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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.
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.
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.
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. Itís about as basic as laptop protection gets because you just open the triangular Velcro flap and slide in your laptop.
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 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.
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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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'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.
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 driverís hands remain on the steering wheel, leaving them free to concentrate on the traffic and the other controls in the cockpit."
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.
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.
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 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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'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.
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.
Now AAPL Stock: 95.01 ( + 0.99 )
Swift benchmarking suite goes open-source
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well. http://bit.ly/1W8u0EU
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram is now rolling out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in version 7.1.5 of its iOS app. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app; additionally, some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X
Bambooti wooden skins for MacBooks
Bambooti has introduced premium wooden skins for Apple laptops that allow users to customize any design or logo directly on the case. Each Bambooti skin is handcrafted from sustainably managed forests, and are hand sanded and spray-finished to create an ultra smooth exterior. Bambooti's wooden skins start at $65 on the fully-funded Kickstarter which includes a custom design or logo of the user's choice that will be engraved on the product. http://kck.st/1PhE6Sb
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes ¬≠Power Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO
Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