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Samsung tonight said it has started mass production of 128GB solid-state drives based on multi-level cell (MLC) technology that should dramatically reduce the cost of switching to flash storage in notebooks. By using a new implementation of the format, the Korean firm says it has managed to provide inexpensive storage without hurting the relative speed that would otherwise need a faster but expensive single-level cell drive: any of the new drives can read at 90MB per second and write at 70MB per second, making them faster than most any notebook-class rotating hard drive and faster than earlier SSDs.
Carriers around the world are expecting shortages of Apple's iPhone, with saying they will be sold out in "minutes" and others indicating that the crunch could last for weeks. In a cautionary message to potential iPhone buyers, Britain's O2 says a rush of customers, ordering as many 13,000 per second, brought down its online orders for iPhone 3G: "We just weren’t prepared for this unprecedented level of demand," the company said in a memo. "No website is." The British carrier, however, said that stock is limited due to the simultaneous launch of the iPhone in 22-nations -- and while Apple's head of retail Ron Johnson has tried to allay concerns -- especially in the US, where inventory is expected to be greater -- O2 believes that Apple retail locations will absorb most of the iPhone 3G inventory and that only a "small proportion" of its interested 200,000 customers would be able to get one at launch.
In anticipation of the coming iPhone 3G launch, Apple has updated several of its pages that prepare customers for a smooth purchase or transition to the new device. A page entitled "Get Ready" is geared towards new or inexperienced users, but also provides a small refresher on the newer commonly-used features of the iPhone 3G. The guide illustrates to users that through the iTunes synchronization, they can be ready "in minutes" with all of their music, contacts, and personal content on the device.
Zilog says it has created the ultimate remote control -- allowing the iPhone, Blackberry Curve and other Wi-FI devices to control everything from stereos to water heaters. The company says Crimson Connects provides the “first compehensive digital home control and monitoring solution in the marketplace.” Zilog has says it has completed application interfaces for the iPhone and BlackBerry Curve, and is working on support for other mobile devices.
Freeverse is entering the iPhone market with three games expected to be release on Friday, July 11th and more than a dozen planned by September. Wingnuts Moto Racer, Big Bank Sudoku and Jared: Butcher of Song for the iPhone and iPod Touch will be available when the iTunes AppStore launches July 11. The company says a host of other games will be released in the following weeks, including Big Bang Chess, Flick Sports and 3d Card Games.
Forum roundup: A recent thread in the MacNN forums that was started in regards to G5 Power Mac external RAID options has since become a useful knowledge base for different RAID applications. One user began a discussion yesterday to get a general ideal about how much the new iPhone applications would cost, the general consensus is that the majority of good apps. will be free. A few members that have been having problems with iBook batteries staying charged properly converge in this thread that addresses possible causes and solutions. The firmware upgrade for PS3 that gives users the ability to access the home menu while in game as well as other changes is talked about in the thread titled "PS3 Firmware 2.40 Is Live!" A heated discussion in the MacNN Political/War lounge revolves around the organization "People for Ethical Treatment of Animals" or PETA and their stance on animal rights vs. abortion.
The Boy Genius Report has released what appear to be the first snapshots of the iPhone 3G straight from the box. The photos show a small neatly organized black box similar to the one used for the original iPhone. As expected, the new model sports an all-black case back with a white apple logo. The back is a bit more rounded than its predecessor, the iPhone 3G appears to be a bit more tapered on the top end. Overall, the device does not look that much different from the current model. Update: A video of the unboxing is also avaiable.
Belgian iPhone 3G carrier Mobistar has confirmed it will sell the long-awaited device on July 11th, offering users a glimpse of its voice and data bundles, which seem to echo upsetting rates found in countries such as Canada, Mexico, and New Zealand, but with a slight upside. Despite offering plans ranging from €30 to €60 that contain a mere 200MB to 1GB of data, and three to nine hours of talk time, Mobistar is offering the 8GB handset itself for €525 (including VAT), devoid of any contract requirement on the user's part.
NotebookItalia.it unveiled five new laptops from Samsung today, with the Q210 and Q310 in the Eclipse range, the value-oriented Aura R510, the fashion-conscious R560, and desktop-replacement R710. All are powered by Intel Core 2 Duo chips, with the R710 sporting a 2.53GHz processor. The R710 sports a large 17-inch LCD with 1920x1080 (WUXGA) resolution and is meant for users who want all the functionality of a desktop PC but be able to take it with them. The R710 makes that possible with 4GB of DDR3 memory and optional NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT graphics card with 512MB of onboard memory. The standard GPU will be the GeForce 9300M GS.
