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Top Muffin has assembled a persistent listing of iPhone availability at Apple stores throughout the country using a statistical tracking system published by Apple. As of this writing, Top Muffin reveals that only 15 stores in the US are completely without iPhone stock, with the rest alleging stock of either the 8GB, 16GB White, and 16GB Black models. The three Manhattan flagship stores Ė West 14th, 5th Avenue, and SoHo Ė all show stock of all three models.
Apple on Friday offered the AirPort Exteme Update 2008-002, which the company is recommending for all Intel-based Macs running Mac OS X 10.4.11 Tiger. The update notes that it improves overall reliability of AirPort connections between the computer and the Base Station, but also claims it resolves several compatibility issues with audio applications, such as GarageBand, Logic, and MainStage, among others.
Forum roundup: A hot topic of conversation in the MacNN forums continues to revolve around iPhone application recommendations, as time passes more applications have become available and forum members continue to add to the list of their favorites. A poll has been started by branden3112 who is looking for a good deal on a used Mac, specifically one deal that he found on a PowerMac, and gets feedback from forum members regarding what he should do.
As Spore's September launch rolls closer, GameTree Online has listed the game for preorder
Aquafadas', "hassle-free" banner animation software has been updated to version 1.2. BannerZest takes any collection of images and can turn them into a gallery, navigation bar or slideshow. Using BannerZest requires no knowledge of Flash, as everything has been pre-integrated allowing users to quickly design animations to add interest to their sites. The update adds three new themes, TextSlideShow (Pro version), Hanging and HangingSliim as well as Sticker. BannerZest supports all of the major social websites as well as all major web development tools, such as iWeb and Dreamweaver.
On Friday, Toon Boom Animation announced the upcoming release of Toon Boom Studio 4.5, and the immediate release of Flip Book Classic. Toon Boom Studio 4.5 has been updated to offer extended ease of use, more export options, and better integration with various flies. Users can now import multi-layer Photoshop files for more detailed multi-plane effects, characters and backgrounds. They can also import photos and build a library of key poses, which can then be animated using various cut-out techniques. The update further looks to streamline the animation process by integrating drag-and-drop functionality with templates, movies and photos. This allows a user to quickly consolidate all of the required materials for a project. After finishing a project users are offered more export options, such as iTunes and YouTube.
Poland's Codeminion has released Ancient Quest of Saqqarah, a new puzzle game for Mac OS X. The title is based around a series of "casual" matching puzzles, linked by together by the presence of Khufu the Magical Monkey as players revive ancient Egyptian forces. Some 500 puzzles are present however, divided between the temples of seven Egyptian gods, which each correspond to a different puzzle type.
Toshiba may soon launch a small portable computer that would straddle the line between UMPCs such as Nokia's N810 and netbooks from the likes of the Eee PC and MSI Wind, according to a recent PC Authority report. The size and lack of a keyboard scream UMPC, but hardware and specs are very netbook-like. Preliminary specs for the 5.6-inch UMPC-like device include an Intel Atom processor sitting on a motherboard that's half the size of the one used in the company's Portege R500 notebook.
A ROM update for the HTC Touch Diamond was released on Wednesday, giving the phone a few added capabilities, with the addition of the 850MHz GSM band for calling -- but not 850MHz 3G over HSPA for data -- and a quicker response from the TouchFLO 3D touchscreen interface chief among them. Users who perform the upgrade will also be able to use the EDGE data network.
UK-based Revo Technologies recently announced it will launch the first product to combine Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB), Internet and FM radio reception, along with iPod docking capabilities. The iBLIK RadioStation also supports Wi-Fi Internet radio, RDS text data for FM stations and MP3 media streaming capability from Mac or PC computers. The unit also has a built-in alarm clock.
Developer 4D says it has published v11.2 of the Web 2.0 Pack, a combination of its Ajax Framework and For Flex packages. The suite is intended for developing rich Internet and desktop applications, and includes a variety of tools and plug-ins designed to simplify the process. Aside from Ajax and Flex, the software supports platforms such as AIR and Google Gears.
Dell this afternoon provided a list of its notebooks affected by a chronic graphics chip flaw as well as a firmware fix that should reduce the risk of the problem. The company is the first known PC vendor to do so and says that its new updates modify the fan behavior on each of the notebooks to make sure they remain cooler than normal and thus prevent the heat problems that trigger the failures.
Any attempt by Microsoft to release a Zune-branded phone would clash with the very fundamentals of Microsoft's mobile operating system business and with the partners it depends on to succeed, according to early observations by Jupiter Research analyst Michael Gartenberg. He warns that the frustrations with success in the market that led to the creation of the Zune media player don't exist with Windows Mobile. While companies selling Windows Media-compatible players and the relevant protect music format had largely struggled before the Zune launched in November 2006, Windows Mobile is still considered successful with 20 million copies sold for various devices in the company's fiscal 2008.
app4mac has released a new update for CheckUp, its Mac troubleshooting utility. The software monitors the performance of various components in a Mac, such as the CPU, RAM, disk drives and network connections. To keep a system under control, users can define rules for raising an alert, such as when a resource exceeds a reasonable allotment, or if a hard drive fails. These alerts function regardless of whether or not the main program is opened.
DEVONtechnologies has updated four of its key programs, primarily versions of DEVONthink meant to tide users over until the shipment of v2.0. DEVONthink Pro and Pro Office have both been updated to v1.5.3, and contain a new global script for pulling abstracts from DEVONagent, as well as improvements in handling RSS feeds. Pro Office in particular has reintroduced an Image Capture-based scanning module, which the developer alleges was broken due to changes in Mac OS X Leopard.
Apple's online store is currently offering refurbished
Real Arcade's SCRABBLE Journey has arrived at Macgamestore.com, offering a new map-based adaptation of the original Scrabble board game. SCRABBLE Journey offers a new take on the classic board game, creating a world-travel adventure for players to follow. Players lay down letters to create paths across the globe on visually illustrated maps. The new game retains much of the classic Scrabble board play, with double-word scores and re-use of previously played letters forming paths. SCRABBLE Journey is available for $20 as a digital download, with a free 60-minute demo option. It requires Mac OS X 10.4.1 or higher.
Sanyo has branched out into gaming peripherals with the launch of the Contact Charger for Wii. The add-on combines an Eneloop nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) rechargeable battery pack with a cradle to give a Wii remote both a longer active use time of about 6.5 hours as well as a much simpler way to recharge for the next session. As suggested by its name, the remote doesn't require a proprietary connector and is sensitive enough to work even with the Wii's protective jacket in place.
Buffalo has claimed a first in the industry with the announcement of the first-ever Blu-ray drives to record at 8X speed. The external BR-816U2 and the internal, Serial ATA-based BR-816FBS will equally write even 50GB dual-layer discs at the new speed, theoretically completing a single-layer disc in as little as 15 minutes. The drives also burn rewritable Blu-ray discs at 2X and record both CDs and DVDs.
The existence of a separate, North American version of Nokia's N85 has been revealed, a new report claims. While a basic UAProfile for the phone appeared online several days ago, Nokia has today posted a second one, labeled "Nokia N85-3." Based on Nokia's past behavior with phones like the N95, it is expected that the 3 designates a North American variant.
Microsoft has finally completed the OLPC version of Windows XP, the company has announced. The scaled-down operating system has been released to manufacturing, and is being installed on select versions of the OLPC group's XO notebook, intended mainly for schools in poor countries. The computer uses bare-bones components to reduce cost to approximately $200, such as a smaller screen and flash-based program storage.
The upcoming MySpace Music service may ultimately be run by another major online music store, say alleged sources for TechCrunch. The social networking site is described as most likely picking Amazon MP3 to handle the commerce behind the store but is also said to be entertaining offers from other companies, including Apple and RealNetworks. No commitments have yet been made.
Installer 4 -- the next version of the unofficial iPhone app utility -- is nearing completion, according to one of its developers. The team working on the project says it is mainly attempting to connect the new graphical interface of the software to the functional component, after which repository authors are expected to come on board for testing. As with earlier versions of the program it is expected to be available with a future version of PwnageTool, but could also appear on Cydia and/or as a stand-alone offering.
