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Apple deals on iMacs
Reconditioned iMacs in a range of sizes and prices are now available at the Apple Store. Aluminum-cased iMacs start at $949 for the 20-inch 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo model with 1GB of memory and 250GB hard drive and go up to $1,899 for the 24-in. 3.06GHz model that has 2GB of memory and a 500GB hard drive. One configuration in white is available for $1,119 that has a 24-inch display 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 1GB of memory and a 250GB hard drive. All models have a built in iSight webcam, 8x SuperDrive and include an Apple remote, Apple keyboard and a Mighty Mouse.
BBuster Withdraws C City
Video retailer Blockbuster tonight said it has withdrawn its offer to buy Circuit City. The company provides few details as to the reason for its sudden exit but says that a combination of "market conditions" and the process of due diligence, or examining the health of Circuit City as a business, have led it to believe that a takeover of the electronics chain is not in its best interests. Blockbuster still argues that the idea of unifying media and electronics under one name but that it will have to do so through its own stores rather than Circuit City's locations.
Apple sued for fraud
A lawsuit was brought against several key Apple executives on Friday, accusing CEO Steve Jobs and several others of fraud, in relation to the stock option backdating scandal in recent years. According to a filing with the US District Court in San Jose, Jobs stands with former financial officer Fred Anderson, as well as Nancy Heinen, William Campbel, Millard Drexler, Arthur Levinson, and Jerome York, in addition to the company itself.
Toshiba internet DVD unit
As the dust from the HD DVD/Blu-ray war settles, Toshiba is allegedly not adopting the victorious Blu-ray standard, but instead is expected to pursue DVD up-sampling and Internet-enabled players. TG Daily writes that Toshiba has not released specific plans or future machine specifications, but believes that the players would be based around its SpursEngine 1000 processor for upsampling - a 'lite' version of the Cell BE CPU. The observations come as the Toshiba-chaired DVD Forum approved the logo for "DVD Download/DL"
ShareTool 1.2 ($20) remote access solution for Mac OS X. ShareTool lets users access all of the Bonjour services on their home network from anywhere in the world. This includes iTunes Music Sharing, Screen Sharing, File Sharing, and more. With ShareTool, users can listen to their entire iTunes music library at work, control the screen of any of their home computers, or grab that important file they forgot to bring with them. This version adds automatic compression of network traffic, a much improved interface, and several bug fixes.[Download - 5.6MB]
Tri-BACKUP 5.0.3 ($70) Mac OS X backup tool. Version 5.0.3 has bug correction, as well as a set of new features: improved FTP backup, possibility to launch a group of actions from the menu bar, new exclusion filter, multiple scheduling for each action, and various enhancements for an easier use. [Download - 7.5MB]
MenuCalendarClock for Entourage 2008 ($20) MenuCalendarClock for Entourage 2008 offers the ability to have a quick look at calendars, schedules and to do items with just a mouse-click or keystroke. The new version of MenuCalendarClock for Entourage 2008 fully supports Microsoft's Entourage 2008 in addition to Entourage 2004. MenuCalendarClock for Entourage 2008 is a free upgrade for all users who bought a license after January 14th, 2008. It is also a free upgrade for users using Entourage 2004. [Download - 1.3MB]
Audiocorder 5.2.0 ($20) allows your Mac tact as an audio recorder. In one mode, it operates as a volume operated (VOX) automated audirecorder, allowing you set the volume that the sound must reach to automatically begin recording. It can also be set with a recording schedule, to pick up audio at specific times, or as a manually operated recorder. This version adds a feature to log the start and stop time of automated (VOX) recordings, and includes several bug fixes. [Download - 430KB]
AddMovie 1.5.2 (donationware) tool for combining multiple movies or images into a single movie and batch exporting movies to any format supported by QuickTime. When combining movies you have the option of creating movie chapters with customizable titles. Other functionality includes: extracting audio tracks to files, splitting movies, setting movie poster frames and saving movie frames as images. [Download - 1.5MB]
Vue 3D contest
In brief: We have posted the second part of our review of Steinberg Sequel, the Vue 3D Environment Competition 2008 has been announced, fmDataGuard has announced its "First Anniverary Sale," and there is a newly announced DEVONthink 2.0 upgrade grace period ... We have posted the second part of our review of Steinberg Sequel. The tool allows you to record using a MIDI controller or through an external microphone, which is very similar to GarageBand. We recorded live audio from a microphone and it worked well. The intuitive design worked as we thought it would. Cutting and arranging segments of recorded material is also similar to GarageBand. You can move segments freely or snap them to a metronomic grid.
Eee Monitor Official Shots
ASUS' Eee Monitor today has been captured in official photos that confirm the system to be the company's direct answer to the iMac, according to LAPTOP. The all-in-one computer confirms earlier teaser photos and reveals a design that appears influenced by Apple's Cinema Displays and aluminum iMac computers, with an easel-like stand and backmounted ports; unlike either device, however, it should have side-mounted USB ports, a card reader, and a Denon-made stereo speaker system on the front.
ResizeMe 1.0 ships
Austria's Dare to be Creative has released the first version of ResizeMe, an image editing utility. The program handles batch resizing tasks for photographers, and anyone else with similar requirements, such as graphic and web designers. Users can additionally rotate or flip images in groups, and adjust their scale to needed proportions. The software supports popular formats including JPEG, TIFF, PNG and PDF, as well as the less common SGI and TGA standards. RAW is not supported, buy any camera EXIF information is carried over during processing. ResizeMe runs on Mac OS X 10.4 or later, is available as a 10-day trial or a $20 full version.
M-Audio Sono 61,88
M-Audio has released two new digital keyboards with built-in audio interfaces for songwriters and performers. The ProKeys Sono 61 and ProKeys Sono 88 are designed for keyboard artists who write, record and/or perform their music. They are compatible with MME and Mac OS X Core MIDI and require a minimum of a 1GHz G4-based Mac with 512MB RAM and a native USB port and are compatible with Mac OS X 10.3.9 and higher. The two keyboards differ primarily in the number of keys available, the 61-key ProKeys Sono 61 retails for $450 and the 88-key ProKeys Sono 88 retails for $550.
Intel thousand-core chips?
Yesterday's entry on Intel's Research@Intel blog by the company's Microprocessor Technology Lab Principal Engineer, Anwar Ghuloum, suggests the chipmaker will eventually offer chips with cores that count in the thousands, and tens and hundreds before that. In the blog, Ghuloum writes about working with external developers to take advantage of multi-core and terascale chips his company is developing.
Ringtones for iPhone
RingtoneFeeder has announced a new way of packaging and distributing music, called "Dynamic Albums" which provides updates to the album, delivered via RSS, for 12 months after the release date. RingtoneFeeder is $2 per month or $20 per year, while RingtoneStudio is $15 and requires iTunes and Mac OS X 10.4 or higher. Also PocketMac has announced RingtoneStudio for the iPhone, a new tool that allows iPhone users to make ringtones out of most movies or unprotected music files on the Mac.
UTStarcom sells handsets
Budget cell phone maker UTStarcom will sell its cellular handset distribution division to an investment group primarily owned by AIG Vantage Capital. UTStarcom bought the handset operation from Audiovox less than four years ago and supplies more than 20 mobile carriers, posted a net loss of $195.6 million in the last fiscal year. The sale is part of a restructuring effort and follows the company's announcement to sell its Mobile Solutions Business Unit earlier this year.
First Look: Optimism
Nearly everyone has felt happy or depressed at some point in their life. Naturally, most people want to relive their happy moments, while avoiding their depressing ones. In the past, trying to identify the causes of either has sometimes been trial and error, but with the help of the Optimism program for both Windows and Mac OS X, you can try to pinpoint these causes and plot a strategy for avoiding depression and increasing happiness.
T-Mobile intros HSUPA
T-Mobile UK is set to allow access to an HSUPA data network today that will let users upload content to the Internet via their cellular phones, becoming the UK's first wireless provider to do so across the country. HSUPA, or High Speed Uplink Packet Access, is the equivalent of the commonly-available HSDPA 3G data network except for its uploading abilities.
ASUS Eee PC 904 HD
ASUS today confirmed the existence of at least one new Eee PC model that it hopes will appeal to more users. Now called Eee PC 904 HD, the system will have the case of the 10-inch Eee PC 1001 but the 8.9-inch display of the 901. The "HD" moniker also reveals a switch to hard drive storage away from solid-state drives; the leap will give it more capacity without affecting price.
Piper on AT&T iPhone costs
Earlier estimates for the ASP (average selling price) of the iPhone 3G were too low, write analysts with Piper Jaffray. Following the announcement of AT&T's new iPhone plans, under which people can buy unsubsidized iPhones for $599 and $699, Piper admits that its earlier prediction of a $425 ASP was likely wrong. This is despite the fact that AT&T is believed to be drastically marking up the iPhone, in theory exaggerating Apple's revenue potential.
Fujitsu FCRAM Technology
Fujitsu on Tuesday unveiled a new version of its Fast Cycle RAM (FCRAM that it believes should give the performance of conventional memory with the power of mobile memory. By using a 64-bit wide interface, the chipmaker can produce memory which is faster than two typical 16-bit DDR2 memory sticks while also dropping the resistors that consume much of the power; a 256-megabit (32MB) edition of the new FCRAM chip uses about 70 percent less power, or one watt less, than ordinary RAM.
iPhone 3G Guided Tour
Apple has posted a new Guided Tour video, this time elaborating on the iPhone 3G. The extended version of the video runs approximately 38 minutes, and covers all expects of using an iPhone, from making calls and managing contacts through to taking photos and watching videos. Most of the information should be familiar to owners of 2.5G iPhones.
Quixpace debuts Stitches
Quixpace has announced Stitches 1.0, a cross-stitching and charting application for needlepointers using Mac OS X. It allows users to create and design cross-stitch charts, both from scratch or by importing photos, drawings and clip art into the software. It has 450 painting tools, 427 DMC swatches and it automatically converts imported art to DMC standard colors. It requires Mac OS X 10.4 and higher, and a minimum of 512MB RAM. The $50 software works on Intel- and PowerPC G5/G4-based Macs, and has a demo available.
Bernstein on iPhone Share
iPhones have the potential to take almost a sixth of the entire US cellphone subscription market by the end of next year, according to a new report by Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi. He estimates that the up-front price cut on the phone and its new features will potentially give Apple as much as 15 percent of all US postpaid (traditional subscription) business during calendar 2009. The higher service fees may affect what the phone designer can do to change its pricing, but most customers are "unlikely to do the math" that would deter them from picking up what is superficially a less expensive phone, the researcher says.
Apple disappoints Intel
Apple will not be incorporating Intel chips into its iPhone in the near future, according to Intel's digital enterprise group general manager Patrick Gelsinger in a discussion about the company's shrinking x86 platform. Forbes reveals that Gelsinger is disappointed that Apple "chose not to take that road map at their next generation platform," noting that Intel has a plan to take advantage of its x86 desktop architecture.
FontVista 4.0 released
Morrison SoftDesign has announced FontVista 4.0 for Mac OS X. FontVista is a font catalog and inspection program that allows designers to quickly access and preview font collections. FontVista will inspect fonts that are actively loaded in a user's system, as well as fonts that are not loaded or installed. It supports numerous font formats and is compatible with Mac OS X 10.3 and higher and is available as a free demo; it can be purchased for $40, with a site-license available for $150.
Yamaha YSP-3050 speaker
Electronics builder Yamaha has released the YSP-3050, a new speakerbar in its Digital Sound Projector line. Like other speakerbars, the 3050 attempts to mimic separate surround speakers through a single unit, by using a multitude of tiny drivers aimed in different directions; the 3050 has has some 21 drivers, with 23 amplifiers and two woofers. This allows 5.1-channel sound under codecs such as SRS, DTS Neo:6 and Dolby Digital. People can additionally switch to a variety of unique combinations, such as My Beam, which isolates sound to a single listener.
1TB Fusion F2 RAID
Sonnet Technologies has announced a 1TB-version of its Fusion F2 portable SATA RAID system. The system contains two 2.5-inch drives mounted side-by-side in an aluminum enclosure. It features two eSATA data ports for maximum data throughput, and is geared for use with ExpressCard/34 controllers on MacBook Pros. The RAID delivers up to 134MB-per-second data-transfer rates. It costs $1000 and is listed as shipping soon on Sonnet's website and is compatible with any SATA-capable Mac.
BlackBerry Bold Cdn. date
Research in Motion's BlackBerry Bold smartphone should be available on Rogers Wireless later this month, says a new report. The Canadian carrier should release the device on July 25th, according to claims -- well after a rumored June launch date, but still in advance of the initial American release, now scheduled for August through AT&T. Rogers has yet to specify any prices for the Bold, though it recently revamped its BlackBerry data tiers to fall in line with the iPhone 3G.
HP xw4550 Workstation
HP this morning used an educational conference as an opportunity to unveil a quad-core workstation inexpensive enough to be bought by anyone: the xw4550 uses a latest-generation 2GHz AMD Opteron to offer up performance which is normally off-limits to those in school or at work. The system can handle video editing and other heavy-duty tasks while still being durable and tamper-proof enough to sit in a public place, according to its creator. The system can appropriately be locked down in hardware and software.
Geeksuit announces CFM 2.0
Geeksuit has announced Client Folder Maker 2.0, its folder creation/management utility for Mac OS X. Client Folder 2.0 functions as a contextual menu (also available as a PreferencePane) that allows users to create folder hierarchies once, then recreate them instantly anywhere on their system. It is designed with desktop publishers, web designers and prepress operators in mind, and can help any user who needs to create folder trees quickly. It requires Mac OS X 10.4 or higher and is available for a $15 single-user license or $35 for a three-user license. An unrestricted 15-day demo is also available.
O2 on iPhone activation
The activation process for the iPhone 3G should indeed be in two steps, O2 Ireland has confirmed. As part of its release information on the 3G, the company has mentioned that the first part of activation will involve the SIM card being activated in-store. To actually use the phone, however, people will then have to sync the phone with their computer's copy of iTunes, and run through a separate series of activation steps.
Everex 10 Inch Cloudbook
Everex is designing a larger version of its Cloudbook portable to compete directly with the Eee PC 1000, says the company's assembly partner FIC. The 10.2-inch system will be relatively high end with a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor as well as a 1.3-megapixel webcam and the comparatively rare addition of a 3G modem; WiMAX will be an option for users of Sprint's Xohm service or other providers of the 4G-grade service.
Chessmaster 9000 universal
Feral Interactive has released a Universal patch for Chessmaster 9000 that allows the game to run natively on PowerPC- and now Intel-based Macs. The patch also includes a built-in auto-update feature that will alert the user to new updates when they are released. Chessmaster 9000 introduces players to the rules and strategies of chess, while building skills through tutorials. It provides resource materials to help players improve their gameplay and has over 150 opponent levels from novice to grandmaster. It also utilizes 3D graphics for an improved visual experience. Chessmaster 9000 works on Mac OS X 10.2 and above, requiring a minimum 700MHz processor, 256MB of RAM and a 16MB video card. It retails for $40.
AT&T: 8AM launch time
In combination with its subscription options, AT&T has announced several other pieces of information relating to the iPhone 3G. Among these is a confirmation that the company will launch early on July 11th, opening doors to customers at 8AM local time. This contrasts with last year's iPhone debut, which saw doors open at 6PM; it has been rumored that the new time was picked due to AT&T's forced in-store activation process, which may take several minutes per phone and could cause delays given heavy volumes of launch traffic.
AMD Water Cooled 4870
AMD is gearing up for the launch of a special Radeon HD 4800 card designed explicitly to push past the GeForce GTX 280 in sheer performance, according to a new leak. The unnamed hardware would use the extra energy headroom of the card along with a custom water cooling system to clock the card well above the company's best individual card, the 4870: the core would reach 950MHz or more, while the video memory would be pushed to a 1.2GHz actual speed.
Dell Tech Team Service
Dell on Tuesday introduced the Your Tech Team support option for its PCs. The nationwide service follows a New York City pilot project and gives owners of any Dell-branded device quicker access to technicians, the ability to schedule contact with a specific technician, and the ability to support at least some non-warranty problems. Performance tuning, network setup, and security are also available for a fee during the calls, Dell says.
AT&T iPhone 3G plans
AT&T has released some of its first official pricing for the iPhone 3G. Those new to AT&T, or simply eligible for an upgrade, can pay the lower $199 and $299 prices for 8 or 16GB phones; those who are technically too early to qualify for an upgrade must spend $399 or $499. In either case a two-year contract is required, along with an $18 upgrade fee. "Coming soon," according to the company, will be no-commitment options, priced at $599 and $699.
iTunes Complete My Album
Album sales have depended on single releases to generate interest for years, but thanks to the iTunes Store's Complete My Album feature has bolstered album sales. Musicians are releasing multiple tracks via Complete My Album and realizing full album sales at impressive rates, according to Reuters. Complete My Album allows customers to turn their individual tracks into a complete album at a reduced price by giving them credit for every track they have previously purchased from that album. One recent example was Lil Wayne's hit album "Tha Carter III." Universal Motown made six songs available for download in the months prior to its street date, a full one-third of the 18 tracks included on the final iTunes version of the album.
Fujitsu LifeBook P8010
Switching away from its normal emphasis on work systems, Fujitsu today has unveiled the LifeBook P8010 LE. The limited-run notebook gets a glossy, pink gold hue on its back and is one of the PC maker's few systems to integrate 3G cellular access; a built-in HSDPA modem gives it high-speed Internet access in most 3G-capable countries. The 12-inch portable is also relatively rare in using a lid design that allows for extremely narrow side bezels around the display that gives Fujitsu an opportunity to shrink the notebook design without compromising on the screen size.
Swiss iPhone 3G prices
Swisscom has announced its plans for the iPhone 3G, according to company PR. With the launch of the device on July 11th, Swiss customers will have access to three two-year subscription plans, in three different sizes: piccolo, mezzo and grande. At the piccolo level people will pay 249 CHF for an 8GB phone, or 349 CHF for 16GB; this costs 25 CHF per month, and is limited to a 0.70 CHF hourly voice rate and just 100MB of data per month.
LG KC910 Rumor
A new purported leak has LG developing a new touchscreen phone that would trump most competitors' offerings in sheer features. Referred to as the KC910, the handset would be one of LG's first eight-megapixel cameraphones and would add Xenon flash, image stabilization, and automatic face detection. It would also have the processing power to record widescreen 720x480 video at full speed. The interface will be "completely new" and quadruple the resolution of the screen from 400x240 to 800x480, according to the report.
AMD Phenom X4 9950
AMD this morning quietly released new speed grades of its Phenom X4 quad-core processors that include the company's fastest-ever as well as as two low-power versions. The Phenom X4 9950 Black Edition runs at 2.6GHz and is targeted at hobbyist gamers with a relative freedom to overclock the chip past spec with enough cooling. The processor is otherwise the same as earlier enthusiast chips with 140-watt power use and 512KB of Level 2 cache per core. The new Black Edition ships for $235 per chip in batches of 1,000 and should be available today.
OCZ SATA II SSDs
OCZ this morning added to its Solid State Drive range with the Core Series. The 2.5-inch, SATA II-based flash storage is built to drive down the prices of SSDs to where even large drives are affordable; a 128GB drive (new to OCZ) costs less than half the price of the company's normal 64GB drive. Despite the reduced cost, the drives are claimed to be ten times faster in seeking data than a rotating notebook hard drive and transfer that data more quickly as well, reading between 120 to 135 Mbps and writing at between 80 to 93 Mbps.
Phone Plugins 2.1 released
Nova Media has released the latest version of its quick-dial/quick SMS cell phone-to-Mac integration application, Phone Plugins 2.1. The application allows users to easily link their Mac to their phone via Bluetooth, and with 'one-click', send a text message to that number from any application in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. Phone Plugins 2.1 brings compatibility with over 165 cell phones, including the latest models from Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Samsung. Feature changes in 2.1 include the addition of visual confirmation of sent SMS messages within OS X, a unique 'one-touch' Bluetooth connection wizard (that does not require a Mac restart), and also the addition of 'dial number' and 'send text' options to the Mac OS X Services menu.
UniKey USB dongle
SecuTech Solution this week announced UniKey, a driverless USB security key that functions as a 'hardware version of a password'. Cheap enough to be supplied with new software, the USB dongle is designed to act as a 'key' to both the software EULA and provide user access. Aimed at reducing piracy rates, users of UniKey-enabled software that do not have the correct key plugged in, would be 'locked out' of the application.
Make Bouncy Bouncy
ByDesign games on Tuesday announced Make Bouncy Bouncy, a new puzzle game for casual gamers. Gameplay centers around players 'bouncing' their way through over 35 levels of 3D spacial mazes of increasing difficulty, collecting 'bouncy bouncys' a type of in-game credit. With easy-to-learn one-handed controls and fast game-play, ByDesign says "players do not need to quit their day job to enjoy playing... Jump in and out of the game with ease; after opening a level, pick any level to play, anytime. Players post their top scores online to see if they're amongst those who Make the most Bouncy Bouncy!". Available for any PowerPC G4-based Mac (867MHz) or later, the game requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 and has a price of $15.
Nikon unveils the D700
After a long series of leaks, Nikon on Tuesday took the official wraps off its new D700 digital SLR camera, which features 12.1 megapixel resolution using the Nikon FX-format sensor that measures 23.9 x 36mm and is nearly identical to the size of 35mm film. Offering many of the same feature as the D3, but in a smaller, lighter body, the D700 features a dual-mode Live View mode, a hi-res three-inch LCD, its EXPEED Image Processing System, and Nikon's 51-point auto focus system with 3D Focus Tracking as well as its Scene Recognition System and a new active dust reduction system. The D700's 12.1-megapixel FX-format CMOS image sensor utilizes a large pixel size of 8.45 Ám that Nikon claims allows for an extremely low signal-to-noise ratio and a wide dynamic range. The new FX-format Nikon D700 D-SLR camera will be available late July 2008 for $3,000 (body only).
802.11n wireless firmware
Apple on Monday released an update to its 802.11n wireless AirPort products, including its wireless Time Capsule backup solution: The Time Capsule, AirPort Extreme and AirPort Express Base Station with 802.11n. The update says that Firmware 7.3.2 updates include bug fixes and that it requires AirPort Utility 5.3.2. AirPort Utility 5.3.2 -- both of which were released in early June and can be obtained via an automatic software update or as a manual download.
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