Two of Apple's retail stores have made it from being local sights to internationally must-see retail landmarks, according to a recent report of the world's top retail locations. Retail Week reveals that both the Fifth Avenue Manhattan 'Cube' location and the Regent Street London stores are praise-worthy enough to include them on its list of the top 100 must-visit retail spaces, alongside clothing stores, food retailers, sporting good stores, and other electronics retailers.
Nvidia says that a heat problem in with one of its mobile chips will hurt its earnings for the second quarter, sending its shares tumbling down almost 25 percent to below $14 in after-hours trading. According to the Wall Street Journal, Nvidia said that the overheating problem -- which appears to be focused on older chips for notebook computers -- caused higher-than-normal failure rates in certain GPU models as well as related chip sets; the company's said that it could see a revenue shortfall of nearly 24 percent in the second quarter (ending July 27th), but also cited problems such as general market conditions, price cuts to match rival AMD, and delayed product ramps. In June, the company debuted its Nvidia GeForce 9M series, which it said was built on a new, multi-core graphics engine that is up to 40 percent faster than its earlier 8M chipsets; the GeForce 9M series chips were set to appear this summer, and while a few manufacturers had already begun shipping designs with the newer GPUs, the company used most of the quarter to push out its older chips.
Mozilla on Tuesday posted Firefox 18.104.22.168, an update to its web browser that resolves several vulnerabilities, ranging from several benign problems, to critical bug fixes related to arbitrary code execution and remote control of a user's system. Among the major fixes are MFSA 2008-21, 2008-24, 2008-25, and 2008-33, which resolve crashes when memory is corrupted, Chrome script loading vulnerabilities, arbitrary code execution in a .loadSubScript() command, as well as crashing and remote code execution.
Just as PDF became an ISO standard, Adobe on Wednesday quietly released Adobe Reader 9, a new version of its free software for viewing and working with PDF files. Following the release of Acrobat 9 last week, the software includes native support for Adobe Flash, enabling users to include Adobe Flash Player compatible video and application files in PDF documents. The new Reader 9 application also enables users to review and comment on compatible PDFs. In addition, Adobe said that the software is expected to launch up to twice as fast as earlier versions and also includes the ability to unify a wide range of content in PDF Portfolios, which assemble multiple media types into one, compressed PDF file that can be customized with several professional layouts and specific branding.
Apple is extending access to .Mac Web Bookmarks past itsJune 30th end date to July 6th, which will make it impossible for users to access or update bookmarks located on the web portion of the service. Users are still able to synchronize bookmarks for the purpose of keeping consistency between several computers, but will not be able to access those bookmarks through the .Mac website or the .Mac Bookmarks application. Apple's transition from .Mac to Mobile Me first announced at WWDC 2008 is expected to be completed this month.
Apple is expected to have a large boost to its revenue due to how profit from the iPhone 3G will flow, with some analysts predicting it would sell through between 35 and 40 million units by the end 2010, representing up to $4 billion for the company. CNN Money writes that while customers will pay around $200 less than the previous generation device, Apple still stands to make an extra $100 off each unit, due to larger subsidies with wireless carriers.
Virgin Mobile today quietly posted its first phone since its buyout of Helio. The UTStarcom Arc sits slightly above the baseline for most of Virgin's budget lineup and focuses primarily on its inclusion of a VGA camera, Bluetooth, and its two-tone, rounded flip design to stand out from other offerings on the pay-as-you-go carrier.
GEAR4 today announced the release of its newest portable speaker, the USB-powered BlackBox micro. As the smallest speaker in the company's range, the speaker can enhance the audio playback abilities of laptops or MP3 players thanks to an included mini USB-to-USB cable. There are two drivers hidden in the plastic shroud, with one dedicated to high notes, the other an SFX gel base driver for bass reproduction.
Apple may yet allow American sales of the iPhone 3G beyond AT&T stores and its own retail outlets, a rumor suggests. BGR cites someone it calls a reliable source, who indicates that Apple has already secured deals to sell the iPhone at Best Buy and Radio Shack locations. The source cannot, however, say whether such sales will begin as soon as July 11th, or if they are only part of a long-term plan.
