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Sony this week at InfoComm unveiled its new lineup of business-class LCD projectors, some of which feature the company's BrightEra imaging technology. BrightEra provides a higher aperture ratio to deliver brighter images than the previous High Temperature Poly-Silicon-based LCD systems, with a high resolution and low fan noise. Most of the models are currently shipping, with two set to be available in November this year.
Rogers Wireless and its sub-brand Fido will nearly match AT&T's pricing when they begin selling the iPhone 3G next month, according to a leaked data sheet said to have been sent out to employees of the two carriers. The sheet points to a standard personal account requiring a $30 data plan like that of AT&T that would provide unlimited access to at least the web, normal e-mail, and Visual Voicemail when linked to a phone plan that includes voice messages. Corporate users would likewise pay $45 per month for similar offerings plus access to work e-mail.
China's Intellectual Property Office is investigating Microsoft after years of the software giant abusing its dominance of the software market, allegedly without its own knowledge. AFP writes that the Windows developer, among several other firms, is being targeted, due to its monopolistic behaviour; Microsoft Office, for example, sells for up to 7000 yuan (over $1000 US), more expensive than a PC. The Chinese authority is currently investigating the matter.
Forum roundup: Excitement about MobileMe has been a topic of conversation in the MacNN forums lately. Users discussed the functionality of MobileMe and established that MobileMe will work with all of the Mac applications you would expect it to, as well as some Windows based applications such as Outlook. One user looks forward to being able to pull up files from their home computer while they are at work and another likes the idea of being notified instantly when they receive e-mails from their e-mail accounts on all their devices. Most users seem to think that Apple could have come up with something a little better than "MobileMe" for this service although it was determined that it could have been worse. Despite a funky name it appears as if MobileMe is something that will be in high demand upon its launch.
An entry on Sony's PlayStation Blog by Eric Lempel, Director of PlayStation Netowrk Operations, today revealed the electronics giant will soon launch a couple of software updates for its PlayStation 3 gaming console. The first update, version 2.36, will reportedly fix some bugs users experienced when playing certain PlayStation titles. The one to wait for, however, is 2.40, which will bring the long-anticipated XMB in-game main menu interface, as well as a Trophies feature previously undescribed by the console maker.
Sanyo unveiled the CE52SR1 52-inch LCD monitor at Infocomm 2008 today. The monitor's headline-grabbing feature is its usability in outdoor environments, thanks to marine-grade construction and an LCD that is legible in direct sunlight thanks to 1500 cd/m2 brightness. The second-generation monitor is meant for commercial applications and will support 1080p HD (1920x1080) resolution and features a 6.5ms pixel response time suitable for fast movements in video.
Sanyo today announced it will release its new ultra-short throw projector, the PLC-XL51. Capable of projecting an image up to 80 inches in size from about 3 inches away at 1024x768 (XGA) resolution, the new projector features some upgrades over the PLC-XL50. These include a higher brightness (2,700 lumens vs 2,000), an SD memory card slot for PC-free presentations and network capabilities.
Following only a day after the release of Parallels Server for Mac, Media Temple has begun a private beta of (xv) (Xserve-Virtual), a new hosting service. The company takes Parallels Server, and combines it with Apple's Xserve hardware to run virtualized copies of Mac OS X Leopard Server. The primary advantage of this is said to be lower price overhead than a dedicated Leopard server, while still retaining access to flexible resources.
MacProVideo has added two new titles to its library of training videos for creative applications . “Reason 4.0 101: Core Reason 4” is a five-hour package with tips and music workflow techniques from trainer Paul Garay. “Logic 201: Steve H’s Logic Master Class #1” covers advanced techniques for working with beats, recorded audio, and the transform window. The tutorials are available now for $40 and $50 respectively.
Sprint's long-delayed full rollout of its Xohm WiMAX Internet service should start in September, company chief technical officer Barry West said Wednesday at the WiMAX Forum's Global Congress event. The executive now claims that the 4G-class wireless network will start its normal, paid business in September with a first run in Baltimore; Chicago and Washington DC, which have also participated in early trials, will see their networks opened to the public sometime in the fall. Other cities should come soon after, West says.
LightWork Design has taken the wraps of what it says is a "game-changing" rendering solution for developers of 3D design software. The company claims LightWorks SE has the “easiest to use toolkit ever,” and includes pre-configured content settings to simplify complex rendering projects. LightWork says it uses an industry-based approach so the product can be tailored to individual customers.
