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Regent Street sells iPhone
US Apple retail stores will not be the only ones selling the iPhone 3G when it launches Friday, as an employee at the Regent Street location in London confirmed "loads" of available stock, as well as the ability to process O2 network activations. Ars Technica writes that the process works similar to the AT&T method, where phones must be activated before they leave the store - an action Apple is endorsing to ensure that unlocks are done on as few iPhones as possible.
Case-Mate: 3G accessories
Case-Mate says it will have a complete line of cases and accessories available Friday when the iPhone 3G goes on sale. The company says it's releasing seven products for the new iPhone, including Italian leather, carbon-fiber leather and clear polycarbonate cases, silicon "Second Skins," plastic film covers, screen protectors and a privacy screen.
Cost of Mac vs. PC laptops
Mac laptops are not really more expensive than their PC competitors, according to an analysis by one of the major Windows-centeric computer magazines. PCWorld set out to answer that question through some head-to-head comparisons and in most cases the answer was "no." Writer James Martin says he owns a MacBook Air but also uses Windows machines, and sees benefits in both formats. WIth no particular axe to grind, Martin says he wanted to see whether the commonly-held belief that Macs are always pricier could really be proved.
Tell Us Your Bento Story
In brief: Milliamp offers iPhone 3G battery replacement, FileMaker launches "Tell Us Your Bento Story" sweepstakes, New Aperture 2, Mac OS Security Tutorials, and Freeway 5.1.3 adds Simplified Chinese localization ... Milliamp has announced a battery replacement service for the new iPhone 3G. "Although the new iPhone won't hit the U.S. market until later this week, we wanted the world to know that we have the capability to replace the battery in the new iPhone 3G," said Anthony Magnabosco, the owner of the iPhone battery replacement service provider. Milliamp LTD has been offering battery replacement kits for practically every iPod model, as well as battery replacement services for the more difficult-to-open iPods for three years. Every iPod and iPhone has a lithium-ion battery, so over time, the battery will fail to hold it's original charge and will eventually have to be replaced.
Tidy Up! 1.4.3 ($30) search for duplicate files and packages; by the owner application, content, type, creator, extension, date modified, date created, name, label, visibility and more. You can also search by the tag, duration and bit rate of MP3s and AACs audio files, search the content of the iTunes, iPod and iPhoto databases, search the messages of Mail and synchronize deletions with iTunes, iPhoto and Mail. The new release a bug that in a very rare case crashed the application at start up,. It also fixes a bug that in certain circumstances failed to find all Mail e-mail messages and resolves some cosmetic issues. [Download - 8.4MB]
TimeCache 7.0.12 ($30) time and expense billing application. It offers tracking of all computer activity, can use Apple Address Book entries for client contact information, can produce charts of billable time and expenses, and can import from and export tiCal calendars. Version 7.0.12 fixes a newly discovered bug that could prevent some reports and invoices from being edited and/or printed successfully. It also includes a new feature that improves support for workgroups. [Download - 14.8MB]
Testbench 1.1 (free) developer utility for exploring Quartz event taps on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and newer. Developers can use it to explore what their applications can do with Quartz event taps on Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). It is also a useful tool to test drivers for hardware input devices such as trackballs and tablets, to test virtual software input devices including assistive applications for persons with disabilities, and to test remote control software. Testbench 1.1 contains many new features and improvements, including full support for tablet proximity and pointer events. [Download - 1.2MB]
ChordMate 1.3 ($15-$40) digital chord book. Organize chords by their musical quality, ease of play, or fret. This release has the ability to Copy/Paste Chord Diagrams: you can create chord charts, mail interesting chord voicings to your friends, and annotate your favorite songs; Capo: You can tell ChordMate to place a capo on any fret and Alternate Tunings: Players who do not use the standard EADGBE tuning can tune ChordMate to match their guitar. You can now build chord progressions inside ChordMate. There is a chord progression window, and you can just drag and drop chords into it. You can also play the entire chord progression[Download - 476KB]
Cocktail 4.1.3 (Leopard Edition) ($15) general purpose utility for Mac OS X. This release adds adds multi-user cache clearing, updated Automator actions as well as many various fixes, optimizations and improvements. Cocktail 4.0 (Tiger Edition) is distributed as a Universal Binary and runs natively on both PowerPC and Intel Macs. Cocktail 4.0 (Tiger Edition) requires Mac OS X or Mac OS X Server 10.4 - 10.4.11 and is tested for compatibility with Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server 10.4.11.[Download - 2.6MB]
Greenpeace pans iPhone 3G
Greenpeace is again calling Apple out on its environmental practices, citing that the iPhone 3G uses the same toxic building materials that it found in its breakdown of the original device. Casey Harrell, International Toxics Campaigner for Greenpeace, released a note on Wednesday saying he believes that, while the company has made large strides with reducing hazardous materials in its iMac and portable computers, the iPhone 3G remains largely unchanged.
