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MacWireless cuts prices
MacWireless on Friday announced it is lowering the price of its 200Mbps Powerline Network Adapter for Macintosh to $90, offering Mac users a relatively inexpensive way to network computers and equipment in their home or office without requiring WiFi, or running Ethernet cables. The Powerline adapter can transmit over almost 1000 feet of electrical wire at 200 Megabits per second, and does not require any additional drivers or software to function.
In brief: We have posted a review of Colin McRae Rally Mac, MacNN is seeking experienced web/Xcode developers, Adobe's Flash 2 Beta for Mac OS X undergoes a bug fix, an iPhone 3G ringtone tool debuts, and The Macintosh Business Users Society will hold a meeting in Philadelphia this month ... We have posted a review of Colin McRae Rally Mac. This game features over 30 cars and many famous scenic spots from the sport. While the game is a port of Colin McRae Rally 2005 on the PC, the game holds up well to age, with its rapid frame rate, and solid game mechanics. Despite Colin's comparably modest system requirements, which allows play on high-end PowerBook G4 or PowerMac G5 machines, it does not support the Intel integrated graphics chipsets, leaving Mac Mini and MacBook gamers out in the cold.
Invoice 3 point of sale
Kedisoft on Friday unveiled Invoice 3, a major update to its scriptable invoicing application, completely redone from the ground up to incorporate features of Mac OS X, with a host of new features. Invoice 3 offers users Smart coloring for invoices, for at-a-glance status of an invoice, and full drag-and-drop support for arranging invoices and invoice elements. Kedisoft is currently selling Invoice 3 for €79 (~$130), available from its website.
Motorola sues Apple exec
Motorola is suing former executive Michael Fenger - currently vice president of Apple's global iPhone sales - for allegedly divulging corporate secrets to further the success of Apple's relatively new cellular platform, such as margins, operating strategies, marketing information, and customer initiatives, among other things. According to Bloomberg, Fenger formerly oversaw Motorola's mobile business as vice president in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Apple was not named in the suit.
Apple puts MobileMe on Win
Apple has quietly slipped a MobileMe preference pane into Windows Vista, and allegedly on some versions of XP, for users who have the latest version of iTunes installed on their computers. Blogger Steve Clayton notes that while exploring Vista's Control Panel, a MobileMe preference pane was found at the very bottom, even though he is not an existing MobileMe customer. Users who wish to use the latest versions of Nike+ gear or iPhone/iPod touch 2.0 are required to have iTunes 7.7.
Project Wizards on Friday unveiled a new screenwriting module with NovaMind Platinum, allowing film producers to accurately capture film ideas during planning stages, while simultaneously linking the Mind Map to a script. NovaMind can now use industry standard screenplay formatting options, with several configurable and automatic functions built in, such as text completions for movie elements, and sentence casing of dialog or actions. ProjectWizards is selling NovaMind Platinum for $250.
Early App Store rankings
Games and other forms of entertainment are currently dominating in popularity at the App Store, according to new data. Mobile advertiser Medialets says it has been keeping track of the store's metrics, specifically a combination of downloads, scores, and number of ratings. Top on the list of paid apps is Sega's Super Monkey Ball, an iPhone edition of the popular GameCube title. Most of the other titles in the top 10 are games as well, including Texas Hold'em, Enigmo and Solitaire.
Yamaha launches iPod dock
Yamaha has launched the YDS-11SL iPod dock, which allows users to play the digital music stored on their iPods via their home theater system. The dock is made to connect to Yamaha's receivers as well as the company's YSP-3050 speaker bar, providing full control via the home theater electronics maker's remote. The iPod screen comes up on users' video displays via Yamaha's On-Screen Display visual interface.
Intel scales down pricing
Intel will go back to the old days of pricing its flagship chips at $999 apiece when ordered in bulk, thousand-piece quantities, says a Friday report that cites mainboard manufacturers as its sources. The move is believed to have been made in order to speed up the adoption of quad-core CPUs, and pertains specifically to the chipmaker's upcoming 3.2GHz Extreme-series desktop Nehalem processors nicknamed Bloomfield.
MacBook supply limited
Rumors are swirling about new MacBooks and MacBook Pros, with recent reports of increased notebook circuit board orders and limited shipments to Best Buy over the next two weeks. Intel's introduction Monday of its new Centrino 2 platform has been considered the last hurdle in the race to new MacBooks, which were rumored for a possible WWDC introduction in June before Intel delayed the Centrino 2 launch.
Radio Shack Store Concept
Radio Shack is experimenting with stores that will closely follow the designer look of Apple's locations, according to an investment note by Deutsche Bank analyst Mike Baker. While not describing the stores visually, the researcher says the electronics shop will try out three stores that mirror the "look and feel" of Apple's stores and will focus more closely on cellphones, carrying touchscreen devices from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. The stores would appear in non-mall, upscale locations.
2008 IDEA winners named
The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and BusinessWeek magazine on Thursday announced the winners of the 2008 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA). IDSA has been recognizing design excellence in products from around the globe, including environmental frendliness, packaging, and strategy, among others, since 1980. This year, 17 categories were included, and designs from student took the most trophies ever, taking 16 percent of all the awards and 6 of the 35 gold prizes.
First Look: Adeona
If you have a MacBook (or MacBook Pro), you know how convenient it can be to pack it up and take it with you. Unfortunately, the small size and weight of a Mac notebook also makes it a prime target for thieves. Short of locking down your Mac with a metal cable wherever you go, the next best defense for your notebook may be a special tracking program such as Adeona.
Shuttle H7 Phenom PC
Shuttle has switched its attention back to AMD with the launch of one of its first small form factor barebones systems designed with AMD's Phenom processor in mind. The SN78H7 can handle at least some versions of the tri-core and quad-core AMD chips and comes with a 300W power supply to handle both the processor as well as peripherals attached to the system. The mainboard also comes with GeForce 8200 video built-in that can take on most of the workload for processing Blu-ray movies in home theater systems as well as providing enough 3D power for Vista Home Premium.
Wii Overtakes Xbox 360
Research information from The NPD Group today confirmed the Wii as having surpassed the Xbox 360 for lifetime sales in North America. The motion-based Nintendo console sold about 666,100 units to North American in June and has now reached a total of 10.9 million units, just edging out Microsoft's Xbox with a lifetime total of 10.5 million. Nintendo has routinely fought to catch up with demand and is believed to have tipped the balance in June with Wii Fit and its matching Balance Board, which were available for their first full month.
Forums new MBPs
Forum roundup: Rumors about the possibility of new MacBook Pro models have MacNN forum goers discussing upgrade possibilities and most users expect to see new models arriving in anywhere from two weeks, to right after the start of the new school year. With all the problems surrounding the release of MoblieMe, Apple has announced a free automatic 30-day extension to the MobileMe service for current subscribers much to the delight of some of our forum users.
T-Mobile 3G, Android plans
T-Mobile has planned a number of changes to its service towards the end of 2008, according to unconfirmed reports. Among these is a second indication that the company will launch its 3G broadband network on October 1st, finally introducing competition for AT&T's HSPA network. It is rumored that on the same date T-Mobile will introduce its first Android phone, a 3G-ready HTC Dream. Android is an open-source platform that will be shared across phones from a number of companies.
GeForce 9700M and 9800M
NVIDIA today quietly published details for its two highest-end GeForce 9M series notebook graphics chips following leaks by PC makers. The 9800M line is now NVIDIA's flagship and is much closer to desktop-class graphics than the earlier 9600M; the top-end 9800M GTX has 112 effects processors that compares closely to the 128 of the desktop 9800, suiting it to desktop replacement portables and very compact desktops. It runs at 500MHz at its core with a 1.9GHz effective memory speed.
Legg Mason backs Yahoo
One of Yahoo's largest shareholders has declared its support for existing management, according to an announcement. Legg Mason Capital Management, which owns 60.7 million shares (4.4 percent) of Yahoo stock, has declared its intentions to vote in favor of Yahoo's current bosses at next month's critical shareholder meeting. "We believe the current Board acted with care and diligence when evaluating Microsoft's [acquisition] offers," reads a statement from Legg Mason chairman Bill Miller.
Apple deals: MacBook Air
Currently the Apple store is offering refurbished MacBook Air models in three configurations. Prices start at $1,499 for the 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo model with 2GB of RAM and 80GB PATA hard drive; next is the 1.8GHz model with 2GB of RAM and 80GB PATA hard drive for $1,699 and finally the 1.8GHz model with 2GB of RAM and 60GB solid-state drive for $2,299. All three models have 13.3-inch glossy widescreen displays and include built-in wireless, Bluetooth, iSight webcam and multi-touch track pad.
Sony Ericsson Q2 2008
Sony Ericsson on Friday reported spring quarterly results that confirm a continued drop in the company's influence. The cellphone designer today said it has largely met its lowered predictions and shipped 24.4 million phones between April and June, or a two percent drop from the same season a year earlier. Net income for the company was also near-flat at the equivalent of $9.5 million, while the firm also warned that the average selling price for one of its phones dropped from approximately $198 to $184.
PDO TopSkin, power gear
Accessory maker PDO has confirmed that its TopSkin case for the iPhone 3G, first announced in late June, is now shipping. The case uses a form-fitting, translucent design, and provides openings to key areas such as the camera, touchscreen, vibrate button and microphone. Black, blue, pink and white colors are being sold for $20.
Panasonic Digital Wall
Panasonic is working on a wall-mounted surface computer with an enormous touchscreen. What the company aptly calls the Digital Wall is reportedly twice the size of a normal 110-inch display, and allows users to drag folders and windows across it. Unlike the similar Microsoft TouchWall currently under development, which is based on its Surface computing technology, the Digital Wall does not yet support multi-touch inputs, although Panasonic is said to be working on it.
Balance goes Mac beta
Kampo Interactive has released a public beta of its new Balance Mac Beta, an accelerometer controlled puzzle game. The game, reminiscent of the wooden board game Labyrinth, tests users' mouse-control abilities. Gamers nudge playfields up and down to guide balls to targets and through obstacles. It offers over 75 levels, with community records available. Kampo has promised an iPhone version in the future. The Mac beta requires Mac OS X 10.4 or higher, with a 350MHz G3 or higher (including Intel), 128MB RAM and a 3D graphics card. After the beta period the software will be available for $20.
AT&T iPhone Wi-Fi a go
(Updated with AT&T denial) AT&T has, after some delay, officially reintroduced a free Wi-Fi plan for iPhone owners. The carrier has changed its policy on the service several times, announcing it and then retracting it; the company now confirms, though, that people should be able to access free Wi-Fi from an iPhone at over 17,000 hotspots, among them more than 8,000 restaurants, many of which should be Starbucks Coffee locations.
AMD exec on Atom, iPhone
AMD intends to make a serious push into the realm of ultra-low-cost notebooks, according to the company's new CEO. Only promoted to the role on Thursday, Dirk Meyer says that AMD intends to provide serious hardware competition in the realm of "netbooks," computers that typically cost less than $400, and embody UMPC traits such as small size and weight. Perhaps the best-known example is ASUS' Eee PC.
Google sued for false ads
Google is reportedly placing a percentage of its AdWords ads on parked and error sites, which carries no benefit for paying consumers. This practice has landed the search engine giant in hot water, with a federal class action lawsuit filed on Thursday in a US District Court in San Jose, California. Lawyer and Google advertiser Hal Levitte noticed the practice back in 2007, then filed a complaint late last week claiming Google is unjustly enriching its promises. The lawsuit was filed by Kabateck Brown Kellner, and, if approved by the judge, could involve a large numbers of litigants who advertised with Google in the last four years.
Apple opens Beijing store
Apple has opened its first retail store in China, according to reports. While the store will only technically open on July 19th, Apple has taken the unusual step of providing a sneak preview a day in advance, instead of an hour in advance as at most of its retail openings. The store is located on Sanlitun street in Beijing, and is surrounded by a number of other Western retailers, most notably Adidas.
PlayTV for PS3 Due Sept 10
Sony today established a final release date for its PlayTV tuner for the PlayStation 3. The add-on, once set for the end of June, is now set to launch on September 10th and is poised to gain additional functionality on its release: the shipping version will support recording TV shows even during gameplay. The device already supports dual DVB-T tuners and will capture one over-the-air digital channel while playing another live.
Apple More MacBooks
A rush in component orders hints at a major increase in Apple's notebook production during the summer, says the Taiwan-area newspaper Commercial Times. The company is reportedly ordering 20 percent more of the circuit boards it needs for notebooks than it has in the spring, pointing to an according increase in production for the MacBooks themselves. Four companies in Taiwan alone are seeing the benefit, the report claims.
HyperOffice iPhone collab
HyperOffice on Thursday launched a new public beta of its tool suite that further develops the iPhone into a business tool. HyperOffice is designed to enhance interactions between business staff and their clients or suppliers, connecting them for projects, detailing schedules, or sharing information, utilizing any Internet connection. This second beta claims to have better usability, while adding access to shared documents, as well as built-in tools allowjng for a link between the iPhone and corporate messaging systems.
MLB cease and desist
The Major League Baseball association is seeking action against a free iPhone application called Baseball (opens in iTunes), regarding its use of MLB team logos throughout the app. PC World reveals the app contains thousands of team and player statistics, reaching back to 1888, all the way until the current baseball season. On Monday, Mark Knopper - owner and proprietor of Bulbous Ventures - was instructed by email to remove all logos related to Major League Baseball, and associated teams.
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