YouTube has begun letting companies offer videos longer than the official 10 minutes on its site, according to a memo allegedly being sent to these firms. The message gives those with official presences on the video website permission to post videos that fit within a 1GB file size cap as well as to attach advertising to those clips. The reported official move follows known experiments that have included both the release of an independent movie last year and the more recent promotional release of an episode of The Tudors.
Microsoft should divert some of its attention away from Google and concentrate on Apple, argues the Wall Street Journal. Although Microsoft faces stiff competition from Google, particularly after the latter's deals with DoubleClick and Yahoo, Apple is said to be rapidly encroaching on territory once held sacred, such as the smartphone market. Apple has the attention of the American public whereas Microsoft does not, the Journal writes. Windows Mobile is used on a number of third-party smartphones, but these are already losing some ground to the iPhone.
Dell is charging some customers as much as $50 to switch from Windows Vista to XP on their systems, according to the company. Buyers picking a system from the company's Vostro business line can choose to install XP Professional instead of Vista Business but must pay an additional $50 beyond the price it takes to upgrade to Vista Business itself. Users face a reduced fee for the downgrade if moving from Vista Ultimate but still pay more than for the upgrade to a higher Vista edition than what comes preloaded on the system.
Timepost 2.3.2 ($50) a reliable web-integrated time management system for Mac OS X. Timepost is a full-featured time tracking solution that integrates with internet project management services. Can post time to Basecamp, Blinksale, Cashboard, FreshBooks, FogBugz, and Tick. Not only is Timepost a simple project timer, but a powerful extension to your existing web service. The new release adds menubar timer access. [Download - 1.1MB] Modul8 2.5.5 (300 Euros) Mac OS X based real time, live performance video compositing software. The incremental update brings several interface enhancements, numerous bug fixes and added 'keyword' functions in its python scripting based module system. The update is free for all registered users and can be accessed using the in software update command. [Download - 20.9MB] iCalamus 1.13 ($130) multi-lingual, frame-oriented desktop publishing solution for Mac OS X. iCalamus offers an easy approach to DTP, and an excellent choice for creating simple posters, to complex magazines, scientific works and book publishing. Among the many new improvements and bug fixes, version 1.13 can now import iPhoto documents as calendars, as well as printing Photographerbook documents externally. [Download - 25.6MB] iWisdom 1.7 ($10) desktop program that will help you manage and maintain a list of quotations and insightful ideas. In this release, categorization of quotations is now much more powerful. Multiple separate categories may now be assigned to the same quotation, and the ability to define multiple levels per category has been preserved. [Download - 3.3MB] Label Wizard 1.0.0 ($30) lets you create your own custom sheets of labels. You have complete control over the layout of the label. Each object can be precisely position. Serial numbers are a special case, they will be automatically incremented on each label. So you can easily print out a sheet of labels, each with a unique serial number. [Download - 3MB]
Kaleidescape, a builder of server-based home theater systems, has released two expansion units for its platform. The 1080p Player is designed to slot into a 1U rack, and upscales to maximum possible resolution, whether sourcing movies from digital copies or DVDs loaded into its optical drive. Internal processing handles functions such as automatic widescreen enlargement, and users can import movies and music directly from the Player, without having to walk over to another unit.
Plyxim has upated its QuickTime-based scheduling software for closed-circuit broadcasting systems. Exibia 1.2 Server allows users from multiple platforms to use their web browsers to upload content to a central server. Version 1.2 includes a "major overhaul" to Exibia's web client interface. Exibia supports iCal and LDAP integration, and works with third-party plug-ins including Flip4Mac, Perian and Divx.
At today's ongoing InfoComm expo, Texas Instruments is demonstrating a new projector technology (not pictured) which it claims will significantly improve home theater setups. Combining a PhlatLight LED with a BrilliantColor chipset, the TI arrangement completely omits a lamp, instead relying on mirrors and the LED itself to provide enough light. The major advantage is said to be a lack of lamp replacements and filter changes, which can potentially be expensive for home viewers.
Despite the relative success of the iPod in Japan, the iPhone 3G isn't likely to get an immediate footing in the country, according to a new iSHARE study. Of the Japanese adults polled, 91 percent say they have no plans to buy the device when it becomes available on July 11th. Of the remaining nine percent, nearly all (8.9 percent of the total) said they planned to purchase the device. Slightly under half of these are users already signed up for SoftBank, the carrier picked for the initial Japanese launch.
