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Optimus Pultius keypad
Art Lebedev Studios on Tuesday unveiled a new addition to its custom-faced keyboards, the Optimus Pultius, offering users 15 user-programmable, LCD-laden keys to sit beside their keyboard. The Optimus products have made waves in the industry due to their customizable LCD screens, making them ideal for Final Cut Studio or gamers who require quick access to hotkey functions. Lebadev did not mention pricing, but noted it would see release late this year or early next.
Intelligels wrist rests
On Monday a new line of ergonomic rests for wrists were introduced by Computer Intelligence, offering users comfort and pain relief from typing on a hard surface. The Intelligel is placed directly on the case of a laptop where a user would normally rest the heels of their hands. In the center of the rest is a one-size-fits-all cutout that allows access to the computers integrated touch pad and mouse buttons. Intelligels offers two different, yet simple versions of the wrist rests, SoftGEL and SoftFOAM.
USBfever iPhone 3G cases
USBfever has announced three new iPhone 3G accessories that have been added to its product line: the iPhone 3G Armband & Sport Case, the iPhone 3G Crystal Case (Flowers in Purple) and the iPhone 3G Back Cover. Each of the new products aims at protecting the iPhone 3G to different degrees and to suit different people. The iPhone 3G Armband & Sport Case is perfect for the iPhone user on the go. The case protects the iPhone 3G with a built-in screen protector and a soft inner lining for housing the iPhone 3G. It can then easily be attached to anyones arm with a one-size fits-all armband for easy portability no matter the situation. One can easily keep their iPhone 3G safe yet accessible while hiking, running, or bike-riding. The iPhone 3G Armband & Sport Case is currently available for $14
Excel Software has provided developers with a simple solution to creating professional Mac OS X installers with ClickInstall. ClickInstall makes it easy to create compressed, password protected, self-extracting installers with only basic computer skills. ClickInstall presents a simple installer window with custom logo, icon and background images. The developer is also able to include a web-link to the company page, product page or anywhere else the company feels the need to send the user too. An executable can also be run before installation to confirm that the computer meets system requirements or after installation to complete custom actions.
Kerio MailServer: iPhone
Kerio says it has added wireless iPhone "push" compatability to its MailServer software, and the company says small businesses have been eager to embrace the iPhone 3G. In an interview with MacNN, Dusan Vitek, VP of Worldwide Marketing for Kerio Technologies, said he's seeing strong demand for iPhone support from typical customers in small to medium-sized companies.
Apple's mystery transition
One of the most interesting things to come out of Apple Apple's Investor Conference Call today has to do with what CFO Peter Oppenheimer would not talk about –- a mysterious "product transition." Oppenheimer told analysts that the transition will affect earnings in the September quarter and into next year, but –-- in keeping with Apple's long-standing policy of not commenting on future products –- he did not elaborate. Apple's profit margin in the third quarter was about 35 percent. The company's forecast calls for that margin to drop to 31.5 percent in the current quarter.
"Visual bookmarks" for Mac
Sunny Mac software has literally put a new face on bookmarks. Webbla 1.0 creates thumbnails of websites called "visual bookmarks." The bookmarks can be imported and exported to Safari, Firefox, Camino and Opera browsers, and can be organized into into collections for storage. They can also be displayed in the Finder.
Apple's stock down
Despite record setting earnings for the third quarter of 2008, Apple's stock is down sharply in after-hours trading. As of 4:45 PST, shares were hovering at $148.94, down $17.35 or 10.43 percent. Apple posted revenue of $7.46 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.07 billion, or $1.19 per diluted share for its fiscal 2008 third quarter ended June 28, 2008. In the best June quarter in its history, the company sold almost 2.5 million Macs, or a 41 percent increase from the year-ago quarter and over 11 million iPods.
Apple's best edu quarter
After posting its best July quarter, showing success in retail, international markets, and overall revenue, Apple said it had an excellent quarter with education as well, seeing 25-percent growth overall. The growth led Apple to call it its best ever, and noted that both Kindergarten to Grade 12 and Higher Education markets saw unprecedented increases, bringing them to all time highs. The increases are credited to Apple's most generous Back To School promotion yet.
KavaTunes 3.2 released
KavaSoft on Monday released an update to its KavaTunes software, adding in new features. KavaTunes creates a website that looks and works just like iTunes does, so users can browse, search and play their music from any web browser. KavaTunes 3.2 features continuous playback, enabling users to queue up an entire album or songs and listen to one song after another. KavaTunes can also add album artwork to a music library and is also capable of creating web catalogs that look and work just like an iPod. Visitors can then browse and play music using the familiar iPod clickwheel interface.
Retail sells 476k Macs
Apple on Monday posted its most impressive June quarter so far, with the company's retail front showing a 58-percent increase in sales and 32 million visitors, up 10 million from the year ago quarter. Sales of Macs through the stores sat at 476,000, up 44-percent from the year-ago quarter. The average revenue per store – based on a mean of 211 stores – was seen to be $6.8 million.
First-gen iPhone in Canada
Visual voicemail can be added to an unlocked first-gen iPhone in Canada and will function properly, one reader reports. There are a few conditions that need to be met before it will work though: he iPhone must be unlocked, the visual voicemail feature must be added to your existing plan with either Rogers or Fido and the account must also have some sort of data plan as well or this feature will not work. Some users have reportedly had issues with customer service representatives not allowing them to add the visual voicemail pack to their plan, others have had no issues though, the video proves the process is possible, so with enough persistence with Rogers or Fido customer service representatives, users in Canada may be able to use visual voicemail on a (hacked) first-generation iPhone in Canada.
Jobs' health 'private'
After announcing its best quarter ever, questions about Steve Jobs' health still cast a shadow over the company's future. During the company's quarterly Investor Conference Call, Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said Jobs' health is "a private matter," but that he intends to remain as CEO of Apple. Company officials said they would not comment further on the matter.
Regional, product Q3 sales
As a part of its Q3 2008 financial results, Apple has posted explicit figures for sales by region, sector and product. The bulk of sales were of course in the Americas, where the company sold slightly over 1.1 million CPU units, producing a revenue of approximately $3.4 billion. The next-largest market was Europe, with 576,000 units and revenues of $1.6 billion. The retail sector, measured separately, is said to have accounted for 476,000 units, and revenue of $1.4 billion. Japan amounted to only 102,000 units and $365 million in revenue, but Apple supplemented this with $571 million from "other segments," including FileMaker and Asia Pacific streams.
Apple posts $1b profit
Apple on Monday posted revenue of $7.46 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.07 billion, or $1.19 per diluted share for its fiscal 2008 third quarter ended June 28, 2008. In the best June quarter in its history, the company sold almost 2.5 million Macs, or a 41 percent increase from the year-ago quarter and over 11 million iPods. These results compare to revenue of $5.41 billion and net quarterly profit of $818 million, or $.92 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 34.8 percent, down from 36.9 percent in the year-ago quarter, while international sales accounted for 42 percent of the quarter's revenue.
Apple and iPhone appeal
Ahead of Apple's earnings announcement, Nielsen Online on Monday sent out a compiled list of statistical data on the company, showing that overall brand awareness and iPhone users are up this quarter. Nielsen reveals that over the second quarter, web traffic to Apple.com grew 12-percent, from 44.3 million unique monthly impressions to 49.7 million, while total time spent on the website grew from 8.7 billion minutes to 10.1 billion over the course of the last year.
iPhone 3G tethering hack
Several groups of developers have produced a method for tethering an iPhone 3G as a modem, a new guide illustrates. Carriers such as AT&T do not normally allow tethering on iPhones, for fear of even heavier cellular traffic; the guide suggests, however, that there is a workaround in cases where tethering is absolutely necessary. People must first, for instance, jailbreak their 3Gs, a process which can take "two or more hours" in some cases. At this stage people must then install 3Proxy and Terminal through an app called Cydia.
CherryPal intros cloud PC
CherryPal on Monday announced it will soon begin shipping its cloud PC, the CherryPal Desktop. The paperback-book sized box has just 256MB of DDR2 memory and a 4GB flash drive, and runs on Freescale's MPC5121e mobileGT processor, good for 400MHz. Included in the purchase price of the CherryPal is 50GB of Internet storage, all managed and protected by CherryPal staff. Accessing the web is via the PC's Ethernet jack or 802.11b/g Wi-Fi.
Acer Veriton business PC
Acer today announced the release of its Veriton S461 desktop PC aimed at business users. The PC can be had with a choice of Intel processors, including the 3.0GHz Core 2 Duo E8400 or a 2.2GHz Pentium Dual-Core E2200 in the base model. All models get at least 2GB of DDR2 memory, which is expandable to 8GB via three more 2GB memory slots. Graphics performance is handled by the integrated Intel GMA X3100.
MOTU intros UltraLite-mk3
MOTU on Monday announced the release of its UltraLite-mk3 portable digital audio mixer and processor, which is powered and interfaces with computers entirely via a FireWire connection. The third generation of the company's UltraLite is now able to apply DSP effects and be used as a standalone mixer without a computer. The half-rack sized mixer offers 10 inputs and 14 outputs, the signals of which are processed via a 192kHz analog I/O and 32-bit floating point DSP.
Shuttle SX48P2 Deluxe PC
Shuttle has switched its attention back to Intel-based barebones systems from AMD with the launch today of the SX48P2 Deluxe. This new version is built chiefly for gamers and is the first from Shuttle to support DDR3 memory. The change not only gives modern Core 2 Duo, Quad, and Extreme processors more memory headroom but also allows as much as 8GB of memory (with a 64-bit operating system) at the full 1.6GHz bus speed despite the small form factor case.
Piper on NPD and Q3 2008
With the availability of all three months' worth of NPD sales figures, more solid estimates of Apple Q3 product shipments can be gauged, say analysts with Piper Jaffray. Leading this is a predicted 2.35 to 2.4 million Macs, which amounts to a sizable 34 to 36 percent year-over-year increase. By comparison, The Street has targeted 25 percent. Piper says it is leaning towards the conservative end of its estimates, based on the possibility of low K-12 educational sales. The firm notes, though, that NPD does not track this information.
RBC on BBerry vs iPhone 3G
The deals Research in Motion is willing to make will help keep the BlackBerry out of harm's way and prevent it from clashing with the iPhone, says RBC analyst Mike Abramsky. The researcher dismisses Needham Research claims that the iPhone 3G is a direct threat to the BlackBerry and points out that Apple has artificially limited its deals in some countries, particularly in the US; while the iPhone is available only through AT&T, BlackBerries are available through both AT&T and T-Mobile and are also available through 13 other carriers in CDMA versions.
PowerEasy Suite released
Developer Effigent has announced that PowerEasy Suite, previously available only in a beta, has entered final release. The software is said to be aimed at small- to medium-sized businesses, an attempts to integrate all accounting and purchasing functions into one package, including distribution, time tracking and billing. Shipments can be tracked along each stage of their progress, and timing methods include both stopwatches and ordinary timesheets.
Lexmark Fall 2008 AIOs
Lexmark on Monday geared up for the return to work by launching three new printer models each for the Home & Student and Small Office Pro series. For home users, the X4950 (pictured) serves as the flagship with built-in 802.11g Wi-Fi to share the printer over the local network; it also has a 2.4-inch OLED display for menus and previews, copies and scans at a native 4800x1200 resolution, and outputs pages at either 30 per minute in monochrome or 27 in full color. It will sell for $150 and ship along with the other printers in September.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has put forth a set of expectations for Apple's Q3 earnings, due today after the US markets close. Munster believes that upside to Mac and iPod units may drive upside to the June quarter and is reiterating his Buy rating. While the street is expecting Apple to have shipped 2.2 million Macs in the quarter, Munster cites a buyside bias of 2.35 million units. He is also expecting shipemtn of about 10.5 million iPods, vs. the street consensus of 10.3 million.
Samsung smartphone updates
Samsung announced on Monday changes to two of its smartphones, the BlackJack II for AT&T and SCH-i760 for Verizon. The former is now available in blue and pink while its price with new contracts has dropped. The i760 in the meantime gets a software update that includes Windows Mobile 6.1. The new OS brings with it threaded SMS, Domain Enrollment for office servers and an updated Vista 32-bit look that includes a more advanced home screen.
You Control 1.7 released
You Software says it has released v1.7 of You Control, its utility for Mac OS X. The program lets people create custom menus in the operating system, which can be placed in locations such as the Menu Bar, a corner of the screen, or in the middle when triggered by a hotkey. Users can launch any file, folder or application present on their Mac.
O2 disables web MMS
UK carrier O2 has disabled a web-based system for viewing MMS messages without an MMS-capable phone, according to a company spokesman. The move follows allegations that photos, messages and even phone numbers have leaked to the web through Google indexing, putting the privacy of its customers at risk. A person claiming to be a victim of the O2 technology says she is now receiving unwanted text messages.
Toshiba Matsushita OLEDs
Toshiba Matsushita Display is about to mass-produce OLED screens that could be used for a wide range of portable devices, according to a report from Japan's Nikkei BP. The joint venture between Toshiba and Matsushita (Panasonic) is claimed to be producing as many as one million 2.5-inch organic screens per month starting from Autumn of 2009 and would be the first Japanese company to do so.
Open Tech Mac clones
A new company says it is joining the world of Mac clones, according to reports. Open Tech claims to be developing a new PC designed to run any one of several operating systems, including not just Windows XP and Vista, but Ubuntu and Mac OS X Leopard. Though people will be able to customize their hardware once the machine goes on sale, a tentative configuration includes a 3.4GHz Intel processor, a 500GB hard drive, and 3GB of DDR2 RAM. No release date has been set.
Panasonic FZ28 and LX3
Panasonic this morning got an early start to the run-up for the Photokina expo with a full range of new cameras. The Lumix FZ28 is close in capabilities to the earlier FZ18 with an 18X zoom factor but now shoots with a slightly wider-angled 27mm (previously 28mm) lens that lets it put more of a very long subject in the frame. It also adds a new autofocus tracking mode that keeps a subject in focus even in fast movement, ensuring that either basic focusing or face detection works properly without mastering shutter speeds and ISO settings.
VT installs Mac cluster
Virginia Tech has recently installed a new Mac-based supercomputing cluster, according to an announcement. The cluster is being used by the university's Center for High-End Computing Systems, and consists of 324 Mac Pros operating as servers, with eight cores apiece, for a total of 2,592 cores. The computers are networked together via a 40Gbps copper LAN connection.
LG XD1 External Hard Drive
Normally making just PCs and their displays, LG today expanded into external hard drives through the XD1. The notebook-sized disks are designed to be stylish with a unique, gradiated color scheme in black or red that mirrors the look of the company's Scarlet HDTVs. All the hard drives are completely bus-powered but are still thin enough to slip into bags or to an optional leather case.
Pwnage Tool 2.0.1 update
The iPhone Dev Team has released v2.0.1 of PwnageTool, its combination jailbreaking and unlocking tool for iPhones and iPod touches. The update addresses several problems spotted after the app's weekend release, most notably the "Error 1600" warning, which has been solved by generating a "~/Library/iTunes/Device Support/" folder if one does not already exist. Other fixes include the elimination of hanging startups, and a corrected Sparkle AppCast URL, needed to ensure the delivery of future automatic updates. The Dev Team notes that phones do not need to be hacked a second time if they have already been pwned.
Qik Public Beta
Qik today said its live video streaming service has now entered a public beta and will let anyone sign up. The service allows users of supporting mobile phones to broadcast content directly from a 3G or Wi-Fi link either to the Qik website or to new places added with the public launch, including an embeddable player for any page or a Facebook app built into a user's profile. The new version also has lower lead times and has just 0.5 to three seconds' lead time, allowing show hosts a near-live connection that isn't always possible with other services.
Moto V750 Adventure at VZW
Verizon this morning quietly introduced the Motorola Adventure V750, the carrier's first-ever phone based on Motorola's push-to-talk network. The handset uses EVDO Revision A-based cellular data to provide the same kind of instant talk as Sprint's iDEN service (which moves to the similar QChat format) but with the theoretically improved quality of the 3G network. The clamshell design is also ruggedized with US military-grade protection against dust, drops and other shocks, temperature, and water splashes.
Yahoo and Icahn Deal
Yahoo today said it has landed a deal with activist investor Carl Icahn that would help avert his proxy takeover of the search engine company's board of directors. The agreement ensures that eight board members, including company chief Jerry Yang and board chairman Roy Bostock, are allowed to stand for re-election with Icahn's support. In exchange, Icahn himself will be nominated to the board along with two of his previous choices, while board member and Activision Blizzard head Robert Kotick will turn down re-election.
LG Sells 7m Touch Phones
LG on Monday revealed that it has sold about seven million touchscreen cellphones since the company first introduced a full touch device through the Prada Phone in early 2007. The company claims to have the "leadership" of the category and notes that two million of these are the KU990 Viewty cameraphone; the next most popular devices are the North America-focused Venus and Voyager at 1.6 million and 1.3 million examples each, according to the company. The remaining 2.1 million are split between the Vu as well as models that are largely only available in Europe or Korea.
iPhones virtually sold out
In less than 10 days since its problem-plagued launch, Apple has sold out of stock of iPhones in all of its stores except three, including every state except New York, California, and New Hampshire. Apple notes that on Monday none of its 137 locations in the US will have stock of the 8GB iPhone and that the only location to have the 16GB black iPhone will be its retail store in Pleasanton, California (Stoneridge Mall). The only other two stores to have stock of the iPhone are the retail locations in Salem, New Hampshire (Rockingham Park) and New York City (Fifth Avenue) -- both of which only have the 16GB white iPhone model.
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