Apple's torrent of complaints regarding its new MobileMe internet suite are now gearing towards inherent flaws in the system, rather than accessibility issues which seem to have subsided. A forum post on Apple's discussion boards revealed that "read" message status changes, delete, reply-to, and move commands do not function with Push, with a technical document indicating that users must manually check their mail in order to receive updates.
Dell company executives announced the re-design of keyboards for the new Latitude notebook. The new keyboards offer backlit keys, enhanced tactile feel, new key spacing and other features. The new Latitude project began two years ago with the engineers and designers first focused on developing a world-class keyboard. All aspects were considered and improved to offer better feel and usability.
Yazsoft has announced ShareTool 1.2.2, an upgrade to its Bonjour-based remote access application. ShareTool allows users to access Macs from remote locations, with support for all Bonjour-based services, such as iTunes music sharing, screen sharing and more. New in v1.2.2 is a major reworking of the user-interface, with emphasis on simplicity of use, updated ShareTool protocols and a built-in Help menu. Also new is remote printing ability and Sparkle support. Version 1.2.2 also offers remote login detection. The new version is available now for $20 (two-user license is $30, a five-user license is $75), and requires Mac OS X 10.3.9 or higher.
Ultra-portable laptops are quickly gaining popularity, as individuals demand a more mobile computing lifestyle. According to Gartner, an IT research and advisory company, shipments of mini-notebook computers are expected to surpass 5 million units in 2008. Mini-notebooks are defined here as computing devices with a screen size of 5 to 10 inches that can run a full version of client operating system such as Windows XP or Linux. Dell, Qualcomm, HP and MSI are introducing new mini-notebooks this year.
Zpower, a provider of silver-zinc battery technology, announced the inclusion of their silver-zinc cells in a major notebook computer in 2009. Zpower claims their batteries have run-times up to 40 percent longer than comparable Lithium-ion cells, while simultaneously offering safety and environmental advantages. Zinc-silver batteries have almost been forgotten about but improvements in materials and manufacturing processes have brought them to compete in a market currently dominated by Li-ion cells.
Plenty of buzz surrounds Intel's Larrabee GPU project, especially with the SIGGRAPH conference taking place this week in Los Angeles. The Larrabee GPU is being developed for release in 2009 or 2010 by Intel to compete with NVIDIA and AMD/ATI products. The new graphics chip will use multiple, complete x86 processor cores. NVIDIA has presented their viewpoint on the situation, questioning many of Intel's claims about Larrabee.
Storyist Software has updated its flagship story development application to include a host of features requested by users. Designed for novelists and screenwriters, Storyist 1.4 now includes a formatting inspector window, the ability to read and write in additional formats -- including Microsoft Word, Open Office and FInal Draft -- and improved import and export functions. New text tools automate tedious routine functions such as search-and-replace, changing font styles reformatting text.
New figures show a sharp increase in Apple's market share in Australia over the past year, according to ZDNet Australia. Two analyst firms, Gartner and IDC, came up with different figures, but both showed a dramatic increase in Mac Sales. Garner says Apple's market share in the second quarter of 2008 was 5.3-percent -- up from 3.8-percemt in the same period of 2007. IDC says Apple's Market share hit at 6.2 percent during the first quarter.
ContentWatch's venerable Net Nanny sofware has been a staple in the Windows world for many years. Apple's market share has apparently grown enough for the company to offer its subscription-based Internet filter to Mac users. ContentWatch says Mac use is "up 51 percent in the last year" and it became clear the product needed to be brought to Mac OS X.
According to a Dell executive, featured in a video (below), the company's new E4200 and E4300 Latitude laptops that will ship in the next 30 days will support Dell's instant on feature, called Latitude On. While the software to make the feature work will not be available until closer to the end of the year, the two laptop models will ship with hardware that will support it. Latitude On promises to give users near-instant access to often used tasks such as email and calendar functions, as well as other communication programs.
MacNN has confirmed that Best Buy is expected begin selling the iPhone 3G in early September, making it the first independent US retailer to offer the device. Best Buy has reportedly struck a deal with Apple to carry new iPhones in 970 stores and 16 Best Buy Mobile outlets starting September 7th. An announcement could come as soon as early Wednesday morning, according to report first noted by AppleInsider. Best Buy is no stranger to Apple products, having a long-standing on-and-off relationship with the company over the years. The company has been selling iPods for several years and recently expanded Mac sales at more than 600 of its larger stores.
FaberAcoustical is making use of the iPhone's built-in and handset microphones with an app that measures sound levels. SoundMeter 1.0 levels in a variety of ways. Although not up to professional standards, the company says its app is "an excellent alternative to other inexpensive handheld meters for home or hobbyist use."
Microsoft Tuesday released updates for Microsoft Office 2008 and 2004 for Mac . Office 2008 v12.1.2 contains "several changes to improve stability and performance" and includes "fixes that an attacker might use to overwrite the contents of a computer's memory by using malicious code." Office 2004 v11.5.1 also includes bug fixes and security improvements, according to Microsoft's website.
Electronista on Tuesday had an opportunity to listen to Dell executives on camera following the PC maker's Latitude introduction that reveals the company's approach to targeting systems such as the MacBook Air. The firm says it isn't worried about the competition from Apple, Lenovo, or other rivals as the Latitude "brackets" these systems; the E4200 is smaller and lighter than the Air through its use of an ultra-low voltage Core 2 Duo processor, while the 13.3-inch E4300 uses a full-power Core 2 Duo and has an optical drive bay absent on these competitors.
Issues with the 3G reception on the iPhone -- currently the subject of a second major thread on Apple's support forums -- may be traceable back to the manufacturer of the chip, an analyst suggests. Richard Windsor of Nomura Securities argues that "these issues are typical of an immature chipset and radio protocol stack," and that the blame may lie with Infineon, makers of the 3G chipset. While Infineon is experienced, problems may in theory exist either with quality control or with adapting to the unique requirements of the iPhone.
Maxon on Tuesday unveiled Cinema 4D Release 11, a major update to its 3D animation suite, introducing an enhanced lighting engine, animation tools, and improved render speeds, among other features. In addition to the aforementioned inclusions, Cinema 4D now offers enhanced compatibility with other industry software, such as the COLLADA file format, and the CineMan Renderman accompaniment. The updated sweet also comes with BodyPaint 3D Release 4, which now includes WACOM tablet support.
Dell today launched its all-new line of Latitude laptops, comprised of the 12-inch E4200, 13.3-inch E4300, 14-inch E6400, 15.4-inch E6500, as well as the 14-inch E5400 and 15-inch E5500. All of the business systems feature a new instant-boot function that allows users to access email the Internet without waiting for Windows to load. Likewise, all have wide-area wireless and a fingerprint scanner for security, with 3G, GPS and WiMAX optional extras. One of the highlight features of the new Latitudes is their claimed 19-hour battery life, which is unprecedented in the laptop world. Check out our photo gallery from Tuesday's Dell Latitude introduction event, including photos of the new Precision models and their unannounced 17-inch model, after the break.
In order to stop losing subscribers, wireless phone and data provider Sprint is reportedly considering drastically cutting the rates of its phone-as-modem monthly plans, from $40 to $15 per month. While the move would not make more money for Sprint on an individual customer basis, the added customer base would the company in the long run by encouraging more customers to add data to their service.
Developers are beginning to receive their first full month of sales figures for the App Store, say reports. Although the online storefront opened on July 10th, Apple did not start providing statistics for developers until July 31st, when it then began offering daily tracking. The monthly summaries for each development house are currently confidential, but one anonymous developer is said to note that after the first two weeks sales fell substantially, even if good profit potential may exist for independent coders.
As promised, Sony on Tuesday announced the availability of its newest entertainment pack, which includes a special edition PSP gaming console. The limited edition bundle combines a metallic blue PSP portable gaming console with the newly released Madden NFL 09 game and other accessories. The Madden NFL 09 Limited Edition Bundle also include the NFL's In Just One Play UMD movie, a 1GB Memory Stick Duo and a voucher that will allow buyers to download the Beats game from the PlayStation Network for free, saving users roughly $10.
Soundmatters recently unveiled the newest addition to its SLIMstage series of all-in-one speaker systems, the SLIMstage40. The speaker features eight internal amplifiers to achieve its 170W power rating, and uses imaging to provide a listening experience to mimic a 5.1-speaker set-up. As everything down to the control unit and remote control is part of the 3.3-inch high unit, which houses 13 separate drivers, there is no need for an additional A/V receiver. A subwoofer is also optional, but not required, according to Soundmatters.
Averatec, TriGem Computer Inc.'s brand name, is admitting to jumping on the proverbial bandwagon and is working on introducing a netbook to the highly competitive market. The new, unnamed laptop will slot in under the company's 12.1-inch 2575 notebook, replacing it as its smallest offering, and, like the majority of competing products, will also use an Intel Atom processor.