Gateway on Friday revealed that it will formally quit direct-order sales of PCs and other products and offer its lineup only in retail stores. The surprise move ends the business that underpinned Gateway's early success in the 1980s and 1990s but is described as bringing the American company's approach in line with that of its parent company Acer, which took over Gateway last year and itself offers computers only through resellers. Moving to a single model is also said to save on costs by simplifying Gateway's sales process.
ASUS is planning to extend the Eee PC's capabilities within the next few months, according to one report. Although the company's Atom-based Eee PC 901 is already estimated to get near eight hours of maximum battery life, a future upgrade due in the last half of 2008 should give it "whole-day" battery life that potentially gives it an edge over challengers. It will also offer an Internet-based storage option similar to those offered by Dell and others and will help compensate for the limited built-in storage.
AT&T hopes to block the proposed joint venture between Clearwire and Sprint for nationwide WiMAX service over regulatory issues, according to a Federal Communications Commission filing. While claiming not to be opposed to the deal on a basic level, AT&T argues that the FCC should stop the merger under claims that both Clearwire and Sprint are avoiding the full government scrutiny necessary to go ahead with their project, giving them an unfair advantage over AT&T and other carriers.
The continuing low stocks of iPhones at Apple and AT&T stores are a good sign for the former company, argues a strategist from AMR Research. Kevin O'Marah claims that Apple in fact has one of the best physical supply chains in the world, and so if stores are in short supply, the problem is not endemic to Apple's strategy. "I donít know whether itís a specific component, but the root cause is tremendous demand," says O'Marah.
Doom developer id Software is deeply interested in designing for the iPhone, says one of its co-founders and key programmers. John Carmack notes that the company's id Mobile division was in fact looking at producing a game for the launch of the App Store, but the scheduling and resources available simply would not have worked. "I really regret not having something at launch," says Carmack.
Microsoft's just-launched Windows Vista image campaign should include videos that hide the Vista name and rely on users' actual experiences to promote the operating system, the company tells CNET in an interview. Similar to a blind taste test, the software developer has conducted a series of demonstrations where it gave Vista the fake name "Mojave" and asked XP users hesitant about the upgrade to try a purportedly "new" operating system. Over 90 percent had a positive reaction without preconceptions affecting their judgment, Microsoft claims.
Apple may already be laying the groundwork for several important updates in the next major iteration of iPhone firmware, according to multiple sources. One notes that in exploring the Localizable.strings entry under English.lproj in the current iPhone WebKit framework, there are entries for several commands the firmware does not currently support, including cutting, copying and pasting. Apple has expressed interest in adding the feature, but has not set a timeframe.
Intel already plans to upgrade the Core 2 Duo processors for its Centrino 2 mobile platform with a new range-topping model, a new leak says. With its present mobile chip line topping out at 2.8GHz, the semiconductor firm is reportedly set to introduce a 2.93GHz model that would share the same 1.07GHz system bus and 6MB cache and which would still keep its power usage down to a peak 35 watts, rendering it efficient enough to run in thin-and-light notebooks while offering performance close to the 3.06GHz Core 2 Extreme.
HP is developing a lower-cost version of its Mini-Note portable, the company has admitted this week. The company's Australian Market Development head Jerel Chong says there will be a "lower cost" device similar to the current model (known as the 2133) but which "wonít be as durable" as the existing system and is primarily meant for retail, where the Mini-Note is generally unavailable and would often compete against lower-priced offering such as ASUS' base Eee PC models or the Acer Aspire one.
Samsung today said it prospered in the spring quarter based primarily on its cellphone and LCD businesses. The Korean company says it sold 45.7 million phones between April and June, a 22 percent boost over spring 2007. Many of these phones were also mid-range or premium models, with over one million Soul 5-megapixel cameraphones being sold; sales of pricier 3G phones jumped 41 percent, the electronics creator says.
Applied Answers has released FileGenius, a file-transfer solution for users that need to move large files from one physical location to another. Positioned as an upgraded solution to FTP use, FileGenius works through a web browser, for simple drag-and-drop transfers.It claims to provide an easy interface and secure file access allowing users to begin using the software immediately. Applied Answers recognizes that there are situations that require confidential files to be transferred through a secure connection, FileGenius can be configured to use SSA encryption, and SHA hashed file directories and hidden site addresses (which cannot be found by search engines).
A source close to the internet radio service Slacker alleges that the mobile audio device manufacturer is exploring the iPhone and BlackBerry as viable platforms, with an app "about ready to launch" on the devices. Laptop Magazine writes that the app supposedly will allow users to both stream and cache content for offline playback. The service functions similar to those of Pandora and Last.fm, in that users can hear recommendations based on their interests.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.27 ( -0.72 )
HBO Now has 800,000 subscribers
The CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler has confirmed that the online streaming HBO service, HBO Now, has 800,000 subscribers. When criticized for the seemingly low number, Plepler noted that the still nascent service was bound to Apple exclusivity during the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Plepler declared during the Time Warner quarterly earnings conference call marketing for the online-only offering would be enhanced in 2016. While HBO Now's critics are slamming the low numbers, the service must also compete against itself on cable, in addition to Netflix and other streaming services. http://on.recode.net/1QWoLHe
Unsafe IoT called threat to humanity
US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told two different Senate committees yesterday that the Internet of Things posed a clear and present danger, and could be weaponized by governments. Before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper declared that insecure IoT "will bring new security vulnerabilities" and "will connect tens of billions of new physical devices that could be exploited" by those wishing to perpetrate violence or eavesdrop on the populace of the world. http://bit.ly/23Xvcky
Apple public betas for iOS 9.3, OS X 10.11.4
Following Monday's release of betas for the iOS and OS X, Apple has unveiled public betas for both operating systems. The iOS 9.3 beta includes all of the previously reported enhancements for education customers, along with Wi-Fi calling for Verizon iPhone owners, and a carrier update for T-Mobile users. The OS X 10.11.4 third beta includes enhancements to Twitter URL opening, Live Photo viewing and sharing, and Evernote note importation into Notes.
Google given NHTSA SDS waivers
In contrast to the California Department of Motor Vehicle's approach, the US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that it is declaring the software in autonomous cars is the legal driver of a so-equipped vehicle. In a letter to Google, the NHTSA says that it "will interpret 'driver' in the context of Google's described motor vehicle design as referring to the SDS [self-driving system], and not to any of the vehicle occupants." Other matters, such as legally-required rear-view mirrors for occupied vehicles has yet to be determined. However, regulations specifying the "driver" need no longer be interpreted as meaning a person behind the wheel, as the agency writes that self-driving cars "will not have a 'driver' in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years" http://1.usa.gov/1QrAGtR
Dropshare 4 for Mac now available
Dropshare 4 for Mac has shipped, introducing support for uploading files and screenshots to Amazon S3 API-compliant services, like DreamObjects and OpenStack. The update also introduces a new popup design, an in-app editor for custom landing pages, an improved upload history window, and security improvements when using SSH connections. The paid upgrade costs $25, though it is free for customers who bought the previous version this year and half-price for those who acquired version 3 of the app last year. http://bit.ly/1XixV3q
Google starting phase-out of Flash ads
Search engine and advertising giant Google will shortly no longer accept Adobe Flash-created ads for its AdWords network. Starting June 30, ads in the once-ubiquitous format will no longer be accepted. Additionally, after January 2, 2017, the network will no longer serve Flash-based advertisements, and the network will be completely HTML 5 based. http://bit.ly/1PNx1uc
Sonos now works with Apple Music
Wireless music system manufacturer Sonos has announced that its systems worldwide will gain compatibility for streaming the paid Apple Music subscription service starting today, February 10. "Music fans worldwide will have access to Apple Music features like For You, New, Radio, and My Music, and will also be able to stream the entire Apple Music catalog through Sonos smart speakers tuned for great sound in every room of their homes," the company said in an email to journalists. Apple Music's streaming service costs $10 per month, with a free three-month trial. http://bit.ly/1Wdi2Ko