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T-Mobile EOL iPhone
T-Mobile is allegedly preparing to dump the first generation iPhone in anticipation of the 3G-enabled version, a move it appears to anticipate happening on the July first. ZDNet reports that the German telecom recently posted a sticky-style notice on its iPhone plans, stating it would cease selling the device on June 30th this year. While T-Mobile did not expressly say that the 3G version would follow the next day, the iPhone's current and potential worldwide popularity hint that the new version would not be far behind.
Sony HT-IS100 Bravia
Sony on Thursday unveiled the HT-IS100 Bravia Theatre Micro System, consisting of five miniscule speakers that the company claims are roughly the size of a golf ball. The system comes with three 1080p inputs with repeater functionality, with support for eight channels of audio, with the ability to add optional wireless rear surround speakers, which are automatically configurable. In addition to the five tiny speakers, the HT-IS100 also includes a subwoofer, with built-in 32-bit S-Master digital amplifier.
lynda.com CS4 training
In brief: We have posted a review CleanApp 3 and a review of the Crumpler Chester Squander bag, lynda.com offers new CS4 training, and Savant Systems holds a home automation showcase ... We have posted a review of CleanApp 3 Beta. Wouldn't it be useful if this utility could archive the whole package, so you could save it and reinstall it later, or even back it up or burn the archive onto a CD. Such a useful utility does exist, and it is Synium Software's CleanApp 3. This very useful program is considered a beta product, but worked very well in all our tests. The CleanApp 3 user interface is rather simple. Along the left side is a list of the functions including Applications, Preference Panes, Old Files, Archives, Languages, Cache Files, Logging, History, and Related Files. The window to the right changes as you select one of the functions on the left.
MS letter to partners
Apple is expected next week to unveil the 3G iPhone and related software infrastructure - v2.0 OS, downloadable apps, the official app store, and SDK - but Microsoft on Thursday issued a letter to industry partners in an attempt to dull the roar of Apple's announcements. Seattle Post-Intelligencer reveals that Microsoft wrote of its intent to sell 20 million Windows Mobile licenses, with group product manager Scott Rockfeld and Windows Mobile chief Andy Lees enforcing that their team is "on track" for the generous target.
WWDC 08: Early photos
Days ahead of Apple's developer conference, the company has begun decorating the Moscone West convention center with familiar Apple logos and WWDC badging. The annual developer conference is expected to bring the next iPhone 2.0 platform along with a secong-generation "3G" iPhone and perhaps the showing of the next-generation Mac OS X operating system, allegedly code-named "Snow Leopard." (While details of the keynote are still vague, MacNN is hoping to find a few developers willing to help provide live coverage, which takes place on Monday.)
Brother Printer Driver 1.1
Apple on Thursday used its Software Update to push out updated printer drivers for both Canon and Brother's line of printers. Users with the software installed were prompted for a software update called "Brother Printer Driver Update 1.1". The update was released Thursday afternoon as a 23MB download. Brother printers drivers for Mac OS X 10.5 are currently located on the original CD and the company did not specify the changes in the current driver, except to say "The Brother Printer Driver Update includes the latest drivers for printers you have used on your system." Update: The Brother driver added new models and fixed a minor Memory leak with their ICA module, while the Canon drivers, noted below, have minor improvements related to wireless printing. [Correction: Apple has used the Software Update to deliver third-party printer updates for sometime]
Apple expands board to 12
Apple recently expanded its executive board from 10 to 12 members, adding to the board a senior vice president of Mac hardware development, and a senior vice president of iPhone software. AppleInsider reveals that the iPhone position was filled by Scott Forstall - formerly the president of iPhone software - while Bob Mansfield was elected to fill a void created by Tim Butcher, who left his position as the Mac development lead in 2004.
Spectasia HUD for Mac
Spectasia from MATT Services brings fighter pilot technology to the Mac OS Finder to provide intuitive file and folder navigation. The company says it's unique "ergonomic retrieval" 3D layout makes desktop icons easier to spot, increasing productivity. This "Head Up Display" is said to be similar to the screens used in advanced fighter jets and provides a "clearly distinguishable angle-of-view and also depth location for every item."
