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OTPP cleared to buy Bell
The Supreme Court of Canada on Friday ruled that the $52 billion purchase of Bell Canada is valid, allowing the Canadian telecommunications firm to be owned by the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. CBC reports that BCE stock jumped almost 10-percent as a result, rising $3.35 to close at $37.45 in New York. The deal overturns a previous court decision in the Quebec Court of Appeals, who ruled that the company must consider interests of bondholders.
Safari beats Firefox, IE
InFocus' X10 projector
InFocus on Wednesday introduced the X10 Full HD 1080p projector in the UK. Part of the company's Home Theater range of offerings, the X10 features a 16:9 native aspect ratio, and a contrast ratio of 2500:1, which can be boosted to 7500:1 via the active iris built into its lens. The DarkChip1 DLP chipset was sourced from Texas Instruments.
Apple certified reconditioned displays in 20-in., 23-in., and 30-in. sizes are now available at the Apple Store ranging from $499 to $1,499. The 20-in. model ($499) features 1680 x 1050 resolution while the 23-in. ($749) and the 30-in. ($1,499) models both feature HD screens with 1920 x 1200 resolution on the 23-in. and 2560 x 1600 resolution on the 30-in. Each display also includes two FireWire 400 ports and two USB 2.0 ports.
Forum roundup: MacNN forum goers' Time Machine questions are answered in The Offical Time Machine Q&A Thread covering everything from how Time Machine works and what it is for, to steps on how to resolve issues with Time Machine when it is not working properly. High pitched noises from one member's CRT monitor sparked a conversation about possible causes for this problem as well as provided suggestions for more energy efficient LCD replacements. One user inquires about Booting OS 8 on a G3 from an external USB DVD drive and gets advice from other members about possible options that they could try. Other users converse about different styles of carrying bags for MacBook and MacBook Pro as well as post pictures and compare prices in a thread dedicated to backpacks, bags and sleeves for Mac Notebooks. In the MacNN lounge, users discuss signs that John McCain is too old as well as debate the differences between democrat Barack Obama and republican John McCain.
Graph Paper Maker
Logo Design Studio Pro 1.8 ($60) logo design software brings together a full vector editor with pre-designed conceptual logo templates and objects. The new update to Logo Design Studio Pro now includes increased support for SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) files; over 1300 pre-designed SVG objects that anyone can fully edit; a new browser that allows you to preview each SVG object in a variety of categories, and the latest version of the Sparkle framework.
Composer FX Movie 1.7.6 ($20) video effects processor application with over 400 special effects filters. Harnesses the power of Mac OS X 10.5's Quartz Composer for adding visual effects to your movies. Acts as a companion program for iMovie 08. Composer FX Movies includes: Comic Book, Hearts, 3D Video Wall, Plasma, Glass, Sky, Aquarium, Snow, TV, Pencil and many more. [Download - 14.2MB]
Graph Paper Maker 2.0 ($20) lets you create your own custom sheets of graph paper. It is ideal for students, teachers, engineers, scientists, researchers, businessmen, and others who need to create specialized sheets of graph paper. The latest release of Graph Paper Maker adds options to create custom sheets of Cornell Notes paper, as well as custom designed grids of dots and crosses. [Download - 1.4MB]
Text Up and Text Up Pro (free-30 Euros) TextUp is free. It creates subtitles which build up from the bottom of the screen as you type in a way which is needed for standard subtitling. It also features 'Outline', 'Drop Shadow' and 'Box'. It's a easy to use 'one stop' generator for most of the subtitling issues. TextUp Pro additionally includes 'Line wrapping' which will fit the text automatically into a given title safe area. So copy/paste text from a script or using an external application to import titles (like our TitleExchange) will make the workflow even easier. TextUp Pro also adds vertical alignment options, you get 'TextCenter' and 'TextDown' as well.[Download - 1MB]
ASUS intros ARES CG6155
ASUS yesterday unveiled its ARES CG6155 desktop PC, designed for very high-end gamers. The tower was modeled after Eastern and Western armors of the past and present. The looks are backed up with more durable hardware such as dual power supplies delivering 2kW of energy and liquid cooling technology to ensure system stability. The PC uses Intel's quad-core Extreme QX9650 CPU rated at 3GHz, with ASUS providing the necessary software to overclock the chip to 4GHz.
Screen sharing tutorials
In brief: We have posted a review of The Edge, a new MacBook case, a directory of iPhone and iPod Touch Web pages debuts, two screen sharing tutorial books have been released, and the Los Angeles Final Cut Pro User Group is celebrating 8 years ... We have posted a review of The Edge, a versatile MacBook case. Unlike a briefcase, you can throw it in your backpack, or, you can carry it under your arm for short trips. Much like the MacBook it is designed to protect, the Edge is clean, simple, and easy to use. It's about as basic as laptop protection gets because you just open the triangular Velcro flap and slide in your laptop.
Italian resellers & iPhone
Italian iPhone shoppers may be allowed to buy the device through Apple resellers, a local news site reports. Macity cites a source "informed on the facts," who claims that stores with the Apple Premium Reseller designation will be able to sell the device alongside Vodafone and Telecom Italia's locations, and Apple's one official store in the country, situated in Rome. The distribution deal is said to have been arranged between the carriers and the resellers, rather than directly through Apple.
Sony intros Alpha flash
Sony yesterday announced it added a new accessory for its line of Alpha digital SLR cameras, with the HVL-F58AM external flash unit. The top-of-the-line flash replaces the HVL-F56AM model, and features Sony's Quick Shift Bounce system, a flash head that can pivot 90 degrees on a horizontal axis. The guide number is 58 at 105mm and ISO 100.
Apple tech finds Ruby hole
An Apple technician has identified a vulnerability in the Ruby development platform, a security warning explains. Drew Yao of the Apple Product Security team is said to have discovered multiple arbitrary code vulnerabilities, which if exploited could be used to run a denial-of-service attack, or other local means of undermining a system. The vulnerabilities only impact specific versions of Ruby 1.8.4 through 1.8.7, and 1.9.
NHK intros SHV Ultra-HD
At the CommunicAsia technology expo today, Japanese national TV broadcaster NHK showed a projection system capable of 77680x4320 resolution, otherwise known as Super Hi-Vision (SHV) and exactly four times higher than 1920x1080 (Full HD) resolution. In contrast, 16 HDTVs at Full HD resolution would have to be stacked together to create one image equivalent to the Super Hi-Vision technology developed by NHK.
Hitachi WXGA projector
Hitachi on Thursday unveiled its newest LCD projector, the second in its line-up to offer 1366x768 (WXGA) resolution. The CP-WX625 LCD projector (not pictured) is being shown at InfoComm 2008 and features a 4000 lumens brightness rating along with a 16:10 native aspect ratio. The business-grade projector was designed with ease of maintenance in mind, including a 2000-hour side-mounted hybrid filter and a 3,000-hour Whisper mode lamp that is accessible via a top panel door.
Dash Express at 299
Dash today has made a low-key price cut to the Dash Express that brings the price of the GPS unit down to $299. The cut lowers the price from its previous $399 and is a further cut from the initial launch price of $599. The price slash is spurred on by "outstanding results" during a temporary Father's Day promotion that brought the price down to a similar level, according to the company, which also suggests it should help add to the number of Dash users contributing to the Express' unique map data sharing features.
Synium has released the final version of MacFamilyTree 5.2, a genealogy program which sports an iLife-style interface, and options for reports, exports and printing. The program is said to support a "practically unlimited" number of family members through use of Apple's Core Data technology. The v5.2 update mainly introduces the Virtual Tree, a 3D rendering which displays all the connections between various relatives. Color coding can be used to identify age, date of birth, or gender.
Rogers BBerry Plan Update
Rogers Wireless today instituted new BlackBerry service plans that customers are concerned may reflect the price plans for the iPhone 3G when it arrives in Canada next month. While offering more bandwidth than previous plans, the pricing again includes metered bandwidth with different tiers: a new $30 monthly plan offers 300MB of data with 50 cents per megabyte and overage protection to prevent excessive fees; new extra tiers increase the bandwidth allotment to 1GB ($60), 3GB ($80), and 6GB ($100) with the same protection rates.
Psystar, known mainly for its controversial Mac clone, says it has begun shipping two new servers, both of which have the option of pre-installing Mac OS X Leopard Server. Apple's licensing terms require Leopard to be installed on official hardware; Psystar's OpenServs, however, are unsanctioned and also compatible with server software such as Window Server and Ubuntu.
Sirius XM on FCC Slate
The Federal Communications Commission has quietly put the proposed merger between Sirius and XM on its Items on Circulation list. The move indicates that at least a draft proposal for the satellite radio union will be discussed by the FCC and that a final decision on the merger could be made shortly after FCC commissioners discuss the draft. The government agency recently hinted at increased progress earlier this week when it proposed approval of the deal as long as conditions are honored for a-la-carte pricing and channels dedicated to certain public interest groups.
Helio May Close Stores
The mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) market in the US may be on the verge of collapse with Helio about to scale back or shut down entirely, according to a rumor circulated by Engadget. The provider is allegedly telling store managers that it will shut down at least some of its retail shops in possible preparation for a takeover by Virgin Mobile. No information has yet appeared to suggest that Helio is withdrawing support for the service itself.
Alltel nabs Samsung MyShot
A new Samsung phone, the MyShot (SCH-r430), is being adopted by Alltel Wireless. The phone is a fairly basic clamshell design, and primarily features a 1.3-megapixel camera, which saves to an internal memory pool of 20MB. The phone also allows limited web browsing and file downloads, but does not support any broadband options.
Wi-LAN expands lawsuits
The Ottawa, Canada-based business Wi-LAN has added three more companies to a list of ongoing lawsuits, Reuters reports. It is now targeting three cellphone makers, specifically Motorola, UTStarcom, and BlackBerry creator Research in Motion. The companies are specifically accused of violating Wi-LAN patents, and litigation is already in progress at the Marshall Division of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The court is well known for ruling in favor of patent suit plaintiffs.
Marware CEO Flip Vue case
Marware has announced another upcoming case for the iPhone 3G, the CEO Flip Vue. The case is a relative of the CEO Premier, but uses a vertical holster design, and a lid that permits full control of an iPhone when open. When closed, the case still provides use of headphones, the camera, volume controls, the dock connector, and the speaker and microphone.
S Ericsson Sharapova Cases
Sony Ericsson finished its week today with the launch of the Sharapova Design Collection, one of its first themed case lineups. The four cases are influenced by tennis player Maria Sharapova and were custom-designed by London fashion teams to be useful both inside and outside of sports. The Courtside Case and Exercise Case both attach to bags and arms respectively and keep the phone completely protected in less than ideal conditions; the Party Case and the Travel Case use handbag and wallet shapes that are more appropriate for after-hours.
Jobs popular at Apple
Apple's Steve Jobs has the one of the best employee ratings amongst thousands of corporate CEOs, data from Glassdoor suggests. The site is said to have compiled over 40,000 worker reviews of some 9,800 companies around the world, and at present Jobs is rated well by 91 percent of his employees. By comparison, more average ratings include Michael Dell at 66 percent, and Microsoft's Steve Ballmer at 55.
Radeon HD 4850 via Diamond
Preempting a formal introduction by AMD alone, both AMD and Diamond have publicly introduced the Radeon HD 4850. Both the reference video card and Diamond's own model are some of the few upper mid-range cards to fit in a single card slot while still outperforming more expensive cards: in benchmarks, the 4850 is known to roughly match the performance of the more expensive GeForce 9800 GTX and the dual-chip Radeon HD 3870 X2. A boost in the number of stream (pixel and vertex) processors from 320 to 480, plus a 625MHz core clock speed and 993MHz memory, is credited for much of the improvement.
Dell Studio Hybrid Leak
Dell's unnamed mini desktop has been given a title as well as early specifications, courtesy of a new leak being spread by Engadget. Now referred to as the Studio Hybrid, the desktop uses a color wrap-around Plexiglas shell instead of the bamboo on show for one version and is now known to use an Intel platform; whether or not it uses Atom or a Core 2 chipset is unclear. The system will also have video support enough for HDMI video out and 4GB of memory, and should come with Wi-Fi.
Mercedes integrates iPhone
Luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz this week revealed that an integrated iPhone cradle is now available as an option on all its vehicles. Allowing drivers to easily switch between standard radio and iPhone functions, it offers full iPhone functionality through the vehicle's driver display and multifunction steering wheel. In addition to helping drivers comply with traffic legislation specific to mobile telephone usage in cars, Mercedes believes that the cradle "enhances road safety, as the driver's hands remain on the steering wheel, leaving them free to concentrate on the traffic and the other controls in the cockpit."
NTT DoCoMo on iPhone 3G
NTT DoCoMo is defending its inability to secure an iPhone deal, writes Japan's Impress Watch. Speaking at a shareholder meeting, DoCoMo CEO Masao Nakamura has stated that while the iPhone is attractive and has an appealing fanbase, many of its features are already present on the likes of LG's Prada touchscreen phone, or the Sharp SH906i. The first iPhone was also unusually heavy, says Nakamura, although he appreciates that the 3G model weighs only 4.7 ounces.
Samsung Soul 1m Sales
Over one million units of Samsung's Soul designer phone have sold since it went on sale a month ago, the company says. Although limited to just Europe for its initial launch, the device has been one of the most popular phones in recent weeks and has sold better in this early stage than the iPhone managed in the first quarter of the year, when Apple sold 1.7 million units in three months.
ezSkin cases fro iPhone
ezGear on Friday announced two new cases designed specifically for the iPhone 3G. The ezSkin Laundau is a lightweight silicon case that includes a transparent plastic film to protect the iPhones touch-screen. The Landau preserves complete access to all ports, and uses ezGears 'ezButton' feature for the volume and power controls on the device. It is available in white, black and pink; it is priced at $15. The ezSkin Plus is aimed at iPhone users seeking enhanced protection and additional features such as a spring-loaded belt clip. Again made from durable silicon, the Plus differs from its more minimalist sibling by offering protection to every visible part of the iPhone. The touch-screen rather than using the thinner film of the Landau case, is covered by a thicker static transparent protector. This more substantial case is also offered in white, black or pink as well with a price tag of $20.
Playfirst launches Fashion
Playfirst this week launched Fashion Dash, the latest title in its extensive DASH brand of games. Gameplay centers around 'easy-to-learn but challenging to master time management mechanics', aiming to attract new casual gamers to the well established series. "Fashion Dash introduces the newest entrepreneur in Dinertown, Coco, a costume designer for the televised dance show Dancerrific who opens a series of clothing boutiques when the program goes bust. Her goal is to earn enough money to reunite her friends from Dancerrific, and gameplay is built around helping Coco run her boutiques. Players do everything from custom fittings to coat-hanger cleanup".
UK stores & iPhone 3G
Apple's own retail stores in the UK may not be able to sell the iPhone 3G on July 11th, an industry publication reports. The issue stems from Apple's new activation policy, which forces customers to subscribe to a given carrier in-store, rather than at home through iTunes. Apple UK outlets are said to lack the means of running credit checks, and its staff are still untrained in getting customers onto a phone contract, in this case one from O2.
Aquamacs 1.4 Launched
The Aquamacs Project this week released Aquamacs 1.4, the latest version of the venerable and time-proven Emacs-based text editing software, adapted specifically for Mac OS X. Running as a standard OS X application, Aquamacs 1.4 integrates with Apples 'Aqua' GUI, offering a simplified version of the notoriously complex Emacs user interface. Combining standard OS X keyboard commands with the extended options native to Emacs, the text editor offers the extensibility and ergonomics of GNU Emacs with the ease of installation and performance of OS X.
BenQ on Friday claimed an industry first by updating its E series computer displays with a new, extra-sharp model. The E2200HDA is the first known desktop LCD to use a 16:9 aspect ratio that fits widescreen HD content without the black bars that come with most 16:10, non-native screens. It also stands as one of the most densely-packed displays outside of pro-level hardware: while measuring an uncommon 21.5 inches diagonally, the screen provides a full 1920x1080 resolution and will display 1080p content from Blu-ray, game consoles, or other sources without losing any detail.
Mac OS X Trojan found
Multiple variants of a new 'Trojan Horse', designed to allow a malicious user complete remote access to a Mac OS X system have been discovered in the wild earlier this week according to makers of Mac anti-spyware and anti-virus solutions SecureMac. Dubbed 'Applescript.THT Trojan' and disguised as an application bundle called 'AStht_v06' (3.1MB in size), the malware seemingly originated, and is distributed via a 'hacker' website, as well as Limewire and iChat. Post system infiltration, the malicious script can reportedly "log keystrokes, take pictures with the built-in Apple iSight camera, take screenshots, and turn on file sharing". A 'copy cat' program based on the OS X Remote Management exploit was discovered earlier this week.
goSecure 1.2 launched
GoGoalsoft has announced the latest update to its easy to use Mac OS X encryption application, goSecure 1.2. Designed to keep sensitive documents away from prying eyes, version 1.2 includes 256-Bit AES encryption (up from the 128-bit AES of previous versions), faster encrytion/decryption times, and an option to skip file compression. Offering features such as an easy 'drag and drop' workflow, secure deletion for source files and a 'default path' backup feature, goSecure 1.2 is for users wishing to keep their files secure.
Hasbro this morning unveiled the A.M.P, or Automated Music Personality. The wheeled but otherwise humanoid robot borrows the same philosophy as the Sony Rolly and at once simplifies and expands on it. Rather than integrate its own MP3 player, the Hasbro device lets users plug in an iPod or any minijack-equipped player into a case on the back; in its simplest mode, the robot automatically detects beats and dances in sync with 49 pulsing lights.
Samsung Instinct Ships
Sprint today began shipping the Samsung Instinct, the carrier's primary challenge to the iPhone 3G. The close cousin of the Europe-oriented F490 is now known to be launching with a number of the same features as the Apple device due three weeks later, including full 3G Internet access (here through Sprint's EVDO Revision A network), true GPS navigation, and the last-minute addition of Exchange mail support despite using a non-smartphone operating system.
Yahoo execs leave
Yahoo's board of directors has taken a beating after the Microsoft buyout fiasco, with many leaving their positions as the company looks to restructure its business. The Wall Street Journal writes that Jeff Weiner, Vish Makhijani, Qi Lu, Usama Fayyad, Stewart Butterfield, and Caterina Fake are among those listed who will leave the company, with some saying they are looking for better opportunities with Russian search engine Yandex, and other destinations.
GarageSale 5 adds reports
Iwascoding on Thursday unveiled GarageSale 5 at the eBay Live! Conference in Chicago, offering users several enhanced features and increased functionality, and also introduced two new apps. GarageSale 5 offers Bonjour-enabled auction template sharing for easy importing over a network, as well as a report generator, to create income and expense reports. YouTube integration is also included for simplified video embedding. GaragesSale 5 is available for $35, and is free for users of v4.x.
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