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Apple deals MacBook
Reconditioned MacBooks in multiple configurations are now available at Apple's online store. Two models in white with similar specifications are $949, they both have 1GB of memory and 120GB hard drives, one has a 2.1GHz processor and a Combo drive and the other has a 2.16GHz processor with 8x SuperDrive. A black 2.4GHz option can also be found with 2GB of memory and 250GB hard drive for $1,299. All MacBooks have 13 inch widescreen displays and include built-in iSight webcam, wireless, and Bluetooth.
MobileMe v1.1 update
While portions of Apple's MobileMe service continue to be down, Apple has posted The Mac OS X Update For MobileMe v1.1, which it says is recommended for users running Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.4 and includes general system fixes that enhance your Mac for MobileMe. The 8.3MB download is available via the Mac OS X Software Update. Readers also report receiving their pre-ordered retail packages of MobileMe (with activation codes), but the homepage continues to be down. Sync services between computers and devices (through the "Cloud") appear to working fine along with email. Apple's own updated support notes problems with the homepage and its groups services.
USBfever remote, handsfree
Portable accessory manufacturer USBfever on Friday unveiled two new products that it certifies work with the iPhone 3G: the iPod Wired Remote Control, and the FM Transmitter with Handsfree. The iPod Wired Remote Control offers both iPhone and iPod users a lapel-pinnable remote for controlling songs, with a built-in pass-through for headphones. USBfever is selling the iPod Wired Remote Control is available for $15 through its website.
AccuNAS AN2L enclosure
Sans Digital on Friday unveiled the AccuNAS AN2L two-bay RAID NAS enclosure, providing users with a compact storage unit that can link disks in RAID levels 0, 1, JBOD and Spanning. The box is said to share media with Mac, Windows, and Linux boxes, as well as Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Portable, or any UPnP/DLNA-based media player. Sans Digital is selling the AccuNAS AN2L for $365, available from the company's website.
MacBook Air solar power
QuickerTek is offering what it calls a "green" method of charging a Macbook Air. Announced on Friday, the Apple Juicz Solar Charger for the Macbook Air allows users to charge a Macbook Air using nothing other than solar power. There are three available models -- differing in size and charging power. All three are capable of folding up for storage and all also come with a stylish element bag for storing and carrying around the charger and a Macbook Air. The Apple Juicz Solar Charger is capable of charging a Macbook Air in between 5 to 14 hours, depending on the model being used. In order to use the charger an additional MagSafe adaptor must be purchased at the cost of $100 or QuickerTek can modify the customers current MagSafe adaptor for $25.
STM bags, container, more
STM this week unveiled three new case products for Apple portables and accessories - the Slip, Sort, and Raincoat. The slip is a briefcase-style bag with optional shoulder attachments, and allows the user to compute with the laptop in the unzipped bag, as it holds the device in place. The Slip is available for 13-, 15-, and 17-inch laptops, with various color combinations. STM did not release pricing for the product, but has a list of resellers on its website.
Incipio, Marware cases
Incipio and Marware have announced nine new iPhone 3G cases between the two companies. Incipio has three new cases: the SILICRYLIC case, dermaSHOT and ECO|case, while Marware has announced The C.E.O. Glide, The C.E.O Premiere, the The C.E.O. Sleeve and The C.E.O. Flip Vue, along with the Sportsuit Convertible and the Sport Grip. all are shipping now, to coincide with the iPhone 3G launch.
IPhone voice nav. coming
TeleNav Software says it's developing turn-by-turn voice navigation software for the iPhone 3G, according to TWICE, The industry newspaper says the move comes despite a clause in Apple's contract with iPhone Developers that prohibits sophisticated navigation features. The iPhone 3G has a built-in GPS, but offers only on-screen maps and text directions.
AT&T second-wave 3Gs
With some locations already sold out, AT&T is beginning to sell customers on units from the second wave of iPhone 3G shipments, MacNN has confirmed. With sources noting that "many stores across the country" have already sold out of their launch stock, the company is now offering pre-orders through a "direct fulfillment process." Should a person pick this option, they will be required to pay for the phone and will be notified when an iPhone 3G arrives at the store for pickup. AT&T is telling customers that they can expect their new iPhone 3Gs within 3-5 days.
Sony Rejects PS3 Price Cut
Sony has no plans to slash the PlayStation 3's price in the near future, company CFO Nobuyuki Oneda said on Friday. The Japanese executive insists that Sony's goal remains to make the Blu-ray game system profitable by reducing the price of its individual parts. Selling extra games should also help the PS3's bottom line, Oneda says. He declines to estimate when a price cut could take place.
Apple settles iPhone trade
Apple and Canada's Comwave Telecom have settled their trademark dispute over the use of the name "iPhone." The agreement was reached Wednesday night, with Apple retaining sole rights to the iPhone name in Canada, and Comwave phasing out its use of the name in reference to its Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service by November 9. Further terms were not disclosed. The agreement, first reported by the Globe and Mail, ends a long battle between the two companies.
Blu-ray shortage in China
A Blu-ray Disc factory set to launch by December in China will put an end to slow sales of Blu-ray Disc players made by the likes of Sony, Panasonic and Pioneer, it was learned at the Blu-ray Disc Association Press Conference today. Shanghai Epic Music Entertainment Company Ltd. will produce the high-capacity media storage discs at an 140,000 square foot expansion to its factory in Shanghai. The new lines are expected to start producing discs as soon as December.
OCZ intros Elixir keyboard
Computer memory and component maker OCZ announced the addition of a new Elixir range of gaming keyboards to its product line-up. As the first product in the recently-introduced Alchemy line, the Elixir keyboard sports 10 tri-mode macro keys programmable to one of three custom profiles, and a mode selection that switches between standard and user-defined key configurations. OCZ promises the Elixir will be soon be followed by mice, more keyboards and other Alchemy-badged PC gaming accessories.
new iphone accessories
Earlier today Macally announced that it will be adding eight new sleek and stylish iPhone 3G accessories to their product line. The new cases and covers were all designed to fit the new iPhones body ensuring a tight and protective fit. The new products include cases (Bella, Metro, MCase, MSuit), belt clips (MClip, IceCase) and screen protectors (Privacy Screen Protective Overlay, Mirror Finish Screen Protector)
Sony VAIO BZ Detailed Leak
A series of leaks of Sony VAIO updates has wound to a conclusion on Friday with the appearance of the VAIO BZ. The 15.4-inch pro system shifts to a new 1440x900, LED-backlit display which both produces a better picture, reduces the power draw, and more eco-friendly; like other recent leaks, both systems are also based on Intel's imminent Centrino 2 platform and will come with faster GMA X4500HD integrated graphics than the outgoing BX models.
Fone2Phone 2.1 ships
nova media has released v2.1 of Fone2Phone, its data migration utility. The software is geared especially for cellphones, and is used to save information from various Nokia, Motorola, Samsung and Sony Ericsson units for copying to other devices. Some data that can be saved includes contacts, notes, schedules and bookmarks. Users can also transfer media including photos, music and video.
App Store:iPhone utilities
Among the dozens of new product announcements today are a wide variety of tiny utiity programs to enhance the new iPhone 3G. Whether it's copying a file from a Mac, writing a shopping list, searching for restaurants, sharing and organizing photos or securing the iPhone's Wi-Fi connection, there are utilities available at the iTunes AppStore.
Global iPhone 3G problems
Apple's iPhone 3G launch has become a stressful day of failed activations, mirroring activation issues during the original iPhone launch last year, accounts indicate. The 2007 launch saw AT&T servers go down in a flood of activations; this year AT&T says that there has been a global problem with Apple's iTunes servers that prevents phones from being fully activated in-store, as had been planned. Customers have been told to finish activating their phones at home, but have faced the same problems there, according to Associated Press reports. While both Apple and AT&T are signing up users for AT&T service, neither company is able to complete activation in-store and both are asking customers to finish their activation at home; unfortunately, until the final iTunes activation, the iPhones are not able to make/receive calls.
Goya Pty BaseElements 2
Goya Pty has introduced BaseElements 2, an upgrade to its FileMaker developer-tool for analyzing and documenting FileMaker database solutions. BaseElements provides a cross-reference of every element in a solution and helps developers find and fix errors, track issues, document changes. BaseElements 2 is redesigned, with a new interface, consolidated into a single file, and a number of new improvements and additions. A single-user license of BaseElements is $500, while a multiple-user license is $1300, with a 30-day trial available. It requires FileMaker Pro Advanced 8.0 or higher, with 8.5 required for 100-percent functionality.
FCC Not to Fine Comcast
The Federal Communications Commission's recommendation to punish Comcast for its throttling of traffic won't involve fines, the Commission's chairman Kevin Martin quickly added on Friday. After initially sending out a blanket warning that the FCC would take action against the cable provider for arbitarily filtering BitTorrent and other traffic, Martin now says he would rather demand just that Comcast be forced to identify its throttling and disable it in place of paying a large sum to the government.
iPhone 2.0 security fixes
Apple on Friday released security documentation for the iPhone and iPod touch 2.0 operating system, citing various fixes to Safari, Webkit, Kernel, and CFNetwork that prevent a number of malicious activities. CFNetwork was tweaked to increase security regarding malicious proxy servers delivering arbitrary data in the form of a 502 Bad Gateway error, allowing for website spoofing. The Kernel was fixed as well, to prevent unexpected device resets from remote sources.
Sony Ericsson W902 Leak
Sony Ericsson is developing a more music-oriented version of its C902 Cyber-shot cameraphone, according to leaked shots obtained by S-E Blog. Codenamed "Patty," the device would ship as the W902 and would have the same 5-megapixel camera and LED flash of the C902, but with a much more music-oriented layout: users would have quick access to the full Walkman media playback software through side music controls. Accordingly, it would also have a more rugged-looking and simpler all-black design. A flush headphone jack may also be evident in one photo
NotifyLink Enterprise Edit
Notify Technology announced that its NotifyLink Enterprise Edition service will soon support the iPhone 3G as well as the iPhone 2G and iPod touch with iPhone 2.0 software. While the iPhone 3G is currently limited to enterprise wireless email and PIM (Personal Information Manager) synchronization support for Microsoft Exchange users, NotifyLink Enterprise Edition will expand the enterprise functionality of the devices for wireless synchronization of email and PIM (including calendar, personal address book, and global address book) over 12 email suites.
Palm Centro Price Cut
Palm in tandem with AT&T today sought to draw some attention from the iPhone 3G launch with a promotional price drop on the Centro, bringing the cost of the already budget smartphone down to $70 with a two-year plan from its original $100. The cut accompanies the launch of the promised Electric Blue version of the device and is officially targeted at back-to-school buyers looking for their first smartphones.
Rogers iPhone problems
Canada's Rogers Wireless is also suffering from problems relating to iPhone activation, sources say. Stores nationwide are said to be experiencing massive delays, triggered after the first wave of activations began in the Maritimes, Ontario and Quebec; the sheer volume of traffic crashed the activation servers, a Rogers representative claims. The issue is said to be so severe that Rogers only expects it to be resolved by the end of Friday, and at least some stores may be imposing a five-customer limit with a maximum of two phones per person.
Sony to sell ads in games
Sony today revealed it will begin selling virtual advertising space in PlayStation 3 games in order to help the company offset the losses it suffers with each sale of the console. The ads would appear on billboards, posters on walls, shopping bags, TV screens and soda cans in games where they wouldn't seem to be out of place. The company teamed up with in-game advertisement companies Double Fusion and IGA Worldwide in the undertaking, which would target advertising per game genre, said a Sony spokesperson.
Nik adds Silver Efex Pro
Nik Software on Thursday unveiled a new version to its Color Efex Pro 3.0 for Capture NX 2, while also introducing Silver Efex Pro, a new plug-in for doing black-and-white images in Photoshop and Aperture. The new Capture NX filters offer DSLR users nine new filters: Bleach Bypass, Cross Balance, Film Effects, Film Grain, Glamour Glow, High Key, Low Key, Polaroid Transfer, and Tonal Enhancer. Color Efex Pro 3 is available in Select and Complete editions for $100 and $180, respectively.
Clear covers for iPhone
Buying an iPhone is a substantial investment, and many owners opt for cases or covers to prevent dings and scratches. Two companies have announced plastic film products for the iPhone 3G. Power Support Power Support is offering two types of screen protection for the new device, while NLU Products is releasing a plastic film "skin" that completely covers the iphone and other products.
DLO iPhone 3G accessories
Accessory maker DLO has launched its initial collection of iPhone 3G accessories. Leading these is the HybridShell, a case designed for the 3G's contours, and built primarily of hard, transparent polycarbonate. The case differs mainly in the inclusion of rows of silicone dots on the back, which make it easier hold with a tight grip. Openings permit access to the touchscreen, camera, side controls, headphone jack and dock connector; to guard the display, DLO includes an adhesive skin. The HybridShell costs $25.
More Apple touch patents
Apple may intend to take touch technology well beyond handhelds, notebooks and desktops, a new patent filing suggests. The application mentions, for example, that a camera could be equipped with a touch-sensitive lens body, which would detect gestures to operate controls. People could for instance use a two-fingered combination to change exposure settings -- sliding the index finger around for aperture -- or three fingers to control zoom and focus.
AOL: free iPhone apps
AOL says it has posted free downloads of its instant-messaging, AOL Radio and Truveo video-search applications at the iTunes AppStore. The company says each of the programs were rewritten using the iPhone SDK, and provide features "unique to the iPhone." AIM brings instant messaging over Wi-Fi, Edge or 3G networks with and supports the Multi-Touch interface. Users can tap the screen to start a message, or swipe a finger to switch between conversations. Photos taken by the iPhone camera can be used to dress up buddy lists.
Rambus sues NVIDIA
As if NVIDIA wasn't in enough hot water already, reports have high-speed memory interface maker Rambus Inc. suing the graphics chip maker over patent infringements. The lawsuit, filed in a Nothern District of California court, implies NVIDIA's memory controllers for SDR, DDR, DDR2, DDR3, GDDR and GDDR3 SDRAM infringe upon 17 Rambus patents.
AmTech on iPhone 2.0
Early experience with the iPhone 2.0 firmware is cause for optimism, says analyst Shaw Wu of American Technology Research. Wu explains that like hosts of others, AmTech was able to download and install the v2.0 firmware in advance on Thursday, in turn enabling the installation of software from the iTunes App Store. Wu notes that over 500 applications were available for the App Store's debut, and that this number should eventually extend into the thousands.
Google intros Mobile App
Looking to push its services across all mobile devices, Google has announced the launch of its first native iPhone Google App that will help users search the web and contacts on their iPhones and iPod touch devices at the same time. The application is meant to make searches faster and more efficient, with suggestions showing up before a word is completed, in similar vein to T9 texting. The app is also able to match recently searched items, like Google's search engine.
iPhone 2.0 upgrade issues
Apple officially released iPhone version 2.0 via iTunes on Friday morning. And as thousands of users upgrade their first-generation iPhones, reports of glitches have begun to surface on Apple support discussion boards and MacNN's forums. One user says after waiting an hour and 15 minutes for the upgrade to install, his iPhone was bricked. He and a number of other users say the iPhone needs to contact the iTunes Store for reactivation but the process doesn't appear to be working.
Verizon gets Chocolate 3
Now shipping, the third iteration of the LG Chocolate will carry the VX8560 designation and be the most music-oriented version to date when it launches over the weekend, Verizon Wireless announced today. The flip-phone will also be the first offering from Verizon to feature a built-in FM transmitter that will allow users to play music stored on the handset on any FM radio, car stereos included.
MobileMe launch problems
Despite its formal activation yesterday, users have been experiencing persistent problems trying to access Apple's MobileMe service, reports say. Problems began when the company shifted its scheduled downtime for the .Mac/MobileMe transition, moving the end of it to 2AM Thursday. A lack of access continued throughout the day for many customers, however, and as of Friday morning in the US the service is still not fully functional.
Two VOIP apps for iPhone
Two VOIP companies -- TruPhone and Packet 8 -- have announced support for the iPhone, allowing users to make calls through Wi-Fi hotspots. Truphone says its VOIP application acts just like the regular iPhone dialer, except that calls are made through the internet at what it claims are "incredible low rates." Calls to landlines in 40 countries cost 6 cents per minute; 30 cents for calls to other mobile phones. The dialer is free at the AppStore.
Nokia finalizes NAVTEQ buy
Nokia has completed its purchase of mapping technology and software maker NAVTEQ after getting the European Commission's approval of the deal earlier this month. Navteq provides data used in a wide range of applications, including automotive navigation systems and web-based applications, such as Google Maps, Yahoo! and other sites. As part of Nokia, NAVTEQ will now continue to develop map data and its technology platform, focusing on adding context-aware services to the web functions of mobile devices, the company said. Such functionality will allow users to quickly and efficiently access data such as restaurant reviews and store hours from the Internet based on their location.
UK iPhone 3G launch
The UK launch of the iPhone 3G has been crippled by activation problems, say multiple sources. O2's press office has confirmed that within minutes of the first sales in the country, all stores experienced an outage in the servers needed for the activation process. This was due to "huge simultaneous customer demand," says an O2 representative, who nevertheless promised that ordering and activation should otherwise take approximately 20 minutes. An O2 store on Oxford Street was observed handling roughly 15 people per hour though, meaning that some customers would have to wait hours.
DealNN deals iSkin
Deals at DealNN: iSkin Duo for the first generation iPod nano in pink or green from BestBuy.com, only $5.99 each, and the 2.4GHz MacBook Pro with 2GB of RAM and 160GB hard drive from MacMall.com is $2,050 after mail in rebate. Also available for $100 (after $150 mail in rebate) is the Samsung CLP 300 color laser printer. Other items include the 1TB Apple Time Capsule for $460 and the Apple A/V connection kit for iPod priced at $70.
iPod touch 2.0 upgrade
With users finding ways to upgrade their original iPhones to iPhone 2.0 yesterday, Apple today began touting its iPod touch v2.0 software; although the iTunes Store was off-line, users can purchase the upgrade for their Touch for $9.95. The software update brings push email with Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, contact search, multiple calendars, a scientific calculator, improved Mail attachment viewing, better email management (including bcc for emails), and user-selectable accounts for replying to email as well as updated language, dictionary, and keyboard support (English, French, German, Japanese, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Russian, and Polish).
News Corp Nixes Yahoo Talk
Fox's parent company News Corp. is unlikely to link up with Yahoo and offer an alternative to a Microsoft takeover, says News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch. Speaking at the Sun Valley conference, the executive claims that the likelihood of any deal is now slim despite early talks after Microsoft had first announced its plans to buy out Yahoo. The latter search engine company has been eager to find a partner for a deal that would bolster its value and either deter Microsoft from making a purportedly undervalued bid.
Sidekick Gekko 2008 Leak
Further leaks of T-Mobile's Sidekick Gekko suggest the phone may be given a new name as well as much more varied customization than originally thought, Hiptop3 says. Reports passed along to the site suggest the device may be renamed the Sidekick 2008 when it launches soon, although the backs of the new devices simply read "Sidekick" and don't provide immediate clues as to any specific name. The messaging slider phone has also been codenamed the Aspen in earlier leaks.
Sprint Already Sells 800w
Sprint is already selling the Treo 800w smartphone despite a lack of announcements from either Palm or the carrier, according to separate reports. Members of the WM Experts forums say some Sprint stores have been selling the device on an unofficial level and confirm that the device has at least GPS, a 320x320 screen common to full-size Treos, and a thinner design with a better QWERTY keyboard than most Treos. The phone is also said in reports to have Wi-Fi, EVDO Revision A for faster 3G Internet access, and a 2-megapixel camera.
FCC to Punish Comcast
Federal Communications Commission chair Kevin Martin on Thursday said he would advise his organization to punish Comcast for violating existing net neutrality guidelines with its traffic throttling practiced against BitTorrent and certain peer-to-peer services. The government official has explained to the press that Comcast's method, which effectively severed some connections between Comcast users and others running the same software, has been 'arbitrary;' every user has been throttled regardless of their actual impact to the cable provider's network, Martin says.
Forums iPhone updates
Forums roundup: Yesterday it was announced in our MacNN forums that the new iPhone 2.0 software upgrade had just become available and most users found that the updates worked flawlessly. Users have been discussing the new updates since early this week, many hoping that Apple would decide to release the new software sooner than July 11th. Posting Junkie --erik-- appears to have made the first claim to owning the new iPhone 3G and hosts a question and answer session in the thread titled "I got my iPhone 3G". The long awaited release of MobileMe is announced, and forum members express their opinions as well as discuss new features. MacNN lounge members discuss UFOs, aliens and other possible explanations for strange NASA video footage on YouTube.
NYC store prepares for 3G
A New York AT&T store has compiled a video of its preparation for the iPhone 3G launch on Friday morning, showing employees racing around as they change over all advertising to reflect the new handset. One salesperson smirks, pointing out a large box of register receipt paper for the anticipated flood of new and upgrading iPhone 3G customers, while another sorts through cases and accessories to put up on shelves.
DoJ clears Jobs and others
The US Department of Justice will allegedly not pursue charges against Apple for the backdating of stocks for CEO Steve Jobs, as well as several other current and former employees. The Wall Street Journal writes that while neither the US attorney's office nor Apple itself would comment, lawyers for two of the accused confirm that they see "no other outcome", after a full review of the evidence against Jobs et al, and being notified that the criminal inquiry is over.
iTunes 7.7 released
Apple this morning has released iTunes 7.7, the latest version of its media organization and sync software. The new version is designed to sync music, video, and more with iPhone 3G as well as download applications from the iTunes Store exclusively designed for iPhone and iPod touch with software version 2.0 or later; Apple's documentation notes a "new Remote application for iPhone or iPod touch to control iTunes playback from anywhere in your home -- a free download from the App Store." The software is a 50MB download from Mac OS X Software Update or available via the Web.
Vaio Z series for media
The rumored Sony Vaio Z series was confirmed Wednesday, as photos of informative pamphlets detail the three tiers that will be available. NotebookReview reveals that the 13.3-inch laptops will boast a 16:9 formatted screen resolution of 1366 by 768 in the entry model, or 1600 by 900 in the mid- and high-end models. Processors range from a Centrino 2-based 2.26GHz P8600 chipset, to a 2.54 P9500 chipset. Each model features a dual-layer DVD burner, 128MB or 256MB Nvidia GeForce 9300M GS, 200GB to 320GB of hard drive space, and 2GB to 4GB DDR2 memory.
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