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During the second quarter of 2008, Apple reportedly spend $450,000 on lobbying within the federal government, under a broad spectrum of interests in energy conservation, education, and intellectual property rights. Forbes writes that a disclosure form Ė which Apple filed July 21st Ė shows Apple dividing the aforementioned figure among patent reforms, consumer product safety, No Child Left Behind, and energy efficiency, as well as initiatives to quash spyware.
Dell on Friday made attempts to clarify the lack of stereo input into its laptops, hoping to dispel rumors that the RIAA forced it into a particular position. Dell blogger Lionel Menchaca reveals that the decision to exclude stereo audio was due to Windows Vista's tentative system requirements early on in its launch. As a result of customer complaints, Dell is re-instating stereo audio input into future laptop, beginning with the Studio 15 and Studio 17 models.
In brief: Eye-Fi and SmugMug have announced a new geotagging partnership, Vertus and Imagenomic are offering discounted software bundles, and Humble Daisy is offering a 50% discount on all purchases of ProfCast ... Eye-Fi and SmugMug have announced a new partnership that will provide free geotagging and hotspot access for SmugMug members using an Eye-Fi Share card or original Eye-Fi card. The Eye-Fi cards automatically upload pictures from a digital camera to a computer and then to the web for sharing. Until the end of this year, all SmugMug members will be able to automatically update their Eye-Fi card to include one year of free geotagging and hotspot access. Starting next year users will be able to receive 20 percent of their membership plans.
Forum roundup: Rumors about upgrades to the iPod lineup are a recent topic of interest in the MacNN forums where members seem to think that we will see new models by the end of the year. Advice on how to make ringtones for use with the iPhone 3G can be found in this thread started by jorgem4.
French consumer electronics maker Archos is getting set to unveil its sixth-generation portable media players (PMP), including the 606. The company has been developing the 3G data network capable PMP as part of the range for about six months now, and has reportedly hosted a press event in July that was believed to feature the new device.
Chip and motherboard maker AMD added four new business-class processors, according to a Friday report. Two of the chips, the 2.4GHz, 95W, X4 9750B quad-core and X3 8750B triple-core, are based on the Phenom architecture, while the other pair is built on the Athlon family. The X2 5600B dual-core is rated at 2.9GHz and draws 65W of power, while the X2 4850B dual-core is rated at 2.5GHz and draws 45W of power. In the past, Business-class Athlon CPUs from AMD predominantly used less energy, and the same holds true here as well.
Overall TV shipments in North America after the second quarter, at over 9.3 million, represent a 28 percent increase from the same time period in 2007, according to a new DisplaySearch report. The report breaks down the number further by the type of TV technology, including flat-screen tube, LCD and Plasma, as well as by individual brands.
MacVide has released ScreenCap 1.8, a screen capture utility for Mac OS X. The software is mainly intended to provide stills or video of a desktop for purposes like tutorials, and in the case of video, it can additionally supply audio from a microphone or similar sound source. The utility further serves as a monitoring tool, through the use of video or timed screenshots.
After announcing it will quit making mainboard chips for third parties earlier this month, VIA Technologies on Friday announced the release of its own EPIA N700 Nano-ITX board for compact industrial PCs and embedded automation devices. The compact motherboard will ship with a choice of VIA's 1.5GHz C7 or the 500MHz Eden processor, and is the company's first Nano-ITX board to use the newest VIA VX800 media system processor chipset.
The Transportation Security Administration has published guidelines on what kind of laptop bags would be able to go through airport X-ray machines without travelers having to take their laptops out, according to a Thursday report. Instead of approving or endorsing specific styles or brands of laptop bags, the TSA is posting guidelines online and at checkpoints as to the design of the carriers that will allow X-ray machines to peer inside them.
JAMF software has released Casper Suite 6.0, the latest version of its client management tools. A new Self Service feature allows select users to automatically download and install applications, fonts, and policies that have been packaged and approved by their IT department. IT can also use Casper to make common maintenance tasks, such as flushing caches, available to end users who require it, reducing the need to interact with a help desk.
Abilene Christian University, based in Abilene, Texas, is giving away new Apple handhelds to incoming students this weekend, writes the Dallas Morning News. Fulfilling an earlier announcement, over 950 freshmen for the 2008-2009 school year will receive either an iPod touch or an iPhone 3G, in what the university claims is the largest educational giveaway of Apple mobiles to date. In the case of the iPhones, students will only get an 8GB model, and will have to arrange their own contracts with AT&T.
Microsoft on Friday tipped its hand and revealed itself as the first major operating system developer to incorporate more complete Blu-ray support into its platform. A test version of Microsoft's Feature Pack for Storage will give Windows XP, Vista, Server 2003 and Server 2008 the option of burning Blu-ray discs directly from the operating system, averting the need for a third-party app record to the larger storage format.
In brief: MacNN has posted a review of PDFpen and PDFpen Pro, a review of the ivyskin Retro and Retro T2 iPod touch cases has also been posted, and MacBundleBox has released a new money saving bundle ... MacNN has posted a review of PDFpen and PDFpen Pro. The first action of PDFpen is to be a PDF viewer that allows users to scroll and search through PDFs. It also gives users the ability to edit the files in various ways. Users can reorder pages, write, highlight or circle with the pencil tool, outline areas with geometric shapes. PDFpen pro features one additional feature, users are able to create active forms, with items such as radio boxes, text fields and check boxes.
A forum member on a popular photography website recently posted what he believes are the preliminary specs for Canon's upcoming 5D Mark II and an all-new 50D digital SLRs. While the information cannot be treated as official or confirmed, it suggests the new 50D will sport a 12.2-megapixel APS-C sensor and Single Digic III Processor. The smaller sensor will allow the 50D to use lenses with the EFS mount in addition to Canon's EF-mount.
IK Multimedia says it is now selling its complete range of virtual instruments and effects plug-in bundles as downloads. Instruments include SampleTank, Miroslav Philharmonik, Sonik Synth 2, SampleMoog and SampleTron. Bundles include the Total Effects Bundle, and the Total Guitar & Bass Gear Bundle.
German company Reinda has begun producing Carry-On Pockets to protect 20- or 24-inch iMacs. The pockets are produced from a "hard-wearing fabric," designed to be waterproof for transportation outdoors. The pockets are also padded for impact protection, and have a built-in strap for slinging around a shoulder. According to Reinda, an iMac can be strapped and secured in approximately 15 seconds.
The Treo Pro has again been spotted and reveals nearly all details of Palm's attempt at a return to form, courtesy of a discovery by community members at WMExperts. The handset is the first largely new professional smartphone from the company since hiring former Apple executive Jon Rubinstein and now shows a cleaner, sleeker device with a design based on more universal standards, including a 3.5mm headphone jack, microSDHC storage and a micro USB connector for charging and synchronizing the phone.
Apple's iPhone has received significant attention as a diverse tool for many different tasks. Developers have taken advantage of the many unique features offered by the iPhone, showing this phone to be capable of much more than you would expect. BunsenTech demonstrated this with Dynolicious, an iPhone app capable of producing vehicle performance data including acceleration times, elapsed time (by distance), lateral G force, and horsepower. MyRide.com used Dynolicious to road test the 2008 Smart Passion Cabriolet.
Apple's famous iMac turns 10 years old today, marking an important milestone. The computer -- which first began shipping on August 15th, 1998 -- helped usher in the modern Mac era, distancing Apple from an era of Performas and Quadras. It was also the first major new product from the company following the return of co-founder Steve Jobs, and broke with previously standard Mac technologies at the time such as ADB (Apple Desktop Bus) in favor of those like the then-new USB format.
Microsoft today started a Windows 7 blog with the objective of avoiding the perception issues for its next operating system that it believes have hurt Vista's reputation in the past. The project's senior engineering managers Jon DeVaan and Steven Sinofsky claim the site will serve as an "open and honest" platform for both illustrating Microsoft's development process as well as to help determine when the company is ready to reveal new features. This will be a "two-way" conversation where input is possible from readers, the officials say.
While specifications are nearly non-existent at this stage, images leaked from cellular phone retailer CTI Miami reveal what appears to be an upgraded, though camouflaged version of the Motorola V70. The only piece of concrete information exposed by the photos is that it comes with a five-megapixel camera.
A new app for the iPhone, Watch It Change, allows any object or series of pictures to be animated. Stop-motion and time-lapse movies can be created using the iPhone's built-in camera, and people can additionally insert opening and closing credits, as well as pictures stored in a project library. Completed clips can be uploaded to WatchItChange.com for sharing with others.
Apple certified refurbished MacBook Air models are now available at Apple's online store with various configurations to choose from. For $1,499 is the 1.6GHz model with 2GB of memory and 80GB PATA hard drive; for $200 more ($1,699) is the 1.8GHz model with the same RAM and hard drive specs as the first. MacBook Air models with 64GB solid-state hard drives and 2GB of memory are $2,099 for the 1.6GHz model and $2,299 for the 1.8GHz model. MacBook Pros start at $1,649 for the 15-inch model with 2.4GHz processor, 2GB of memory and 160GB hard drive, or $1,899 for the 17-inch model with the same specs. All MacBooks mentioned have built-in wireless, Bluetooth, iSight webcam and 8x SuperDrive.
SuperMegaUltraGroovy and toastycode have released free update for TapeDeck, an audio recorded that was designed to look and act like a classic tape recorder. Version 1.1 has new features that make sharing recordings with others easy, including the ability to export to YouTube directly from TapeDeck. The audio file plays accompanied by an animation of the tape cassettes as seen during playback in the software's interface. TapeDeck 1.1 brings the ability to import from and export to additional audio formats, such as AIFF and MP3. The other major upgrade is in the fidelity of the high- and medium-quality presets: high-quality presets can now be set to record at a maximum of 320 kbps.
Softhing says it has released a new version of Entourage Email Archive X, bringing the app up to v4.1. The program is used to archive e-mails and their attachments, including both sent and received items. Messages are indexed for Spotlight search, and can be restored individually or in bulk to Entourage as necessary.
An image and very limited information has leaked on Seagate's next-generation of FreeAgent external hard disk drives, according to a report from Engadget. The information is not official, but sources believe the larger pictured HDD is a replacement for the FreeAgent-series Desktop drive, with the smaller unit either complementing or also replacing the FreeAgent Go drive.
HP has ordered batches of VIA's Nano processors for upcoming computers that may include its netbooks, claim some within the PC business. The faster, more efficient mobile processors are allegedly already shipping to HP and would be the second processor line from VIA to reach the American company after the C7-M, which so far has only been used in the Mini-Note 2133 and was initially thought to be a stopgap until HP could use Intel's Atom processor.
Casio has announced a new Workstation keyboard with iPod connectivity. According to Chip Chick, the Casio Workstation 200 has 76 touch response keys, which react to the amount of pressure placed on the keys when played. The harder the keys are pressed, the louder the sound. The keyboard also is now able to connect to an iPod or other audio device. Once connected a user can use 10 second clips from songs to sing or play along with or a sample can be recorded so that it can be remembered. The keyboard offers the standard range of rhythm sounds, tones, and tunes common among other Workstation keyboards.
Owners of BlackBerry cellphones should now have more robust support on the Mac, according to an announcement. PocketMac, an app free from Research in Motion thanks to a licensing agreement, has been updated to v4.1.25 with a number of important features for Mac users, most notably the ability to sync iTunes and iPhoto libraries. iTunes playlists exclude any protected tracks, but iPhoto collections retain their album organizations, and can have images scaled down if necessary. Photos stored on a BlackBerry can imported directly to iPhoto.
Intel will add to its upcoming solid-state drive line with a special high-performance range when it appears in the fall, a leaked presentation slide shows. Where the already publicized X18-M and X25-M drives will have fast read access but focus on power saving, a new Extreme series will focus on raw performance. These will read data at 240MB per second but write much faster than the M drives, climbing from 70MB to 170MB per second; the line is targeted at those demanding full performance for servers and other very high-speed tasks, the presentation suggests.
DealNN deals for today include the JBL On Stage II speaker system for use with iPod priced at $40 from Buy.com, also at Buy is the Dane-Elec 2GB zMate USB flash drive for $8. Expercom.com has a great deal on the black MacBook with twice the memory (4GB) and hard drive space (500GB) of the stock model (stock priced at $1,499) for $1,850. The TrendNET wireless G router is only $10 after mail in rebate at TigerDirect.com. The refurbished Kodak Easy Share digital camera is $89.99 at CompUSA.com.
AT&T corporate stores will soon be receiving supplies of the iPhone 3G, rumors suggest. Boy Genius has reportedly
The new-found popularity of the iPhone in Japan is as much a failure of local industry as it is an advancement by Apple, a former NTT DoCoMo executive claims. Tsuyoshi Natsuno, who lead the carrier's i-mode division, describes the Japanese cellular industry as having fallen into a "collegial system," where phones are designed explicitly according to specifications outlined by carriers. The phones in fact have no existence outside of their carriers, a situation which Natsuno believes to offer no incentive for driving technology forward.
The first known phone based on Google's Android mobile operating system has been confirmed today through two separate sources. A report in the New York Times reinforces previous rumors that the HTC Dream will be the first to run the Linux-based platform and that it will likely launch with T-Mobile in October but no later than the end of the calendar year. The launch almost entirely depends on FCC approval of the device, according to the claims, but will ideally be made public ahead of time in September.
Dell's planned return to MP3 players will include not just one but two devices and a hardware-independent software approach, say multiple sources of BusinessWeek. Without providing full details, the magazine claims that a second device beyond the original, sub-$100 Wi-Fi player will arrive but that both will launch after the software that they will use, shipping in early 2009 rather than September.
Sunnyvale-based OCZ on Thursday unveiled new Core Series V2 SATA II 2.5-inch SSD drives, offering users speedy 170 megabyte-per-second read and 98 megabyte-per-second write times, with much larger sizes. The drives represent a continued effort for OCZ to push down the prices of SSDs for mainstream users. While OCZ declines to supply exact prices from its release, it says that the new Core Series V2 drives cost half of what comparable products do, while offering sizes of up to 250GB.
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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