WWDC banners at Moscone
As the World Wide Developers Conference ramps up in San Francisco, banners are appearing at Moscone West, touting "OS X Leopard: The world's most advanced operating system". While the statement appears simple, it is curious to note the absence of the word "Mac" before OS X Leopard, since Apple does not usually mince words when it comes to its brands. The WWDC begins with Steve Jobs' keynote on June 9th, and is expected to be the launch platform for the 3G iPhone, and many other software-related announcements. [via Crunch Gear]
iToner 1.0.7 ($15) iToner lets you easily transfer your own MP3 or AAC audio files to your iPhone, and enjoy them as custom ringtones. The new release has fixes for iTunes compatibility. iToner should no longer prevent iTunes from removing iTMS ringtones. It also fixes a crash when syncing with iPod touch from iTunes and includes various fixes and enhancements. [Download - 7.2MB]
Neverwinter Nights 2 Update 1.12 ($50) Role-playing game set in the fantasy world of the Forgotten Realms, tMac OS X. In the game, you play a character whmatures from peasant tfull-fledged herin an attempt tprotect Realms against grave threats. You can build a character that suits your style of play - good or evil, chaotic or lawful, with any number of skills, feats and professions.This is an official update for Neverwinter Nights 2. This patch has a variety of changes and will update any previous version of Neverwinter Nights 2 to version 1.12.1295. [Download - 62MB]
Billings 2.5.6 ($60) time tracking and invoicing software from Marketcircle Inc. that delivers professional invoices in minutes. Enhancements in this release include Leopard compatibility. The tool integrates into Mac productivity workflows, co-operating fully with Mac OS X's Address Book, publishing events tiCal, and making information available via Spotlight. The new release fixes a bug that prevented the combine slips action from permanently sticking. [Download - 18.4MB]
Default Folder X 4.0.6 ($15) makes it easier for you to manage files by adding features and correcting flaws in the file dialogs of all Mac OS X applications. Default Folder X 4.0.6 now remembers the width of columns in "column view" within your file dialogs. After you make a column in an Open or Save dialog wider to see long filenames, Default Folder X will automatically set columns to that width the next time you use that dialog, saving you the aggravation of resizing columns every time you open or save a file. This free update also resolves compatibility issues with Kodak Preps, Web Confidential, Parallels Desktop, Quark Xpress, and moving back and forth between Intel- and PowerPC-based Macintoshes. [Download - 8.4MB]
DragThing 5.9.3 ($30) alternative dock application. It allows multiple docks, each customized to suit your exact needs. DragThing 5.9.3 works around a number of bugs that were introduced in Mac OS X 10.5.3. Specifically, there were some problems that stopped dock windows from coming to the front in a reliable fashion. In order to fix this, the Desktop Trash will no longer appear in all Spaces by default. If you use Spaces and want the Desktop Trash appearing in all of them, set DragThing to appear in all Spaces in the "Exposé & Spaces" section of System Preferences. [Download - 8.1MB]
Sony BRAVIA XBR 6 7 and 8
Sony in an afternoon announcement updated its high-end BRAVIA XBR line with three new set ranges that it hopes step up the quality of its TVs across the board. In keeping with a leaked roadmap, the XBR8 series starts with 46- and 55-inch sets that are Sony's first to include LED backlights: the lighting not only provides a more even and color-accurate image but builds in local dimming that shuts off unneeded lights in darker areas, giving a major boost to the contrast ratio. The two sets also sport Sony's updated BRAVIA Engine 2 PRO for rendering the image, 120Hz panels to improve the picture in fast movement, a hooks for the BRAVIA Internet Link adapter, and a media port for connecting iPods and other media players.
Apple receiving iPhones?
One of Apple's principal manufacturers is shipping large quantities of an unknown item in advance of the former's WWDC conference on June 9th, Forbes suggests. The magazine notes that in May, Quanta Computer began shipments of a number of unidentified packages, through a port in Oakland, California and a distribution center in Fremont. More importantly, according to Forbes, a substantial amount of packages left the center Wednesday night, with as many as four trucks arriving for pickup during a single 20-minute span.
