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Sonnet eSATA for Mac Pro
Sonnet Technologies on Tuesday unveiled the eSATA Extender Cable for Mac Pro computers, a product designed to connect up to two external SATA drives to unused SATA ports on the machine. Sonnet claims that the cable connects to two hidden SATA connectors that sit underneath a fan module, and extends them to the rear of the unit, securely held in place by a PCI slot cover. The eSATA Extender cable will ship soon for $30, and will be available from Sonnet's website.
Mariner Calc for iPhone
Mariner Software on Friday confirmed plans that it is working on an Excel document editor for the iPhone, an application it calls Mariner Calc for iPhone. While the finalized version is far from completion, developer Michael Wray writes on the Mariner blog that it already supports viewing and editing documents that can range up to 1 million rows by 32,000 columns. A CocoaTouch native app, it also includes support for multiple sheets, as well as charts and objects.
Xserve EFI 1.1 update
Apple on Monday unveiled Xserve EFI Firmware Update 1.1 for Intel Xserve servers, stating that the patch offers users improved stability when applied. As with most recent Apple updates, little is revealed about what problems the update resolves; it is not known whether "stability improvements" refers to freezing, kernel panics, or other miscellaneous temporary failures. Xserve EFI Firmware Update 1.1 is available from Apple's support website, and through Software Update.
Forum roundup 3G iPhone
Since the debut of the new iPhone 3G members of the Macnn forums have been discussing their likes and dislikes of this redesigned, lower priced model. It seams that Apple did not live up to its expectations for some. One user states that they would have liked to see things like a better camera or stereo Bluetooth. Another user expresses a dislike for the service provider that has been selected (AT&T), an opinion that echoed across the board. One member said they were "satisfied" with the upgrades, another was impressed and plans on buying one soon, but most of the existing iPhone owners didn't see any reason to invest in the new model based on these upgrades alone.
Visual voicemail dispute
Apple and AT&T have reached a settlement with Klausner Technology over patent disputes, and have agreed to license the technology from the firm. AppleInsider reveals that the suit, originally filed in December, was brought against the companies in response to the iPhone's "email inbox"-style voicemail presentation, one of the original device's highly touted features. Klausner says the two companies were in violation of US Patents 5,572,576, and 5,283,818.
Dell to stop XP shipments
Dell recently announced the last day to purchase one of the company's Inspiron laptops, desktops or workstations with an OEM Windows XP license, which is due to expire on June 30 as per Microsoft's Windows Life-Cycle Policy. Buyers have until June 18 to purchase computers thus equipped, and have the option of buying Windows Vista Business or Ultimate with a downgrade service to Windows XP Professional thereafter. This news confirms earlier reports that the PC and laptop maker will not offer Windows XP pre-loaded onto its products past the Microsoft-imposed deadline.
Kensington's laptop gear
Kensington today introduced 24 notebook accessories in its Power It, Control It, Carry It, Secure It, Optimize It and Connect It product lines. The offerings range from wrist rests and laptop locks to Bluetooth mice and USB hubs. To provide a more comfortable environment while reducing eye and neck strain, the company announced the release of its Column Mount Monitor Arm with SmartFit System, priced at $150. It sports dual pivot points for easy adjustment, and can hold notebooks and additional monitors, and is also available in an extended version ($180) or with dual arms ($260).
"Empires:" Asian Dynasties
Macsoft has announced Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties," the second expansion pack for its combat strategy game. Asian Dynasties adds new single-player "campaigns," additional game modes, civilizations and technologies. Players command one of three Asian civilizations: the Chinese, Indians or Japanese. Each civilization has unique armies and cultures. Scenarios are based on historical events, as well as new original stories.
Zune 80 Review
In the past several months since the second generation of Zunes went on sale, Microsoft has been busy addressing longstanding complaints about the Zune and its software: version 2.5 adds auto playlists, gapless playback, and other features that the iPod (and several other players) have had for awhile. With that in mind, we take a quick look at the Zune 80 and the new software not only to see whether they've truly caught up to iPods, but also to find out whether this Zune truly stands up against its smaller Zune 4 and 8 cousins.
iDisk browser support
Apple has begun restricting the supported browsers for the iDisk storage component of .Mac, reports say. Where the service once supported virtually any standard browser, public iDisk access is now officially limited to Safari 1.3 or Firefox 1.0.4 or later, though people can still visit using the likes of Camino (which uses Firefox's Gecko technology) or Opera 9.5. Browsers blocked by iDisk include OmniWeb, and more crucially, the recent Firefox 3 release candidates, The MacObserver noted. The final version of Firefox 3 is due to release on Tuesday.
NVIDIA Tesla T10P
NVIDIA on Monday used the occasion of its GTX 200 introduction to quietly update its Tesla line of workstation processor cards. The T10P chipset added to the cards is virtually identical to the 240-core GTX but is her spun entirely towards accelerating high performance computing tasks such as medical research and very high-level math. The very specialized nature of the chip lets it calculate as much as 900 gigaflops by itself, or 73 percent more than the earlier card it replaces.
The Onion Get a Mac
Apple's online "Get a Mac" ad campaign has a new advertisement to add to its ranks, as John Hodgman's PC character draws attention to his brand new PC Newswire, a banner located above the side panel where he and Justin Long's Mac character stand. PC hopes that it will help his case against Mac, whose recent popularity has been widely reported in the news, but soon sees that the "Top PC News Stories" all seem to revolve around problems with Windows Vista.
Skies friendlier for iPods
United Airlines on Monday said it is the first U.S. Carrier to offer iPod and iPhone connectivity to its in-flight entertainment systems. The hook-ups will allow passengers to view video content on their own 15.4 inch "personal television" as their iPod or iPhone charges. United says the upgrades will be installed in first and business class in its entire international widebody fleet over the next two years.
1TB Little Big Disk Quadra
Storage builder LaCie has announced a new version of its Little Big Disk Quadra, bringing maximum capacity up to 1TB. The Quadra is a portable external hard drive, and comes pre-configured for RAID 0, a move designed to enhance speed. The drive additionally includes USB 2.0, FireWire 400/800 and eSATA interfaces, the middle two enabling power solely through the data bus.
HTC Atom Based MIDs
HTC is gearing up to produce mobile Internet devices (MIDs) based on Intel's Atom processor as well as Qualcomm's Snapdragon mobile chipset, say reports from those in the industry. The reports would have the creator of the HTC Shift and other crossover computers produce the systems with the faster, more power-efficient chips as early as the second half of this year in a bid to improve HTC's standing in ultra-mobile PCs, which have been hurt by mini notebooks like the ASUS Eee PC.
RBC: iPhone sales boom
Apple may replicate the success of the iPod with the iPhone 3G, argues RBC's Mike Abramsky. The analyst suggests that in the September quarter of 2008 Apple will sell 5.1 million iPhones, 70 percent more than consensus estimates of 3 million. This would make for an increase of 356 percent year-over-year, paralleling Apple's December 2005 quarter, which saw an approximate threefold growth in iPod numbers. This year's December-quarter iPhone sales are expected to amount to 6.5 million, but this would only be a jump of 181 percent over 2007.
BBerry Javelin Spotted
The rumored BlackBerry Javelin is real and has been in developent, based on a snapshot given to Engadget. An engineering sample confirms a look seen in concept drawings and suggests the phone will be slightly more conventional-looking than the Bold, with a non-chrome trim and a keyboard like that of the 8800 series. The Javelin will allegedly drop costs by shedding the Bold's 3G in favor of EDGE-only access but should keep the 480x320 display as well as GPS and Wi-Fi.
iPhone 3G speeds: 1.4Mbps?
Readers of AT&T's Apple iPhone 3G website, have this weekend been left confounded by information that iPhone 3G data download speeds will apparently be limited to 1.4Mbps, while other devices tout much faster speeds. With the figure also echoed in the official AT&T press release, speculation is that the 1.4Mbps limit is not a website error. With the latest HSDPA cards now offering speeds up to 7.2Mbps, and even iPhone 3G rivals such as Motorola's Moto Q listed capable of 3.6Mbps speeds, it would seem that the iPhone 3G, despite being significantly faster than the first iPhone model, may not, at first glance, live up to its early "3G" promise; it is unclear why the yet-to-be-released device would be slower than "3G" device counterparts from other companies.
HP Blackbird Exhiliration
HP today followed up NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 200 unveiling with expanded details on an upgrade to the Blackbird 002. The Exhilaration Edition bundles two GTX 280 cards in SLI mode and gives the gaming PC a substantial advantage over its previous configuration. Both cards are also liquid-cooled and so won't overheat at full speed, HP adds. The system also gets a 3.2GHz Core 2 Extreme with a similar cooling treatment and is paired up with low-lag Corsair DDR3 memory.
iPhone 3G teardown
The iPhone 3G carries a lower price, but it also costs about half as much to make, according to a report in the EETimes. The report says tests by teardown specialist Portelligent put the bill of materials for the new model as low as $100. That should help offset the 3G's lower $199 price point. Portelligent estimates that based on materials alone, Apple's gross profit on the iPhone 3G totals about $99, compared to $229 for the previous version. Apparently, Apple is counting on sales volume to make up the difference and Apple may also be receiving a payut for each carrier activation, although the revenue sharing plan with carriers, as with the original device, is no longer in place.
92 pc Devs Ignoring Vista
Despite Microsoft's efforts, the majority of developers still aren't writing with Windows Vista in mind, a new study by Evans Data says. Only eight percent of software firms surveyed were specifically coding with Vista in mind, while additional data brought together by CNET indicates that 49 percent are still writing for Windows XP; 13 percent are programming for Linux, according to reports.
Samsung 'green' phones
Korea's Samsung today announced two new cellphones, the W510 and the F268, at the World IT Show in Seoul. Rather than publicize performance specifications however, the company is concentrating on the reduced environmental damage of their construction. The W510 (pictured) is said to be Samsung's first built with "bioplastic," eschewing synthetic materials for those extracted from corn. The phone is further said to have been built without heavy metals such as mercury or cadmium, and use a water-soluble coating.
web widgets on the desktop
Mesa Dynamics has posted a beta of Amnesty Hypercube, which is designed to "free" Google Gadgets and other web widgets from the confines of a web browser to the desktop. Not to be confused with Dashboard widgets, web widgets are tiny applications -- often snippets of HTML code -- designed to be inserted in blogs or other web pages. Amnesty Hypercube allows these widgets to be launched from within Dashboard or from the desktop.
AMD FireStream 9250
AMD has announced the FireStream 9250 (not pictured), a new device in its line of stream processors. The hardware is intended to accelerate a number of supercomputing applications, such as seismic analysis or intense financial computing, supplementing the power of CPUs. AMD claims that when handling single-precision operations the 9250 is the first processor to reach the 1 teraflop level, resulting in as much as a 55x speed increase over CPU-only data processing.
60GB Xbox 360 at E3
Microsoft's heavily rumored 60GB Xbox 360 Pro could make its appearance at the company's E3 keynote next month, claims a source for TrustedReviews. The upgrade would allegedly be announced at the start of the show and would at least replace the existing 20GB console when it ships in early August, providing a heavily requested boost to the storage of the default console without pushing users to the Elite model.
Apple SproutCore debut
Palm Centro at Rogers
Rogers today became the first Canadian provider to pick up the Palm Centro. Similar to the version available through AT&T, this variant on Palm's smallest and most inexpensive smartphone runs on EDGE networks and comes with a 1.3-megapixel camera, microSD storage, as well as a larger-than-normal bundle of software such as DocumentsToGo (for Office and PDF files), Google Maps for Mobile, and Exchange push mail support.
Samsung t229 at T-Mobile
T-Mobile's US branch today upgraded its entry-level phones through the Samsung t229. This replacement for the t219 adds a VGA camera as well as an "audio postcard" feature that lets users tie a recorded sound clip to a photo to document a vacation without writing a message. The phone otherwise offers basic data access that involves instant messaging; MyFaves support for unlimited calling to five contacts is also built-in.
Tuneconnect 2.1 released
TuneConnect 2.1 is a re-written revision of the open-source 'iTunes remote' software for Mac OS X. Written in 100 percent native code, Tuneconnect 2.1 uses a 'specially developed 'neural iTunes HTTP API' called Tunage to allow many different types of devices to share iTunes information, offering almost complete control of iTunes across a network. Version 2.1 of the web-based utility fixes some of the bugs that cropped up in the initial release and adds support for a small handful of the most-requested features from users.
Russian iPhone 3G delay
Old pricing schemes are to blame for Russia not being included in iPhone 3G plans, writes the Moscow Times. The newspaper notes that two of the country's major cellular carriers, MegaFon and Mobile TeleSystems, have confirmed that they were previously in talks for iPhone sales, but that Apple's terms were considered unacceptable. It was asking local carriers to buy phones wholesale, says one unidentified company, and additionally demanding 10 percent from each device sold, as well as 10 percent from each subscriber's monthly fee.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 200
NVIDIA today took the wraps from its anticipated GTX 200 series video chipset, introducing its first new architecture since the 8-series appeared in late 2006. All new boards have an architecture which is as much as 50 percent faster than even the top-end 8800 Ultra; the fastest part in the launch, the GTX 280, nearly doubles the amount of effects processors to 240.
Nokia CK 100/600 and BH212
In addition to introducing its two new Eseries phones, Nokia today rolled out a pair of hands-free kits for the car as well as a new Bluetooth earpiece. The CK-600 car kit headlines the launch and builds in a color display that lets users take Bluetooth phone calls visually; the LCD both shows inbound caller ID and, on supporting phones, sync contacts to make outbound calls. It also includes a separate media player function that will play music from phones with stereo Bluetooth support. A separate physical remote control allows thumbing through information from the steering wheel.
T-Mobile's €1 iPhone 3G
T-Mobile will sell the iPhone 3G for as little as €1, the company has announced. When the device launches in Germany on July 11th, shoppers will have the option of pairing an 8GB model with a high-end €69 per month contract, resulting in the sharp discount to the phone itself. People wanting cheaper tariffs will have to pay greater initial costs, with the 8GB capacity costing as much as €170, Reuters notes.
Nokia E66 and E71
Nokia today ended a rash of leaks by announcing two high-end Eseries smartphones. The E71 is the company's new flagship and aims to improve on the earlier E61 both inside and out. The E71 has both a more upscale steel design and a narrower profile that allows it to be used one-handed while still fitting a QWERTY keyboard; it also marks the first full Eseries phone to support 3G over AT&T's HSPA network and introduces assisted GPS to the smartphone design.
JVC Everio HD30 and HD10
JVC this morning unveiled three new HD Everio cameras that all offer something new to camcorders. The HD30 and HD40 (shown) are the first camcorders to capture HD in either AVCHD (H.264) or MPEG-2 format and give users the choice of format based on their editing environment; users can either record in the more efficient AVC format or else pick the larger but more widespread MPEG-2 format for easier editing on some computers.
FCC Staff Say Sirius XM OK
The Federal Communications Commission's staff today tentatively proposed that the US government agency approve the long-delayed merger between satellite radio providers Sirius and XM. The move potentially leads to a completed approval in as soon as three weeks and has received the early blessing of FCC chair Kevin Martin, who states that the union would be "in the public interest" as long as the unified company continues to voluntarily abide by certain conditions.
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