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Apple retail in China
Apple will open a new store in Beijing in July just in time for the 2008 Summer Olympics and is planning to open a second store sometime during the Games, according to The Shanghai Daily. The store, the first on the Chinese mainland, will open in the Sanlitun, a popular area of the capital city, according to Apple China's website. The three-floor retail store will open July 19, with a second location open in the Qianmen area during the Olympic games (according to an industry insider via ShanghaiDaily.com). Apple China is not releasing any other details on the store launches, such as the time of day for the opening.
Diablo III for Mac, PC
Diablo III has been announced by Blizzard Entertainment at the 2008 Blizzard Entertainment Worldwide Invitational in France. Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment, said that they wanted to expand the epic elements of Diablo for a long time. "We know that players for many years (have been waiting for) a return of the series, so we are very excited to share this announcement with all of you here in Paris and the whole world today." Diablo III will be launched on both Mac OS X and Windows simultaneously, with pricing and system requirements to be released closer to the launch of the game.
Synchrotech has announced the MicroU2E-MV USB to ExpressCard adapter, which allows ExpressCards with voltages of both 1.5V and 3.3V to connect to a USB port. The adapter can accept both ExpressCard 34 and 54 sizes and is cross-platform, bringing ExpressCard connectivity to Mac (and PC) laptops lacking ExpressCard slots. The adapter, which is limited to USB-based cards (and will not work with PCIe-based ExpressCards), is available now for $48 and requires a USB 2.0-based ExpressCard and a host computer running Mac OS X or Mac OS 8.6 and above (also Windows ME or later).
Solver for Excel 2008
Microsoft says it is working on briging Solver functionality to its latest Excel 2008 release, after removing the functionality that was available in its previous Excel 2004 version. Solver enables linear programming within Excel, useful for capacities, minimums and maximums and scheduling loads; it is commonly used in both business and higher education applications. The company said it had to remove the functionality because it relied on Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), which was removed from the latest Office 2008 release. "We definitely hear you, and we're working on it" says the Office for Mac Team Blog in an update on Solver, an Excel add-in users are clamoring for.
Treo 800w Spec Leak
Palm's Treo 800w will perform better than expected but have unusual feature omissions when it launches on Sprint, if a leaked training document obtained by Engadget proves accurate. The device's camera is said to be uprated from 1.3 to 2 megapixels, while the device will also have a USB 2.0 connection that lets its owner sideload content much faster than on the 755p or earlier Treos. In Sprint garb, however, the device appears to have dropped MMS picture messaging and instead uses Sprint's proprietary Picture Mail for quick image sharing.
New PCI RAID cards
Sans Digital has announced three PCI RAID cards that feature a new set of Silicon-Image-based host bus adapters with selectable RAID and BASE BIOS jumpers. The new series includes three different models. A 2-port eSATA PCIe 1x card, a 4-port eSATA PCI-X card and single-port Infiniband SFF-8470 PCI-X card. They are available now via the Sans Digital website, with the 4-port eSATA card retailing for $110 and the Infiniband card retailing at $120 (the 2-port eSATA card's price was unavailable at press time). The cards work with machines running Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
Mac Pro overclockable
ZDNet has announced what it says is the first tool for overclocking the Mac Pro. Windows options for overclocking are prevalent, but none have been available for the Mac Pro, according to ZDNet. It claims that the new software, called ZDNet Clock, is capable of speed increases of 15 to 20 percent, and most computers with 2.8GHz chips should be able to meet or exceed 3.2 GHz. The version 1.0 software supports Intel processors on a Mac Pro or Xserve and requires Max OS X 10.5; it is available for download now, free of charge.
No MMS on iPhone 3G
NetCom, the iPhone 3G carrier in Norway has published its iPhone 3G plans, confirming that the 3G version will lack MMS, just as the original version did. The news, first reported by Italian website setteB.IT (English translation here), means that MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), which provides media rich text messaging, including video, audio and rich text, will be unavailable on the new iPhone 3G. MMS is considered the evolutionary step from SMS, which is limited to simple text.MMS has been available on AT&T and Verizon's networks for half a decade or more, and many thought that the iPhone 3G would add the service.
IAntiVirus Beta released
Security software developer PC Tools has just released a beta of iAntiVirus, its first security software for the Mac. The company says iAntiVirus uses less memory and system resources than similar security applications because it ignores Windows viruses and only removes malware intended for the Mac. "Let's face it, malware is (now) a business," said Michael Greene, PC Tools Vice President of Product Strategy. He says rapid growth in Mac market share has made the platform a profitable target for organized identity theft.
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