ASUS' next-gen laptops
ASUS yesterday announced the launch of two next-generation notebook computers with the recently introducesd AMD Turion X2 Ultra dual-core mobile processors. The 15.4-inch widescreen F5Z and 14-inch F8Tr notebooks share ATI's Radeon HD 3000-series graphics cards for improved graphics and video processing. Along with the rest of the ASUS notebook range, either new notebook PC offers a proprietary operating system that grants access to programs such as Internet, email and chat programs just eight seconds after powering up the laptop.
UK ISPs get ad standard
Ofcom, the UK communication industry's independent regulator, is planning to make a voluntary standard for Internet providers to follow when advertising their maximum connection speeds. More than 90 percent of the country's ISPs agreed to complying with the new code, which would give customers a more accurate comparison of performance between companies when shopping for a new provider.
ASUS HDMI1.3a soundcard
At the Complex 2008 show yesterday, ASUS revealed its Xonar HDAV1.3 HDMI-ready sound card. ASUS says the HDMI1.3a-compliant card is the first of its kind in the industry to offer advanced audio and HD video capabilities for PCs. The card will give desktop PC users without high-end CPUs or graphics cards the option to watch Blu-ray movies in their full 1080p DTV or UXGA (1600x1200) PC resolution, as it features a PCI Express x1 interface. The company's own AV200 codec chip featuring 24-bit digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital converters is responsible for the high resolution levels.
Japan to get HDOD service
Tsutaya, Japan's biggest rental chain, today announced it will launch an HD video on demand service, allowing users to download titles from home. The service will be made possible via the acTVila portal, and give customers a 48-hour window to view the content. The acTVila service works directly with dozens of plasma and LCD HDTVs, and Japan will stop analog signal broadcasting by 2011.
Contactizer for Leopard
Object Decision has released Contactizer 3.6, an upgrade to its personal information manager. It features a new view that lets Leopard users view contact information as a series of "business cards" in Cover Flow -- designed to simulate users flipping through a paper Rolodex. The upgrade, which is free to registered users of Contactizer 3 and above, brings full Leopard compatibility, along with a dozen other improvements. The personal organizer supports multiple-calendar syncing and sports an easily customized interface.
Voodoo PC Teaser
HP's Voodoo PC gaming division today hinted at a planned major update to its lineup through both its website and a teaser video (posted below). The company's website appears consumed by flames, suggesting a complete overhaul of what customers are familiar with in Voodoo's gaming-oriented systems; the video points to a much more refined look for the company's desktops and notebooks with aluminum, carbon fiber, and much more seamless, minimalist designs.
iPhone specs change
Earlier reported design molds for the 3G iPhone have allegedly changed, potentially rendering case molds by companies such as Griffin useless. iDealsChina reports that the dimensions used by Griffin, and possibly other iPhone accessory manufacturers, are 2mm shorter and 0.5mm thicker than the newly leaked designs. While both incarnations of the 3G iPhone are heavily steeped in rumor, the news would badly affect manufacturers who have already invested time and money into the new cases.
SNS upgrades Evo storage
Studio Network Systems says it has begun shipping an upgraded version of the Evo, a hardware system designed for storing and sharing video in post-production. The unit is compatible with both Macs and PCs, and a number of video editing suites, including Avid, Premiere Pro, Pro Tools and Final Cut Pro. Owners can store uncompressed HD, and define file- or volume-level access.
ATT 3G iPhone Training
AT&T is beginning to train its retail staff in preparation for the next-generation iPhone, according to a purported tip sent to CrunchGear. The details themselves of training are uncertain, though the news alludes to preparation for Apple's Worldwide Development Conference next week and implies a relatively short turnaround for the announcement. A previous report has suggested that Apple may not only announce the iPhone at the expo but sell it soon after in one or more countries.
T-Mo Sidekick Tony Hawk
T-Mobile mid-Thursday updated its Sidekick messaging phones with its first limited edition of the current generation. The Sidekick LX Tony Hawk Edition both puts the pro skateboarder's look on all sides of the device, complete with blue, gray and white trim and his personal logo. It also includes functional upgrades, the carrier says: the back is given an easy-to-hold texture meant to resemble grip tape. The software is conspicuously different with a special Tony Hawk theme as well as a preloaded video and skateboard sounds when the screen swivels open.
