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Forum roundup: Mobile Me web hosting questions are a recent topic of interest in the MacNN forums. A discussion about Lightroom 2 stability and performance compared to Aperture can be found in this thread. Mac Enthusiast lenox recently got their 20-inch iMac, noticed some graphical glitches and looks for advice from other forum goers. In this thread members discuss the differences between Dual-Core and Quad-Core Intel processors in the Mac Pro. Many forum members have been reporting that the iPhone is unstable with large contact lists and converge here to discuss possible solutions.
The Consumer Electronics Association today announced the lineup of keynote address speakers for the 2009 CES tradeshow to be held in Las Vegas from January 8-11; Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, Sony's Sir Howard Stringer, and Ford's Alan Mulally.The change of Microsoft's representative speaker is symbolic of Gate's retirement, announced at his 11th and final keynote address at the 2008 CES. The torch has been officially handed to Ballmer as Gates continues his two year transition from full time participation.
Current deals at DealNN include the VisTablet Mini for $58 after mail in rebate from Amazon.com and the refurbished 16GB iPod touch for $269.99, which is $130 off the list price of $399, at Buy.com. The refurbished Apple wireless keyboard has been reduced to $69 at the Apple store and for today only (8/29/08) the Targus wireless rechargeable USB mouse can be purchased at Newegg.com for $10. PowerMax.com has the refurbished Mac Pro with dual 2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors, 1GB of RAM and 250GB hard drive for $1,888.
In the ongoing Psystar-Apple legal drama, the clone manufacturer alleges that Apple holds a monopoly over the Mac OS hardware/software platform that artificially inflates the price of its equipment. ComputerWorld reports that Psystar is upset about kernel panics that Apple has purposefully strewn about the Mac OS to prevent it from being used on non-Apple hardware. These errors are usually reserved for when OS X experiences a fatal error.
A group of UK developers has produced LightUp, a plug-in for Google's SketchUp modeling tool. The software generates real-time lighting for models, and supports effects such as skyboxes, Fresnel reflections, area and point lighting, and normal and specular maps. Users do not have to wait for files or export them, and can do live walkthroughs of environments.
Westinghouse on Thursday broke some new ground with its VK40F580D HDTV, the first from the company to feature a built-in DVD player. Unlike most such combos, the DVDs slide in via a front-mounted drive, and not on a side-mounted and reportedly harder-to-reach slot. The 40-inch LCD HDTV delivers 1080p resolution via its two HDMI inputs, and also sports a USB port for connecting portable or flash memory drives, digital cameras or digital audio players, among other compatible devices.
Plantronics today announced the GameCom 777 headset, the newest addition to its gaming line. A USB sound chipset inside the set processes Dolby Headphone for enhanced stereo listening and Dolby Pro Logic II for virtual 5.1 surround sound. For multi-player games with voice communication, a sound canceling boom microphone can be rotated out of the headband or tucked away for listening alone.
Anchor Bay Technologies on Friday announced it will soon release its DVDO EDGE 1080p upscaling video processor for home theaters. The audiovisual hub includes six HDMI 1.3 Deep Color inputs, two HDMI 1.3 outputs and a full complement of various other analog and digital A/V connections. It upscales video content thanks to Anchor Bay's Video Reference Series technologies, which include 10-bit de-interlacing and progressive reprocessing of files that would otherwise deinterlace poorly.
Many artists and record labels are beginning to see a darker side to the success of iTunes, according to Wall Street Journal. Apple has maintained a strict policy of requiring each song to be available individually. Although the music might be reaching more customers, companies are beginning to notice record sales being cannibalized by singles. For the customer that just wants the song they heard on the radio, the only incentive to buy the album from iTunes is the possibility of a price cut.
Many computer professionals need to work with text for writing, designing web pages using HTML code, or writing programs in a variety of languages such as C++, Ruby, or Python. While you could use a word processor, web page designer, or text editor to write code, many of these programs focus on helping you create text, but lack specific features for manipulating text. If you need to create, edit, and manipulate text, you need a professional text editor such as BBEdit 9.0.
