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Instinct counters iPhone
Apple's announcement of a $200 iPhone has AT&T competitors looking to match the feature-packed device in price and expectations, with Sprint on Wednesday circulated internally a memo noting a $199 price point for the Samsung Instinct, after rebates. The phone normally costs $449, but will be subject to a $150 instant rebate for a two-year contract, as well as a $100 mail-in rebate for the Instinct. This provides Sprint with a high-end touch-screen competitor for the iPhone.
Airport Utility 5.3.2
Apple on Wednesday unveiled Airport Utility 5.3.2 for Leopard, Tiger, and Windows users, offering enhancements for users with an Airport Express or Extreme Base Station, or Time Capsule. As with most recent Apple updates, details are scarce. Since the update is a minor version release, it most likely contains bug fixes, operational optimizations, slightly improved features, and similar tweaks.
Schmidt talks about Apple
Google CEO and Apple board member Eric Schmidt on Wednesday offered his point of view as Apple and Google's wireless strategies are set to compete later this year when the latter company's Android mobile platform sees store shelves through various mobile manufacturers. According to MarketWatch, Schmidt notes that while both companies share common goals in the wireless market, his role at Apple has not compromised by plans for Android, "so far."
Firefox 3.0rc3 released
Mozilla.org has been forced by Apple to release yet another release candidate of its next-generation Firefox 3 browser. Firefox 3.0RC3, released on Wednesday for all operating systems, offers a single bug fix, a workaround for a bug introduced in the Apple's latest Mac OS X 10.5.3 update, released a few weeks ago. First noted by MacNN, the bug, which causes some systems to hang or crash at start-up or shutdown, has been tracked to changes Apple made to "VerifiedDownloadPlugin" in Mac OS X 10.5.3. While available for all systems, the workaround for the Mac OS X 10.5.3 bug is the only change each release and may affect the release date of the browser, which is set for middle of this month.
iBar venue using Surface
Microsoft and Harrah's Operating Company on Wednesday announced the first deployment of the former company's surface technology at the iBar in the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. The move represents the first official setup located in an entertainment scenario, having already been deployed at AT&T stores as interactive product demonstration centers. The Surfaces include a number of custom-designed applications for patrons to use, as well as a few Microsoft-supplied apps, customized for the lounge.
Nokia phones photo leak
Images of what appear to be Nokia's new Nseries phones have leaked out on the Internet a couple of days ago, including the N79 and N85, as well as the 5800 Xpress Media. The phones are likely prototype models and are not guaranteed to make it to production, although the 5800 is likely to launch this summer as an iPhone alternative.
Sony Ericsson Alicia leak
A leak of Sony Ericsson's newest phone, codenamed Alicia, surfaced on the Internet yesterday. Looking a lot like the W980 music phone, the Walkman-series Alicia emphasizes the use of animations and graphics on its dual displays. The screens can reportedly display the current weather, if the feature is supported by the user's plan or network, or Walkman animations if not. The display is also said to change themes at various times of the day.
MS' corporate Facebook
Microsoft's Office Labs division is testing an internal Facebook-like social network, today's reports say. The company's TownSquare social site, still in prototype form, has already been used by about 8,000 Microsoft employees and provides updates about colleagues, including major occasions and promotions. The software works in conjunction with MS SharePoint to get public information on employees, and can notify employees when files are modified. Employees can also check which other employees are accessing their information. While employees aren't required to use the site, about 700 use it daily.
Piper on App Store
The App Store could prove potentially lucrative to the software industry, says the Piper Jaffray research group in part of its ongoing WWDC analysis. The firm suggests that the App Store could reach a userbase of some 78 million people by the end of 2009, a figure reached by combining iPhone and iPod touch visitors, and assuming an active Store userbase of 91 percent. Piper notes that while this may be optimistic, Apple claims that 98 percent of iPhone owners already browse the web, while 94 percent access e-mail.
Snow Leopard Intel only
Apple on Monday confirmed that 10.6 Snow Leopard would be the next major incarnation of Mac OS X, with little details revealed, but individuals who obtained a developer's preview of the OS noted that it requires an Intel processor, confirming earlier suspicions. LogicielMac reveals that while still over a year away from store shelves, its current incarnation states that it requires 9GB of disk space - 12GB for developer tools - 512MB of RAM, and an internal, external, or shared DVD drive.
Syncro SVN Client updated
Syncro Soft has released version 3.2 of its Syncro SVN Client, which facilitates collaboration between developers and content creators. The cross-platform tool now includes configurable shortcut keys, improved history file manipulation and some additional comparison actions. Syncro Soft uses the subversion protocol to share large collections of XML files as they are edited.