LaCie Remote Burn
Storage builder LaCie says it has released a new piece of Mac software for its optical drives, Remote Burn. Currently available only for its portable DVD±RW drives, the application lets users burn a disc with drives connected over a local network, rather than just those directly attached. This in turn enables multiple users to share the same output.
ASUS Eee Monitor Photo
ASUS today has provided PC World and other guests at a company-run seminar their first glimpse of its Eee Monitor all-in-one PC and confirms an iMac-like design that should cost less than half the price of its Apple-made rival. Resembling a cross between a white third-generation iMac and Apple's easel-like Cinema Displays, the system is already being marketed as a fashion item that fits into an interior decor; all its expansion ports are tucked to the back to avoid cluttering the front.
FCC Acts Soon on Sirius XM
Federal Communications Commission chief Kevin Martin on Thursday told CNBC that his agency is nearing approval of the long-delayed Sirius and XM merger. While declining to give a timetable for any decision, Martin says the FCC hopes to make its choice "soon" and that the two satellite radio providers have agreed to make changes to their price structure to clear legal hurdles, including an option for subscribers to order individual channels rather than complete bundles and to specifically exclude channels with objectionable content.
Vudu Wireless Kit
Vudu, the maker of a self-named video streaming set-top, has released a new upgrade for its system called the Wireless Kit. The add-on enables users to download movies and TV shows via wireless Internet rather than an Ethernet cable, a factor which may be crucial given the distance of many TVs from routers and computers. Competitors such as the Apple TV and the Roku already have Wi-Fi.
FT moves on TeliaSonera
France Telecom has entered negotiations to buy Sweden's TeliaSonera, writes the Wall Street Journal. Although no formal offer has been made, France Telecom says it has begun discussing the idea with TeliaSonera's board of directors, as well as its two biggest shareholders. A combination cash and share offer has been proposed, valued at 39 percent over TeliaSonera's share price on April 15th; when considered with its present stock value, this makes the deal worth approximately 252 billion kronor, or $42 billion.
Two Smaller iPhone Screens
Apple is prototyping not one but two different screen sizes for future versions of the iPhone, if a leak propagated by iLounge proves to be accurate. Taiwanese display maker Host Optical is providing photos and other technical information of what it claims are 2.8-inch and 3.2-inch panels, at least one of which will be used in an upcoming Apple handset. The screens would also switch from the existing capacitance touchscreen to a "projected" capacitance screen that is reportedly more likely to resist humidity and water as well as conventional wear and tear.
VectorDesigner 1.3 ships
TweakerSoft has released the v1.3 update to VectorDesigner, its vector artwork application. The program relies on Quartz and CoreImage technology, and includes a number of different options, including tools for polygons, smart shapes and Bezier lines. Users can edit images in layers, and also convert from raster to Bezier as needed. Leopard owners can take advantage of the operating system's Quick Look feature.
AmTech: 2.5G & 3G iPhones
Apple is not going to abandon 2.5G technology when it reveals the 3G iPhone, writes analyst Shaw Wu of American Technology Research. While other reports have typically assumed that 3G phones will replace the current 2.5G models, Wu argues that based on supply chain checks, Apple will use June 9th's WWDC conference to announce simultaneous sales of devices running at either speed. It is predicted that the 3G phones will cost "similar to current price points," while the 2.5G phones will sell for between $50 and $100 cheaper.
Dell mini Inspiron in Aug
Dell's recently uncovered mini Inspiron system will arrive by mid-summer but with unusual sacrifices to reach its goals, says APC in an interview with the PC designer. The still unnamed micro notebook is now known to be scheduled for a launch no later than August and has the advantage of a much larger keyboard than normal for an 8.9-inch portable through its dropping the traditional row of F-series keys; the change is necessary to allow the remaining keys to be larger, Dell senior VP Alex Gruzen explains.
RiTA comes to OS X 10.5
Redstone Software, makers of Eggplant, announced the general availability of the Redstone integrated Test Appliance (RiTA) on the Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard operating system. By supporting Leopard, Redstone is able to exploit Apple's latest Xserve hardware to create powerful platforms from which Eggplant can be deployed to Windows desktops. RiTA provides a centralized facility for Macintosh users to build, store, manage and execute Eggplant Functional Tester (FT) and Eggplant Load Tester (LT) automated test cases.