Developer Ken Winograd says he has released v6.0.0 of TinyBooks, a Mac-based accounting and bookkeeping program aimed at families and small businesses. In using the software the program only asks for incomes and expenses, and calculates everything else based on how this data is categorized. The sixth edition introduces extra automation features, such as Auto-Comment option for commonly-used entry descriptions, and a similar option for checks. Multi-country tax support has been improved with automatic tax calculations.
NVIDIA's widely publicized video chip failures may also touch on the most recent GeForce 9 series as well as older models, if data leaked to The Inquirer are authentic. The documents allege that NVIDIA has ordered a change in conductor material to fix the problem not only for GeForce 8 cards made on a 65 nanometer process, such as the 8800 GT, but also many cards using the newer 55 nanometer technique for the same chips; this would expand the failures to include most GeForce 9 series parts
Lava Software has released Kenbushi 7.4, an update to its digital media jukebox. Kenbushi plays and manages media on both Macs and PCs, and syncs media to non-Apple media players. Version 7.4 adds the ability to load numerous media devices with data, including mobile phones, USB memory sticks, flash cards and portable hard drives. Multiple playlists can be created for each device, and space limits can now be set to preserve room. Users of v7.4 can also limit which media types are assigned to a device, for instance by keeping video on one player and music on another.
Solver for Excel 2008 has arrived ahead of its mid-September prediction, via Frontline systems, according to the Mac Business Unit blog, Mac Mojo. Solver for Excel 2008 brings linear programming to Excel 2008, allowing Solver users to finally move from the Excel 2004 versions they had to run to utilize the add-in's abilities. Solver allows businesses and schools to execute programs in Excel, determining capacities, minimums/maximums and scheduling loads.
TLA Systems has released the latest version of its iPhone calculator app, PCalc 1.0.2. The major improvement for the iPhone edition is multiple undos and redos, initiated by flicking the LCD to the right for the former, and the left for the latter. An "HP style RPN" option has also been added to simulate old calculators, and the general appearance has been enhanced, with more visible keys and customizable LCD color.
T-Mobile hopes to sell over half a million G1 Android phones before the end of the year, according to estimates reportedly supplied to AndroidGuys. The figures would have T-Mobile preparing to add about 200,000 new customers through selling the G1 as well as 40,000 incremental additions. As many as 278,000 of the buyers would be owners renewing their contracts to upgrade to the device, bringing the total to about 518,000 of the HTC-made devices.
Brainstem Games will be exhibiting its first software title, ON Chapter 1: Obscura Nomen, at the 2008 Austin Game Developers' Conference. The game is a 3D, space-based shooter, and should be showcased at the conference, which is scheduled between September 15th and 17th at Texas' Austin Convention Center.
Apple's constant iPhone shortages have finally eased after six weeks of supply problems, according to Lehman Brothers analyst Ben Reitzes. First reported by Apple Insider, Reitzes reveals that Apple has 16GB iPhone 3G (black and white) models available in all US retail Apple stores, a first since the launch on July 11. And 8GB models have reached 99 percent availability as well. Supply is finally improving, according to Reitzes.
Shorts International is now offering a collection of short animated movies through iTunes, including Peter and the Wolf, winner of an Oscar in 2008, and nominee Even Pigeons Go To Heaven. According to Distorted Loop, the offerings range across drama, comedy, and satire. Shorts International boasts the largest collection of short films, with over half of the catalogue receiving nominations or awards from various international film festivals.
BenQ is wrapping up its week with the addition of a new entry-level projector. The Taiwan-area company's MP513 DLP projector is being sold equally to home theater users as well as business users but centers primarily on its quietness. A mix of dampers and better airflow keep the device's noise output down to 26 decibels in its low-power mode and prevents its incidental sounds from overriding movies or presentations.
LG's Swedish website has revealed the company's new DVD player, the DVS450H. The player separates itself from ordinary readers using a top-mounted loader and eliminating all but a thin slice of the cabinet for controls. To give users options of showing off its new player, LG ensured the DVS450H can be mounted vertically or horizontally, as well as on walls.