ScreenSteps 2.1 released
ScreenSteps -- visual documentation software used to answer technical support questions and create lessons -- has been updated for Mac and Windows. Blue Mango Learning Systems says the update allows users to quickly post lessons or documentation to WordPress, TypePad or Movable Type blogs The company says PDF export has been "dramatically improved" with clearer screenshots and better formatting of PDF manuals.
USBfever has updated its product line with two new releases for the iPod and iPhone. These new items are leather flip top case for the upcoming iPhone 3G and a set of iPhone/iPod compatible cables with USB for sync and charging. The iPhone case is available in black and features a unique ergonomic design while offering easy access to all the controls. The new iPhone/iPod cable features composite AV output, which allows users to connect their device to either a TV or a home theater/stereo receiver. It also includes a USB connector for charging, or running off external power. The cable is compatible with the iPhone, iPod classic (6G), iPod touch, iPod nano (3G) as well as the iPod video.
NVIDIA G84, G86 faulty
Despite NVIDIA's claims, the Inquirer reports all, not just a select batch, of the company's G84 and G86 chipsets used in GeForce 8400M and 8600M graphics cards are suffering from heat-related failures due to an unidentified substrate or bumping material used to help make the video hardware. They all share the same application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC), which is the source of the problems, in both notebook and desktop PCs. The chips have been failing since last year, and earlier this month, NVIDIA said the problems will drop the value of its shares to the tune of 25 percent, and is budgeting $200 million for repairs.
“Body art” for iPhone/Pod
NLU Products says it's bringing "body art" to the iPhone and iPod in the form of decorated plastic skins that offer "outstanding physical protection" for the devices. Each TatSkinz kit comes with enough material to cover most of the front and rear, but not the screen. The thin plastic shields are removable and reusable, the company says, and do not leave adhesive residue behind when removed. TatSkinz can be applied over NLU's BodyGuardz transparent skins or directly to a device. Users can "express themselves" by choosing from a wide selection of designs and have the option of covering their iPod click wheel with a sticker, or leaving it off.
ECS G10IL netbook
Taiwan-based ECS is preparing to bring its netbook to the US market to compete with the likes of the ASUS Eee PC range and MSI's Wind netbooks. Unlike its other products, the G10IL will be the company's first netbook designed for business use exclusively instead of education. Only a 10.2-inch version of the G10IL will likely make it to the US market, also bringing with it optional and unique to the segment 3G support via the HSUPA and HSPDA mobile broadband networks, as well as EDGE.
Yahoo CEO to resign?
Yahoo's top executive, CEO Jerry Yang, could resign to avoid a forced departure ahead of a decisive shareholders meeting on August 1st, according to new rumors. Yang and one of Yahoo's most influential shareholders, Gordy Crawford, butted heads at a recent meeting, sources say, with the latter and his top analysts questioning Yang's arguments and demanding an update on Yahoo's near-term strategy. Crawford has expressed interest in Carl Icahn's proxy takeover for Yahoo, which would likely lead to Microsoft taking over the company.
CopyTrans Photo released
CopyTrans has announced CopyTrans Photo for transferring photos between iPods and Windows PCs. The software allows two-way transfer, allowing users to not only carry photos uploaded from a PC, but also to download photos off an iPod onto other PCs. CopyTrans Photo supports drag-and-drop file transfer and works with any photo-capable iPod, including the iPod Touch and iPhone models. It works with Windows XP and Vista, and costs $50.
ChangeWave on iPhone 3G
The iPhone 3G should have a massive impact on the smartphone market, claims ChangeWave Research. The group has compiled the results of 3,567 people surveyed after the device's June 9th announcement, and found that while a steady 42 percent owned one of Research in Motion's BlackBerry phones, the original iPhone achieved its fourth consecutive growth period, climbing 2 points to reach 11 percent of the market. This puts it only 3 percent away from Palm, which slid 2 points to hit 14 percent.