In order to help users of its professional HD camcorders, Sony has introduced three new, larger media storage devices, the company announced on Tuesday. The company introduced a 32GB version of an SxS PRO Memory Card, a 16GB CompactFlash memory card, and 60GB version of its Hard-Disk Unit, the PHU-60K. The SxS PRO is the first 32GB solid-state memory card in the business, Sony boasts, and can transfer data at up to 800Mbps. The card is compatible with Sony's PMW-EX1 and PMW-EX3 HD camcorders.
Forum roundup: MacNN forum goers today are talking about the performance of the 2.0.1 upgrade for iPhone and iPod touch in a thread titled "Seeking 2.0.1 reviews ... is 2.0 out of beta?" A rather lengthy debate about the usefulness of the iPhone for a high school student was started by applesbiggestfan, a Fresh-Faced Recruit of the MacNN forums. A discussion regarding heat and fan noise differences between portable Macs such as the MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air can be found in this thread. What is the best processor upgrade for iMac G3, is the question posed by one Mac Enthusiast who gets advice from other members on different configuration options. Recommendations for the best hard drive to get for an iMac are discussed by forum members here.
Western Digital on Tuesday announced it has began shipping its previously announced VelociRaptor hard drive with a 300GB capacity. While the drive itself is a 2.5-inch unit, it is encased in a 3.5-inch frame that acts as a heatsink for the 10,000RPM disk. WD claims its newest, backplane-compatible Velociraptor offers twice the storage capacity and a third faster performance than the Raptor drives it replaces while running at a lower temperature.
Veiosoft has launched DataCase for the iPhone and iPod touch. The software promises to turn Apple handhelds into wireless storage devices; users can carry data beyond standard media formats, and reach it from any computer with wireless access. File transfers are drag-and-drop, and support copying from both Macs and PCs. The software further allows viewing Word, PowerPoint, PDF and Excel documents.
DealNN deals for today include the 5th generation refurbished 30GB iPod video for $149 from Buy.com and the MoGo Bluetooth USB adapter for $10. TechOnWeb is offering the Mac compatible Kingston 2GB DDR2 SDRAM memory module for $54.99. Parallels Desktop 3.0 is only $66 at SoftByWeb.com and the HP Photosmart all-in-one printer is available at HP.com for $70.
Kingston today has set a new ceiling for its storage with a 32GB version of its Elite Pro SDHC card. The capacity is enough to store as many as 6,000 10-megapixel JPEG shots or six hours of low-bitrate HD video; users of Canon's new VIXIA camcorders can still shoot nearly three hours of full-quality footage. The card is fast enough to handle both formats without stuttering with a guaranteed Class 4 (4MB per second, or 32Mbps) transfer speed.
SwitchEasy has introduced Colors for iPhone 3G, featuring 10 different colors and a new 'jelly bean' home button. The new cases feature silicone construction with a home button cover and a hard-resin 'jelly-bean' styling; it has a raised, thick shape, and in some colors features a contrasting color scheme. Each unit also includes protectors for the iPhone's data-port connector and headphone jack. The Colors for iPhone 3G cases are available now for $15 (at press-time, the website incorrectly lists the price as $25, until listing $15 on the order-now screen).
Microsoft has announced that users who buy a Mac computer before September 8th are eligible a special 30 percent discount on Office 2008 for Mac. The offer applies to all three versions of the Office 2008 suite -- standard, Special Media and Home & Student -- allowing customers to save between $15 and $150 on their purchase. It is only available at participating Apple resellers, of which a full list can be found by visiting the promotions website.
e-on software today is previewed Vue 7 at Siggraph in Los Angeles. Vue is a 3D-environment solution, which creates, animates, renders and integrates natural 3D visuals, working with Autodesk 3ds Max, Maya, Softimage XSI, Maxon Cinema 4D and Newtek LightWave. Vue 7 will feature a third-generation of Vue's EcoSystem technology (for creating nature-based visuals) and Spectral 2 atmospheric engine. Also new is Vue 7's SolidGrowth 4 HD, a new indoor Radiosity engine.
iHome has released a new iPod docking alarm clock, the iH41. The new clock is designed specifically for the iPod touch and looks to take advantage of some of the Touch's specific features. The iH41 features an L-shaped design that can easily switch orientation to allow users to watch wide screen video or use cover flow while the iPod is docked and charging. When rotated, the digital clock display also rotates to complement the position of the device.
Dell's upcoming E netbook will come in a 10-inch version, industry contacts reportedly say. Past leaks have previously pointed only to 8.9- and 12-inch models but are now joined by a claim of an in-between version. The system isn't detailed but would allegedly positioned as a more common model with between 400,000 to 450,000 systems shipped worldwide per month versus just 250,000 for the 8.9-inch system.
Renewed Vision announced a free update to its lyric presentation and media playback application, ProPresenter. Version 3.4 introduces the Alpha Keyer Module which produces a true key/fill output for professional quality CG integration with broadcast level video switchers. This is the first time key/fill outputs have been added into software designed specifically for the church market, the company claims. ProPresenter manages entire lyric, video and audio clip libraries in a simple interface and can also playback media with cross-dissolves, cross-fading video and audio, optional Firewire or SDI video output and pre-sequenced slide presentations. Pricing begins at $400 but additional features can be added for greater versatility.
Current generation refurbished iPod classics in two configurations are now available at Apple's online store. The 80GB model ($179) holds up to 20,000 songs with up to 30 hours of music playback or up to five hours of video playback on a single charge while the 160GB model ($279) holds up to 40,000 songs with up to 40 hours of music playback and seven hours of video playback. Both models come in black or silver and include Apple earphones, USB cable, and dock adapter. The iPod touch is also available with three memory capacities to choose from: 8GB (up to 1,750 songs) for $199, 16GB (up to $3,500 songs) for $299, and 32GB (up to 7,000 songs) for $399. Eight gigabyte iPod nanos are $149, hold up to 2,000 songs and come in silver, blue, green, black or pink.
Intel has announced the availability of a new solid-state drive, a variant of the Z-P230. While a 40-pin ZIF version for PATA connections remains available, Intel has introduced a new PCIe "mini-card" model which is even smaller. The PATA model is itself said to be four times smaller than a normal 1.8-inch mechanical hard drive. Read and write speeds remain at 38 and 10Mbps, respectively.
Dell's high-end gaming division, Alienware, has announced that it will be adopting AMD's new Radeon HD 4870 X2 graphics card effective immediately. The card combines two GPUs into one board, and features 2GB of DDR5 RAM as well as DirectX 10.1 support; maximum performance is rated at 2.4 teraflops. Due to its size the card is only being offered in the company's three desktop systems, the Area-51, Area-51 ALX and Aurora.
Dell today launched the new Latitude line, ushering in a significant refresh of its business systems. The new models have a new streamlined design with the choice of multiple shell colors and take cues both from recent PC designs like the Studio as well as the MacBook Pro; the new systems now have backlit keyboards, a magnesium shell designed to be strong, and an extra-thin design. The mainstream models are the thinnest ever in the mid-size class, the Texas-based company claims, while its ultraportable E4200 model weighs as little as 2.2 pounds.
Confirming earlier reports, Singaporean carrier SingTel has announced that the iPhone 3G will ship to the city-state on August 22nd. The company does not so far have any pricing, whether for phones or subscriptions, but 8 and 16GB models will be available in black or white colors -- as in the United States -- and contact migration tips are now available, as is a reservation service. Apple has posted an official Singapore website with a guided tour.
NVIDIA on Tuesday gave its existing customers a bonus through the GeForce Power Pack, a new set of drivers that expose new features to certain GeForce cards. The upgrade takes advantage of the more universal nature of the effects processing cores in GeForce 8-, 9- and GTX-series cards to drive tasks that would normally depend on the main CPU. All these cards can now speed up physics in games and other apps that support PhysX; in specially enabled game maps with the new physics turned on, a mid-range GeForce 9800 GTX+ is nearly three times faster than the ATI Radeon HD 4850 that NVIDIA hopes to beat.
Dell today accidentally tipped its hand early by revealing its new Precision line of notebooks ahead of an expected announcement today. The new design is targeted not just at pro workers but also the design conscious and involves a sleeker, minimalist design with colored shells. The systems also have performance unparalleled even among newer notebooks, Dell claims: the systems have the choice of Intel's new quad-core mobile chips, two 500GB hard drives in RAID, and a presently unmatched 16GB of total DDR3 memory.
Following its announcement of Maya 2009, Autodesk has revealed two more apps in development for October, Stitcher Unlimited and ImageModeler. Each is based on software formerly developed by REALVIZ; the former lets users generate panoramas and wide-angle shots by merging photos, and has been upgraded with a "fully" automatic engine, as well as high dynamic range (HDR) compositing, support for Photoshop, and croppable rendering areas.
NVIDIA this morning made official upgrades to its Quadro FX notebook line that carry over lessons learned from the desktop GTX and mobile 9800M lines to pro-level graphics. Each chip is now capable of not only accelerating video but performing general computing at the same time using NVIDIA's CUDA language. The change lets the graphics processors work alongside the main system processor to speed up digital media editing, scientific calculations, and other more universal tasks.
Autodesk has announced Maya 2009, the next version of its 3D modeling, animation and effects suite. Features in the new version are expected to include a "Maya Assets" toolset, which will let people bundle a particulate set of nodes into a single container, and view that data in a means suited to an artist's assignment. Users will also have access to a new "Render Proxy" feature in mental ray, and should see faster performance thanks to improvements in algorithms and multi-threading.
Nokia on Tuesday announced the launch of its 3610 Fold clamshell. The Fold is a close but entry-level cousin to the 3555 and similar phones with a near-seamless back claimed to be more comfortable than on normal flip phones. A 1.3-megapixel camera and Bluetooth put it above previous budget phones that often strip out one or both features. A two-inch 240x320 resolution screen is found inside, while a 1.36-inch display provides basic call info on the outside.
NVIDIA's mobile graphics faliures may be only the sign of a larger problem affecting desktop hardware as well, says a claim by the Inquirer. Four video card makers have allegedly reported unusually high failure rates in boards made using NVIDIA's G92 and G94 chips, which are used for most mid-range GeForce 8800-series cards, 9800-series cards and the high-end 8800M notebook series. The 9600 GT is also said to be affected.
People should not expect to see a new ultraportable Mac in September, or possibly even during 2009, say analysts with Piper Jaffray. While some groups have predicted an announcement during September -- when Apple normally introduces new hardware -- and others have suggested a delay until early 2009, Piper argues that the release of a new ultraportable is "more likely a 2010 event." The firm in fact argues that the closest Apple may come to such a system in the near future is a revised version of the MacBook Air for 2009, designed to be even smaller than it is currently.
AMD is readying itself for a division into two companies in a matter of weeks, according to a new claim by alleged industry insiders. While the company has already talked about separate initiatives to focus the company, termed Asset Light and Asset Smart, this is now expected to include an upcoming announcement that the company will split into two distinct entities. A core company will continue developing AMD's processors and chipsets; a second will be dedicated solely to manufacturing at the chip maker's existing factories.
Sonnet Technologies has introduced two new network cards the Presto Gigabit PCIe Server and the Presto Gigabit PCI-X Sever. The new network cards add two gigabit ethernet ports to any compatible computer, and offer enhanced network performance through support for jumbo packet transfers. They also improve reliability with transparent failover protection in case a cable gets disconnected. Presto Gigabit PCIe Server features a PCI Express x4 host bus interface for maximum performance in recent computers, while Presto PCI-X Server features a 64-bit, 133MHz PCI-X host bust interface for compatibility with older computers. Both cards allow gigabit transfers over common CAT-5 cabling. The cards are both available for $200 and are compatible with Mac OS X and Windows XP/Vista.
Fujifilm this morning confirmed its inadvertent leaks with multiple FinePix camera updates ahead of next month's Photokina camera expo. The 10-megapixel S2000HD ultrazoom slightly improves the earlier S1000fd with a longer 15X zoom, 720p widescreen movie capture as well as 16:9 ratio still shots, and the option of exchanging resolution for speed at either 6.8FPS (at five megapixels) or 13.5FPS (at three megapixels). Unusually for the camera class, the S2000HD will run on AA batteries when it ships in September for US pricing of $300.
Lenovo on Tuesday pushed into an unfamiliar area with the ThinkPad W700. The system is the PC builder's first 17-inch system and is unusual in its focus on artists, designers, and other visual editors that would often choose Macs instead; the area to the right of the trackpad includes a stylus-oriented digitizer that can be used for precise drawing in content creation tools. It can also be mapped for the entire screen and serve as a full trackpad replacement.
AMD on Tuesday debuted its ATI Radeon HD 4800 X2 series of graphics chips, including its flagship ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 dual-CPU graphics cards; the combination, it claims, delivers 2.4 teraFLOPS of processing power and its value-oriented sibling ATI Radeon HD 4850 X2. The new cards combine two ATI Radeon HD 4800 series GPUs using a faster PCIe 2.0-based interconnect and 2GB of frame buffer memory. Launched in New York City this week, the GPUs are based on the advanced 55nm design and offer DirectX 10.1 support for advanced gaming and ATI CrossFireX for maximum performance: ATI says that the efficient use of all four GPUs in a dual ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 CrossFireX configuration will bring more than three times the performance (using 3DMark Vantage v1.01 benchmarks) of a single ATI Radeon HD 4870 card in many games.
Android is allegedly closer to release than previously believed, according to one insider who foresees a September 17th, 2008 pre-order date. The news comes after many in the industry pushed the highly-anticipated Google-produced open source operating system back to 2009. T-Mobile is expected to see Android via the HTC Dream (G1), which will supposedly ship in white, brown, and black finishes, and will sport a 3G data connection.