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As Motorola's wireless unit reels from losses and restructuring, it is evidently close to finding a new head for the department, with HP executive Todd Bradley proving to be the favorite, say insiders. The Wall Street Journal writes that Bradley is one of two candidates still under consideration by Motorola, with the other, a wireless industry executive, remaining anonymous. While nothing official has yet spawned, Motorola says the negotiations are at a sensitive stage, with Bradley himself saying he's "not planning on making any changes."
Apple's online store is currently offering Refurbished MacBook Pro laptops starting at $1449, along with a variety of iPods for as little as $99. Currently the 15.4-inch MacBook Pro's have a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 2GB of memory a 120GB hard drive and a NVIDIA GeForce graphics card and start at $1419. While the 17-inch 2.6GHz models include 2GB memory, 200GB hard drive at 7200 rpm, NVIDIA GeForce graphics card and a high resolution screen for $2749. Current generation reconditioned 4GB iPod nano's ($99) include earphones and a USB cable and can hold up to 1,000 songs with up to 24 hours of music playback and up to 5 hours of video playback; 8GB iPod nano's are also available in silver, blue, green, black or pink for $149. Current and previous generation 1GB iPod shuffles are available in silver, pink, blue, green and orange for $39. Apple's stock also includes current generation 80GB iPod and 160GB iPod classics in silver and black.
Investor Carl Icahn on Wednesday issued a letter addressed to Yahoo chairman Roy Bostock, claiming that the actions of CEO Jerry Yang and other members of the board went out of their way to sabotage a potential deal with Microsoft. Silicon Alley Insider reports that the letter sets up a villainous scenario related to the show-stopping severance plan a state judge revealed on Monday. The plan would have a potential cost of $2.1 billion to Microsoft, had the unlikely scenario occurred where all employees quit upon a takeover.
Sipgate on Wednesday unveiled a new free application which allows iPhone users to interact natively with any VoIP service that uses industry standard SIP. Users can place or receive VoIP calls over WiFi, with the service offering rates as low as 1¢ per minute. The service also allows users to maintain both domestic and international numbers in one place, so they do not have to keep track of separate services. Sipgate is offering the iPhone VoIP application directly on its website.
Comcast's latest attempt to curb bandwidth bandits will see the Internet and cable TV provider perform local tests to help it decide which method of traffic management it should undertake. The company
AT&T on Wednesday announced the launch of its Net Reach bundle for laptop users on the go. The bundle's software finds and locks onto the strongest AT&T data network or Wi-Fi connection for a user's device wherever they are, be it EDGE, 3G, or Wi-Fi hotspots at home or elsewhere. The program works with a user's AT&T high-speed Internet and LaptopConnect services and includes access to over 17,000 hotspots in the US that use AT&T's Wi-FiSM service.
ASUS on Monday revealed its Mini PC Nova Lite PX24, a computer it claims is the world's smallest to offer 1080p, or full HD, playback capability thanks to a dedicated graphics card. Combined with its compact 9.5 by 7.2 by 2 inch size, low 26dB sound levels and touch-button interface, ASUS hopes the PX24 will find its way into living rooms as a high-performance home entertainment center in a small package.
Apple may be refusing to negotiate with all players in the Italian cellphone market, one telecom executive suggests. Vincenzo Novari, the CEO of phone carrier 3 Italia, says that while his company is "super-interested about the iPhone," he has not heard any response in regard to inquiries at Apple, whether positive or negative. Novari in fact claims to have sent two e-mail messages directly to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, without receiving any sort of acknowledgement.
The American cellular industry may consolidate once again with a potential Verizon buyout of Alltel, CNBC claims. Referring to anonymous sources said to be aware of the deal, the TV news network asserts that Verizon would pay as much as eight times Alltel's pre-interest, pre-tax earnings, or $27 billion, for the acquisition. The deal would be a friendly takeover as Goldman Sachs and TPG, the financial institutions that took Alltel into private holding just last year, are eager to turn a premium no matter how small.
iPresentee has released a download pack titled iWeb Animations, what it claims is the first collection of animations for Apple's iWeb 2 site designer. The package comes with 40 such animations, depicting items such as smilies, generic buttons, currency signs and home and e-mail links. The backgrounds are by default transparent, so they can in theory be used with backgrounds of any color.
Regardless of Apple's plans to add business features to the iPhone, Research in Motion is and will continue to extend its lead in business phones, according to a new ChangeWave study. An examination of more than 2,000 corporate IT spenders has about 76 percent of all businesses opting for BlackBerries in May, up three percent from the last time the study took place in February; Palm was second place at 17 percent with other competitors filing in the remaining seven percent.
