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Lenovo on Monday will launch an update to its ThinkPad X300 series that shows the PC maker's second response to the MacBook Air. The X301 expands on the earlier model by using Centrino 2-era ultra-low voltage Core 2 Duo processors to ramp up speed while also extending the battery life over the earlier system, which used a lower-clocked version of the same custom processor used in Apple's system. Clock speeds are unmentioned but in prior leaks will involve both 1.6GHz and 1.83GHz processors; regardless of speed, the system should perform about 20 percent faster than the original X300, Lenovo claims.
Sony is planning a new entry level Walkman that would combine the simple features of its stick players with the more advanced features of its full-size devices, the company itself has accidentally revealed through its New Zealand website. The NWZ-E430 series appears a sequel to the A600 series with a slightly larger two-inch screen and at most 8GB of storage, but will be easier to load than earlier models; full drag-and-drop support allows not only loading music and video through the operating system's file manager but through sync software; both iTunes and Windows Media Player are claimed to support new Walkman range.
The latest beta test version of the iPhone v2.1 firmware, seeded to Apple developers over the weekend, has disabled the much anticipated push notification feature, an important service that allows information to be relayed to iPhone apps even when they are inactive, according to AppleInsider. Push notification has been used for features such as instant messaging, where notification of a new message can be sent to the user without forcing the application open. Native apps will still use background data. Apple has not given a full explanation for the absence, just commenting that the code was pulled for "further development." Jobs had previously promised to deliver the push feature as part of a free update in September.
Rogers Wireless' pricing for the BlackBerry Bold all but rules out the device as a competitor for the iPhone 3G in Canada, if a company flyer proves true. The carrier is allegedly pricing the first HSDPA-capable BlackBerry at $400 with a three-year contract, more than $100 above the price for a 16GB iPhone despite holding just 1GB of internal memory and otherwise similar hardware. This cost at present would primarily differentiate the Bold from the 8820, which sells through the provider for $350.
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Secure your Google accounts today
Google is offering 2GB of Google Drive storage today for free, if users check the security of their accounts. As part of Safer Internet Day 2016, the scheme will give the 2GB storage extension to anyone going through the Google Security Checkup, examining connected devices, permissions, and other security settings associated with their Google account.
Swift benchmarking suite goes open-source
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well. http://bit.ly/1W8u0EU
Instagram now supporting multiple accounts
As reported earlier, Instagram is now rolling out support for multiple accounts (up to five) in version 7.1.5 of its iOS app. The feature has been one of the main attractions of third-party Instagram clients, but it is unclear if users must seek out an "add account" preference in the app; additionally, some users are reporting that the ability to add accounts has not yet been added. The company says notifications "depend on when you last logged in, and the number of devices that are logged into that account," suggesting not all notifications across accounts will appear when logged into a given one. http://bit.ly/1moh95p
Pictures of Galaxy S7, Edge leaked
New images have been leaked of Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The images of the Galaxy S7 are very similar to a draft leaked earlier this year, with a curved back reminiscent of the iPhone 3G with the normal Samsung camera hump in the upper center of the phone. The picture of the Galaxy S7 Edge as leaked is running a benchmark application showing modest improvements over the S6 line, if accurate. Both models are expected to be formally announced in a February 21 press event hosted by Samsung. http://bit.ly/20Gf07X
Bambooti wooden skins for MacBooks
Bambooti has introduced premium wooden skins for Apple laptops that allow users to customize any design or logo directly on the case. Each Bambooti skin is handcrafted from sustainably managed forests, and are hand sanded and spray-finished to create an ultra smooth exterior. Bambooti's wooden skins start at $65 on the fully-funded Kickstarter which includes a custom design or logo of the user's choice that will be engraved on the product. http://kck.st/1PhE6Sb
Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
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