MCE has released its 500GB MobileStor Performance Hard Drive Upgrade Solution for MacBooks and MacBook Pros. The kit includes a 5400RPM SATA drive, a portable USB 2.0 enclosure for the old drive and everything needed to make the swap. MCE says the MobileStor has a sustained data transfer rate over 85 MB/sec and a burst transfer rate of 150MB/sec.
The salaries of Apple engineers are comparatively restrained next to those for other Silicon Valley companies, data from the survey site Glassdoor suggests. Apple's engineers are said to make approximately $89,000 per year, whereas similar jobs at Microsoft and Yahoo are believed to pay about $105,000. Some of the most extravagant salaries are present at Google, where an engineer can make as much as $112,573.
Toshiba today unveiled two new mobile DLP projectors, made up of the TDP-XP1U and TDP-XP2U. Both sport 1024x768 (XGA) resolution, a 4:3 aspect ratio, and a 2000:1 contrast ratio. The only difference between the two mobile projectors is their lamp, with the TDP-XP2U's endowing it with a higher 2,500 lumens brightness compared to the former's 2,200 rating.
Contributing its own share to a slew of announcements from the InfoComm show, ViewSonic today added its brightest-ever projector to its PJ series. The PJ1173 pushes brightness to 5,000 lumens and is clear enough (combined with 1,000:1 contrast) that the image should retain its original sharpness and colors even when in the normally-lit environments that wash out other projectors' images.
Apple will be dependent on a halo effect for increasing profit through the iPhone 3G, says the Needham & Co. analyst group. With the eliminating of revenue sharing from cellphone carriers, who are also helping to subsidize the new $199 and $299 prices, Apple is not expected to make as much money off each device as it is currently. Needham further proposes that Apple could be hurt by revised, more "realistic" iPhone shipments, and cannibalization in the sales of iPods, which in some cases duplicate iPhone features without the benefit of phone calls or GPS navigation.
Sprint today made the surprise announcement that the Samsung Instinct will sell for $130 on its June 20th launch date. The two-year contract price comes just over a week following the introduction of the rival iPhone 3G and significantly undercuts both the Apple device as well as an internal memo at the carrier which had suggested the same $199 subsidized price as for the iPhone. Sprint's price notably comes after an unusually steep $100 mail-in rebate and points to a more expensive price for the touchscreen phone outside of the deal.
Verizon today it would upgrade all the speeds for its FIOS fiber-optic service nationwide, giving users in all 16 states the same speeds that were previously reserved only for the most competitive areas. All of FIOS' 16 states now have access to up to 50Mbps downloads with 20Mbps uploads at the highest-end, $140 monthly tier ($90 in New York state and Virginia) versus the 30/15 services that were used for most regions; the synchronous 15/15 service is also slightly faster at 20/20 across those areas without changing the $65 monthly rate.
The iPhone 3G will be available through Apple resellers in the Netherlands, writes MacWereld. The site says that several such retailers have claimed deals with T-Mobile, which will otherwise be the only legal vendor of the iPhone in the country. Apple's official stores are located solely in Canada, Italy, Japan, the US and the UK, and the only authorized third-party iPhone distributor is the UK's Carphone Warehouse.
Western Digital is today expanding its MyBook line with its first truly redundant backup drive. Instead of simply using additional drives for extra capacity, the MyBook Mirror Edition comes out of the box set up in a RAID 1 mirror that automatically backs up one drive's information on the second. The layout can be used either to rely solely on an external drive for certain data or to add a second layer to an existing backup. The casing is accessible and lets users swap out the drives either to replace a damaged drive or to swap both drives in the future.
iPhone sales should at least double in 2009, says Morgan Stanley. "We believe the market generally expects a doubling of iPhone units with the lower price point ($199)," writes the investment bank, "and we believe this is realistic, if not conservative." Company analysts in fact predict sales of 27 million iPhones during the 2009 calendar year, which would suggest sales of about 13.5 million this year. Average revenue per unit in 2009 is expected to be $550, Reuters observes.
NEC today contributed its share to the InfoComm expo with the EA261WM, a new 26-inch LCD it targets at the workplace but which is also usable at home. The design is relatively accurate with coverage for 92 percent of the NTSC color gamut and a 1,000:1 contrast ratio in spite of its relative size and a 5ms pixel response time. The professional black bezel also hides downward-firing stereo speakers for users who might not have space for separate speakers.