Monster Cable today revealed the newest addition to its Outlets To Go range of portable power strips with the Outlets To Go 3 USB. As the name implies, the power strip allows up to three devices to be plugged into a single outlet via AC power outlets, just like the company's Outlets To Go Power Strip 3, but adds a USB port for USB-powered accessories.
Low-cost Olevia LCD TV maker Syntax-Brillian yesterday filed for Chapter 11 reorganization and announced it will sell off its Vivitar digital camera business, reports say. The voluntary decision to enter bankruptcy protection also includes a proposed sale of the company's assets to Olevia International Group, which was newly created and co-owned by TCV Group, a supplier for Syntax. The sale would include Olevia International Group taking on $60 million of Syntax-Brillian's secured debt.
Photos have already been made available of an iPhone 3G demonstration booth, a French-language site observes. The images are said to have been taken inside a store in Lausanne, Switzerland this afternoon, and show a lone 3G sitting in the new rounded dock design, but tethered to an anti-theft cable. The phone is also on and running, but does not appear to be fully activated. Official sales are scheduled to begin on Friday, July 11th. Swiss carriers will include Orange and Swisscom.
Nokia has inadvertently confirmed the existence of a future device today through an openly accessible product page. The 8208 will be the first non-Nseries phone from Nokia to sport a two-way slider that helps the new device's music-heavy focus: sliding the display downwards reveals controls for navigating tracks and will presumably switch the phone to its music interface from other menus. The phone also promises a native 3.5mm headphone jack, a three-megapixel camera, and either assisted GPS in China or stand-alone GPS elsewhere.
Apple is primarily responsible for iPhone ordering problems at O2 UK, the latter company is said to be claiming by e-mail. In response to an inquiry from one customer, O2 Sales Director Steve Shurrock is said to be blaming Apple for the almost immediate drain of online pre-orders. "We have been working continuously with them [Apple] to get as much stock for the UK as possible," says Shurrock. "Unfortunately, they have only been able to supply a small proportion of the number of phones we asked for, because they are launching simultaneously in 22 countries."
MSI this afternoon confirmed that it has finally begun shipping the Wind, its first mini notebook. Stores such as Amazon, Buy.com, Fry's, and Newegg are all receiving the 10-inch portables first and will initially receive basic versions with a three-cell battery and Windows XP Home. Versions with the longer-lived six-cell battery as well as those preloaded with Linux are due in September, the company says. The larger battery itself will be available separately at the same time.
Apple's online store currently has refurbished Mac Pro models in two configurations. The Mac Pro Quad ($1,999) has two 2.6GHz Dual Core Intel Xeon processors, 1GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive and a 16x SuperDrive while the Mac Pro 8-core ($4,099) has dual-3.2GHz Quad Core Xeon processors, 2GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive and two 16x SuperDrives. Apple certified reconditioned displays set in aluminum enclosures come in 20-in. for $499, 23-in. for $749 and 30-in. for $1,499. Each display has two FireWire 400 ports and two USB 2.0 ports.
Microsoft's anticipated $50 price drop on the Xbox 360 Pro should take effect this coming Sunday, a note leaked to Kotaku shows. GameStop stores in the US are being given new shelf art saying the 20GB version of the game console should sell for $300 but also notices that the information won't be made public until July 13th, a day ahead of the formal start of the E3 gaming expo. No other information appears to have accompanied the cut.
Apple will not be selling the iPhone 3G at its Canadian retail stores, company representatives suggest. "The iPhone 3G will be available in Canada from Rogers and Fido," says Simon Atkins, an Apple spokesman. The news appears to be circumstantially supported by representatives at two separate Apple Stores, who also claim that the decision was made because Rogers has more than Apple's six Canadian locations, making it better capable of delivering the multiple plans on offer. Rogers has yet to issue a reply to inquiries from the CBC.
A soon-to-be concluded Canadian wireless auction is now likely to offer a new wireless service provider in the country, according to observations. More than $4.2 billion in bids have been made and are currently led by relative newcomer Globalive, which currently operates small-scale provider Yak Mobile but is now set to obtain 31 out of 292 regional licenses that will let the company operate a countrywide network for phones or data services on a future portion of wireless spectrum.
Intel expects to make notebook processors running at 25 watts an everyday occurrence, the company said today. The firm now expects most future systems based on its upcoming Centrino 2 mobile platform to consume less power, dropping significantly from the 35 watts of today's Core 2 Duo processors. The shift should both extend battery life as well as cool down the systems themselves, letting PC designers offer slimmer and potentially quieter notebooks without giving up performance.
Information has leaked on a new Nikon Coolpix camera, dubbed the P6000, reports say. A French-language product slide appears to depict not only the camera but features marking it as a high-end compact, such as a 13.5-megapixel sensor. It is also claimed to use a version of the EXPEED image processor found in the D3 and D300, and support ISO sensitivities has high as 6400, roughly equivalent to the D300 and four times greater than the sensitivity in most competing compacts.
Palm today revealed that AT&T will get a third color option for the Centro as well as promo to help push the entry smartphone. The handset will now come in a light blue to match the black and white versions already available at the carrier; the phone remains the same with a 1.3-megapixel camera, EDGE data, and microSD storage as its core features. AT&T starts carrying the new model Friday at the same $100 price with contract as existing models.
A man from Portugal has already managed to secure an 8GB iPhone 3G, photos and forum posts suggest. The poster claims to have got his hands on the device in advance of its official July 11th launch without having to pay; although refusing to say where the phone came from, one photo shows the device operating on Vodafone Portugal's network. Internet access speeds are "really good," according to the poster.
Mio today firmed up details of its Knight Rider GPS device for North America. In addition to a look that reflects the original Knight Rider series' KITT car, the normal navigation voice has been replaced by original KITT voice William Daniels; turning on the device gives a randomized greeting with Daniels speaking any one of 300 first names as well as turn-by-turn directions.
REAL has posted Release 3 of REALbasic, its cross-platform development environment. The software provides object-oriented programming and a corresponding framework, and can also compile native executables for Mac, Windows and Linux systems. Release 3 introduces the Attributes language feature, and a new project analyzer which warns about deprecated functionality and other code issues.
Apple Canada may be further punishing Rogers by refusing to sell the iPhone 3G at its own retail stores, according to an investigation by AppleInsider. A conference call purportedly held Monday evening will see Apple decline to sell iPhones at its own stores, instead showing them only as demo units. Customers will have no choice but to visit a Fido or Rogers store to buy the device, the report explains.
Optimus, a Portugese carrier controlled in part by Sonae and France Telecom, has announced its prices for the iPhone 3G. To buy the phone without a contract will cost €499 for an 8GB model, or €599 for 16GB. After this shoppers will have to agree to a pre- or post-paid plan; the former has a €20 monthly recharge rate, but includes 250 texts and 250MB of Internet data; each voice minute or extra text costs 17 cents. The post-paid plans require minimum usages worth €15, €30 or €50, but gradually shrink the extra voice and text fees, while offering text and data bundles ranging between 100/100MB and 500/500MB.
The American music industry may be pressuring Dell and other computer manufacturers to disable stereo recording support in an artificial attempt to discourage piracy, say accounts from users. Users of Dell systems with SigmaTel chips in particular claim to be only allowed single-channel recording out of the box and are told that an official solution that restores stereo input will cost $99; Gateway and (in Europe) Packard Bell systems with the audio hardware are also said to be affected.
Japan's Softbank has announced launch-day plans for the country's first iPhone, according to IDG News. The carrier says that it will be one of the first in the world to sell the iPhone 3G, opening the doors of its Harajuku store at 7AM Friday JST, a time equivalent to 10PM Thursday in GMT, or 2PM Thursday in PST. The only country to launch before Japan should be New Zealand, where the 3G is being carried by Vodafone.
Motorola on Tuesday sought to please both Americans and Chinese at once with three new touchscreen phones. The MOTOMING A1600 and A1800 both continue to share the touchscreen of the earlier A1200 both for handwriting in Cantonese and Mandarin as well as for navigating the interface, but add better media, navigation, and network support. Both have dedicated GPS with a data assist for mapping, a 1GB microSD card preloaded with mainland China maps, and upgraded cameras at either 3.0 megapixels (A1800) or 3.2 (A1600) with digital autofocus.
