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Rock fans and would-be rock stars can now show their pride with their iPods and other handheld devices. GHskinz.com has released guitar-themed skins that can add some rock-and-roll flavor to the iPod touch and the iPhone as well as the Nintendo DS Lite and the Sony PSP video game systems. The company was built around designing skins for the games "Guitar Hero" and "Rock Band," allowing players to make the game's guitar-shaped controllers sport more than 20 different stylized designs, some inspired by Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zack Wylde.
MaxUpgrades on Friday unveiled the MaxConnect SAS/SATA Link for Mac Pro, a new PCI Express-based RAID solution that uses the existing internal drives on quad- and eight-core Mac Pro systems. The card connects to the internal drives, allowing users to use several RAID configurations, including 0, 1, 5, and 6. In addition, the device offers full HBA and RAID Control support. MaxUpgrades is offering the device for $230 direct from its website.
EA on Friday unveiled an additional stage of Spore, it's upcoming evolutional civilization simulation, offering potential players a glimpse into the tribal stage of development in the game. During the tribal era, players focus on building up their own creatures' civilizations while either conquering or befriending those of their neighbours. Players can design the tools and buildings their civilizations build, further customizing their appearance and behaviour.
Iomega this week launched a 1TB version of its external, stylish hard drive, crossing the threshold from gigabytes to terabytes once again. The new model in its eGo line of 3.5-inch single-drive hard drives ; Previous eGo hard drives had been available in capacities up to 320 GB, but the new model more than doubles that amount of space. Iomega claims the new capacity drive can hold up to 4 million photos, 18,500 hours of music or 1,500 hours of video. The eGo's USB 2.0 connection is compatible with all common Macs and PCs. The 1TB eGo, available in three colors, sells for about $255 on Iomega's site and ships with a USB cable, power adapter, and one-year warranty.
On Monday, Electronista reported Sanyo unveiled two new projectors for its X-series line in Japan, and today the company announced the pair is making its way Stateside this summer, with significantly lower pricing that the Japanese models. The bright 3,100-lumens PLC-XC55 and 2,600-lumens PLC-XC50 projectors include new security features and a more advanced, largely maintenance-free filter.
Time Warner Cable revealed today it plans to offer a wireless cable modem to subscribers that will allow them to network all of their household electronic devices and bring Internet content directly to their TVs. The report suggests users will be able to call up Internet TV via their home theater set-ups, with image quality that is optimized for HDTVs.
Keynote Pro on Friday unveiled an updated theme, Palo Alto '08, offering users a standard 4:3 ratio, and a professional version which comes in high-definition widescreen formats. Palo Alto borrows its style from that of the San Francisco Bay area, while still maintaining a technical edge to its look. Also included is an iPhone-optimized EP version, for presentations on-the-go. KeynotePro is selling Palo Alto '08 Standard Edition for $25, while the Pro Edition theme is available for $35.
Art Lebedev Studio's founder on Friday revealed an early 3D prototype of his Optimus Popularis keyboard that sheds new light on the device. Despite saying that the keyboard won't use the OLED displays of the Maximus, Lebedev's rendering confirms that the keyboard will still have at least some keys whose symbols will change based on the relevant app. The design is already known to be smaller than the Maximus and support both Mac OS X and Windows systems.
iRiver's Spinn media player -- first seen at the 2008 CES show in January -- has finally received some more detailed release information, according to a UK source. The Spinn features a 3.2-inch AMOLED display with a 480x272 resolution, and plays MPEG-4 or Flash videos. Where the initial version shown at CES included DMB TV functionality for iRiver's Korean home market, a UK version appears to replace that with DAB digital radio.
Investigations in Taiwan on Friday have reportedly confirmed that AMD has begun shipping its first Radeon HD 4000-series video chipset. The ATI Radeon HD 4850 is purportedly already on its way to card manufacturers and stores, and will represent a significant boost to the clock speed of the earlier, mid-range 3850 without affecting its heat; the core speed jumps from 670MHz to 800MHz while still occupying a single card slot.
nova media says it has released FoneLink 2.0, a radically altered version of its original phone sync software. The app is said to have been rewritten from scratch, and uses drag-and-drop commands throughout its new interface, which also presents an activity monitor for active and cued transfers. More criticial is the inclusion of built-in support for Apple's Sync Services, which lets users copy information from iCal, Entourage and Address Book, among other programs.
ASUS' Eee Box (alternately labeled the EBOX) is the first system to truly meet the design standards of the Mac mini, Anandtech claims after receiving a sample of the desktop ahead of its projected June 3rd unveiling date. The site confirms that the system uses a 1.6GHz Atom and that this is instrumental to a small design: while helped by the lack of an optical drive, the size and cool nature of the Intel chip shrink the Eee Box to a size "quite similar" to the Apple TV while still serving as a full computer, according to the report.
Totus Copy 1.0 utility for transferring data off of a failing hard drive. OS X has a number of safety features built into it's copy functions, if it detects an I/O error or a stalled read the transfer will fail. OS X also gets file information for all files before it even copies the first one. While these are great functions to prevent further damage to a hard drive it makes it very difficult to transfer data. Totus Copy will scan a failing hard drive and recover the files from it onto a separate functional hard drive. It does this by using a very gentle non-intrusive scanning method. [Download - 224KB] BlogAssist 2.2 ($10) tool to help weblog and website editing by making HTML markup easier. BlogAssist adds a small menu to the right-hand side of the menubar in all applications. You can simply select and copy some text into the clipboard, choose a suitable operation from the menu, then paste the result in the desired location. The text will have been transformed like magic. For example, copying hey and choosing Bold will result in hey - the HTML tags for boldface text, wrapped around the original text. [Download - 2.1MB] Tablatures 1.7 (39 EUR) Mac OS X editor for PowerTab tablatures. PowerTab is a well-known and widely adopted tablature editor for Windows systems and thousands of transcriptions in this format are available on the net. The tool can export tablatures in MIDI format for playback or use in other applications (for instance, GarageBand). Version 1.7 adds a couple of configuration options requested by users. [Download - 2MB] Domainer 1.7 ($40) an application for web site owners, marketers and investors track and manage their domain names. RAGE Domainer allows web site owners to centralize domain details, as well as those of their competitors, with one easy tuse application. Domainer also provides an overview of a domain's value through various popularity measures including Google PageRank, AlexaRank, incoming back links, and social tags. This free update adds more powerful smart folders and the ability to see name servers within the domain details view. [Download - 9.8MB] MMScript 1.1 ($35) a plug-in for FileMaker Pro. This plug-in allows you to create Script Events that call FileMaker Pro Scripts in your Database. The plug-in also allows you to call a script when the user has been idle for any specified amount of time. New to version 1.1 is the ability to do shell scripting as well as many underlying enhancements and bug fixes. The new release also has updated core plug-in code to include all changes/enhancements from other CNS Plug-ins. [Download - form]
KeynotePro has released a new version of its Palo Alto themes collection, which has been updated for Keynote '08. The themes are described as "clean" and "business-casual," with high contrast between color and whitespace. The Keynote '08 versions have been built using only native shape objects and placeholders, and the white backgrounds can be replaced via an option in the Appearance Inspector.
Verizon's edition of the LG Decoy has been given more definite launch information courtesy of a leak today from Phone Arena. The slider is now set to launch on June 16th and will be priced at $230 under a typical two-year contract; opting against a contract boosts the price to $350. The launch is slightly delayed from earlier reports that would have had the phone available today.
Claims that the Eee PC 901 will kill its older counterpart are false, ASUS' Italian manager Luca Rossi tells Notebook Italia. The older, Celeron-based 900 model is still expected by the company to stay on the market as it fulfills a slightly different role than its Atom-using sequel; the 900 weighs less at under 2.2 pounds, while the 901 lasts longer for up to seven hours on battery, Rossi says.
Earlier reports of .Mac receiving a major makeover appear to be all but confirmed, as developers and enthusiasts find proof of a .Mac name change to Mobile Me. The Coding Robots blog reveals that the new iPhone SDK also contains information specific to the .Mac restructuring. Deep in the SDK, in a file entitled "Main.strings", a definition at the beginning of the file states "MOBILE_ME_SERVICE_NAME", while a PNG graphic file called "mobileMeAlbum.png" sits within the PrivateFrameworks directory.
A GPS receiver will indeed be in the 3G iPhone, and the technology will be supplied by Broadcom, according to anonymous sources. Contacts cited by GigaOM say that Broadcom has secured a contract with Apple, beating out older, more established competitors such as SiRF, whose SiRFstar III receivers are used in a vast number of navigation devices. Broadcom normally provides chips for cellular communication, and only acquired GPS resources with the buy-out of Global Locate in June of last year.
Bell Canada is facing a class-action lawsuit as a result of its Internet access policies, an announcement reveals. A Quebec group called L'Union des consommateurs, along with Bell customer Myrna Raphael, are accusing Bell of false advertising, as a result of its practice of throttling traffic at peak hours. Raphael is said to have signed a three-year ADSL contract in 2006, partly on the basis of Bell's claim of "constant speed" at all times; by enabling throttling last fall, says Raphael, Bell broke its agreement.
AT&T's 3G upgrade plan is making its way through New York City and is more than delivering on advertised speed claims, according to reports circulating at BGR. After a series of rolling outages on Thursday, the carrier's HSPA network speed has now jumped from an average peak of 800Kbps to as much as 1.5Mbps, or slightly more than the 1.4Mbps promised by the company. The floor for performance has allegedly increased even further with regular minimums spiking from 500Kbps to 1.4Mbps.
SuperSync has released the v2.4 update to its self-titled software, used to manage multiple iTunes libraries across multiple computers and iPods. The update adds several significant features, most notably the saving of user-created metadata, such as groupings, play counts, and volume and EQ adjustments. Supported custom video metadata now includes series and episode numbers, as well as type, whether movie, TV show or music video.
Phones running Google's Android operating system may have a dedicated app store, team lead Andy Rubin has mentioned at the company's I/O Conference. The official doesn't directly claim the existence of the option but says that it would be a "great benefit" for Android users to have a controlled marketplace for downloading apps, as the service would provide a trusted location as well as a place where developers could guarantee exposure for their software.
Hasselblad, a Swedish maker of medium-format cameras and lenses, has released v1.0 of a new program for Macs, Phocus. The software functions primarily as a RAW processor and workflow application, letting users import, catalog and export photos, and apply a variety image enhancements before engaging in-depth with tools such as Photoshop. Phocus will, for example, adjust for various lens errors, such as distortion, vignetting and color aberration.
Microsoft has devised a strategy that would largely eliminate the need to use phone numbers for calling on cellphones, ZDNet says. Echoes would link a user's Windows Live Messenger contacts to a phone number through a cellular provider and would let cellphone users choose one of their IM contacts as the recipient; as information would be automatically linked between the two, users could place calls without ever knowing someone else's phone number, Microsoft claims. The information would be sent automatically to a phone's contact list without needing a dedicated instant messaging client.
A larger, 10-inch version of ASUS's 10-inch have been rumored for over a month now, and today's reports have the new not-so-ultra-mobile laptop officially launching at the Computex trade show on Tuesday. The 10-inch Eee PC will likely run on Intel's new energy-efficient Atom chips, which are slated for launch at the same time, and also expected to debut in the 8.9-inch Eee PC 901 next week.
Apple's .Mac online service -- which provides functions such as web hosting, file storage and data sync -- may be nearing a substantial revision, code exploration indicates. Buried within the new v10.5.3 update for Mac OS X are several strings of code which imply that the .Mac name will be dropped, although a new name has not yet been chosen. In iCal's Localizable.strings file, for example, code can be found that reads: "/* Label of .Mac button in iCalís General preferences. %@ is the new name of Appleís online service (was .Mac) (remove -XX02)."
Seagate is gradually planning a reversal of its stance on solid-state drives, the company's CEO Bill Watkins says. The storage producer has clung to rotating hard disks but will introduce a solid-state drive in 2009 that it will primarily market to enterprise-class users, who Seagate argues are most likely to need very high-speed disks regardless of the price. In turn, the company also plans to cater to proponents of traditional storage with a 2TB drive also ready next year.
A newly-published Apple patent application points to iPhone technologies not currently in use, a report observes. The application, measuring some 372 pages in length, documents many different aspects of the iPhone, but makes particular reference to the touchscreen interface and its underlying software. A variety of "modules" are listed as being stored in memory; though many are to be expected, such as those for graphics, e-mail and motion-sensing, one is listed as "GPS Module," while another is a "Video Conference Module."
ASUS and Gigabyte have put an end to a legal battle almost as quickly as it began, says a report detailing the feud. The former company had filed a legal complaint with Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission arguing that Gigabyte slandered ASUS with photos implying poor quality mainboards and power-saving measures, but now says it will drop the matter following Gigabyte's willingness to publicly apologize for the accusations with a message in Sunday newspapers.
ASUS' Eee lineup will include a second and relatively high-end model when it bows at the Computex show next week, the company says. The Essentio CS5110 will be rebranded as the Eee Station and come in a slightly larger but more powerful form than the EBOX also scheduled to appear at the expo. While starting off with a Celeron and other budget components, the system is the smallest to ship with an dedicated graphics card, ASUS says, and has the option of scaling up to a Core 2 Duo and a Blu-ray drive.
MacWireless on Thursday unveiled a new international version of its 200Mbps Powerline Network Adapter, which allows users to channel network activity through power sockets in their home or office. The technology provides users with flexible network deployment options without the need to run Ethernet cable or worry about poor reception over WiFi due to concrete or other wireless interference. MacWireless is selling each adapter for $100 from its website.
Scandyna on Thursday unveiled the Dock Pack, a combined set that bundles its high-end iPod dock with the Micropod SE speakers. The Dock features a 2x15 watt RMS Class T amplifier and seven inserts for various iPods, while being operated by remote control. The amp also features an output line for an optional subwoofer, and the included power adapter charges the iPod as it plays. Scandyna is selling the setup for $300 in over 30 countries.
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Complex date setting bug crashes 64-bit iOS device
A serious bug has been spotted with iOS devices running iOS 8 or newer, with a 64-bit processor. If a user disables auto-check time, and manually sets the date of a device back to as far as it will go, then again to January 1, 1970, and finally rebooting, the iPhone is crashed, perhaps terminally. The bug affects the iPhone 5s and newer devices, running a processor from the A7 and up. Theories abound as to the cause of the crash, but the most credible seems to be a clock set to less than an arbitrary "zero" date, causing all manners of routines relying on the time setting to fail during startup. http://bit.ly/1TV6psS
Weber buys iDevices' iGrill, Kitchen Thermometer
Cooking gear manufacturer Weber is purchasing iOS accessory manufacturer iDevices iGrill and Kitchen Thermometer lines. As part of the purchase, Weber is working in parallel with iDevices to roll out a new version of the products, and associated apps, this spring. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. CEO of iDevices Chris Allen said that the transition will allow the company to "focus even more heavily on becoming a leader in the home automation market." http://bit.ly/1PFk3uZ
Vevo music video app launched for Apple TV
Vevo today announced its new native tvOS app for the fourth generation Apple TV. The new app allows users Siri Remote navigation for discovery of top videos by genre, or to search for individual artists and videos. Playlists generated on another device sync between all the iterations of the app. http://apple.co/1PFhxEU
HydraDock team unveils USB 3.1 Type C Roadie
KickShark, the team that brought the HydraDock desktop USB-C dock to market, has launched a Kickstarter project for The Roadie -- a USB 3.1 Type C standard-compliant pocket hub for the 12 inch Apple MacBook and other compatible devices. The Roadie occupies the same footprint on a desk as a credit card, with a short USB-C male cable on one end for connecting to a 12 inch MacBook, and a female USB-C port on the other end for plugging in a MacBook power adapter. One side has an RJ45 jack for gigabit Ethernet, and an HDCP-compliant HDMI jack that handles up to 4K displays. KickShark promises shipment of all products within four weeks of campaign completion. The "early bird" offer for the hub is a $69 commitment, with a $79 commitment for a Roadie after 500 backers have pledged. http://kck.st/1o6knw5
HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe
Unsafe IoT called threat to humanity
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told two different Senate committees yesterday that the Internet of Things posed a clear and present danger, and could be weaponized by governments. Before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper declared that insecure IoT "will bring new security vulnerabilities" and "will connect tens of billions of new physical devices that could be exploited" by those wishing to perpetrate violence or eavesdrop on the populace of the world. http://bit.ly/23Xvcky
Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.