Vista may cost MS 395m
Windows Vista's poor reception will cost Microsoft an estimated $395 million dollars over the next 12 months, says a new investment note by Bernstein senior analyst Charles Di Bona. The researcher predicts the sharp drop in revenue for Microsoft's fiscal 2009, starting in July, after a survey found mounting complaints about the new operating systems from companies concerned about problems with future upgrades.
Google tops Web audience
Nielsen Online has reported May 2008 data for the Top Sites by Parent Company and Top Brands. Google tops the list with 127 million unique visitors. Microsoft is close behind with 123 million, while Yahoo! comes in third at 115 million. Time Warner pulled 107 million visitors, News Corp. Online 79 million, eBay 66 million and InterActiveCorp 64 million. Wikimedia Foundation, Amazon and New York Times round out the list with between 50 and 60 million unique visitors. The data indicate that, for example, that 51.1 million home and work Internet users visited at least one of the New York Times Company-owned sites or launched a New York Times Company-owned application during the month, and each person spent, on average, a total of 17 minutes and 27 seconds at one or more of their sites or applications.
MOTU 896mk3 interface
MOTU says it is bringing digital mixing and signal processing to its high-end, cross-platform 896mk3 FireWire audio interface. Built for musicians and filmmakers, the interface features 8 XLR/TRS combo analog inputs, true hi-Z inputs for guitars, 192kHz audio sampling, and a variety of other abilities. The 896mk3 fits in two rack spaces, and provides a total of 28 inputs and 32 outputs through a digital mixer than produces effects without a computer.
French iPhone delayed?
Despite the wording of Monday's keynote speech by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, the iPhone 3G will not ship in France on July 11th, new information indicates. While Apple has touted France as one of 22 countries to receive the new iPhone on the 11th, local carrier Orange has issued a press release in which the 3G is identified as launching six days later in France, on July 17th. This date is duplicated by a splash page on Apple's own French website.
IDC sees PC growth
IDC is projecting worldwide PC shipment growth of 15.2 percent in 2008, reaching 310 million units. The analysis firm predicts that growth will remain in the double-digits through 2010, followed by high single-digit growth through 2012, boosting annual shipments to over 472 million in 2012. Meanwhile, the fall in average PC selling price will be offset by an ongoing transition to sale of notebooks, which generally cost more than desktops. IDC's report also says that the Asia/Pacific region excluding Japan (APeJ) surpassed the United States as the region with the largest PC market in total annual shipments at the end of 2007.
JVC Alneo V80 Player
JVC today upgraded its media players and added its new Alneo V-series to its player mix. Each of the players builds in a technology named K2 that automatically oversamples compressed audio to 24-bit, 96kHz sound and makes the most of the available sound detail; newly designed noise canceling earbuds not only adapt to block outside noise but team up with different environment settings on the player itself to optimize the sound for a given setting.
ATT and T-Mo Wi-Fi Truce
AT&T and Starbucks today said they have struck an agreement with T-Mobile that puts an end to a short-lived lawsuit by the latter over Starbucks' Wi-Fi service. The three parties have come to a "memorandum of understanding" that will both halt the case as well as continue wireless access at US coffee shops. Terms for the deal remain private and don't reveal any change in the pace of the transition from T-Mobile to AT&T for Starbucks Wi-Fi, which began in April after an announcement in February that AT&T had won the rights to handle Starbucks' Internet service.
Despite a series of conflicting news releases, Vodafone has confirmed that there will not be a pay-as-you-go version of the iPhone 3G available in New Zealand. NZMac.com first spotted the confusion in statements from Vodafone and Apple New Zealand which announced both contract and prepaid versions of the iPhone in various press releases. Vodafone cleared things up this morning, saying only the contract versions will be available in New Zealand and Portugal beginning in July 11.
Xbox 360 breakdown cause?
Widespread failures of launch-model Xbox 360s are mainly due to Microsoft efforts at cost-cutting, a Gartner analyst claims. Bryan Lewis, the latter company's VP of research, says that when Microsoft was originally designing its game console, it wanted to omit third-party ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) vendors from its graphics hardware, saving tens of millions of dollars. In designing its own graphics technology, however, it produced chips which regularly overheated, forcing recalls that cost the company over $1 billion.
Lenovo R400, R500 specs
Specifications have been learned for two upcoming Lenovo notebooks, according to Notebook Italia. Both are said to be intermediary computers for the transition to Intel's Centrino 2 platform, and a replacement for Lenovo's current ThinkPad R61. Each has the option of a Core 2 Duo or Celeron M processor, matched to a PM45, GM45 or GL45 motherboard; the systems also support up to 4GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 320GB 5400rpm hard drive or a 200GB 7200rpm drive. Wireless technologies should include options for Bluetooth, WiMAX, and 802.11b/g or a/g/n.
HP on Multi-Touch Notebook
Users should expect multi-touch displays in notebooks well before the release of official operating system updates like Windows 7, Hewlett-Packard's consumer notebook general manager Kevin Frost says. The feature won't officially appear in Microsoft's software until 2010 but should be available "long before" then in shipping products, according to the executive. Technical marketing head Kevin Wentzel supports the notion and mentions that the advancement is more a question developing software than any limits in current hardware.
iPhone 2.0 before 3G?
Apple's iPhone 2.0 firmware, primarily built to support native applications and the App Store, should be available in advance of the 3G hardware many are expected to use it with, Engadget writes. The information comes by way of the Australian Apple website, in which the iPod touch section specifically states that the App Store will open on June 27th. Apple has previously said that the App Store will not function without the v2.0 firmware.
Moto H560 and H620
Motorola today refreshed its H-series Bluetooth headsets with a pair of new models for use on foot and in cars. The H620 (not yet pictured) is specifically tailored for cars and is tuned to adjust its volume as speed and road noise increase; it also comes with standard anti-echo and anti-noise techniques to improve the quality of the call regardless of the situation. A dedicated on-dash holder and a car charger let users quickly reach for a fully-charged headset.
PA Semi & iPod, iPhone
The purpose of acquiring PA Semi was the creation of chips for iPhones and iPods, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has admitted. "PA Semi is going to do system-on-chips for iPhones and iPods," Jobs tells the New York Times. Although Apple has dismissed rumors that it is unhappy with Intel, or that it is planning to resurrect some PowerPC technology, it has been unclear what PA Semi was needed for other than designing chips for portable electronics.
iPhone SDK & GPS nav.
Apple may be attempting to block competition when it comes to GPS navigation on the iPhone, developers have observed. In the most recent version of the iPhone SDK, Section 3.3.7 of the license agreement tells users that "applications may not be designed or marketed for real time route guidance; automatic or autonomous control of vehicles, aircraft, or other mechanical devices; dispatch or fleet management; or emergency or life-saving purposes."
LG Dare Decoy Chocolate 3
Verizon on Wednesday responded in kind to the iPhone 3G with the unveiling of three new LG phones. The Dare is the second LG touchscreen phone at the US carrier but relies exclusively on its touch input rather than offering a hardware keyboard; it also represents a camera upgrade with a 3.2-megapixel sensor (up from 2.0) with better low-light handling and on-phone editing similar to the Viewty and other Europe-only phones.
Safari 4 seeding to devs
InFocus IN1100 and IN3100
InFocus started Wednesday by introducing two Work Big DLP projectors that are the first projectors anywhere to use DisplayLink's USB video technology. The portable IN1100 series and the larger-sized IN3100 series can both use USB for video output. The approach lets users relay video from a notebook even when the computer lacks a free traditional output of its own or is missing a video cable. It also allows a connection to two or more external displays at the same time.
Sony Ericsson C905 Leaked
Sony Ericsson is nearing the launch of a new cameraphone that will sit at the top of its Cyber-shot line, according to a new leak by SE-NSE. Codenamed the "Shiho," the C905 will not only have a sharper 8.1-megapixel camera sensor but also a brighter xenon flash and several image quality features that aren't present in earlier phones, including a rare image stabilization feature as well as smart contrast adjustment; video also receives the same treatment. A GPS receiver with data assist support will both help with navigation as well as let users geotag their photos.
Toshiba 160GB 1.8-inch
Toshiba this morning introduced one of the largest hard drives in its class with the MK1617GSG. The drive measures just 1.8 inches across but holds 160GB; the storage is more than the 120GB of an earlier Toshiba drive as well as any other small drive using a Serial ATA connection. There is also no sacrifice performance, the company says. The 160GB drive spins at the same 5,400RPM as most 2.5-inch notebook drives and much faster than the 4,200RPM of most disks at the smaller size. Packing more data into the drive also improves speed by reducing access time.
XM native iPhone app
Satellite radio provider XM is preparing to launch a native iPhone client to access its commercial-free broadcasts. Ars Technica notes that the company's executive vice president and chief marketing officer Vernon Irvin spoke to attendees at the Federated Media Conversation Marketing Summit that his company currently streams to select AT&T phones, and will expand to natively support the iPhone at an unspecified future time.
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