Verizon Buys Alltel
Quickly following up on earlier confirmations by its partner Vodafone, Verizon on Thursday said it would buy out Alltel in a cash merger with a total value of about $28.1 billion. The deal is mutually agreed upon and should see the union take place by the end of the year following approvals from the US government; Alltel chief Scott Ford will continue to run Alltel until the deal is completed.
Mac OS X 10.5.4 with devs
Developers are receiving the first preview versions of Mac OS X 10.5.4, reports indicate. The update is currently in build 9E6, and is said to be sized at only 55MB, radically smaller than the 420MB file provided for v10.5.3. The software correspondingly addresses a relative minority of changes, most notably an issue with Adobe's Creative Suite 3. Following the v10.5.3 patch, a number of people complained that they could no longer save CS3 files on remote servers, as they would inevitably become corrupt.
SonyNEC Sees Cheap Blu-ray
Computer-oriented Blu-ray drives should quickly drop in price to where such drives are easily practical for both desktops and notebooks, SonyNEC Optiarc says. The joint venture estimates that desktop Blu-ray combo drives, which can only read the HD format but can burn DVDs and CDs, should reach the key $100 price point by the holidays this year. Slim drives for notebooks will be more expensive to build but should still reach the $150 price point, according to the device maker.
3G iPhone discounts?
The 3G iPhone will be available for less than €100 with Spanish carrier Movistar, writes Thomson Financial. The group cites reports in the Spanish press, which say that in exchange for such a low fee, buyers will have to agree to contracts as long as two or three years. The Thomson story also suggests that the new phone will definitely have GPS and video recording capabilities, though only the former has been indicated by evidence such as iPhone 2.0 firmware references.
VIA Mini-ITX 2.0
VIA this morning continued a string of announcements for its computer platforms with the launch of Mini-ITX 2.0, its latest platform for mini desktop PCs. The spec for mainboards is designed to allow small (6.7in square), quiet systems using processors such as VIA's own Nano but is unique in mandating a full-speed, 16-lane PCI Express 2.0 slot; the requirement gives all systems room for a fast video card, virtually guaranteeing support for DirectX 10 and OpenGL 2 in games and other apps that demand advanced 3D; an integrated DirectX 9-class chipset is also present as a fallback.
Vodafone on Verizon Alltel
International cellphone provider Vodafone on Thursday confirmed earlier rumors that its US partner Verizon is nearing a buyout of Alltel that observers value at approximately $27 billion. The two American carriers are described as being in "advanced discussions" to strike a deal with a warning that no agreement is certain at this stage.
Sanyo Xacti HD1010 debuts
Sanyo has launched its compact, lightweight Xacti HD1010, a full 1080i high-definition digital camcorder featuring "Face Chaser" face detection technology for both video and stills as well as a new slow-motion video mode at 60 fps and seven frames-per-second sequential shooting for action photography. The HD1010 features a 10x all-glass optical zoom, image stabilization, and a large 2.7-inch LCD; it takes 1920x1080 video at up to a slow-motion 300fps and 4-megapixel digital still images and records both to SD memory cards or SDHC cards up to 32GB.
Yahoo rebuffs Icahn
As aggravations rise over the controversial $2.1 billion severance plan, Yahoo insists that talks are ongoing with Microsoft, rebutting against criticism from investor Carl Icahn, who recently wrote Yahoo's chairman a disparaging letter. Yahoo highlighted its recent ad partnerships with Wal-Mart and several others, but president Susan Decker said that an arrangement with Microsoft could still occur. Icahn recently blasted the search giant, calling Yahoo's board "deceitful".
It is a common fact the Mac is great for creating and working with graphics, but for too many people, the idea of drawing anything, especially on the computer, is too intimidating. Even worse, most graphics programs for the Mac assume you're already an experienced graphics artist who won't mind spending $400 or more for a high-end program loaded with every possible feature. Fortunately for aspiring artists, Toon Boom Studios has teamed up with artist Peter H. Reynolds (author of the books "The Dot" and the "Judy Moody" series) to create Animation-ish.
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