Canon this morning supplied US launch info for the Rebel XS. Already announced in detail, Canon's first truly entry-level digital SLR will sell primarily as a kit version with the image-stabilized 18-55mm, f/3.5-5.6 EF-S lens bundled with the camera for a total $700. The duo should be available in August, according to Canon.
Policies for iPhone 3G access to carrier Wi-Fi should vary dramatically around the world, reports say. While carriers such as AT&T and Rogers Wireless have committed to free hotspot access with a subscription, other countries may not hold this policy in common. Vodafone Italy now admits that it will not be offering any free access, and Orange Switzerland says this will be limited to 100 hours per month.
Acer today gave the US a rare miniature addition to its Aspire desktop lineup. The X1200 is just over a foot long at its largest measurement but fits in desktop components and expansion that would normally be impractical in its size. Up to a 2.6GHz Athlon 64 X2 is complemented by a GeForce 8200 for integrated graphics as well as a PCI Express 2.0 slot that allows dedicated video or other peripherals. Every system also fits 4GB of memory.
Data Robotics today gave its Drobo storage robot an often-requested update with an upgraded model that adds dual FireWire 800 ports to the existing model. The extra bandwidth allows a Drobo with more than one drive to potentially transfer data far faster than the existing USB 2.0 connection (up to 50MB read, 35MB write) while providing a free port to daisy-chain other devices.
Elgato on Tuesday catered to its European audience through the EyeTV DTT Deluxe. The USB tuner gives viewers access to over-the-air digital broadcasts on DVB-T (Freeview in the UK) in as unintrusive a way as possible, according to the company: the thin stick shape can fit into the USB port of even a MacBook Air without crowding out other devices. A detachable antenna gives strong enough reception for a good signal in less than ideal areas.
Hasselblad today potentially set a new record for photography with the H3DII-50, its sharpest-ever camera. The medium format unit captures 50-megapixel images courtesy of a new 36x48mm Kodak sensor that measures twice as large as any full-frame sensor from a digital SLR and allows both better lens behavior as well as more detail: even very large shots can retain more detail and cut back on moire effects, according to the camera maker. In spite of the resolution, the device can still snap photos at a frame per second with fast-enough storage.
With a little over three days to go before the iPhone 3G sees its launch, Apple has clarified a time where customers can find the device in its retail stores, while potential New Zealand and Mexican iPhone customers can now browse official rates. Apple silently placed a notice on its retail homepage, saying that customers can get the long-awaited device at its US retail stores at 8AM on July 11th, coinciding with AT&T's previously announced morning launch.
Boingo on Tuesday launched a Mac version of its GoBoingo! client software that provides access Boingo Wi-Fi at more than 100,000 hotspots worldwide. The company says the "lightweight" GoBoingo! client software simplifies the process of logging in to public Wi-Fi hotspots by memorizing multiple usernames and passwords, and paying different Wi-Fi providers at each stop during a trip. In addition, Boingo offers monthly plans for both North American and international usage, as well as a “pay as you go” option. GoBoingo! for Mac, designed for Mac OS X 10.4 or later (as well as Vista, XP and Windows 2000) automatically determines whether a hotspot belongs to a Boingo roaming partner and helps users log on to the Internet with their Boingo account in a single click. According to the company, nearly 20 percent of airport usage comes from Mac laptops, an increase of 30 percent since January 2007.
Synthetic Aperture is now shipping Test Gear 2.0, a new version of its video and audio monitoring software designed for Adobe After Effects CS3. Test Gear features a waveform monitor, vectorscope, and other diagnostic displays -- all of which are fully integrated into After Effects CS3's user interface. Version 2.0 also adds Universal Binary support for Intel-based Macs as well as enhances all of the test instruments by adding full support for 32-bit floating-point projects. Synthetic said that video footage imported into After Effects now properly displays values above 100 IRE and below 0 IRE on the waveform monitor, slice display, and histogram and a new Gamut Display has been added that clearly shows the "legality" of the levels in the image. Test Gear 2.0 requires Adobe After Effects CS3 (and is not compatible with earlier versions of After Effects). Test Gear 2.0 is currently shipping for $125 per license ($95 if downloaded via the company's web site). Upgrades from previous versions of Test Gear are $50 (download only).
Square Enix on Monday turned its game focus to the iPod, unveiling Song Summoner: The Unsung Heroes, a new RPG for the iPod nano with video, Classic, and 5G iPod with video. Song Summoner allows players to battle through several tactical maps with a collection of Tune Troopers – summoned soldiers that draw combat statistics from songs resident on the iPod. Song Summoner is available through the iTunes store for $5.