The next boxed version of Mac OS X may be available for preview as soon as June 9th's WWDC conference, according to rumors. Anonymous sources claim that Apple is looking to provide developers with an early version of Mac OS X 10.6 at the event, giving them more time to adjust to its nuances. These should actually be comparatively minimal, as Apple is said to be interested less in new features and more on improving the overall speed, stability and security of Macs.
Microsoft today confirmed the Joy Division Zune, one of the few special-run editions of the second-generation music player. The finished device almost exactly matches past claims and customizes the Zune 80 in tribute to a new documentary of the rock group. Both the software and the player's back show the artwork of Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures album, while a copy of the Peter Saville-made documentary (also titled Joy Division) is preloaded on the device.
AMD is delaying the launch of the Radeon HD 4850 by one week, according to check with card makers on the show floor. While the card is already believed to be shipping to PC makers and will still be shown to the press on June 18th, an actual launch is now set for June 23rd, or just under a week later than a launch that would have released the cards on the same day as the media receives the device. The change has reportedly left board makers "upset" as they now have to sit on unsold 4850 cards for 20 days.
T-Mobile USA on Wednesday hoped to increase competition with the launch of a new unlimited family plan it hopes will lure subscribers to rival carriers. The service requires T-Mobile's existing unlimited individual plan but halves the price of unlimited access for each family member that signs on; each extra line costs $50 to add the same unlimited national calling and messaging services (including instant messaging) as the parent account.
LG has announced the KC550, a new slider phone with an emphasis on photos and video. At its heart is a five-megapixel camera, equipped with an autofocus lens protected by a sliding cover. The phone also boasts digital blur reduction, ISO 800 sensitivity and a built-in flash, though this uses LED lighting, rather than the more powerful xenon technology. The display is limited to QVGA resolution, but owners can play videos formatted for sizes up to 720x480, at a framerate of up to 30fps. No DivX support is present, unlike LG's Viewty.
Using Taiwan's Computex expo as a podium, AMD has announced a new graphics technology dubbed the External Graphics Platform, or XGP. Using a PCI Express 2.0 connection, notebook owners will be able to hook up to external graphics cards, with a full 4Gbps throughput. This is meant to overcome the limitations of internal notebook graphics, which often have reduced performance unsuitable for tasks like gaming; this also offers the advantage of improved cooling, and the ability to run cards in SLI modes such as AMD's CrossFireX.
Klipsch is expanding its young earbud group with an update to the IMAGE line. The silver-hued X5 is meant to drop the price of the in-canal earphones by allowing a slightly thicker design: the housing is about 2mm (0.08in) wider but allows for considerably less expensive components without sacrificing audio quality. The American audio equipment maker also notes a shift in the balance of the sound: where the original (now called the X10) still has Klipsch's longstanding emphasis on bass, the X5 is more balanced with purportedly stronger treble and more noticeable vocals.
Curl has released the final Mac version of its Runtime Environment, previously available only for Windows and Linux systems. The RTE is needed to run programs on Curl's Rich Internet Application Platform, which can service a number of client machines. Apps can include 2D and 3D graphics, animations and audio, and the scripting of event-based interactions.
Mio today chose Computex as the venue to launch three new GPS devices, two of which push the company further into the smartphone market. The pictured Leap G50 is Mio's first Windows Mobile 6.1 device and uses an iPhone-like design with a chrome bezel focused around its touchscreen: only a scroll strip and call buttons interrupt the front face. The phone keeps to Mio's emphasis on navigation with the company's MioMap 2008 mapping software onboard. A 2-megapixel camera is onboard and can be used to geotag photos thanks to the GPS hardware.
Apple has confirmed the roster of artists to play during its 2008 iTunes Live event in the UK. Lasting the month of July, it will feature a variety of concerts at London's KOKO venue, beginning with American rap group N*E*R*D on July 1st. Some other notable concerts include Jamie Lidell and Yelle on July 10th, and James Blunt on July 12th; Death Cab For Cutie and I Was a Cub Scout will play on July 14th, while Chaka Khan will headline July 26th. The final concert will pair Pendulum and INME on July 28th.