Nanosilicon LED prototype
A prototype of a light emitting device developed by Matsushita Electric Works (Panasonic) and a Japanese University engineering department that is more efficient and smaller than conventional LEDs was unveiled today. Unlike fluorescent lamps, such as CCFLs used in HDTVs, the device does not require mercury, using a 5nm or smaller nanosilicon device to create a ballistic electron discharge into xenon gas. With further development, the nanosilicon LED could be used in future notebook, computer and HDTV screens, extending battery life in portable devices thanks to its efficiency.
Apple Leads US Touch Phone
Apple should already the clear market leader in the US for touchscreen phones by the end of the year, a new study claims from Strategy Analytics. The research group estimates that Apple will have shipped 6.3 million iPhones in the US alone by the end of the year, or enough to garner 35 percent of business for touchscreen cellphones in the country. The success is in large part due to Apple popularizing the interface with relatively little competition in the short term, according to the group.
When something unusual or interesting appears on your screen, there are times you may want to show the image to someone else. If that person is physically nearby, they can, of course, peek at your screen. In many cases though the other person may be in another city, state or country, so that isn't an option. The only choice then is to do the next best thing, and capture that screen image using a program like Sequence 1.0.
Korea Developing 5G
Although fourth-generation (4G) cellular wireless still has yet to hold its own, the South Korean government is already developing 5G access that may be ready soon after 4G services go live, the country's officials say (registration required). The country hopes to invest money equal to $58.4 million over the next three years into both advancing 4G access and to starting work on 5G at the same time. Doing so is said to hopefully make the Asian country the top-ranked cellphone producer in the world by setting a 4G standard and becoming the primary source of 4G on the planet.
Safari for Win. security
The Windows version of Safari did not live up to Apple claims of it being "secured from day one," a new editorial claims. A ZDNet writer argues, for instance, that Safari should not have been set for automatic file downloading by default, as this can copy malicious executables to a person's computer. While these executables might not launch by themselves, automatic downloads prevent a person from exercising discretion, and Apple later admitted that code could be executed remotely.
MB Pro Case Leak Confirmed
An apparent MacBook Pro case leak has been confirmed as legitimate, says AppleInsider. The aluminum shell is described as a prototype but one which is fundamentally similar to what will be used for the future 15-inch MacBook Pro and will mark a first significant redesign since the system's 2006 launch: the narrower but longer battery design will also allow users to access the hard drive themselves without disassembling the whole case, similar to current 13-inch MacBooks.
FCC Clearing for Sirius XM
The FCC is telling XM Satellite Radio to clear its schedule for what could be a potential deal, says a report from Orbitcast. XM's legal counsel has allegedly been told by the US government agency to have all hands available for the rest of July and thus hints that the FCC is under pressure to decide quickly on the proposed merger between Sirius and XM within the next two weeks.
Sony Ericsson W595 leak
Early images of a new Sony Ericsson phone are available, a French site claims. The site says it has obtained photos of a device called the W595, which may be a successor to the W580. Although little is known about the product, images show a slider with a new, rounded top, a larger numberpad, and different navigation buttons. The phone is also believed to have a built-in accelerometer and FM tuner, as well as a preloaded copy of Google Maps. The accelerometer is likely meant to rotate the screen view along with the phone.
iGiki-iGikiApps for iPhone
iGiki has launched iGiki Apps, a new service that will offer tools for creating iPhone applications. The service is geared for non-technical users, enabling users to plan, develop, and market iPhone applications on Apple's App Store. It also aims to reduce costs and eliminate errors. At launch iGiki Apps will offer three core products, the Apps Maps System, an iPhone Professionals Marketplace, and an iPhone Knowledge database.
Home Sweet Home for Mac
Big Blue Bubble has announced that Home Sweet Home, a home-design game, is now available for Mac OS X. Home Sweet Home allows gamers to act as home designers. Users create rooms for clients with hundreds of unique pieces of furniture and accessories across dozens of homes, then direct build-teams to assemble it all under deadlines. Home Sweet Home has over 50 unique levels and 50 riddles for fitting furniture to home spaces. It has 400 different pieces of furniture and offers customizable rooms. A demo is available (link is not live at press-time) and the full version costs $20.
JS8 Media - AudioLobe 3
JS8 Media has released AudioLobe 3, an update to its audio-speed and pitch-processing software. AudioLobe allows users to alter the speed of audio playback without changing the pitch rate. Version 3.0 adds the ability to alter playback speed and pitch independently and to save audio and video files with altered speeds. The software also updates the user-interface and supports most audio and video formats. It works with Mac OS X 10.4 and higher and costs $20.
Sprint Diamond on Sept. 2?
HTC's Touch Diamond has finally secured a release date with Sprint, according to reports. A timetable, allegedly leaked from Sprint, mentions the MP6950 -- the Touch Diamond -- as shipping on September 2nd, alongside other phones from Motorola and Samsung. This puts the Sprint phone in a launch schedule similar to that of Telus' version, which is supposed to be the first North American one but only has a "summer" release date.
Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 B
Hitachi this morning touted its eco-friendliness and launched the Deskstar 7K1000.B. The disk holds the same 1TB as the earlier, original 7K1000 but demands 43 percent less power when idle, letting users upgrade without worrying that the drive will consume more energy just through its presence. The disk is also potentially more secure with the option of Bulk Data Encryption to lock data through hardware rather than depending on software.
DMG Canvas for disk images
Araelium Group has released DMG Canvas, software for building customized disk images. Users drag and drop items to its window, and can lay out files in a customized order. The software additionally allows for customizing the icons, sizes and backgrounds, and remembers the location of contents in an image, allowing one-click rebuilds with updated source material.
Fujitsu Downplays SSDs
Fujitsu has no near-term plans to create solid-state hard drives (SSDs) of its own as the technology still isn't as fast it should be compared to hard drives, the company's business development VP Joel Hagberg says. He acknowledges that many notebook manufacturers are opting for the flash-based medium but argues that its performance advantage isn't as broad as other storage makers would claim. Many SSDs are very fast at random access for reading data but quickly falls apart when writing data or reading large amounts of data in a row, he says.
FoneLink 2.1 ships
nova media has published the v2.1 update to FoneLink, its phone sync utility for Macs. The app is designed to support phones which are otherwise incompatible with Mac OS X, and sync content including photos, videos and music, as well as contacts, bookmarks, notes and text messages. The program integrates with Sync Services to share data with apps like Address Book and Entourage, and can additionally create backups and ringtones.
1Password 2.7 released
Agile has released v2.7 of 1Password, its password management utility. The software is designed to remember a multitude of passwords, and help insert them automatically; it can also help fill out other forms, and generate "strong" passwords that are more difficult to guess or crack. The v2.7 patch adds a new Bookmarks window integrated into web browsers, which lets users rapidly log in to a site through a single mouse click or key combination, instead of several.
PS3 40GB May Exit in Aug
Sony could be replacing its baseline 40GB PlayStation 3 model with a new version as early as next month, according to a Wal-Mart data sheet obtained by Joystiq. The large retailer lists the Blu-ray game console as being replaced with a new version in early August but doesn't provide the new model or illustrate exact changes. Sony has yet to update the 40GB system with the Dual Shock 3 rumble controller or release an anticipated white PS3.
iSight, cooling patents
Apple has today been granted three patents by the US Patent and Trademark Office, relating to several different technologies. The first of these is entitled "Video Conferencing Apparatus and Method," and covers a particular implementation of webcams. The patent makes specific reference to the defunct external iSight cameras, but also applies to the internal ones incorporated into modern Macs, and could theoretically be used to create an iPhone video camera.
Rogers 6GB iPhone 3G
(Updated with extra plan info) Rogers and its sub-brand Fido today made concessions to potential subscribers worried about low bandwidth by offering a limited-run promotional plan for the iPhone 3G. Customers who sign up for the Apple device before the end of August will have access to a $30 monthly plan that offers 6GB of data per month while purchased with any existing voice plan Rogers or Fido already offers. The pricing effectively gives an iPhone user enough bandwidth to watch nearly 105 hours of YouTube videos per month on the cellular connection, Rogers claims.
Xbox 360 60GB in July
Microsoft's Xbox 360 price cut this month may be just a measure to phase out the old Pro system before a new one takes its place, if a leaked memo proves accurate. The internal company message now suggests that the 60GB Xbox 360 is a direct replacement for the 20GB edition and will replace the earlier model before the end of July, with the $50 discount on the earlier system now being used just to clear out stock.
Fifth Avenue, App Store
Apple's flagship American store, the Fifth Avenue location in New York City, will temporarily close on July 10th, Apple has announced. The store will shutdown at midnight on the 10th, and only reopen several hours later at 8AM, allowing preparations for some of the first North American sales of the iPhone 3G. The closing is notable in that the Fifth Avenue location is normally open 24 hours a day, year-round, making tomorrow a rare disruption.
Samsung SC-MX20 Camcorder
Samsung on Wednesday updated its MX series camcorders with a refresh targeted at the web and portable players. The SC-MX20 effectively replaces the earlier MX10 and adds a Web & Mobile mode that records H.264 video in a 640x480 format that can easily be transferred to video websites such as YouTube; it also lets users record home video that doesn't require transcoding to work with iPhones, iPods, and other H.264-aware devices.
GoToMeeting for Mac
Citrix Online is releasing updated versions of its popular GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar conferencing software with complete support for the Mac, and integrated VOIP and telephone audio capability. Aimed at small to medium-sized businesses, the applications provide "one-click" web conferencing for small groups to large-scale web presentations. The company says it has seen a sharp increase in Mac use among its customers and decided the "time was right" to create OS X-native versions of both programs.
BBerry Thunder May Be Late
Claims of a summer launch for the BlackBerry Thunder may be thwarted by a still very rough design, says an alleged Research in Motion insider speaking to BGR. Initially pitched as a near-term competitor for the iPhone 3G, the first touchscreen BlackBerry is described as "in no way shape or form" ready for a near-term launch and has glaring bugs that include a flawed on-screen keyboard and overall interface, a touchscreen that ripples on touch, and an overly sensitive tilt sensor.
Apple talks iPhone launch
Apple on Wednesday touted that the new in-store activation process will only take between 12 and 15 minutes as well as said that it will not offer the iPhone 3G via its online store as a means to prevent unauthorized unlocks by customers. A Bloomberg interview with Apple retail chief Ron Johnson notes that each of its 185 retail stores in the U.S. are prepped to handle about 100 customers an hour (about 30 at a time) and that each customer, as detailed on its website, will be required to present credit card and Social Security number so the device can be activated immediately; unlike last year, customers will be required to sign a two-year contract.
iPhone line forms in Japan
While the first iPhone 3G lineup began at Apple's flagship NYC store, people are already lining up in Japan at the Softbank flagship store in "Tokyo's Fifth Avenue", Omotesandou street where the iPhone will be "available extra-early in this particular store on July 11th, 7 am (July 10th, 6pm EST)," CrunchGear notes. "And the man you can see in the video, Hiroyuki Sano, will be the first person in Asia to lay his hands on the 3G iPhone (assuming stores in Hong Kong will open later in the day). I shot the video and the pictures just now, in the middle of the night (July 8th, 2pm EST). This means Hiroyuki and the 15 people waiting with him must suffer for another 52 hours from Tokyo's tropical heat."
Networking device manufacturer D-Link and DivX have begun shipping the first DivX Connected media player in the U.S. (distribution in Canadian markets is expected to soon follow). The HDMI-connected D-Link MediaLounge DSM-330 offers streaming of music, photos, Internet services and high definition video from PCs to any connected television, ostensibly challenging Apple TV, Apple's device for the living room. The set-top box, however, uses the slower 802.11g networking (or optional wired Ethernet), while most newer devices, including Apple TV, use the new (and faster) 802.11n band. Unlike Apple TV, the device supports a larger range of format, including DivX (including DivX VOD files), Xvid and WMV9 (transcoded on PC) as well as a variety of image formats, including JPEG, JPEG 2000 and BMP (non-compressed).
MS to challenge Apple
Calling Vista the most secure operating in the world (and taking jabs at Mac OS X security), Microsoft on Tuesday relented in its defense of the problematic Windows Vista, which has been the butt of many of Apple's jokes through its "Get a Mac" ad campaign. The Microsoft exec admitted that the system broke many things and said he feels badly for users' plights; the world's largest software developer, however, will counter Apple's anti-Windows/Vista campaign: "We've got a pretty noisy competitor out there," Brooks said of Apple whose "I'm a Mac... and I'm a PC," commercials criticize Windows Vista. "You know it. I know it. It's caused some impact. We're going to start countering it. They tell us it's the iWay or the highway. We think that's a sad message. Software out there is made to be compatible with your whole life."
iPhone praise and concerns
The iPhone 3G's official launch on June 11th is just over two days away, and several industry heavyweights have already offered their opinions on Apple's next generation device, offering mostly praise, peppered with a few criticisms. Among the acclaimed technologists were Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal, David Pogue of the New York Times, and USA Today's Edward Baig. The three writers noted that the different pricing structure and 3G battery life were two small strikes against the new device, but ultimately considered the upgrade to be a boon.
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