IceWarp has announced that it will be debuting Exchange ActiveSync support for its self-titled server software this October, using its Advanced Messaging and Information Technology Conference as a venue. The most recent release of IceWarp Server introduced a new secure iPhone webmail skin, but with version 10, IceWarp says it is planning to add more functionality for the iPhone and other mobile devices.
Fujitsu is taking its first steps into the realm of netbooks like the Eee PC and Aspire One, reports indicate. The Amilo Mini Ui 3520 (photo below) is an 8.9-inch system, and relies on a 1.6GHz Atom processor, along with 1GB of RAM. Unlike some other netbooks however, there is said to be no Linux option for its operating system, only Windows XP Home.
Developers from Japanese firm Teraokaseiko today demonstrated one of the few examples of a touchscreen where both sides of the surface are controllable. The screen mounts two resistive (pressure-driven) touchscreens on either side of a transparent display, allowing users on either end to control events onscreen while seeing actions on the other side. Basic multi-touch would also be supported with pinching gestures supported alongside usual tapping and dragging.
Yazsoft has released an update to Speed Download, a download manager designed to operate as a "hub" for file transfer activities. The application can manage Safari and iTunes downloads, and additionally features an integrated FTP client. The v5.0.6 update fixes several bugs, and incorporates a new French translation. It also features enhanced Rapidshare compatibility. The upgrade is free for existing customers; new customers can buy a single license for $25.
Apple's online store is currently offering some great deals on its refurbished models. Apple TV in 40GB ($199) and 160GB ($279) configurations are available along with HD displays in 20-in. (1680 x 1050 resolution) for $499, and 23-in. (1920 x 1200 resolution) for $749. Also included are the wireless Mighty Mouse for $59, wireless keyboard for $69 and AirPort Express Base station for $79.
China's largest cellphone carrier -- China Mobile -- may be ready to subsidize the iPhone in its home country, says JLM Pacific Epoch. The research firm cites China Communications, which in turns quotes a source close to China Mobile. The source claims that the carrier is close to finishing negotiations with Apple for the iPhone 3G, and as part of the deal, China Mobile would provide a significant subsidy for each unit.
ShadeCases Inc. has announced the release of Shade Cases for the iPhone 3G. The new cases feature the same thin look as the original iPhone cases, only 0.4mm thick; and come with a built-in screen protector. The cases are now also being coated with a new spray that prevents the case from sticking to the screen providing users with an enhanced viewing experience over previous models. In addition, each case has been built out of 100 percent recyclable materials. The cases are available in 11 different colors and cost $17.
Sony Ericsson today confirmed through talks with Engadget the existence of a delay for the XPERIA X1. A company spokesman at the IFA technology show indicates that the company's first primarily touch-driven phone has moved from its generic launch window in the second half of 2008 to December or potentially January 2009, delaying the launch to almost a year after it was first announced.
DRO Concepts has started taking pre-orders on a new carbon fiber iPhone 3G case. The Carbon Fiber iPhone 3G Case is made with four layers of carbon fiber to provide a tough outer shell; the case also receives a scratch resistant high gloss finish to protect it from any drops. The inside of the case has been lined with neoprene which provides the iPhone with a snug fit that will help soften any impacts the phone might face. The case measures 1.8 mm thick and has been designed to allow full access to all of the iPhone 3G's controls.
In terms of individual brands, the Mac is currently the most sought-after computer in the US, according to ChangeWave Research. The group conducted a survey of over 4,000 Americans earlier this month, and discovered that of those planning to buy a computer in the next three months, 32 percent wanted some form of Mac. Apple is in fact the only company to have grown demand in both the desktop and notebook realms since July, pushing the former from 27 percent to 30, and the latter from 30 percent to 32.
Altec Lansing, a subsidiary of Plantronics, took the opportunity offered by Berlin's IFA 2008 show to unveil its FX3022 speaker system earlier this week. The system is labeled as a 2.2-channel set-up, meaning it has two 1.5-inch drivers to reproduce the mid- and high-sound frequencies and a couple of 4-inch down-firing subwoofers to deliver the low-tone bass frequencies.
The IEEE standards group has approved 802.11r, a new variant on Wi-Fi designed to support roaming between access points. Also called Fast Basic Service Set Transition, the technology is designed to keep a secure Wi-Fi connection active by anticipating the needed security settings at the next access point. The format can determine the security settings and quality of service info for the next access point before actually hopping to the next point and thus reduces the delay in switching networks to where time-sensitive apps will remain active.
20th Century Fox has announced a slate of new movies in its Digital Copy program. Digital Copy is a partnership with Apple, and bundles a digital version of a movie with its DVD counterpart; the file is pre-formatted for iTunes, making it convenient to sync with devices like iPhones and Apple TVs, although the file is not DRM-free, as with a normal DVD rip. Digital Copies can also be loaded onto Windows Media-compatible devices.
Harman Kardon revealed a pair of new products on Friday, at the opening day of the IFA show in Berlin. Predominantly meant for Mac and iPod users, the GLA-55 speaker system does include a 3.5mm audio jack. It is powered by a 100 watt digital amplifier and sports a DSP equalizer. The audio set-up's name undoubtedly comes from its original plastic casing, which shows off the speakers' magnets and wiring quite elegantly.
Salling Software has announced the availability of a new application for synchronizing iTunes data with mobile devices from Sony, Nokia and Sony Ericcson. Salling Media Sync lets users with iTunes easily sync music, playlists and podcasts in iTunes onto a non-Apple device. When the phone is connected to a USB port a user can select specific playlists and music for. However, the application does more than just move the files over: it also recreates each actual playlist on the device and metadata -- for phones that support it -- is also synced in order to keep track of play counts. Media Sync works with all standard media files include MP3 and MP4 file types but does not transfer DRM protected files.
Samsung this morning expanded its MP3 player range with two devices previously hinted at in the past. Standing as the mid-range device, the YP-Q1 (shown) is the first player from Samsung with the company's in-house DNSe 3 audio engine, which like Creative's X-Fi is said to restore missing detail from compressed songs. It also claims a simple, illuminated D-pad interface and a 2.4-inch LCD comparatively large for flash-based players.
Apple may be looking to permit tethering iPhones to computers, at least in the United States, rumors suggest. Tethering enables people to treat cellphones as external modems, connecting where Ethernet or Wi-Fi is not an option. While the technology is increasingly popular in Europe and North America, AT&T has expressly forbidden the practice with the iPhone, even though other devices have permission, and the iPhone is offered with unlimited data plans.
AT&T's long-delayed BlackBerry Bold launch may not take place until October, according to a tip allegedly given to BGR by higher-placed sources at AT&T. RIM's first GSM-based smartphone with 3G is now said not to be due for the carrier's retail locations until October 2nd, or almost five months after the device was first promised as the American carrier's exclusive in May.
Samsung's presence at IFA continued today with a pair of new LCD displays designed to eliminate ghosting almost entirely from computer screens. Both the 2233Hz and 2243Hz claim 22-inch panels with a 5ms gray-to-gray response time but also improve the poorer black-to-white response time that many LCD makers often omit from their specifications; a new imaging engine cuts the full pixel response time from 27ms to 9ms and should similarly trim down the amount of visual artifacts in extreme color changes during movement.
Using the start of the IFA show to its advantage, ASUS today started up its Bamboo Series of notebooks. Based loosely on the company's earlier EcoBook concept, the design is seen as the first truly green notebook in its use of actual bamboo for much of the outer shell; the unusually strong wood is not only more recyclable but also much more renewable than normal tree wood. It can also be treated to produce different colors or laser-engraved like metal notebooks.
A new leather case for the iPhone and iPhone 3G has been released by Grantwood Technology. The QuickFlipCase is a horizontally designed case with a smooth leather exterior that has been designed to secure the iPhone on a belt. It uses a magnetic enclosure for the lid and features a center push-up hole to allow the device to be removed easily. When the iPhone is inside the case a user still has access to the head phone jack and sleep/wake button; also while in the case the iPhones speaker remains uncovered helping to ensure that phone calls are not missed. The QuickFlipCase can be purchased for $19.
Now AAPL Stock: 95.01 ( + 0.99 )
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
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