O2 is being told to "prepare" for a major announcement on June 9th, a British site claims. Pocket-lint cites "industry sources," who say that Apple has warned the phone carrier about the date, which coincides with the beginning of its 2008 WWDC conference in San Francisco. O2 is the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Samsung will be the latest company to start making new, 16:9 aspect ratio LCDs for notebooks, reports from alleged display industry insiders claim. The company has previously kept to producing the 15.4-inch, 16:10 screens found in most notebooks today but is now said to be starting production on wider 15.6-inch screens that are often cited as better for movie viewing and side-by-side documents. Production would reportedly start in November, which would likely push the release of notebooks based on the LCDs to early 2009.
Work on Apple's flagship retail store for Australia has been completed, says a local publication. The shop, located at the corner of George and King in Sydney, is said to merely be awaiting a handover to Apple at the end of the week, which could signal that it will be open in the very near future. Apple has a number of tasks remaining, primarily cleaning and outfitting the store, as well as filling stock; it is rumored though that this may be complete in time for an opening on June 19th, which could also allow it to launch with the 3G iPhone.
AT&T today said it has upped speeds with its LaptopConnect users in mind through a set of upgrades to the company's HSPA-based 3G wireless network. The service sees a major boost to upload speeds that increases the peak from 800Kbps to 1.2Mbps, a 50 percent gain which is nearly in line with download speeds. Those download speeds have also increased in overall performance, increasing from a minimum average of 600Kbps to 700Kbps and from a maximum real-world peak of about 1.4Mbps to 1.7Mbps.
Telefonica has issued a terse confirmation that it will be distributing the iPhone in Spain, a local site reports. While the company has made earlier statements suggesting it would bring the phone, and its subsidiary Movistar is preparing to carry the device, Telefonica itself now says it has reached a deal. "Telefonica has signed an agreement with Apple to market the iPhone in Spain," the company's statement reads. "The iPhone will begin to sell this year."
Rogers Wireless today kicked off the launch of both its version of the BlackBerry Pearl 8120 and a service to match. The candybar smartphone adds Wi-Fi to the original formula and on Rogers is used for the company's newly formalized Home Calling Zone VoIP service. Based on Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) like T-Mobile's HotSpot@Home in the US, the feature lets users make calls from a Wi-Fi access point with the added ability to bridge calls: a phone conversation starting from either the cellular network or a Wi-Fi spot will hop to the other network without disrupting the call.
(Updated on firmware issue, Canadian prices) Apple on Wednesday revealed the addition of movies to iTunes for both Canada and the UK, expanding availability past the US for the first time. The launch includes both purchases and rentals and includes support for direct-to-device HD and standard rentals from the Apple TV. More than 700 titles are available on launch with more than 100 of these available in HD, Apple says. Rental rights have also been extended with the launch: while the 30-day window to start viewing is the same, viewers now have up to 48 hours to finish watching a given title and can watch it an unlimited number of times in that timeframe.
SoftBank today said it has an agreement carry the iPhone, making it the first provider in Japan to offer the device. The company follows in step with past carrier announcements and doesn't reveal launch information, saying only that the Apple phone will be available "later this year." SoftBank's announcement confirms the imminent announcement of a 3G-capable iPhone, as all Japanese networks use 3G technology (WCDMA and faster) exclusively for calling as well as data.
Pure Digital on Wednesday is launching its anticipated Flip Mino, its newest entry into its unusually popular simple camcorders. The Mino shrinks the design of the original Flip camera by 40 percent to where it's smaller than a typical cellphone while adding features that aren't present on the originals: the updated software bundled with the Mino lets it upload directly to MySpace as well as providing existing hooks for AOL and YouTube. Pure keeps the concept simple by preserving the 2X digital zoom lens that limits the camera but concentrates on the shot itself.
Confirming earlier reports, Apple on Wednesday began offering film downloads and rentals to UK customers and doubled the period to watch rented movies from 24 hours to 48 hours. Movies from major film studios including 20th Century Fox, The Walt Disney Studios, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Entertainment, MGM, Sony Pictures and Lionsgate UK are now available on the iTunes Store in the UK. Unlike the same day as DVD deal announced in early May in the US, the UK deal also includes titles from MGM. Apple said the iTunes Store in the UK features over 700 films available for rent or purchase, with titles available for purchase on the same day as their DVD release, including Hitman, I Am Legend, National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets and Into the Wild. iTunes UK also features over 100 titles available for rent.
Apple has landed yet another international distribution deal for the iPhone, reaching a deal that enables it to ship the device in Japan. In a statement released today, SoftBank said that it will sell Apple's iPhone later this year, but did not provide any other details in the terse statement: "Softbank Mobile Corp. today announced it has signed an agreement with Apple to bring the iPhone to Japan later this year." The deal does not mention exclusivity and Apple has already abandoned that strategy in a few markets, such as Australia and has signed deals with limited exclusivity in Spain. Continuing reports from last December, reports surfaced in May that Apple was in talks with both Japan's NTT DoCoMo and South Korea's KTF, though both companies rely on W-CDMA broadband, as opposed to the HSPA the 3G iPhone.
HTC Corp on Wednesday unveiled the HTC Touch Pro, a business version of the highly anticipated Touch Diamond. The new touch-driven phone -- with a sliding-keyboard design -- utilizes similar styling and functionality, while adding a variety of business-focused enhancements, including a full QWERTY keyboard. The company's 3D touch interface called TouchFLO 3D, provides an intuitive way to navigate through common tasks like messaging, calendar appointments or making calls with just one touch as well as navigating through photos/contacts and surfing the web. In addition, the Touch Pro includes a new innovative touch-sensitive control for device interaction, a 2.8-inch VGA touch-screen LCD, support for Windows Mobile 6.1, a 3.2MP camera, a microSD expansion slot, Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR, GPS support, and 512MB internal memory.
Westinghouse Digital on Tuesday unveiled four new 1080p-capable LCD TVs, as well as several other multi-purpose LCD TVs, including its portable and all-in-one units. New to the 1080p TX lineup are the 42-inch TX-42F430S, the 47-inch TX-47F430S, and the 52-inch TX-52F480S, which feature an integrated ATSC/NTSC/ClearQAM Tuner, and 1080p resolution through all high-definition connectors, including component and VGA.
With AMD-based notebooks already surfacing at Computex, AMD on Wednesday officially announced its next-generation notebook platform, offering significant improvements in HD visual performance and increased energy efficiency for notebooks as well as a the foundation for new AMD Business Class, AMD GAME! and AMD LIVE! notebook solutions. Hoping to take a share from rivals Intel and Via, AMD says the new notebook platform, code-named "Puma", brings three times the 3D graphics performance, five times the HD image quality,, 40 percent faster wireless transfer of HD content, and up to 90 minutes more battery performance. The platform includes a new notebook processor and chipset: the AMD Turion X2 Ultra Dual-Core Mobile processor includes AMD Independent Dynamic Core Technology, a new mobile-optimized memory controller, and power-optimized HyperTransport 3.0 (with up to 3x the bandwidth of the original HyperTransport).
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Filemaker provides free custom app guide
FileMaker announced today the release of the first in a three-part series of free how-to guides that will lead teams through the process of building a custom app using the FileMaker Platform. FileMaker's new how-to guides provide a step-by-step process that starts with a planning cycle covering goals, requirements, functionality and usability, and run all the way through identifying user scenarios, defining requirements, addressing integration, providing security, and deployment of the final product. http://bit.ly/1o08wQh
OCZ Trion 150 SSD shifts to 15nm TLC NAND
SSD manufacturer OCZ has updated its entry-level 2.5-inch Trion 100 SSD. The new Trion 150 has similar performance to the now replaced model, and now utilizes 15nm TLC NAND. Sequential read speeds top out at 550MB/S, with 4KB random write speeds running from 25K IOPS in the 120GB model, to 64K IOPS in the 960GB version of the drive. Endurance is limited to 30TB in the 120GB, and peaks at 240TB in the 960GB version. Retail prices vary between $46 for 120GB, to $270 for the 960GB version. http://bit.ly/1nVmlyL
Google off the hook in CAPTCHA labor suit
US District Jacqueline Scott Corley has dismissed a proposed class-action suit against Google, that alleged that Google secretly was given an economic gain without user knowledge. The suit alleged, correctly, that the second word in Google's CAPTCHA service was used as a crowd-sourced word identification for Google's book-scanning project. The judge ruled that the suit as filed had no facts to support a "reasonable consumer would expect to receive compensation" for the seconds it took to complete the form, and in addition, the free Gmail account provided more than offset any labor penalty incurred by the user. http://bit.ly/1o06Cir
Secure your Google accounts today
Google is offering 2GB of Google Drive storage today for free, if users check the security of their accounts. As part of Safer Internet Day 2016, the scheme will give the 2GB storage extension to anyone going through the Google Security Checkup, examining connected devices, permissions, and other security settings associated with their Google account.
Swift benchmarking suite goes open-source
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well. http://bit.ly/1W8u0EU
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram is now rolling out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in version 7.1.5 of its iOS app. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app; additionally, some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X