Panasonic on Wednesday broke word of two HD camcorders that use a brand new technology to improve their shooting in low lighting. The hybrid 60GB/SDHC HS100 camera and its SDHC-only SD100 equivalent use a new sensor technology known as 3MOS: effectively substituting CMOS sensors in place of a more typical 3CCD arrangement, the technique allows twice as much light in as a CCD while keeping the color reception that comes with more than one sensor. Either camera can shoot in as little as 2 lux of light, Panasonic says.
Sanyo today hopes to alter the landscape for projectors with a new addition to its semi-portable lineup. The PLC-XP200L is claimed to be the first 4LCD projector anywhere and adds a fourth, color management panel to the standard red, green and blue of a typical 3LCD unit. The extra component balances yellows and thus prevents colors from suffering as the projector gets brighter. That lets the XP200L push its brightness up to an extremely high 7,000 lumens of brightness without shedding precise color or losing the effects of a 2,200:1 contrast ratio, according to Sanyo.
Gefen has announced the availability of its new DVI-1500D DVI extender system, designed to offer a DVI cable extension of over 500 meters without signal loss or delay. Leveraging both sender and receiver units connected to the data source and display location, the solution connects via 4-Link LC-LC multimode fibre cable and can deliver hi-def video at full 1080p or 1920x1200, for up to 500 meters. According to the company, HDCP-compliant video also may be extended through the system using a CAT-5 cable -- up to a distance of 100 meters for DDC transmission.
Troll Touch on Wednesday announced an extension to its well respected SlipCOVER range, adding support for 20- and 24-inch 'aluminum' iMac computers. The SlipCOVER consists of a touch-sensitive overlay that replaces the iMac's display glass, connecting via a custom designed USB cable. Providing a high resolution, analogue resistive touchscreen that supports fingertip, stylus and gloved hand user input, the SlipCOVER provides an alternative to conventional user interaction methods.
After reported success in Europe, the Flybook V5 ultra-portable tablet PC is coming to the US, offering users similar technology to that found in the MacBook Air. According to Wired, the device features a 1.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo ULV U7600, a processor which places it in the same power class as Apple's ultraportable. Flybook includes Microsoft Windows Vista Business Edition, running on 4GB of memory, an 80GB hard drive, and an 8.9-inch screen touchscreen that is usable with fingers.
Apple has allegedly settled on a choice for its New York office space, with an insider pointing to a 30-story tower built by Macklowe Properties, at 510 Madison. Silicon Alley Insider reveals that Apple is seeking two floors at the location, approximately 15,000 square feet, which reportedly carries a high rental cost, but the developer might be willing to work out a deal after experience an unsatisfactory year. Exact pricing on the space was not revealed.
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Microsoft may end Office Support Professional prog
Microsoft appears to be either ending or seriously revamping its "Accredited Support Professional Program" for training on Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS it has offered at MacTech conferences since 2013. The program is not on offer at the upcoming MacTech tour, which begins on March 16 in San Francisco and includes a number of other cities. Microsoft has released a statement that it is "evaluating options for 2016, but don't have anything to share at this time." http://bit.ly/1KDz3MQ
Office for Mac v15.18 released
Microsoft has issued an update for the Mac version of its productivity suite, Office 2016. The v15.18 update offers improvements for all of the included apps, such as bringing full screen support to Outlook and allowing Word to save PDF files to flash drives. In addition, a new selection pane has been added to PowerPoint and Excel for keeping track of objects, and shapes can now be added to OneNote notebook pages. The update is free for all users, but requires a Mac running OS X 10.10 or later and a valid Microsoft Office 365 subscription. http://bit.ly/1Q7pAzW
Apple to open new south Florida mall store
According to real estate trade papers in south Florida, Apple has signed a lease for a new retail space in Miami, at the forthcoming Brickell City Centre (yes, the UK spelling is used) open-air mall, which is set to open later this year. The center will feature a five-story shopping area, condominiums, a hotel and office buildings, along with a "climate ribbon" in the shopping area to keep visitors cool, eschewing traditional air conditioning. The exact location of the Apple Store within the plan is not yet clear, but the destination already boasts 75 confirmed stores. http://bit.ly/1Q7n7Wd
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.