CS Odessa on Tuesday unveiled its ConceptDraw Office business productivity software suite, offering users access to the company's key applications in one package. Included in the suite are ConceptDraw MINDMAP, ConceptDraw PROJECT, and ConceptDraw PRO, providing users with various flow chart, office graphic, and project planning capabilities. CS Odessa is selling ConceptDraw Office for $500, available from its online web store.
Apple's online store is currently offering refurbished iMac 20-inchdesktops with 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive for $949 as well as 24-inch models with 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 1GB of RAM and 350GB hard drive for $1,399. Both models have widescreen displays and a 8x SuperDrive. 8GB reconditionediPod nanosin silver, pink, blue, green and black are available for $149. They hold up to 2,000 songs and come with earphones and a USB cable. Also available are 2.4GHz MacBooks in black for $1,299 and white for $1,099. The black model has a 250GB hard drive while the white model has a 160GB hard drive and both have 2GB of RAM, built in iSite webcam, 8x SuperDrive, and Airport Extreme. Other items include the wireless Mighty Mouse for $59 and wireless keyboard for $69.
Parellels on Tuesday formally announced the availability of Parallels Server for Mac, software that the company claims to be the first server-level virtualization tool for Intel-based Macs. Parallels Server offers the company's hypervisor-based virtualization techniques for Macs running Mac OS X Leopard Server, and can serve a multitude of Leopard Server-, Windows- and Linux-based virtual machines. Parallels Server is currently available from the company's website for $1000.
XSilva Systems on Tuesday unveiled LightSpeed 2.6 and Web Store 1.3, updates to the company's retail point-of-sale management system, both of which include improvements to features and functionality. LightSpeed now offers clothing retailers an expanded Product Matrix, while the Browser can now supports exporting. A new network-aware Auto-Updater keeps data consistant, and the app's Point of Sale and Browser windows have improved functionality.
NEC on Tuesday announced details on two network projectors ahead of their debut at the InfoComm 2008 show in Las Vegas which kicks off tomorrow. The NP905 offers 1024x768 (XGA) native resolution, while the NP901W features WXGA (1280x800) resolution, but both max out at 1600x1200 (UXGA). Either of the identical-looking units is compatible with Windows Vista via the Windows Network Projector support, allowing for wired or wireless network connections with laptops or PCs without the need for any specialized software.
Today' s reports reveal a slide that shows AMD is likely developing a low-power CPU that would be used in netbooks such as the ASUS Eee PC or MSI Wind. The 64-bit, 1GHz chip features an 8W Thermal Design Power (TDP) for its memory controller and CPU, which is well below its normal notebook offerings but above the power use of the company's Geode processors.
QuickerTek has introduced a pricey way for MacBook Air owners to show how green they really are. "Apple Juicz" is described by the company as a “major breakthrough” because it powers and charges the MacBook Air at the same time. The Juicz comes in three models, a 19-watt version for $500, 29-watt model for $600 and a 58-watt model for $1000. Each come with solar panels that fold into an included 10.5 inch carrying bag.
Fujitsu's newest laptop has been spotted early and in an unlikely place, as the T4220 replacement recently popped up on the Virginia Tech University Bookstore. The Tablet PC features a 13.3-inch 1280x800 (WXGA) display, and is expected to run an Intel Centrino 2 vPro chip of unknown speed along with 2GB of DDR3 RAM.
Private Dutch firm WorldMAX on Tuesday announced the launch of Europe's first WiMAX network in Amsterdam. The network, which relies on the 3.5GHz band in Europe, allows users in Amsterdam's city center to use their high-speed wireless data devices while on the move, not having to stay still to enjoy the benefits of the network.
The growing popularity of video sharing sites like YouTube has encouraged people to post their own videos for others to view and pass around. However, capturing and sharing videos has often been cumbersome using ordinary camcorders. Not only must you master the multitude of options on a typical feature-laden camera, but you must also lug it around whenever you want to capture a scene. Since carrying a full-fledged camcorder is impractical most of the time, one option may be Pure Digital’s Flip Video Mino.
Philips USA on Tuesday refreshed its home theater lineup with a set of new HDTVs as well as a Blu-ray movie reader to match. Every new screen is now considered part of the Eco TV line, Philips says; exploiting the Dutch company's experience in lighting, each unit has an ambient light sensor that automatically dims the brightness in darker scenes. The technology not only saves power by keeping the display in check but also improves visual quality by giving a set's best possible black levels at any given point.
