and video-on-demand options.
Intel 32Gb Flash Chip
Intel's NAND flash group today introduced the first flash memory to be made on a sub-40 nanometer manufacturing process. Based on a 34nm process, the chip co-developed with Micron holds 32 gigabits (4GB) like the highest-end flash chips but does so in a standard package smaller than a thumbnail; this lets manufacturers build in the extra storage without having to significantly overhaul their existing hardware, Intel says. The company also hopes it will drive the cost down of expanding storage without affecting size.
Samsung Soulb Phone
Samsung today hoped to capitalize on the success of the Soul with the Soulb, its latest candybar phone. It drops the touchscreen keypad of the original slider but compensates with an ultra-thin design and media features: the handset is just 0.39in thick but still finds room for a 3-megapixel camera with an LED flash, 1GB of built-in flash memory, and a microSD slot for extra storage. The phone also brandishes a newly designed user interface and allows for basic on-device video editing.
QuarkXPress 8 unveiled
Digital publishing giant Quark on Thursday unveiled QuarkXPress 8, the latest version of its page-layout and design software, which boasts a newly redesigned interface and simplified workflow. Quark says that the overall user experience has been refined, allowing users to quickly grab, rotate, and scale images in real time, without needing to type numbers or switch between tools, for example. QuarkXPress 8 also features an enhanced Bézier pen tool, which encourages illustration directly within the application.
iPhone for Hong Kong Macau
Hutchison, parent company of cellular provider 3, today said it has signed a deal with Apple to carry the iPhone in Hong Kong and Macau. As with agreements struck in recent weeks, Hutchison doesn't provide specifics and says only that it will offer the iPhone sometime "later this year." The introduction is the first for Chinese-owned territories and the first for 3, whose coverage area includes parts of Europe already addressed by other iPhone carriers.
Isiah-based Nano chips
On the heels of its C7-based OpenBook reference design, VIA Technologies on Thursday formally introduced its VIA Nano processor family based on the "Isaiah" architecture. VIA claims that the Nano family, which uses Fujitsu's 65 nanometer process, offers as much as four times the performance of its previous-generation within the same power and thermal envelope, while offering pin-compatibility with VIA C7 processors. Introduced in January, the new low-power CPU features out-of-order processing, a large 1MB L2 cache, and an improved FPU for 2-4 times the performance of the previous-generation C7 processor at the same clock speeds. While already sampling the chips to vendors, VIA says expects to ship the low-power (L-series) and ultra-low-power (U-series) Nano chips in the third quarter in speeds up to 1.8GHz.
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