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AMD posts loss, CEO leaves
AMD on Thursday posted disappointing second quarter results, citing a net loss of $1.189 billion, or $1.96 per share, while also announcing that CEO Hector Ruiz would step down from his position. In terms of continuing operations, the net loss was posted as $269 million (44¢ per share), with operating losses at $143 million. Net favorable impact sits at $97 million (16¢ per share), while losses from discontinued operations came in at $920 million ($1.52 per share) and impairment charges at $876 million ($1.44 per share).
Adeona asset protection
A development team at the University of Washington recently unveiled Adeona - named after the Roman goddess of safe returns - Open Source security software that parallels functionality of paid services such as LoJack. The dev team claims that the software is privacy-preserving, in that no one other than the owner of the device can track a stolen computer through Adeona. Users are merely required to install Adeona, and do not have to rely on a third-party service to track the device.
Digital Foci photo HDD
Digital Foci on Thursday launched its Photo Safe II storage drive designed to allow users to transfer photos from their digital camera media and keep shooting while away on vacation. Available in either 80GB or 160GB capacities, the external hard drive features a built-in memory card reader that supports most the memory card formats commonly used for digital cameras.
Quark acquires Invision
Quark on Thursday announced its acquisition of In.vision Research, a Florida-based software firm that develops the Microsoft Word for XML authoring tool, allowing the two companies to tightly integrate XML document creation in QuarkXpress. Neither company mentioned how much the purchase cost Quark, but it is said to be a boon for the design software company, since In.vision's client base includes over 200 financial institutions, Fortune 500 companies, and several government-level clients.
RiftVault 1.0 ($40) 256-bit AES encryption keeps credit card numbers secure, documents safe, and secrets confidential. Designed exclusively for Mac OS X Leopard. The new release includes major improvements to the UI, has a full feature set and include ssignificant stability and security improvements [Download - form]
VectorDesigner 1.4 ($70) application for vector drawings, diagrams and illustrations, raster image handling, filtering and color correction. This release introduces user definable templates: a template can contain all the elements that are available in a standard VectorDesigner document, such as paper size, units, rulers positions, layers etc. [Download - 4.9MB]
SMTPit Pro 4.1.0 ($65) FileMaker plug-in that provides a vast array of email options. You can send simple text based messages or you can send complex HTML messages. You can send a single message or an entire mail out. Its functionality is flexible enough to cover many email tasks. The new release fixes issues dealing with Files and Folders that contained forward and backward slashes and issues on Mac where the plug-in couldn't deal with files on mounted volumes in certain circumstances. [Download - form]
Merlin 2.6 ($225) project management software designed exclusively for the Mac. With Merlin 2.6, you will be able to publish your project file over the web either as a live HTML document so you can collaborate with other users over the web or as a static HTML page that you can share with the team. This feature opens the door for all users who wish to use Merlin but can't because they are tied to an operating system other than Mac OS X. [Download - 37MB]
XTension home automation
Sand Hill Engineering on Thursday unveiled XTension 6.0, a major update to its home automation software that adds support for a number of new hardware devices, as well as a new web-based interface. XTension now offers connectivity with multiple concurrent powerline and RF interfaces, supporting devices from Oregon Scientific, such as barbeque temperature monitors, atomic clocks, power monitoring, and more. Sand Hill Engineering is selling XTension 6.0 for $150, while a free "lite" version is also available.
Squirrel Personal Finance
Everyone makes money and spends it, but not everyone bothers to track their income and expenses. To make managing your money simple, you can choose from a variety of programs, including Intuit's standard Quicken. The problem with most of these applications is that they come loaded with so many features, few people take the time to learn them all. As a result many people ignore these programs, and those that do use them can only understand a fraction of the available options. If you find traditional budgeting programs too complicated, then you might appreciate the simplicity of Squirrel.
MS Sells 180m Vista Copies
Microsoft on Thursday afternoon revealed as part of its latest quarterly results that it has sold 180 million copies of Windows Vista in the roughly 18 months since the operating system's launch in late January 2007. The news comes as Microsoft also reveals that it has earned more than $60 billion in revenue for one fiscal year and notes that its income grew 18 percent over the 12-month span. Unlike some past years, Microsoft credits the success to a broader success that includes Vista alongside the recently-launched Windows Server 2008, Office, various server apps, and the Xbox 360.
Creative's iPhone headset
Creative recently introduced its newest headset, designed for use with Apple's iPhone and iPod. The EP-630i uses a pair of in-ear buds, which come with three different silicone covers to ensure users find an ideal fit. Each earbud is powered by a 9mm Neodymium magnet to deliver above average sound quality.
Portrait Professional Mac
Anthropics Technology on Thursday unveiled Portrait Professional 8 for the Mac, offering users intelligent portrait touchup software, which the developer claims will create custom controls specifically for a given image. Portrait Professional offers users over 80 beautifying controls that can soften skin tones, change hair and eye color, reduce pore size, or add an airbrushed effect, as well as many others. Portrait Professional 8 for Mac sells for $80, with a RAW-enabled version available for $120.
FCC Leans To Sirius XM
A crucial voter in the long-delayed Sirius/XM merger vote is leaning in favor of approving the deal, says the AP. FCC Commissioner and Democrat Party member Jonathan Adelstein says he would vote in favor of the deal as long as the unified satellite radio entity would agree to a six-year cap on subscription rates as well as devoting a full 25 percent of all channels to public or minority-focused stations.
Firefox 2 and 3 updates
In an unusual move, Mozilla has released updates to two versions of its Firefox web browser. The current browser has been updated to v3.0.1, while its otherwise outdated predecessor has been updated to 188.8.131.52. One of the reasons for the patching is a remedy to a potential "carpet bomb" attack against Windows users, who must have both Safari and Firefox installed on the same computer. The attack also requires that a person actually have Firefox closed, while still running another online application. Having even the unpatched browser up and active will prevent any intrusions.
Visionman's Widow notebook
Visionman today released its new Widow Double Nine gaming notebook. The company claims the flagship offering is the first of its kind with NVIDIA's GeForce 9800M video chipset, support for up to 8GB of RAM and Intel's quad-core 9000-series CPU. The notebook otherwise features a 17-inch, 1680x1050 (WSGA+) resolution display and will support a secondary display. The chip, Intel's Core 2 Quad Q9450, is rated at 2.66GHz, and works with the standard 4GB of DDR2 memory for smoother gaming.
Nokia N95 CDN Drops to 199
Rogers along with Nokia today announced a price cut on the N95 8GB to $199 with a three-year contract from its normal $400 on the same terms. The drop takes effect immediately and is already believed to be prompted by the launch of the iPhone 3G in the country last week, which undercuts the price of the Nokia smartphone for the same amount of storage and media playback. It's unclear as of press time whether the discount also applies to shorter contracts or contract-free use.
iPhone A2DP adapter
Hong Kong exporter Brando has begun shipping one of the first Bluetooth adapters compatible with the iPhone 3G. The Infinxx AP23 is meant to cope with the absence of stereo Bluetooth on iPhones, by converting USB output to A2DP. The adapter plugs directly into a phone's dock connector, and does not require any removable batteries as it consumes power from the phone itself.
Togg theme for RapidWeaver
In brief: We have posted a review of the Audio Kontrol 1, REALbasic Professionals announces membership pricing, "Togg," a new theme for RapidWeaver 4.0 has been released, Xcode 3 unleashed debuts, and users can save 30% off Office 2008 with the purchase of a Mac ... We have posted a review of the Audio Kontrol 1 from Native Instruments, a perfect compact audio interface for today's music producer. It is small, compact, portable, and made of sturdy light-weight aluminum. It has a continuous controller knob, three buttons, a mic or instrument input, a line input, four outputs, a MIDI input and output, and a headphone output. It is a USB 2.0 bus powered interface and all inputs and outputs are balanced.
EU Charges Intel Again
The European Union's European Commission on Thursday filed its previously rumored additional complaints about Intel's practices. The Statement of Objections argues that Intel offered discounts to European resellers in exchange for either delaying, limiting, or completely eliminating AMD-based systems from their lineup. This unfairly prevented AMD from getting a foothold in the market, the Commission says.
Italian iPhone petition
Competition among multiple iPhone carriers in Italy has not resulted in low prices and happy customers, notebook italia reports. Controversy over service prices has led to a 10,000-signature petition, expressing disappointment with excessive costs.
Sega on iPhone hardware
The hardware in the iPhone is about as powerful as the now-defunct Dreamcast console, according to Sega of America president Simon Jeffrey. The comparison comes from an interview at this week's E3 gaming expo, and refers to Sega's last official hardware, released in 1998. While outdated in terms of living room consoles, most other phones are relegated to performance closer to Sony's original PlayStation, or even earlier machines like the Super Nintendo.
Nikon D90 Rumor
Nikon has scheduled a press event that could see the release of an anticipated upgrade to the D80, say multiple reports. One claims that the media is receiving invitations to a gathering to be held on September 3rd, three weeks before the Photokina photography expo in Germany. The camera maker often announces some or all of its new cameras for the show in advance but only occasionally uses its own conferences to announce products outside of the normal cycle, suggesting a major release.
Samson intros iPod dock
Samson on Thursday released its StudioDock 3i USB studio monitor speakers with a built-in iPod dock. The speakers also have a USB interface on the rear panel that allows other USB devices or computers to play their audio content. For more traditional sources, the desktop speaker system has an RCA input on the rear, as well as an 3.5mm auxiliary input jack on the front panel, right next to the a headphone output jack.
WinAmp 5 54 Adds Stores
AOL today revealed a significant update to WinAmp that gives the software its first access to online music stores. The 5.54 upgrade puts in a commerce foundation that allows buying songs directly from the jukebox; it also permits buying ringtones, tickets, and physical CDs. The company hasn't named any stores that will integrate with the service but is likely to focus on stores selling MP3s and other unprotected music.
Battery charges iPhone 3g
Though the iPhone 3G offers faster connections over 3G networks, it sacrifices battery life to do so. The Smart Backup Battery can double battery capacity for owners of the new iPhone. The external aluminum-cased lithium-ion battery attaches to the data-port at the base of the iPhone to charge the iPhone's battery. It can be used to charge while the phone is in operation and will charge first the iPhone, then itself, in sequence when attached to AC power. The Smart Backup Battery also works with the original iPhone, iPod touch and all other data-port iPods. It costs $50, with discounts on volume purchases.
30GB Eee PC 900?
ASUS is developing an unexpected revision of the Eee PC 900, data suggests. A product sheet from ASUS' Chinese site makes reference to "Eee PC 900 30G" systems, which not only switch from 12 or 20GB of storage to 30, but also use hard drives instead of flash memory. Black or white Linux systems are said to be available, along with a black-only Windows XP machine.
Compaq 2730p tablet PC
Not announced with its main wave of Centrino 2 notebooks, HP has revealed another such system in Korea. The Compaq 2730p is a tablet PC with a rotating, 12.1-inch screen, capable of native WXGA resolutions. Internally it is powered by a 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo processor, matched to a GM45 chipset; graphics are supplied by an integrated GMA 4500MHD chip. By default, the system comes with 2GB of 800MHz DDR2 RAM.
BASIC web tool announced
Inspiring Applications has released Yuma, a development tool that allows BASIC programmers to design web software for any server platform. Yuma allows users to build web sites with an object-oriented language similar to VB.net and REALbasic, resulting in faster and more efficient development. It supports Apache for web serving and features type-checking, classes and class interfaces, modules and other development-savvy tools. The Yuma Enterprise Server runs on Mac OS X 10.3 and higher, requiring 1GB RAM and a 1GHz G4-, G5- or Intel-based Mac. Windows and Linux are also supported.
VirusBarrier X5 10.5.3
Intego has released the v10.5.3 update to VirusBarrier X5, its antivirus protection software. The program continually scans the files read and written on a Mac, and also monitors for unusual program behaviors that could signal an existing infection. It is otherwise said to remain out of the way unless a virus detected, and can be left active when installing software.
Canaccord on BlackBerry
The launch of the iPhone 3G have had no tangible impact on BlackBerry sales, according to a new research note by Canaccord Adams. Group analyst Peter Misek notes that the announcement of Apple's device on June 9th still led to BlackBerry maker Research in Motion enjoying a breakthrough the same month, with both sales and real activations of BlackBerries understood to have climbed between 20 to 30 percent.
Piper vs. Apple on iPhone
Apple may have been deliberately ambiguous in announcing sales of 1 million iPhones during the launch weekend, says analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray. Challenging claims that his firm's estimate of 425,000 units sold was inaccurate, Munster notes that while Piper was estimating phones actually bought by the public, Apple's figure appears to have been derived from phones sold to carriers and even its own retail stores.
DealNN: Kensington AUX kit
DealNN deals for today include the Kensington LiquidAUX auxiliary car kit with wireless remote for use with iPod and iPhone for $65. ReCycle 2.1 by Propellerhead is available for only $50 from L.A.ComputerCompany.com. The TRENDnet wireless N router is dropped to $29 after $15 mail in rebate offer from Buy.com and save $300 on this Samsung 46 inch LCD HDTV that is regularly priced at $1,199, now $899. Bestbuy.com has leather Belkin Carabiner cases in white and pink for first and second generation iPod nano priced at $1.99 each and get a white USB wall charger for only $3, shipping included, after coupon code from Meritline.com.
Xnet updates iSoftPhone
Xnet Communications has updated iSoftPhone 2.3, its Mac-based phone emulator that provides desktop telephony services. The new version adds SMS and IM chat, with Growl support, to give the software smartphone abilities. The new SMS features allow users to chat with mobile phone users, sending and receiving SMS communications directly to and from the iSoftPhone interface. The IM (instant messaging) support allows IM conversations with users of iSoftPhone and desktop IM software. In addition, Growl support adds the ability to answer callers from Growl notifications. Version 2.3 is compatible with Mac OS X 10.4 and later, and is available now for $35.
SKT Wants Sprint Stake
SK Telecom isn't interested in a direct takeover of Sprint but is nonetheless interested in gaining a clear stake in the American wireless carrier, according to reports. The Korean company now denies that it has any plans to completely buy out Sprint but is now said by sources of BusinessWeek to be mulling a "major stake" in the cellular provider that would require seats on Sprint's board of directors, handing a significant amount of influence to SK Telecom over larger decisions.
Creative ZEN Krystal Slips
Creative is trying its hand again at competing with the iPod shuffle through a new and sleeker player, according to an unofficial release from its own website. The ZEN Krystal appears a successor to the earlier ZEN Stone Plus but is designed from the start to be used with its OLED screen with an upright design rather than the side layout of the pebble-shaped ancestor. It also targets the exercise market with a built-in pedometer that not only tracks jogging but comes with several games that tie into the pedometer's sensitivity to movement.
AmTech on AAPL Q3
Investors in Apple stock may not be forgiving after the results of the company's third financial quarter, says Shaw Wu of American Technology Research. Gross margin is said to be the "key metric to watch" with Apple performance, but despite positive signs for the previous quarter, gross margins did not end up growing significantly. Investors are said to have given Apple stock a "free pass" at the time, but due to the fragile US economy, they may not appreciate smaller margins (and thus smaller EPS) in Q3.
Sidekick 2008 due July 30
T-Mobile's Sidekick 2008 now has a solid release date, says a new document leak through BGR. The rebranding of the Gekko has now been confirmed and should be introduced through T-Mobile on July 30th, likely replacing the normal Sidekick LX outside of the Tony Hawk Edition.
iPhone coming to Korea?
The iPhone 3G's next destination may well be South Korea, an update to Apple's main website has exposed. The Job Opportunities section lists an entry for a "Korean iPhone Account Manager," who will be expected to "manage the day to day issues of our chosen carrier, ensure healthy relationship and help develop the market." Apple does not currently sell iPhones in Korea, and it has not formally announced any plans.
Nokia Q2 2008 Results
Nokia today announced largely positive results for its spring quarterly results. The Finnish company says its net sales climbed by four percent to a total of $20.9 billion based largely on the back of its staple cellphone business. About 122 million phones were shipped during the three-month period, which represents a spike of about 21 percent versus the same quarter in 2007. The rush of extra devices is estimated to give Nokia about 40 percent marketshare based on a predicted 303 million cellphones shipped worldwide during the season.
Amazon Video on Demand
Amazon on Thursday is revealing Video on Demand, its second approach to online video. Unlike the company's own Unbox service, which requires that users download the entire video, the new feature will depend on streaming alone; while it depends on an active Internet connection, the feature will allow devices with little to no hard drive space to buy TV shows, and buy or rent movies, with the same access as full computer users.
DAZ 3D extras for Victoria
DAZ 3D on Wednesday unveiled the Human Data Acquisition Center, featuring extra textures, bodies, and poses for users of the Victoria 4 Elite model. The HDAC permits users to obtain high-resolution textures that are taken with a proprietary lighting/camera system to ensure that inappropriate shadows are eliminated. Users also have access to a complete set of scan data for body and joint shapes, as well as a collection of scanned poses. Victoria 4 Elite is available for a special price of $75.
TiVo integrate YouTube
TiVo on Thursday announced that its Series3 and TiVo HD DVRs will soon support YouTube content, allowing users to browse and view videos on the Google-owned service. In the future, TiVo hopes to introduce a login interface, which would let users access their YouTube accounts, videos, channels, and playlists. Tivo expects to have the update delivered over "the next few weeks" for the aforementioned players.
Sony ships BDP-S350
Sony on Wednesday shipped the BDP-S350, a new incarnation of its S300 Blu-ray player that is based off Blu-ray Profile 2.0, which introduces a number of new features, including access to BD-Live Internet extras. Sony bills the player as BD-Live ready, saying that a patch will be available later this year, which can be downloaded through the player's built-in Ethernet port. In addition, the BDP-S350 adds support for BonusView (picture-in-picture), while featuring a speedier boot time and an external port for local BD-Live storage.
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