Apple will have shipped between 10.5 to 11 million iPods by the end of the June quarter, say analysts with Piper Jaffray. The firm writes that based on newly-updated NPD data covering the month of May, it can back earlier predictions extrapolating from sales in the previous two June quarters. Typically, 28 percent of iPods are sold in April, 31 percent in May, and 41 percent in June.
Nova Media has released Phone Plugins, a utility that allows one-click dialing and text messaging from any application in Leopard. Users of OS X Tiger were able dial cellphones connected over Bluetooth, but Apple removed that feature in OS X 10.5. Nova claims the utility not only restores that lost functionality, but improves on it as well. The Berlin-based developer says the Phone Plugins include a Bluetooth wizard to connect cell phones in one step. Users can call or send a text message to any number within Address Book or other applications using the “services” menu.
The launch of the iPhone 3G in Canada should also see Rogers introduce new rates that may reflect a greater dependence on mobile data but will also encourage higher rates per user, according to statements made by Rogers Wireless president Nadir Mohamed at the Canadian Telecom Summit. The senior official notes that new plans are coming within the next two weeks that will accommodate more frequent data use by a wider number of devices, which most understand will include the Apple device and the BlackBerry Bold.
Boxee has released a Mac alpha of its “open and smart“ media player application. The start-up says in it’s blog that alternatives such as iTunes do a good job of pushing new content for download, but aren’t ideal for storing existing content. Boxee is designed to help users rediscover their “comfort content,” movies, pictures, and music that may be stored in a variety of formats, using a unique visual interface.
Sony on Tuesday served an increasingly green-conscious audience today by releasing the BRAVIA JE1, the first model in a new series. The lone 32-inch LCD set in the line uses just two-thirds the power of a similar screen by using more efficient fluorescent backlights and more efficient screen filters: by generating more light and allowing more existing light to go through, the JE1 can use fewer lighting tubes to achieve the same effect as a normal HDTV. Sony claims the overall gains are enough to use 70 percent less power through one year.
CodeWeavers has released v7.0 of CrossOver Mac, its utility which lets users install Windows software on Macs without creating a Boot Camp partition. Once installed, these programs can then be launched from inside of Mac OS X without a Windows license. New to v7.0 is support for a number of extra applications, specifically Microsoft's Office 2007 suite, and Adobe's first two Creative Suites. Also supported are "newer versions" of Quicken applications.
Though servers offering the software are currently buckling and inaccessible to many users, Firefox 3.0 on Tuesday has made its debut with the Mozilla organization looking to set a record for browser downloads. The major new release of the open source Web browser is available today in approximately 50 languages, and is purportedly three times faster than its predecessor, offering "15,000 improvements" including a smart location bar and malware protection. The new Firefox 3 smart location bar, dubbed "Awesome Bar" by Mozilla, adapts to user entries over time. The Firefox 3 Library archives browsing history, bookmarks, and tags, where they can be searched and organized.
Digieffects has unveiled its Illuma plug-in allowing editors to correct lighting problems with video taken in the field. Illuma includes a variety of effects, including halo, glow, radiance and “lightracer,” which enhances visible light sources, particularly in low-light settings. Illuma supports Final Cut Pro, Combustion, After Effects, Premiere Pro and Boris Red. Illuma is a Universal Binary and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or higher (and 1MB RAM). It is available for immediate download at $100.
Nokia's upcoming 5800 phone has appeared as part of a new promotional poster, Unwired View writes. German vendor SMS Shop is advertising the 5800 along several other Nokia phones, including the 5220, 6210, 6600 and E71. No prices or release dates are presented, but the phone is identified as having WLAN (Wi-Fi) and HSDPA support. A sample interface screen is shown as well.
Fidelity Media says it has added over 40 improvements to its MegaSeg v4.5 DJ mixer and radio automation system, including Leopard compatibility. Version 4.5 also adds drag-and-drop support for iTunes, improved compatibility with multiple audio sources, MIDI control functions and presets and support for the Apple Remote. MegaSeg is a professional DJ application, supporting regular or beat-mixed segues between songs or music videos, sound effects via hot keys, scheduled playlists and other automated features.
Electronic Arts has released the Mac edition of the Spore Creature Creator, a preview of Maxis' upcoming real-time strategy title. In the full game players will guide a species through a simplified evolutionary history, taking it from the microbial level through to tribes and cities, and eventually interstellar colonization. A focus of Spore is on designing each new stage, gradually adding better and/or different features to lifeforms, buildings and vehicles.
Sony Ericsson's multi-part announcements today round out with the introduction of three Bluetooth headsets. The PV740, PV720, and PV715 all have the best battery life of a headset from the company with a claimed 11-hour talk time and 800 hours of standby. All three automatically pair up with many devices and auto-adjust volume to compensate for loud rooms. The PV740 leads the range with a metal, professional-looking shell, a built-in status display, and a cradle charger.
The Khronos Group late yesterday established a new alliance between vendors that could see standards for high performance computing such as OpenCL gain a foothold across many operating systems and hardware platforms. Called the Computer Working Group, the team includes graphics rivals 3DLabs, AMD, and NVIDIA, processor makers such as ARM, Freescale, Intel, and Qualcomm, and end product manufacturers such as Motorola and Nokia, all of whom hope to create and maintain genuinely open and royalty-free standards for using newer graphics hardware to process very demanding compute tasks.
Apple has taken the wraps off of its soon-to-be-opened Sydney store, exposing details of its construction. The building has three floors, and uses a glass facade similar to that of the Boston Apple Store, which in turn makes reference to the company's flagship Fifth Avenue location in New York City. Internal photos show extensive display areas for products like the iMac and the MacBook, and backlit promotional images that dominate their corresponding rooms.
Interest in the iPhone 3G has nearly quadrupled over that of the first-generation iPhone, says the UK division of phone carrier O2. Over 130,000 people are said to have pre-registered for information on the 3G launch, a significant shift from the relatively small 35,000 who expressed interest in the 2.5G device, which first launched in the UK on November 9th. Actual sales in that region fell below analyst expectations.
As part of its campaign today, Sony Ericsson has unveiled two new USB modems for frequent travelers. The MD400 and its GPS-capable equivalent MD400g each support 3G cellular data up to 7.2Mbps over virtually any HSDPA-based network, including those in North America. Unique to these adapters, however, is a hybrid Memory Stick Micro and microSD slot that accepts cards from either format to either use as impromptu storage or to transfer media to and from cellphones.
An iPhone version of Adobe's ubiquitous Flash plug-in is still early into development, the company has admitted. In an earnings call for Adobe's second financial quarter, CEO Shantanu Narayen has responded to questions on if and when Flash will be ready for the iPhone 3G, which itself is only expected to ship on July 11th. Apple has long blocked the normal desktop version of Flash from the iPhone, insisting that it consumes too much battery power.
A second announcement from Toshiba sees the US release of what it says is the first notebook with a 128GB solid-state drive. The Portégé R500-S5007V exploits the company's in-house 128GB drive to double the storage available in a very thin ultraportable while still keeping the incidental benefits of an SSD, such as very quick response times as well as the better battery life and skip-proof nature of flash memory. The system weighs just 2.4 pounds and maintains its earlier thickness of just 0.77 inches while keeping a built-in DVD drive -- the only notebook in the class to do so.
Toshiba this morning revealed a near-total overhaul of its Qosmio notebooks with three new models, all of which are the first with new features. The Qosmio G55 is the first-ever notebook to build in a variant of the Cell processor from Sony's PlayStation 3. In the portable, the chip is set to use just four cores but uses them to transcode video far faster than would be possible using the main processor. A 10-minute video that would take an hour to process takes just one minute to handle on the G55, the company says. It also upscales DVDs to 1080p to minimize the low-resolution artifacts that creep up on an HD-capable screen.
Trans International on Tuesday announced an expansion to its miniXpress line of external hard drives with the introduction of three new 500GB external FireWire devices. The miniXpress 825, 825s and 425s are fully hot swappable, bus-powered drives -- made of durable Aluminium to provide rugged yet stylish protection (as well as optimal heat dissipation). All three models sport customizable 2.5-inch, 5,400 rpm SATA drives and an array of I/O options including eSATA, USB 2.0, FireWire 800 and FireWire 400 ports. The 825s and 425s models also include an innovative 2-in-1 connector that combines the eSATA/USB ports to a single connector.
Apple's .Mac online service is experiencing extended worldwide outages, according to accounts. The main website is currently unavailable, and users have reported being unable to access features such as e-mail, backup or web galleries. The service is said to have been down for several hours in at least the United States and the UK, although UK customers may already have normal functions back.
Nolobe this week debuted Iris 1.0, a new image editor for OS X. From Australian developer Nolobe, Iris has been written from the ground-up specifically for Mac OS X; it uses a minimalist 'sngle window' interface and offers layer-based editing and fully customizable paint, brush and drawing tools, as well as support for industry standard image formats such as TIFF, PNG, JPEG and PSD. Iris boasts
Aspyr on Tuesday released Enemy Territory QUAKE Wars v1.5, a free patch for its sci-fi first person shooter for Mac OS X. Introducing a slew of bug fixes and stability improvements, patch v1.5 is recommended for all users and promises to add more stability and improved gameplay, as well as offering workarounds to some of the more annoying bugs identified after release. Full patch notes are as follows:
AMD's next-generation video chipset will be capable of graphics that are movie-realistic, the company claimed today. A preview of the RV770 chipset, which is used both in the FireStream 9250 and should form the heart of the Radeon HD 4870, has been labeled Cinema 2.0 for its ability to recreate near-photorealistic footage in real time. The two teraflops of performance from two RV770 chips is enough to not only accurately model many very detailed objects in one scene, drawing them at a better-than-film 25-30 frames per second, but also to add many of the effects that are produced by a real camera, such as depth-of-field or motion blur.
Ergonis Software on Tuesday released PopChar X 4.0, the latest version of its long standing font tool designed to help users find and type special text characters in OS X. Supporting Unicode fonts as well as thousands of characters, PopChar 4.0 brings a 'popup' menu that appears when users click a subtle menubar icon to select desired characters instantly without need of complex keyboard combinations. With added support for HTML symbols, Ergonis sees the software not only as an essential tool for users who frequently use non-standard characters, but also web designers and technologists.
AKVIS on Tuesday released version 3.0 of its Retoucher plug-in for Mac and Windows. Promising to add new life to photos damaged by dust, scratches and age, or improving the composition of digital images, the plug-in is designed to 'restore damaged photographs to optimal condition with minimal effort and amazing results'. Integrating seamlessly with a host of established image manipulation software such as Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and Corel Paint Shop, Retoucher 3.0 is aimed at both amateurs and professionals alike -- AKVIS promises that it is possible to 'master the program within minutes'.
Rounding out its phone news with phones targeted at newcomers, Sony Ericsson this morning has unveiled a pair of low-cost phones it expects will bring something new to the category. The K330 stands as one of the company's least expensive ever camera phones with a VGA sensor that allows both standard shots as well as video capture, a rarity in the class; enough memory is onboard to store 250 still images or less for videos. The phone also supports Bluetooth and comes with an FM radio to fill in its music support.
Continuing a string of announcements, Sony Ericsson on Tuesday has swung its attention to its camera phones. The C905 is the handset maker's first Cyber-shot slider and shoots at 8.1 megapixels -- an unprecedented resolution for any of the company's cellphones. The sensor is backed up by a xenon flash as well as digital autofocusing that supports face detection and image stabilization. The device also incorporates real GPS and uses the positioning feature both for mapping and to geotag shots.
Sony Ericsson this morning held a gathering that saw the introduction of several devices, led by the F305. The slider preempts an upcoming wave of iPhone games by including its own accelerometer and focusing on motion-sensitive gameplay: the phone itself can be pitched to emulate bowling or tilted to steer in a racing game. Three games are preloaded on the phone that take advantage of the feature, while more than 50 will be available from GameLoft, Sony Ericsson says. The device also comes with stereo speakers, dedicated gaming keys, and a battery strong enough to handle eight hours of uninterrupted games.
OsiriX has released version 3.2 of its open-source medical and scientific imaging software, boasting improved performance and a host of new features. Based on the VTK, ITK and decmtk software development kits, OsiriX is fully natively compliant with the DICOM standard for medical images, as well as JPEG, TIFF PDF and AVI. In addition to an already extensive feature set, most notable developments in version 3.2 of the software include 80 percent faster rendering speed than previous versions and the return of 64-bit support on PowerPC G5-based systems. The full list of new features as documented in the release notes, is as follows:
HP on Tuesday unveiled the MediaSmart Connect, a new digital media receiver that can obtain images, music, and movie files from a home network to display on an HDTV. The piano black-finished device also includes connectivity with online media services like Snapfish, CinemaNow, Live365, and several others, as well as Windows Media Center Extender functionality. HP is expected to sell the MediaSmart Connect unit for $350, and will be available later on this year.
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Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,Â Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard DiskÂ Drive,Â GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl