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Microsoft and Nikon on Thursday announced that they have signed a cross-licensing patent agreement on Nikon's digital camera patents as well as consumer electronics patents from each company. The details of the agreement, which covers a "broad range" of consumer products from each company, does include some (undisclosed) compensation by Nikon. Looking to innovate on each other's technologies, the companies have previously collaborated on bringing wireless cameras and RAW processing and said that that the new patent cross-licensing agreement will "substantially benefit customers of consumer products including digital cameras."
Verizon packaging for the BlackBerry 9530 – now identified as the BlackBerry Storm – was leaked Wednesday, offering users a glimpse of the soon-to-be shipping product. Engadget reveals that the Thunder moniker isn't disappearing entirely, but that it is merely being reserved for the Rogers Wireless launch in Canada, as well as Vodafone in Europe. The SIM card will come pre-installed, along with an 8GB MicroSD card for storage purposes.
Plum Amazing has announced its new iPhone app for audio recording, Plum Record. Picture or text tags can be added to sound files at specific intervals to be used as reference markers. Recordings can be automatically or manually named, put into different folders, or transferred to a Mac using free software. The sampling rate is adjustable, and the app can convert files to other formats including WAV, MP3, MP4, AAC, 3GP, AIFF, etc. Plum Record is available for $5 from iTunes.
Forum roundup: Today in the MacNN forums users discuss the GPS reception quality for the iPhone 3G while driving in a car. Another popular topic of interest revolves around problems with one users Apple TV. One member looks for advice from other forum goers about the benefits of purchasing a scanner over sending their digital photos to ScanCafé. Problems with reinstalling Mac OS 10.5 on a G4 PowerMac are addressed in this thread. A comparison of VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop 3.0 can be found here.
IntelliScanner Corporation has introduced custom asset tags for use with its scanners and software. Customers can choose what text will be printed on each tag, such as personal or company names. Barcodes and serialized numbers allow scanning or visual reference. The IntelliScanner Mini can be used to scan these tags for tracking personal items. For business users, the IntelliScanner SOHO can be used to keep track of inventory. Each device includes software for Windows or Mac. Both IntelliScanner mini and SOHO cost $300 each. The asset tags are available in rolls of 100, 250, or 500, for $24, $48, and $79, respectively.
Samsung on Wednesday introduced four new LCD digital photo frames, ranging from 8- to 10-inches in size, with two of the frames sporting WiFi connectivity. The 8-inch models consist of the SPF-85H and WiFi-enabled SPF-85V, while the 10-inch versions are the SPF-105P and the wireless SPF-SPF105V. All frames are encased in a glossy black bezel that offers Samsung's Starlight Touch controls, which combine with several on-screen touch controls.
Swann Communications today announced its latest security solution, the IP-3G ConnectCam 1000. This camera allows users to access the live video from their 3G phone. Video feeds are transmitted through 802.11b/g to the home wireless network, where it is made available on the internet using SSID filtering and 64/128 bit WEP encryption to ensure privacy. MJPEG and MPEG4 compressions are supported, the former for higher quality and the latter for sending over the internet.
Wondertouch today announced updated versions of its particleIllusion 3.0 and particleIllusion SE effects creation tools for Mac OS X. Users of 3.0 now have integrated rendering capability, using the pIllusionRender tool for HD rendering without switching programs. Emitter libraries can now be automatically updated each month for both versions, or searched with a particleView Search Engine. Quick load library features have been improved and many bugs fixed.
Following closely on Wednesday morning's D90 announcement, specifications were leaked about Canon's new, but as-of-yet unofficial, full-frame sensor 5D Mark II DSLR, with additional details of the 50D's image processing capabilities revealed as well. An anonymous source tells Canon Rumors that the 5D Mark II will offer a 21.1 megapixel full-frame DIGIC IV sensor, with full weather sealing, a 3.2-inch high resolution LCD, HD Movie capabilities and HDMI out.
Apple's online store is currently offering a vast array of refurbished products at reduced prices. For $149 is the 8GB (up to 2,000 songs) iPod nano in silver, blue, green black or pink. Current generation 1GB (up to 240 songs) iPod shuffles are only $39 and come in silver, blue, green or purple. Also available are iPod touch models with three storage capacities to chose 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.
Pictures of another flyer showing Xbox 360 pricecuts, this time from Kmart, was posted on Joystiq. The flyer will allegedly be put into circulation on Sept. 7th. There was also a Radio Shack flyer leak showing the same information and scheduled for distribution on the same day. The Kmart flyer shows the Xbox 360 Arcade selling for $200, the 60GB Pro system for $300, and the Elite 120GB for $400.
Synchrotech has introduced the ExpressAdapt, a new CardBus-to-ExpressCard adapter. The device is only compatible with USB-mode ExpressCards instead of PCIe-based ones, but no drivers are needed for either Windows or Mac OS X. Power regulation circuitry supports the lower voltages required of many ExpressCard devices, including 1000mAh at 3.3V and 650mAh at 1.5V, which can be supplied on both rails if needed. The adapter is compatible with any 32-bit PC CardBus Type II slot. The ExpressAdapt is available from Synchrotech for $45.
Today's deals at DealNN include the JBL Radial Micro iPod docking speaker system from J&R.com for $120, and the iHome under-cabinet iPod stereo player for $30 from CircuitCity.com. Abt.com is offering the 160GB iPod classic for $332, which is $17 less than the list price of $349. A refurbished MacBook Air with a 1.6GHz processor, 2GB of RAM and an 80GB hard drive is available from the Apple store for $1,499. For a limited time the LG Bluetooth wireless stereo headset is priced at $20 from TigerDirect.com.
Between the upcoming IFA show in Berlin and COMEX in Singapore taking place at the end of this month, Creative will show off at least three new products, including the Sound Blaster X-Fi Go! portable USB sound card, the N400 speakers and EP-430 in-ear earphones. The X-Fi Go! uses a microphone and headset port but differs from the earlier USB Play! sound card with the company's X-Fi audio processing software and 1GB of internal storage capacity.
A Tuesday report has the majority of the big movie studios and distributors supporting a plan put forth by Sony Pictures that would decrease the restrictions Digital Rights Management (DRM) imposes on users' ability to enjoy their purchased videos and movies. Last year, Sony Pictures proposed a set of policies and software and service framework it called Open Market that would allow larger flexibility of DRM content and let customers enjoy content on various devices they must first register.
JVC’s newest addition to its Sophisti line-up is the NX-BD3 Blu-ray home theater system, which is the company’s first Blu-ray system and the first dedicated Blu-ray player in the industry to feature Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) compatibility via a wireless adapter update. Thanks to DLNA support, the 2.1-channel system will be able to work with other types of DLNA-certified devices such as cellphones, PCs and others to share digital content, including MPEG videos, JPEG photos and MP3/WMA music.
Marware has announced the Sidewinder Deluxe, a new carrying case for the iPhone 3G. The case consists of a slim, scratch-resistant shell, and a separate rubberized holster. The shell protects the device from damage, and can be snapped into the holster, combining the benefits of both design formats. The holster additionally features a retractable sidearm, which is used for coiling headphones.
DVR maker and service provider TiVo announced on Wednesday it will partner up with Entertainment Weekly to provide viewers with content that is always available. Under the new agreement, Entertainment Weekly’s What to Watch recommendations will be automatically recorded on TiVo’s Internet-connected digital set-top boxes. Users will also be able to download Entertainment Weekly video content via TiVo, including Just a Minute, Ausiello TV and Idolatry, in addition to behind-the-scenes video from photo shoots.
Rumors on the Internet have Samsung introducing a new MP3 player, the YP-Q1, at next week's IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin. The device’s preliminary specifications include a 2.4-inch display with 320x240 resolution as well as 4GB, 8GB and 16GB capacities. Apart from comprehensive audio file support, the YP-Q1 promises to deliver a microphone, FM RDS tuner and Samsung’s DNSe 3.0 3D sound technology.
Tellini has released version 1.9 of Tablatures, an editor for PowerTab tablature files. PowerTab is a well-known tablature editor for Windows, with thousands of transcriptions available in its native format; this leads to the need for compatible Mac software. Tablatures not only allows users to view and edit PowerTab files, but export them as MIDI content for playback in other applications. Users also have advanced playback control, as loops can be added for practicing a section, and tempo can be altered to match a person's musical skill.
Philips' accessory label DLO today introduced a new high-end iPod integration kit for home theaters. The HomeDock HD Pro is tailored to the same custom home theater audience as the earlier HomeDock Pro but adds HDMI with upscaling, which both allows a high-resolution widescreen interface for playing media from a docked iPod but also full upscaling to either 720p or 1080i. An RS-232 port joins the dock to a home automation system while an IR port
Sans Digital has unveiled two new hard drive storage rackmounts, each allowing up to 42 drives, the AccuRAID AR442F4 and AR442F4R. 42TB of storage space can be supported when operating as direct attached storage, but also allowing setup as a network-attached service. Drives are interfaced using fibre-channel technology (4GB/s) for maximum speed and can be configured up to RAID 6 to protect against multiple drive failures. Both devices contain three hot-swappable power supplies and two hot swappable cooling fans.
Ambrosia Software has announced updates for two of its games, Apeiron X (now at v1.0.3) and Bubble Trouble X (v1.1.0). These new releases are both Universal Binaries that run native on Intel Macs, and continue to work on any Mac running Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later. The games had a few minor bugs fixed and a couple of features polished.
Epson Imaging Devices on Tuesday announced it has developed a high-resolution low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) TFT LCD for use in its next-generation P-6000 and P-7000 photo viewers. The new 4-inch, 640x480 VGA display combines a wide viewing angle of 80 degrees from horizontal and vertical and covers 94 percent of the Adobe RGB color range, achieved thanks to what Epson calls its Photo Fine Premia technology.
Adium, the multi-service instant messaging client for the Mac, has been upgraded to v1.3. The update is said to contain several important changes, including "major" performance improvements, noticeable when Adium is signed into multiple services simultaneously, or when apps with intense hard drive demands are running in the background. The client has also been given a redesigned Get Info window, now known as the Contact Inspector; it has a completely revised interface, and changes how combined contacts are displayed and managed.
NVIDIA has quietly bolstered the rear guard of its GPU line with the addition of the GeForce 9400 GT. Sharing the same optimizations as the rest of the 9 series, the chipset has just 16 visual effects cores but is fast enough to double the performance of its GeForce 8400 equivalent from just a year ago, according to the graphics card maker's estimates. A 550MHz main clock speed and 800MHz effective memory clock also keep it relatively cool and let NVIDIA's reference design use a small cooling fan.
Alongside its Xplod updates, Sony today also overhauled its NAV-U mapping devices with a handful of key updates. A new photo viewer lets owners of Sony's cameras swap Memory Sticks to view their JPEG images from the larger 4.8-inch screen. Every GPS unit also a better search, Sony claims: a faster search routine is also mixed with a Quick Link shortcut feature that automatically searches for a favorite restaurant chain or similar point.
LaCie on Wednesday announced it will soon release the Network Space network attached storage (NAS) and media server, available in 500GB and 1TB capacities. The device, designed by Neil Poulton, is ready to be used with network-connected Windows or Mac PCs right away via its Gigabit Ethernet port. The Network Space will also stream multimedia files via DLNA-compatible media players, including the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 gaming consoles.
It was announced today that Immersion Corp. will pay $20.8 million to Microsoft to settle a lawsuit regarding vibration technology used in the latter's gaming system controllers. As part of the settlement, Immersion will join Microsoft's Certified Partner Program. The now-discarded lawsuit stems from a previous settlement Sony and Immersion reached that saw Sony pay Immersion $121 million for use of its patented technology, with Microsoft claiming its sublicense agreement gives it a claim to a portion of the Sony/Immersion settlement that Immersion initially refused to pay.
Developers are finding ways to cope with the harsh restrictions of Apple's iPhone SDK, writes the LA Times. The terms of the SDK include a strict non-disclosure agreement, which has generally been interpreted to mean that developers cannot discuss the SDK tools with people outside of an app's creative team, whether through e-mail, blogs, discussion boards or conferences. "We can't talk about our problems," says Jeffrey Long, a developer working on a satellite radio app. "At the same time, we can't talk about the problems we've fixed."
Epson has announced two new color, all-in-one inkjet printers, the Artisan 700 and 800. Both are six-color systems, and have features such as automatic photo correction, USB, Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections, and the ability to print directly from CF, SD/SDHC, xD and Memory Stick cards. Another option -- a part of Epson's "PC-free" printing tools -- involves the quick production of ruled or graphing paper.
Sony today revamped its Xplod car stereo head-end units with its first truly iPod-aware models. The GT630UI, GT430IP, GT330 and GT130 all have a USB connection that allows iPods and (for the GT630UI) iPhones to be controlled and charged through the stereo's own interface rather than the player itself. The same support also allows other MP3 players to be recognized through the digital link.
Panic this week update to Coda, its web development application. According to the company, Coda is designed to bring all the functions of web page creation into a single window. Users have the ability to edit text, transfer files, preview pages and adjust SQL all -- and more -- in one interface. The developers goal was to take a complicated workflow of web development and integrate it into one interface, saving both time and effort.
Trekstor will soon be releasing a 32GB flash version of its Vibez player, among other new devices, according to DAPReview. The Vibez is currently available in 8GB or 16GB formats, but the new addition will put the player in competition with other high-capacity flash devices, such as the 32GB version of the iPod touch. Trekstor has additionally improved upon another player, the i.Beat organix, which in its 2.0 incarnation is claimed to have a 55-hour battery life. An entirely new product, the i.Beat nova, is a small USB-key type device.
A new security hole in the Internet Protocol is potentially the most severe ever discovered, according to a presentation by security experts Anton Kapela and Alex Pilosov. The two have revealed that the inherent nature of the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), which is essential for optimizing and routing traffic on the Internet, allows a hacker to redirect traffic to his own servers and forward it along without interrupting connections or otherwise immediately exposing the attack. The method would allow a malicious user to either spy on unprotected traffic or alternately 'poison' the data with altered code before it reaches its destination.
BeeJive, creators of a popular Blackberry IM client, is in the process of creating a port for the iPhone. The Boy Genius Report, which has had access to the beta version, says that the IM client supports all the most popular IM protocols and does so in a "very clean interface." The company has also already added in background notification support so as soon as Apple starts that services BeeJive will be ready. The software is still in the beta stages and BGR is unsure of when it will move out of beta and into the App Store; the cost of the application is still unknown as well.
The iPhone 2.0 firmware is vulnerable to an unusually easy security bypass, a report claims. Updated iPhones have the option of a four-digit passcode, which in theory should restrict all access to the device's data. The vulnerability manifests through the "Emergency Call" button on the passcode entry screen, meant to allow simple dialing functions regardless of whether the code is remembered.
Eastgate has announced an update to its Mac OS X application for storing and organizing notes, plans, and ideas. Tinderbox allows users to make a visual map of notes, meaning ideas can be related to each other visually. This mind mapping method of note making allows a user to quickly place ideas down on a board, then take those ideas and organize them into a manner that is understandable to them. Version 4.5 updates the interface with new visuals and functions. Drop shadows can now be added for style (and also can be customized to be tied directly to information in the notes), dividers let users draw lines right in a note, allowing them to link different ideas together. Eastgate has also improved the address-book and vCard integration, with automatic linking.
Amazon's German branch today inadvertently slipped details of Microsoft's Explore Mini Mouse with Blue Track, revealing a new technology the American company plans to launch in the near future. The listing contains few details, but through an investigation at Italian site is known to drop laser technology in favor of a cousin of earlier optical technology: it switches to a more precise blue LED and a wide-angle lens that Microsoft will claim is accurate while still working on more surfaces than either red-light optical or lasers.
Further testing of the antenna in the iPhone 3G appears to back up claims of its quality, writes the Gothenburg Post. In the wake of earlier comparative testing which found the iPhone within normal values, the newspaper says it received complaints, on the basis that the test unit may not have been representative of people having problems. The Post thus got in touch with two people reporting poor 3G connections, and had their phones brought to Bluetest's evaluation facility.
Santok has released a new hands-free solution for the iPhone that allows users to attach an extra set of headphones. The
Construction has begun on Apple's first retail store in the state of Maine, separate facts reveal. Confirming rumors from April, the Maine Mall in South Portland now lists Apple in its store directory, with an opening timeframe set for "Fall '08." The store may easily finish construction before October however, as a MacNN reader has taken photos of a facade already in place within the mall. Apple Stores tend to be completed within weeks of such facades being erected.
Dell this morning gave its Vostro line a refresh made for regions where cost is a concern but still offering features that are rare almost anywhere. The A860 is Dell's first 15.6-inch notebook and uses a 16:9 aspect ratio display in a redesigned, more rounded chassis than normally squared-off Vostro notebooks. It sheds costs both by having the option of budget Celeron M processors as well as by offering the choice of Ubuntu Linux in place of a costlier Windows Vista install. A 14-inch parallel, the A840, uses a slightly more conventional 16:10 ratio display but with similar internals.
The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has had an Apple ad blocked from British TV, says BBC News. The ad, meant to sell the iPhone, was challenged in two complaints which said that it was misleading. In promoting the iPhone's Safari web browser, Apple claimed that it could deliver "all the parts of the Internet;" the difficulty, according to the complaints, is that the software does not support Flash and Java, which are used at many sites and thereby exclude the iPhone.
SanDisk on Wednesday helped push a transition to SDHC cards for pro and high-end amateur photographers by launching an update to its Extreme III SDHC lineup. The new 30MB/s Edition is about 50 percent faster in both reads and writes than previous Extreme III cards and is deliberately launching alongside cameras such as the Nikon D90, which virtually demand the extra transfer speed for burst shooting. With one of the newer cards, a D90 can shoot at its peak 4.5 frames per second for up to 39 JPEG photos before the SDHC card can no longer keep up.
Garmin today revamped both the high- and low-ends of its nuvi GPS mappers with new features as standard that were previously just options. Competing with similar updates from NAVIGON, upgrades to both the 7x5 and 2x5 series now have traffic receivers as standard that provide alerts to road congestion and accidents for the lifetime of the device. Customers no longer need to pay a yearly subscription fee, the company is keen to note.
Samsung this morning backed up its SATA II SSDs with a new variety specifically designed for handhelds, netbooks, and other very small and low-cost devices. The technology uses the same multi-level cell storage that keeps the cost for storage down in a larger 128GB drive but is just 30 percent of the size of a 2.5-inch disk while simultaneously outperforming the normally slow drives in the category: a top-spec 32GB drive reportedly rivals desktop hard drives with 90MB per second sequential reads and writing at 70MB per second.
Epson late Tuesday announced its latest combo projector, the MovieMate 55. The device features a CD/DVD player and speakers in addition to the projector. Music can be played from any MP3 player, while video can be played from iPods. PCs or gaming consoles including Xbox 360, PS3, or Wii can be viewed with the MovieMate. Pictures displayed from picture CDs or USB flash drives can also be projected. A new E-TORL lamp is used and is claimed to output 1200 lumens in both color and white light.
Nikon brought rumors to a head Wednesday with an official release of the D90, confirming the 12.3 megapixel camera, and its accompanying AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm lens with VR function. The camera also introduces an alleged world-first for DSLR cameras, offering users the ability to shoot D-Movie video footage in resolutions up to 720p, with an included HDMI-out port for simplified viewing. Nikon notes that the larger DX-format sensor will allow for lower-noise video than a conventional camcorder.
Longtime Mac OS software supplier MacUpdate on Wednesday unveiled its new Back-To-School-themed bundle, featuring 10 software titles normally priced at $600 separately, available for $50. MacUpdate is offering all purchasers of the bundle access to seven of the titles initially, with three subsequent applications to follow. Customers who are among the first to purchase the bundle will receive a bonus mystery app, but MacUpdate would not immediately reveal its nature.
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Apple to open R&D center in India
A new report says that Apple will be opening a new technology center in Hyderabad, India, helping to boost the city's growing reputation as a tech center. The facility would operate within the WaveRock facility, and create 4,500 new jobs at a cost of around $25 million. In 2015, India surpassed the $1 billion in yearly sales milestone, and Apple has recently received permission to open retail stores in the country under its own control, an exception to rules that usually block foreign ownership. http://zd.net/1SMBVu4
Google killing Picasa starting May 1
Google Photos head Anil Sabharwal confirmed in a blog post today that the search engine giant will be shutting down acquisition Picasa. Support and downloads for the desktop application will terminate on March 15 with the application continuing to work for the time being. The transition to Google Photos truly commences on May 1, with deprecation of some Picasa API calls happening shortly thereafter. Users that have Google Photos access will find their photos already migrated. A mass-download tool for users not wishing to use Google Photos will be available sometime after May 1. http://bit.ly/1SmV2KH
Rogue Amoeba Piezo updated, departing App Store
In order to continue working on audio capture tool Piezo, developer Rogue Amoeba has simultaneously updated the app to version 1.5, and announced that it will pull version 1.2.6 from the Mac App Store. Customers who own the Mac App Store version have a one-time migration process to the Rogue Amoeba-served version. The company notes that the sandboxing restriction placed on Mac App Store versions "effectively stopped our ability to upgrade Piezo in any meaningful way." [8.80MB] http://bit.ly/1PIjz7l
FCC spectrum auction will happen without Google
After throwing its hat in earlier, Google (and associated companies) has declared that it is not participating in this year's FCC spectrum auction. A company spokeswoman said of the auction that "like all those interested in improved connectivity and equitable access, we'll be following the upcoming spectrum auction closely. That said, we have not filed to participate." http://on.recode.net/1oy5LWk
iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se sold Friday after launch?
Reverting the way products are actually released by Apple after an announcement to the way it was a decade ago, reports are circulating that new products revealed at a March announcement will go on sale the Friday immediately following the unveil. Slated to appear at a conjectural Tuesday, March 15 event are a new Apple four-inch phone with more up to date internals currently referred to as the iPhone 5se, and a new iPad Air 3 model with Smart Connector and other enhancements. http://bit.ly/1o7mqiY
Lexmark prevails in toner import appeal
Printer manufacturer Lexmark has won an appeal on the third-party US resale of its printer cartridges originally destined for markets outside North America. The appeals court ruled in a 10-2 vote in favor of Lexmark's demand to stop the sale and against Impression Products, both on the toner cartridge resale matter, as well as a related matter regarding overturning the reseller's refilling one-use cartridges and selling those in the US market. The ruling has ramifications in the tech industry, as well as the pharmaceutical and medical technology markets. Impression Products promises an appeal before the supreme court. http://reut.rs/1SLVmmG
AT&T expands BOGO promo to iPhone 6s
Beginning today, new and existing AT&T customers can purchase a new iPhone 6s and get another one free when adding a second line. Over the weekend, customers must purchase two phones through AT&T Next (one can be an existing number), and add both phones to a qualified plan. AT&T notes that "after three bill cycles or less" the account will start to receive up to $650 spread out over 30 monthly bill credits to offset the cost of the installment plan for the phone. Taxes are due at time of sale. http://soc.att.com/1SLUP4k