Apple has officially announced its launch of MobileMe – the service it intends to replace its platform-specific .Mac – by setting the launch date at midnight July 10th (Pacific), following a short downtime from 6PM PT the preceding day, July 9th. The note, posted in the .Mac service bulletin, informs users that while the update will cause users to lose access to almost all operations, they will be able to access their email through a desktop application, or an iPhone/iPod touch.
ZappTek says it plans to sell books for the iPhone 3G and iPod Touch through the upcoming iTunes App Store. The Canadian developer says its Apple Legends book service will bring “the full reading experience” to users, including home screen icons, bookmarks and support for note-taking. ZappTek says it will start with a number of short stories and novels by science fiction author Michael A. Stackpole, who has written several books based on “Star Wars” characters. The company says more content will be added soon.
PosiMotion says it will introduce new applications and a GPS-enabled WiFi router when the iTunes AppStore opens Friday. The software titles include G-Spot, which brings GPS-like features to older iPhone and iPod Touch models, G-Park to help users remember where they parked, and G-Minds, a pubishing program for developers. The company has also announced what it calls “the world’s first mobile GPS network router," the G-Fi."
VVI has unveiled Least Squares, a math application that computes and displays
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TestFlight updated for iOS, watchOS
Apple on Thursday updated its developer-oriented TestFlight software to version 1.3.2 for compatibility with apps being developed for iOS 9.3 watchOS 2.2, along with the usual "stability and performance improvements." Some developers, however, are still reporting some issues loading beta apps onto the watchOS 2.2 beta. The latest beta for developers was released on Monday, and is available through the App Store or Apple's developer portal. [3.60MB] http://apple.co/1PQ64pF
CBS: No recent streaming conversations with Apple
CBS CEO Les Moonves has made remarks, casting doubt on a launch of Apple's live streaming television service. In interviews this week, the executive said regarding negotiations with Apple that "we had conversations awhile back, and we haven't had recent conversations with them," adding that "the phone is always ringing" regarding similar services, but not with Apple on the line. http://cnnmon.ie/1PptJM6
Complex date setting bug crashes 64-bit iOS device
A serious bug has been spotted with iOS devices running iOS 8 or newer, with a 64-bit processor. If a user disables auto-check time, and manually sets the date of a device back to as far as it will go, then again to January 1, 1970, and finally rebooting, the iPhone is crashed, perhaps terminally. The bug affects the iPhone 5s and newer devices, running a processor from the A7 and up. Theories abound as to the cause of the crash, but the most credible seems to be a clock set to less than an arbitrary "zero" date, causing all manners of routines relying on the time setting to fail during startup. http://bit.ly/1TV6psS
Weber buys iDevices' iGrill, Kitchen Thermometer
Cooking gear manufacturer Weber is purchasing iOS accessory manufacturer iDevices iGrill and Kitchen Thermometer lines. As part of the purchase, Weber is working in parallel with iDevices to roll out a new version of the products, and associated apps, this spring. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. CEO of iDevices Chris Allen said that the transition will allow the company to "focus even more heavily on becoming a leader in the home automation market." http://bit.ly/1PFk3uZ
Vevo music video app launched for Apple TV
Vevo today announced its new native tvOS app for the fourth generation Apple TV. The new app allows users Siri Remote navigation for discovery of top videos by genre, or to search for individual artists and videos. Playlists generated on another device sync between all the iterations of the app. http://apple.co/1PFhxEU
HydraDock team unveils USB 3.1 Type C Roadie
KickShark, the team that brought the HydraDock desktop USB-C dock to market, has launched a Kickstarter project for The Roadie -- a USB 3.1 Type C standard-compliant pocket hub for the 12 inch Apple MacBook and other compatible devices. The Roadie occupies the same footprint on a desk as a credit card, with a short USB-C male cable on one end for connecting to a 12 inch MacBook, and a female USB-C port on the other end for plugging in a MacBook power adapter. One side has an RJ45 jack for gigabit Ethernet, and an HDCP-compliant HDMI jack that handles up to 4K displays. KickShark promises shipment of all products within four weeks of campaign completion. The "early bird" offer for the hub is a $69 commitment, with a $79 commitment for a Roadie after 500 backers have pledged. http://kck.st/1o6knw5
HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe