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The fourth-generation iPod nano will carry on the click wheel design but bear a passing resemblance to Microsoft's Zune to fit Apple's design goals, if a purported leak from iLounge is substantiated. Apple allegedly wants a screen larger than the two-inch LCD for the existing model but doesn't believe it could do so without compromising the size of the nano, which is already much wider than the first two generations of the player. The aspect ratio would be the same as for the iPod touch and would resemble a larger-screened version of second-generation flash-based Zunes, with a click wheel replacing the touchpad of Microsoft's device.
Dell is planning to return to the MP3 player market it left, company executives tell the Wall Street Journal. Though not willing to disclose much about its strategy, the Texas-based company is designing a small-screen, small-control music player that would use Wi-Fi to reach online music services. The device would cost less than $100 even with wireless in place, Dell says. Unlike Dell's past attempts, the device would support multiple online music stores rather than a lone, proprietary store like the now-defunct MusicMatch.
China-based OEM manufacturer Better-Power Electric has developed a unique combination speaker and charger for the iPod and iPhone using a 4800mA, 3.7V Lithium-Ion Battery. The company says the device can charge an iPhone in 50-80 minutes and also works with various iPods and other mobile devices via USB. The speaker can play music for more than 12 hours, and iPhone owners can reportedly use it as a speakerphone.
Paragon Software Group on Tuesday unveiled CampTune, a new application designed to allow users to customize the size of their Boot Camp partition on their Macs, without having to start from scratch. CampTune can either increase or decrease the size of a Boot Camp partition, without losing data, allowing users to quickly shift free space depending on their priorities. CampTune is currently available as a free pre-release; Paragon did not announce how much it would be in the future.
CellSpin Soft has adapted its CellSpin mobile blogging software for the iPhone and iPod touch, providing a GUI-based blogging tool for audio, photo and text capture. Users can link and upload to blogging, social networking and photo sharing sites over a secure connection, allowing fully mobile blogging and podcasting. The software also allows users to post to Ebay. It works with Blogger, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Google Blogger, Flicker and more. The application is free and available at the iTunes App Store under Social Networking. CellSpin works on both the original iPhone and iPhone 3G, as well as the iPod touch.
In brief: Apple joins 80's rock band Asia for video contest, the iPhone may be coming to Indonesia, seyDoggy releases RapidWeaver theme, a strange photo found on a brand new ipohone, and MacNN posts reviews of Griffin's new FM adaptors for iPod and and Maxpower's new 802.11g USB stick. Griffin Technology's two latest accessories, the RoadTrip and iTrip Autopilot with SmartScan bring improved technology to the iPod FM adapter market. The RoadTrip is an iPod cradle with an FM tuner mounted on a small gooseneck that plugs into a car's cigarette lighter. The smaller iTrip AutoPilot -- which works with the iPhone as well as the iPod -- houses the FM adaptor in a small box without an iPod cradle. Both devices come with Griffin's SmartSound technology for cleaner sound. We have also reviewed Newer Technology's MaxPower 802.11 USB wireless adapter intended for Macs with older wireless cards, or no wireless access. The adapter works with 802.11n/b/g, and includes an optional cradle.
Real Dice has announced Multiplayer Championship Poker for the iPhone and iPod touch. The Texas Hold'em game features live multiplayer games, with options such as ring games, sit-n-go tournaments and multi-table events. The game is not indigenous to the iPhone, and players from other platforms with the game can play against one another; a user on an iPhone can play against a Blackberry, Facebook or Windows user. In addition, over 200 artificially intelligent players are built into the game. Multiplayer Championship Poker is available on the iTunes App Store for $10.
Multimedia developer Tracy Valleau has come up with a unique way for creative professionals to store their portfolios. USBShow is a cross-platform app that resides on a USB stick to display photos on Mac, Windows or Linux machines. Valleau says the app is "drop dead simple," and solves the problem of not having the right software on hand to display photos, art or graphics when using a client's machine.
Audio accessory maker iLuv has announced a full line of form-fitting cases for the iPhone 3G, including a unique two-toned silicone model. There are four models available: a basic silicone case in black or white, the two-toned silicone model, and hard cases in acrylic or clear plastic. All of the cases allow full access to the iPhone's controls and ship with a glare-free screen protector film. Users can charge or sync thier iPhones without removing the case.
SyntheFX has released a handy iPhone app for A/V and theater professionals. Luminair 1.0 allows remote control of intelligent DMX512-A lighting systems via the iPhone. DMX is a widely-used standard for digital control of stage lighting, special effects and fog machines. Luminair uses Artistic Licence's Art-Net protocol through a Wi-Fi connection to interface with DMX devices. The app includes an on-screen "mixer," channel layout interface and data analyzer.
Nokia on Tuesday announced its highly-anticipated E71 smartphone is now available for purchase in the US with support for the country's GSM 850/900/1800/1900 and HSDPA 850/1900 voice networks as well as the crucial 850MHz HSDPA band for US 3G data access. The phone is billed as the thinnest equipped with a full QWERTY keyboard, at nearly 0.4 inches. The phone is able to quickly switch between business and personal modes, which switches the look and featured application set.
Microsoft on Tuesday released an open Application Programming Interface (API) for its MSN Direct Send to GPS feature for personal navigation devices. With the new software, Microsoft allows users to any website to send street addresses, latitude and longitude coordinates, business listings, phone numbers, and other information to their GPS devices, without the need to copy the location and input it into the compatible device.
AT&T on Tuesday unveiled details for its Text Accessibility Plan for disabled iPhone 3G customers, offering unlimited text messaging, web browsing, and email access for $50 per month. TAP is designed to allow users to communicate through the device's touchscreen interface, with the option of pay-per-use voice at 40Ę per minute. Interested users must apply through a special form, which is currently available from AT&T's website.
Nickelodeon has introduced a large portion of its back catalog to the US iTunes Store, the TV studio has announced. As a part of its Nick Rewind selection, the company now has the beginning seasons of a number of older kids' shows, including Doug, Hey Arnold and Aaahhh Real Monsters. More common are "best-of" compilations, for shows like Rugrats, Rocko's Modern Life and Clarissa Explains It All.
Internet radio provider Pandora and personal peripheral maker Logitech on Tuesday announced a partnership that will give owners of Logitech's wireless music systems, including the Squeezebox and Squeezebox Duet, as well as the Transporter, free access to Pandora's service. The arrangement is the first to offer the Internet service at no charge, but later this fall will expose users to advertising that will essentially pay for the subscriptions.
Sony today reported that its profit had dropped approximately 47 percent in the spring quarter versus the same quarter a year ago, representing one of the company's steeper drops in recent history. The Japanese company chiefly attributes the company-controlled aspects of the shortfall to poor Sony Ericsson results, which saw the company's cellphone sales virtually flatten as customers turned away from its mid-range and high-end phones, which target the same camera and music fields as devices like Apple's iPhone, LG's Viewty, and Nokia's Nseries.
Having completed its beta program, Side Effects has released the full 9.5 version of Houdini, its professional 3D animation suite. This is the first version of the software for the Mac, but changes from past versions include improved documentation, with phrase and Boolean searches as well as division into beginner, intermediate and advanced instructions.
Aelgo has announced Daeta, a cross-platform interface tool for databases. Daeta allows users to set up visual interfaces for accessing, browsing and editing databases, offering both local and remote access. It offers widgets that can be customized for differing data types, such as images, text and other files. Widgets can also be geared for specific searches. The new software features a QueryMaker function that allows users to create SQL queries (for optimizing or searching data) in a menu-driven setting.
LightWork Design has announced LightWorks 7.9 will debut at next month's SIGGRAPH computer graphics exhibition. The company is also promising a new progressive rendering technology and an update to its LightWorks Studio Edition. LightWorks is a 3D graphics rendering toolset. Version 7.9 adds Ambient Occlusion, which adds ambient lighting features for 3D images. New to v7.9 are Complex Reflective Shaders for generating realistic material effects, including reflectance shaders like Glossy Reflections, Frosted Glass, Enhanced Car Paint and others. There are extended CgFX material effects added to v7.9, as well as refinements to Specular Final Gather that provide faster rendering.
Mark/Space has announced The Missing Sync for Symbian, offering Mac-sync support for Symbian OS mobile devices from Nokia, Motorola and Sony Ericsson. Mark/Space already offers the Missing Sync for BlackBerry, iPhone, Windows Mobile and others, and now adds Symbian OS support, with a brand new feature, called Proximity Sync. Billed as "syncing without thinking," Proximity Sync (arriving first on The Missing Sync for Symbian) offers fully automated syncing of a user's Bluetooth Symbain device that comes within Bluetooth-range of the user's Mac (about 30 feet). The Proximity Sync activates sync-over-Bluetooth without any user prompt.
Night Productions has posted v2.0 of Pref Setter, a tweaking utility for Mac OS X. The software lets users view and edit property list (.plist) files, which are said to frequently contain setting options hidden in standard menus and control panels. It also makes the files easier to find, and can import "defaults write" strings without the user having to open Terminal.
Sprint became the potential center of a legal precedent today in a ruling in a California court that would have the carrier pay $73 million in refunds. The decision follows a case in which former customers argued that Sprint had unfairly charged some customers early termination fees (ETF) for ending their service before the end of their respective contracts. The plaintiff's lawyers argue that their win is a blow against ETFs as well as against carriers' hopes to protect them through a proposed FCC deal, which would override state lawsuits in exchange for moderate concessions on the fees.
RealNetworks is urging Mac users to upgrade to version 11.0 of its RealPlayer application, due to a potential security exploit. The malware research site Secunia rates the problem as "highly critical," with potential risk of malicious system access and exposure of sensitive information. The vulnerability affects Realplayer v10 and v10.1 for Mac OS X. The company did not issue a patch, but is instead urging users to upgrade to RealPlayer 11.0. The company says there is a problem with Realplayer's ActiveX import method buffer overflow.
T-Mobile's Sidekick 2008 has already been unpacked just a day before its official release and had its pricing revealed through a leak at the TmoNews forums. The images confirm all the details slipped out previously, including the 2-megapixel camera, extra-wide LCD, and replaceable backplates that involve both art patterns as well as sports logos. Video recording is also known to be built-in.
Currently Apple's online store is offering a wide selection of refurbished MacBook Pros. Fifteen inch configurations start at $1,699 for a 2.4GH processor, and 250GB hard drive ; next is the 2.5GHz model that also has a 250GB hard drive for $2,149 ; and they top off at $2,399 for a 200GB hard drive and 2.6GHz processor. Seventeen inch models start at $1,899 for a 160GB hard drive and 2.4GHz processor ; $2,349 for a 250GB hard drive and 2.5GHz processor ; $2,499 for 250GB hard drive, 2.5GHz processor and a high resolution display ; and top off at $2,699 for a 200GB hard drive, high resolution screen and 2.6Ghz processor. All Mac Book Pros have Intel Core 2 Duo processors, 2GB of memory, wireless, 8x SuperDrive and built-in iSight webcam.
Alienware this afternoon turned its m15x gaming notebook into a 3D modeling workstation with the introduction of an option for NVIDIA's top-end Quadro FX 3600M chipset. The portable is the first 15.4-inch notebook anywhere to hold the graphics chip and uses the extra headroom for much faster work rendering 3D effects, CAD, or other projects in DirectX 10 or OpenGL 2.1 without having to resort to a 17-inch desktop replacement or else a slower graphics chipset.
The UK storefront for iTunes has joined those in Canada and the US in offering discount movie rentals, Apple has announced. The site now advertises a "99p Film of the Week" program, letting people rent a single movie at a sharp discount over the normal cost of £2.49. The chosen debut movie is John Frankenheimer's Ronin, a 1998 thriller about the life of spies in a world without good, evil or the Soviet Union.
NVIDIA took on the lower end of graphics today by introducing the GeForce 9500 GT. The single-slot PCI Express design is the first GeForce 9 series model to dip below the $100 price mark but uses a combination of manufacturing process improvements and other refinements to push performance as much as three times higher than an 8500 series chip. The company reduces the price of the 9500 GT by dropping the number of effects processors to 32 while keeping the 550MHz core and 800MHz actual memory speeds of the more expensive 9600 GSO.
ASUS intends to have at least 23 different versions of its popular Eee PC by the time it moves on to another product, new information indicates. An image from a company slide presentation shows a variety of systems, many of which are already known, and generally slotted under a low-end "Smart Casual" category. This includes systems like the 900 and the original 700 models.
Kelly Walsh High School in Natrona County, Wyoming, starts school in August with 1400 new Macs, in a one-to-one initiative placing a computer in every teacher and student's hands. The Casper Star-Tribune reported the computers are part of a 3000 computer, $3.8 million lease-purchase agreement between Natrona County's school board and Apple, which was approved by the board in June. The remaining 1600 computers will be distributed among other elementary, junior high and high schools in the county.
Apple has taken an unreasonable amount of time in fixing a DNS bug within Mac OS X, according to security consultant Rich Mogull. The bug in BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain) -- which has public code available for a security exploit -- was discovered in February by researcher Dan Kaminsky, and a month later, groups such as Cisco and Microsoft met to determine how to fix it. While BIND was only patched on July 8th, Apple has still had weeks to incorporate this into Mac OS, says Mogull.
The BlackBerry Thunder now has a specific release date and over-the-air music downloads, if a leak is found to be accurate. Research in Motion's first-ever touch BlackBerry is now purportedly due to launch with Verizon on October 8th and will have access to Verizon's version of RealNetworks' Rhapsody service. The feature may supply a technical advantage over the iPhone, which is both prevented from downloading whole songs outside of Wi-Fi and must pay per track rather than getting a flat rate for songs.
Palm this morning revealed that its budget Centro smartphone has cracked two million sales since it became available in the fall of 2007. The figure suggested an increased pace and comes less than four months after the company reached the one million mark at the end of March. The phone was helped by a launch on Verizon in the US and other world carriers over the spring but has also been given a last-minute boost by a price drop to $70 through AT&T, discounting the already inexpensive $100 device.
Gameloft has released a new portable version of Uno, (iTunes link), now designed for iPods. Players in the card game attempt to whittle down their hands, while simultaneously sabotaging their opponents' hands with special "action" cards. Competition can include either AI players or live ones taking turns on the same iPod.
Midnight Apps says it has released the second beta of Cha-Ching 2, its Mac finance program. The new version mainly alters the interface, for instance adding a toolbar to the top, and status, flagged and attachment badges to the list view. The Cover Flow view is now said to be "actually useful," letting people quickly browse data based on date or tag.
Sales of other phones on Rogers Wireless' network virtually ground to a halt the day of the iPhone 3G announcement in late April, company president Nadir Mohammed said today during a call discussing the company's latest quarterly results. Although the cellular business helped drive Rogers' year-over-year quarterly revenue increase of 11 percent to $2.8 billion without the iPhone on sale, the company executive notes that demand for other devices "slammed on the brakes" the same day as Rogers announced it would launch the Apple device during the summer.
Verizon today quickly followed up Casio's news of the g'zOne Boulder with its own official launch information. The ruggedized device will ship in black and orange models and is now known to support Verizon's Rhapsody access for unlimited subscription music as well as VZ Navigator for the phone's GPS mapping feature. Verizon also confirms that the phone's signature push-to-talk feature uses faster EVDO Revision A data and can be added to any phone that technically supports such a feature.
Palringo says that it has brought its self-named instant messaging client (iTunes link) to the iPhone. In contrast to apps such as AIM, Palringo is able to interact with several different IM platforms, including not just AIM but iChat, Yahoo, ICQ and Google Talk, as well as less common options such as Jabber and Gadu Gadu. Contacts from all networks are presented in a single list.
Sirius and XM today formalized their FCC-approved merger, ending an approximately 16-month wait since the union was first proposed early last year. The combined entity will now be called Sirius XM Radio and has about 18.5 million total subscribers, turning it into the second-largest radio outlet in the US. The company says it will quickly live up to its promises announced at the start of the merger and will let subscribers to either Sirius or XM service subscribe a la carte, hand-picking channels rather than requiring a set block of stations.
A new application demonstrates early copy and paste functions on the iPhone, its creator claims. Proximi has developed an application called MagicPad, a rich text editor similar in function to TextEdit. Unlike the built-in Notes application, users can type up documents using six fonts, five sizes and eight colors; in case text needs to be repeated, a button above the keyboard lets users select part of a document using a loop, and then copy, cut or paste. Other options include bold, italic, underline and strikethrough formatting.
Lenovo this morning unusually let its Malaysian branch be the first to introduce the 3000 G Series notebook. Previously leaked with few details, the finished 14-inch notebook is aimed at the budget-conscious with a 1.86GHz Pentium dual-core at its root along with 2GB of RAM, a 160GB hard disk, and a DVD burner. In an unusual move, the Malaysian version comes preloaded with MS-DOS and lets users install Linux, Windows, or another choice of operating system.
Microsoft today provided a promised demo of Sphere, its next-generation multi-touch device. The device expands on the lessons learned from the Surface table and shows how future electronics could apply complex finger input to curved surfaces. In addition to altering the picture to ensure it displays properly on the ball-shaped screen, Microsoft has also switched to an infrared sensor system at the center that registers multiple fingers and palms regardless of their position on the sphere.
iRiver today officially unveiled its turn at a touchscreen device with the Korean appearance of the SPINN. The machined aluminum player earns its name through a dial that allows quick scrolling through a radio-like interface, tuning built-in FM radio or DMB mobile TV, and scrubbing through video. However, it also hands over control in many areas to a more advanced, 3.3-inch active matrix OLED (or AMOLED) touchscreen that produces more colors and better blacks than an LCD.
Apple on Monday released Aperture 2..1.1, an update to its photograph organization and manipulation utility for Mac OS X. The update supports general compatibility issues, improves overall stability, and addresses a number of other minor issues. It is available via Mac OS X update or via the Web as a download (48MB). It requires Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later.
Adobe on Tuesday unveiled Photoshop Lightroom 2, a major update to its photo management, tweaking, and presenting software, offering users enhancements such as dual-monitor support, non-destructive localized image correction, and improved search capabilities. Lightroom 2 also marks Adobe's first attempt at a fully 64-bit application, offering improved memory performance when dealing with large image files. Adobe is offering Lightroom 2 for $300, with an upgrade available for $100.
Dell tonight is continuing a string of major PC updates with both a new Inspiron notebook as well as a desktop. The Inspiron 13 promises to challenge the MacBook and other 13-inch portables by pushing the cost well below others while also providing dimensions and features that aren't always carried over into budget notebooks. The system weighs a relatively light 4.5 pounds but still finds room for a slot-load DVD drive, touch-sensitive media controls, and a sturdier, one-piece "barrel" hinge versus the two-hinge design of larger Inspirons.
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Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes ¬≠Power Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO
Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ
View-Master VR device in Apple Store
Apple has started to sell a Google Cardboard-style VR headset modeled on a classic Mattel toy. Initially launched early last year, the View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack for $30 is designed to use an iPhone as a display, with a Preview Reel and lever system mimicking the toy's switching between images to take users between different VR apps and scenes. http://bit.ly/1RhJW8y
Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive,¬†Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk¬†Drive,¬†GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq