Dell's XPS line will begin its transition into the Inspiron Studio series later this year, images posted on NotebookReview indicate. The Dell slides show the the XPS 1530 ending in November, with two new notebooks being released around the same time: the Studio XPS 13 and Studio XPS 15. This would confirm reports from earlier this month that Dell will be restructuring its brands, re-introducing the XPS as a trim option in the Inspiron Studio category to consolidate the labels.
FunGyre has released aMaze! for the iPhone and iPod touch. The game is a translation of the wooden board game Labyrinth, featuring over 70 levels through which players navigate a steel ball using the iPhone's accelerometer. The game features realistic sound effects of the ball's travels, with changes in pitch and volume depending on movement. Bonuses are spread across the board, adding the challenge of multiple travels through a maze's pitfalls.
Zengobi has announced a major update to it brainstorming and project management software, Curio 5.0. Curio features a freeform interface designed to promote creativity and free thinking. New in v5.0 is a Status Shelf for tracking to-do items over multiple projects and iCal synchronization for events and to-do items. Also new are Idea Space templates and collapsible mind maps. An Inspector bar, figure styles and color-coded dates have been added, and the Scrapbook shelf, search features and cross-project linking have all been upgraded.
IT firms are spending less as a result of a slowing economy, but even amid the constant downturn, Apple's iPhone is still seeing wider adoption in the field. According to a new report from ChangeWave Research, the amount of companies expected to purchase iPhones during the August quarter sits at 17-percent, having recently passed competitor Palm during November 2007. Overall demand for the iPhone has grown 7-percent from a year ago, when Apple last sat underneath Palm in adoption plans.
Psystar, a Mac-clone manufacturer and defendant in a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Apple, has been preparing its defense and is planning a countersuit. According to CNET, the legal battle between the two companies has been heating up for a while, beginning with Psystar's blatant modification of Mac OS X so it can be installed on its cheaper $400 PC. Apple finally filed suit on July 3rd after a long silence, following Psystar's release of the Mac OS X 10.5.4 update for free to its customers.
Gala Factory has announced Code Breaker, a code-logic puzzle game for the iPhone and iPod touch. In the game, colored dots form a scheme that has to be guessed in ten tries or less. The game hints that a player's guess is the right set of colors, but wrong order, or the correct position of a specific color. It supports saving the a game in progress when switching away for a phone call, and keeps track of high scores, wins and losses for multiple players.
Panasonic Japan has revealed specs on its new VIERA PZR900 HDTV line, due out for release in the near future. The plasma TVs include the 42-inch TH-42PZR900, 46-inch TH-45PZR900 and 50-inch TH-50PZR900, all featuring built-in 1TB hard disk drives and YouTube support via their network and Internet compatibility Panasonic calls TV Net. Each TV is capable of 1920x1080 resolution and features a 30,000:1 contrast ratio. The hard drives, in the meantime, allow users to record up to 86 hours of BS digital broadcasts at 24Mbps or 121 hours of terrestrial digital broadcasting at 17Mbps.
The long-standing legal disagreement between LG Electronics and Quanta Computer Inc. has been settled, with Quanta agreeing to pay LG royalties for use of its patented computer technology, LG announced on Tuesday. The two companies entered into a settlement and license agreement, putting an end to two pending lawsuits over Taiwan-based Quanta using four of LGís US patents without permission pertaining to DVD readers in notebook computers.
Apple has managed to almost quadruple its share of the corporate OS market within a short space of time, says Ben Gray of Forrester Research. The analyst notes that while in January 2007, just 1.2 percent of operating systems recorded in an online client survey were Mac OS X, current figures suggest an adoption rate of 4.5 percent. The figure is more remarkable, says Gray, because Apple does not generally market to the enterprise world and offers little software for it.
Iogear on Tuesday announced it will soon launch its Wireless USB to VGA Kit, allowing Windows users to clone their desktop, view photos, or stream videos up to 720p from their PCs or laptops to other displays or projectors equipped with VGA connections. The wireless connection is good for distances of up to 30 feet, potentially allowing one person to watch multimedia content from the PC while another is otherwise using the computer.
Korea-based GamePark has released official information on its newest portable gaming and multimedia system, the Wiz GP2X. The system is built around a 2.8-inch OLED touch screen that delivers 320x240-pixel resolution. The Wiz will play MPEG4, XVID and DiVX videos, and be compatible with Flash Player 7, in addition to playing homebrew games that don't have to go through a lengthy licensing process. In addition, GamePark promises new releases, homebrew and otherwise, every month.
If youíre interested in writing a screenplay, a teleplay, or a stage play, you could use an ordinary word processor. Unfortunately, each script style requires different page margins and formatting conventions. You could take the time to define these formatting styles yourself, or you could just use a special scriptwriting program that does this for you automatically. Rather than pay $200 or more for a commercial screenwriting program, try the open source Celtx scriptwriter instead.
RAGE Software has announced Rage SERank 1.8, an update to its search-engine tracking software. The software allows users to track website rankings over numerous search engines including Google, yahoo and MSN. Over a dozen new search engines have been added to v1.8, bringing the total search engine count to over 60, and a major bug fix relating to Google's recent algorithm change has been instituted.
Bluetooth device maker BlueAnt Wireless on Tuesday announced it has launched the previously announced V1 Headset, which, the company claims, is the first Bluetooth 2.1+EDR headset with voice recognition, allowing for totally hands-free operation. The headset's BlueGenie Voice Interface software is embedded in the headset and therefore independent of the connected cellphone or other Bluetooth-enabled device. The V1 can pair up with and remember up to eight Bluetooth devices.
The 120GB Zune spotted in the FCC's system is real but just part of a larger strategy, Zune team member Cesar Menendez has revealed. Beyond confirming the existence of the player, Menendez states that the hard disk-equipped player is just "part of the plan" and that there are significant hardware and software updates in development. Pricing should also play a role, he says.
Apple has banned the comic book iPhone app Murderdrome, its creators claim. This adds to a growing list of titles that have been banned from the App Store for one reason or another, including Tetris clone Tris, lightsaber emulator PhoneSaber, and the "bling" app I Am Rich. Apple has used a variety of reasons for each pull, this time the iPhone SDK's assertion that content cannot offend Apple's "reasonable" sensibilities.
Stanford's Folding@home (FAH) distributed computing project, with the help of GPUs, has produced information contained in over 50 peer-reviewed published scientific papers. The scientists are using the idle power of millions of processors from users all over the world to help study protein folding. A free program can be downloaded that will use an idle computer or Playstation 3 to run scientific algorithms and communicate the results to the main project.
Toshiba on Tuesday announced details and specifications on its newest projector, the TLP-XE30U. Capable of 1024x768 resolution, the projector features a blackboard function that allows it to correct for green, black, brown, blue or beige colored walls and surfaces to display a color-correct image. Setting it up is also straightforward, with automatic vertical keystone correction that can throw up a square image on the wall despite the projectorís orientation of up to 30 degrees from horizontal.
Klausner Technologies today grew the scope of its licensing claims by suing multiple other companies it believes are treading on its patents for a visual voicemail system. The company claims that software developed by Google, LG, Verizon and six other firms are violating patents from 1992 onwards for a system that permits listening to voicemail out of order through a graphical interface.
The number of iPhone 3Gs on the market is near or already past all of the original 2.5G iPhones Apple ever produced, a report claims. The article notes that it took Apple approximately a year to ship six million 2.5G phones, despite heavy promotion and availability in six countries. Anonymous sources now claim that Foxconn, the main assembler for 3G iPhones, is continuing to build some 800,000 units per week, and has been ramping up production. Apple could thus reach the six million mark within the next week, judging by lifetime shipping numbers.
.com Solutions has upgraded FmPro Migrator to version 4.38, and describes the patch primarily as a "maintenance update" which includes Bento-to-FileMaker Pro enhancements. FmPro Migrator converts FileMaker Pro databases to MySQL, Oracle, Access, SQL Server, Sybase, DB2, OpenBase, PostgreSQL and FrontBase formats. Some changes include new Check for Updates and Online Web Help menus, the latter of which point to "How To..." documents on the FmPro website, said to be more frequently updated; the maintenance otherwise consists mostly of performance and functional improvements to gathering tables and relationships, as well as creating FileMaker Layouts based on Bento forms.
Canon's announcements on Tuesday have wrapped up with an unveiling for two new SELPHY hand-portable photo printers. The camera maker's flagship ES3 breaks out from the normal range by holding 1GB of flash memory of its own, giving it just enough room to hold a significant number of favorite shots to print or recover later on. Its screen is also one of the largest for the category at 3.5 inches and promises more accurate color adjustments.
Normally only known for its cellphone service, Fido today expanded its options to include the Novatel Ovation MC950D. The USB adapter gives the Canadian provider's notebook- and UMPC-borne subscribers full 3G Internet access over HSPA without needing a PC Card slot. On Fido's network, the device can download as quickly as 7.2Mbps in peak conditions; roaming with certain carriers in Europe and eventually in Canada can upload as quickly as 2.1Mbps.
Sanyo on Monday took the wraps off its newest home theater HD projector, the three-LCD PLV-Z700. Capable of projecting 1080p images, Sanyo is nevertheless marketing the PLV-Z700 as an entry-level projector. The company touts the new product as using the most advanced shift lens technology available, capable of shifting three entire screen sizes vertically and two screen sizes horizontally. It also sports a variable iris that adjusts the amount of light projected on the screen 60 times a second, or twice as fast as 30 frames per second tV.
French cellphone carrier Orange has admitted to imposing artificial limits on its 3G broadband network, reports say. The confession comes after complaints from a number of iPhone 3G owners, who in testing their download capacity discovered that they were limited to a maximum of 400Kbps, as compared to the 1.8Mbps possible on T-Mobile's German network. Most 3G networks are limited to a peak speed of 3.2Mbps, although some may support 7.2Mbps.
Continuing its photography-related announcements, Canon has revealed two new PIXMA photo printers, the MP980 and MP620. Both printers continue to feature the company's Auto Photo Fix feature, which can make automatic adjustments for factors like contrast, saturation and red-eye; new is the inclusion of an Auto Scan Mode, which will detect the type of document being scanned, perform cropping, and save images to JPEG or PDF files. Each printer is also Wi-Fi and Ethernet enabled.
NAVIGON readied itself for the fall today by launching a replacement for its highest-end GPS unit. The 7200T brings both a new interface that the company claims is the fastest for entering a destination but also adds a detailed 3D view where landmarks are represented as true objects. The addition gives drivers a quicker way to recognize stops or turning points without reading street names or waiting for voiced directions.
The unofficial iPhone Dev Team says it has released v2.0.3 of PwnageTool, its iPhone/iPod hacking utility. The software now supports Apple's v2.0.2 5C1 firmware, and additionally includes beta 6 of the new Installer.app. The Dev Team warns, however, that the program cannot yet unlock the iPhone 3G's baseband, and the compressed TBZ file should not be decompressed with a tool called the unarchiver, as it breaks PwnageTool's permissions.
HTC's Dream has had its full design and naming scheme exposed courtesy of a leak today from Android Guys. Now known as the T-Mobile G1, the phone exactly matches the design seen in videos and in Google's own prototype. The smartphone is dominated by its touchscreen but has a more ergonomic "banana" shape and a full QWERTY keyboard exposed through a Sidekick-style sliding display; a trackball replaces the traditional D-pad and lets owners use certain features one-handed.
AT&T is adding two new international data plans for the iPhone, according to an announcement. The plans are divided into 100 and 200MB sizes, and cover data roaming in some 67 countries, including Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan and Mexico. The offerings are in addition to existing 20 and 50MB options, which cost $25 and $60 per month; the 100 and 200MB choices are $120 and $200, but as usual can be applied a single month at a time. These should become available on August 27th.
After a premature unveiling on Monday, Nokia on Tuesday provided full details for its two latest Nseries smartphones. The N79 still represents the largest upgrade with its five-megapixel camera, 4GB of bundled storage and swappable covers giving it an edge over the earlier N78. It's however now known to first ship in a version without North American support for its HSDPA-based 3G access, limiting the device to EDGE data and GSM calls in Canada or the US. The device is nonetheless still one of Nokia's least expensive smartphones and will ship in October for the N78's 350 Euros ($514) before any carrier discounts.
Access to Apple's iTunes Store is once again available in China, although some content is no longer visible, according to SFGate. The service was apparently blocked by the Chinese regime last week; a controversial pro-Tibet album, however, is still unavailable to shoppers in the country. The album is suspected as the main reason for the earlier blockage of iTunes.
The second generation of Amazon's Kindle is not only near but will represent a major overhaul of the kind Apple has previously given to its iPods, says a source purportedly aware of the revisions and speaking to BusinessWeek. The direct replacement for the existing six-inch Kindle is described as thinner, more attractive and having a better screen than even the nearly year-old e-book reader and is likened to what would have happened if Apple had skipped from its first-run iPod to the iPod mini in a single update.
Apple has announced that two new retail stores will be opening on August 30th. The Renaissance at Colony Park location will open in Ridgeland, Mississippi, becoming the first Apple Store in its state. A second location, The Forum Shops, will open in Las Vegas, right on Las Vegas Boulevard. This will be the fourth Apple Store located in Nevada.
Flixster has acquired a popular iPhone application, simply named Movies; this marks the first acquisition of an iPhone app, or at least the first to be publicly acknowledged. The software was created by Jeffrey Grossman, a college sophomore, and allows users to find show times, watch trailers and get maps to local theaters. Flixster has simply taken the functionality of the application and updated the database, giving users access to 70,000 movies, including older titles as well as new and upcoming ones.
Along its professional-level EOS 50D, Canon has debuted three new PowerShot compact cameras. Foremost in the group is the SX110 IS, which has a 10x optical zoom lens, and a three-inch viewing LCD. Like the other new cameras it is bolstered by optical image stabilization, as a well as a DIGIC III image processor, which sports face and motion detection as well as automatic red-eye correction. Power comes from two AA batteries.
Rather than simply update its existing models, Canon on Tuesday launched an entirely new camera series. The 10-megapixel PowerShot E1 and future E cameras are aimed at a younger audience with a soft, rounded camera body and a large, easy to understand button interface at the back. The camera has a full hands-off Easy Mode that adjusts every setting by itself but also uses advanced hardware to its advantage, adding optical image stabilization and face detection that are sometimes stripped out of novice cameras.
HTC this morning countered moves by Nokia through the launch of the S740. The smartphone has the all-black, stylized look of the Touch Diamond but gives up the touchscreen for a smaller 2.4-inch LCD and traditional hardware controls, including a number pad; the change lets users dial or text more easily one-handed, HTC claims. A slide-out QWERTY keyboard as with the Touch Pro gives the S740 full-speed typing when necessary.
Nokia today tried its hand again at competing in the US smartphone market with the announcement of a North American edition of the N96. The black slider phone carries the same 16GB of built-in storage, five-megapixel camera, true GPS and Wi-Fi as the version just reaching Europe but makes a few key changes to adapt to the Western market. The update brings full 850MHz band HSDPA to support 3G on AT&T and Rogers but in return loses the ability to tune mobile digital TV, with no DVB-H broadcasts available on the continent.
Canon began its fullest assault on the camera market pre-Photokina with the launch of the EOS 50D. The spiritual successor to the EOS 40D boosts the sensor to 15.1 megapixels and is consciously targeted at the extremely high ISO ranges shooting of newer Nikon cameras. By fitting gapless microlenses on top of the pixels, Canon says it has cut back on noise and can introduce two ultra-high sensitivity modes at ISO 6,400 and ISO 12,800 while also producing a cleaner image across the normal ISO 100-3,200 range.
Adobe on Tuesday unveiled Photoshop Elements 7, and Premiere Elements 7, two major version upgrades to its consumer photo and video editing applications, including Photoshop.com memberships with either app. Photoshop Elements 7 introduces several new tools and utilities, including several one-step Quick Fix tools. Quick Fix allows users to remedy common problems with sky color, or teeth whitening, while the Smart Brush can quickly improve lighting, add textures, or apply over fifty effects to a specific area.
Apple's legal machine has turned its sights on an independent developer, a college student responsible for an iPhone Tetris clone called Tris, who is conceding to the company's removal of the game from the App Store. Developer Noah Witherspoon says that Apple contacted him on behalf of The Tetris Company, who complained of trademark and copyright violations. While Witherspoon believes he could overcome the issue in the court system, but as a student, he lacks the proper resources to do so.
Now AAPL Stock: 94.02 ( -2.58 )
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
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN
MIT demoes 'Eyeriss' AI chip for mobile
At the International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week, MIT researchers presented a new chip designed specifically to implement neural networks. The researchers claim that "Eyeriss" is 10 times as efficient as a mobile GPU, so it could enable mobile devices to run artificial-intelligence algorithms such as Siri or Cortana, rather than uploading all data to a remote server for processing. http://bit.ly/1TISJBe
Pocket for iOS adds readability settings
Offline reader iOS app Pocket has updated, with reader-friendly changes. With the new revision, premium subscribers can adjust character spacing, and choose from eight new fonts including one that makes it easier for sufferers of dyslexia to read saved content. The app itself is free, with a premium subscription available for $5 a month, or $45 a year. http://apple.co/1KuILBl
XCOM 2 ships on Steam for Mac, Windows
Feral Interactive today announced that the highly anticipated turn-based strategy game XCOM 2 is out now for OS X and Windows, and is available to buy through Steam and through the Mac App Store shortly. The sequel to the popular XCOM: Enemy Unknown, XCOM 2 is available as a standalone base game and as the XCOM 2 Digital Deluxe Edition. The XCOM 2 Digital Deluxe Edition comprises the base game, the Reinforcement Pack and the XCOM 2 digital soundtrack. Versions start at $60. http://bit.ly/1KuEFsX