The first images showing what appears to be a Sprint-badged and therefore first CDMA version of the iPhone-fighting Touch Diamond from HTC have leaked on the Internet today. While the rumors of a Sprint Diamond date back to April, the phone is expected to be delayed. Little other details are confirmed, except for an unsubstantiated claim that the Diamond will launch ahead of the Touch Pro.
ON24 recently announced support for the Mac and Safari for its ON24 Virtual Show software service, an application designed to provide a virtual conference center for businesses to use as an alternative or compliment to a live exhibition. Through the Virtual Show, users are able to have ON24 custom-design a complete show floor for their projects, or are able to supply their own background images and artwork. Pricing for the ON24 Virtual Show is dependant on the services required.
Nokia on Wednesday announced the release of its latest Wireless Loopset, the HS-67WL, designed to improve cellular phone usability for users with hearing aids. The Loopset is compatible with T-coil-equipped hearing aids or cochlear implants and makes hands-free connections between the hearing aid devices and Bluetooth 2.1-equipped cell phones. Background noise filtering thanks to induction technology improves speech discrimination for clear, distortion-free calls, Nokia says.
Microsoft today has announced it would launch Equipt, a new software package that will let it experiment with subscription services. The suite gives users both a copy of Office Home and Student 2007 as well as the company's OneCare anti-malware and backup service; in exchange for an immediate discount on both services, customers will pay $70 per year to keep the full service active. Office is believed to remain active regardless of when the subscription ends.
The PDF format has officially been granted ISO certification, the latter organization has announced. Although its original creator and main proponent, Adobe has handed control of the format over to ISO, which is now in charge of both publishing the specifications for PDF 1.7 and updating and developing later versions. The transfer may be most significant for third-party developers, who will have open access to PDF, making it easier to support in graphic and word processing apps.
T-Mobile on Wednesday resisted moves by the US Federal Communications Commission to hasten its moves towards a free wireless broadband. The carrier has requested that the FCC delay an auction for its 2,100MHz Advanced Wireless Spectrum 3 (AWS-3) band by 90 days past its July 9th deadline to allow for a longer comment period and let T-Mobile air its potential problems with any future service; filling the AWS-3 band may create interference that prevents T-Mobile from using space it wants for its 3G service, according to a filing sent to the FCC.
Instant messaging can be a great way to communicate with friends and co-workers in real-time. While most Mac users rely on iChat, which comes with every Mac, many PC users rely on Windows Live Messenger (formerly called MSN Messenger). Not only does Live Messenger connect to Yahoos messaging network, its also the default network for Xbox 360 users. If you want to chat with users on any of the above networks, Microsoft's Messenger for Mac 7.01 might be of interest.
Sprint may be shifting all its customers who want discounted data to opt into all-in-one plans that in many cases cost more than what they originally had, say reports from subscribers attempting to renew their contracts. The US carrier already requires a $70 monthly Simply Everything plan for the Samsung Instinct to use both its voice and data features but is now reportedly asking owners of Palm Centros and other data-centric phones to accept the same plan when they renew service, in many cases increasing the costs of using the phones regardless of the customer's actual intent.
Lemke Software has released its GraphicConverter 6.1.1 update, adding new features, updating others and providing a number of bug fixes. The new features include decoding of all images with mime attachments, a set label in operator function and a sort by label and/or creation date option in the browser. Graphic Converter 6.1.1 is compatible with Mac OS X 10.4.4 or later and costs $35. There is a trial version available.
A Czech leak today has revealed a Samsung phone in development that will stand as an alternative to the i900 Omnia. The i740 will still have a 640x480 touchscreen with Windows Mobile 6.1 but makes a number of cuts to reduce the cost, including dropping 3G and Wi-Fi access in favor of EDGE, a three-megapixel camera instead of the Omnia's five, and no large amounts of internal storage.
The next BlackBerry for Sprint's iDEN push-to-talk network will be a Curve phone, called the 8350, a report claims. Although Sprint announced in February that it would receive a new iDEN BlackBerry, it has otherwise kept quiet on the issue, leaving most information to media leaks and speculation. The new device is expected to help revive Sprint's struggling iDEN network, whose most recent BlackBerry is the outdated 7100i.
The European Commission has approved an acquisition of map maker NAVTEQ, Nokia has announced. With this validation in hand, the company says it has met all regulatory concerns, and plans to complete the buyout within a matter of five days. "NAVTEQ will play a key role in our Internet services strategy," reads a statement from Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo. The acquisition will also likely save the company money on licensing, as it has previously had to pay companies like NAVTEQ for each use of a map on a phone.
Red Giant Software has launched Instant HD Advanced, its new plug-in for Adobe's After Effects. It offers higher quality than the scaler in After Effects or Red Giant's own Instant HD plug-in, which HD Advanced replaces, thanks to the super-resolution feature in the new plug-in. It also offers built-in deinterlacing and denoising controls that improve the quality of any interlaced material. It is available now for $400 and works with Mac OS X 10.4.11 and 10.5.2 and later. It requires Adobe After Effects CS3 on an Intel Mac with 1GB RAM.
Bunkspeed has released HyperShot 1.5, an upgrade to its 3D-rendering visualization software. The new version provides performance enhancements that allow interaction between HyperShot and all major 3D solid and surface modeling products. It also adds more realistic photographs rendered faster from 3D models. The software requires an Intel Mac and is available now for $200 (web version - 800x450 realtime resolution), $1000 (HD version - 1920x1080 realtime resolution) and $3500 (Pro version - unlimited realtime resolution).
Motorola late yesterday slipped out a previously unannounced media phone with a local Brazilian launch. Known as the ZN200, the slider is part of an increasing wave of mid-range Motorola media phones with a 2-megapixel camera and basic on-camera photo editing. It also supports mobile uploading through its 3G cellular Internet access and supports stereo Bluetooth for listening to music through wireless earphones.
The Mobile Data Association has presented an award to Apple's lead designer, Jonathan Ive, according to an announcement. Ive -- who is technically the senior VP of Industrial Design at the company -- has received a Personal Achievement Award, given in recognition for his design not only of the iPhone hardware but aspects of the touch-based user interface. The combination has "redefined the mobile phone as we know it," the MDA comments.
OpenMoko today said that it will start selling the Neo FreeRunner to the US on July 4th, marking its first phone release in the country. The touchscreen device is positioned as an unusual competitor to the iPhone whose strength is in its open access: based on a strictly open-source version of Linux, the device includes just the basic software for calling and SMS but is freely modifiable down to its core functions. Users can write or install apps that extend the phone's features without paying royalties.
Apple's Safari web browser remains in third place in terms of adoption, a new study reveals. According to results from the middle of June, Safari usage accounts for approximately 3.4 percent of the market, at 48 million daily users. Mozilla's Firefox is in second place with 227 million users (16.1 percent), while Microsoft's Internet Explorer is by far dominant, with 1.1 billion users (78.3 percent). The only major browser below Safari is Opera, which has 11 million users, or just 0.8 percent.
Motorola is developing a new version of the RAZR2 with AT&T's navigation services in mind, says Engadget. Called the RAZR2 V9x, the phone would add the assisted GPS mapping of the Z9 slider to be used with the TeleNav-run AT&T Navigator service. In a unique change, however, the GPS functions would work even through the RAZR2's external screen and supply directions (though not controls) without having to flip open the handset.
SentrySafe has announced a 250GB version of its Fire-Safe Waterproof Hard Drive series. It is encased in a SentrySafe Fire-Safe Waterproof enclosure which protects data from fire and water. The drive is third-party ETL-verified for fire protection for 30 minutes up to 1550 degrees Fahrenheit and ETL-verified waterproof (fully submersible in water for up to 24 hours). The USB 2.0 drive is available now for $400 and works with Mac OS X 10.4.7 and higher.
Japanese cellphone users are most eager to have the iPhone 3G over any other smartphone in or coming to the market, according to a new study by iShare. The research group says that 57.9 percent of all those responding to a survey said they most wanted the Apple device, which placed well ahead of others despite the study method allowing multiple answers. Second place belonged to the Japan-made Willcom D4 UMPC and phone crossover at 35.8 percent, while the more conventional Willcom 03 was third at 33.1 percent.
O2 UK stores will begin selling the iPhone 3G at 7AM on July 11th, the company has announced. The timing is even earlier than that of AT&T in the United States, which has announced that its doors will open at 8AM on the 11th, an hour before normal operations. The move is rumored to be necessary due to Apple's mandatory in-store activation policy, which may require several minutes per phone and could result in extended launch line-ups.
Macessity on Wednesday announced SlimKey V2, a new display stand with an integrated powered USB 2.0 Hub. Designed to match Apple's Cinema Display, the SlimKey sports an 'Apple centric' powder coated aluminum finish. Macessity says the stand can support up to 35 pounds, has an easily accessible 4-port side access USB 2.0 hub, and a recessed storage space suitable for Apple's new 'slim' keyboard. Shipping with a compact power adaptor and USB 2.0 cable included, the SlimKey V2 is priced at $65 and available to pre-order now.
Microsoft is actively exploring bringing other companies into a deal that would dismantle Yahoo as it's known today, says the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper cites anonymous sources aware of discussions who say Microsoft is still interested in buying just Yahoo's search business but has asked both News Corp. and Time Warner about merging what would be left of Yahoo into one of their respective properties, such as MySpace or AOL. A meeting between Microsoft and Yahoo was scheduled for Monday but canceled because Microsoft has so far been unsuccessful in lining up a partner, according to the report.
Apple is crowding out other orders for flash memory at Samsung through orders connected to the iPhone, according to reports from some of Samsung's smaller customers. The American company has allegedly ordered 50 million of Samsung's eight gigabit (one gigabyte) chips that are primarily intended for the iPhone 3G and is putting enough pressure on Samsung's supply that the Korean firm is informing smaller firms that their own orders are being reduced to keep Apple in healthy supply.
Gateway's budget label eMachines today served up three new desktops that it says ought to appeal to students heading back to school in two months' time. The W3653 is the most complete system of the group with the company's 17-inch, 1440x900 bundled with the tower; the system also packs a relatively new 1.6GHz Celeron Dual-Core processor, 1GB of memory, and Vista Home Premium stored on a 320GB hard drive. The system sells for $500 at retail shops.
Animas Corporation this week announced that it has been granted FDA clearance for the OneTouch Ping, a fully Mac OS X compatible glucose management system. With a full-feature insulin pump that wirelessly communicates with a blood glucose meter, the system is run under OS X by Animas's 'ezManager MAX' software. Enabling users to calculate insulin doses and remotely instruct the pump to administer them, the OneTouch Ping gives patients increased and flexibility in their medication management.
IK Multimedia has launched the Total Guitar & Bass Gear Bundle, featuring a collection of 5 analog-modeled Amp and FX plug-ins. Aimed at both studio and live use, the package includes Amplitube 2, Ampeg SVX, Amplitube Jimi Hendrix, Amplitube Metal and Amplitube X-GEAR. All plug-ins conform to AU, VST and RTAS standards. The complete bundle translates to over 150 'ultra realistic' gear models, 51 stomp boxes, 26 Preamp models, 11 Power amps, 11 mics, 33 cabinets and 23 rack effects.
Apple, along with Acer, Dell and Hewlett-Packard, are faced with a new patent violation suit in the "plaintiff-friendly" Eastern District of Texas, a new report says. The suit is being brought by Saxon Innovations (site under construction), an intellectual property licensing company. Saxon claims that the defendants violated its "Wireless Communications Privacy Method and System" patent, number 5,592,555; patent 5,502,689, relating to a "clock generation capable of shutdown mode;" and patents 5,530,597 and 5,235,635, connected to "processor interrupt masks" and "keypad activity based activation."
Microsoft recently unveiled Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac 2, a major update to its Windows PC VNC connection software, allowing users to access an unlimited number of clients. Microsoft gave RDCC a visual overhaul, offering users a more familiar interface, and also included access to print servers from both Intel and PowerPC-based Macs. Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac 2 is available from Microsoft's website for no charge.
T-Mobile clarified its 3G iPhone offerings for the Netherlands, which were previously hinted at on the company's website, offering unlimited data plans starting at 30 (~$50). The plans start at a basic 150 minute/SMS plan, with the next at 300 and 500 minutes/SMS messages, and offer varying discounts on the actual device itself. From lowest tier to highest, the 8GB and 16GB iPhones are priced at 80 (~$130)/160 (~$250), 1 (~$2)/80 (~$130), and 1 (~$2)/20 (~$30), offered under a two-year contract.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R